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Old 04-21-2015, 08:16 AM
 
2,696 posts, read 2,353,687 times
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This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Charlotte for the first time. My girlfriend and I are in our 20s and were in town to visit her sister and brother in law.

Let me just say that Charlotte was a beautiful city and here were my impressions. Keep in mind I was only in the area for about 36 hours and many of my impressions are based on after just a few minutes in any given spot.

- We stayed on the NW side of town near the Brookshire/485 interchange. The area we were in appeared to be developing. Most of the miles we traveled around 485, traffic was very light and it didn't seem like there was a whole lot built out. I would be leery of sprawl and congestion down the line as it seems a lot like 285 in Atlanta looked like in the 1970s... but for now, it seems like it is in good shape. I just hope that the city plans for future sprawl and keeps things like bus service and light rail ahead of the sprawl because once the sprawl is there it becomes prohibitively expensive to correct.

- We took I-77 north a few exits to visit a Total Wine store. It was in an outdoor shopping center (can't remember the name) and seemed to be in an area that was pretty affluent and well-planned. Seemed like a nice area to raise a family, though I get the feeling we were a pretty good ways from the city center. I was also told there was a very nice lake nearby, though we did not get the chance to see it.

- For Saturday lunch, we ate at a dive restaurant called Pinky's Westside Grill. It was quite busy around 2pm. Food and service was good, though it didn't seem like anything spectacular. It seemed like a place that's been in the neighborhood forever. I did notice that signed pictures of Guy Fieri were in the place and our server noted that they were being featured on his show in a few weeks so I will be sure to check that out.

- After lunch we headed to the Battle of the Brews beer festival that was going on in South End. We parked in a deck attached to the 7th Street station and took the light rail to the Bland Station. I thought the light rail was delightful. Seemed clean, not noisy, efficient, and reliable. Everything you could ask for... though I only had one round trip ride. It seemed like there were quite a few restaurants, apartments, pubs, etc. along the route. I am curious how much of that was there before the light rail line, and how much of the development has been spurred because of the light rail. For just one operating line, it seemed to do a good job of connecting some of the most important parts of the city (business district, areas populated by millennials, bars and restaurants, the Hornets arena, the convention center, the NASCAR HOF, etc. Light rail is definitely something I would like to see my hometown of Birmingham, AL, invest in to improve traffic and the downtown cityscape, as well as encourage urban density. The beer festival itself was about what I expected.

- After the beer festival we ate at Queen City Q which was back at our lightrail stop. Thought it was pretty good, but again it was just pub food/BBQ.

We also went to bars on Friday and Saturday Night in two different areas, neither of which I can recall but both areas seemed like they had pretty good crowds, with good mixes of younger and older, and I always felt safe.

I also noticed that the city seems to be pretty pedestrian and cyclist friendly which I feel is a very desirable trait and one you don't find in a ton of places outside of the west coast.

My overall impression of the city was that it was a fun, growing, clean, well-planned city that would be a very desirable place to settle down either after college or to raise a family.

Last edited by steveklein; 04-21-2015 at 08:25 AM..
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:55 AM
 
Location: NC to ATL
140 posts, read 137,045 times
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Glad you had a fun time! I love Pinky's.
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:10 PM
 
186 posts, read 215,843 times
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I like Pinky's and it has not been there too long. It was an auto repair shop which explains the VW bug on the roof. It can be very loud when busy. Shout to your partner loud. If the weather is nice and they allow outside dining that is the way to go in my opinion.
Come again and bring your friends.
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Concord, NC
29 posts, read 27,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveklein View Post
well-planned city
Come back during the week, during rush hour. lol
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
3,356 posts, read 8,868,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveklein View Post

- For Saturday lunch, we ate at a dive restaurant called Pinky's Westside Grill. It was quite busy around 2pm. Food and service was good, though it didn't seem like anything spectacular. It seemed like a place that's been in the neighborhood forever. I did notice that signed pictures of Guy Fieri were in the place and our server noted that they were being featured on his show in a few weeks so I will be sure to check that out.
The Charlotte episode of Diner's is Friday May 1st at 10:00pm for anybody interested.
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