This is another oldie but goodie. I’m still in Thailand so I hope you enjoy this post about Charlotte, my new hometown!
A few days ago there was a post citing 15 Reasons Charlotte Is The Weirdest. Well, as someone who was raised in Los Angeles, lived in Spain and France and speaks French, Spanish, and English fluently, I absolutely love living in Charlotte. I couldn’t let such a ludicrous piece of drivel be the only thing representing this city that I love so here are the 15 reasons why Charlotte is absolutely awesome.
1. Uptown Charlotte
Why is Downtown called Uptown? Who cares? What in the world does what we call our downtown area have to do with what is in it? Uptown Charlotte is filled with restaurants, tree lined streets, lovely parks, friendly people, food trucks, and world class museums. If you haven’t been Uptown you are missing out. Oh, there is a graveyard I believe but that hardly qualifies as, “graveyards being everywhere.”
2. No one is actually from Charlotte
“The astounding lack of both character and culture in Charlotte is confusing. ” Is a line from the original piece. This person shows their lack of culture and character by attacking a city that has a ton of both. In Charlotte we have the theatre, there are museum crawls, live music is available every night of the week in one of the numerous venues around the city, and there are spoken word events. Creative Loafing much?
Since when is it a bad thing when people from all different parts of the country find common ground in a city? Charlotte is like many other big cities where it may be a bit difficult to meet someone born and raised here.
However, those of us that moved here from all over the world did so because we wanted a better way of life. We wanted to live in a city where people were friendly, smiles and kindness weren’t reserved for those that can further your career, and southern hospitality was practiced and not a metaphor.
Have you been to Barringtons? Upstream? Carpe Diem? Basil? 300 East? Bistro La Bon? And those are just a few I thought of off the top of my head. When my mother comes to visit from Los Angeles where access to a good meal is a no brainer, she looks forward to dining in Charlotte.
And if you are a vegan don’t fret, there is a website devoted to the vegan restaurant options you can choose from in The Queen City.
4. Empty streets are cool
Don’t believe for a moment that all streets in Charlotte are empty. I’m not quite sure what the “writer” of the article meant by this ludicrous statement but it seems she was trying to be insulting. Are the streets packed to the point where at all times of the day you have to get frustrated because of the ridiculous amount of traffic? No. Is that a bad thing? Um…no.
The fact that traffic is minimal (I come from Los Angeles where traffic is a beast ALL DAY and night) and that you can get on the freeway at 1pm or 1am and not have to worry about traffic is a blessing (gasp! a biblical reference! I must be an evangelical!).
5. We experience 4 seasons…but not too much
We have four seasons for a reason. Each season has its own beauty and in Charlotte you don’t get too much of either one. It rarely snows and when it does it melts pretty quickly or shuts the city down for a day or two. Big deal.
Summer is hot and humid but not so bad you want to smack someone. Fall and spring are so incredibly beautiful with the changing of the leaves and blooming trees it makes driving around a sheer joy.
6. International Airport
Nothing says, “Cosmopolitan City” than having an international airport in your backyard. If you need a little getaway you can choose from hundreds of American cities, you can pop over to an island, maybe explore South America or check out Europe.
There are literally hundreds of direct flights to international destinations if that is what you choose. And parking at the airport is cheap, AND the parking lot is filled with beautiful trees. Where else can you find that?
7. Beautiful murals/street art
you can focus on one mural that you don’t understand or look at many of the other beautiful options around the city. Your choice.
8. Tree lined streets
Have you driven down any street in Charlotte? Find one that doesn’t have lovely trees. I dare you.
9. Sports Teams
We have the NBA, NFL, and minor league baseball and hockey. NASCAR is the biggest sport in Charlotte and it brings happiness to all those that love it. What’s weird about that?
10. Light Rail
For the 16,000 people that ride the light rail daily, it is hardly hilarious.
11. Southern Hospitality
People in Charlotte are very friendly. Much of that is based on the fact that this is the Bible belt where God and country go hand in hand. People are polite, they smile, men open doors for women (HOMIGOSH chivalry isn’t dead here!) and it’s genuine. How is that weird?
12. US National Whitewater Center
Charlotte is home to the, “world’s largest man-made whitewater river”. THE. LARGEST. IN. THE. WORLD. Weird to be the largest in the world…or totally awesome?
13. Bricks buildings are everywhere
My cousin came to visit and said, “Take me to the hood.” So I took him to the hoodish part I knew and he said, “This can’t be the hood! There are brick houses and people are waving and smiling at me!” Brick is so normal here people don’t even think about it but it adds so much to an already lovely place.
14. Amelie’s French Bakery
Amelie’s is owned by a dear friend of mine and it is absolutely one of the best things about Charlotte. I lived in Paris and having a little corner of France that I can get to 24 hours a day is sheer heaven. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t love Amelie’s, it’s just that cool of a place.
15. Charlotte gives Purgatory a new meaning
If purgatory means, “a wonderful place where happiness abounds in a loving, kind, generous, vivacious, and beautiful place” then yes, Charlotte is indeed purgatory. And please, don’t waste your prayers trying to pray me out of it. I am very comfortable in this Southern version of “Purgatorial perfection.” Yeah, I like that.
I’d love to hear from you! Have you been to Charlotte? Do you live here? What do you think of Charlotte?