Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Clouded views from the neighborhood. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . but we are not complaining at all!

This Summer's clouds have been especially beautiful, often
piled up like whipped cream in the Carolina blue sky.

I whipped my iPhone out to get these photos as we drove past this building just
 minutes from our home. Yes, the latest hi-rise to be completed - there are several others
 plus more under construction - on land which at one time was most likely part
of the farmland (we dug up a vintage tractor seat in our back garden) where
 our older neighborhood stands tucked in between massive oak, hickory and pine trees.

We have lived in this area of Raleigh, north of downtown, for almost 40 years.
The changes to the landscape were slow at first, then with more roads, high-priced
suburban neighborhoods, and strip shopping areas gradually stretching even further
 north, the countryside has been eaten up, bite by bite, year by year.
It's called progress!

Across the main road from our neighborhood, built just prior to our move here in 1977,
 was the only enclosed 2-story air-conditioned mall between Washington D.C. and
 Atlanta, Georgia. 
It was also Raleigh's only mall with two levels of department stores, shops and
 restaurants, a fun place to visit for many years. Later it was sold and gradually
 went downhill when other more modern upscale malls started springing up around
 the growing city. 

In 2001 along came a man with great vision who bought the dreary mall,
 a nearby shopping plaza, aging apartment complexes, and much of the
 surrounding area, eventually building what has become known as Midtown. 
This North Hills area is an ongoing expansion of quality hotels, hi-rise office
 buildings, posh apartment complexes, great shops, a multi-screen cinema, 
hi-tech bowling alley, brewery, outdoor park and performance/concert areas,
 and many excellent restaurants of every type. 
Now under construction, along with three more office buildings and a boutique hotel,
 is also a wonderful retirement/assistive living complex.

The design and quality construction of this entire new area couldn't have been 
better. We do have more traffic, and lots more people, but with something
for all age groups we enjoy how lively this destination close to home has become.
The fact that our property values are increasing as we now sit on a prime location
 is good. There are a lot of people moving to Raleigh/Wake County - they 
estimate 63 per day - who work for these national companies, many of them
 want to buy homes!
   Older homes are selling quickly, some becoming tear downs, and larger, 
elegant houses are being built in their place, this helps breathe life into a somewhat
 tired neighborhood. We enjoy hearing the music wafting over from the Thursday
 evening Summer concerts, and a Saturday morning Farmers' Market brings 
plenty of fresh farm bounty almost to our door.
During the holiday season from November thru early January, there is plenty of
 entertainment and we can walk from home - no searching for a parking spot.

The outdoor concert/performance park.

Construction continues with more office/hotel/apartment high rises underway.

Will we remain here in this now busy urban neighborhood? 
Who knows what the future may bring!
Have you lived in your neighborhood many years? 
If so, has it changed much?


  1. You know me...I move A LOT! But I see the crazy growth here in Greenville SC just in this past year and a half. One thing we discovered after moving here is that we are not big city people. We prefer small towns with the city an hour away.

  2. Penny you have moved a lot yes, but you and K always do fabulous things with your homes because you have the knack and skills. I can imagine though at this stage of life you will not want an inner city home - and I love visiting you on those Western NC hillsides, so come back soon!

    Mary -

  3. I don't think that where I live has changed much year on year - if someone from 100 years ago were to return they would probably simply notice how much the trees and woodland has grown. The biggest change of all is the traffic - whereas we hardly ever use to hear a car, now we do.

    1. I know you must live in a beautiful, perhaps historic, English village Rosemary and therefore it will have escaped the 'madding crowd' syndrome and still be close to perfect. Traffic is the enemy now that almost every adult drives a vehicle daily - roads are crammed just about everywhere it seems.

      Mary -

  4. It is happening here too. All the good land being used to grow houses etc. We have lived on our orchard since April 1978 and have big traffic problems to get out from our road to go anywhere.( the traffic accidents and road deaths on that road is one of NZ's worst. )
    Many city folk move to the country then complain about country activities that happen round about them. Just next door to us a piece of rather rugged land has been divide into 6 sections ( 3 would have made sense ) for sale. So we may get many more close neighbours.
    Progress happens.
    Love the clouds on the high rise.

  5. . . . . and there I was thinking your orchard was out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nobody! It is sad to see lovely farmland covered with subdivisions - hopefully nobody will purchase the lots, at least for a long, long time and you can continue growing your Kiwifruits, avocados, and other fruits without noisy neighbors and even more cars.

    Have a lovely week in fabulous NZ.
    Hugs - Mary

  6. You are adaptable and a good sport - often people only whine and complain about progress but you have embraced it. Good for you. We have only lived in WA for just over 15 years - so not much change in our neighborhood - but lots of building going on in other areas of town. I did recently google a map of where we lived in Kansas in the mid 70s - oh my what a change. We lived on a farm (but weren't the farmers) just outside of town and now it is in the middle of the city - with a car dealership on the farm property and miles and miles of houses beyond where we lived. The population has gone from about 22,000 to 124,000 - unbelievable.

  7. I'm happy that the growth and progress in your town benefits you in so many ways, Mary. We really enjoyed the bit of Raleigh we saw when we visited 2 years ago. I hope we have the opportunity to come again and for a bit longer.

    Growth here is always changing...I could go on forever. It's simply different in a vast city like Chicago, New York or L.A. I will say that when I go 30 miles west to where I grew up in the prairies of Illinois, I recognize nothing. Not one farm or field. Suburbia. Plain and simple.

    Sending love. You must be preparing for your cruise...or is that later? My mind is a mess. I'll drop you a line very soon.


  8. Those photos of the clouds reflected in the tall buildings are really stunning, Mary. So creative and artistic. Changes happen here, too, more land is swallowed up by houses. I'm glad we have a limit on towering buildings so as to not block the views of the Olympic Mountains across the strait. I think things move more slowly here than on the mainland.

  9. Everything looks pristine - a pleasure to live, work or visit there, I am sure. What I find truly appealing is your mention of being able to walk there, not needing a car. Also, the variety in things going on, from concerts to farmers' markets, makes it all sound very attractive.
    I am no fan of high-rise buildings, but I do realize people (and their work places) have to go SOMEwhere - rather up than covering even more land, I guess.

  10. Hi, Mary -- Even though I live in the big city where there are plenty of high rises, I actually wish they would build a few more in my neighborhood. The reason being, the main thoroughfare from which my street turns off of is being filled with complexes of 2-3 story townhouses on land which was formerly single family homes. It throws more cars out onto the already far too crowded street, and people are once again ranting about the traffic. And the townhouses are being built too close to the street to allow any widening of the road. The Zoning Board seems to be totally out of touch! We need something that would force people into public transportation instead of more cars to go across town. P.S. Love that Carolina Blue sky.

  11. That is certainly progress. Some we like in our part of the world and some we could do without. I do love having energy and events nearby, ones we can walk to also.


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