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duckcall

Newcomer's first impression of HR/Peninsula

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Hi...my family and I just returned home from a five-day house hunting trip to the Peninsula. As many of you may know, I am opening a grocery store in NNews called Trader Joe's later this year and I am relocating from the Oakland area. We did find a house; we will be moving to Powhatan Secondary in Williamsburg. We are curious people and like checking things out, so I thought you would like to hear our impressions of 757-land.

1) Just an amazing amount of development and construction. As a lifelong West coast guy, I'm dumbfounded that there is no apparent opposition to all of these new projects. Things take forever here to go from idea to execution (if they ever get done) but that's not the case in HR. Everybody seems to like the fast pace of construction. Is that an accurate assumption?

2) A great big divide between the Peninsula and the Southside. I read an article in the Daily Press on the new Ferguson Center at CNU that opened during our visit; the article mentioned that the event was so grand, many people actually drove up I-64 from Norfolk to attend the gala. I laughed! C'mon, it's not that long of a drive! (And people wonder why there aren't any pro sports teams in this area???) That explains why you can't buy a Virginian-Pilot on a newsrack in Newport News but you can easily buy the Richmond paper. Go figure.

3) All the pancake/waffle houses in Williamsburg. I counted 13. That may be a bit low.

4) Y'all say y'all a lot.

5) The most beautiful gas stations/mini marts I've ever seen. Especially Wawa.

6) I'd say a good 80-90% of homes we looked at had some sort of Biblical references, either bibles, artwork, figurines, things like that. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great! In fact, it's one of the things I'm looking forward to. But you've got to admit, to walk into Ukrop's in Williamsburg and see a big picture of a church on the wall above the exit and written below it, "LET'S ALL ATTEND OUR HOUSE OF WORSHIP THIS WEEK". Trust me, you'll never see that in California.

7) Very nice people driving very fast.

8) Virginia needs to prohibit smoking in restaurants. Non-smoking sections simply don't work, you're exposed to second-hand smoke regardless. Bars and taverns are one thing, but to take your kids to Cracker Barrel and breathe smoke--not good. I don't care if this is tobacco country, it's time to change this law.

9) Love the trees. Really love the trees. We are moving to an incredibly beautiful area.

I'm sure there's more but that will do for now. More than anything else, our trip confirmed we're moving to a great area to raise our family. See you in November!

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1) Just an amazing amount of development and construction. As a lifelong West coast guy, I'm dumbfounded that there is no apparent opposition to all of these new projects. Things take forever here to go from idea to execution (if they ever get done) but that's not the case in HR. Everybody seems to like the fast pace of construction. Is that an accurate assumption?

2) A great big divide between the Peninsula and the Southside. I read an article in the Daily Press on the new Ferguson Center at CNU that opened during our visit; the article mentioned that the event was so grand, many people actually drove up I-64 from Norfolk to attend the gala. I laughed! C'mon, it's not that long of a drive! (And people wonder why there aren't any pro sports teams in this area???) That explains why you can't buy a Virginian-Pilot on a newsrack in Newport News but you can easily buy the Richmond paper. Go figure.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Wow, you have so many points I'm just gonna pick the 2 that jumped out at me to respond to now, and i'll respond to the rest later.

1)To answer your question, there seems to be a general and overwhelming love of all the development occuring in this area by the public at large, but you have to keep in mind this is only because for such a long time we have had no urban development to speak of. As with everything, there is always a critical mass where people will come out and start saying we are over developing or the buildings are too tall or etc. That point is no where near yet but I do believe that day will come eventually, it seems that every major city has passed through that phase at least once.

2)It infuriates me that I can't get a Virginia pilot on the peninsula. Working for VDOT of course I travel around the area a lot and It always strikes how I can walk into a gas station in the region but not be able to purchase what is essentially a regional newspaper. By contrast I find it's easier for me to find the Daily Press on the southside than it is to find the pilot on the peninsula. There is a large divide in this area, hopefully that is a problem we will overcome one day.

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Wow, you have so many points I'm just gonna pick the 2 that jumped out at me to respond to now, and i'll respond to the rest later.

1)To answer your question, there seems to be a general and overwhelming love of all the development occuring in this area by the public at large, but you have to keep in mind this is only because for such a long time we have had no urban development to speak of. As with everything, there is always a critical mass where people will come out and start saying we are over developing or the buildings are too tall or etc. That point is no where near yet but I do believe that day will come eventually, it seems that every major city has passed through that phase at least once.

2)It infuriates me that I can't get a Virginia pilot on the peninsula. Working for VDOT of course I travel around the area a lot and It always strikes how I can walk into a gas station in the region but not be able to purchase what is essentially a regional newspaper. By contrast I find it's easier for me to find the Daily Press on the southside than it is to find the pilot on the peninsula. There is a large divide in this area, hopefully that is a problem we will overcome one day.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I was going to talk about VDOT too! All I've heard about is the deplorable state of the commonwealth's roads. Well, consdering a lack of funding, I saw an awful lot of activity going on the Peninsula during our stay. I'm sure much of it is a pre-Autumn scramble to get projects finished up. But I think the outcry is due to y'all being used to a pretty high standard of roadway.

As an aside, vdogg, when will the right lane of I-64 eastbound between Williamsburg and Ft. Eustis be resurfaced? It's in pretty bad shape.

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As an aside, vdogg, when will the right lane of I-64 eastbound between Williamsburg and Ft. Eustis be resurfaced? It's in pretty bad shape.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:lol: I cannot and will not speak for VDOT. I am simply a technician and have nothing to do with road construction. That being said, the resurfacing of that lane is fairly low on the totem pole, there are major projects that have been held up for years that will get funding before that does. Resurfacing is actually part of the normal maintenance schedule but I am unsure as to how many years they wait to repeat such a task. It will get done, i'm just saying not to expect it to jump to the head of the line any time soon. They can only work with the funds that they are given.

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Welcome to our region!

I'll hit on a few things. There is quite a bit of retail expansion, thus the new beautiful gas stations. Wawa is a newcomer to this area, and they are deploying pretty large stations. Be aware though, when they come they come in droves! If you see a pharmacy chain going in on a corner, there will most likely be competitors on the other corners. Some fast food chains have hit with the quickness, like Sonic. Sonic who? Then BOOM, they are EVERYWHERE.

Smokers, definitly a downfall and I have met others that noticed this as well. Sorry ladys, this dude won't give you the time a day if your a smoker.

Religious... yep, jesus freaks and bible beaters everywhere. Definitly go see the house that God's money built, that is, the Christian Broadcasting Network facilities. They are located off of the Indian River road interstate exit, you can't miss it. Science is definitly out and Bibles are in here in Hampton Roads.

VDOT is a sore subject by many. There are good threads about VDOT under PilotOnline's Community/Talknet then News and Opinion then Traffic and Transportation, with people calling out specific waste and such.

I run a website and we have access to the traffic camera data. The process of getting then having the paperwork processed took over *1* year, not including the time for the smarttrafficcenter folks to set it up. I know people that work there, so once the paperwork was done it wasn't too bad. But snails pace move at, it does.

Housings overpriced for the meantime, higher end jobs are heavily gov't taxpayer funded...

Many of the people are very transient, as the Military brings them here then shoves them off elsewhere.

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3) All the pancake/waffle houses in Williamsburg. I counted 13. That may be a bit low.

My sister goes to William and Mary (alumni and now law student) and has, personally, eaten in 15 or 16 and the Waffle House on Jefferson... I went that time and yea... interesting experience, but surprisingly good food. The water stains on the ceiling and dust on the window sills was a bit disenchanting, but oh well.

And our gas stations.. seeing as how many there are, they had better be damned pretty! :lol:

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