Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Decoding Culture - Tybee Island, GA, USA

Tybee Island is a beach resort town outside of Savannah, GA and I was there for 5 days last week. Ah yes rough life.
3392 people, 1568 households, 901 families.
Population density is 1326 people/sq mile. [DC is 10065, Baltimore is 7671]
95.93% white, 1.89% African American, 0.56% Native American, 0.85% Asian, 1.27% Hispanic.
Family median income is 58462. [DC is 85198, Baltimore is 48216]

Lots of cultural elements about the Civil War and Tybee's involvement - you drive past Fort Pulaski on the way there. My favorite local story was about TS Chu, a Chinese immigrant who sort of inherited a little drug store there on the island. He built it into a thriving business that stimulated the local economy for many years and eventually owned most of the convenience stores on the island. There is even a street named after him for some of the philanthropic giving he did for residents.

Anecdotally, I noticed lots of ethnicities that seemed to live and work there, many more than I have noticed in previous visits. This included Vietnamese working at Sunrise, a little breakfast shop, an Indian man who has owned the Shell station for over 20 years and a Brazilian lady working in "Waves."

[Related: Decoding Culture: Oranjestad, Aruba; Winchester, VA, USA]

[PS - Thanks to all who asked how D is doing the past few days. Much better and we've got a good plan for managing her blood sugar.]


  1. Ah, the old stomping grounds. Tybee reminds we of a town left behind in an era long forgotten. With only 2 hotels on the water and not much true touristy joints, Tybee is truly a quant little beach community for that part of Georgia. Back when we lived there we loved going to Sunrise and got to know the owner a little, it always struck me that the best american breakfast places in Savannah were all owned by Vietnamese families, we frequented another on Victory Drive and Skidaway Road when bought a house in that area town. Glad to hear you guys had some good down time with your family. Hope D is home and feeling better.

  2. haha so funny. i always forget that you guys lived there. wow you guys went to sunrise!! =)

    yup d is home and doing better - thanks for thinking of us.