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Old 12-27-2007, 03:31 AM
4 posts, read 10,840 times
Reputation: 10


What I want to know is why does Norfolk get such a bad rep in this forum? Maybe the people in this forum don't understand the history, but Norfolk is the oldest city on the southside. After the white flight and popularity of the suburbs, Norfolk has suffered alot. It doesn't have the land that Va Beach and Chesapeake so it could grow. It is a city surrounded by other cities. It can't grow but so much. Besides Ghent and Larchmount, it doesn't have the affluence of northern Va Beach and certain areas of Chesapeake. 98 percent of the city is developed. Yes it has its bad points and needs new development, but Va Beach and Chesapeake have less than desireable areas as well like Green Run, Old Va Beach, areas near Bayside, South Norfolk/Campostella, northern Deep Creek, etc. I am just getting tired of everybody talking about how great and wonderful Chesapeake and Va Beach is and how slum Norfolk is. Even residents from Portsmouth talking bad about Norfolk, when Portsmouth is in the same shoes as Norfolk (old city, blight, less than desireable schools, lack of quality retail, etc.) I could be rich if somebody gave me a nickel everytime I heard bad comments about Norfolk and Portsmouth. Now I think that the city leadership of Norfolk is inept and veryd poor. I mean you have the city manager and her hiring practices which makes her look incompetent and giving the city bad press and some of the city council is poor leadership but the city isn't that bad. If you ask me...this whole area could use improvement. I been to Charlotte and Raliegh this year, and those areas have really progressed both inner city and suburbs. One reason why this area isn't going to improve much is due to the heavy competition among the cities and suburban cities putting down older urban cities. And yes, Norfolk does have "ghettos", but so does Newport News (eastside especially) and Portsmouth....and Hampton, Chesapeake, Va Beach and even Suffolk have areas that are unsafe. And the bad elements/thugs unfortunately have to live somewhere. Norfolk has alot of good neighboorhoods, and not just Ghent and Larchmount...some middle class neighboorhoods for example Meadowbrook, Lakewood, Talbot Park, Camellia Gardens, Larrymoore, Waters Edge, Bayview, Colonial Place, Glengariff, Azalea Garden, Tanners Creek and many more. I just don't get why do alot of Hampton Roads hate Norfolk so much, when Norfolk really done some things to help the area on an economic sense and brought some businesses here that didn't locate in HR before. It would be nice for the citizens of Norfolk if the city could try to improve the quality of roads and retail alot more...Military Hwy for example.

Last edited by Carter876; 12-27-2007 at 04:04 AM..
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:56 AM
17 posts, read 102,212 times
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My grandmother, mom and myself were all born and raised in Norfolk. My parents bought a house in VB in 1981ish, so I know both sides. When my husband and I got married, we bought a house in Hollywood/Maple Hall (Newtown area). We lived in Norfolk for 9 years. Norfolk used to be the place to be, but once the city started building up MacAurthur, the rest of the city suffered. The only area that gets any money attention is PARTS of downtown. Where I lived, the roads would lift everytime it rained, the road workers would come, do a shoddy job patching, then it would rain and lift again. If the city would get over the love affair with only downtown, and actually put some money into the neighborhoods and streets surrounding, it might be "the place" again. And don't even get me started on schools.
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Old 12-28-2007, 04:50 AM
194 posts, read 545,348 times
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I think most everything the OP wrote could be applied to ALL older VA cities. In Richmond it's the same story. Legally prohibited from annexing, increasing its tax base, growing, and beaing healthy. VA seems to be ANTI-URBAN/CITY (which is, arguably, based on certain "isms"). The people who fled the cities in the 60s & 70s, rather than coexist, and the lawmakers of the rural areas of the state have ensured that urban areas are destined to die a slow death.
I think the Hampton Roads area has TREMENDOUS POTENTIAL. But, like most of the POTENTIAL in this state, it is not being capitalized upon.
I haven't lived in Norfolk but we take trips to the area frequently (nice getaway from Richmond; not as hectic as DC). We're probably not typical (more accepting of urban life than some) but Norfolk and the VA Beach oceanfront are our stops (sometimes just Norfolk).
In Norfolk, we sometimes go to the Virginia Zoo (it's OK but could be much better), sometimes stop in MacArthur Mall, sometimes stop at Ocean View beach (I know...that can be a little to rough for some) or Buckroe Beach, and almost always make a trip to Waterside. Sad to see that Waterside marketplace is not as lively as it once was but glad to see that it is still a viable option (wish we had a Jillian's in Richmond). We really like getting our food, sitting outside and watching the boats, walking along the waterside, riding the ferry, etc. So much potential!
If I were a baseball fan I'd see a Norfolk Tides game (nice location next to the water).
Norfolk's skyline is pretty unimpressive and the Scope (like the Richmond Collesium) is in need of replacement but, overall, I really like Norfolk. As I said, sometimes we don't even drive the extra 30 min to get to VA Beach oceanfront (especially during the peak tourist season).
We hardly ever waste our time travelling to any of those suburban malls and "could be any city" suburban developments. What makes Norfolk interesting and a good trip are the places I noted above.
VA cities are on a slow path to death. Maybe they should all revert to "town" status - then they could avoid some of the legal obstacles and burdens which this Commonwealth have used to nearly kill them.
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Old 12-30-2007, 06:41 PM
3 posts, read 26,686 times
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i'm moving to norfolk from colorado. i've lived in va beach and my family is in yorktown and gloucesture. all are beautiful places but seriously ya'll complain way too much about a city that is so far above most of the nations cities. currently the one i reside in has such a racial problem that god forbid you say the word white or latino. the streets are often undrivable and the city itself is mainly ghetto. anyways, the point i'm making is that va beach doesn't exactly have much to offer in lue of job options and neither does the rest of the area in less you are working for the government. so norfolk it is. by the ocean, gorgeous views, great schools in comparison to where i live (co is one of the worst education states in the nation for primary education and my city was almost blacklisted and taken over by state), get place to live with lots of jobs and even the ghetto isn't that bad.
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Old 01-01-2008, 11:47 AM
3 posts, read 27,544 times
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Hi I just read your reply about the condition of Norfolk. I posted a message today, we are also moving to the Norfolk area and I am having a hard time figuring out where to look. We are a military familiy, so we need to be near the Naval Base, but in a decent elementary school district. Could you recommend anything??
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:54 PM
4 posts, read 48,078 times
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I have been lurking for awhile, reading all your wonderful post but I had to finally post a message... Touché to all of you who stood up for Norfolk. We have had our ups and downs as any urban city has had to endure but I for one do not see Norfolk as the garbage pit of the world.

I came to Virgina from Michigan in 1975 as a new bride of a military man. We set up our new household in Virginia Beach and we where very happy to become residents of Virginia Beach, even though it was a maze of endless shopping strips, 7 Elevens, gas stations, apartment complexes and traffic that would have made Mario Andriette cry and some of the residents where quite rude. Things happened between my ex husband and myself and we parted ways. I had to move to a city I could afford to live in and Va Beach, at that time wasn't it. I was scared to death to move to Norfolk, because all the wonderful tales of horror that moving to Norfolk would bring to my family and myself. I cried and cried about having to move to Norfolk because of my financial situation. I was so fearful that my children would receive a very bad education, not to mention all the gangs that where in Norfolk waiting to do bodily harm to you or steal you blind if not kill you. I very reluctantly moved from Va' Beach.

I was fortunate to have a very nice friend in Norfolk, who showed me around the area and and explained what areas I should stay way from. I found a house in a very nice neighborhood in the Broad Creek area of Norfolk and I have never looked back. Va Beach has a lot to offer a person or family but for me, it's to much like the bedroom communities of California and I personally like the feeling of being in a city that has older neighborhoods . This does not mean I do not like Virginia Beach, just that I personally do not care for the very congested traffic and the all to many tourist that are needed to keep the city running. What I do like is that Norfolk gives me what I missed most about my home state of Michigan. Older neighborhoods and tree's...lots of them, wonderful neighbors of all races, ethnic backgrounds and cultures, a city that is being re-born, a school system that has been so improved on over the many years that our children are now learning at national levels. Our city's economy is enjoying a rebound through all the new business, big and small, that are re-locating here....becuase of the city planners and their dedication to make Norfolk a vital city in the Hampton Roads area. More and more people are leaving their home states behind and are coming to Hampton Roads for work and are moving to Norfolk to live. That in it's self speaks about how these planned changes, over time, have been for the good of the revitalization of the City of Norfolk. Rome was not built in a day.

Norfolk still has a way to go but I truly believe there will be a day, in the very near future, that the City of Norfolk will once again be the city of the future. A great place to call home. It's been my home for 30 years
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:14 PM
4 posts, read 48,078 times
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Hi Rosecrest,

I read your post and I wanted to let you know there are many nice areas in Norfolk to live. The one place I would recommend that you check on is the Bayview area of Norfolk. It is a very clean area and the schools in Bayview are outstanding. My 2 daughters live in Bayview (off of Chesapeake Blvd and Bayview Blvd) They have very good teachers in that area. You also would be very close to the Military bases and very very close to Norfolk's beaches. Lots of school age children too.

Take a little time to look around the area, if you can. I also believe it would be in your best interest to speak with a reality agent. They can give you far more insight as to what areas would be best suited for you and your families living needs.

Good Luck and WELCOME to Hampton Roads, Virginia.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:15 AM
2 posts, read 24,127 times
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I think that the bad rep is a result of the ugly mermaids everywhere. Haha, what is with those mermaids?! Anyway, I think downtown Norfolk is so cool - the buildings are awesome... there are actually some cobblestone/brick type roads around and I liked it. Also MacArthur Mall is one of the best malls I've been to, and I've been to malls across the country. I do have to mention that areas surrounding military installations are often a little rundown, and I found that this section of Norfolk was no different. As you move away from that area the environment improves and has alot of history and character, which is something I feel alot of newer cities like San Diego seem to lack. I prefer living in a small town type atmosphere, but I regularily visit Norfolk for a dose of culture and excitement.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:53 AM
8 posts, read 44,481 times
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I love my area of Norfolk (off Kempsville Rd behind the Wal-Mart) I think it is a great place. I grew up in this area and said that if I ever bought a house it would be here in this neighborhood. Va Beach and Ches have some nice areas but they cost so much, and if the area is affordable it is no good.
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:42 PM
Location: Northern Florida
27 posts, read 143,254 times
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Norfolk is terrific - I enjoy it - BUT if you have school age children the schools can be a real issue particularly when you don't live in the Ghent/Larchmont areas. I think this is why everyone grumbles about Norfolk. If schools are a priority most families will choke down the cost of higher real estate... alla Va. Beach.
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