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AmericanUrbanDesigner

Southern Confusion/Misinformation, Part I

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Outside of The South there remains a lot of confusion/misinformation about The South. Does this actually benefit The South? i.e. When people who are confused/misinformed about The South actually visit our best cities: Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Nashville, etc.; rural areas...the Outer Banks, the Great Smokies, etc; our college towns...Athens, Chapel Hill, etc...

1.) Are people, in your experience, genuinely "surprised" by what they find?

2.) Does the impression they leave with make them more inclined to eventually more here or to suggestion that others move here?

3.) Does their visit "confirm" their prejudices?

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Outside of The South there remains a lot of confusion/misinformation about The South.  Does this actually benefit The South?  i.e. When people who are confused/misinformed about The South actually visit our best cities: Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Nashville, etc.; rural areas...the Outer Banks, the Great Smokies, etc; our college towns...Athens, Chapel Hill, etc...

1.) Are people, in your experience, genuinely "surprised" by what they find?

2.) Does the impression they leave with make them more inclined to eventually more here or to suggestion that others move here?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Those questions would probably be better answered by people outside the South.

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My trips to the south:

The Outer Banks - Absolutely beautiful. I was quite impressed.

Charlotte - Wish I spent more time. Much nicer than Nashville or Memphis.

Atlanta - Nice parts but dissappointed. Downtown needs more life. Way too suburban

Nashville - Did not like at all. They still say yonder and colored people. Just seemed too southern and slow.

Miami - Absolutely loved it. One of my favorite. Very international and tropical, beautiful beaches and people.

Memphis - Once was enough. Never again.

Savannah - Totally impressed. Absolutely beautiful.

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1.) Are people, in your experience, genuinely "surprised" by what they find?

2.) Does the impression they leave with make them more inclined to eventually more here or to suggestion that others move here?

3.) Does their visit "confirm" their prejudices?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

1.) Generally speaking , yes.

2.) I know a lot of people from "up North" especially that move here permanently after visitng.

3.) In a way, it does confirm their prejudices because vast pockets of the South are still unevolved. Depending on where an outsider visits in the region, he or she can leave impressed or disgusted. But most of that is personal, and therefore subjective.

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Well, the Today show is in Nashville today, so that will attract some attention to that southern city. Hopefully people will be surprised by what they see.

And pwright1, I've never heard anyone in Nashville say "yonder," and much less "colored people." Maybe you just met a hick or something. I'm sure a few of those exist in all southern cities. But I will agree with you about it being more slow there.

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1.) Are people, in your experience, genuinely "surprised" by what they find?

2.) Does the impression they leave with make them more inclined to eventually more here or to suggestion that others move here?

3.) Does their visit "confirm" their prejudices?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Long post, but it answers these questions, so indulge me.

I've been searching for "a home" for a few years now.

My conditions: cheaper than CA, top-50 CSA/MSA, good central urban texture with convenient suburbs (max commute ~30 min), unsucky weather (midwest, deep south/FL and Desert SW/TX are out) and a nice inner-burb from the 30s-50s that I could reasonably expect to afford a home in in the next 5 years (on an expected household income of ~90k/yr).

The weather constraints kept me with only the following states: CA, OR, WA, GA, SC, NC, VA, DC, MD, PA, NJ, NY, MA, NH, VT, CT, RI, ME, MO, CO.

After considering top-50 metros, I was restricted to: CA, OR, WA, GA, NC, VA, DC, MD, PA, NY, MA, CO.

Lop off the places which match my affordability criteria, and I'm left with: OR, GA, NC, VA, DC, MD, PA, NY, CO.

The odd-men-out of OR and CO make the east coast the logical bet. I visited Charlotte and Atlanta in 2003, and Raleigh, Richmond, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Albany in 2004. Of course, Arlington, NYC and Philly area would probably not meet my commute criteria, and Richmond and Baltimore run the chance of failing it as well.

The Metros left after this analysis: Charlotte, Atlanta, Raleigh, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Albany. Finding work in the rust belt is tough, and after having lived in SF for several years, I was ready to leave the "old city" environment for a while.

Thus, the remaining cities on my map are in the south.

If your criteria include affordable housing, speedy job growth, shorter commutes and tolerable weather, the South offers you the best selection. There are isolated pockets of such agreeable places in the US, but not such a large selection in one region.

By the way, of those 3 choices, I found Charlotte to have the cheapest housing and Raleigh the easiest commute. I decided to "land" in Charlotte, where I'll be moving in June. From a purely aesthetic point of view, I preferred Raleigh, but because I'm rather paranoid about money, I chose Charlotte since housing is cheaper.

MM

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My conditions: cheaper than CA, top-50 CSA/MSA, good central urban texture with convenient suburbs (max commute ~30 min), unsucky weather (midwest, deep south/FL and Desert SW/TX are out) and a nice inner-burb from the 30s-50s that I could reasonably expect to afford a home in in the next 5 years (on an expected household income of ~90k/yr).

The weather constraints kept me with only the following states: CA, OR, WA, GA, SC, NC, VA, DC, MD, PA, NJ, NY, MA, NH, VT, CT, RI, ME, MO, CO.

After considering top-50 metros, I was restricted to: CA, OR, WA, GA, NC, VA, DC, MD, PA, NY, MA, CO.

Lop off the places which match my affordability criteria, and I'm left with: OR, GA, NC, VA, DC, MD, PA, NY, CO.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't know why TN didn't make the list - here in Nashville we are a couple degrees cooler than Charlotte and almost exactly the same as Atlanta, but I would bet a little less humidity than either. It is also a few degrees cooler in winter and we get a little snow, but lots of folks like me appreciate the variety. On all your other requirements we would be right on target. Just wondering.

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I assumed that, with the word murder in his name, he was an anarchist or something.  I was wrong.  Lighten up.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

MurderingMouth: A song first performed by The Creatures and John Cale at a Dutch benefit telethon in 1998. Adopted as my domain name and handle in 2001. Damn lucky it was still available.

Anarchy: Makes great fashion statements, but not very efficient as a political philosophy.

Lighten up: On the contrary - I've probably put on 30 lbs or so in the past 3 years. I'm trying to be better though...

Maybe the longer, curvy blocks of Charlotte will help me exercise more, though I'll no longer have the hills of SF to hike over/around...

And I prefer this one: :sick:

MM

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I don't know why TN didn't make the list - here in Nashville we are a couple degrees cooler than Charlotte and almost exactly the same as Atlanta, but I would bet a little less humidity than either.  It is also a few degrees cooler in winter and we get a little snow, but lots of folks like me appreciate the variety.  On all your other requirements we would be right on target.  Just wondering.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, I assumed that the more inland one went the more extreme the seasonal swings in temperature, which is why I exclude the midwest as a whole from my list. I've never been to TN, or anywhere in the Missippi basin, though, so I had only heresay to judge.

Being in the south will surely make learning more about non-good weather a priority... I will, of course, always maintain that the Pacific coast of the US and Canada has the best weather in the whole world. And Eureka, CA has the best weather in that region.

In my ideal world, it would be 63F everywhere all the time.

MM :sick:

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In my ideal world, it would be 63F everywhere all the time.

MM  :sick:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, it happens to be exactly 63 now in Nashville :)

But I guess you are right, the south may not be your best choice.

When I went through Eureka it was the middle of September, which I think is their warmest driest month and it was mid 50's and drizzling. I never saw the sun until I got to Seattle - go figure.

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