Pluses and minuses of Wilmington area - 8/13/2008
I just moved to Wilmington 3 months ago. I lived one month in Monkey Junction and two now in Ogden.
Pluses thusfar, people are generally friendly if you can get them one on one. At church, at the beach, it feels like a small town, friendly, generous people. The Riverfront is cool, part of old downtown which is cool too. The beaches are far better than I expected. Within easy reach are two totally different beach town atmosphere's, Wrightsville and Carolina. Wrightsville is more touristy, upscale, busy, but nice. If you want to see amazing yachts, and hang around the vacationers (people on vacation are always happy) go here. Carolina and Kure Beaches, definitely more local. Free and easy parking, the boardwalk is a step back in time 30 years (putt-putt golf, awesome fudge shop, cheap arcade), laid back. Bottom line, the beaches are what make the Wilmington area special.
The minuses, traffic is bad for the size of the town, bad traffic makes people uptight, and you have some grumpy people. Most neighborhoods (over 10 years old) don't have sidewalks or community meeting places such as parks, playground, etc. Makes it hard to get to know your neighbors, take walks at night, or ride your bike and relax. Aside from the riverfront downtown, the actual town itself is no big deal, not really nice, series of old stripmalls, neighborhoods generally have no master plan. Not bad but nothing fancy. The amazing old homes in downtown are very expensive and are next to higher crime areas, don't get the impression that all Wilmington is the cover of the tourist magazine. Most of the affordable area is 1970's ranch style housing, fairly modest.
The thing that differentiates Wilmington from just any old town in the south is simply the water, the Cape Fear river and the ocean. Which is spectacular. So if you want your life to revolve around these things, this place is great, feels like I'm on vacation all the time. By the way, the comments about making a living here, it's true, very difficult, and the cost of living here is high, housing, groceries, etc, it's expensive. I brought my work with me. Most people I have met here have their own small business.[read more...]