51 Reasons Why We Love Charlotte (42-51)
|42. Everyone Secretly (OK, very openly) Wants to Move Here|
No, they don't want to move to sunny Florida or Podunk, West Virginia, where housing is surely even cheaper than in Charlotte. They want to move here. And while it's easy to complain about all the damn transplants (even if you are one), let's face it, it's pretty freaking cool that so many people want to live here. About 91,000 newcomers relocated to the nine-county Charlotte metropolitan region from out of state in 2007, up from about 88,000 newcomers in 2006 and 80,000 in 2005.
Here's where we're from:
|43. We're Hot||Charlotte is a damn good-looking city. And around here it's common to see svelte, stay-at-home moms in casual yoga wear shopping at Neimans or Dean & DeLuca; young, attractive twenty-somethings in dressed-down suits at Alive after Five; and some seriously hot bankers winding down with a drink at Sullivan's.|
|44. Waxhaw||Take a ride along Providence Road past the Promenade, past Weddington, and into the heart of Waxhaw and you'll find what Charlotte doesn't have much of anymore: lots and lots of green space. We love it for the way the mist covers the riding pastures, how the dew on giant magnolias glistens in the morning sun, and how being out there feels so far away from the hustle of uptown yet so close.|
45. The organic produce selection rocks!
46. The cashiers are usually polite, and self-checkout is great when you're buying a few things in a hurry.
47. We do actually feel very important thanks to the VIC (Very Important Customer) card and the awesome deals we get as a result. Thanks for the free luggage, HT!
|48. Welcome to the Best Sports City in the USA|
Whether Charlotte is a true sports town or not has been debated ad nauseum in the papers and on talk radio. The argument usually comes down to this: those on the "yay" side cite our major league franchises. Those on the "nay" side point out that support for said franchises doesn't come close to matching the passion of, say, Red Sox fans (the real ones, not the new ones who wear pink hats with the Sox logo), Redskins fans, or, well, we couldn't think of any passionate NBA fans.
We hereby submit that the argument is misplaced. In fact, Charlotte may be the best sports city on the planet, because we welcome all sports fans. Bills supporter? Have we got a bar -- or three -- for you! Giants fan? You've got plenty of company! Root for the Cubbies? You can be just as miserable here, but with better weather! College football fanatic? Uptown on Saturdays is your playground! And as a bonus, you can all be Panthers and Bobcats fans!
|49. Brooklyn Decker||Let's just say that every time we open the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated and see Matthews's own Brooklyn Decker, we get a little tingle of, um, pride.|
|50. Wait, you mean to tell us there was a Charlotte back in the 1980s? ||Even before then, you say? Then you must be that rarest of breeds: a native Charlottean. We're glad someone here remembers when Independence Boulevard wasn't a boulevard, and that there was life before Dean & DeLuca. |
|51. We Keep It Clean|
Several years ago, over drinks, a newspaperman transplanted from Philadelphia via Washington, D.C., expressed dismay that politics here was so conflict free. "Hell, where I came from, city council members punched each other out! Where's the drama?"
And we wouldn't have it any other way. Explanations for our scandal-free political scene vary. Levine Museum of the New South historian Tom Hanchett offers this: "It may be that Charlotte's business networks are so tight that in order to become economically viable as a leader in this community you need to have relationships of trust, and that carries over into politics."
Sounds good to us. As boring as it is to us media types, let's keep it clean.