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Old 03-30-2008, 01:31 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area, California
7 posts, read 13,468 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello everybody. This summer I am moving to Virginia to live with my fiance before I head to grad school in a year and a half. He is moving out of government-paid-for housing (navy) and we're trying to find an area we would both enjoy living in, along with a friend of his.
I'm born and raised in the SF Bay Area-- I saw that other post, and while I'm not worried about finding recreational areas (the area seems gorgeous and the boy is all over the place rock climbing and fishing and off-roading)-- I am feeling disheartened about finding a neighborhood where there is a nice cultural atmosphere. I'm hoping someone could point me in the direction of a neighborhood(s) where, if we found an apartment, I could walk to cafes or a local farmer's market, maybe a book store, some fun pubs and restaurants, a library, you get the idea.
When I visited before (Newport News area) there was mostly sprawl and homogenous apartment complexes with no trees, and a lot of commuting for groceries and a place to walk your dog, which doesn't excite me at all. I might be asking too much, I know the area is big and spots like that tend to be much more spread out, but I am really hoping! I know I can't possibly have heard of all the areas, and my fiance knows the rock gym, the highways, the way to work, and the grocery store.
His friend mentioned downtown Hampton, but I've heard a lot of opposing opinions about its vibe, and there seems to be a lot of nice things to say about Ghent, but unless that is the only option, it's a little far for them to drive. So I'm looking for ideas, directions, inspiration and/or information. Thank you all so much! I really value your input.
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:02 PM
 
56 posts, read 148,743 times
Reputation: 23
I really like Ghent - you can walk or bike almost anywhere! It's pricier than NN or Hampton, but culturally speaking, it's much nicer. It's also just a few miles from VA Beach, etc.

Wherever you decide to land - definitely check out the Stockley Gardens art show, and the wine and beer festivals at Town Point Park. They're worth your time - definitely!

Best of luck!

JR
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:41 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area, California
7 posts, read 13,468 times
Reputation: 10
I definitely will check those out, thanks!
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:49 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area, California
7 posts, read 13,468 times
Reputation: 10
So I guess this means Ghent is it, ay?
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Old 04-05-2008, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
87 posts, read 316,370 times
Reputation: 38
Default Yup, Ghent is awesome

I just came home from a movie at the Naro (theater) in Ghent and remember how awesome and eclectic the place is. Check out this web site for some information on Ghent. It is both cultural and eclectic and the residents represent almost all socioeconomic and cultural extremes.

Ghent History - The City of Norfolk, VA (http://www.norfolk.gov/Planning/comehome/Ghent_History.asp - broken link)
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Squirrel Hill
1,350 posts, read 3,348,735 times
Reputation: 405
Ghent is the only place in Norfolk I can think of that meets the bill. I loved living there during medical school. Unfortunately, a lot of the rest of Norfolk including much of the immediate surronding area isn't so great. Ghent is, not suprisingly, pricey compared to the rest of the area but you get what you pay for in this situation at least.
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:41 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area, California
7 posts, read 13,468 times
Reputation: 10
Awesome, thank you so much for your input. I really appreciate it. I've been watching craigslist, and it does seem to be routinely higher, but from the sound of it, it's a really friendly/awake area. I was hoping I could present the boys with options, but that's okay. I'm glad there is at least one spot.
Thanks again!!
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