General Question

ArabianKnightress's avatar

Would you move to Georgia?

Asked by ArabianKnightress (670points) November 12th, 2013

Tell me some of the things you like and dislike about Georgia. How hard do you think it would be for a New Yorker to get used to the way of life in Georgia? Thank you.

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69 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Really? I think the weather would be huge.

Kardamom's avatar

According to one of my close friends, who is from Georgia, but currently lives in California, he says there is still a lot of veiled racism, and a lot more not so veiled homophobia in Georgia (and most of the deep South). That’s why he left.

Seek's avatar

The state?

Nah, I don’t want to have to learn the language.

Seriously, the accent in rural Georgia is ridiculous. Jeff Foxworthy is from Atlanta. He speaks the Queen’s English compared to people outside the city.

jaytkay's avatar

Georgia is not one thing.

I’m a middle-aged straight white liberal Northerner and my initial response is, “Oh hell no”.

But I have a 30-something gay black professional acquaintance, raised in New Jersey and a 10-year California resident, who left Los Angeles for Atlanta. He loves GA.

vjbeau's avatar

I’m a NYC guy and lived in Atlanta for 19 years. It sucks. Southerners act polite but talk behind your back. Bottom line is when my son started college I left my girlfriend and drove non-stop back to Queens. It’s been 10 years now and I am still so happy I left. I am not a racist by any means but if you are black, Atlanta is Mecca.

hummingbug3's avatar

well…..I like GA :/ granted, I’m from here but still…

And the accent thing is a stereotype. Seriously, the accent is not that strong. Jeff Foxworthy DEFINITELY sounds like someone straight out the country.

I think it depends on where you live. Different areas are awesome, others not so much. Just gotta know your way around. I actually find people here to be more cordial than people up north. That being said, I do think there is some veiled racism still left around. But if you’re white, it’s probably not much of an issue then `shrug`

~just as a disclosure, this is coming from a lighter skinned african american woman~

CWOTUS's avatar

The way to answer that question is for you to answer a question first: “How are the people where you live?” (I don’t expect a response; it’s a somewhat rhetorical question.)

Maybe you’ve heard this one. Pretty much however you respond to the question is what you’ll find in Georgia. I’ve lived all around the USA (not in Georgia, but in NC and FL, among many others farther removed geographically), and traveled a bit in the world, and I can tell you that’s true. You’ll find “more of the same” wherever you go.

On the other hand, I like the seasons in New England, a lot more than I liked all of them when I was much younger. I don’t think I want to move again. But I liked NC and even FL when I lived in each.

Coloma's avatar

Why not? You have to have an experience to know anything for certain from your own perspective.
I’m a California girl and I have always wanted to travel to/ maybe live in the south. I don’t like heat and humidity but I love peaches, hound dogs southern accents, antebellum homes and magnolias, maybe I am a re-incarnated southerner and just don’t know it. lol
Singing Gladys Knight, Midnight train to Georgia :-p

vjbeau's avatar

don’t get me wrong. I have many redneck friends down there that I love. I wasn’t miserable, I was just NOT a southerner. I even had a pickup truck. My heart is in NYC and theater, not BBQ.

zenvelo's avatar

Ypu’re talking Georgia, US, not Georgia formerly SSR?

I don’t think I’d fare well in Georgia, too damn conservative. And this is all timely as the company I work for is being taken over tomorrow by an Atlanta based company.

Haleth's avatar

Savannah is amazing and it’s in my short list of places to move in the next 5 years.

lx102303's avatar

Hi there ArabianKnightress !
I think Georgia would be a good place to live although I’ve never lived there but I’ve known a few and they seemed to be quite fond of Georgia . There is a good bit of humidity and “Chiggers” ~ see link .
I wouldn’t say anything good about the Civil War Union General William Tecumseh Sherman if I were you .
All in all , its probably as good as anywhere else to live .
P.S. Y’all need to larn how ta talk likah Suth-nuh ! lol (My accent ain’t much bettuh!)

ragingloli's avatar

No, of course not. The country is torn apart by civil war, and then you have to fear Russians invading.

JamesHarrison's avatar

Following are good & bad things in Georgia:

Good things:
-Number of different varieties of restaurants & Lots of shopping malls.
-Women with “big hair.”
-Very short, mild winters.
-Relatively inexpensive housing, whether buying OR renting.

Bad things:
-Summer heat and humidity.
-Traffic is horrible there.
-Smog, it is because everyone has a car and drives because the Atlanta area is HUGE.
-No booze sales on Sunday

ucme's avatar

One word… Augusta

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’m a former northerner who lives outside of Atlanta. I’ve been here 20+ years. Ask me anything,

tedibear's avatar

Hey AK – good to see you here.

Life in Georgia will depend on where you live. If you move to a city your transition will be less difficult. By city I mean Atlanta, August or Savannah. (I may be forgetting one or two, but those are the ones that stick in my head.) I moved to a town in central Georgia many years ago and the transition was hard for me.

The difficulties:
– Very fake politeness towards “yankees”
– Slooooooow service in places like grocery stores
– The heat and humidity from about June through October is killer. Unless you like that kind of weather

I wouldn’t go back unless I had to, but your mileage will vary.

OneBadApple's avatar

As newlyweds, for two months my wife and I lived in Grovetown, GA just outside Fort Gordon (not too far from Augusta). Rented a trailer home from a Mr. Bussey, who was pleasant enough, though he spit a lot of tobacco and I couldn’t understand half of what said.

The people next to us had a dog tied-up outside that barked most of the night, which wasn’t helpful when I had to get up at 5:00 a.m. every morning to make reveille. And there is nothing quite like the gag-inducing odor from a paper mill wafting in the air to begin your day when you step outside each morning.

Yeah, Georgia is great. Thanks for the memories, Mr. Bussey.

Good times….

OneBadApple's avatar

OK @elbanditoroso….Who played ‘Lumpy’ on “Leave It To Beaver” ?

hearkat's avatar

Personally, I would not move further south than my current home state of NJ, primarily because of climate – I live autumn, winter and spring. I do not like summer much.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@OneBadApple – Frank Bank, of course. I watched it when I was a kid,

OneBadApple's avatar

A +, my friend.

Good job.

hummingbug3's avatar

@JamesHarrison actually you’re wrong. They sell alcohol on Sundays now.

sooooo confused about all the stereotypes here lol. I live near Buckhead and it’s similar to other cities I’ve been to. It’s all about “where” in GA. Seriously. There are lots of conservative areas but liberal ones too. The experience is really what you make it

JLeslie's avatar

That’s like asking would you move to NYS. What part of Georgia? Atlanta is different than the smaller towns.

If you are talking Atlanta, I never get the feeling I want to live there when I visit there, but I would move there if a really good job opportunity came up for my husband or me. Nothing very negative about Atlanta, just some cities I feel immediately like they fit me, and Atlanta is not one of them. But, at this point I probably would not love to live in NYC either, although I would do it for a few years.

I was raised by people who were raised in the Bronx and I grew up in Weschester County and outside of DC in Maryland. As an adult I mostly lived in FL, but I also lived outside of Memphis, TN for 7 years and lived in Raleigh, NC for almost 2. The south is different. There are positives and negatives about it from my yankee perspective. You need to be open to different customs. Be ready to observe a separation of the races to some extent (this might be less likely in Atlanta, I don’t know). It’s mostly an economic separation in the southern cities I lived in, but it is apparent and a little disheartening.

In Memphis people were very social, it was wonderful. Many potlucks and wine tasting parties, and just getting together with friends in general happened a lot.

In Raleigh I was never quite comfortable. I was just in Pinehurst, NC a year ago after not being there in a while. Went to the country club and all the white members were being served by the black wait staff. It makes me feel weird. I was there before the whole Paula Deen fiasco with her wanting black waiters dressed in white. The jobs actually pay quite well, and you could argue they discriminate against white people for those jobs, but still the “picture” of it is so odd to me. I don’t notice that when I am in Atlanta, but maybe other parts of GA it occurs more, not sure.

They don’t call that part of the country the bible belt for nothing. Christianity is everywhere, in their vernacular, in the sightline, and in the politics. Atlanta being more diverse this might be to a lesser degree. I know there is a decent size group of Jews there and Catholics.

Politics tends to be devided by race. I was a white democrat, fairly rare in the parts of the south I was in, except for gay people and those very involved with the arts. But, again in Atlanta, or some of the Atlanta suburbs, the city is so big you probably find everything. I have four friends who moved to the Atlanta area and 3 out of 4 were/are happy there.

I missed ethnic food and people identifying with their cultural background when I lived in the south. Living in the northeast almost everyone I knew was second or third generation American, were easy going about stereotypes, laughed at themselves, talked about and ate food related to their nationality, could care less what religion or country someone was from. I didn’t feel southerners were very prejudiced, that is not what I am saying, I am only saying there was a lack of diversity and that common feeling of America being a country of immigrants. However, the part of Atlanta I have spent the most time in is full of Hispanics at the shopping mall at least.

In summary, if you have a great opportunity I think you should do it! Make sure you visit before you make the final decision. Drive through neighborhoods and eat in somemlocal joints. Go to the supermarket. Do the things you do when you live there, not just the fancy restaurants a new employer my take you to to woo you. You can always move back to NY. Make your life an adventure.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JLeslie Hey bite me. Some of us resemble that remark.

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Which one? I wrote a whole book.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Your first sentence. :)

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe You’re not going to tell me living in the Adirondacks is like living in Brooklyn are you?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JLeslie You have to differentiate between New York City and New York State. Big diff.

Coloma's avatar

I’d rather live in some funky little rural southern town than NYC any day of the week. Huge, noisy, dirty, crime ridden cities are something I avoid like the plague. I don’t know how people survive living in the insanity of a monster metropolis. Ugh!

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe That’s what I did. NYC is in NYS. When someone says, “I am from NY,” I ask them what part. The city is way different from the rest of the state, just like Atlanta is different from Savannah. When someone says, should I move to GA, that to me is the same as saying should I move to NY. Well, what part?

Are you saying NYC people don’t use NYS? If so, then I should have just left it NY, I just wanted to make sure I was being clear in the first sentence that I didn’t mean NYC, because everyone oustide of the tristate area thinks NY is NYC. I can’t tell you how many people have no idea how large NYS is and how varied.

OneBadApple's avatar

Aww, everything is confusing to everybody.

I’ve heard that routinely in Portland, OR people buy plane tickets to “Vancouver”, then are surprised after they land in Vancouver, WA and not Vancouver, BC

And that Sinatra song wouldn’t have worked as well if he meant New York State….

“And if you make it there, you’ll make it…..or maybe won’t make it…..anywhere…”

JLeslie's avatar

@OneBadApple Well, New Yorkers have their own specific meanings for these things. If you live in a NYC suburb you never say you are going “to NYC,” you say you are going “into the city.” Bronx, NY is The Bronx, etc. so I was curious if New Yorkers only use NYS to mean outside of NYC. I might have used it wrong for people who live inside the state.

Seek's avatar

OK, now that I’m not on my phone…

I love Savannah. It’s a beautiful, if kind of small, city. I was only there for a day, for a show (the hubs and I were following a musician’s tour) but it had a great feeling to it and I would like to go back for another visit.

Atlanta has great public transit – the Marta – which is almost as thoroughly useful as the subway in NY. But, I wouldn’t want to live there. The city feels overwhelming and a little scary to me. And I like cities. I spent a week there.

I’ve been in Valdosta about a million times. The accent thing is not “just a stereotype.” And the way anyone with a New York accent is treated there is borderline unforgiveable.

Unless you’re porcelain white and can drop your accent entirely, I’d recommend avoiding anything outside the larger cities. I wouldn’t live there at all.

Seek's avatar

@JLeslie – We always called it “Upstate”. No letters necessary.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr We did also. I wrote NYS to be sure my answer was perceived as the entire state of NY. But, if to a New Yorker NYS does not include NYC, then I should have used something else.

ArabianKnightress's avatar

Thank you to all!! Looks like the hubby will get transferred to Georgia. All your answers have given me a good feel for Georgia. You’re right though in the end it is what I make of it…but the heads up really helped a lot. Still not sure where in Georgia we will be settling in. I still have two children at home with me hope it will be easy for them…I would need a middle school and the other guy will be in college. I’m not sure what I will do yet. You guys really gave me some really good answers. I like it when you just tell it like it is and don’t sugar coat it…

OneBadApple's avatar

Well be sure to let us know how y’all like it…

tedibear's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – Except that “upstate” is the Adirondack, Catskills and Thousand Islands regions. There is also Central New York and Western New York. The use of “upstate” is annoying to those of us who are from places like Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Olean, Batavia or Niagara Falls. I know you don’t mean it offensively. Unfortunately, there are people who say it in a way that is dismissive to the non-NYC regions.

JLeslie's avatar

@ArabianKnightress School is a whole other consideration. Some parts of the south private school is really pervasive leaving public schools in not a great place. If you are accustomed to sending your children to public school, private school might wind up being an added expense. I’m sure you check out the schools no matter where you move. Also, a lot of private education in the south is associated with a particular religion, so if that matters to you it is another thing to keep in mind. It might be a nonissue where you are moving.

JLeslie's avatar

@tedibear I usually just use upstate for the Catskills actually. The other regions I usually specify. Finger lakes, Adirondocks, etc. But, I didn’t ever really think about the other areas aren’t upstate or that it might be offensive. Interesting. See that’s the thing. Within each state they have their own lingo. Now, what about NYS. To you does that exclude NYC? And, if someone writes NY, do you assume the entire state or NYC?

Western NY is a whole different thing, they play Euchre there and everything.

ArabianKnightress's avatar

@tedibear its so good to see you too!!! :)

ArabianKnightress's avatar

@JLeslie Yes I think I will have to take that route with the little guy, private school is what he is used to. My other two had no problem in public school but it just didn’t seem to work for my little man.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Upstate NY would be the from the east of the Finger Lakes to the Catskills. Downstate would be the area from the east of the Catskills down to the edge of NYC. Western NY is just that. Same with the Adirondacks. If you break it down by the geography each area has a distinct set of features.

JLeslie's avatar

@ArabianKnightress I am saying you might wind up with all of them in private school. Another $20—$30k a year. Just putting it out there as part of your calculation.

It will be good to let your kids know some things might be different down there the whole sir and ma’am thing, they say y’all, etc.

Are you Arab? I noticed your username.

@Adirondackwannabe Ok, but what about my question about NYS. Isn’t that all of NY including the city?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JLeslie The city is completely separate. It’s a different animal than NYS. In so many ways.

ArabianKnightress's avatar

@JLeslie That’s very high for tuition! Sounds closer to a college tuition to me but not for middle school, sheesh I hope not….

No I’m not Arab, long story….

JLeslie's avatar

@ArabianKnightress I meant for two children combined, not each.

@Adirondackwannabe You are still not answering my question. I know the city is a different animal. I am from NY! I am in the city every year, I used to vacation in the catskills every summer as a child, and sometimes in the adirondocks. I have been to the finger lakes, Buffalo, Ithaca and other areas in between.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JLeslie Let me see if this does it. When I say New York, I mean the state excluding NYC. If I say the City or New York City it just means the city.

ucme's avatar

Georgia has never been on my mind.

lx102303's avatar

@ArabianKnightress , you might find the following link helpful when you know what city you’ll be relocating to in Georgia . Contact that city’s Chamber of Commerce for information .
Georgia Chambers of Commerce
I hope your move is a pleasant one .

Rarebear's avatar

Heck yeah! That’s where the zombie outbreak is going to happen.

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Except, I asked when I write NYS what do you think.

hearkat's avatar

I live in NJ. Private school tuition for my son in 2005–07 was $18,000 per year.

“The City” usually refers to Manhattan, and all other boroughs are called by their name. Of course, it depends on the audience… those who live in or near NYC narrow it down even further by neighborhood. Outside of NYC, most people reference counties (Westchester, Orange, Hudson, Putnam come to mind) and further reaches are just “upstate” or geographical (Catskills, finger lakes). I understood that JLeslie was referring to New York State from her first mention of it.

BosM's avatar

There are good and not so good things about the South, just like anywhere else. Weather in the fall, winter and spring is great, no more snow (99.9 % of the time), summer brings a level of heat that could make you realize you never knew what real summer heat was.

Southern Hospitality is reserved for southerners. Northerners tend to get a version of what I call “Southern Politeness” – they really don’t want us here. I was in a conversation last year when someone referred to the Civil War as the “War of Northern Aggression.” I had heard stories about the South still fighting the Civil war, but to witness it was a surprise. I’ve come to realize southerners are fiercely protective of their traditions and lifestyle and what they objected most to was the North telling them how to live.

Religion and the bible is a way of life in the South but honestly it’s all a bit much for me. I laugh when they start putting each other’s church down. If you hear them use the expression “bless your heart”, it’s a not so nice way of calling someone an idiot.

Since you are from NYC you’ve see bad driving, but there is a difference between bad driving and reckless driving. Having lived in a suburb of Memphis for the last 2 years I can tell you this – stop signs are optional and radical 2 lane changes on the HW are to be expected. TV is full of law firm commercials about suing someone if you are in a “Car Wreck”, as they call them so make sure you have good insurance.

You are going to be shocked at the amount of barbecue and fried food in the south. If you want (good) ethnic food you are going to be challenged. My wife needed something as simple as Romano cheese and the people at the Kroger laughed. When she asked for orzo they had no idea what it was.

Do your research on crime. Atlanta is a top 10 US city for violent crime. But it’s no different than any other city, you have to know where to go and where not to go. Would I live in GA? Maybe, but the location would have to be right. Sorry this was so long. Good luck!

ArabianKnightress's avatar

@BosM…” Word Man” what took you so long!? No your answer wasn’t long at all, actually thought it would be longer ;-). Thank you, you summed it up very well. You made some good points and answered a few more questions I had in the back of my mind. It is always a pleasure my friend….

JLeslie's avatar

@BosM I love the orzo and romano bit. I pretty much stopped making stuffed shells when I lived in Lakeland, because all the ricotta was disgusting. Schnuck’s had onericotta brand that was good, can’t remember the name, but they closed up shop there. Twice a year when my parents were in town I could shop at Millington Navy and get some decent brands of many things. Memphis was the worst city I lived in for grocery shopping. But, Atlanta should be a little better, especially certain subrubs. If I had lived near Germantown I probably would have been less frustrated being closer to the Jewish Kroger, Whole foods and Fresh Market. Still, I never found everything there either. But, there was a lot I liked and miss about the Memphis area. One thing I don’t miss is always feeling a little less safe.

BosM's avatar

@JLeslie you are right about the safety issue in Memphis, it’s also a top 10 city for crime. I’m in the Germantown/Collierville area and it’s very safe but you have to be careful when going into the city. I do like living in the area but am looking forward to moving back to New England. There is no place like home :)

JLeslie's avatar

Atlanta has Publix, as long as you are near a Publix supermarket you’re all good.

JLeslie's avatar

@hearkat I failed to thank you on my recent posts.

Bagardbilla's avatar

HA! I can only speak of Atlanta, for I’ve lived in Decatur (a small liberal/progressive) enclave of Atlanta for the past 24 yrs.
I read through about half of the first comments above and finally had to stop.
All I can say is that you’ll find reflected back to you that which you put forth!
And if you have an open mind… try this.

OneBadApple's avatar

In my little story I did not mean to disparage the state of Georgia in any way, but just threw in my short experience in living there for perspective.

A friend who now lives in a suburb of Atlanta told me that no one ever locks their car, no matter where they go. In Brooklyn, someone once broke into our daughter’s car on the street and slept in it that night.

So it can be said that there are damn-fine people as well as pain-in-the-ass people wherever you go….

ArabianKnightress's avatar

@Bagardbilla wow….I’m speechless. That was exactly what I wanted to see. Can’t wait to show that to my husband tonight.

“All I can say is that you’ll find reflected back to you that which you put forth!”

Very nicely said!

JLeslie's avatar

@Bagardbilla That video was great, but you can’t think that gives anyone the entire picture. I am not saying it lies, but it shows the green lawns, and diversity, and business opportunities, but it doesn’t show the beltway around the city that in somenparts I think is 12 lanes, traffic on the interstate through the center of the city, crime problems, and I have friends who say using the subway doesn’t feel safe, tornado season, ice storms, etc. I myself have said above that Atlanta cannot be compared to smaller towns and cities in the south, it has people from all over the country living there, but I do think your video leaves some stuff out. However, I do agree that putting forth the right effort and attitude is worth a ton.

You said your enclave is progressive/liberal, but what about the rest of the city and metro area? The OP has three children and is married, so probably she won’t be living in Decatur from how you described it.

I’m curious, are you from the northeast?

Bagardbilla's avatar

By all means, that one PR video cannot be an ‘end’ and ‘say’ all re Atlanta. There are many different neighborhoods/areas which attract people of different needs, socio-economic backgrounds, and even general political persuasion. Having said that I can earnestly say (after having lived for extended periods in the NE, N Central, and the South; having lived for shorter periods or extended visits, in pretty much most major US cities, I can honestly say, Atlanta has a very good and balanced mix. (Now that is only Atlanta, the rest of GA is quite different), and it’s not by mere perversity, that such a high percentage of people from not just from around the US, but rather the whole globe, people are attracted to the Greater Atlanta Area.
@JLeslie, as for schools and neighborhoods, The City of Decatur is a VERY family oriented city. Not to mention that it has quite a few award winning restaurants, excellent schools, a very walkable/bike friendly city/downtown, and a growth-plan which is geared towards sustainability.
Lastly, no, I’m originally from Pakistan, but did live in the NYC and boarding school in the NE. :)

JLeslie's avatar

@Bagardbilla GA. Thanks. I’m sure the OP appreciates the response also.

synapse's avatar

Know that when someone in Georgia says “Bless your heart” it’s not what you think it means. And I’m originally from Alabama…

OneBadApple's avatar

It’s true, many southerners use that almost charming, disarming way of delivering a head-shot. While fanning themselves and sipping a mint julep, they might say…

“He has the worst body odor and is the dumbest person that I have ever encountered….bless his heart…”

MadMadMax's avatar

I’d rather just die now.

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