Mixed feelings - 9/3/2008
I have lived here for 16 years. Yes, there are people who are missing teeth, and who are uneducated. Yes, there are extremely religious conservatives who want to push their own agenda. No, I didn't want to move here when my spouse received his job offer.
However, Augusta has grown on me. I have seen the downtown change for the better. There are new restaurants, bars and coffeeshops that didn't exist in 1992. Of course, we still have those chain restaurants on Washington Road (which could be called "Bun Row.") But we are getting more and more experimental cuisine. Unfortunately, sometimes they don't last long, because it does seem that most folks want Applebee's and the like.
There are several small theatre groups in Augusta, and we have several Choral societies and a ballet and orchestra. We have a history museum and an art museum. And yes, Atlanta is 2+ hours away via one of the most boring roads in the country, I-20. But Columbia, SC is only 1 hour away, and as a capital city with a university has much to offer in the way of arts events.
I wish the schools in Richmond County were better. However, we do have one of the nation's top middle/high schools: Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School. (Check it out if you don't believe me!)
Columbia County has a better tax base, and newer schools, but it is being overrun with strip malls. The houses in Columbia county are more expensive, for the most part. We live in Richmond County, and our child attends a magnet Elementary/Middle school, with which we are mostly pleased about.
What I would tell anyone is is considering moving here is this: One has to find there own community within the bigger picture. So whether that is a religious community, a Country Club community, or a Gay or Lesbian community, we have it all! Once we were able to connect with people through our Episcopal church, we began to feel more at home.
I do run into ignorant, uneducated, toothless people occasionally(and BTW, those characteristics are not synonymous,)but you know what? I've run into those kinds of people everywhere, in large and small cities! Just because Georgia has a reputation of ignorance doesn't mean that ignorance abounds everywhere.
Do I want to retire here? Probably not, because my heart is in North Carolina. But for now, it's okay. We supplement our child's education with trips to other places, cultural events, and books. We have friends here that I would be sad to leave.
So give Augusta/Richmond County a shot, or Columbia County for that matter. Find your niche and make a life![read more...]