by Brian Clarey
1. I own a home
My wife and I came to the Triad 14 years ago with our 2-week-old son in tow. The plan was to stay a year. Then we settled in. In 2003 we got a great deal on a house, our first, and our roots began to settle in the soil.
2. My kids are in school
It took us a while to navigate the Guilford County school system, but after 10 years we feel we’ve got a handle on our kids’ education. We have two in a charter, one of the happiest schools I’ve ever been in. Our oldest will be starting Weaver Academy, studying classical guitar, in the fall. Weaver, a performing-arts magnet high school, is an amazing facility of the type very few cities can boast. I’m so proud of him, and grateful that he has this opportunity. I could never take it away from him.
3. My wife’s business
My wife’s client-based business has thrived here. It would take her years to replicate it anywhere else.
4. My career
When I was between jobs, a lot of people asked me if I was going to be staying in town. And while the truth is that I have enough experience to get a writing gig pretty much anywhere, it would take me a decade to learn as much about another market as I know about this one. I’ve been covering the Triad for almost 15 years, and this very specific trove of information makes me much more valuable here than anywhere else. These days, I’m editor in chief of the best damn weekly newspaper in the Triad. That’s worth sticking around for.
5. Our friends
It took a few years, but once we got acclimated to the area we met a lot of cool people who have become part of our lives.
6. I like it here
The weather is great, the traffic never gets too bad — at least in comparison to other places I’ve lived — and the restaurants are getting better. If you’ve got a little hustle and drive, I believe you can do pretty well here. It’s cheap. People do for themselves. And I can find all the elements of city life I need. And hey: halfway between the mountains and the beach, right Ginsburg?
7. I owe something
This place has been good to me, to my family and to my career. I have to give something back to the community that has given me so much.
8. The rest of my family
My sister moved here a year ago. My parents followed soon after. I daresay it won’t be long before my other sister decides she’s had enough of New York City and joins the rest of us.
9. I want to see how it all turns out
The cities of the Triad are growing and maturing. The demographic is changing drastically. We’re filling in some of our sprawl, building new facilities and adding amenities. It’s becoming more livable, more educated, more tolerant, more organized. New, modern industries are jockeying for position amid the ruins of our manufacturing past and the culture is starting to come into its own. We are most certainly progressing towards something amazing, and I want to see what it is.
10. My personal conviction
We always talk about the Triad’s “brain drain” — which basically means that anyone with any sense gets the hell out of here as fast as they can. But I want to know what happens when smart, talented, hard-working people stick around here for a time, get to know one another and try to come up with new, cool stuff. You can see it happening all around you, if you know where to look.
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