has written 2 SperlingViews. Currently, Bp is living in Atlanta, GA and has a little something to say:
|Life Stage:||Family with Children|
Charleston--What's it Like? Posted On: 5/10/2011 3:49:30 PM
The question should be: what are YOU like? Because if you have real intellectual curiosity; need artistic/cultural stimulation; desire to be around people who are multi-dimensional, truly smart and engaging, then Charleston probably is NOT for you. (There are some, but very hard to seek out.)
It is truly a gorgeous town--downtown Charleston, that is. Downtown restaurants keep getting better. Some cool festivals in Marion Square Park. And Kiawah Island--40 min away--is great for a vacation or second home.
But for people who are generally somewhat non-conformist and are more "of the world", you will find it difficult to be happy here. If you can manage to live here and use it as a "base"--go to NYC, San Fran or LA or Europe frequently, that's great. But that requires gobs of dough.
So for you artists, literary types, intellectual, spiritual seekers, it has a long, long way to go.
Wilson: Just My Thoughts Posted On: 1/8/2008 5:50:23 PM
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.)