Norfolk, VA

  • GingerOH

    Posts: 159

    Jun 06, 2015 3:10 AM GMT
    Hey guys, a job opportunity has come up for me but it would require a move down to Norfolk Virginia. I don't know anyone who has ever been there before so I was wondering if any of you have. I know it is a big center for the Navy but that is about all I know. If any of you have visited or lived there I would love to hear your reactions to the place. What is the city like? Is it gay friendly? Any insight into the city would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! icon_smile.gif
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    Jun 06, 2015 3:13 AM GMT
    I've never been there personally, other than driving through. Just from driving through, I can understand why it used to be called "Nofuck Virginia" back in the day. You couldn't pay me enough to live there.
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    Jun 06, 2015 6:37 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidI've never been there personally, other than driving through. Just from driving through, I can understand why it used to be called "Nofuck Virginia" back in the day. You couldn't pay me enough to live there.

    Never been there, but it is close to Virginia Beach, not too far from Richmond, and there should be sailors to pick up if you can, and if they interest you.
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    Jun 06, 2015 11:00 AM GMT
    Look into the Ghent neighborhoods. Also it's a 20 minute commute from Virginia Beach so you might want to consider that.
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    Jun 06, 2015 11:08 AM GMT
    I just looked at rents in Ghent and a one bedroom condo goes for about 900 to 1200 a month.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14395

    Jun 06, 2015 1:13 PM GMT
    Norfolk is a large city so there has to be some urban life granted it is not like Atlanta, Miami, and Washington DC. Hey it could be much worse, you could have been sent to Baltimore, a troubled city that the hipsters, empty nesters, and investors are all avoiding like the bubonic plague. So count your blessings.
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    Jun 06, 2015 3:20 PM GMT
    I was born there and spent most of my life there.

    I would live in Virginia Beach if you can, but it is a little pricey.

    It really depends on what you like.. It's hard for me to say there is anything special about it haha, especially compared to where I live now (NYC).

    There are a few good restaurants, I'm not sure I would call it gay friendly.. There are pockets of gay people, mostly in Ghent (a neighborhood in Norfolk) but aside from this crazy bear bar, there aren't actually gay bars in Ghent.

    There are three others in the area.. one is almost to the country, way out in Va Beach (Rainbow Cactus), another is in Norfolk (Ambush) and I think CornerPocket in Newport News..

    None of these are great. The only thing I did sort of like is that because there are so few places to "be gay", you end up meeting and getting along with every type of gay person. That is not really the case in NYC and bigger cities. Gay people segment off and start hating each other, because they lose the perspective of just how few gay people there are in the world.

    If you like Columbus, I think you will like Va, the winters are much milder as well.
  • slimnmuscly

    Posts: 541

    Jun 06, 2015 4:40 PM GMT
    I've visited. Bar-wise the gay scene is limited as noted above but people seemed friendly and there was plenty of eye candy on Grindr and Scruff (much of it military).

    There's at least some culture there - the recently renovated Chrysler Museum of Art has a wonderful encyclopedic collection and is free. Usually a city with that nice a museum will have plenty of other cultural amenities as well. And surprisingly, PETA is headquartered there, so it might not be as conservative as the Navy connection might lead one to believe.

    I wouldn't take any old job to move there, but if it's a dream job it seems like the kind of city where you could make life work for you.
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    Jun 06, 2015 6:44 PM GMT
    I spent a week in Norfolk last Fall, revisiting my old haunts from my Navy days in the early '70s, when Norfolk was my ships' homeport. The weather can be miserably hot and humid from mid-Spring to mid-Fall, and winters raw and wet, but you'll rarely see snow. There are some good beaches nearby, but some kitschy, trashy ones, like the Boardwalk at Va. Beach, to avoid; those on the DelMarVa peninsula suit me best. Culturally, it's got a lot of history, particularly of the maritime kind, along with Revolutionary and Civil War sites nearby, and its arts scene has come along way in recent years. It's gay scene, not so much, but you are close to DC, Richmond and the whole East Coast megalopolis. Seafood restaurants abound, as do Southern food places. If you live in Norfolk, Ghent, Freemason, and Larchmont remain the place to be, and the Arts District is coming up as well; it's full of artists studios, clubs, and trendy cafes, as its name suggests. You might also choose to live in one of the surrounding cities - Hampton has some really cool neighborhoods near Ft. Monroe - but accept that you may become a bridge 'n' tunnel commuter and those commutes are lousy ones. In sum, as someone else said, it's an OK place, but that would have to be a pretty good job offer to get me to move there; is Columbus really that bad???

    As for places to avoid:

    http://www.city-data.com/forum/hampton-roads-area/684840-neighborhoods-avoid.html

    Good luck to you wherever you land!
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    Jun 06, 2015 7:35 PM GMT
    I was stationed there in 1998. Traffic is horrible. Now, it's probably much worse. Make sure you work and live within 10 miles of each other. Best of luck.
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    Jun 06, 2015 10:41 PM GMT
    ^ haha oh yeah, I'm neutered by the city traffic, but yes there are a lot of area tunnels and bridges... make sure you live and work without having to cross one and your life will be a lot better ;)
  • GingerOH

    Posts: 159

    Jun 07, 2015 5:15 AM GMT
    Thanks guys for all of your insights, I really appreciate it. I love Columbus but this job (planner/urban designer with a major firm) could open a lot of doors so that's why I'm pursuing it. You guys definitely gave me a little bit better perspective on the city. Thank you! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jun 07, 2015 10:57 AM GMT
    Norfolk is very transient because of the military. One of the complaints I used to hear all the time was that it was difficult to make a circle of friends there on account of it.
    I have nothing to add to what was said above; Ghent is the old-school gay neighborhood, but like most gayborhoods it's becoming less of one every year. The Arts District is fun.
    But....
    Read this http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/26/science/earth/26norfolk.html?_r=0 about the Larchmont neighborhood.
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    Jun 07, 2015 12:15 PM GMT
    Sharkspeare said
    But....
    Read this http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/26/science/earth/26norfolk.html?_r=0 about the Larchmont neighborhood.

    That's an older article, from 2010, but the tidal flooding continues. And the nutty Republican Virginia Attorney General referenced in the article, Ken T. Cuccinelli II, who initiated multiple Federal cases to suppress acknowledgement of global warming, no longer holds that office. He made a failed bid for State Governor, losing in the 2013 general election to a Democrat.

    But honestly, there's little Virginia and Norfolk can do locally about the problem, it is indeed global. Therefore. selecting a neighborhood not subject to flooding, today or in the near future, is good advice.
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    Jun 07, 2015 1:56 PM GMT
    Incidentally, regarding the global rise in sea level, which Republicans want to deny, I live on a tidal waterway, the Middle River. We're about 2 miles from the ocean, as the water flows.

    Part of the day the water flows up-river, and part of the day it reverses and flows downriver. And increasingly the water tops the seawalls along its banks, and floods our neighbors' lawns. We're still OK at our place, our seawall was built higher.

    Long-term residents tell us this routine flooding has never happened before. Gee, I wonder why? Obama must somehow be to blame. It certainly can't be due to climate change and global warming, resulting in ice cap and glacier melt.

    Our Florida Republican Governor has prohibited State agencies from using those terms. But that doesn't seem to have stopped the water rise, nor explained it.

    Be wary of the same thing in Norfolk, and any other low-lying coastal areas. The sea level rise that "librul" scientists have been predicting and warning about, and that Republicans have been denying as false science (see also southbeach1500 posts), is already beginning to occur.
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    Jun 07, 2015 2:17 PM GMT
    I grew up in Va. Beach and used to bad mouth trashy Norfolk. Then I grew up, left, and figured out what I like. If I moved back, it would be Norfolk. I still go back to VB once or twice a year for family, and the suburban sprawl and strip mall hell annoys me. Good Luck on your choice.
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    Jun 07, 2015 2:38 PM GMT
    43rueperronet said
    Give it a rest Deco
    You are the reason there are problems here on RJ--

    There are rising water levels here on RJ??? Why don't YOU give it a rest, stalker. Any problems on RJ are due to trolls like yourself, who personally attack other members at every opportunity. You did it before you were banned by Admin, and you're back doing it again with this current account.
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    Jun 07, 2015 5:42 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    43rueperronet said
    Art_Deco said
    43rueperronet said
    Give it a rest Deco
    You are the reason there are problems here on RJ--

    There are rising water levels here on RJ??? Why don't YOU give it a rest, stalker. Any problems on RJ are due to trolls like yourself, who personally attack other members at every opportunity. You did it before you were banned by Admin, and you're back doing it again with this current account.


    Give it a rest Deco---
    You are the one who stalked SB and the other conservative gay men here on RJ-
    You are the one trolling SB in this thread--
    You are the troll--

    You started all this BS--


    It seems Kolonel Krackpot has succeeded in turning a topic in the Travel forum into another of his usual ill-informed attacks on those who have a different point of view than he.


    ^+2, SoBe and 43rue. Just more "repetitious and mind numbing" posts from our resident grandstander.

    Now that I know you're an urban planner, Ginger, and that this move could lead to much bigger and better things, in my mind that makes more of a case for Norfolk. That area has a lot of potential and could use some wise planning, and it'd be nice to get in relatively early. Just make sure the political environment is supportive of the planning goals. It could be an exciting time in your career, so good luck!

    PS - If you've not already visited Nauticus, the maritime museum in downtown Norfolk, by all means do, as well as the nearby Mariners Museum in Newport News. Really two of the best maritime museums on the planet! Give yourself at least 4 hours at each. They'll both appeal to your engineer's mind.