Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Everyone's Gone To North Carolina

Everyone's gone to the moon North Carolina.

Some days, it seems like everyone in upstate New York is either moving to the state of North Carolina, or planning to move.  Our state has been losing population for years.

Google "New Yorkers moving to North Carolina" and you get over 57 million results.
When I think of everyone packing up and leaving upstate New York, I was reminded of the song playing on WABC radio in New York City the night of November 9, 1965 when the lights went out in the Great Blackout of 1965.  But they aren't going to the moon.

Who has moved?

My neighbor across the street.  A baker who sold at the farmers' market for many years.  A former co worker. (Another will probably follow in two or three years).

I enjoy the Carolinas (I vacation there enough times) but move there? 
April 7, North Carolina (where else?)
We of upstate New York must be chasing rainbows.  Life is so short.

When I first moved to the Binghamton, New York area almost 30 years ago, I was intrigued by the connection between this area and North Carolina.

North Carolina furniture stores advertised in our papers.  Buy Direct! (Alas, you don't see those ads any more.  But the furniture places still exist.)  In fact my in laws did just that, and furnished their home in furniture shipped up here.  I think it was from a factory in Hickory, North Carolina.
Bundy Key Recorder - eventually this company became IBM

Part of it was the connection forged through IBM IBM, incidentally, started in Binghamton, New York.   It started as a time clock manufacturer.  As they say, it's a long story.

IBM had a major facility in Charlotte, North Carolina.  We had a major IBM facility just down the road in Endicott, New York.  There were a lot of transfers back and forth.

We've even transfered our food.  The spiedie, the food we are known for, can even be found in North Carolina.

Although IBM is no longer a major presence in our Triple Cities, the connection with North Carolina remains.  Many who want to escape our harsh winters in retirement and don't want to live in Florida end up halfway between Florida and New York.  What is halfway?  North Carolina.

People blog about it.  Some tongue in cheek. 

Others, more trying to benefit from the migration.  

But, then, there is also this.

I have seen, in other places, where locals get locked out of the real estate market because people from the North, who can afford to pay high prices (especially if you are from the New York City area) raise real estate prices.  I can't believe that, eventually, there is going to be a lot of resentment towards northerners.  And a part of me won't be blaming them for feeling that way.  It won't be just the real estate prices.

It will be when their highways are jammed with traffic.  Or when their infrastructure is strained because of all the people pouring in.

Or the crime rate goes up.

I don't want to be in North Carolina when that happens.

Strange how people end up destroying the very things that attracted them somewhere in the first place.

Will I end up joining the migration out of upstate New York one day? 

We can't see into the future.  I'll just have to wait and see.

Is there a place, where you live, that everyone seems to be leaving for?


  1. Your post made me to long for visiting North Carolina !!!

  2. The outrageous NY taxes are enough to keep me from moving to NY and would be motive to leave. Brenda

    1. The taxes are definitely a deciding factor for many New Yorkers. I'm pretty fed up myself.

  3. Actually, it sometimes seems that everyone is moving here. And we are much the richer culturally because of it.

    1. I appreciate your welcoming nature. We all benefit from new blood - I think my part of upstate New Yorker is richer for the various new ethnic groups finding a home here.

  4. I'm originally from Michigan and EVERYONE in Michigan retires or ends up moving to Florida. I swore I would not be one of them. I'm in Idaho now and I absolutely love it. I like northern Michigan but down state Michigan has really gotten bad crime wise. - I wonder what the draw to North Carolina is..

    1. I think the draws include: hot job market, lower taxes than NY, less winter. (On the other hand, brutal summers.) But, as I mentioned, I'm not quite ready to join the outflow of former New Yorkers.

  5. California has a similar thing going on. From what I've seen, people move to Arizona, Nevada, or Oregon. (I know people who moved to all of those states.) Funny thing is, I'm only here because my parents' families moved here from elsewhere when everyone was moving to California. (My father's side hails from Nebraska. My mother's side from Illinois.)

    1. It's funny, speaking of Illinois...years ago (early 1980's) when I lived in Northwest Arkansas, it seemed all the newcomers came from the Chicago area. When we finally returned to visit Arkansas in 2013, it seemed many of the newcomers came from Colorado. Colorado??? I'm still wondering about that.

  6. Interesting take on this. As someone who moved from NYC to NC about a decade ago I can't imagine the resentment you're foreseeing or mentioning, but maybe that's just me. I kinda love living in the south, but I also miss home, too! But to each their own - right?

  7. It looks something like people in India moving to newer cities for job opportunities.

  8. It is strange this migration... Everyone in my city wants to migrate to a smaller city when they get older . Supposedly easier for old people. But I want to stay right where I am

  9. Atlanta's definitely that way. We have new (and expensive) housing going up all over ($300K to $1 million in my area) to accommodate the extra demand. A lot of senior housing, too, townhomes and condos especially. And yes, things have gotten very crowded and the infrastructure is constantly being pushed to the limits.


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