Turns out, the South is a pretty nice place to live

posted at 6:40 pm on September 29, 2011 by Tina Korbe

When I first moved to Washington D.C., my dad jokingly warned me not to hype home too much. “If they find out just how nice we have it down here, all your new East Coast friends will want to move to the South and our cost of living will go up,” he teased. In my family, we like to say the South is the country’s best-kept secret. But, as it turns out, plenty of people have discovered it: During the last decade, the South was the fastest-growing region of the country.

In his column today on National Review Online, Lee Habeeb, vice president of content for Salem Radio Network, chronicles his own journey south, from New Jersey to Mississippi. Habeeb cites all the usual suspects as to what makes the South appealing, from the slower pace to the lower cost of living:

“Have you lost your mind?” is the refrain I heard over and over from friends up north when I told them the news. It was as if I’d just told them I was moving to Madagascar. …

I then told them about the quality of life in Oxford, and how far a dollar stretches. And the ease of doing business. When I show them pictures of my house, and get around to my property taxes, things get positively somber. On a home valued at $400,000, my tax tab is $2,000. My parents in New Jersey pay $12,000. And for a whole lot less house. On no land. When I remind friends about the pension liabilities they’ll be inheriting from the state unions, things get downright gloomy.

I can relate to everything Habeeb writes — but in reverse. When I moved to Silver Spring, Md., I had a hard time swallowing the price of rent — because it nearly matched my parents’ mortgage payment. And when I called the customer service departments of coast-based cable and electricity companies and got nowhere with the representatives who answered the phone, I found myself frequently saying in as kind a voice as I could muster, “I just moved here from Arkansas. And I’d really like to be able to tell my friends and family back home that y’all are just as friendly and helpful as Southerners have a reputation for being.” At every turn, in other words, I was reminded that I was a long way from where I grew up. (I was going to say, “a long way from the South,” but, technically, Maryland is still the South — it’s featured in Southern Living, after all. And wasn’t the nation’s capital situated on the Potomac precisely as a concession to the southern states?)

That’s not to say I didn’t experience a new kind of camaraderie with fellow Metro riders when we all faced a broken escalator out of the subway station. Nor is it to say D.C. didn’t substantially unravel my OCD by giving me a chance to observe it in the high achievers all around me. Above all, it’s not to say I wasn’t stimulated by new ideas and engaging conversation morning, noon and night. Coastal cities have their advantages, from public transportation and easier international travel to endless restaurant options and topic-rich, thought-provoking public lectures (seriously, one of my favorite elements of the city!). Especially in what I think of as “The Big Three” (NYC, L.A. and D.C.), living in a city might mean you pass famous and powerful people on the sidewalk, have a chance to voice your ideas to someone who might actually be able to do something about them, or wake up one morning to the startling realization that the distance between your dreams and reality isn’t actually so great as you thought it was.

But the point is, the magic of those “quintessential” cities has already been brought vividly to life for all of us — even those of us who’ve never lived in them — by books and TV shows, songs and movies. Hollywood and Broadway — plus all the most prominent recording and publishing companies — are located in those places.

The advantages of the South — especially the advantages of the 21st century South — are less well known (and, somehow, Southern coastal cities are frequently overlooked as major cities). Oh, there are books and TV shows, songs and movies about Dixie — but, as Habeeb points out, they’re often misleading caricatures or dwell too heavily on the South’s past. Little has been done to update the popular image of the region, which is now economically inviting and culturally reassuring — perhaps because those who spin popular images, from the president to junior reporters, haven’t taken the time to really understand the South for themselves.

That happens to be Habeeb’s thesis:

Americans, black and white alike, are moving in record numbers to a part of the country where taxes are low, unions are irrelevant, and people love their guns and their faith. And yet we have heard hardly a peep about this great migration from our nation’s public intellectuals.

Why? Because their ideological prejudices won’t permit them to admit the obvious. They’d prefer to focus their research on the pre-1970s South because they are more comfortable with — and more invested in — that old narrative, while this new one marches on right under their noses. And their keyboards.

And so it is with a sense of puzzlement that this Jersey boy turned Mississippian watches the decision making of President Obama. Millions of Americans may have voted for him in 2008, but millions have been voting with their feet, and he doesn’t seem the least bit interested in understanding why. …

He should ask Americans like me who’ve moved South why we did it. And he should be especially interested in understanding why African Americans are fleeing his home city of Chicago for the South, too.

If he dared to ask, he’d learn that we are all fleeing liberalism and chasing economic freedom, just as our immigrant parents and grandparents did. …

It turns out that white Yankee migrants like me, African American migrants from Chicago, and businessmen owners in Illinois and around the world, see something in the South that novelists, journalists, academics, and our current president cannot.

The future.

Truth is, all joking aside, it’s a shame to keep it secret.

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I was born in and grew up in the South, and it is a great place — except for those brutally hot and humid summers.

ddrintn on September 29, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Tina…

… please tell me you have a Southern accent.

(swoon)

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2011 at 6:44 PM

hey, is one of them painted states Colorado? Wyoming????//

/WH staffer

ted c on September 29, 2011 at 6:45 PM

May I say, in all sincerity, from the NW corner of the Magnolia State:

Well…duhhhhh.

kingsjester on September 29, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Truth is, all joking aside, it’s a shame to keep it secret.

Noooooooo … it must remain a secret!

darwin on September 29, 2011 at 6:47 PM

I didn’t find it particularly appealing on my one visit.

DarkCurrent on September 29, 2011 at 6:47 PM

The heat and the ginormous bugs ruin it though.

haner on September 29, 2011 at 6:47 PM

shhhhh…don’t give the NE peeps any ideas. i prefer they continue to think it is a racist, redneck, ignorant cesspool. That way they will stay where they are.

ramrants on September 29, 2011 at 6:47 PM

But do you have to learn how to play a banjo?

Kini on September 29, 2011 at 6:48 PM

I didn’t find it particularly appealing on my one visit.

DarkCurrent on September 29, 2011 at 6:47 PM

lol … one visit to where?

You have to hit the sticks to get the real flavor.

darwin on September 29, 2011 at 6:48 PM

Savannah, GA is the first “planned” city in the US. It has green squares every few blocks with lots of trees, Spanish moss, and tons of great history. It is certainly worth a visit.

ted c on September 29, 2011 at 6:49 PM

DarkCurrent on September 29, 2011 at 6:47 PM

The feeling may have been mutual.:)

kingsjester on September 29, 2011 at 6:49 PM

American by birth, Southern by the grace of God.

By the way, what’s the difference in a Yankee and a damm Yankee?

Yankees only come to visit.

NoFanofLibs on September 29, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Besides the fact that everyone is obese, nothing is wrong with the south.

hanzblinx on September 29, 2011 at 6:50 PM

Truth is, all joking aside, it’s a shame to keep it secret.

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! We don’t want anyone else to know, especially about OXFORD!!

flyfisher on September 29, 2011 at 6:51 PM

“Have you lost your mind?” is the refrain I heard over and over from friends up north when I told them the news. It was as if I’d just told them I was moving to Madagascar. …

Madagascar is actually a pretty nice place to live too. This offhand denigration of Africa needs to stop. You can make your dumb point without putting other people down.

Chudi on September 29, 2011 at 6:51 PM

I have some friends who moved to Overland Park, KS. Their quality of life has improved so much, I’m envious. The schools are excellent and the streets safe and more bang for your buck housing wise.

Blake on September 29, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Madagascar is actually a pretty nice place to live too. This offhand denigration of Africa needs to stop. You can make your dumb point without putting other people down.

Chudi on September 29, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Oh dear God.

You can also make your dumb point without being rude.

darwin on September 29, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Tina…

… please tell me you have a Southern accent.

(swoon)

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2011 at 6:44 PM

She got nice voice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSK3zrgKau4

She’s the blond one…

the_nile on September 29, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Obama and the Democrats hate the South because all the states are right to work. That’s why his pro-union buddies on the NLRB are so desperate to keep Boing from opening a plant in South Carolina.

By the way–there are 8 states with over 20% African-American population. All are in the South, unless you don’t want to count Maryland. (Also the only one of the 8 not right to work.) And all this pro-union stuff the Democrats throw out to try to keep businesses from relocating south of Mason-Dixon will, if it succeeds, hurt the employment opportunities of African-Americnas in the part of the country where they most predominate. Obviously, our first black President would sell out working class southern blacks in a heartbeat to please his union friends.

radjah shelduck on September 29, 2011 at 6:54 PM

I didn’t find it particularly appealing on my one visit.

DarkCurrent on September 29, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Perhaps you didn’t visit the right place…..

I wouldn’t trade my old Kentucky home for the world.

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 6:54 PM

I wish people would quit moving down here, i’m in Texas and the city i live in just isn’t the same anymore, ten years ago it was a great place to live and now it’s an overcrowded h*ll hole covered in graffiti and crime is through the roof, so yeah, stay up north please.

clearbluesky on September 29, 2011 at 6:54 PM

I’d prefer nices places DON’T get the publicity. Colorado is getting royally screwed up by the libs moving there, away from the other states they have already screwed up.

PackerBronco on September 29, 2011 at 6:54 PM

There’s also another dynamic going on… “half-backs”….

There’s a lot of people from the north who retired to Florida initially, then changed their mind, and are moving half-way back North up to the hills/mountains of Northern Georgia, upland South Carolina, western North-Carolina, and East Tennessee…

The mountains moderate the heat (about 10 degrees cooler) though it doesn’t help the humidity. They also provide four distinct seasons, which you won’t find in Florida or along the Gulf…

OnlyOrange on September 29, 2011 at 6:55 PM

You chose to live in the People’s Republic of MD when VA is right there? Hmmm /

changer1701 on September 29, 2011 at 6:55 PM

But do you have to learn how to play a banjo?

Kini on September 29, 2011 at 6:48 PM

No, but be careful on them river camping trips.

I love the the South primarily for one reason and that is they have kept the US from going full on socialist. Not to start trouble but I think it is funny that I met a lot of really fine fellows from the South while I was in the army—-the NE not so much.

arnold ziffel on September 29, 2011 at 6:56 PM

shhhhh…don’t give the NE peeps any ideas. i prefer they continue to think it is a racist, redneck, ignorant cesspool. That way they will stay where they are.

ramrants on September 29, 2011 at 6:47 PM

You got that right!

Miss Korbe, please stop. We like it the way it is down here. The more you, and others, talk up the south, the more like the north it will become.

Do you not love the south?

cozmo on September 29, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Love the South, but I can’t handle the heat & humidity.

After living in various places in the US, I found the perfect spot.

Not going to tell where, but suffice to say I have a trout stream on my property, elk grazing in the backyard, 330 days a year of sunshine, no humidity, low taxes and no crime.

Norwegian on September 29, 2011 at 6:56 PM

I love living in Charleston, SC. People are genuinely friendly here. Need to turn left? Yeah, we’ll let ya out (and the person turning left will give a hearty “Thank you!” wave!). Need to skip ahead at the grocery store because you only have 5 items and I have a buggy full? Sure, please, skip ahead of me. Yes, we hold the door for guys and gals. We say, “please”; “thank you”; “yes, mam”; “yes, sir”.

SouthernGent on September 29, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Born in the South, have always lived in the South, and actually about to buy a home in the South.

Never want to leave it and, hopefully, should never have to.

teke184 on September 29, 2011 at 6:57 PM

There’s a lot of people from the north who retired to Florida initially, then changed their mind, and are moving half-way back North up to the hills/mountains of Northern Georgia, upland South Carolina, western North-Carolina, and East Tennessee…

The mountains moderate the heat (about 10 degrees cooler) though it doesn’t help the humidity. They also provide four distinct seasons, which you won’t find in Florida or along the Gulf…

OnlyOrange on September 29, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Yep. A lot of that going on in southern GA–near St Simons Island (go visit that place, love the beach, the town) and Jekyll Island. I’ve spoken with a few northerners that had considered FL, then saw the GA coast and said, “let’s stay here!”

ted c on September 29, 2011 at 6:58 PM

I live in Baltimore County, MD and moved from Florida…every time I see the taxes on my paycheck and can’t help but cry…

:’(

ujorge on September 29, 2011 at 6:59 PM

I remember I brought this up to resident troll crr6 several months ago, and he/she refused to acknowledge it. People like crr6 are followers and though New York City is the big apple today, it is rotten to its core and will not last to tomorrow.

And yes, keep those damn blue state liberals OUT. Except me, I am a staunch Conservative working hard to get whatever family I can get to head south (or West).

Daemonocracy on September 29, 2011 at 6:59 PM

I love living in Charleston, SC. People are genuinely friendly here. Need to turn left? Yeah, we’ll let ya out (and the person turning left will give a hearty “Thank you!” wave!). Need to skip ahead at the grocery store because you only have 5 items and I have a buggy full? Sure, please, skip ahead of me. Yes, we hold the door for guys and gals. We say, “please”; “thank you”; “yes, mam”; “yes, sir”.

SouthernGent on September 29, 2011 at 6:56 PM

I like Charleston a lot, but I love Savannah, GA.

ted c on September 29, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Savannah, GA is the first “planned” city in the US. It has green squares every few blocks with lots of trees, Spanish moss, and tons of great history. It is certainly worth a visit.

ted c on September 29, 2011 at 6:49 PM

There’s just something about planned cities that deadens the soul though. Take Chicago for instance, roads are entirely paved on a grid; looks impressive in the air, but on the ground aside from the Loop and some ultra posh areas, it’s horribly monotonous and drab. I’d take the windy, narrow cow-path roads of New England any day over the monotony of driving in Chicago.

haner on September 29, 2011 at 7:00 PM

You have to hit the sticks to get the real flavor.

darwin on September 29, 2011 at 6:48 PM

Alabama. I’m told it’s the worst part though.

DarkCurrent on September 29, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Southerners are definitely nicer, compared to “Minnesota Nice,” which is just sarcasm for passive-aggressiveness.

IR-MN on September 29, 2011 at 7:00 PM

I was born in and grew up in the South, and it is a great place — except for those brutally hot and humid summers.

ddrintn on September 29, 2011 at 6:43 PM

LMAO!

When it’s really hot down here I remind myself of the FIRST PARAGRAPH of the Mississippi Declaration of Causes of Secession …

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun.

Paraphrased: “What do you expect us to do? It’s too DAMN HOT down here for a white man to work!”

LOL

HondaV65 on September 29, 2011 at 7:01 PM

I was born in and grew up in the South, and it is a great place — except for those brutally hot and humid summers.

ddrintn on September 29, 2011 at 6:43 PM

LMAO!

When it’s really hot down here I remind myself of the FIRST PARAGRAPH of the Mississippi Declaration of Causes of Secess1on …

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun.

Paraphrased: “What do you expect us to do? It’s too DAMN HOT down here for a white man to work!”

LOL

HondaV65 on September 29, 2011 at 7:01 PM

I wish people would quit moving down here, i’m in Texas and the city i live in just isn’t the same anymore, ten years ago it was a great place to live and now it’s an overcrowded h*ll hole covered in graffiti and crime is through the roof, so yeah, stay up north please.
clearbluesky on September 29, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Yup. I’m not sure Tina should welcome a flood of attention here – with the attention comes a steady stream of crap.

whatcat on September 29, 2011 at 7:01 PM

American by birth, Southern by the grace of God.

By the way, what’s the difference in a Yankee and a damm Yankee?

Yankees only come to visit.

NoFanofLibs on September 29, 2011 at 6:49 PM

So, how did y’all determine where you was to be born?

Galt2009 on September 29, 2011 at 7:02 PM

I wanna go check out the south.

But I do love Long Island (aside from property prices/taxes/liberals). A good seasonal variety, water, farms, etc.

blatantblue on September 29, 2011 at 7:02 PM

I live in NC and love it and the South in general. Life is just less hectic and you actually get to know your neighbors. However, I’ve been to great place all over this country. Maine, NH, VT, WY, MT, OR, WA and even CA are some of the most beautiful places in the world. Friendly people are everywhere.

Having said that…don’t make us sound too great. I’d hate to see dems and unions destroy everything. The cost of living and taxes are low for a reason!

ReaganWasRight on September 29, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Not going to tell where, but suffice to say I have a trout stream on my property, elk grazing in the backyard, 330 days a year of sunshine, no humidity, low taxes and no crime.

Norwegian on September 29, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Sounds a lot like Norway, almost.

DarkCurrent on September 29, 2011 at 7:03 PM

I’d take the windy, narrow cow-path roads of New England any day over the monotony of driving in Chicago.

haner on September 29, 2011 at 7:00 PM

I do like the narrow, cobbled streets through Boston (walking them, that is). Savannah’s planned area isn’t that large and the squares are so unique with trees, statues and other stuff that its not too monotonous. Oh, and pubs too!

ted c on September 29, 2011 at 7:03 PM

I grew up in NY and went to school in Atlanta. Atlanta is a great town! Since then I have lived in coastal CA (Lompoc), LA, CO Springs and Raleigh. I’ve never felt like CA or Raleigh was home, although work has kept me here in NC for the last dozen years. I miss CO Springs most of all (I was there for 10years). CO just felt “right” for me. I don’t know if I would want to go back now though. While not too cold, the snow accumulation is more than I would want now. I’m looking to FL for my next and hopefully last locale in a few years.

Of the Northern cities, Boston appeals the most to me. My brother lived there for years and it’s a really nice place with surprisingly friendly people. NYers are cool, but in a different way. They are so crowded and adapt by living inside their heads and not paying attention to those around them. I found Bostonians to be much more outgoing in general.

MJBrutus on September 29, 2011 at 7:03 PM

wouldn’t trade my old Kentucky home for the world.

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Kentucky is nice. Good temperate weather, four seasons, beautiful hills, lots to do involving nature. Lived in Lexington for a few years, before it started really expanding. Not really the South though.

haner on September 29, 2011 at 7:04 PM

The heat and the ginormous bugs ruin it though.

haner on September 29, 2011 at 6:47 PM

That’s part of the charm.

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 7:05 PM

living in a city might mean you pass famous and powerful people on the sidewalk, have a chance to voice your ideas to someone who might actually be able to do something about them,

You may have needed to live in a city to do this in years past, but, I don’t know that it makes much difference now.

Perhaps I’m ignorant of how many easily approachable powerful people there are wandering around the big cities. My guess is that whether you live in the same zipcode as them or a world away, you’re not going to get access to them. Unless, of course, you are famous or powerful yourself. If that were the case though, you could live in the country and still pick up the phone to get in touch with the other powerful people.

I lived in NYC for 4 years and LA for 8. In all that time, the closest I’ve come to ‘power’ was serving coffee to Governor Schwarzenegger and the closest I’ve come to famous was serving coffee to Ben Affleck. The closest I’ve come to being sick was running in to Janeane Garofalo while crossing the street.

JadeNYU on September 29, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Sounds a lot like Norway, almost.

DarkCurrent on September 29, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Well, aside from the sunshine part. Norway would be lucky to get 50 days of sunshine per year.

Norwegian on September 29, 2011 at 7:06 PM

best place to live in the South is Virginia. I’ve lived in NC, GA, TX and VA. VA is really the best.

ted c on September 29, 2011 at 7:07 PM

. Lived in Lexington for a few years, before it started really expanding. Not really the South though.

haner on September 29, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Lexington is beautiful, but too urban or something like that. I have property over in Western Kentucky on Kentucky Lake.

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 7:09 PM

I Love the South. (Won’t tell you where exactly, because we don’t want anymore flatland foreigners). When you meet a car on the road, the driver waves at you with all five fingers.

BitterClinger on September 29, 2011 at 7:10 PM

I live in Baltimore County, MD and moved from Florida…every time I see the taxes on my paycheck and can’t help but cry…
:’(
ujorge on September 29, 2011 at 6:59 PM

You should move to Harford. It’s blowing up now with BRAC, but it’s a much nicer county.

Fezzik on September 29, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 7:09 PM

I’m trying to convince the husband to get some land to live on in Kentucky or Tennessee.

He’s a SoCal boy though and isn’t sure he can survive without an ocean.

*sigh*

I keep thinking he’ll change his mind each month when he writes a rent check for our studio apartment that’s larger than our mortgage would be for 30 acres.

So far, no luck.

JadeNYU on September 29, 2011 at 7:11 PM

But do you have to learn how to play a banjo?

Kini on September 29, 2011 at 6:48 PM

Accoring to the South’s Visitor and Tourism Board…

… that is a “Yes!”

/

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2011 at 7:12 PM

When I first moved to Washington D.C., my dad jokingly warned me not to hype home too much. “If they find out just how nice we have it down here, all your new East Coast friends will want to move to the South and our cost of living will go up,”

He was correct. I live in Western New York and all the commie teachers in this area all move down to South Carolina when they retire…

Caper29 on September 29, 2011 at 7:16 PM

I lived in NYC for 4 years and LA for 8. In all that time, the closest I’ve come to ‘power’ was serving coffee to Governor Schwarzenegger and the closest I’ve come to famous was serving coffee to Ben Affleck. The closest I’ve come to being sick was running in to Janeane Garofalo while crossing the street.

JadeNYU on September 29, 2011 at 7:05 PM

You should have backed up and run into her again. You didn’t get the job done.

sandspur on September 29, 2011 at 7:16 PM

NoFanofLibs on September 29, 2011 at 6:49 PM

So, how did y’all determine where you where born?

Galt2009 on September 29, 2011 at 7:16 PM

OnlyOrange on September 29, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Damn half backs. Leave us alone!!

Big Orange on September 29, 2011 at 7:17 PM

Move along……nothing to see here! hey look over there!!!!! its Kalifornia…………
Dang now the secret is out!

grapeknutz on September 29, 2011 at 7:19 PM

The most southern point in the United States is….?

Kini on September 29, 2011 at 7:22 PM

JadeNYU on September 29, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Kentucky Lake is beautiful but man is life slow down there. Not a lot to do unless you’re into horses, drinking, fishing, hunting or cow tipping. Call for a plumber during crappie or deer season and you could wait forever.

Your husband would probably go nuts!!!

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 7:22 PM

Chudi on September 29, 2011 at 6:51 PM

For cryin’ out loud, put a shoe in it already.

galvestonian on September 29, 2011 at 7:22 PM

I keep thinking he’ll change his mind each month when he writes a rent check for our studio apartment that’s larger than our mortgage would be for 30 acres.

So far, no luck.

JadeNYU on September 29, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Yeah I just don’t understand the shoebox mentality. We live in a huge country and now with the Internet, why are millions of people clustered in big cities working 60 hrs a week to spend half of that for the privilege of living in a shoebox? I was in Japan this summer and the Japanese have the same ant-like mentality, slaving away in a cubicle, then taking a packed like sardine subway back home to a shoebox apartment that costs an arm and leg.

I always believe that man is civilized by space and nature, not by rathole conditions. I live in New England where land is expensive, but outside the college ghettos, people still like to live in big houses with yards here. NIMBYism in New England has prevented a huge increase in housing density.

haner on September 29, 2011 at 7:23 PM

By the way–there are 8 states with over 20% African-American population. All are in the South, unless you don’t want to count Maryland.

radjah shelduck on September 29, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Does NASCAR fan ernesto know about this?

In fact, there is a huge swath along the lower Mississippi River where African-Americans make up between 50% and 85% of the total local population.

Del Dolemonte on September 29, 2011 at 7:24 PM

I traveled to Atlanta a number of times on business a few years back, staying with friends just north of there most times. When I ventured on my own in downtown Atlanta, I have to say that every single person, from every walk of life, was friendly, polite and so helpful. When I mentioned this to my friend’s wife, she said, in a southern drawl, “Y’all have to understand. We have an expectation down here.” I melted.

Patrick S on September 29, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Tina…

… please tell me you have a Southern accent.

(swoon)

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2011 at 6:44 PM

From now until forever, when ever this person comments on Tina’s threads, you must adjust your thinking 7% to the left…..(it’s called a swoon-curve)

Rovin on September 29, 2011 at 7:26 PM

It’s the TAXES stupid.

KMC1 on September 29, 2011 at 7:27 PM

The South:
Bugs. Humidity. Bugs. Big bugs. Huuuumidity. Uuuugh.

I’ve been to Tennessee and Kentucky (Oklahoma, too, although I wasn’t sure if it was defined as the “south” or “west”…I see Texas as the west, but maybe that’s after too many Zane Grey/Louis L’Amour novels). Beautiful states. Absolutely gorgeous. Wonderful people. Buttery accents. Slower pace of life. Loooooove visiting there. Wouldn’t want to live there if you paid me. Because of the….bugs…and humidity. Uuuugh.

‘Nother best kept secret? Eastern Washington. It’s dryer, hot summers without the humidity, lower property tax (just looked it up–for a $143,200 house the yearly average is $1,380 in Yakima county). Scenery is varied–wheat fields, pine forests, ancient volcanic lava beds that now look like sage covered hills. Just a hop, skip and a jump over the mtns to wetter but greener and prettier Western Washington, Puget Sound and the ocean.

But there are rattle snakes and black widow spiders, sooooo….

theotherone on September 29, 2011 at 7:29 PM

It’s the TAXES stupid.

KMC1 on September 29, 2011 at 7:27 PM

New Hampshire has zero sales tax and zero income tax. Even garbage services in most towns are privatized.

haner on September 29, 2011 at 7:30 PM

except for those brutally hot and humid summers.

ddrintn on September 29, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Right. The people are nice in the South, and it’s wonderful to visit if you get to spend most of your time in front of the air conditioner. (DC is no better in the humidity department, but with fewer nice people.)

The northern Rockies are where it’s at.

acasilaco on September 29, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Chudi on September 29, 2011 at 6:51 PM

For cryin’ out loud, put a shoe in it already.

galvestonian on September 29, 2011 at 7:22 PM

Madagascar has gone downhill quite a bit in just the past 2 years. So much so that the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has renewed their travel advisory.

The situation in the centre of Antananarivo remains unstable and potentially volatile. Visitors should avoid any crowds or political gatherings which may occur. The Ambohijatovo, Lac Anosy, Antaninarenina and Analakely areas, as well as military barracks, are potential flash points and have been subject to such gatherings and outbreaks of violence. You should remain vigilant and maintain a low profile while moving around, in particular if travelling alone.

-snip-

You should remain alert to the possibility of acts of disorder by elements of the security forces and avoid any actions that might antagonise them, e.g. taking photographs of them. You should also carry ID at all times and avoid travelling at night. If night travel is essential, do so with care and lock vehicle doors.

-snip-

In the period 31 March 2010 – 31 October 2010 a number of British citizens were robbed of money and passports. There is a significant risk of crime in Madagascar.

Del Dolemonte on September 29, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Phil Harris with his classic “That’s What I Like About The South”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4kkjzdYOok

Del Dolemonte on September 29, 2011 at 7:33 PM

Savannah, GA is the first “planned” city in the US. It has green squares every few blocks with lots of trees, Spanish moss, and tons of great history. It is certainly worth a visit.

ted c on September 29, 2011 at 6:49 PM

My current job involves wooing folks from other parts of the world to come here and live. It’s not perfect by a long shot, but human decency is still a going commodity in Savannah.

truth2power on September 29, 2011 at 7:35 PM

“Have you lost your mind?” is the refrain I heard over and over from friends up north

Bless their hearts…

d1carter on September 29, 2011 at 7:36 PM

It’s the South. The magical land in which the Constitution is the basis for law, and the Ten Commandments and the Gospels are the basis for the Constittution.

It is the Land of Values, the Land of Helping Hands, of Live And Let Live (within the Values), of mighty-fine whiskey, beautiful women, fine fresh and salt water fishing, the best turkey hunting anywhere, fabulous horses, miles upon miles of clean beaches, clean water, onshore and offshore oil and gas rigs, pipelines, refineries, huge harbors, a myriad of rail lines, the best airports in the country,
and it’s right next-door to — wait — no it’s not. Never mind.

The only caveat is to enjoy it for what it is, and for what it’s becoming, without bringing your baggage along with you.

That, and the best of the South doesn’t have any sidewalks.

If you’re comin’ on down, bring money.

Farmer on September 29, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Your husband would probably go nuts!!!

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 7:22 PM

As long as there’s a library full of philosophy and linguistics texts, he’d be fine. It’s just a mental thing with not having an ocean nearby.

As for me, I’m the girl that never grew out of wanting a ‘pony’, so, the slower pace would work for me.

haner on September 29, 2011 at 7:23 PM

Exactly!

The ocean is nice. But, it’s not $1100 per month for a studio apartment nice.

JadeNYU on September 29, 2011 at 7:38 PM

best place to live in the South is Virginia. I’ve lived in NC, GA, TX and VA. VA is really the best.

ted c on September 29, 2011 at 7:07 PM

I agree.

I am in South Central VA and we have the lowest taxes in the state (a third of the reference above) and NO traffic lights in the entire County. I love it! Plus, the heat is more moderate than in the deep South and winters aren’t as brutal as up North.

Keep it on the down low though. It seems I’ve seen a lot of Yankees moving here the last few years.

BierManVA on September 29, 2011 at 7:38 PM

You’re welcome.

- The civil rights movement.

ernesto on September 29, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Bless their hearts…

d1carter on September 29, 2011 at 7:36 PM

LOL

My dad spent a year working in GA after the Delphi plant he was working at closed.

He said the women in the south would say some of the meanest things about each other, but, as long as they said it sweetly and followed it up with a ‘bless her/his heart’, all was forgiven.

JadeNYU on September 29, 2011 at 7:39 PM

The most southern point in the United States is….?

Kini on September 29, 2011 at 7:22 PM

Two blocks south of Kuhio and Paoakalani, in Havai’i

DarkCurrent on September 29, 2011 at 7:40 PM

I didn’t find it particularly appealing on my one visit.

DarkCurrent on September 29, 2011 at 6:47 PM

We were just putting on to keep you from coming back.

stvnscott on September 29, 2011 at 7:40 PM

haner on September 29, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Kinda like “free” health care right?

Property taxes rival New Jersey, and you’ve got to deal with winter. But overall, Cow Hampshah isn’t one all bad.

KMC1 on September 29, 2011 at 7:41 PM

ernesto on September 29, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Hey everybody….Ernesto has arrived!

At least he’s trying a new tactic on this thread. Instead of just claiming the South sucks he’s trying to claim it’s only nice because of the civil rights movement (which I’m guessing he’s going to also try to pretend was courtesy of the North).

JadeNYU on September 29, 2011 at 7:41 PM

New Hampshire has zero sales tax and zero income tax. Even garbage services in most towns are privatized.

haner on September 29, 2011 at 7:30 PM

What is the property tax rate like?

BierManVA on September 29, 2011 at 7:42 PM

No way will I move down there, despite all the invitations I’ve received. Visiting once in a while is fine enough.

Sorry, no sale.

Christien on September 29, 2011 at 7:42 PM

JadeNYU on September 29, 2011 at 7:41 PM

Well, to be fair, the only reason it’s even remotely habitable is because the country took the time out to squash southern racism over and over again.

ernesto on September 29, 2011 at 7:44 PM

The most southern point in the United States is….?

Kini on September 29, 2011 at 7:22 PM

Two blocks south of Kuhio and Paoakalani, in Havai’i

DarkCurrent on September 29, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Umm, no. It’s Southpoint on the Big Island. There are no ‘blocks’ there. Been there, very pretty.

BierManVA on September 29, 2011 at 7:46 PM

No way will I move down there, despite all the invitations I’ve received. Visiting once in a while is fine enough.

Sorry, no sale.

Christien on September 29, 2011 at 7:42 PM

Bless yore heart, ‘n’ thank you for considering us. We cert’ny do appreciate it.

Do well now, hear?

Farmer on September 29, 2011 at 7:46 PM

We were just putting on to keep you from coming back.

stvnscott on September 29, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Well it worked. I flew right back to Honolulu.

DarkCurrent on September 29, 2011 at 7:47 PM

Umm, no. It’s Southpoint on the Big Island. There are no ‘blocks’ there. Been there, very pretty.

BierManVA on September 29, 2011 at 7:46 PM

I was very close.

DarkCurrent on September 29, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Well, to be fair, the only reason it’s even remotely habitable is because the country took the time out to squash southern racism over and over again.

ernesto on September 29, 2011 at 7:44 PM

You ain’t spent even ten minutes with the locals down here, have you?

Seems like there’s an awful lot you got to learn yet.

First thing, you might not wanna let yer butt get much higher than yer head.

Bless yore heart.

Farmer on September 29, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Shhhhhhh!

(Don’t be a bucket-mouth; we’re tryin’ to keep it close to the vest.)

hillbillyjim on September 29, 2011 at 7:50 PM

wouldn’t trade my old Kentucky home for the world.

Knucklehead on September 29, 2011 at 6:54 PM

My late grandmother was from Kentucky and on a marathon road trip this summer from Houston to Portland ME, we went through it. Beautiful. There were people from a local church at one of the rest stops not far after you cross the state line with free coffee and donuts. Nice way to welcome people to the state.

TxAnn56 on September 29, 2011 at 7:51 PM

Shhhhhhh!

(Don’t be a bucket-mouth; we’re tryin’ to keep it close to the vest.)

hillbillyjim on September 29, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Whuffo? They ain’t b’lieved us in over a hunnert-fitty years. Don’t think they’re gonna start now, do ya?

Farmer on September 29, 2011 at 7:52 PM

JadeNYU on September 29, 2011 at 7:41 PM

Well, to be fair, the only reason it’s even remotely habitable is because the country took the time out to squash southern racism over and over again.

ernesto on September 29, 2011 at 7:44 PM

There you go, applying a typecast behavior to an entire region based on a small sample size.

Do you remember what they call that?

It’s a word the Left loves to project on others incessantly – can you tell us all what that word is?

*Jeopardy theme*

[You can phrase it as a question if you so desire.]

Chip on September 29, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Well, to be fair, the only reason it’s even remotely habitable is because the country took the time out to squash southern racism over and over again.

ernesto on September 29, 2011 at 7:44 PM

How long are you going to keep pretending abolition and the civil rights movement belong to democrats (the party of the KKK)?

stvnscott on September 29, 2011 at 7:55 PM

There you go, applying a typecast behavior to an entire region based on a small sample size.

Do you remember what they call that?

It’s a word the Left loves to project on others incessantly – can you tell us all what that word is?

*Jeopardy theme*

[You can phrase it as a question if you so desire.]

Chip on September 29, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Oh, he’s jes’ bein’ a duck with a sore foot.

Farmer on September 29, 2011 at 7:55 PM

best place to live in the South is Virginia. I’ve lived in NC, GA, TX and VA. VA is really the best.

ted c on September 29, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Amen, brother! Four distinct seasons, just like God intended.

stefanite on September 29, 2011 at 7:56 PM

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