U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Hampton Roads area
 [Register]
Hampton Roads area Chesapeake - Hampton - Newport News - Norfolk - Portsmouth - Suffolk - Virginia Beach
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-10-2013, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,504 posts, read 6,929,118 times
Reputation: 3748

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geork View Post
I promise this is not a troll post, I'm genuinely looking for some help.

Moved here about a year ago for a great job. Not military. Not religious. Wife and two kids. We've lived in alot a places around the US (except west coast and deep south). We've been trying to make a go at it around here, but recently I've began looking to relocate out (even though it will mean a substantial pay cut).

We've been looking religiously for close to year for a place to live, and the only thing close is Ghent / West Ghent (which is very expensive and a far commute). We haven't looked in VA beach since it would be too far to commute to NN.

We are a young professional couple, looking for things that I didn't think were so unusual until I moved here: walkable community, semi-decent public schools, local shops/stores (aka not another walmart), nice parks to walk to, other families around for our kids to play with.

When we relocated here my wife expressed concern but I reassured her thinking that even if the area is small or expensive, we will find it. We have not. It seems like most of the country has understood that endless low density suburban sprawl coupled with strip mall after strip mall is not a good way to move forward... except NN. We would be looking to spend quite a big chunk on a house, but I find it insane to spend 500+ for a McMansion in such a cultural wasteland. NN and the Hampton Roads area in general seems like a very upscale trailer park, where everyone is concerned about their own house and completely oblivious to the surrounding community. The area I live doesn't even have sidewalks, you have to drive EVERYWHERE. I attempted to commute on my bicycle into work once and have never been in a place so intolerant of bikes (got yelled at twice).

In addition, seriously, whats up with the racism in NN? I'm white but feel like there should be a warning when you enter the city, I feel like I stepped into the worst parts of the 1950s.

Finally, where are the young people? It seems like there are a bunch of people in their 20s and then retired folks. At this point we pretty much know everyone 30-40s in our entire subdivision because we cling to each other like oxygen. Everyone keeps telling me that "its not a big city, young people move away" I can attest, living in many smaller places, I have not seen a brain drain like this anywhere else.

I'm sorry this came off so negatively. I'm really not trying to start some sort of flame war. I live here, I'm not throwing rocks from a distance. I would really like to be set straight. What am I doing wrong?
Interesting post. Not sure what racism you're experiencing (or witnessing others experience), but I guarantee it is nothing unique to NN or anywhere else in HR. Keep in mind HR, as big as it is, still has a small town atmosphere, so you get people that just aren't used to living around other people, and that isn't always a racial thing.

Sounds like you're in a more suburban part of NN. What I've found, is that the denser, inner-city parts of that city are very urban. In fact it very much reminds me of areas like Cleveland, OH. But the areas are so ghetto no one that could afford better would want to live there. So what you are witnessing, is not the city in general, just where you're at. NN is a very large city with all types of neighborhoods.

Young people with their degree that can do so might flee for areas like NoVa or DC, which is probably where you should be at. There are plenty of local shops everywhere.

You might want to look at the Southside and move out of the Peninsula, or if you don't like NN and Hampton, or try further out, like Williamsburg. I'm in Norfolk and all I see are local stores out here, or regional stores (like Dollar Deals, Food Lion, etc.). You'll find sprawl all over the country, except in land locked areas that have no land to sprawl into. The sprawl period is over anyway. If you're patient with us, you will probably see density continue to increase, and more mid-rises. At least that is the case in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk and Portsmouth. Why that isn't happening in NN is beyond me.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-10-2013, 03:53 PM
 
368 posts, read 835,940 times
Reputation: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
Interesting post. Not sure what racism you're experiencing (or witnessing others experience), but I guarantee it is nothing unique to NN or anywhere else in HR. Keep in mind HR, as big as it is, still has a small town atmosphere, so you get people that just aren't used to living around other people, and that isn't always a racial thing.

Sounds like you're in a more suburban part of NN. What I've found, is that the denser, inner-city parts of that city are very urban. In fact it very much reminds me of areas like Cleveland, OH. But the areas are so ghetto no one that could afford better would want to live there. So what you are witnessing, is not the city in general, just where you're at. NN is a very large city with all types of neighborhoods.

Young people with their degree that can do so might flee for areas like NoVa or DC, which is probably where you should be at. There are plenty of local shops everywhere.

You might want to look at the Southside and move out of the Peninsula, or if you don't like NN and Hampton, or try further out, like Williamsburg. I'm in Norfolk and all I see are local stores out here, or regional stores (like Dollar Deals, Food Lion, etc.). You'll find sprawl all over the country, except in land locked areas that have no land to sprawl into. The sprawl period is over anyway. If you're patient with us, you will probably see density continue to increase, and more mid-rises. At least that is the case in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk and Portsmouth. Why that isn't happening in NN is beyond me.
Sounds like you are referring to the downtown/eastend Newport News area for the more urban/dense fabric of Newport News. I have had some people I know living in the 757 area from Baltimore tell me that eastend reminds them of West Baltimore or parts of Baltimore also. Honestly, I believe that parts of Norfolk, Newport News, and Portsmouth have urban areas that could really be turned around if gentrification were to ever take place. I believe Ghent is still the closest thing to the environment that the OP is looking for in the Tidewater area. You might be interested in urban areas of Richmond also such as the Fan (much larger version of Ghent), or Church Hill.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-10-2013, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,504 posts, read 6,929,118 times
Reputation: 3748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kbank007 View Post
Sounds like you are referring to the downtown/eastend Newport News area for the more urban/dense fabric of Newport News. I have had some people I know living in the 757 area from Baltimore tell me that eastend reminds them of West Baltimore or parts of Baltimore also. Honestly, I believe that parts of Norfolk, Newport News, and Portsmouth have urban areas that could really be turned around if gentrification were to ever take place. I believe Ghent is still the closest thing to the environment that the OP is looking for in the Tidewater area. You might be interested in urban areas of Richmond also such as the Fan (much larger version of Ghent), or Church Hill.
Ghent could probably be as large as the Fan, but Norfolk would have to increase density and undertake some controversial eminent domain/gentrification measures to do so, which the city can't afford right now. I doubt any massive gentrification will take place anywhere in Hampton Roads in the near future, on the level of what has occurred in previously undesirable neighborhoods of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and parts of Chicago, even Washington DC, etc. The money just isn't around here for that to happen, and we don't have that chic factor that is causing people to trample over each other to live here. Ghent is the best hope, or if downtown actually had some interesting stuff, like a Whole Foods, Fresh Market, etc., but then again there isn't any room left downtown except for the 'hood, which is all government housing. There may be room for some stray mixed use developments here and there, but you can count the number of vacant/underutilized superblocks downtown on one hand.

But yes, you have me pegged correct I am referring to the downtown NN. Didn't know that was the eastend. NN should have an uptown/midtown,etc. like Norfolk. Not sure what to make of Portsmouth, its like their downtown is there, but then again it isn't. Their midtown is like all government housing/Section 8, etc. It is a very strange situation.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-11-2013, 06:49 PM
 
10 posts, read 18,204 times
Reputation: 15
This area is not for us either.....

We lived in Ghent and while I loved the walkability factor combined with a ton of character our cars were broken into 3 times in 6 months. They broke the windows and took the stereo which was nothing exciting out of a 1997 Nissan. It got old so we left Ghent and moved further out. We are now looking into North Carolina Sorry Hampton Roads just has never clocked for us.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-12-2013, 05:06 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,366,561 times
Reputation: 1189
Quote:
Originally Posted by artistatheart View Post
Well, we like living in Newport News, and my husband's (less than!) ten minute commute to work and the fact that we can afford to live in a good neighborhood on one salary while I homeschool our four kids, for us, more than makes up for the lack of sidewalks and/or sophistication. We chose to live a little more simply when we moved here, and our family is happier for it.

But I do agree that Williamsburg is a very nice place.
Plenty of people like living around here, you don't have a population of 1.6 million if everyone thinks it sucks and there are no positive aspects of a place. Most of the folks on here (I'm gonna stereotype a bit here) griping are liberal progressives from northern cities that prefer a more urban environment, cultural amenities, "character" and probably think of sarcasm and condescension more as literary tools to make a point (like my uncles in Boston do) rather than being flat out rude. There is nothing wrong with that in and of itself, it is just culturally different from what your typical long-time HR resident. It is like asking a redneck from Hickory if they would like living in Manhattan, of course not (I'm gonna stereotype a bit here) because they want land, privacy, peace and quiet, and a big garage at a price they can afford.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-12-2013, 05:27 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,366,561 times
Reputation: 1189
Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
Ghent could probably be as large as the Fan, but Norfolk would have to increase density and undertake some controversial eminent domain/gentrification measures to do so, which the city can't afford right now.
I always felt like there is a nice corridor going from Waterside, past evms/chrysler, to ghent that is relatively safe and nice already. My wife and I often take our dogs downtown and walk from Waterside down past the "letters" memorial at Town Point Park then past Nauticus (sweet view of the Wisconsin) and through Freemason and down past the Chrysler over the Hague bridge then to Ghent. It is a really nice part of town but then you inevitably turn around because you are running into park place and some of the other sketchy areas around ODU that just look rundown and don't feel particularly safe (particularly at night). I never lived there, but I commuted to ODU for night classes and did not like walking to my car after dark when I parked over there for free... that is for sure.

Park Place is actually on the National Register of Historic Places, has seen a minor influx of "hipsters" and seems to have a strong civic league that is trying to revive the area but it is hard to say how much better it will get. As long as there is concentrated poverty in an area you seem to always have issues with crime nearby that spill out into Ghent and ODU unfortunately. I will say this though, it has gotten a lot better since I was at ODU in the early 2000's. The convocation center wasn't there, there was no football program (which seems great for the community) and that university village wasn't there either. It was just flooded parking lots, a few crappy shops, and some old run-down looking houses on the other side of Hampton blvd.

Last edited by UHgrad; 02-12-2013 at 06:28 AM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-12-2013, 06:07 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,366,561 times
Reputation: 1189
Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
Interesting post. Not sure what racism you're experiencing (or witnessing others experience), but I guarantee it is nothing unique to NN or anywhere else in HR. Keep in mind HR, as big as it is, still has a small town atmosphere, so you get people that just aren't used to living around other people, and that isn't always a racial thing.
I think this really depends on the social circles you have and where you live/work. There are definitely areas where I feel some tension but overall I don't see a lot of problems compared to other places. Most everyone is middle class around here, I don't really feel that sort of class tension along racial lines that I feel in a lot of other cities. My neighborhood is suburban, middle class, and well mixed... there really aren't pockets of any group stacked in one area. Maybe I am biased though, in my group of close friends 7 out of 10 of us are in interracial relationship/marriages so that may play a part, I don't really hang out with a homogenous (racially) set of folks so I interact with lots of different types people depending on whose family is hosting the bbq or whatever. It wasn't intentional, I have known most of them since the 6th grade, it just worked out that way.

Speaking of everyone being middle class... it is kind of funny to me, for all the talk about income equality from folks lately nobody seems to mention that VB and HR in general is extremely egalitarian while most of these cities people want to turn us into have tremendous levels on inequality between rich and poor. I think this is part of why folks generally get along around here. Don't believe me, PBS says it is so therefore it must be true. haha

Which Cities Have the Biggest Gaps Between Rich and Poor? | PBS NewsHour

Last edited by UHgrad; 02-12-2013 at 06:29 AM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2013, 07:08 PM
 
1,356 posts, read 1,750,902 times
Reputation: 1042
Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
Ghent could probably be as large as the Fan, but Norfolk would have to increase density and undertake some controversial eminent domain/gentrification measures to do so, which the city can't afford right now. I doubt any massive gentrification will take place anywhere in Hampton Roads in the near future, on the level of what has occurred in previously undesirable neighborhoods of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and parts of Chicago, even Washington DC, etc. The money just isn't around here for that to happen, and we don't have that chic factor that is causing people to trample over each other to live here. Ghent is the best hope, or if downtown actually had some interesting stuff, like a Whole Foods, Fresh Market, etc., but then again there isn't any room left downtown except for the 'hood, which is all government housing. There may be room for some stray mixed use developments here and there, but you can count the number of vacant/underutilized superblocks downtown on one hand.

But yes, you have me pegged correct I am referring to the downtown NN. Didn't know that was the eastend. NN should have an uptown/midtown,etc. like Norfolk. Not sure what to make of Portsmouth, its like their downtown is there, but then again it isn't. Their midtown is like all government housing/Section 8, etc. It is a very strange situation.
The jobs aren't there for it to happen. This area consists of blue collar workers and military. There's no creative class here to speak of since the young population moves out and you need those young types who are willing to buy up cheap homes and renovate them while also bringing in businesses that cater to them. Va Beach can draw up plans all it wants for increasing density or creating the image of a city, but without jobs, then the city and this area is not going to change me. I'm currently working on my graduate degree and I'm from the area. Once I finish, I'm changing my residency and moving to another city since there just isn't a lot here for young people and I'm not going to take my chances on some plan that's going to take decades to come to fruition(if it does at all).

OP my suggestion: find a similiar paying job in another metro. Don't waste your youth settling for something you're not happy for it because once you do have a child and start to raise a family, you're going to be even more locked in.

And I do agree with you with the racism here and how conservative the residents are about improving infrastructure. This area is very conservative so it's not just a "it's everywhere" like someone suggested(unless you're talking deep south). Some areas areas a lot more progressive than areas and Hampton Roads is just one of those areas that is not.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2013, 08:47 PM
 
58 posts, read 97,064 times
Reputation: 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Octa View Post
The jobs aren't there for it to happen. This area consists of blue collar workers and military. There's no creative class here to speak of since the young population moves out and you need those young types who are willing to buy up cheap homes and renovate them while also bringing in businesses that cater to them. Va Beach can draw up plans all it wants for increasing density or creating the image of a city, but without jobs, then the city and this area is not going to change me. I'm currently working on my graduate degree and I'm from the area. Once I finish, I'm changing my residency and moving to another city since there just isn't a lot here for young people and I'm not going to take my chances on some plan that's going to take decades to come to fruition(if it does at all).

OP my suggestion: find a similiar paying job in another metro. Don't waste your youth settling for something you're not happy for it because once you do have a child and start to raise a family, you're going to be even more locked in.

And I do agree with you with the racism here and how conservative the residents are about improving infrastructure. This area is very conservative so it's not just a "it's everywhere" like someone suggested(unless you're talking deep south). Some areas areas a lot more progressive than areas and Hampton Roads is just one of those areas that is not.
Octa:

As much as it hurts (mostly financially) we are indeed moving. In 2 months. I'll see you guys on the Colorado forums!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-23-2013, 04:49 AM
 
1,356 posts, read 1,750,902 times
Reputation: 1042
Awesome! Denver? I'm still trying to decide where I'm going to go when I finish.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Hampton Roads area
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top