I told my parents back in the 90s that I was leaving this town for a better place. The town has always been on a bad decline. ECU is no hidden gem as it is full of politics just like the rest of the country.
Greenville is your typical college town. There are more fast food restaurants, drug stores and coffee shops than you will ever need. It is hard to find many places that are not chains but there are certainly a few gems in this city (Michelangelo's, Basil, B's Barbecue, Parker's, Harvey's, etc.) Shopping is decent but no frills. The mall, compared to many, is mediocre at best. There is very little in the way of attractions and recreation. East Carolina University hosts good plays and concerts and of course there is a plethora of sports with football being the heartbeat. The majority of jobs are centered around the medical center and the university. Crime is a problem but it does not effect much of the day to day events. The worst crime is centered in specific parts of the city and I have yet to witness or be directly impacted by a crime. Traffic is pretty bad for a city this size, lots of traffic lights.
Proximity to river towns (Washington, New Bern, Belhaven) and of course the Outer Banks and other beaches is a big draw. A day trip to the beach is easily feasible.
All in all, Greenville is not a bad little town. If you are looking for a university town with the typical college attractions (fast food, clubs, and college events) then Greenville is your fit. Greenville is simply a no frills, average community. Greenville is growing with more stores and restaurants coming in by the month. I believe the best days are still ahead for Greenville.
I have lived in Greenville NC since my college days there, and I can't imagine living anywhere else. East Carolina University, home of the Pirates, helps this city to thrive. A steady stream of university students, professors and area residents peruse the shelves at Barnes and Noble and a number of smaller book stores. The local Starbucks, Panera Bread, Best Buy and independent shops cater to professionals throughout the day.
Nearby hospitals and medical educational facilities in Greenville attract the best and brightest from all over the world to train at their facilities. Highly skilled and respected physicians and medical personnel choose to train and work at Pitt County Memorial Hospital. Many of them, as I did, decide to move here permanently. They buy homes, raise families and help the economy flourish.
I am within two hours of the state's world-famous beaches and less than a two-hour drive from Raleigh. The local airport in Greenville is convenient to major interstate and intrastate highways.
My favorite restaurant in the city of Greenville is Finelli's Italian, convenient to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and the area's best shopping malls. My family loves the city's Aquatics and Fitness Center programs. Shopping areas abound, as do restaurants and entertainment venues, but traffic can become congested at times.