Interviews - Mirabel Seymour
Ogden from New Jersey
Can you tell me what brought you to Ogden?
I moved here two years ago after I got married, and my husband was already working here and we decided to stay here since he was already settled and I loved this area.
How did you go about choosing where to live?
We liked the Ogden area because it’s a little removed from the direct middle of Wilmington but you’re still not really remote. It’s a 5-minute ride to everything. You have the proximity but you aren’t on top of the busiest parts. We also liked the school system here. The area we’re in has a lot more trees and it’s not as newly constructed, it’s more established.
What other areas were you drawn to?
Definitely the Hampstead area, even further north. We liked that area for the school systems and because it has a lot of nature. It was just a little too far out from Wilmington. But I really do like anything in the northern part of the town.
If you had it to do over again, where would you live?
I would probably end up in the same place but I would look a little but more on the southern side of Wilmington over by the Masonboro Loop area. If I was starting from scratch, I would do more research and look down there. That’s a really nice area of town.
What do you like about living in Wilmington that was a surprise to you?
One thing would definitely be the colors in spring and summer. I always laugh, because it’s like a rain forest here once spring hits. Everything grows so fast and it’s so beautiful. The colors of the azaleas and the colors of the flowers are so beautiful. Also, I enjoy the diversity of the people I meet. The people are from all over and all walks of life. There’s college, there’s retired, there’s families and they are from all over. You get a different story from everybody, which is kind of nice.
What sort of people would like living in your neighborhood?
would probably say families, people with any age children, really. Also, people who enjoy boating. Our neighborhood has a dock, so anybody who enjoys boating, kayaking, fishing, anything outdoorsy along the water would love it here.
What is your favorite way to spend a weekend here?
We like to go to one of the area beaches, which is also a plus. There’s Wrightsville here, there’s Carolina Beach. It’s nice because with the different beach areas, everybody doesn’t all crowd up at just one. We enjoy going down to Carolina Beach, and spending some time down there at the carnival that they set up in the springtime. The beach has a boardwalk and it’s very family-oriented and great for the younger kids.
What sort of cultural activities are available to you?
There’s Thalian Hall, which does a lot of various plays. Downtown Wilmington has another place called City Stage, which does a lot of plays and musicals. Downtown has a lot going on – there’s all kinds of restaurants. You can find anything from French cuisine to sushi. There’s always something new opening up down there.
How is the commute/getting around? Is there much traffic?
The traffic definitely picks up during the summer when tourists are here. It’s never really that much of an issue. It’s different from where I grew up in New Jersey, where there are highways and you are sitting in bumper to bumper traffic. It never really poses a problem to me. In the summer you just have to plan to add an extra few minutes to your drive.
What advice would you give someone considering a move to the Wilmington area?
I would definitely say to stay here. Take a vacation or an extended stay of like a week or so here so you can get the feel for the town and where it is you want to be. There’s a northern side, there’s a southern side, there’s the beach and there’s downtown and you need to find the things you are interested in and are comfortable with to figure out where you want to be.
Do you think your area offers a good quality of life?
Yes, I think it offers an incredible quality of life. It’s just so peaceful. Most days you can smell the ocean and some days you can hear it. There’s less stress and everyone’s overall attitude is definitely nicer.
What’s your favorite local attraction/restaurant/event?
One of our favorite restaurants is K38 and they have three of them around town. My family and I just love that restaurant. One of my favorite things to do is just walk the Loop. It’s a couple miles around Wrightsville Beach and you go over the bridge and it’s a nice walk.
Are there activities for children and families near you?
Absolutely! Right down the road from our house is this huge Ogden Park. We go there all the time. There’s the Wrightsville Beach Park. There’s the children’s museum, we do art class there weekly. There’s soccer, baseball, T-ball. There is plenty to do. There are parades, there’s so much. The summers are just full of camp after camp. If you think of it, it’s here, either through UNCW, a church or someone privately offering it.
Do you worry about hurricanes?
Not typically. Every once in a while we will get a scare. But I think everywhere you live has a certain risk and that’s just what’s here. People driving around see the hurricane evacuation route signs and freak out, but everywhere has something. Up north it’s bridge freezing and snowplow routes, out west it’s earthquakes.
What’s your favorite thing about living in a beach town during the winter?
Just knowing that the water is right there and it’s just so nice and quiet. You are so ready for the summer, but you are so ready for the winter to just kind of quiet everything down. The ocean is still right there, the water is still right there. You can still do those nice things but it’s a little calmer.