Can you tell more about the culture in RTP? I've heard it attracts people from all over so it's quite diverse. I know I've heard about Californians relocating there and now New Yorkers who move to Florida but then realize it's not for them so they head half-way back to NC and are called halfbacks. I thought that was interesting. So is it southern, northern or a mix of everybody?Funny--I hadn't heard the "halfback" theory, but one of my friends would fit into that category. He followed that exact pattern...NY to FL to NC. I'm not sure why he picked NC though.
I would say it is a mix of everybody here. I've commented before on how everyone here is from someplace else, and those other places tend to be scattered. I've met people from Atlanta, Washington D.C, Boston, New York City, Michigan, Texas, California, Illinois, Oregon...and more that I cannot think of right now. One joke I've heard is that Cary stands for "Concentrated Area of Relocated Yankees." I have met a few North Carolina natives, but they are by far the minority here. To me, the area does not scream Southern (although I haven't lived in the true South so my frame of reference is restricted). Here are a few off-the-cuff observations that will tell you this is the South:
- Wendy's offers the "Carolina Classic": a burger topped with chili and coleslaw.
- Nearly every restaurant, be it sit-down or fast food, offers sweet tea.
- In the summer or fall, you will likely be invited to a "pork pull" or "fish fry"
- You will encounter a southern drawl every now and then but it's more lilting than anything. Local newscasters and DJ's do not have accents.
- People here (not just men!) are fanatical about college sports, mainly basketball; this website ranks the Duke Blue Devils and UNC-Chapel Hill Tar Heels as the number one rivalry around.
- The pace of life is only slightly slower than what I'm used to from California.
- People complain about the drivers here being particularly horrendous (one theory is that it's because there are so many former New Yorkers who never had licenses before) but I have not noticed it as being any worse than any other place I've driven. People do speed on the freeways but not like L.A.
- You get the overall impression that church is slightly more prominent in people's lives here, but then again, hardly any of the people I've become friends with go on a regular basis.