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chocoholic

RTP area vs Charlotte for relocation for Professio

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I am a married physician, looking to relocate my family to one of the above 2 areas. I would like a place that I can establish a practice,

2. a place with a vibrant cultural life with plenty of mintellectual stimulus

3.a place that is fairy liberal ( I am black, my husband is white),

4. a place where there is a sizable black MIDDLE and UPPER MiDDLE class population

5. Good educational system

6. relatively low crime rate.

I am relocating from North New Jersey.

Any ideas?

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I am a married physician, looking to relocate my family to one of the above 2 areas. I would like a place that I can establish a practice,

2. a place with a vibrant cultural life with plenty of mintellectual stimulus

3.a place that is fairy liberal ( I am black, my husband is white),

4. a place where there is a sizable black MIDDLE and UPPER MiDDLE class population

5. Good educational system

6. relatively low crime rate.

I am relocating from North New Jersey.

Any ideas?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The Raleigh area would probably suit your needs the best. However, urban areas in NC are still very conservative compared to their northern counterparts. But, I'm not sure if, by liberal, you mean politically or culturally.

Raleigh does have a growing number of Middle Class black neighborhoods and you'll find many communities that have many families from diverse ethnicity.

IMHO, Raleigh is, by far, the cultural center of NC. We have Three Symphonies, Two professional opera companies, two professional Theatre groups, multiple "fine arts academies" and the most educated work force in the nation (highest # of Ph. D's per capita in the U.S.)

The rest of your needs would be better answered by the other knowledgeable persons on this forum. Good luck, and let us know where you decide to go.

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That sounds like a triangle relocation. I would say Chapel Hill. It has all of those, with the downside being that it is the smallest of the main triangle cities, so it's not very urban except on a few streets around the university.

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I would also say Chapel Hill/Carrboro in the Triangle. Both towns are fairly liberal (very liberal by local standards), culturally alive, ethnically diverse, and part of a region that is growing fast.

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Chapel Hill/Carrboro, Triangle as a whole is the most intellectual/cultural area of the state.

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Chapel Hill does as it has a large and growing retirement population. Also outlying areas such as Pittsboro, Hillsborough, etc. need physicians.

Can't comment on Raleigh.

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I am a married physician, looking to relocate my family to one of the above 2 areas. I would like a place that I can establish a practice,

2. a place with a vibrant cultural life with plenty of mintellectual stimulus

3.a place that is fairy liberal ( I am black, my husband is white),

4. a place where there is a sizable black MIDDLE and UPPER MiDDLE class population

5. Good educational system

6. relatively low crime rate.

I am relocating from North New Jersey.

Any ideas?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Charlotte gets my vote, but I am biased. :P

It seems to me that most of the people on my floor are from NJ or NYC. I know this does not help answer your question as to where is best to relocate, but I just thought I would throw that out there for what its worth.

Charlotte definately has more of a Northern bias to it. I don't know if you want that or not. IMO my friends from NY and NJ are very open minded. I am am from the Deep South originally and have found Charlotte to be a nice blend of people from everywhere. Hardly anyone you ask around is actually from Charlotte. This creates, IMO, a ton of diversity.

Being a physician is pretty neat since you will be fine in whatever city you choose. Raleigh and Charlotte are both Great places. :thumbsup: Heck I love Carolina all around. You have 4 distinct mild seasons in the Piedmont (the urban areas), You have mountains, and Beaches, and best of all Great People.

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Chapel Hill does as it has a large and growing retirement population. Also outlying areas such as Pittsboro, Hillsborough, etc. need physicians.

Can't comment on Raleigh.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It also has tons of med students itching to open their own practices. I would think that competition for a physician would be greater in that area and I have read there is a statistically lower number of doctors in the Charlotte area, but I don't know if that is accurate or not.

I went to school in Chapel Hill and there are a lot of things I really love about it, but I don't think I would want to live there if I wasn't doing something associated with UNC. I would hate being surrounded by college students all the time and having all the retail and restaurants change their hours based on the school schedule.

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I think you would do fine in either the Charlotte or Triangle areas of NC!! :D

I think that Raleigh has all of the pro-upper crust arts though, like the NC Symphony (one of the finest in the south)opera and ballet. The NC Symph. home is in Meymandi Concert Hall downtown and is based off of Symphony Hall in Boston, just smaller and more modern, but superb acoustics. It is the only true concert hall between DC and Atlanta, but better sounding than both. :D

Charlotte is probably better if you want more of that city feel though.

As I said before, you would do fine with either place here in NC. :D

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Run of the mill physicians are a dime a dozen in Charlotte and are having a hard time establishing practices because there are so many of them. I am aquainted with one that just got laid off from a practice in a cost cutting move. He was able to get a job as an emergency room Dr. in one of the local hospitals.

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Thanks for all the feedback.

I am a psychiatrist, and definitly not a "run of the mill" physician. There is a national shortage of psychiatrists ( believe it or not) so it is fairly easy to get a job and/or establish a practice if you pick the right location. I have noticed that there are far fewer job postings in the RTP area vs. Charlotte. This could be because of the many medical schools which are producing physicians who want to stay in the area.

In any case, I do want a place with a city feel. I am concerned that there might be dearth of cultural oportunities in Charlotte. I like to go to the theatre, and listen to jazz and classical music-I don't know if Charlotte even has a concert hall.

I have not been to Raleigh, but I have been to Chapel Hill and Durham and found that I liked the laid back style. On the other hand, I found Charlotte to be pretty energetic and bustling, with a real upbeat feel. The crime issue is concerning, though.

What kind of cultural things are available in Charlotte? Is it as straight up corporate as people say? Is there a strong black middle class there? I actually have heard that there are many African-American middle class folks in Raleigh/Durham.

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I don't know if Charlotte even has a concert hall.

It has the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

and Wachovia is building another major one in its mixed used project. Two rather large art museums are about to be built as well.

crime is in reality no worse then in Raleigh.

I am not too sure about the black middle class, there does not seem to be a neighborhood that is solid black middle class, it seems to be spread throughout the south side. What are we defining middle class as though?

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Im a big jazz buff and music buff overall and thats why I like the Triangle. I have seen shows here that you would be lucky to see in NYC, Chicago, etc. Shaw University and NC Central have great jazz programs (Branford Marsalis actually lives in Durham and teaches at Central). Duke's student station (WXDU) has great jazz programming as well as those at Shaw and Central. Raleigh has a couple of good jazz/blues clubs downtown. Blues are pretty big around here as well. Durham Blues Festival is actually this weekend (annual event). Chapel Hill actually gets great shows consistently. I will list some links below.

St. Josephs/Durham Blues Festival

Shaw Student Station

NC Central Student Station

Duke Performing Arts Series

UNC Performing Arts Series

Carolina Theater Durham

UNC Student Station I worked there.

Duke Student Station

Carrboro Community Radio

Cats Cradle-Great Music Club

UNC and Duke have an annual Jazz Festival every year as well. Duke has a great ethno-music program as well.

I'm sure I have missed a lot but there should be links on these sites.

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Again, thanks for the feed back.

It seems that Raleigh really does have a lot of cultural opportunities.

[i am not too sure about the black middle class, there does not seem to be a neighborhood that is solid black middle class, it seems to be spread throughout the south side. What are we defining middle class as though?]

I am not looking for an all black neighborhood. I just want to make sure that Charlotte has a black middle class population. By that I mean middle to upper middle class , professionals entreprenueurs and the like. Kind of like what you can find in Atlanta. As I said, I have beent old that there are plenty of black professionals in Raleigh.

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I can't speak for Raleigh but I know Durham has a very large black middle class but I don't really see them as a separate entity-they have pretty much integrated into life here. That includes politics, economics etc.

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Thanks for all the feedback.

I am a psychiatrist, and definitly not a "run of the mill" physician.

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DanRNC is right-- the Triangle is superior from the music perspective.

I have several clients who are active in a growing black middle/upper class. These folks are entrepeneurs or professionals at the tech companies in the Research Triangle Park and Cary (SAS, mainly). As much as people talk about the liberalness of Chapel Hill (and it is, don't get me wrong) it's also a very white place. Durham has a thriving black middle class, and has historically. I can't really speak to the black community's precense in Charlotte, but I perceive it to be much more conservative politically and culturally.

The Triangle does have an abundance of medical students, so there might be more competition in establishing a practice here vs. Charlotte. That's a guess, though.

Just my two cents.

Wherever you choose to locate, welcome to NC! :)

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As much as people talk about the liberalness of Chapel Hill (and it is, don't get me wrong) it's also a very white place.

This is very true.

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chocoholic....my perspective might be helpful. I'm not a native Carolinian, and I have had the opportunity to live in BOTH Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte. I currently reside in Charlotte. Both are superlative cities, and neither would be bad choices, nevertheless, there are some differences. Charlotte clearly has much more urban vibrancy than Raleigh. The downtown area is nicely populated and growning in leaps and bounds...with excellent restaurants, bars, galleries, etc. The entire area is walkable, safe (IMO), and even congested many nights with people enjoying "city-life". Many high-rise condos (including 2 over 50 stories), are under construction downtown, and the new arena (basketball) is poised to open this fall. "Going out" in Charlotte increasingly means heading downtown...unless of course you already live downtown. Raleigh, on the other hand, is much more suburban in focus, with points of interest/entertainment amenities spread out throughout the metro. It's difficult to hit a sporting event, then a restaurant, then a gallery/lounge/bar/jazz club without cranking the ignition 3 times.

Both cities have a sizeable black middle and upper middle class. Charlotte CLEARLY has a larger black population overall, and I would speculate, a higher % that are high-income. I don't know if rankings are useful to you or if you find them gimmicky, but Black Enterprise ranked Charlotte 6 (of 10) of best cities for black families (July 04 issue), and among top cities in US for relocation for black professionals...Raleigh was not cited in either.

Both cities are diverse. I did run into more relocated interesting quirky techie-types when I lived in Raleigh, vs relocated high-energy business-types here, but I'm not sure if this would be important to you. IMO, I've not found Raleigh to be significantly more liberal (or conservative) than Charlotte. Racial issues should be minimal.

I hope these quick impressions are helpful. From my perspective, black physician who happens to be gay, I'd give Charlotte the edge.

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What a wonderful forum!

The responses have been very informative. I will be traveling to Charlotte next week, and then to Raleigh soon after. But...I feel better! It seems like you can't go wrong with either city.

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I recently located to Charlotte from NYC. I also had experience living in the Union City, NJ area. I think Charlotte is a good area to relocate, particularly if you are in the pyschiatry field. In my opinion it has a solid black middle class population, a strong black working class population, and the poorer class are hardworking and upstanding people (as much as anyone else in my opinion).

I think your feelings about how liberal both places are depends on what type of liberal you're looking for. If you're talking about feeling comfortable walking around as an interracial couple, then I'd say that Charlotte (visually) has more interracial couples (mostly black males/white females) than I would normally see walking down a NYC street. If you're looking for like progressive, activist type black people of all backgrounds then I'm not so sure I've seen much evidence of that yet but I simply may not be looking in the right places.

In terms of race relations, I find everyone to be pleasant . Its a welcome change from NY in the sense that the southern way is more polite. I truly believe that whites are a more respectful of black people here - atleast outwardly so. I haven't encountered any outright racism (if you don't count flying confederate flags and I won't get into that debate). I think that those who do have issues are more forthright with them and the honesty, imo, is refreshing. I haven't found a lot of mixed social scenes but then I am new here. I also feel that the latino population does not mix as much with the black population as they do in NY. Granted many of the latinos I see here aren't black latinos (like many Dominicans and Puerto Ricans in NYC), this may make a difference, I'm not sure.

In terms of class, in my work environment I find that few of my professional peers interact with the nonprofessional staff - which is disturbing to me. In particular, I feel like many of the black professionals avoid the black nonprofessional staff. And that's where I sense the sort of intrarace class elitism that is negative, imo. But not all would agree.

I deliberately choose to live in a community that, though predominately black, has diversity in age/ethnicity/class (as opposed to a predominately white community with some diversity). That was important to me but it may be less important to you. If you are looking for a city that has a strong black population community but where you would not feel isolated as a member of an interracial relationship, I believe you would like Charlotte.

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I've said this a million times before, and I'll say this a million times more. Charlotte is much more socio-economically segregated than racially.....especially in comparison to northern cities. I would assume Raleigh to be similar, though I can't say for sure.

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