It’s no secret that people from all over the country are swarming to Asheville. Who can blame them? Our downtown is vibrant, the housing market is still on a massive upswing and the surrounding area is stunningly beautiful. And yet, for many natives and old-timers (which, for most purposes, means anyone who has lived here prior to the property boom—roughly more than five or six years), not all of the changes have been welcome. Skyrocketing housing costs, infrastructure issues and the dreaded “gentrification” of the area have all been blamed, at one time or other, on the influx of new arrivals to the city.
But what about the other side of the equation? How do those who are relocating view the town? What are their views on its people, its culture and its problems?
Late last week, BlogAsheville’s MyGothLaundry (aka The Hangover Journals’ Felicity) posted a very interesting and revealing link to the City-Data forum about Asheville. Since many of the site’s users are new to the area (or are considering moving here), it provides a very interesting window into the mind set of the next batch of Asheville citizens.
The forum thread begins with a post by “Jcat” a recent arrival from Palm Beach County, FL. Here are a few of the poster’s more interesting observations of the area.
“These people are considerate, polite, helpful, and just plain nice. Southern hospitality reigns here.”
“On a sour note, there is a serious drug problem here. Very high personal crime rate, very high violent crime rate, for such a small city.”
“As far as a job here, I think there is a lot of whining going on. … Why not open your own business here! A restaurant would be a good start! … How about a specialty store, a bakery (an Italian Bakery cannot be found), a clothing store (nothing in S Asheville, nowhere to shop), a baby furniture store, a deli, any service…any service …would do well. A spa, a decent nail place …use your imagination.”
“Schools—Sore subject with me. No better than Florida … Additionally, the way that many teachers speak, (southern drawl is fine) using improper English, is unsettling. … We are sending our kids to private school now.”
“If you are a Floridian, originally from the North, they will call you a “half back”. But, not to your face.”
The City-Data forum thread makes for interesting reading, and is located here. To chime in on that site, you’ll need to register for a free user account. Also, if you happen to find anything interesting on the forum, please feel free to quote it in the comment box below (please mention the name of the forum poster, so that it can be properly attributed), and to add your own two cents.
— Steve Shanafelt