OP, I live in Charlotte which is about an hour and a half away so here is my take.\
Pros - Housing is very affordable and space is plenty, cost of living is very affordable, pace of life is much slower. People are very polite and nice. There are very good jobs available in the Research Triangle.\
Cons - Gay scene not that great but better around the colleges known as the Triangle are, pay is less, still pretty republican but changing slightly, pace of life is slower. Remember this is still the south so you will encounter some attitudes that you thought went out with the hoop skirt.\
Its a good place if you are partnered with children and want to raise them away from a huge city. I love my house and my space and am able to appreciate life better. Also people are not as focused on how you look like in CA or NY. If you like to go out a lot, i dont know if you will like it.
Thanks, I think even the disadvantages appeal to me and my circumstances. I plan to go there for a weekend to check it out.
R2, Winston-Salem is not part of the RTP area. Winston-Salem is about 1.5 hours from RTP.\
OP, Winston-Salem is a city of about 150,000 people. It''s quite conservative, although there''s a very active arts scene. There are the usual number of gay people for a city of its size, but there''s not much of a gay scene at all.\
There''s a LOT of money in W-S. It was once home to Reynolds Tobacco, Hanes, and some other manufacturing heavy-hitters. The manufacturing sector has fallen on bad times, but the residual money is still around. The Buena Vista neighborhood has some lovely homes that any city would be proud of.\
What else would you like to know?
Thanks for the correction R4. You are right, I was being too general about the area. Winston Salem is not part of the RTP area. Also an excellent point about it being an old tobacco town. If you don''t go to Winston then definitely check out the RTP area.\
Another bonus about NC is that you are about 4 hours from the beach or 4 hours from the mountains depending on where you live. The seasons are lovely, and the land is beautiful.\
Good Luck OP
I spent two weeks teaching and working at Wake-Forrest last summer. My impressions as a travelling gay:\
nice laid-back place, historical in parts and accomodating in others. Quirky details gce the area color, but mainly it appeared to be a quiet college town with a very historic center near old Salem road. Hunky football players were pleasant eyecandy bitnitger than that about as plainly ungay as possible without being oppressive.
You can pretty much expect a much more laid back atmosphere anywhere you go in NC except for the larger cities, and even in those you will not likely encounter too much of a rapid way of life. You will encounter a segment of the gay/lesbian scene that is a little more on the side of conservatism and focuses on events within local churches. Yes indeed, like any other place in the world, you''ll encounter haters, but you''ll mostly encounter people who couldn''t give 2 cents about your sexual orientation. As already mentioned, your professional industry may pay less, however it reflects the cost of living which is markedly less than major cities.
r2 Winston-Salem is part of the Triad, not the Research Triangle Park. \
Are you sure you''re from North Carolina and not North Dakota? Anyone living in NC would know the distinctions between the Triangle and the Triad.
Did you know there is a restaurant in suburban Winston called Butt Brothers?
Saw a HOT escort there a year or so ago. Worth the move just for him.
I visited there years ago and sort of liked the Salem part--it was founded by northern Moravians from Pennsylvania and kind of reminded me of Williamsburg, Virginia. The two cities got cigarette brands named after them--a dubious distinction.
Lucky you, r2. I love Charlotte. Such a gorgeous Southern city. North Carolina is beautiful. I wouldn't mind moving there if it wasn't so far away from my family.
It's full of smokers.
Sales rep here who is in Winston at least twice a week. Nice little city. Close to Greensboro. There is pretty much everything you need close by. Most of the industry moved out. LOTS of old people. You see tons of Cadillacs and Buicks. Greensboro is much more interesting for people under 65. Basically Winston Salem is dying away.
Greensboro is no big recommendation either. If you are living in NC it should either be the triangle, Charlotte or Asheville.
Cosmopolites are not familiar with Winston-Salem.
I lived there for about five years. It is a nice small town with a larger gay scene than most cities its size. It also has a thriving art scene. And, it is a very pretty town, in my opinion. The negatives are that it is still a small southern city, which means (as stated above) the majority of the population is conservative and RELIGIOUS!
It is not a small town, it has over 200,000 people within the city limits. That is not a small town. A small city maybe, but definitely not a small town. Also, it has a very nice downtown with an Arts District and a growing number of condos. Its downtown is much livelier and nicer than Greensboro's. Greensboro is known in NC as "Greensboring."
Do they have AIDS?
ok... excuse me R18... Winston is a nice small city... which feels like a small town.
Winston-Salem's downtown was ranked second in the country by a website devoted to celebrating cities.
The website, Livability.com, bestowed the ranking because of Old Salem, according to the site.
"Winston-Salem's downtown works a little like magic," the site reads. "Once you step into the historic district of Old Salem, you may as well have stepped back into 1772."
Indianapolis won the title of best downtown on the site.
The site's staff considered a downtown's entertainment options, its planning, architecture and green spaces.
"These downtowns are well thought out, walkable and easy to navigate," the site reads. "There's a range of flavors to be found in upscale eateries and casual cafés, while indie theaters, glossy off-Broadway productions and family-friendly museums offer residents and visitors endless ways to spend their days. Buildings that have stood the test of time or showcase the edge of modern architecture add to the appeal, with parks and open spaces allowing a break from the city scene."
The site is owned by a company called Journal Communications, which was co-founded by Alex Haley, author of "Roots." Livability.com is "a resource of more than 500 of America's best places to live, work, play, explore and belong."
"The best places to live aren't always the biggest ones," the website reads. "You won't find New York City, Chicago or San Francisco on Livability.com. We're all about the great places in between the big cities."
[quote]The website, Livability.com, bestowed the ranking because of Old Salem
But Old Salem is an historic site. Very few people actually live there. And as for entertainment options, they are mostly nil because it doesn't fit in with the 18th century character of the site.
[quote]I spent two weeks teaching and working at Wake-Forrest last summer.
Apparently two weeks was not enough time to learn how to spell Wake Forest.
What are winters like in Asheville? Does it snow all winter long?
R24, it snows in Ashevillle, but not all winter. Some winters are mild, others severe. It can snow deep into April in western North Carolina.
Maya Angelous lives in W-S.
Winston-Salem has a nice skyline. Greensboro barely has any tall buildings.
I would agree with R17. Additionally, Reynolds is almost gone & the remaining main industry (aside from WF)- banking - was very hard hit about the housing crisis & the purchase of Wachovia. When I worked there 4 years ago,it was assumed that Wells Fargo would eventually consolidate their NC presence to Charlotte and leave WS. It is beautiful, but you have to drive to Raleigh or Charlotte for shopping and it's full of BAPTISTS which are the worst kind of conservative republicans (next to evangelicals, of course)
Winston is very beautiful with its rolling foothills and mountains nearby. It has very robust four seasons.
Winston-Salem is where Wachovia started. It is also the headquarters for BB&T, Krispy Kreme, and RJ Reynolds. It has a big medical presence with Wake Forest's Boman Grey School of Medicine there and medical laboratories.
Don't forget the giant coffee pot! Can't see one of those just any where. Also home to many Moravians
Are there good hospitals in Asheville? Any good gay doctors there?
Yes, Wachovia is so named because of the large German-Moravian roots in Winston. Also, Moravian cookies are a big plus to W-S.
The Reynolds Building is a mini Empire State Building. It was designed by the same firm and built just before the Empire State.
R32 Mission Hospital in Asheville is not bad. Growing rapidly and buying doctor practices all over the city. Good nursing care, but have your affairs in order just in case.
The domed Wells Fargo tower is very pressure.
Is very pretty, I meant.
W-S is a very beautiful, laid back city. Lots of college students. It is a Blue City in a Blue county, although it is surrounded by red areas. It snowed last night, and the city looks almost storybookish.
very cute area. Hot in the summer.
I love the funky coffee shops "cranky's" in the airstream trailers
You are exaggerating R40. I like WS fine but it isn't some huge college area with a ton of students like the Triangle is.
And it isn't really that blue of an area. Sure it did go for Obama by a few points but Forsyth County passed the antigay amendment by 5 pts as opposed to other metro areas like Asheville, Charlotte and the Triangle where it was voted down.
It is certainly a pretty city with a fun downtown for its size that I have enjoyed visiting but lets not oversell its praises.
In Forsyth County, the results were close: the amendment passed with 52.6 percent in favor and 47.4 percent opposed. It did not pass in the City of Winston-Salem. Only eight counties out of 100 voted against the Amendment.
Wake, Mecklenburg, Guilford and Forsyth counties accounted for 40% of votes against Amendment One. (330,733 of 831,788 votes)
89% of voters in Graham Co. – 86% of voters in Robeson Co. – 85% of voters in Columbus Co. all voted “For” amendment
79% of voters in Orange Co. – 69% of voters in Durham Co. – 57% of voters in Wake Co. all voted “Against” amendment one
Orange County - 79%
Durham County – 70%
Wake County – 57%
Mecklenburg County – 54%
Chatham County – 54%
Buncombe County – 51%
Watauga County - 51%
I'm going to Carolina in my mind
OP, the word "cosmopolitan" and the city of Winston-Salem are galaxies apart.
You can't even get one in any of the bars downtown.
I was always told "Nothing could be finer....."
What about Wilmington? If you like and are used to living near water? I'm from Connecticut, am very liberal, and an hour outside Manhattan. I think Winston Salem would be too much of a shock to me, probably mostly being as liberal as I am.
r47, Winston-Salem is much more liberal than Wilmington. Wilmington is quite conservative. If you must live near the coast, the NC suburbs or Norfolk or the Outer Banks is a better choice.
Downtown Winston-Salem is more folksy and artsy than cosmopolitan. At any rate, it is a quite nice downtown.
What R48 said, Wilmington is no liberal beachtown. It is a decent place but definitely has a lot of rednecks there also.
NC is the south. The only real liberal areas are the Triangle, Charlotte (and the actual city, not the surburbs) and Asheville. Boone to an extent thanks to the dominance of the university there.
NC is in the South, but it is not the Deep South by far. It is part of the lower Mid Atlantic south, similar to Virginia. RDU is the best area to live.
It is a fine, and elegant place to inhabit. It has beautiful trees, and greenery, and oh, lovely flowers. Please, you must understand , I enjoy living here, and reading my poetry..........and my greeting cards.
I saw Maya Angelou at the old Kroger.
Great place to get mugged
I really liked Winston-Salem. It is where I had my 1st gay experience and the downtown area is way better than Greensboring. Along with Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State University, the NC School of Arts is there.
As others have stated, it is surrounded by very red areas, but I-40 makes it a short drive to Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill.
The great thing about Winston is its downtown is really on the upswing. It has done great restaurants, an arts center, and lots of new condos and apartments. It also has a burgeoning progressive movement that has turned the county blue.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – A church in Winston-Salem has announced it will stop performing all marriages until United Methodist pastors are allowed to officiate at marriages for same-sex couples.
The Green Street United Methodist Church made the announcement on their Facebook page on Friday.
“On the matter of same-sex marriage, Green Street UMC sees injustice in the legal position of state government and the theological position of our denomination,” the message read.
“North Carolina prohibits same-sex marriage and all the rights and privileges marriage brings,” it continued. “The Leadership Council has asked that their ministers join others who refuse to sign any State marriage licenses until this right is granted to same- sex couples.”
The church said it is presently the only Reconciling Congregation in the Western North Carolina Conference. They said they have a growing number of members in the gay community.
The church said it will publish a public statement on marriage at a press conference on Sunday.
This is a pretty large church near downtown Winston-Salem.
Recently a man allegedly murdered his partner there. The alleged murderer was due in court because he was charged with embezzling money from his former employer. He failed to appear in court, law enforcement officers went to his residence because his partner's family hadn't had contact with the partner in a while, and the officers found a body at the residence.
The alleged murderer/embezzler was arrested in Las Vegas and was to be returned to NC.
Hundreds turn out to support gay marriage in Winston-Salem
Posted on: 6:18 pm, April 14, 2013, by Web Staff
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.– More than 200 people gathered at the Green Street United Methodist Church supporting gay marriage on Sunday morning.
The Winston-Salem church announced earlier this month, that it will not conduct any weddings at the church until gay and lesbian couples are also allowed to the right to marry.
“They took a stand in what they believed in and I feel it’s important as a community member that I be here to support them in that stand, ” said Larry Boles, a gay marriage supporter.
Some of the supporters of gay marriage said at one point in their lives were opposed to the idea of gay marriage, until they realized it was a civil rights issue.
Great to see so many people turning out to oppose bigotry.
The Associated Press
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Arts officials in Winston-Salem have released a plan for an $80 million theater district that they say would improve the quality of life in the area.
The Winston-Salem Journal reported the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County unveiled the plan Tuesday.
Winston-Salem attorney Greg Scott says the council he chairs thinks that building the theater district would attract more visitors.
The plan calls for creating a cluster of arts and cultural venues along a street and park to serve as a city gathering place.
The council estimates it would take 10 years to complete the project that would include a new theater of about 600 seats. Other features include a National Black Theatre Hall of Fame, renovations to the existing Stevens Center and a new central library.
Read more here:
If you like getting mugged, having your car stolen, having your house broken into then WS is a great place!
r66, you are ignorant.
R67, please elaborate. I had the misfortune of living there for a couple of years.
If you're used to living in the North, the Raleigh area is your best bet. Half the people there are transplants from metro NY and work for IBM, Glaxo, Cisco, the Universities or the state government. Charlotte is larger, but elects a lot of Rethuglicans and its suburbs are REAL churchy.
Winston & GSO have too many Aunt Pittypat Southern gays longing to flounce about in hoop skirts.
A beautiful foothill city with four distinct seasons. It is a big banking and alerts city. I love its lively downtown, which has a lot of hipsters and artsy peeps.
Winston-Salem officially became the City of Arts and Innovation during Monday’s meeting of the city council, as the council voted unanimously to choose the words that will appear on highway signs leading into the city.
Hours before the vote, residents approached downtown seemed to like the idea:
“Otherwise it’s, you know, beer and doughnuts,” quipped Randy Sheppard, who was walking down Fourth Street. “And cigarettes. So arts and innovation sounds pretty good.”
Some folks didn’t know the city had a slogan, and they were technically right: It didn’t until council members voted Monday evening. The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, which picked the Arts and Innovation moniker several years ago, mounted a successful campaign to make that the official city slogan when the city decided to accept nominations from the people.
Daniel Aronson, out on a walk downtown, said that folks in Greensboro call this city “the Dash,” which is also the name of the city’s minor-league baseball team. Sally Gupton, another person enjoying the nice weather, said the new slogan was a good one that “explains us exactly.”
The new slogan will appear on signs that the N.C. Department of Transportation places at the entry points to the city. The city heard from some 1,400 people about a slogan; more than half wanted the Arts and Innovation.
Council Member Dan Besse said that he had thought the Arts Council slogan was pretty well known until he was talking with friends recently, and found that none of them had ever heard the slogan.
“This was an important public education process,” Besse said, adding that a lot of people who didn’t know the slogan now know it.
Monday’s meeting also saw council members dealing with a thorny shopping center development matter and with a proposal to advance ultra-high-speed Internet service in the city.
The council approved payment of up to $400,000 to get renovations back on track at the Ogburn Station Shopping Center, where a tenant in the center is proposing to start a restaurant.
The money will be in addition to $400,000 approved a couple years ago by the city for renovations under a program that is designed to rehabilitate run-down commercial developments. But in the case of Ogburn Station and Malone’s Restaurant, the tenant, much of the original money paid for bad construction that was not under city supervision.
New program rules were put in place Monday night – rules that among other things will require that in the future loans be made only to property owners and not tenants. Loan applicants also will have to submit business plans and other financial information, and the city will visit the construction site to make sure everything is up to snuff.
The council split 6-2 on approving the new program rules, with council members Derwin Montgomery and James Taylor in opposition. Montgomery said there ought to be a way to still allow loans to tenants, and said the purpose of the program had been to help places that might not meet traditional guidelines.
The new Ogburn Station loans had been approved in principle earlier, but the payout was linked to new measures to oversee the project and a settlement of the dispute between the tenant and shopping center owner. Monday the council voted 6-2 to approve the spending, with council members Robert Clark and Jeff MacIntosh this time in opposition.
The ultra-fast Internet should become a reality in Winston-Salem before the end of the calendar year, city officials said, as the council voted unanimously to enter into an agreement with AT&T to build the network. The effort is part of a wider effort by communities across the state called the N.C. Next Generation Network.
The new service would provide Internet connections 100 times faster than typical broadband connections available today. The network would be built around the city based on customer demand. City officials said that city residents by neighborhood would be asked to sign up for services, and that AT&T would decide where to build based on the response rate and construction costs for specific areas.
The effort will also involve making the service available in community centers for the disadvantaged, as well as free lower-speed Internet services for some in low-income housing.
AT&T will bear the costs of constructing the network, but the city is agreeing to help by speeding up any permitting and right-of-way access issues.
Jill Abrahamson was welcomed warmly at Wake Forest.
Outside of Chapel Hill and Asheville, I can't imagine a gay man would find much happiness living in North Carolina. Although there are many individuals who are accepting of same-sex couples, the majority of natives are social conservatives who still hold hostile views of gay people.
Remember, that vicious anti-gay amendment to the state constitution was passed with over 60 percent of the vote last year. Not only gay marriages are banned but so are civil unions, and ministers could be threatened with arrest if they hold same-sex marriage ceremonies. Even benefits for same-sex partners are banned. The far right wing of the Republican Party has a stranglehold on state government. And don't forget, this was the state that sent the insidious Jesse Helms to the Senate for 30 years.
Change has always been too slow to come in North Carolina.
Agree, . There are a few cool pockets in NC, as you noted. But venture out and it's an entirely different vibe. Love, love Asheville/Black Mountain.
r75, and yet NC has a relatively large and content gay and bisexual community throughout the state.
Oprah is in Winston-Salem to prepare for Maya's memorial service
In the early 90's my best friend was obsessed with a minor league baseball player she dated once. We took a vacation together which basically involved following The Baseball Player as he played in AA stadiums across the Southeast.
We started our journey in Florida, and ended up in Washington DC, but along the way we did stay in Winston Salem. I think we drove to a stadium in "Zebulon" for one game, which was one of the hottest afternoons of my life. We also watched The Baseball Player play in the Durham Bulls stadium (you know, from the movie) and it was delightful to see the smoke come out of the giant bull's nose.
We also had vanilla ice cream served in a little plastic baseball helmut.
I remember we went out to dinner in a nice little restaurant in Winston Salem, and when I asked to be seated in the non-smoking section the entire dining room turned to look at me. There wasn't one. People everywhere were smoking like it was their job. I guess it was, in a way.
We did go to a late night gay bar but I think it was in Charlotte---the police pulled us over on the way back to the hotel because we were driving with no lights on at 3:00 am. And the officer let us go after writing down directions to the hotel....and we were drunk AND stoned at the time.
So that was nice.
I just googled The Baseball Player. He was drafted very high after graduating high school but ended up playing minor league ball his entire career. Never made The Big Show. And he looks OLD now...
Just went there. It is a very pretty city with a very thriving downtown. I like the Arts District. They are building a new research park downtown that has a very bohemian vibe.