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Old 09-01-2010, 10:32 AM
 
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Hi Everyone,

I've been looking at these boards for a few months now, but now it's official. My husband was just offered a job in Charlotte and we will be moving there from Boston pretty quick! We were there once for his interview for just a day and will be visiting this weekend to explore more and check out some apartments. Any tips on neighborhoods, places to see, things to do, or what to avoid are much appreciated!

I'm sure a million people have asked these same questions but I appreciate any feedback. We're newly married and he's in his early 30's and me in my late 20's, we're looking for a neighborhood that's close to things and where we have the opportunity to meet some new people and make friends! My only other question - how safe is the light rail? My husband's job will be in the Hearst Tower on N. Tryon so we were thinking if we found a place walking distance to the light rail we could keep to one car for awhile and not have the expense of two until we get more settled.

Thanks for reading, I look forward to seeing what advice everyone has!
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
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Living closer to the heart of the city (which by the way, is incredibly beautiful, at least coming from a Rust Belter). is very smart if you are going to be working there, but while uptown Charlotte is compact enough to allow for walking and public transport, once you get outside that, things are much more spread out (in a good way), and you will find you need a car to do certain things, even if it's just one. I live in one of the corners if the city, so I'm not much help about the neighborhoods around the city, but I would recommend using google street view to at least get a picture of how life here is. We just moved here two months ago after getting married ourselves, and love it, but you would probably have more of a culture shock coming from Boston, where everything is more packed in. Outside of uptown, you won't get that here.
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:43 AM
 
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Thanks for the advice! We had a chance to walk around uptown quite a bit in the small amount of time we were there and we're looking at a condo on Saturday in the 1st Ward? From the map it looks like it's about a 15 minute walk from his office which would be doable I think...the other places we have lined up are in Dilworth/Southend I think. We're actually kind of psyched to get out of a huge city, I've lived here for 7 years and he's lived here for almost 6 and we're ready for a little bit slower pace and warmer weather! After 2 months, what's your opinion on the city?
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
1,969 posts, read 3,064,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beck77 View Post
Thanks for the advice! We had a chance to walk around uptown quite a bit in the small amount of time we were there and we're looking at a condo on Saturday in the 1st Ward? From the map it looks like it's about a 15 minute walk from his office which would be doable I think...the other places we have lined up are in Dilworth/Southend I think. We're actually kind of psyched to get out of a huge city, I've lived here for 7 years and he's lived here for almost 6 and we're ready for a little bit slower pace and warmer weather! After 2 months, what's your opinion on the city?
Keep in mind that my opinion comes from someone who has spent a good chunk of his life in the suburbs, and came from somewhere with a lower cost of living.

It's been nice for me so far, we both appreciate the lower amount of wind and rain here, and somewhat surprisingly, have adjusted to the hotter tempurature well. It's less humid here then Buffalo, but not by too much.

The layout of the city outside of the uptown area reminds me of general suburbs, not as built up and more green. Considering I am generally a suburbanite, it makes it much easier for me to live in the city, even if it's more on the edge. If you would have to commute to work, the traffic isn't very good anywhere you come from, but it's worse in bigger cities, a 13 mile drive tends to take me about 35 minutes to get to work, mostly highway driving. I did walk around the section of the city where the stadium and the newspaper is, and never felt unsafe.

People are very nice and friendly to me here, mostly because they are also transplants themselves, so they can relate, and I haven't had any real problems with people, but that might partly be because I am a white male, ages 18-49.

Speed bumps are everywhere and it gets annoying fast, but you generally get used to them. People up north tend to drive as if they own the road, you will find down here people tend to drive as if the road was this strange new foreign concept*. You've got to be alert when you drive anywhere.

The prices of things here are more expensive for me, but I also make more money here now, so it seems like it's pretty much a wash. Also, I wouldn't technically say it's a slower pace here, it seems comparable to Buffalo, but might seem slower then NYC or Boston. Also, there's no subway system here. We visited Boston last summer, and used it to get everywhere, but you won't find that here, just a more limited light rail

*For the sake of avoiding arguement, I just want to add that I say that not in the terms of they are all hicks who just learned how to drive, but more of the terms of some outright terrible decision making on the roads. Noone is a hick unless you want to be

Last edited by topchief1; 09-01-2010 at 11:51 AM..
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:44 PM
 
Location: East Lansing, MI
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Get an apartment in South End and have the hubby walk to the light rail and get off at the 7th St. station. It will be MUCH easier than trying to park Uptown during the week - cheaper, too!
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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Cool, thanks for the tip! I'm pretty sure most of the places we have lined up to look at this weekend look walking distance to the light rail which would be great and most are the Southend neighborhood, one is a little house on the border of Southend and Sedgefield is that an ok neighborhood? We plan to try out riding on the light rail this weekend just to figure things out a bit more. In Boston we have a monthly T pass which gets you around and you don't have to buy a ticket every time, do they have that in Charlotte or do you buy a ticket for each ride? I couldn't find any info on their website about it...
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:28 PM
 
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My opinion is that the light rail gets sketchy once you get south of Southend. Even Southend is a little questionable in places. I know my wife does not feel safe around there at night but its probably fine. Sedgefield is borderline and what some might call transitional. Southend and Sedgefield are basically 3-5 blocks away from some not so nice areas which is why I personally would not live there (I am a wimp I guess). On the plus side, you do have the light rail and some good bars and restaurants to walk to. Its also somewhat trendy and has a good vibe to it.

Also remember that traffic is Charlotte is nothing compared to Boston. There really is no big need to take the light rail or live near the light rail unless the high parking prices in uptown are too much for you.

I would also add Southpark to your list of areas to visit. Its only about 15-20 minutes from uptown during rush hour (driving), its very upscale, lots of great shops and restaurants. The heart of Southpark is probably the intersection of Fairview Rd. and Sharon Rd. Lots of new and great apartments near there. Piedmont Row comes to mind as being ideal.

My wife and I are in your age bracket and I am from southern NH (about 40 minutes north of Boston). Send me a private message if you have specific questions or want the real scoop on an area.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:36 PM
 
1,253 posts, read 4,159,606 times
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Also, search this for crime in the areas you are looking at:
http://maps.cmpdweb.org/cmpdnet/agreement.aspx?ref=map (broken link)

Southend Crime Map (past year) (note Dilworth to the right)


Southpark Crime Map (past year)
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 88,286,039 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beck77 View Post
Hi Everyone,

I've been looking at these boards for a few months now, but now it's official. My husband was just offered a job in Charlotte and we will be moving there from Boston pretty quick! We were there once for his interview for just a day and will be visiting this weekend to explore more and check out some apartments. Any tips on neighborhoods, places to see, things to do, or what to avoid are much appreciated!

I'm sure a million people have asked these same questions but I appreciate any feedback. We're newly married and he's in his early 30's and me in my late 20's, we're looking for a neighborhood that's close to things and where we have the opportunity to meet some new people and make friends! My only other question - how safe is the light rail? My husband's job will be in the Hearst Tower on N. Tryon so we were thinking if we found a place walking distance to the light rail we could keep to one car for awhile and not have the expense of two until we get more settled.

Thanks for reading, I look forward to seeing what advice everyone has!

Take a look at Spectrum Southend. They are new and right on the light rail in Southend
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 88,286,039 times
Reputation: 39844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beck77 View Post
Thanks for the advice! We had a chance to walk around uptown quite a bit in the small amount of time we were there and we're looking at a condo on Saturday in the 1st Ward? From the map it looks like it's about a 15 minute walk from his office which would be doable I think...the other places we have lined up are in Dilworth/Southend I think. We're actually kind of psyched to get out of a huge city, I've lived here for 7 years and he's lived here for almost 6 and we're ready for a little bit slower pace and warmer weather! After 2 months, what's your opinion on the city?

Just FYI, 1st Ward has some nice places, but it also has a bit of crime - it's near some higher poverty areas.
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