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Chapel Hill, NC


moshe_levy

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Hello All-

 

 

Anyone live in or nearby Chapel Hill, NC? What's it like? Advantages / disadvantages? Any advice? Inquiring minds want to know.

 

-MKL

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Paging George (Nice n Easy Rider) to the yellow courtesy phone. :grin:

 

I went to school in Raleigh a loooong time ago and enjoyed the climate and the relaxed pace. I was back there recently on my way to START last Spring, and Raleigh has grown a lot.

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Property tax, insurance will be better, of course. I used to travel there quite frequently. The RTP is nuts traffic wise but you will only be a few hours over to some of the best roads in the SE.

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Moshe, most cities (or town in this case) have excellent web sites with information for relocating/moving to the area. Demographics and population history are also readily available. Many also have access to the tax assessor's site which would help with regard to values and taxes. Google Earth is a great resource for viewing the area also.

 

Good luck.

 

Terry

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For me, NJ to NC, especially the Chapel Hill area, would be a no-brainer. Less severe winters, and the summers are no hotter, with fewer mosquitoes. Chapel Hill is a university town, with all that entails, music, food, the arts, etc. There is a lot of traffic on the interstates in the Research Triangle area, but that's true in NJ as well, and as others have observed, some great riding roads are not far away.

 

When I considered a move from Ann Arbor to Atlanta in 1985, many of my preconceptions of the South were formed by Deliverance. I was so wrong. Best move of my life.

 

I have to fly to Philadelphia on January 23, and I am not looking forward to spending 2-3 weeks in that part of the country.

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I have visited the Raleigh/Durham area many times. I used to swing out that way on almost all of my southern bike trips to visit a good friend of mine from high school. Probably 12-14 times total. I always liked it there. The people always seemed very friendly (much nicer than the North East). Things move a little slower, but I always like that. I would say that traffic can be a little heavy in the area, but you live in NJ so never mind. Its about equal distance to great beaches and fantastic riding in the Smokies. I have told Danielle many times that if we ever make a serious move, its going to be to NC. Of course, I have no idea how I would support us down there, but I really do like it.

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Hello All-

 

 

Anyone live in or nearby Chapel Hill, NC? What's it like? Advantages / disadvantages? Any advice? Inquiring minds want to know.

 

-MKL

 

I know enough about the triangle to be slightly dangerous. A little above average cost of living (live outside and commute in), good to great nightlife, it is a college town/area, so, it does have some nice scenery ;). You wouldn't be too far from the sand if that's your thing ( many folks go to Myrtle Beach regularly), and the mountains are a short haul west. Traffic, ah, it's traffic, jammy at times, but free flowing at others.

 

I'm slightly west in a teenee, tiny town, but work on the east side of Greensboro ( a short hop from Chapel Hill). Some of the folks that I work with live in Chapel Hill and commute to Greensboro.

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Hey Guys-

 

How about schools? I'll have a 9 and 11 year old by the time we get there. Public schools? Charter schools? Private (Waldorf?) Up here we do Waldorf but it's a killer on the budget. We don't have charter schools here and the public schools in my town SUCK. So what's the deal down there?

 

-MKL

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Durham schools (public) Are generally a no go. Having said that, there is a school for math and science (in Durham) that is public and very good, must test in is my understanding. Know some alums, all physicians.

 

I did a bunch of looking pondering an opportunity there last year.

 

 

Chapel Hill better for public schools, it would have been outer plan if we had relocated to live in that area or West / Northwest Raliegh.

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Hey Guys-

 

How about schools? I'll have a 9 and 11 year old by the time we get there. Public schools? Charter schools? Private (Waldorf?) Up here we do Waldorf but it's a killer on the budget. We don't have charter schools here and the public schools in my town SUCK. So what's the deal down there?

 

-MKL

 

NC ranks at the bottom for education, although, there are some good public schools to be found.

 

When we moved here from Japan, we shopped for housing according to which school my youngest would go to and picked the highest rated school in the area at the time. Now that she's graduated, we moved to the boonies.

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I live 15 mins from Chapel Hill and used to live in Durham. Most northerns fit best into a town outside of Raleigh named Cary. I moved to the south in 1983 and know it pretty well. Respect them and they will respect you. Be friendly, not typical NJ and you will get along. The south is changing and I have to say it was better ten years but change is inevitable.

Durham has some good areas but according to friends of mine in the police system, there are 180 registered gangs there. When the cigarette factories closed the lower educated turned to making money in ways society does not agree with.

Chapel Hill - I used to work there and rarely go to that town anymore. Too congested is the short answer.

PM me if you have specific questions.

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Well, I've never been to NJ in August, so I can't compare, but when I helped my daughter move out to nearby Durham for law school in August, my glasses fogged up every time I got out of the car. It's hot and humid and, like the parts of NJ I've seen (think Whippany and environs), heavily wooded. To a Californian, it's very weird to discover things like an entire major shopping mall that you can't see from the main road you use to get there.

 

I visited several times while she was there (she got a job back home in San Diego after graduating), and we went to Chapel Hill for food a few times. CH and Durham and surrounding towns have a lot of good restaurants and food trucks, which is the thing I miss about visiting her there.

 

Others have mentioned congestion and traffic. I can't say I encountered significant amounts of either one during my visits, but I generally wasn't on the roads during typical commute hours.

 

Make sure you bring your GPS (or phone with map apps). Outside of downtown areas, there are NO straight roads to speak of.

 

As you may recall, I started an ill-fated moto trip from Durham, headed home to San Diego. I had plotted a route to avoid freeways, and was surprised to find that the surface roads headed generally east tended to be full of homes and/or businesses. It took me most of a day to hit the mountains and get away from that. But my first overnight stop (and my second, due to weather) was well-known Maggie Valley, and I did hit some fun and scenic roads on the way there. The interstate would have gotten me to the mountains much quicker. Google still says it's 4 hours, though. Back then, there was someone from the board who lived in Chapel Hill who offered me a place to stay and help unloading my bike if I needed it, but I've forgotten his handle.

 

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Thanks Bill. You know my dream has always been San Diego, but if I can get even 500 miles outside of New Jersey, I'm jumping at the chance.

 

I'll be in your area again next month. Hope we can have dinner again as usual for my yearly trip to paradise.

 

-MKL

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Moshe - sorry if my response seemed less than excited for you. I have seen so many people relocate here without regard for the local culture and they ended up bringing their "culture" with them (yes the one that they attempted to leave behind). Others come thinking they know better and effect changes without respecting the locals and that pisses me off. I doubt you would do that, but case in point. Hillsborough (county seat) used to have a wonderful event that happened every spring. Hog Day. It was named to honor a Senator Hogg from Hillsborough but turned into a BBQ festival. It was (in its last years) on the top ten MSNBC best events list. Then we had a guy from NYC move to town, got on the town council and convinced them that this was not a good image for the town. The event is no more.

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It's OK. Believe me, I understand. I've always hated New Jersey, as you know, although after 40 years I probably embody some of the worst traits of a native here. I desperately want to shed it. My wife is naturally nice and friendly, so no such problem there.

 

Quick story to illustrate how I learned the differences between up here and down there:

 

In May 2004, I embarked on my first week long motorcycle trip. I went with some New York City friends from my online Harley Sportster group. We headed down south to Florida, and then west to spend some time in New Orleans. (Proof that I made it, on a Sportster no less - to which one LA native said, "Boy, you gonna be sterile you keep riding that thing like that!")

 

gt19.jpg

 

Anyway..... I had never been down south before, and was still in "full Jersey" mode. Stopped somewhere in rural Georgia at a convenience store, the clerk asked me how I was doing as I paid for my goods. In typical Jersey fashion, I just grunted, kept staring at the floor, and walked out. My friend, who was a New Yorker by birth but a southern man by choice, instructed me that, yes, the clerk actually wanted to know how I was doing. This, of course, had never occurred to me. "Get back in there, apologize, and ask her how SHE is doing," he said. So, I did.

 

As if she had all the time in the world, and as if we were best buddies, she launched into a 20 minute description of her job, her family, her life, and all the pedantic details of all three subjects. At some point, I noticed a shift in myself. In the first two minutes I was praying for death, wondering how I got into this conversation with a total stranger. After 5 minutes I realized that indeed, there was no rush. After 10 minutes, I understood that if I wanted to, I could shoot the shit with her all day, and she would actually listen to me. Imagine that!

 

It was like an earthquake in my worldview, because up here "How ya doin'" is just something you say to someone, if you absolutely HAVE to speak to them. You really don't give a shit how they're doing. And they know it. And you know it, too. It's a formality. It's a given.

 

Hell, I just rode to Florida earlier this month on the RT, and as soon as I got back into Jersey, 3 people gave me the bird, one guy cut me off, and another guy screamed at me at a stoplight because I safely and legally passed him in the left lane as he trundled along 15 MPH under the limit in the right lane. Here, it's just a constant fight. You feel like everyone's out to get you. It's a rat race. You barely make it by at the end of the month. My property taxes are getting close to what a part time worker grosses per year - enough to buy a loaded, brand new R1200RT EVERY YEAR! My car insurance in 3 weeks is more than some of you pay in a year. The snow. The rain. ENOUGH!

 

So I know how to "turn the Jersey off" and I want to turn it off for so f'n long that I forget I ever had it. Ironic, that people would want to leave this place, and then turn the new place they go to back into this goddamned place. What does THAT remind you of? ;)

 

-MKL

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Moshe,

 

Sounds like you're ready for a move. Check out northern florida. Jax or Gainseville. Tallman's area all around Tally actually has seasons (sort of). Yeah it's hot in the summer, but there are at least 6 unreal weather months. My daughter went to same law school as Bill's. That area is hotter than Melbourne, FL in the summer only because of no rain, wind or ocean breeze. Now NC is under a storm advisory and we have moto riding weather down here.

 

Also, FL has no income tax, real estate tax is reasonable and hurricanes can be prepared for. The only downside is everyone comes to visit :rofl: and getting out of here on a moto is a PITA (at least where i live) in the summer.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks Bill. You know my dream has always been San Diego, but if I can get even 500 miles outside of New Jersey, I'm jumping at the chance.

 

-MKL

I lived in San Diego 1972-1976 and it was GREAT. Nowadays I visit relatives in Carlsbad...today you could call SD "Little LA". Beaches are still great but let's face it...it's in California. :(

 

I also lived in NJ 1979-1983 (Earle). The western part of the state is nice, away from the coast, but it's still NJ.

 

regards,

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After NJ or NY Where I came from all will be well and easy. Nothing they can throw will faze anyone from those two wonderful states. :rofl:

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