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Old 01-06-2010, 09:07 AM
3 posts, read 4,608 times
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I know, I know, I must be nuts right? Well, unfortunately the Mrs. and I both work on the other side of the water -- Hampton and Newport News. The commute sucks. I'm tired of renting, and I don't want to live in a condo. I LOVE Ghent. We are out quite often as a couple to the local eats and I'm going to miss my beer/wine joints, frankly.

One of the things that blew me away about Newport News honestly is so many of the residential areas are almost park-like. I thought it was rather nice. Oyster Point/Christopher Newport area seems nice enough as well. Is there something I'm missing? The only downside I keep hearing is the public school districts once the kids get to high school. Places I'm looking at are either Denbigh or Menchville. There are some definitely some very nice homes in both those areas.

I'll be looking at homes in Hampton today. I eat lunch every now and again with the Mrs. in Hampton. I rather like the downtown area, but I don't really know that much about the neighborhoods/schools. Seems like there's some nice enough homes, but it doesn't seem to have the incredibly nice residential areas that Newport News has. . .

Sorry for the long post, I guess I'm just looking for local input to help place me somewhere over on that side of the water!

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Old 01-06-2010, 09:51 AM
Location: Key West, FL, USA
100 posts, read 223,072 times
Reputation: 70
You are correct. There is no area quite like Ghent over in NN. I can't speak for Hampton so I won't. I moved from Norfolk to the Tabb area of Yorktown over to the Denbigh area of NN with some reservations, but I've been pleasantly surprised!

I live near the Denbigh/Warwick intersection (the heart of Denbigh). I live across the street from Denbigh High. Here's some of my delights of this area.

Good stuff:
There's a yearly "Denbigh Day" where a parade marches right down our street and we can walk to the carnival rides! The music from the HS band drifts through the air in Fall. They built a new store at the intersection and are remodeling a shopping center. We can walk to the pier and boat dock at the end of Denbigh Blvd, are 5 mins from NN Park camping, we can walk to a plethora of stores at the Denbigh/Warwick intersection, are 5 mins to the airport (yet no jet noise because we're not in the flight path), 10 mins to the mall area, 10 mins to Ft Eustis's AWESOME fishing down near the ghost fleet, and once they complete NN's version of Mt Trashmore on Warwick, the area will be complete. There's also tons of quirky shops nearby. Several EXCELLENT museums are straight down Warwick 15 mins away. So is CNU. 15 mins from Amtrak train station. 15 mins from SPCA (we like the petting zoo). 20 minute drive to Busch Gardens/Water Country. 30 minute drive to historic Williamsburg/Jamestown/Yorktown.
I left my front door open by accident one day (completely open, blowing in the breeze) and it was so for almost 11 hours. No worries about intruders at all. Neighbors are extremely friendly, even to someone as antisocial as me (hahaha). Minimal traffic as long as you stay off of Jefferson Avenue. Even so, traffic is nothing like it is on the southside. Historic Hilton Village (with all it's awesome shops) is 15 mins down Warwick and every year they have a carnival as well. Good times. That's the most Ghent-like area up here, I'd say.

Bad stuff. Let's see. Elementary and Middle schools are great, but HS (as you noted) are not quite as stellar. There are definitely some areas getting run-down. I'll have to ponder the bad things and get back to you. hahaha
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:32 PM
Location: Research Triangle, NC
1,258 posts, read 1,520,786 times
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I agree with all the good stuff posted up above me. Also will add:

-- If you like shopping malls, there's now only one open in Newport News and Hampton (Patrick Henry Mall) with the closing of Coliseum. Even still, they expanded Patrick Henry and it's now worth going to again. It's also about a 5-10 minute drive from most places in Denbigh... 15 on a bad day.
-- Speaking of traffic, the only real bottlenecks I can think of are I-64 West just beyond the Bland Blvd. overpass (lanes go from 8 to 4) and Warwick Blvd. between Nettles Dr. and J. Clyde Morris Blvd. due to construction.

As far as the schools go, it depends. My personal experience with NN high schools (I graduated from Denbigh in 2001) is that the advanced students get the best education in their AP classes, whereas everyone else, even those in honors classes, are just "there." However, all five of the high schools in the city (Denbigh, Heritage, Menchville, Warwick, Woodside) are ranked in the annual Top 1500 High Schools list, and four of the schools (all but Menchville) have magnet programs.

I don't personally know as much about Hampton schools, but I have an aunt who lives in NN but works in Hampton's schools (she has worked at Bethel and Hampton). She told me a while back that Hampton has nothing on Newport News.
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