Mobile, Alabama

The Little Easy

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What's it like to live in Mobile?

Why Do You Choose To Live In Mobile?

I lived last year in Birmingham; this year in Mobile.

Hard to know how authentic a vibe I get from both places because of how COVID has skewed everything, but I agree with you about the friendlier, more open vibe in Mobile than Bham.

There's also a bit of saltiness in Mobile - people express their opinions, which I like, whereas folks were cordial but aloof in Bham.

But again - COVID.

I surely do prefer the street layout in Mobile over Birmingham. When Birmingham likes a street name, it doesn't want to let it go! So you goshdarn better pay attention to the second part: road, drive, way, lane, etc. :-)

Thoughts from locals? Mobile, Pensacola and any other options

I’m from New York originally, and have lived all over, including Europe. We moved here in July (after a brief stay in Dothan, AL). We live in Midtown, and we like it a lot. We like the older homes, the live oaks, and the walkability (although the ancient, buckled sidewalks will straight up kill you, if you’re not paying attention). We pay only a little bit more for a 3 bedroom apartment here than we were paying for a crappy one bedroom in Colorado. Our car broke down last summer, which would have been catastrophic had we been living in the suburbs, but being able to walk to so many places in Midtown really saved us! It does seem to be a peculiarly Southern thing to let your pets roam down here (not that everyone loves that—there are plenty who don’t). There was a loose pig last summer, LOL. It’s a cool, quirky little city with a lot of history, and I just love the old buildings—and that we can walk to the river. We’ve taken the ferry across the bay (a bit of a drive there), and we’ve seen dolphins each time.

Thoughts from locals? Mobile, Pensacola and any other options

During the pandemic, I relocated back to my hometown from Brooklyn, NY (which I loved). I grew up in Mobile. We initially lived with my parents but are just moving into a newly built rental while we figure out our plan. It might be an option for you while you figure out your plan. The community seems diverse & fantastic so far. No one’s lived in the townhomes before & they’re very nice & affordable. They also offer 6 month leases.

Mobile townhomes

Btw, at this location, you’re about 40 minutes away from Dauphin Island…it’s paradise to me…great public beaches & nature preserves.

As another person commented - these townhomes are in West Mobile & I like the area.

Caveat…it’s not walkable but the community is fantastic.

How is Mobile, Alabama?

The old sections of Mobile are very pretty, with huge oaks and Spanish moss, along with many charming old houses and buildings. Beyond the older parts, there are shopping centers, cookie-cutter subdivisions -- and traffic! -- as you would find in nearly any city.

Mobile is hot for much of the year, and very humid -- similar to New Orleans or Houston in that respect. This makes for a hot-house atmosphere in which it is possible to easily grow luxurious gardens, if that's something you would like. Some people hate the humidity, but having grown up with it, I don't mind it. In fact, it feels rather comforting!

Mobile is mostly flat. However, Spring Hill rises to the west of downtown, and that is where wealthy people settled in the pre-air conditioning days to find a bit of coolness. Today, Spring Hill is the richest section of town by far. I find among non-rich whites and blacks alike, an undercurrent of envy and resentment toward the people who live there. That's human nature anywhere, I guess.

Mobile has a conservative culture. It is very "churchy," with Baptists dominating but with a strong Catholic component stemming from its earlier history as a French and then Spanish colony (it was also a British colony at one time). In some ways, though, it is more laid back and "loose" than the rest of Alabama, sharing much the same heritage as Louisiana. There is a huge Mardi Gras celebration there each year; in fact, its Mardi Gras is older than the one in New Orleans.

There's a real racial divide in Mobile, unfortunately. Most of the time people get along fine with one another, but the divide plays itself out in politics. People tend to vote along racial lines, and periodically there's an eruption of tension over things such as crime and police response. The slightly larger racial group in the city (and moreso in Mobile County as a whole) is whites. Added to the general conservatism of the area, this means that Mobile tends to go Republican in Congressional and Presidential races. However, there are lots of Democrats and blacks on the city council and in the state legislature from Mobile and the neighboring majority-black city of Prichard.

Mobile has had huge economic swings throughout its history. It is currently having an economic boom, due largely to its selection by Airbus for a major manufacturing facility. It now has a couple of skyscrapers that would have seemed like something out of science fiction if I had had a vision of them when I was growing up there. One of the byproducts of this boom is that housing is becoming more expensive, whereas until recently it was one of the cheapest markets in the country. I should mention that property taxes are very low, but the sales tax is very high.

If you're a water lover, you would love Mobile. Nearby are Mobile Bay and the Mobile River Delta, and within a half hour to one hour there's the Gulf of Mexico and the excellent beaches of Gulf Shores and Dauphin Island. Sailing, kayaking, swimming, diving, and hunting and fishing, or just hanging out on the beach, are all popular activities.

Some people love Mobile, for the climate and slower pace. Others hate it, for the conservatism -- and the climate! Some who great up there couldn't wait to get away. But many natives couldn't imagine living anywhere else, and some people from elsewhere have found a happy retirement there. I should say here that people who can afford it, whether they're from Mobile or elsewhere, tend to move to the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay rather than stay in the city of Mobile itself. The crime in the city itself is definitely an issue for many people.

I hope this helps answer your question. If you had something more specific to ask about Mobile, let me know.

Moving to Mobile Alabama | The Pros and Cons for 2022