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

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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?

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My friend Alexsis and I at a wedding. Guess where she’s from?

 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.

 

3. Restaurants

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Sea bass from Upstream Restaurant

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

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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

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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.

 

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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

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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

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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

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That’s Presbyterian Hospital. Oh, and all of that is brick.

 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? 

 

 

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Some people travel. Roni IS travel. For over 20 years she has been traveling the world and now shares her unique insight with her worldwide audience on her blog, www.RoniTheTravelGuru.com. Whether you have never gotten on a plane or are a seasoned traveler, the expertise and insider knowledge she shares on her blog will help you make your travels an adventure. No where else can you find the uniquely helpful ins and out given to you by someone who has lived overseas for 4 years, speaks fluent English, French and Spanish, and works for a major airline. And guess what? She’s also a licensed elementary teacher and has an MBA.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Love this! I love Charlotte, too, and you did a great job with your rebuttal. I read that first article and laughed because it was so…grasping at something to say. No conviction and not really based on reality. Nice job.

  2. Great rebuttal. I’ve made my rounds across the continental US but strangely enough haven’t made my way to Charlotte yet. Glad to know that it’s a quintessential America city.

  3. Good for you sticking up for your city!! I have never been to Charlotte but I have always heard great things about it. Funny because I just wrote a blog post I plan to publish this week about Atlanta after reading a bloggers unflattering post about it after just a 2 day visit here!

  4. Great job getting your city’s back and you made me want to visit Charlotte! I think I’ll have to visit in Spring. If it’s anything like Atlanta in the Spring, then it will be gorgeous.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Sail Away Girl

    Sent from SITS

  5. Love this! I’ve never been to Charlotte but definitely want to now!

    I can certainly relate to people talking smack about the city where you live because I live in Vegas. People who don’t live here believe it’s all hookers, booze and gambling. Not surprisingly, these people usually don’t leave the Strip or Fremont Street and fail to realize how much there really is to see in this town and within a 30-50 mile radius (hello Hoover Dam and Valley of Fire!). I may not always like this city but I strongly encourage anyone visiting to give it a chance first before talking smack.

    • So true. I have friends that live in Vegas and they feel the same way you do. And Hoover Dam is amazing. Thanks so much for commenting!

  6. I’ve never been to Charlotte but I have been to both Carolinas and I think both are beautiul. I really love taking my time driving through the country and seeing all that farmland and cows grazing. It’s picture worthy. Who couldn’t love the south.

  7. I’ve been there once but hadn’t really had the chance to explore. I’m determined to check it out now. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Hi Roni,
    Its 2017 ! Most of the posts are old but a city doesn’t change all that much…unless it is for the better.
    And that kind of change is always good. I am a New Yorker living in Las Vegas. If someone wants to write about weird, Im telling you this is the place. Most are transient. Lots of California people…I wont go there cause New Yorkers and Californians can be compared to Venice and Mars!!!!
    Now, for your reason to come to Charlotte….Thank you so much. We are thinking about moving there in the Fall of 2017. We just cant take the unfriendliness out here. No one says , “Hello” and holding a door for you…. that’s a stretch. Drivers are so rude its unbelievable and they are dangerous especially on the strip. Schools are low rated but gangs are in demand here. Based on your list Im glad we chose Charlotte. I hope I run into some day. Im a retired Travel Advisor and Consultant; traveled all over the world. Love NYC but have outgrown it. Hope Charlotte has some great Italian Deli’s and restaurants

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