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Thread: Opinions on Charlotte, NC area?

  1. #1
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    Opinions on Charlotte, NC area?

    Considering a possible relocation...

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    Expensive real estate, from my understanding.

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    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Compared to California (and Colorado) real estate, it's dirt cheap. Or was.

    I lived in Charlotte from 1980 - 1986 and 1990 - 2004. I'll be happy to answer any questions I can if you don't mind almost 10-year-old information.

    What kinds of information are you looking for? I can write a ten-page essay on "opinions of the area" but those will be my opinions and not necessarily yours.
    Last edited by George; May 6th, 2014 at 01:05 PM.

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    Meh, zillow says the median home value is $146,000. Even coming from dirt cheap Michigan, I'm hardly shocked by those numbers.

    I dunno... What are the people like, what's the culture like? Is anyone going to shove a bible down my throat? I've spent very little time down south.

  5. #5
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Is anyone going to shove a bible down my throat? I've spent very little time down south.
    Not literally, but well-meaning new neighbors, co-workers, etc. may ask you where you go to church upon first meeting you or very soon thereafter. I think they think it's a polite topic and not intrusive. I was in outside sales for several years traveling the Carolinas, Georgia, and southern Virginia and I quickly learned to have a smile and a ready answer for this question.

    Culture...well, let's see....

    To be polite, it never hurts to say "yes sir" or "yes ma'am" to those older than you or in positions of authority. This will sound racist and I freely admit that it is, but I used to make a point (in my own mind, not outwardly) of saying "yes sir" or yes ma'am" to older black (African American) people in particular. You must remember that anyone who has lived in the south who is older than 55 or 60 personally experienced segregation and I always figured these nice folks deserved a little courtesy and respect.

    Funny story - I moved to a smaller town north of Charlotte with my parents in 1978 and I learned to say "yes sir" and "yes ma'am" not from adults but from a friend my age who was appalled when I replied affirmatively to his mother with a "yeah", instead of "yes ma'am". The kid who corrected me was about 10 or 11 years old, as was I.

    Gentlemen still hold doors open for ladies in the south. Ladies do not wear white shoes or belts after Labor Day nor before Memorial Day. When I lived in Charleston SC in between my two stints in Charlotte, they even printed it in the Sunday newspaper on Labor Day weekend - something like, "remember ladies, today is the last day to wear white!".

    Cheerwine is a non-alcoholic soft drink that tastes a little bit like Dr. Pepper. It has no alcohol.

    Have at least a passing knowledge of what goes on in NASCAR for discussion. It's big business in Charlotte and you're either a fan or you can fake it well enough to get by.

    A bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit from Bojangle's restaurant (a fast food chicken place) is about as good as breakfast gets. Put mustard on it.

    Go to Brooks' Sandwich House on North Davidson street in the "NODA" neighborhood and get cheeseburger. It will come with chili, cole slaw (always called simply "slaw" in the south), chopped onions, and mustard. You will thank me.

    There a lot of trees in Charlotte. Newcomers to the area ALWAYS comment on that and how pretty the city is. They're right, of course, but having come to Colorado from there, I'm completely amazed at the wide-open spaces and being able to see for untold miles off in the distance almost all the time. I have heard westerners come back form the east and complain of feeling claustrophic there, and I understand now.

    There are two kinds of weather in Charlotte: 33 degrees F and raining, which coats the tree branches and power lines and causes power outages and skating-rink-roads, or 95 degrees and 95 percent humidity. There is only one hotter Hell On Earth that I know of - Columbia SC. Don't go to the Carolinas unless you like to sweat. A lot.

    When I lived in Vermont and now Colorado, there was a saying: "Don't like the weather? Wait fifteen minutes." Equally true is this saying of the southestern USA: "Don't like the heat and humidity? Just wait seven more months."

    You can get to Charleston area beaches in three hours. Wilmington beaches will set you back four hours. Three hours will get you to Asheville or Boone. Despite what some people think, there is okay snow skiing in the the area - Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain in NC and one just over the border on I-77 in West Virginia that I liked - you could get to WV by interstate as fast as Boone by mountain roads.

    There are rivers and streams and lakes and reservoirs everywhere. Lots of good fishing there - freshwater close to home and saltwater a few hours south and east.

    Garages in the south aren't as common as in colder parts of the country, and very few homes have basements, except perhaps very expensive homes that I have no experience with. Most homes are built on concrete slabs or above a crawl space.

    You'll find spiders, slugs, snails, roaches, 'tater bugs, water bugs, skeeters, no-see-ums (tiny skeeters that you don't see but you'll feel their bites), chiggers, ticks, and skunks in abundance. Finding a roach in your house once in a great while doesn't mean you're living in squalor; it means you're living in the wet and warm and humid south.

    Uh...what else...

    College basketball has an equally rabid fan base as NASCAR. If you're like me and find no redeeming value in basketball, prepare to just grit your teeth and wait until March Madness ends each year. It eventually does.

    Lots of companies are closed on Easter Monday instead of Good Friday. This is a particularly North Carolina-esque concept and if I remember my folklore correctly, it started when state legislators wanted the Monday after Easter off to watch basketball. I might be wrong but that's what I remember.

    The correct beverage to consume with a Moon Pie is a RC Cola, but it's pronounced "arruh see cola", not "are see cola".

    There is no good BBQ in Charlotte - none - but lots of good BBQ in surrounding cities and towns. Which kind of BBQ is superior in the south is a hotly contested item and you're best to stay out of this argument until you have eaten enough to have at least a 40" waist size or you'll be ignored as a wanna-be.

    Charlotte is a banking and insurance town. Half of everyone you'll meet either works for a bank or an insurance company, or at least that's how it used to be.

    Well, there's some stream-of-conciousness typing. Will do more if you like or if you have specific questions.

    Bottom line: despite my personal preferences, Charlotte is a very nice city and a perfectly fine place to live and enjoy life. We just got tired of it, but that doesn't mean it's a lousy place to be.
    Last edited by George; May 6th, 2014 at 02:07 PM.

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    Because Racetrack?

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    No garages!? That does not appear to be compatible with ownership of a Lotus.

  8. #8
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    You put the Lotus in the rusty metal toolshed in the backyard that is halfway overgrown with Kudzu.

    I forgot to mention Kudzu. You will get to know it well.


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    That will not happen.

    Anyway, what about the road conditions? Lots of potholes? I know you haven't been there in 10yrs.

    Also, I don't get this comment...

    There a lot of trees in Charlotte. Newcomers to the area ALWAYS comment on that and how pretty the city is. They're right, of course, but having come to Colorado from there, I'm completely amazed at the wide-open spaces and being able to see for untold miles off in the distance almost all the time. I have heard westerners come back form the east and complain of feeling claustrophic there, and I understand now.
    Westerners coming back from the east?... Huh? What feels claustrophobic, Colorado or NC? Either way, I think that either measure of feeling claustrophobic would pale in comparison to southeast MI. This place is dead flat with perfect grid roads extending out for 100 miles in all directions.

  10. #10
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Oh, and I see now I wrote, "Garages in the south aren't as common as in colder parts of the country, and very few homes have garages..."

    What I meant to say was, "Garages in the south aren't as common as in colder parts of the country, and very few homes have BASEMENTS".

    Sorry 'bout that.

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