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7citiesVA

Your thoughts on Hampton Roads/Tidewater/7cities

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Hi, I am a new member, but pretty familiar with the site/forum. I have visited this website on a daily basis for the past six months to get the latest news on development, and have just now decided to join so i can start giving my 2 cents. I am a soon to be graduate of Norfolk State University (B.S. Accounting) who was born & raised in Norfolk/Va Beach. I love living here and I have so much pride being from here. I think we are the heart and soul of Virginia.

.....with that aside.......

The question i have for the moment is more concerned with the culture of Hampton Roads/Tidewater/7 cities (as we younger folks call it) and less about development, so i hope im posting this in the correct place. If not im sorry, and im pretty sure one of the mods will move it.

In visiting this site/forum and reading some posts, i have become pretty intrigued by peoples different viewpioints towards our area. Our area is so unique, that there is really no one way to describe it. We have a little bit of everything, and are a bit of everything. (northern, southern, city-ish, suburb-ish, country)................I personally feel we are a southern metro (VA is the south) with a mix of an east coast aura/vibe. Our setup and cities are sort of like the 5 boroughs of New York where each has its own identity and feel to it.

so my question is...If a person with no knowledge of Hampton Roads (and there are many) were to ask you to describe it, what would you say?

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Full of potential, but handicapped by Balkanization.

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I'd call it a cul-de-sack off of i95, which is effectively a dead end.

Full of urban sprawl, no real identity. Some nice museums, worth a visit. Not a great place for jobs, technology, or the future. Little more than support for the military bases.

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I'd call it a cul-de-sack off of i95, which is effectively a dead end.

Full of urban sprawl, no real identity. Some nice museums, worth a visit. Not a great place for jobs, technology, or the future. Little more than support for the military bases.

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I'd call it a cul-de-sack off of i95, which is effectively a dead end.

Full of urban sprawl, no real identity. Some nice museums, worth a visit. Not a great place for jobs, technology, or the future. Little more than support for the military bases.

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Soooo much potential but lack of synergy between the cities. I think if all the communties came together and realized what each city brings to the table and focus on those proposals then the whole area will benefit. The era of one-upmanship in this super competitive age for jobs and tech/bio relocations is dead. Metro areas have to be on the same page as far as incentive packages and education alliances in order to maximize their chances. I like the 757 and think it would be a good alternative for young professionals from NC, northern VA and SC if only the area marketed itself that way. There is a large occupation pool there because of the military. Many folks don't realize just how modern and tech savvy todays military is. Some companies could possibly cash in on this diamond in the rough but someone needs to take a chance.

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Yea, I agree that a major limiting factor is the fact that there are 7 cities that all compete. I wouldn't ever expect that to change, unless somehow people were forcefully thrown from office.

People just don't want to give up control, and anyone in control will feel they worked hard to get there. Who wants to let go of a position of power? I wouldn't want to.

They all compete with each other. When I was working for Wasabi, they made it to some sort of lunch ordeal that recognized the top 25 fastest growing companies in the region (Wasabi shortly after laid a number of us off, and I believe they continue to shrink but I'm not sure). Anyways, the ordeal was held at the Portsmouth hotel there on the water, I think it's a Marriot but I forget. It was nice, and leads (or their represenatives) were there from a number of major cities. They all droned on and on about all the great things their cities had, you could feel the competitiveness. VaBeach bragged about things like the downtown, this and that. Ptown bragged about the hotel, I forget what the others went on about. Norfolk has a performing arts center (HoH), Virginia Beach had to have one. VaBeach got a new convention center, Hampton has one, now Norfolk I guess will have a new one. On and on. Cut and paste.

But in the end, there is very little independent press. Arts? D'Art center doesn't cut it. Relative Theory records couldn't make it, they were about the only thing cool for young people -- although I can see where they would struggle with selling music in the digital age. But they moved Vinyl, and had events.

When I was working to launch a local music website, I had no problems running ads in 3 different publications in the Richmond area. It cost me like $25 in the Richmond Music Journal for a quarter page advertisement! I even saw results. Hampton Roads? I think they wanted $800 or something for an advertisement in Nine Volt. Almost every publication in Hampton Roads is landmark. The flagship is I believe, the portfolio definitly is, nine volt was, The Link definitly is, the over 50 thing is, inside business is, the newspaper is... The exeptions would be Splash magazine, The Downtowner, The Suffolk News Nugget or whatever it's called. The Southerner, and a few others that are hard to find. This hurts, in my opinion. If anyone wanted to start some sort of independent paper, I'd be willing to contribute what I could.

There is no public access television, with the exception of James City County. Public access comes about when a city grants a charter to a cable television operator. When our cities did their charters, they opted for Educational Access and Government access, which gives the cities the only access to the television channels. Most cities have drafted rules that prevent citizens of their cities from gaining access to their educational and government access channels. Yes, I designed a TV program once too, a local music system. It ran off of a computer, it injected event data in the closed captioning feeds (what is playing, when). No one had content tho, so this helped dampen my enthusiasm for the town. I think it was originally going to cost me like $140 per epside if it ran after 11pm, but then it was looking like $560 per episode.. this was on Channel 71 or something. Barf.

As far as attracting companies... I don't know how that really works. It would seem to me that they would want to be around the center of their industry, and other companies. Talent pools and such. You locate in Hampton Roads, you have to pay to relocate the talent here, assuming they will come. And when they do, you have to wonder why this person was willing to come here.

I think a region is really built by the people. Our local gov'ts can try to spend their way to building culture and tall buildings and stuff, but if all the people are just consumer sheep that dissapear after the trip to the mall and kohls, I wouldn't expect much to happen. Virginia Beach goes out of their way to squash life for the young people with the oceanfront. The young people should stand up anti tourism websites and stuff, try to fight back with a media campaign to hurt tourism to get back at the city who ignores them.

Years ago there was huge backlash against rock stars like Ozzy Osbourne. Groups like Tipper Gore's PMRC fought him and other groups. Fast forward 15 years and the songs are in commercials for lame American cars. They are trying to reach out to the audience with what was once considered undesireable music.... so in 15 years, Virginia Beach will be looking to the same rowdy people to come visit the oceanfront. If all they have is bad memories, it will hurt business.

Oh well.

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Tel, you're writing books now? :P What haven't you done, and where haven't you worked? ;)

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cpeakesqr, good topic. ;) i dont really know much about the area, but i have always wanted to. i live in nova and sometimes think i get too wrapped up in it. when i get tired of tracking development and culture in nova (culture; none) i look to the south. I love virginia, and really prefer to learn about its different cities and towns.I truthfully believe that with nova, virginia can compete with the most famous of states. loke new york and california. we certainly have the money, power, and famous attractions to do so. the tide water cities add so much more to our state and make it that much more competitive on the national scale. when i think of what your great area adds,i think of beachs(important to any state competition, navy (eastern headquarters), the first permanent english settlement, (without which, we wouldnt have our country), and warmer cliamate. I also applaude the area on having the 2nd longest water crossling in the world, and now on the states new tallest towers. I was really hoping to find a school down that way, so i could hang out there and learn more about the area.

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also, maybe you can tell, i'v never been the best speller, and was wondering if there is a spell check option?

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also, maybe you can tell, i'v never been the best speller, and was wondering if there is a spell check option?

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Hi, I am a new member, but pretty familiar with the site/forum. I have visited this website on a daily basis for the past six months to get the latest news on development, and have just now decided to join so i can start giving my 2 cents. I am a soon to be graduate of Norfolk State University (B.S. Accounting) who was born & raised in Norfolk/Va Beach. I love living here and I have so much pride being from here. I think we are the heart and soul of Virginia.

.....with that aside.......

The question i have for the moment is more concerned with the culture of Hampton Roads/Tidewater/7 cities (as we younger folks call it) and less about development, so i hope im posting this in the correct place. If not im sorry, and im pretty sure one of the mods will move it.

In visiting this site/forum and reading some posts, i have become pretty intrigued by peoples different viewpioints towards our area. Our area is so unique, that there is really no one way to describe it. We have a little bit of everything, and are a bit of everything. (northern, southern, city-ish, suburb-ish, country)................I personally feel we are a southern metro (VA is the south) with a mix of an east coast aura/vibe. Our setup and cities are sort of like the 5 boroughs of New York where each has its own identity and feel to it.

so my question is...If a person with no knowledge of Hampton Roads (and there are many) were to ask you to describe it, what would you say?

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Hmmm urban sprawl all the way up 64 to Richmond? Yikes.

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Hampton Roads is MUCH MUCH larger in size than New York City. All of New York's 5 boroughs fit in an area smaller than Chesapeake. HR is geographically enormous! I agree that HR appears like a mix of northern and southern metros. The industrial waterfront 'scapes look like many of the older rust belt industrial cities of the northeast (think Baltimore, especially). The residential areas look much more like southern metros. Note the lack of brick rowhouses in the older sections of Norfolk and Portsmouth. The older districts of those cities remind me a bit of Alexandria and Charleston.

I think light rail will help the region's core cities focus growth around transit stations. It can make inner neighborhoods desirable once again, bring in new development, and make this a densely developed metro, reversing the decades-old trend of replacing urban neighborhoods with large houses on large lots with large big-box retail, all of which are automobile-dependent. I DO NOT think, however, that light rail is the best solution for a REGION-WIDE transit system. I see lots of comments on the Pilot about "We need light rail from Va Beach to Williamsburg!" Light rail is not a competitive mode choice for such a long trip. Heavy rail can make that a faster trip. I'm dreaming of the day when I can board an AMTRAK train in Newark and arrive in downtown Norfolk.

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I'm dreaming of the day when I can board an AMTRAK train in Newark and arrive in downtown Norfolk.

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