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Wilson, North Carolina SperlingViews



"A general overview from a lifetime resident"


A general overview from a lifetime resident - 10/4/2008
11 0
Hannah
Wilson, NC

Food: There are very few nice places to eat, but everything is so cheap that you can get a good dinner at a clean, well decorated, sit-down establishment for $10. A few years ago, Wilson had the highest number of restaurants per capita in NC.
Shopping: Shopping is dismal unless you like bargain stores. We have a Target, TJ Maxx and Marshal's all in a row down the road from Wal-Mart and Goody's.
Crime/race relations: Crime is not "really bad" in Wilson, although it is slightly higher than other places of comparable size in NC. The crime is in pockets though and most places are either safe or legitimately dangerous, with little in between. The racial tension is very high and it seems like every race is bitter towards every other race.
Cost of Living: There are very few (and even fewer available) high paying jobs in Wilson because Wilson's cost of living is 23% lower than the US average. A family of 4 can live a nice life in a safe neighborhood for $100K/year. There are also many small towns outside of Wilson with substantially lower costs of living and those provide good alternatives for safer, cheaper places, if you're willing to drive 15 minutes into Wilson for work. A positive: 15 minutes is considered a really long drive in Wilson. Since routing Hwy 264 around Wilson, the city never has routine traffic problems.
Economy: Wilson is most certainly in Eastern North Carolina and anyone who says otherwise is dreaming. Our economy heavily relies on animal and crop farming and manufacturing, which fits the ENC profile. There's a corn field beside the city high school and bus loads of migrant farm workers at Wal-Mart every weekend. We have a regional BB&T headquarter and a Meryl Lynch, but not much else in the way of finance and technology jobs aren't readily available unless they're in conjunction with manufacturing. Wilson County usually has one of the highest unemployment rates in NC and is well above the national average.
Education: The high schools are what are really holding Wilson back. Wilson has some of the best elementary schools in the state, decent middle schools and then high school falls off. They boast having the IB Program, but only a handful of students graduate from it per year and each school only has 4-5 AP classes, which are the same every year. The parents and the school system are both to blame. The people who grew up in Wilson and are now raising families there themselves feel insulted when people suggest that the schools be improved and that their children should take harder classes because admitting that the education is sub-par would be admitting that they aren't as smart either.
Nightlife: Almost completely doesn't exist. The high schoolers spend their weekend nights drinking at someone's house or in a barn. College students have to make their own house parties. Young adults can check out O'Cool's sports bar or the less main-stream Buck's Saloon and that's pretty much the end. A handful of plays run every year for a few days each downtown, there is a 10-screen movie theater with good prices ($7.50/show last I checked), there is a bowling ally that isn't sketchy unless you go late and there are usually Barton College sporting events to attend (especially basketball) or Tob's baseball in the summer. If you're an adult looking to socialize, your best bet is learning to cook and having dinner parties with your friends.

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Bp
Wilson, NC

Wilson (Wilson County)- change is not positive - 2/18/2010

Wilson (Wilson County) is a fine place to live especially if you are from Wilson. Outsiders are not exactly welcome. Also the town is from 'old money' so the city planners are very reluctant to welcome change and new ideas. We have lived here for about 4 years. We have enjoyed the small town feel and starting our family here. There are not a lot of great restaurants or activities. Also there are very few sidewalks. If you have a family-centered way of life, practice a Christian religion and like to keep up with the Jones', you may like Wilson. If you are single, not religious, mind your own business and like outdoor activities, Wilson may not be for you.

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Hannah
Wilson, NC

A general overview from a lifetime resident - 10/4/2008

Food: There are very few nice places to eat, but everything is so cheap that you can get a good dinner at a clean, well decorated, sit-down establishment for $10. A few years ago, Wilson had the highest number of restaurants per capita in NC. Shopping: Shopping is dismal unless you like bargain stores. We have a Target, TJ Maxx and Marshal's all in a row down the road from Wal-Mart and Goody's. Crime/race relations: Crime is not "really bad" in Wilson, although it is slightly higher than other places of comparable size in NC. The crime is in pockets though and most places are either safe or legitimately dangerous, with little in between. The racial tension is very high and it seems like every race is bitter towards every other race. Cost of Living: There are very few (and even fewer available) high paying jobs in Wilson because Wilson's cost of living is 23% lower than the US average. A family of 4 can live a nice life in a safe neighborhood for $100K/year. There are also many small towns outside of Wilson with substantially lower costs of living and those provide good alternatives for safer, cheaper places, if you're willing to drive 15 minutes into Wilson for work. A positive: 15 minutes is considered a really long drive in Wilson. Since routing Hwy 264 around Wilson, the city never has routine traffic problems. Economy: Wilson is most certainly in Eastern North Carolina and anyone who says otherwise is dreaming. Our economy heavily relies on animal and crop farming and manufacturing, which fits the ENC profile. There's a corn field beside the city high school and bus loads of migrant farm workers at Wal-Mart every weekend. We have a regional BB&T headquarter and a Meryl Lynch, but not much else in the way of finance and technology jobs aren't readily available unless they're in conjunction with manufacturing. Wilson County usually has one of the highest unemployment rates in NC and is well above the national average. Education: The high schools are what are really holding Wilson back. Wilson has some of the best elementary schools in the state, decent middle schools and then high school falls off. They boast having the IB Program, but only a handful of students graduate from it per year and each school only has 4-5 AP classes, which are the same every year. The parents and the school system are both to blame. The people who grew up in Wilson and are now raising families there themselves feel insulted when people suggest that the schools be improved and that their children should take harder classes because admitting that the education is sub-par would be admitting that they aren't as smart either. Nightlife: Almost completely doesn't exist. The high schoolers spend their weekend nights drinking at someone's house or in a barn. College students have to make their own house parties. Young adults can check out O'Cool's sports bar or the less main-stream Buck's Saloon and that's pretty much the end. A handful of plays run every year for a few days each downtown, there is a 10-screen movie theater with good prices ($7.50/show last I checked), there is a bowling ally that isn't sketchy unless you go late and there are usually Barton College sporting events to attend (especially basketball) or Tob's baseball in the summer. If you're an adult looking to socialize, your best bet is learning to cook and having dinner parties with your friends.

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Ricky
Wilson, NC

Living in Wilson - 3/11/2008

Wilson is a nice city with about 50,000 people. It is growing rapidly and has great potential. The only thing that Wilson needs the most attention on is the night life, and new businesses.

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Bp
New York, NY

Wilson: Just My Thoughts - 1/8/2008

I spent many years in Wilson and am very familiar with it. It's a city full of many people who are incredible snobs for no earthly reason--most of the so-called society folks are simpletons...literally--they attended sub par schools and colleges. And they’ve rarely lived or even traveled outside of their tiny provincial bubble. Most exist in Babbitt-like existence. (Note to the subliterate Wilsonian ruling class: Babbitt is a Sinclair Lewis book that is very, very famous--Google it.) Wilson used to consist of families with old tobacco money--most of it is long, long gone. Hence, the “high society” aspect remains though the money has drained—a debutante ghost town. Now Wilson “bourgeoisie” is solidly middle class in relationship to the rest of the country. Most Wilson “big shots” work in a very limited economy: insurance brokerage, real estate, lawn care companies, auto dealerships. Nothing wrong with that---it's just their elitist attitudes would lead you to believe they're far more sophisticated than they are. There are the usual local lawyer/doctor professionals (Not exactly at the top of their respective professions). The banks--BB&T originated there--had the sense to move to Charlotte a long time ago. Wilson is also a very, very divided city racially, socio-economically and also by old versus new money. You can be a total degenerate but if you have the "right" last name in Wilson, you're automatically "in." Lots of surnames (first names that are often laughable) like Hayes, Smith, Bratton exist among the “elite.” It seems their inbred genealogy is about all they have to focus on. That. And the country club. And Applebees. Certainly there are "nice" people everywhere, even in Wilson you could probably find nine (if you came in as an outsider). I found the town to be an extraordinarily provincial and sometimes even cruel place. Note to Tom Wolfe: c’mon down—good material here. (Note on my perspective: I moved to Wilson from a much larger city in a different state and would be considered upper middle-class and well educated. I no longer live there. It could have changed some, but doubt it.)

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constance
Bradenton, FL

review - 7/10/2007

I find Wilson to be charming and hospitable. It isn;t too far from the Raleigh durham area if I want the ammenities and opportunities of a large multicultural city. The local color and easy way od life is very endearing and relaxing. I am considering movingthere to retire.

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Victor
Greenville, NC

Wilson is a BORING DUMP - 6/28/2007

The only good things about Wilson are, its closeness to bigger cities such as Greenville, about 25 minutes to the east, and Raleigh about 50 minutes to the west, Barton College, we are on I-95, and we have the original Parker's Barbecue. THOSE ARE THE ONLY GOOD THINGS ABOUT WILSON. This city sucks when compared to Greenville and Raleigh, there is nothing to do here and to shop or eat out at a decent restaurant or just do something entertaining, you have to drive to Greenville or Raleigh. Crime is really bad. Racial tension can at times be bad. The city is divided into a black section which is run down and poor and a white section which has large homes. There are no high paying jobs here. Again, if you want something that pays, you have to drive to Greenville or Raleigh and at times driving to Raleigh can be a pain because of the traffic along 64 and 440. Wilson is an arm pit of a city. Some people can't decide if we are in Eastern Carolina or in the Triangle though we are east of I-95, overall people are divided along college allegiance, UNC, ECU, NC State, and Duke and this carries over in to local politics and the reasons why we can't get our geographic location correct. I am looking to get out of here so if you want a better quality of life, head towards Greenville or Raleigh.

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