Boring or not?

Published 7:05 pm Saturday, January 24, 2015

By empirical measures — according to one real estate website, at least — Suffolk is one of the most boring places in Virginia.

Only Danville, South Riding and Short Pump finished ahead of Suffolk in the ranking, which analyzed 46 places in Virginia with a population of 20,000 or more. It then considered the nightlife, live music venues, parks, arts and entertainment, fast food restaurants (more chains equals more boring), percentage of young people and population density in coming up with the rankings.

It’s an odd ranking that puts Short Pump — well known for shopping opportunities and boasting a bowling alley and skating rink, two things many Suffolkians bemoan the city’s lack of — tied for second most boring place in the state.

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Furthermore, many people in Suffolk consider its low population density a benefit, not a detriment. And it’s probably safe to say Suffolk Police are glad the city they are tasked with protecting doesn’t have the crime and safety issues that accompany the nightlife of larger cities.

But that’s the problem with statistics. You can make them mean anything you want them to mean.

Several Suffolk residents defended the city on Friday when apprised of’s ranking. They described it as family-oriented and quiet rather than boring, with less crime, though some did acknowledge a lack of things for children and teenagers to do.

Others did say they consider Suffolk boring, with a lack of malls and interesting stores.

Interestingly, this story ran on Friday’s front page right next to a story about a new community center in Whaleyville. The new center includes a game room, group exercise room, fitness facility and computer lab — in other words, anything needed to keep children and adults healthy, engaged and entertained — in one of the most rural parts of the city. Dozens of local residents came out to enjoy the new amenities.

Some might still consider the city boring, but there’s no denying it’s getting closer to a cure.