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Old 11-06-2013, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
4 posts, read 9,299 times
Reputation: 10

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I need your opinions! I am and relocating from Charleston, SC to VA. I was born and raised in Rhode Island, have lived in NY, CT, TX, NV, and SC. Virginia Beach, or Norfolk? Can you help pinpoint major differences if there are any? I have never been to either, and am planning on a few visits and help from you to better make a decision. I hate the South and all of it's southern culture. I would like to be in a more urban area but not too far from the beach. The population looks pretty high in VBeach. Tell me everything and anything you think I should know about the two (Norfolk, VBeach). Appreciation and thanks in advance to all who respond
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Coastal South Carolina
6,189 posts, read 548,098 times
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Well, I grew up in Va. Beach and live in Charleston, Sc! I like the south and southern culture. You might not want to move to norfolk/va. beach if you hate the southern culture. Va. Beach is not an urban area. I know a lot about the two. What do you want to know? Norfolk is more Urban, if you can call it that, in certain sections. Really, it is Tidewater, Virginia and to me it is not too different from Charleston....
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:04 PM
 
120 posts, read 189,801 times
Reputation: 82
If you really want to stay in VB and be close to the beach, the VB Town Center area might be your best bet for the urban feel, though truthfully it's not very urban at all. The most urban area out of the cities you mentioned would be Ghent in Norfolk, with about a 30 minute or so commute to the beach, traffic depending.
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Old 11-07-2013, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Portsmouth, VA
6,513 posts, read 7,165,934 times
Reputation: 3764
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenofhearts401 View Post
I need your opinions! I am and relocating from Charleston, SC to VA. I was born and raised in Rhode Island, have lived in NY, CT, TX, NV, and SC. Virginia Beach, or Norfolk? Can you help pinpoint major differences if there are any? I have never been to either, and am planning on a few visits and help from you to better make a decision. I hate the South and all of it's southern culture. I would like to be in a more urban area but not too far from the beach. The population looks pretty high in VBeach. Tell me everything and anything you think I should know about the two (Norfolk, VBeach). Appreciation and thanks in advance to all who respond
Norfolk. Virginia Beach is becoming more urban, but it is on a 50 year plan.
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Old 11-07-2013, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Portsmouth, VA
6,513 posts, read 7,165,934 times
Reputation: 3764
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenofhearts401 View Post
I need your opinions! I am and relocating from Charleston, SC to VA. I was born and raised in Rhode Island, have lived in NY, CT, TX, NV, and SC. Virginia Beach, or Norfolk? Can you help pinpoint major differences if there are any? I have never been to either, and am planning on a few visits and help from you to better make a decision. I hate the South and all of it's southern culture. I would like to be in a more urban area but not too far from the beach. The population looks pretty high in VBeach. Tell me everything and anything you think I should know about the two (Norfolk, VBeach). Appreciation and thanks in advance to all who respond
If you don't like Southern Culture stay out of Virginia. HR is somewhat of a mix, Northern Virginia is more "northern", but Virginia is the wrong place to be if you do not like Southern culture.

The whole 7 city area has a high population but that population is spread out. It is not like the Northeast. If you're looking for a mix but do not want to return to the Northeast you would probably do better in Baltimore or the Midwest or perhaps somewhere like New England. The places you've lived had density of 5 times or greater than this place. Don't waste your time if you aren't open to how different it will be.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:39 PM
 
1,700 posts, read 5,517,524 times
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If you want to live in an urban city, meaning walkability, better transit, bike lanes, independent shops, historic and dense neighborhoods, etc. then Norfolk is where you want. And don't forget, Norfolk has beaches too. Ocean View is Norfolk's beach neighborhood, and parts are very walkable and dense.

People will tell you to avoid Norfolk because of high crime, but if you want to live in the city and have before then Norfolk won't shock or scare you. Use street smarts like any other place and you can avoid just about any trouble that would come your way.
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:52 PM
 
530 posts, read 1,076,401 times
Reputation: 1140
I prefer Virginia Beach to Norfolk for so many reasons. Norfolk has a poor school system, and this translates into other problems, including a higher crime rate and a lack of jobs. Many people will mention Ghent when talking about the nicer areas of Norfolk. However, I have found that there is an unusual insular culture among some of the people who live in these areas. Some of the residents act like they think they are local royalty and are peeved if you don't treat them that way. I was in a situation once that reminded me of an old movie like Pollyanna where I was told a project I was promoting was basically at the mercy of a woman who married into a local family that is wealthy. I have never run into such situations in real life anywhere else in the country I have lived. Though there are some residents from Ghent etc. I really like, this unusual Norfolk culture does make things a little more difficult at times.

In turn, I have found the people in Virginia Beach to be more welcoming and diverse in their viewpoints. It is true the "city" is really a big suburb, but it generally has better schools, less crime, and more recreational opportunities. It also can be expensive, which is why some people who like Virginia Beach actually end up living in other Hampton Roads areas.
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Old 11-16-2013, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Portsmouth, VA
6,513 posts, read 7,165,934 times
Reputation: 3764
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellar View Post
I prefer Virginia Beach to Norfolk for so many reasons. Norfolk has a poor school system, and this translates into other problems, including a higher crime rate and a lack of jobs. Many people will mention Ghent when talking about the nicer areas of Norfolk. However, I have found that there is an unusual insular culture among some of the people who live in these areas. Some of the residents act like they think they are local royalty and are peeved if you don't treat them that way. I was in a situation once that reminded me of an old movie like Pollyanna where I was told a project I was promoting was basically at the mercy of a woman who married into a local family that is wealthy. I have never run into such situations in real life anywhere else in the country I have lived. Though there are some residents from Ghent etc. I really like, this unusual Norfolk culture does make things a little more difficult at times.

In turn, I have found the people in Virginia Beach to be more welcoming and diverse in their viewpoints. It is true the "city" is really a big suburb, but it generally has better schools, less crime, and more recreational opportunities. It also can be expensive, which is why some people who like Virginia Beach actually end up living in other Hampton Roads areas.
I beg to differ. Every city has gentrified/artistic/hippie/socialite areas like Ghent. Ghent is no different than Highland Park in Akron, Willamsburg in Brooklyn or the theater districts of most towns across America. You would have ran into the same jerks in downtown Cleveland or up in Northern Virginia.

What you speak of are cultural and socioeconomic differences. Virginia Beach has similar areas. As does every city. You offer an oversimplification of Virginia Beach, like most apologists and cheerleaders that attempt to speak for an incredibly large city of over 430,000. Ghent is but a small neighborhood in a large city, and is not indicative of the majority of Norfolk at all. You have downtown and the neighborhoods surrounding Ghent, not to mention Lafayette and other areas.

Virginia Beach is not necessarily more expensive than Norfolk or any of the other cities in Hampton Roads. When I lived in Virginia Beach I paid less than I'm paying now. Town Center the Oceanfront and neighborhoods that surround those two areas are expensive. Same for Virginia Beach outside of Chesapeake. But Virginia Beach outside of Norfolk is cheap, even undesirable to some.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:45 AM
 
2 posts, read 7,080 times
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I live in Norfolk and have been here my whole life if you like urbanity then Norfolk is your place (out of the two cities) Virginia Beach has the highest population in the whole state but is very spread out. Town Center is nice and becoming urban but its got a long way to go, the oceanfront is primarily just a tourist spot urban in the fact that theres a lot of hotels on he beach but behind that its just a giant suburb. Norfolk is the economic and cultural center of hampton roads and yes for a metro of 2mil its a small downtown but its denser than Virginia Beach. Crime, yes of course theres crime you can't find a place on earth without crime but as far the 2 cities go its just about the same Virginia Beachers and really anyone you talk to try to say oh don't go to Norfolk there's nothing but crime there especially in downtown but thats not the case maybe in the 80s and 90s you could say that but its a lot better now I feel perfectly safe walking around at night. So don't let people sway you too much go with what you see when you visit but I would say Norfolk is the better of the two.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Portsmouth, VA
6,513 posts, read 7,165,934 times
Reputation: 3764
Norfolk isn't any worse than any other city in America that isn't a suburb of an older city. I've been in a lot of cities, primarily Midwest, but also Atlanta, New York, DC, etc. Norfolk is your average mid sized city. It has its flaws, as do all mid sized cities, but the crime is a small fraction of what you have in other cities of its size. Norfolk could be Dayton, OH, Akron, Youngstown, Trenton or Newark. It isn't any of those cities. Stuff happens in Norfolk, but your average person doesn't have any issues. Some people are inquisitive, some people are scared; if you're minding your own business you might experience your typical property crime, but it is not a scary place to live, far from it. I've been through some bad areas and lived in bad areas. I'm not saying they don't exist in Hampton Roads. But I am saying that if you have lived in cities with more than one murder a week, you should be able to relax somewhat; you can get caught up anywhere, but I doubt you will perceive Norfolk in the negative, skewed light some of the posters on here do. It's all relative, and it is all a matter of perception.

If you were to look up urban in the dictionary you would see pictures of Norfolk and Portsmouth. This is the thing; Norfolk is a representation of an older post-industrial city undergoing gentrification and revitalization in some neighborhoods while Virginia Beach is a model of an older suburban area growing into an urban area through government intervention. No one talks about the developers behind Town Center or the City's push to route light rail through Virginia Beach on these fourms. One of the reasons why Chesapeake is not urban outside of South Norfolk and Greenbrier.

One is not better than the other. The OP should live wherever they choose, based on needs, wants, and desires. You are no better or worse for living in one over the other. You can live an urban or suburban lifestyle in any one of that 7 cities in Hampton Roads. There are suburbs to this region 50 miles out from the urban core for those insisting on suburban lifestyles.

Last edited by goofy328; 11-17-2013 at 08:52 AM..
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