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School me on Charlotte, NC

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School me on Charlotte, NC

Old 05-18-15, 11:53 AM
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School me on Charlotte, NC

So it looks like I will be getting a job offer and making the move to Charlotte from NYC... Ive been before a few times but just as a visitor and was wondering if members can school me more about it. It looks like the job will be in the Huntersville area and from everything I have seen would like to stay in that area, although its not a definite. It will be my wife, 7-year old and myself. I don't need to be in the heart of everything. Just trying to find a place with good schools and great family things as well. Also, just some general tips and advice.
Old 05-18-15, 12:12 PM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

I've heard of the place. And I know they some kind of famous things there. That's all I got. Football team maybe?
Old 05-18-15, 12:18 PM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

I can say that it's chock full of Halfbacks -- people who moved from New York to Florida, found they didn't like it there, and moved halfway back. So for better or worse, there's a significant infusion of New York culture there.

That said, my Halfback friends all moved there in the mid-2000s and absolutely love it.
Old 05-18-15, 02:15 PM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

Well, that kind of describes me in reverse... Moved from Florida to NY and hated it here so moving halfway back. Interesting.
Old 05-18-15, 03:26 PM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

Too many New Yorkers there!
Old 05-18-15, 09:42 PM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by FantasticVSDoom View Post
So it looks like I will be getting a job offer and making the move to Charlotte from NYC... Ive been before a few times but just as a visitor and was wondering if members can school me more about it. It looks like the job will be in the Huntersville area and from everything I have seen would like to stay in that area, although its not a definite. It will be my wife, 7-year old and myself. I don't need to be in the heart of everything. Just trying to find a place with good schools and great family things as well. Also, just some general tips and advice.
To be fair the middle of everything in Charlotte is like a 16-block area.

Enjoy the pork BBQ!
Old 05-18-15, 10:48 PM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by The Bus View Post
To be fair the middle of everything in Charlotte is like a 16-block area.

Enjoy the pork BBQ!
Exactly what I was going to say. At least that's what a friend who recently made the same move (NYC to Charlotte) told me.
Old 05-19-15, 08:31 AM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by The Bus View Post
To be fair the middle of everything in Charlotte is like a 16-block area.

Enjoy the pork BBQ!
Im good with both of those things!
Old 05-19-15, 09:42 AM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

1st I hate you. I have been trying to get a job down there. Love the area. I use this for information.
http://www.city-data.com/forum/charlotte/
Old 05-19-15, 10:06 AM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by pyro383 View Post
1st I hate you. I have been trying to get a job down there. Love the area. I use this for information.
http://www.city-data.com/forum/charlotte/
Thanks for the link and sorry!! Ive been trying for a while myself. Finally convinced the wife who is a native NY'er. Once she saw she didn't have to work 10 hours a day anymore just so we can live in an apartment she started to see the light.
Old 05-19-15, 10:35 AM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by The Bus View Post
To be fair the middle of everything in Charlotte is like a 16-block area.

Enjoy the pork BBQ!
And the Cheerwine.

If you do a scouting trip, every Marriott in the greater Charlotte area gives you a free bottle of the stuff upon check-in. It might be ALL of the hotel chains, but I only stay at Marriotts so I can't say for sure. I also have it on good authority that if you are moving in from outside of the State, Cheerwine gives you a couple of free cases.... though you'll have to investigate how you get that.

Interestingly enough, they do something similar in Kentucky... Since smoking is compulsory in the Bluegrass State, they give you a little jump-start by comping the first cartons. Two cartons per adult, three per child.
Old 05-19-15, 10:47 AM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

America's Top 5 cities to keep on your radar

This list was from last year but Charlotte was #3.

Kansas City was #1 and San Diego was #4
Old 05-19-15, 11:37 AM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

Not trying to shit on SD, it looks amazing and I've always wanted to visit, but isn't it super expensive to live there (like any major city in Cali I guess). I thought affordability was important factor in these type of lists.
Old 05-19-15, 12:11 PM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

Yes, it's expensive. But I don't think cost-of-living was part of the equation for this particular list.
Old 05-19-15, 03:35 PM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by TomOpus View Post
America's Top 5 cities to keep on your radar

This list was from last year but Charlotte was #3.

Kansas City was #1 and San Diego was #4
"Charlotte is the new Atlanta"

So hot. With zombies.
Old 05-20-15, 04:02 PM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

I'm not a native, but I've lived here for 13 years so...

It's a nice city. But that's kind of it: "nice". It doesn't have a lot of character, and doesn't really ignite the passions either way. Although the population within the city limits is really liberal overall (I swear, it sometimes feels like Madison, WI or Berkeley, CA in there), it's a very conservative town overall, in the sense that it's dominated by bankers. Go downtown on a Friday night and you'll see nothing but former frat boy douchebags who are now junior analysts at BoA, 22 years old, making $72,000/year and thinking they're on top of the world. If you went to college in the 90s, and there was that one frat bar playing an unending stream of DMB on the jukebox for dudes in polo shirts and khaki shorts... well, that pretty much describes Uptown Charlotte on a weekend night. When these folks get older, they mellow out a lot, to the point where a "wild night" means going to Macaroni Grill and then to a martini bar for one drink, then home by 10:30. Charlotte sometimes seems like a parallel universe run by bankers and accountants.

This is not to say that Charlotte doesn't have cool stuff or interesting people. The Plaza Midwood neighborhood is pretty awesome. NoDa (North Davidson) is still cool, but over-gentrifying. There are some great ethnic restaurants and markets along Central Avenue. There's a small, but passionate, local arts scene. There are many music venues: after decades of being the place where bands stopped for gas between Raleigh and Atlanta\Athens, the city finally has a few mid-size venues like The Fillmore for indie acts. Unfortunately, they're mostly corporate-approved indie acts, like Silversun Pickups and New Politics, bands you might have wanted to see two years ago but not now. Charlotte desperately needs a venue like the 9:30 Club (DC), The Earl (Atlanta), The 40 Watt (Athens) or Cat's Cradle (Chapel Hill). But Midwood Smokehouse has some of the best barbecue you'll find anywhere, and has these awesome bacon-wrapped smoked jalapenos. And, as far as I'm concerned, Brooks' Sandwich House has the best hamburgers on the face of the earth. If that's not your thing, try nearby Le's for the banh mi, the best within a hundred mile radius, at least.

One of my biggest beefs with Charlotte is the lack of character. I live in a nearby suburb, the beginnings of which date to before the Civil War. There are tons of old houses and shops here. Even the non-historical houses are from the 50s, 60s and 70s. It's a nice place. It feels "settled". But yesterday I went to a client's house in the suburb of Matthews. It's brand new subdivision after brand new subdivision after brand new subdivision, interspersed with strip malls full of chain stores and casual dining places. It feels so... fake and new and Disney-ish. If you don't care about that, then no worries. One of the worst parts of Charlotte for this is Huntersville - seems like the whole area was farmland 40 years ago. But unlike Matthews and Mint Hill, Huntersville actually has some cool stuff: breweries, neat shops, suburban branches of "edgy" urban restaurants like Pinky's Westside Grill. If I couldn't live where I live now, I might just choose Huntersville - it may be suburban sprawl, but it's suburban sprawl with nice places to eat and get beers. Unless I had kids, in which case I'd move to Fort Mill, SC. Supposedly the best schools in the whole area are actually in South Carolina.

I know this is going to sound hypocritical, given that I just complained about suburban sprawl, but one thing that I really dislike about the area are shopping options, or lack thereof. If you need something obscure - say, a British grocery store - you'll almost always only have one option in the whole city, and it's always on the other side of town. When I first moved here in 2003, I wanted to throw a Super Bowl party, and needed some stuff from Party City. I went to their website to find that there were only 3 Party City stores in the entire metro area. I think there were 4 Party City stores within 10 minutes of my old apartment in the north Atlanta suburbs. I'll often see Groupons for a new, exciting restaurant - "FINALLY, a Peruvian restaurant in this town!", only to find that it's in University City (a 30-45 minute drive) or Matthews (35 minutes).

Charlotte is in a nice location. You can be at the beach in 3 hours, or the mountains in a little less time. Atlanta isn't too far, and you'll need to go there for concerts and cons (if you're in to that). The mountains in western NC shield Charlotte from a lot of the snow, but it usually snows a couple times a year, maybe 2-3", maybe a bit more. There's plenty of water too: seems like we could sell 20% of Lake Wylie to California, and no one would notice. Oh, also, Charlotte is Time Warner country. U-Verse is available in most places, and you may have heard that Google Fiber is coming soon. Funny timing that TWC announced plans for TWC Maxx just as Google announced that we were getting Google Fiber. I know TWC already had plans for Maxx in this area, but funny how quickly they moved after Google came to town.

The cost of living varies. Taxes in Charlotte\Meck County are significantly higher than the rest of the area. Since the city is growing so much, home prices inside the city limits have been rising for years, as has rent. They're knocking down historic buildings to put up cookie-cutter condos at a record rate, but demand is still really high. NC in general has some of the highest tax rates in the southeast, to where some call it the "Massachusetts of the South". Even though I live in NC, I'm pretty close to the SC border, and almost everyone who lives in my townhome complex drives the extra 2 minutes to buy gas and groceries in SC, since the gas tax is 23¢ less per gallon in SC and SC has no tax on groceries. The state also owns all the liquor stores in NC, so lots of people go to SC to buy liquor, since it's not only cheaper, there's a much better selection.

So what, exactly, are you wanting to know? I know I've kind of shit all over the place with my post, but there actually *is* a lot to like here. There's good food here, even if the "haute cuisine" isn't entirely up to par. There are more craft breweries here than you can shake a stick at. There are great options for hiking, biking and rafting, if that's your thing. Even if you don't care about the local sports teams (as a transplant, I don't), it's still somewhat awe-inspiring to see the love of UNC basketball here.

I'm just a little jaded, because most of the people I know here are natives, and half their conversations sound like this to me: "Hey, remember that time in [high school I've never heard of] when [people I've never met] snuck in to [nightclub that closed 20 years ago] and saw [local band that broke up in 1992]? Then we went to [all-night diner that is now a parking deck], and [locally-famous waitress who died in 2002] kicked us out because [guy who died of drug overdose in 2000] threw up on [girl who moved away in 1999]? So we went to [doughnut shop that's now condos] and hung out in the parking lot until 6AM?"

Last edited by Rex Fenestrarum; 05-21-15 at 07:51 PM.
Old 05-20-15, 04:12 PM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt View Post
"Charlotte is the new Atlanta"
You probably shouldn't say that here. The city has a massive inferiority complex about Atlanta. If some survey mentions Charlotte coming in above Atlanta, they'll almost certainly mention it on the news if it's good news. Like, "a new study ranked Charlotte the #4 city in America for new tech jobs. Raleigh came in at #8 and Atlanta [smirk] came in at #31". Of course, if it's bad news, or if Atlanta came out ahead, they'll skip the mention. Had Atlanta been #3 on the list, it wouldn't get mentioned at all.

When Charlotte won the NASCAR Hall of Fame, our local Fox affiliate ran an ad which tauntingly said, "sorry Atlanta... but enjoy your little pond!", referring to the Georgia Aquarium. Funny thing about that is, the NASCAR HoF is drawing horrible numbers: from July 2013 to June 2014, only 169,724 people went. The Georgia Aquarium gets about that many visitors every three weeks.
Old 05-20-15, 05:18 PM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by Rex Fenestrarum View Post
One of my biggest beefs with Charlotte is the lack of character. I live in a nearby suburb, the beginnings of which date to before the Civil War. There are tons of old houses and shops here. It's a nice place. But yesterday I went to a client's house in the suburb of Matthews. It's brand new subdivision after subdivision after subdivision. There are strip malls with chain after chain after chain. It feels so... fake and new and Disney-ish.
Unfortunately, that's not just a Charlotte thing. North Carolina has a rich history... hell, they were one of the original 13 colonies for chrissakes. Yet on their state quarter, and on their license plates, they celebrate the accomplishments of two guys from Ohio.



This proud state, who has given America so much -- tobacco, NASCAR, slavery -- instead has to turn to two brothers from Dayton to find something to hang their hat on. But the funny thing is that the reason Kitty Hawk even happened was because Orville and Wilbur needed a place with strong winds, winds that blew consistently in the same direction, and that was roomy and remote enough to allow them to do their experiments without interruption. The Huffman Prairie (near what is now Wright-Patterson AFB) offered them the space they needed but the winds were unpredictable. The Wright B Flyer was still experimental, and their wing-warping technology had yet to be tested under powered flight conditions, so they needed to be able to test their heavier-than-air hypothesis knowing that the aircraft would not need to turn to face into the wind.

Constant winds. Constant direction. That's what Kitty Hawk NC offered.

And it was desolate. Nobody in their right minds would hang out in that sand-dune strewn shit hole in 1903. That's why it was perfect for the Wright Bros - that part of North Carolina not only blew... it also sucked.

North Carolina's quarter and license plates could have any of the Founding Fathers, or Dale Earnhart, or Andy Griffith, or Aunt Jemima, or Philip Morris, or the raping Duke Lacrosse Team on them. But unfortunately, they've turned their back on their heritage and instead use the image of two guys from my home town in Southwest Ohio.



Don't get me wrong. I *like* Charlotte. I just wish city and the state were a little more proud of their own accomplishments rather than co-opting the work of folks not even from there.
Old 05-20-15, 05:30 PM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

This proud state, who has given America so much -- tobacco, NASCAR, slavery
Old 05-21-15, 09:54 AM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by Rex Fenestrarum View Post
I'm not a native, but I've lived here for 13 years so...

It's a nice city. But that's kind of it: "nice". It doesn't have a lot of character, and doesn't really ignite the passions either way. Although the population within the city limits is really liberal overall (I swear, it sometimes feels like Madison, WI or Berkeley, CA in there), it's a very conservative town overall, in the sense that it's dominated by bankers. Go downtown on a Friday night and you'll see nothing but former frat boy douchebags who are now junior analysts at BoA, 22 years old, making $72,000/year and thinking they're on top of the world. If you went to college in the 90s, and there was that one frat bar playing an unending stream of DMB on the jukebox for dudes in polo shirts and khaki shorts... well, that pretty much describes Uptown Charlotte on a weekend night. When these folks get older, they mellow out a lot, to the point where a "wild night" means going to Macaroni Grill and then to a martini bar for one drink, then home by 10:30. Charlotte sometimes seems like a parallel universe run by bankers and accountants.

This is not to say that Charlotte doesn't have cool stuff or interesting people. The Plaza Midwood neighborhood is pretty awesome. NoDa (North Davidson) is still cool, but over-gentrifying. There are some great ethnic restaurants and markets along Central Avenue. There's a small, but passionate, local arts scene. There are many music venues: after decades of being the place where bands stopped for gas between Raleigh and Atlanta\Athens, the city finally has a few mid-size venues like The Fillmore for indie acts. Unfortunately, they're mostly corporate-approved indie acts, like Silversun Pickups and New Politics, bands you might have wanted to see two years ago but not now. Charlotte desperately needs a venue like the 9:30 Club (DC), The Earl (Atlanta), The 40 Watt (Athens) or Cat's Cradle (Chapel Hill). But Midwood Smokehouse has some of the best barbecue you'll find anywhere, and has these awesome bacon-wrapped smoked jalapenos. And, as far as I'm concerned, Brooks' Sandwich House has the best hamburgers on the face of the earth. If that's not your thing, try nearby Le's for the banh mi, the best within a hundred mile radius, at least.

One of my biggest beefs with Charlotte is the lack of character. I live in a nearby suburb, the beginnings of which date to before the Civil War. There are tons of old houses and shops here. Even the non-historical houses are from the 50s, 60s and 70s. It's a nice place. It feels "settled". But yesterday I went to a client's house in the suburb of Matthews. It's brand new subdivision after brand new subdivision after brand new subdivision, interspersed with strip malls full of chain stores and casual dining places. It feels so... fake and new and Disney-ish. If you don't care about that, then no worries. One of the worst parts of Charlotte for this is Huntersville - seems like the whole area was farmland 40 years ago. But unlike Matthews and Mint Hill, Huntersville actually has some cool stuff: breweries, neat shops, suburban branches of "edgy" urban restaurants like Pinky's Westside Grill. If I couldn't live where I live now, I might just choose Huntersville - it may be suburban sprawl, but it's suburban sprawl with nice places to eat and get beers. Unless I had kids, in which case I'd move to Fort Mill, SC. Supposedly the best schools in the whole area are actually in South Carolina.

I know this is going to sound hypocritical, given that I just complained about suburban sprawl, but one thing that I really dislike about the area are shopping options, or lack thereof. If you need something obscure - say, a British grocery store - you'll almost always only have one option in the whole city, and it's always on the other side of town. When I first moved here in 2003, I wanted to throw a Super Bowl party, and needed some stuff from Party City. I went to their website to find that there were only 3 Party City stores in the entire metro area. I think there were 4 Party City stores within 10 minutes of my old apartment in the north Atlanta suburbs. I'll often see Groupons for a new, exciting restaurant - "FINALLY, a Peruvian restaurant in this town!", only to find that it's in University City (a 30-45 minute drive) or Matthews (35 minutes).

Charlotte is in a nice location. You can be at the beach in 3 hours, or the mountains in a little less time. Atlanta isn't too far, and you'll need to go there for concerts and cons (if you're in to that). The mountains in western NC shield Charlotte from a lot of the snow, but it usually snows a couple times a year, maybe 2-3", maybe a bit more. There's plenty of water too: seems like we could sell 20% of Lake Wylie to California, and no one would notice. Oh, also, Charlotte is Time Warner country. U-Verse is available in most places, and you may have heard that Google Fiber is coming soon. Funny timing that TWC announced plans for TWC Maxx just as Google announced that we were getting Google Fiber. I know TWC already had plans for Maxx in this area, but funny how quickly they moved after Google came to town.

The cost of living varies. Taxes in Charlotte\Meck County are significantly higher than the rest of the area. Since the city is growing so much, home prices inside the city limits have been rising for years, as has rent. They're knocking down historic buildings to put up cookie-cutter condos at a record rate, but demand is still really high. NC in general has some of the highest tax rates in the southeast, to where some call it the "Massachusetts of the South". Even though I live in NC, I'm pretty close to the SC border, and almost everyone who lives in my townhome complex drives the extra 2 minutes to buy gas and groceries in SC, since the gas tax is 23¢ less per gallon in SC and SC has no tax on groceries. The state also owns all the liquor stores in NC, so lots of people go to SC to buy liquor, since it's not only cheaper, there's a much better selection.

So what, exactly, are you wanting to know? I know I've kind of shit all over the place with my post, but there actually *is* a lot to like here. There's good food here, even if the "haute cuisine" isn't entirely up to par. There are more craft breweries here than you can shake a stick at. There are great options for hiking, biking and rafting, if that's your thing. Even if you don't care about the local sports teams (as a transplant, I don't), it's still somewhat awe-inspiring to see the love of UNC basketball here.

I'm just a little jaded, because most of the people I know here are natives, and half their conversations sound like this to me: "Hey, remember that time in [high school I've never heard of] when [people I've never met] snuck in to [nightclub that closed 20 years ago] and saw [local band that broke up in 1992]? Then we went to [all-night that is now a parking deck], and [locally-famous waitress who died in 2002] kicked us out because [guy who died of drug overdose in 2000] threw up on [girl who moved away in 1999]? So we went to [doughnut shop that's now condos] and hung out in the parking lot until 6AM?"
Thanks... That sums it up nicely, . And truth be told, that's kind of what I'm looking for. Even though you did shit on a lot of stuff and it sounds awful, I can see the "good" in it. I will more than likely be in the Huntersville area. At one time in my life, all the bad would have soured me on it, but now I'm the guy from your first paragraph, haha (not really but I did got to college in the 90's!!).
Old 05-21-15, 08:06 PM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

Yeah, I dissed Charlotte pretty hard in my post. If you want to see the positives, here's an article I wrote for my blog: 20 Things I Love About Charlotte.
Old 05-22-15, 08:55 AM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

Thanks, great information! I appreciate it. Its official. Accepted the new job and will be heading down pretty soon!
Old 05-22-15, 09:13 AM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by kenbuzz View Post
Unfortunately, that's not just a Charlotte thing. North Carolina has a rich history... hell, they were one of the original 13 colonies for chrissakes. Yet on their state quarter, and on their license plates, they celebrate the accomplishments of two guys from Ohio.



This proud state, who has given America so much -- tobacco, NASCAR, slavery -- instead has to turn to two brothers from Dayton to find something to hang their hat on. But the funny thing is that the reason Kitty Hawk even happened was because Orville and Wilbur needed a place with strong winds, winds that blew consistently in the same direction, and that was roomy and remote enough to allow them to do their experiments without interruption. The Huffman Prairie (near what is now Wright-Patterson AFB) offered them the space they needed but the winds were unpredictable. The Wright B Flyer was still experimental, and their wing-warping technology had yet to be tested under powered flight conditions, so they needed to be able to test their heavier-than-air hypothesis knowing that the aircraft would not need to turn to face into the wind.

Constant winds. Constant direction. That's what Kitty Hawk NC offered.

And it was desolate. Nobody in their right minds would hang out in that sand-dune strewn shit hole in 1903. That's why it was perfect for the Wright Bros - that part of North Carolina not only blew... it also sucked.

North Carolina's quarter and license plates could have any of the Founding Fathers, or Dale Earnhart, or Andy Griffith, or Aunt Jemima, or Philip Morris, or the raping Duke Lacrosse Team on them. But unfortunately, they've turned their back on their heritage and instead use the image of two guys from my home town in Southwest Ohio.



Don't get me wrong. I *like* Charlotte. I just wish city and the state were a little more proud of their own accomplishments rather than co-opting the work of folks not even from there.


This might be the single greatest post in the history of the DVD Talk forum.
Old 05-22-15, 09:16 AM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

I visited the Wright Memorial at Kitty Hawk a few months ago. Now I feel bad for doing so.
Old 05-23-15, 02:43 PM
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Re: School me on Charlotte, NC

17 Things You Have To Explain To Out-Of-Towners About Charlotte

One of my favorites:

15. Roads inexplicably change names
Turn on your GPS, use a compass, follow the North Star, or pray to the gods of travel, it won’t make any difference. You’ll still get lost in Charlotte where roads change names, like when Morehead St becomes Queens Road, and then Providence Road all in less than a mile FOR NO REASON!
I've lived here since 2003 and still don't understand how the intersection of Providence and Providence and Queens and Queens happened.

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