Charlottesville named 'dream' city

As if we weren't already full of ourselves and concerned enough about increasing traffic, TheStreet, an online financial magazine that's been around since 1996, named Charlottesville one of ten cities that embody the American Dream. In addition to being history-rich, walkable (thanks to the Downtown Mall and our bus system), and a business-friendly place with good schools and natural beauty, food and drink gave us an edge. Most notably were the "bars and college-food greasetraps in The Corner district," the wineries that line the Blue Ridge Parkway, and our budding "Brew Ridge Trail" with the likes of Blue Mountain Brewery, Devil's Backbone, South Street, Starr Hill, and a newbie in Nelson called Wild Wolf. Oh, there's a shout-out to our music, book, and film festivals as well, which "keep the city awake and alive for much of the year."

Okay, now it's time for a nap. 

58 comments

are they counting all the homeless around and the panhandlers with their artistic hand made signs glowing at the Downtown Mall?, we did not have those before, come and enjoy it!!,

joseph, if you think it sucks so bad, why don't you move somewhere else? The rest of us like it here.

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahhahahahahahhahahahhah boy thats is aload of crap!

Business friendly, WTF? Who ever wrote this article calling Cville business friendly should tak to one of my 14 laid off employees. Why do they sit at home? We wait for local and state government bureaucrats to finish their fight over which one has authority over our license. The fact there is a license from the state on my wall apparently is not good enough for the local bumblers. So while I pay rent and my staff sits at home for the eigth day I must have overlooked the wonders of Cville.

a pipe dream..........

and certainly full of something.......

just remember this- an oldie,but a goodie.....

"politicians are like diapers, they all need changing from time to time, and uaually for the same reason"..........

The dream of drunken homeless louts who sleep at the Haven and beg on the mall.

Charlottesville is "business friendly"??? Somebody IS dreaming.

The article at The Street doesn't talk about Charlottesville as being "business-friendly." It refers to the low unemployment rate and the fact that the University continues to generate economic activity.

why wen something positive is said about our city everyone has to turn it into a negative?

As cvillelaw pointed out, the original article at The Street doesn't say a thing about Cville being "business friendly." Those words don't appear anywhere in the article. Dave McNair took it upon himself to put words in the article's mouth. And then from there, people like Drooling Elmo are jumping all over it. Obviously Drooling Elmo is upset over his/her licensing situation, but really, let this be a lesson to always **check for yourself before firing off self righteously indignant posts. Don't just take somebody else's word for it that something was said or written.** It's not just Drooling Elmo though. You see this everywhere in society, since the beginning of time probably. People hear something, they read something.....and they just automatically believe it. They don't bother to research things for themselves. Witch hunts have happened based on exactly that same thing: hearsay and innuendo. That was 400 years ago. When will people smarten up? All you had to do was click on the article and see it for yourself. Just because "Dave McNair, Reporter at the Hook" paraphrased things in his description doesn't mean it was even remotely accurate.

booo!

I think you're splitting hairs. The whole point of theStreet article was about cities that embody the American Dream, which of course means making a living. As the article states, Charlottesville is one of only 17 cities in the US with an unemployment rate below 5 percent. A city where more people are gainfully employed strikes me as being business friendly. How could a city in an American Dream list not be?

I don't for one minute believe the enemployment rate in Charlottesville is only 5%.

Charlottesville is far from perfect, but take it from someone who has lived all over this country, from Maine to California (literally), it is pretty livable. A city where homelessness, or more accurately, how to better accommodate them, and traffic are major topics should consider itself fairly fortunate. I have a brother in Fresno,California...that state and many of it's municipalities are going bankrupt, and they are like the 8th largest economy in the world. We certainly have problems, but expensive cocktails and rents aren't a sign of a collapsing society, they are signs of a healthy economy. Take your blessings where you can get them. Everything is relative.

yeah people here are f'ing crazy if they don't think c'ville is a great place indeed. I would strongly encourage them to get out and see the world a little bit. people just like to bitch sometimes.

Omitspaul,

"We certainly have problems, but expensive cocktails and rents aren't a sign of a collapsing society, they are signs of a healthy economy."

That's a silliest thing I have heard from you. So Wall Street is doing well and can afford LOTS of expensive cocktails. I guess that means the economy is doing well. Albemarle/Charlottesville is notorious for low wages, yet a very high cost of living. Like on a national level basis, there is plenty of largess to hand out to the very poor, or the very wealthy, but those in between have to suck it up, and get little for their pains but useless dams and public housing, and lots of cliche venues. The County finances are in terrible shape, which is why they want to dump their expenses on the City. Yeah, the service sector is so well known for its high paying jobs, isn't it? The remaining real industry in this area has been sucked out like every other producing job. Spare us all, please, would you?

@ Old Timer...yeah that only happens here ;-) Sadly, that's the way of the world. The economy doesn't work for everyone anywhere. I work for a living, and just get by myself. The rent I pay for a nice room would have rented an apartment with utilities in a lot of places I've been (hell, it's more than my last mortgage). That said, I would still argue that there is a long, long list of places that have it worse than us.

Perhaps my statement was a bit flippant, oversimplifying a problem we all face. If you know of a place where that isn't the case, I be happy to hear about it...and start packing for the promised land, lol. Peace.

@ Dave McNair

"A city where more people are gainfully employed strikes me as being business friendly."
____

You're linking two separate things here.

Being employed benefits the one being employed............but it doesn't necessarily equate to being "business friendly" for those doing the employing, as cvillelaw's post aptly demonstrated.

That's great that there's low unemployment here, but it doesn't mean everybody who's employed here is A) Self employed, running their own business, or B) employed within the 10.4 square miles that encompasses the city of Charlottesville. They could be employed in any of the surrounding regions, and as I've come to discover, there's definitely people in central Virginia that make 40-50 mile commutes to get to work somewhere else in the area.

So if anything, a low unemployment rate only goes to show that there's a high quality of living in this area, a good chance at finding jobs. (Although some would find that debatable I'm sure. There's always somebody to argue some point.) But, it doesn't mean the 10.4 square miles known as the City of Charlottesville is "business friendly" for business owners, or that the low unemployment rate means everybody here is gainfully (self) employed. For starters, the #1 prime spot of real esate in Cville, aka, the Downtown Mall, is too high for many shop owners to keep up with. As soon as business slows, even if it only dips for a couple of months, boom, that's it for some of these places.

But all that aside, I do like Cville. I think the people here a lot of times are self righteous and full of themselves, no doubt about it, they take themselves WAY too seriously, but I've lived all around the country and I have that basis of comparison of what else is out there. There's pros and cons to any area in this country (economy/job opportunities; geographic location; climate, geology, and potential for weather/natural disasters; demographic make up; aesthetics of how the city/town looks, etc.) but so far the pros still outweigh the cons for Cville, for me. It's small, yeah, there's no ocean, yeah, it's not nearly as bustling as south Florida or SoCal, yeah, there's no real "city" here to speak of, yeah, the whole rich obnoxious UVa culture grates on my nerves, yeah, and there's a negative racial history here that I've never experienced in any of the other places I've lived.....but, it has a lot of other pros that those other area don't have. (and let's face it, the rich obnoxious UVa culture is what mostly makes this town, whether we like it or not. Remove UVa and there wouldn't be a Cville as we know it, because everything else centers around it.) And as I grow older, those other pros become more and more important to me, enough so that I could never go back to living in those other areas. If I ever decided I've had enough of Cville, I'm not sure where else I would go in this economic climate. If this was years ago I could think of a list a mile long of alternate choices, but in this post-crash world......not so much.

Wealthy people from (you name it...) move here for the "nice" house at a lower cost. Those of us in the middle class here may have to move to Waynesboro to have the "nice" house at a lower cost. It is "nice" here but the $215K house on the Waynesboro golf course vs. the cottage here is very tempting.

If you want to see a fair accounting of the dichotomy that is Charlottesville, in a microcosm, take a look at the documentary "The Parking Lot Movie" filmed almost entirely on the lot behind The Corner. It's available as a streaming title on Netflix.

I'm convinced there's something in the local water supply, as an ungodly proportion of the C-ville population is utterly full of $h!t. This fascinating little no-budget documentary captures that essential truth.

Charlottesville a dream? Dream on....

when ever I go to other towns and look around I think, "man I wish I was in Charlottesville!"

Then I go home, and yes, it's in charlottesville

I love Charlottesville. I'll love it even more when I get my spiffy new northern bypass too!!!

A few facts . . .

Over 27% of City residents live below the state poverty level. Is that dreamy?

City would be totally unaffordable if the Revenue Sharing arrangement didn't exist. May be a dream for the City, but it's a financial nightmare for the County. Oh let's re-brick the mall . . . maybe pick up another sister city . . . City spends like drunken sailors. Exactly what do they do for the 27% who try to subsist? Warehouse them in scarce, substandard housing and provide no viable employment opportunities.

Both City and County suffer from an overabundance of arrogance and self-importance.

Customer service is almost non-existent in Cville. Yeah, go visit other cities and see how you're treated there compared to here.

UVA is an 800-lb gorilla and perpetual bully. Bottomless UVA arrogance colors everything in this community.

Place is a real paradox, not a dream!

I think Mark Twain commenting on the conceit of American provincial towns said something to the effect that the earth revolves around an axis which is located in the town square of every American small town. I find that sentiment abundantly represented in this town, yet when traveling outside Virginia I have difficulty explaining to people exactly where Charlottesville is.
Seems like some obscure publication informs us every year or so that we live in the garden spot of the World.

Well Betty, you're always free to leave.

And to be fair, I would say that to myself if I ever got to the point of feeling and sounding as disgruntled as you do about this place. "Well, if I hate this place so much.......time to leave!" I can guarantee you though that based on how you sound, and the things you're complaining about, you would be unhappy with any place you go to.

Hey booo! With our global society, you can live just about anywhere, do your work and enjoy what you choose despite all the local shortcomings. It's just comical how silly and self-important so many people and institutions are here. And if you've never had the opportunity to live anywhere else, this place is worse than most in that regard. Thomas Jefferson effect? And why does Cville receive all sorts of awards? Veneer journalism? The perception of Cville is very different than the underbelly. Nobody digs for the truth anymore. They just take things at face value and out of context. Then when something proves false, they act surprised and repeat the process.

So what have you done to help the 27% who live below the poverty line? Attend a fancy dress gala?

After reading prior comments, I do concur with some of the negative ones as well as some of the positive ones. No town is perfect. However, having lived far away from our beautiful hometown of Crozet for fourteen years, due to my husband's employment, we have come to realize how much healthier it is for folks to remain where they have strong, loving roots of nourishing support, where they are trusted because of their family history, where they are somebody. Living in NC, where we feel like disconnected aliens, every day we ache to be back among those who also want to be with us. Every day.

"And if you've never had the opportunity to live anywhere else, this place is worse than most in that regard."

Well, lucky for me I've definitely had the opportunity to live around the country, and therefore have that basis of comparison.

"So what have you done to help the 27% who live below the poverty line? Attend a fancy dress gala?"

There's a lot to be said about this subject, and it's one of those areas that could spin off into 400 back and forth fighting posts where everybody's shouting at each other with long winded dissertation essays, and nobody's even reading what anybody else is writing and everybody's stubbornly trying to have the last word and be right and refusing to concede any points. So, yeah, not interested in that. But the short answer to your question would be this:

1. Ultimately, nobody else is responsible for helping the 27% who live below the poverty line except for themselves. And I can say that as somebody who was already out on my own before I graduated highschool (take a moment to think about what that would be like......you're out on your own, taking care of yourself.....while still finishing up high school), and who had no family to take care of me, and worked at bottom rung blue collar jobs for years, with no extra money, no medical insurance, and for periods of time didn't even have a car, so I had to walk and bus it everywhere. So excuse me if I don't have the same "bleeding heart liberal" mindset that you and others may have. There's a phrase called "pull yourself up by the bootstraps"..........................and that's exactly what I did. I worked my tail off to get where I am today, and I did it all on my own. I didn't expect people like you to come in and rescue me. I never even considered the idea of welfare and food stamps. I just worked, worked, worked, and a whole bunch of more work, sometimes two and three jobs at a time, and pulled myself out of the hole slowly but surely over the years. I didn't have babies I couldn't afford, I didn't do drugs, I didn't get myself arrested. I took care of myself. And if I failed, then there would have been nobody to blame but myself. But I certainly didn't expect people like you to come along and rescue me.

2. But with that said, I have actually done things to help the disenfranchised. Sorry to burst your bubble though that I'm not rich or high society enough to attend "galas" as you put it, but I do what I can with what I do have availabile to me. I have my certain pet causes that are important to me, especially considering my background. I'd get into the details of what they are, but you don't sound like somebody who's actually interested in hearing. Instead, you prefer to make hysterical, emotional assumptions about people, rather than having an actual discourse. So, I won't waste my typing energy.

Right on, Betty.

I was born in Charlottesville, I used to ride a mini-bike where the so-called Fashion Square Mall now stands. Rt. 29N was not peppered with chicken shacks and burger huts. But these are ancillary observations, since landowners still have a right to sell, subdivide and seek rezoning for such eyesores as big-box retailers and chain restaurants that deliver all the flavor and panache of white bread, which, not to mix metaphors, pretty much describes the denizens of Charlottesville: white bread. Yes, a bunch of plain-vanilla neurotics so obsessed with their perceived importance that any contradictory opinion is squelched with criees of 'leave town if you don't like it."

So I did. Every community I have lived in since, great and small, has been superior to little Charlottesville in every way: culture, food, popular entertainment, the vibrancy of the intellectual scene and yes, by God, in the quality of the collegiate sports teams. I say this as a UVA graduate.

Anyone who would so vehemently defend Charlottesville as a great city or, LOL, "dreamy," is either delusional, insecure, or has not enjoyed the rich offerings of other vastly superior cities in this big, blue world.

Charlottesvillians have been breathing their own fumes for so long that the odor has backed up into their brains and clouded their perspective.

Oh, and the local governments of both the city and surrounding Albemarle are criminally incompetent. Just hop in your car and try to drive anywhere in a 10-mile radius in less than half an hour if you are skeptical.

Charlottesville? You can have it. Enjoy it as you would a saltine cracker and glass of lukewarm tapwater, for life in Hooville is comparably memorable.

^^^ btw, forgot to mention that my previous comment was directed entirely at Betty.

@ Betty:

____

"And if you've never had the opportunity to live anywhere else, this place is worse than most in that regard."
____

Well, lucky for me I've definitely had the opportunity to live around the country, and therefore have that basis of comparison.

____
"So what have you done to help the 27% who live below the poverty line? Attend a fancy dress gala?"
____

There's a lot to be said about this subject, and it's one of those areas that could spin off into 400 back and forth fighting posts where everybody's shouting at each other with long winded dissertation essays, and nobody's even reading what anybody else is writing and everybody's stubbornly trying to have the last word and be right and refusing to concede any points. So, yeah, not interested in that. But the short answer to your question would be this:

1. Ultimately, nobody else is responsible for helping the 27% who live below the poverty line except for themselves. And I can say that as somebody who was already out on my own before I graduated highschool (take a moment to think about what that would be like......you're out on your own, taking care of yourself.....while still finishing up high school), and who had no family to take care of me, and worked at bottom rung blue collar jobs for years, with no extra money, no medical insurance, and for periods of time didn't even have a car, so I had to walk and bus it everywhere. So excuse me if I don't have the same "bleeding heart liberal" mindset that you and others may have. There's a phrase called "pull yourself up by the bootstraps"..........................and that's exactly what I did. I worked my tail off to get where I am today, and I did it all on my own. I didn't expect people like you to come in and rescue me. I never even considered the idea of welfare and food stamps. I just worked, worked, worked, and a whole bunch of more work, sometimes two and three jobs at a time, and pulled myself out of the hole slowly but surely over the years. I didn't have babies I couldn't afford, I didn't do drugs, I didn't get myself arrested. I took care of myself. And if I failed, then there would have been nobody to blame but myself. But I certainly didn't expect people like you to come along and rescue me.

2. But with that said, I have actually done things to help the disenfranchised. Sorry to burst your bubble though that I'm not rich or high society enough to attend "galas" as you put it, but I do what I can with what I do have availabile to me. I have my certain pet causes that are important to me, especially considering my background. I'd get into the details of what they are, but you don't sound like somebody who's actually interested in hearing. Instead, you prefer to make hysterical, emotional assumptions about people, rather than having an actual discourse. So, I won't waste my typing energy.

I saw a tip jar in a jiffy lube here.

Also Betty, consider the inordinate number of Asian immigrants who come into this country and work their butts off, and go on to own homes, and put their kids through college. Have you ever met one of them? I have. They don't mope around being "the 27% living below the poverty level," lolling about looking for people like you to help them. That's not acceptable in their culture. They come here and hit the ground running, learn the language, and then kick ass and take names. It's unbelievable, and very inspirational. They put everybody else to shame. The welfare collecting poverty people who are already here to begin with and speak English as a native tongue have no excuse when you line them up next to the Asians. None. Liberal-minded people don't like hearing about this, but it's my favorite counterpoint anecdote, and especially since I've personally known these sorts of kick ass Asians. There is just no excuse for any native English speaking American to not accomplish what these Asian immigrants do in a fraction of the time. You know, since you want to ask people what they're doing for the 27% of people who have their hands out. I'm waiting for them to do what I did, or what these Asian immigrants do.

So Betty, do you help out in the soup kitchen at the Haven, or is your contribution to our city just snarky comments for people who don't share your disenchantment with the city. Every city faces difficulties these days. Arguing among ourselves does nothing but add fuel to the fire.

The cynicism in this post is ridiculous. I would highly encourage people to get out and see the rest of the U.S. and then go visit a few other places around the world and then come back and complain about how much charlottesville sucks and how we have too many chicken shacks... what a dumb comment.

@ Anonymouse.

LOL. I cut mighty close to the bone for you to get your panties cinched up so high. Thanks for proving the point: Charlottesvillians really are neurotic. Having seen quite a bit of the world, I say anyone who thinks C-ville is hot $hit is simply full of Sh!t. Hello.

Funny, all those libs above who say "If you hate it so much, then leave" remind of all those cons in the early '70s with bumper stickers that said "America, Love It or Leave It." The problem with this town is that it is indeed arrogant...but does not think it is. Dangerous combo. Even the fire trucks say "A World Class City."

BTW, Mr. McNair, my journalism degree from 1986 tells me you do not "assume" things like "business friendly", which is actually a hackneyed cliche that I would edit out of the story anyway. Again, journalism in 2011 exposes itself: reading or seeing report from a newsperson today is no different than when they guy comes running into the bar and says "Man, I just saw the worst accident..." and goes on to tell you what happened. You get hearsay, opinion and a one-sided account of what happened. That is a sad commentary, but ask anyone who has been involved directly in a news story. They will almost universally tell you "Man, is that really what happened? Didn't seem that way to me."

This lousy news reporting occurs at all levels of news reporting, from small-town bird cage lining like The Hook up to the all-important Today Show (god, don't you miss Katie? [release emesis here]). Check this out:
Matt Lauer has two guys from Boston on one morning. They're roofers who found a valuable booty of old coins in the attic of the house they were repairing that had been vacant for years. As I listened, my radar started to go crazy. Story sounded implausible. Sure enough, about four days later, I see the story that it was a hoax; the slobs at stolen the coins from an occupied house. So, at this high level of journalism...no one checked this or had the experience to be suspicious.

And do not try to say "Well, The Today Show" is entertainment, not journalism. Not true!

Sorry, gotta leave now! Katie is ordering me to get a colonoscopy!

@ Never been to a game

Well, I can't speak for everybody else, but for me the reason I say "Hey, if it's so traumatic for you then leave" is because that's how I live my own life, as somebody who's moved around the country. When a place no longer works for me....................I leave. I don't moan and groan on a comments section of a local indie news website. (even worse.....admonishing people for not stepping up and taking care of the poverty people.) I get up and go. End of story. Not sure what's so hard to understand about that.

Some people really seem to hate this place, and can write long posts explaining just how every place they've ever been to was better than here. Common sense alone makes one have to ask...."Then why are you still here, if every other place you've ever been to was better?" The only reason I can come up with for why they're still here is because deep down, these people *like* complaining. They're the types that enjoy being miserable. They literally don't know how to be happy and enjoy themselves. And if there's nothing wrong then they'll *invent* things to complain about. We all know these types.

When SoCal had run its course for me for a mile long list of reasons, I quit my job, packed up my car, and hit the freeway. See ya!

When I was done with Portland I just got in my car........and left.

When south Florida was no longer doing it for me, for a myriad of reasons, I didn't waste a second getting out of there. Goodbye. I didn't post complaints on the internet about it. Who does that?

Life is what you make of it. The only one responsible for your happiness is you.

If you're unhappy, then look in the mirror.

If you don't like where you live, then look in the mirror.

I walk the walk. Can the moaners and the groaners say the same?

And to be clear, for those who aren't really reading all the posts and haven't read my previous posts, this isn't some big defense of Charlottesville. As noted before, for me there are definitely some cons to living here, ways in which it's not as interesting or exciting as the other places I've lived. So I'm not looking at this place with rose colored glasses. I'm just calling out the moaners and the groaners who talk a lot of talk.........but don't walk the walk. I have no patience or tolerance for people like that. Either put up, or shut up, is my motto. Don't waste your time groaning about how much you hate Cville on a website, or how much you hate your job, or your spouse, or your life......If you don't like your situation, then take action and change it. If you don't then you have nobody to blame but yourself for getting yourself in the hole you're in. Every choice you ever made (and didn't make....) led you to where you are right now, at this exact moment. Look in the mirror and take responsibility for that.

Does anyone believe our tabloid rags in this town are real journalism? Not with the personal slant evident in so much of their in-depth reporting. The liberal bias of their "investigative" reporting, and the similarities of the targets of these reports is clear. And I say this as a full-fledged Democrat.

@ downtown brown

"And I say this as a full-fledged Democrat...."

It would be funny to compile a list of "You know you're a resident of Charlottesville when...." And #1 on the list is: "You have to preface or clarify everything with the fact that you're a democrat (otherwise sour faced self righteous indignant democratic posters at the Hook are liable to pounce on you and claim that you *must* be a crazy right wing conservative to have a difference of opinion)." ;D

Kind of head shakingly sad.

But, still not sad enough to make me want to move. ;D

+1000 booo! Not saying this place is perfect, by any means, but people around here love making mountains out of molehills. Fortunately they're the minority.

Seriously, there was a time when being a Virginia Democrat was a good thing. The far left and far right of each party, and this town, make it hard to like either side. Time for people to act and bring this country to a point of compromise where both sides make concessions for the benefit of this country. Both sides are to blame for putting us in the position we're in, and both sides need to come together to make mutually beneficial decisions to get us out of this mess.

@omgitspaul The economy has nothing to do with the arrogance here. It's systemic, unfazed by the outside world and off the charts.

In truth, downtown brown, THE solution to all our problems as humans is JESUS CHRIST, King of kings and Lord of lords! Until He is Lord of all, which will NEVER happen because satan is the prince of this world, our culture will continue in its narcissism.

Jesus H. Christ.

Ginny's blog describes her as "a fool for Jesus." I am confident she is at least half right.

@ BooHoo says all this stuff about Asians making it by their own bootstraps. Asians have never been enslaved in this country like AA's. They don't face near the same level of racism that AAs have and still do. Look Cville is not the worst place to live and its not the best place to live. It would be a better place if we gave Vinegar Hill back from the people it was stolen from, if we owned up to our sordid history, if we spent time paying attention to who is on those unemployment roles by ethnicity, provided some jobs for kids graduating from Cville High, provided some hope for people in this town who have been at the bottom for along time. And forget Dem/Rep. this little town is run by a handful of people who get their way when they don't like things, and by that I mean creating an atmosphere of fear so that if you voice your discontent it gets back to the bosses who then squeeze the little man.

And The Hook does a pretty good job reporting real news unlike all the other media outlets in this town that are mere propaganda machines for large institutions, except Cville Tom.. Dave McNair's story on Kevin Morrissey was great (but didn't go far enough IMHO).

Why does it have to be "love it or leave it"? Why can't it be love it enough to fix the problems for the have nots in this town. I say compensate for the Vinegar Hill atrocity, build some statues of minority folks in this town, give people a venue for addressing racial (and other forms of) discrimination in their employment, and create some jobs for people left behind. Create a real transportation system so poor people can get around. Address the separate but unequal school system. Folks who want to sit around and spout racist garbage behind the veil of the American Dream, well maybe they should leave. Thomas Jefferson was the progenitor of Racism in this Country, read his Notes on Virginia for the facts. Well 200 years later, the little town of Cville, living under the shadow of Monticello, is still dealing with that legacy, go figure. Go ask AAs if people are making mountains out of mole hills. I could leave if I wanted to, but I would rather stick around and hold up the mirror and try to do what I can to improve what we have. It could really be a world class city if it woke up and looked around and dealt with the problems staring us right in the face.

@Bollocks, thank you, thank you very much! Good day!

@ Citizen Party:

"@ BooHoo says all this stuff about Asians making it by their own bootstraps. Asians have never been enslaved in this country like AA's. They don't face near the same level of racism that AAs have and still do"

First off, the name's boooo! as in, boooo! hiss! thumb's down! ;D Not boohoo! waaa! I'm a whiny victim! Look at me crying! I can't take care of myself! Everybody feel sorry for me! As you can see from my posts, I'm anything but boohoo.

But secondly......................who said anything about African Americans? (or AA's, as you abreviated.) Nobody pointed fingers at black people specifically. Betty whined about people needing to help the 27% of people who live below the poverty line. That could be white, black, hispanic, Native American, etc. But, that's kind of interesting you just automatically jumped to the conclusion that it was all about black people, and started trying to make excuses to justify why some may loll about being a victim, expecting handouts and not pulling themselves up by the boostraps and taking charge of their life as compared to English second language Asians that I'd mentioned earlier, who immigrant to the U.S. and then hit the ground running and become successful.

There's a LOT to say about this whole thing, about the black people vs. the Asian immigrants, but, that would totally sidetrack things onto a racial discussion, and nobody's ever going to agree on anything there. Some people insist on making excuses, while others don't tolerate excuses, so, there's no "winning" a conversation of that type. So, back to people debating the merits and shortcomings of Cville............

Dave McNair- not sure if the unemployment rate is low because the locals are employed. Lots of retired here as well- many who own one man businesses too.........tough to judge.

Citizen Party, have you submitted a sample of your DNA to the Chville Police yet?

Trying to be objective here. Charlottesville isn't bad for a small eastern city. It's in the south, yet not of the south, which means there is a decent contingent of non cracker types from other parts of the country to give it a bit of cultural heterogeneity. That it is in the the south however means it has a large African American community with all the dysfunction, noise, crime, and uncivil conduct that goes with it. This stain of our country's "original sin" (the durable pathology of post slavery cultural life) blights large areas of downtown and discourages a more vibrant urban environment in the downtown area.
The economy, thanks to well endowed UVA, bureaucratic headquarters of a variety of national companies, and big govt. entities, does better than many similar size small eastern towns and that is a plus.
As is true of every part of the east, the climate is a significant negative factor. The persistent dampness, numerous periods of bad weather, put a major brake on outdoor activities, and breed clouds of insects which impinge on outdoor activity during spells of what pass for nice weather. All of this subtracts from quality of life in ways that local residents don't realize because they are used to it, consider it normal, and can always say that it's better than Buffalo or some other point of comparison. Yet people who live in areas with actually nice climates shudder with horror at the thought of spending a winter in Virginia, much less a summer. This is what people in the real estate business refer to as an "incurable defect" and is probably the main reason Charlottesville falls short as a dream destination. Spend a couple years at Berkeley and you'll see, or Santa Fe, etc.

@ Angel Eyes

That's interesting that you feel there's an issue with the climate and bugs here.

I lived in south Florida for a period of time, where during the summer it was almost 100 degrees, with 100 percent humidity. You want to talk about damp and humid.....! Everybody ran around practically naked during those times. I've never experienced anything to that level here.

And then winters. Have you done a winter in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota or Vermont and upstate New York along the lakes, with the lake effect snow? I haven't, and I never plan to. When we were briefly considering the idea of moving to Vermont as the next adventure we realized we had to scrap that, because their winters are atrocious. However cold it is here in Cville in say January or February, you can go to wunderground.com and check the weather in Burlington and it's always 10-20 degrees colder there, with snow on the forecast. Boulder Colorado was also on the table, until we realized it starts snowing in October and goes straight through until May, many times. You have about five months of no snow. And you better have a good four wheel drive vehicle for driving around those Rocky Mountain highways..............well, for those roads that aren't closed for the winter that is, because they get such ungodly amounts of snow that they can't keep up with the plowing.

And bugs. Again, let's take a look back at Florida, with their four inch long Palmetto bugs (nasty looking things) and mosquitoes that are so vicious they would give me welts the size of half dollars, if not slightly bigger. I've never had "mosquito" bites like that anywhere else. They were like mutated radiated mosquitoes from hell.

The rest of the country this year and in the past couple of years has seen huge bug infestations, including gypsy moth caterpillars defoliating thousands of acres of trees, locusts of biblical proportions, and other such pests. We had our stink bugs last year, and I heard that one year there were some ladybugs. That's not too bad. We're doing pretty good compared to the pestilence going on elsewhere.

Let's see, and the entire southwest has burned this year. Millions of acres total burnt to a crisp in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Feel like moving there? If so, bring a face mask so you can breathe. When I lived in SoCal I never realized that I had 24/7 polluted lungs until I moved to Oregon. After about the first month in Oregon I realized something was different...when I breathe....what is it?? And I realized....the air is clean. Here too in Cville I can go outside and breathe clean, smoke and pollution free air. That's nice.

Mississippi, Missouri and Red Rivers have flooded to epic historical levels this year due to both rainfall and record level snow melts from a record level winter in the north, displacing thousands of people in those particular valleys. In some cases the flood levels were 10-15 feet above flood stage. That's unheard of. Levees intentionally destroyed by the Army Corp of Engineers, flooding and destroying farmland, as well as destroying people's homes so that they could spare the major cities down river, like Baton Rouge and New Orleans. They had to choose the lesser of the two evils. I don't see choices like that having to be made around here.

Tuscaloosa Alabama, Joplin Missouri, and areas of Oklahoma, Mississippi, Tennessee and North Carolina completely destroyed this year in what has turned out to be an historical tornado season. The tornadoes in North Carolina shouldn't have happened the way they did, it was an anomaly, with conditions coming together very far to the east that you normally only ever see out west on the Plains and in the midwest. 3/4 of Joplin has been wiped off the map. I think we're doing pretty good compared to that. I'll take the couple of strong T-storms and our one lone 16 hour power outage we've had this year any day over a town that's been wiped off the map and loved ones gone.

Heat waves hitting the plains and mid-west and south too this year. As hot as it's been here, we still haven't topped places like Arkansas, where the heat index was something like 115 degrees.

There's so much destruction going on all around the country this year, I can't even keep up with it anymore. These are just some of the stories I can remember off the top of my head. When we've talked about the idea of ever possibly leaving Cville, the other major reason for staying, besides the recession, is that the entire rest of the country is going to pot. Any place I could think of to go to before is now out of the question, due to either climate changing or too many crazy natural disasters. This area is truly one of the few areas that I can think of that has - so far - escaped much of what's plaguing the rest of the country. For that reason alone we're staying. But, others are free to leave!

"All of this subtracts from quality of life in ways that local residents don't realize because they are used to it, consider it normal, and can always say that it's better than Buffalo or some other point of comparison"........

Boo; As I was saying............ but then you went ahead and validated my point, and then some.....The fact that in individual instances the climate is less miserable than other places doesn't prove that it's not nevertheless miserable!!
I recall being in South Carolina once in the summer and made some comment to my hosts about their summer weather and their rejoinder was that while it was true their summer's were awful, at least they didn't get snow and cold weather like we did!!

AE - the weather factor a good point, but I don't think anyone can argue that the weather in SoCal is probably the most temperate and awesome in the country. I guess I don't see it as a huge negative since it never gets truly hot enough to completely limit my outdoor activities (although the bugs can be an issue) and doesn't get cold enough or snow enough in the winter to be truly bothersome.

I completely agree on the plusses and with boo! in saying that C'ville is certainly not perfect but doing quite a bit better than many other parts of the country. In case anyone hasn't noticed, things are slowly going to hell in the wake of the recession.

@ Angel Eyes

"Boo; [...] The fact that in individual instances the climate is less miserable than other places doesn't prove that it's not nevertheless miserable!!

"I recall being in South Carolina once in the summer and made some comment to my hosts about their summer weather and their rejoinder was that while it was true their summer's were awful, at least they didn't get snow and cold weather like we did!!"
______

Well, South Carolina is four degrees further to the south, at 32. We're at 36. That's what you get when you live at 36 degrees. I understand on the one hand what you mean about the drawbacks of cold and snow - all the outdoor activities I enjoy now in the warmer weather have to be put on the backburner for half the year. And that definitely sucks. Then there's the whole seasonal affective disorder, causing depression in the winter. I had that last season, for some reason. If Cville had warmer winters then for me it would be even better, so I understand the whole "you get docked some points for the winters" thing. But....it's 36 degrees latitude. So, it is what it is, and everybody knows that who moves here. We all know we're not in the Caribbean. For those that highly value a Caribbean climate, they're free to move there.

Not having a winter isn't the only thing that defines a city as having a high quality of life. Places further south may have warmer winters, but they may also be a lot poorer in general, with a bad economy, lotta bugs, higher crime, lack of good scenery/aesthetics, a more unstable climate while being prone to certain natural disasters. Etc. Every place has its pros and cons, the tradeoff areas. Climate alone does not determine everything. There is no one perfect place to live. Every place is going to have points docked because they lack something that another area has. Wherever you go it's always a case of picking the one with the least issues.

38

@Anonymouse, yesteday when all around our nation the thermometer was hovering around the 100 degree mark, San Diego was a balmy 75. Sounds refreshing! For that matter, so does Bogota, Colombia! However, California is NOT a place for those who love Jesus to live! Of course, sadly, Charlottesville has been dubbed "the little apple." due, in large part, to the progressive agenda of UVA's intellectual elite. Like exemplary Dr. James Dobson (Godson) said, "The country was tipped on its side once and everything loose fell to CA."

San Diego is always 75. It's why people pay $750k for 2000 sq ft to live there.

I visited Charlottesville as a teen, to see Monticello. I fell in love..."God's Country"!!! It just amazes me how so many that live hear don't see the beauty of Charlottesville. All the negative comment makers should be sentenced to live in the Buffalo, NY area...or even Las Vegas, NV and then maybe you would see the true beauty of your lovely community. I've been there and believe me...Charlottesville is truly a "Dream City"!!!!!.