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Old 09-24-2009, 09:09 AM
 
Location: East Lansing, MI
8,723 posts, read 7,923,518 times
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Sorry, that wasn't 100% directed at you, but there have been several posts lately, from people looking to relocate here, asking about if they could find "educated" or "intellectual" people here. It's giving me the impression that there is the opinion that Charlotte is un/undereducated, and I'd never gotten that feeling prior to relocating here, so I was curious.

We moved here from a small city in MI (pop ~100K) that was very blue collar. We love this city - it's big enough to offer lots of stuff to do (Panthers games, Bobcats games, museums, shows, art galleries, minor league baseball, National Whitewater Center, lake activities, driveable wine country, driveable mountains, etc.) without feeling too big to us. We live just outside the I-485 loop on the southwest side and we can get to the center of Uptown in <20 mins if traffic is good.

Again, my perceptions/opinions may be very different from yours, hence the encouragement to come and visit for yourself.

Good luck!
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:24 AM
 
Location: myers park
22 posts, read 41,667 times
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I moved to Charlotte a year and a half ago from Baltimore and am around your age, so I think I can understand your mindset in asking the questions you have. I think that if you are serious about making a big move anywhere that you need to spend a few weekends here and get a feel for the city. I agree as well that you should rent for a year before you decide to buy but I would say that to anyone new to a city. I live in the Myers park area and it is expensive- as are all the areas you mentioned in your first post, I really like it. I love the accessibility to outdoor activities and to downtown! I thought the videos urbancharlotte posted are very helpful and I wish I had seen them in retrospect! I think that Plaza Midwood is a great area to check out because it is walkable and happen' as well as being so close to downtown.
As far as advice about feeling out of place here, I think coming to any new city will be strange at first. Whether it be Charlotte, Raleigh or another southern city- you create your own experience. I don't miss Baltimore, in fact Charlotte is larger in the rankings but feels much less intimidating. The weather is better and on the whole the peole are more friendly! My one woe is finding your way around- this is a town to carry a street map in your car at all times :-)

Last edited by newtoQC; 09-24-2009 at 09:26 AM.. Reason: missing word
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:38 AM
 
6,270 posts, read 9,990,932 times
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Hooligan, some of those "NASCAR" and "educated" Charlotte questions come from folks talking to people on the Triangle forum.
http://www.city-data.com/forum/raleigh-durham-chapel-hill-cary/771072-moving-south-please-help.html#post10896541

With that said, Charlotte attracts the "educated class" far more than the Triangle.

Here is a post by "carolina blue" that shows what I am talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina Blue View Post
This is true. I’ve put those numbers below. And in the 2008 Forbes “Best Cities for Young Professionals” list, Charlotte actually outranked Raleigh (8th vs. 12th). And in 2007 Charlotte ranked 13th, while Raleigh was 17th. But no one ever mentions when we beat them in rankings, the Capital Conspiracy lives!!! (I’m being facetious).

Forbes 2008 Best Cities for Young Professionals:
Charlotte #8: In Depth: Best Cities For Young Professionals - Forbes.com
Raleigh #12: In Depth: Best Cities For Young Professionals - Forbes.com
2007 List: Best Cities For Young Professionals - Forbes.com



http://www.city-data.com/forum/north-carolina/703515-charlotte-vs-raleigh-no-holds-barred-4.html

As you can see, Charlotte vs Raleigh is a dead horse that has been beaten to a bloody pulp lol.

As for your NASCAR phobia (Kurt23), it is NOT what you think. NASCAR in Charlotte has more to do with Speed Street than it does an actual race. This is not the best video, but it shows what NASCAR is all about in Charlotte.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AecctFNyZEI

I have NEVER been to a race, but Speed Street is where its at (if you like large crowds, music, games, and food). I won't go into any details as to why the folks in Raleigh think their town is "better" because it does not have NASCAR.

All I will say is that almost EVERY major market in the South has Nascar (even Atlanta and Miami). NYC is even becoming more NASCAR friendly. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/09/17/ap/sportsline/main5318843.shtml

Think about it, and you can easily figure out why Raleighites "diss" (metro Charlotte based) NASCAR so much. (85% of NASCAR teams are based in metro Charlotte).

I think your best bet is to visit both cities, and go from there. Those "more educated" and "less country" and "blah blah blah" arguments are totally subjective. Really, they are. Folks in Raleigh think their town is best. Folks in Charlotte think their town is best. Honestly, it is up to what YOU want. In Charlotte (which I am sure you already know) you will get your more typical medium-large US city. With that comes theme parks (http://www.carowinds.com/attractions/index.cfm), more retail options (ie, Neiman Marcus, Burberry, IKEA, West Elm etc), and better night life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ycnuFbO0kM&feature=channel_page

Let's not forget more sports and better mass transit.


YouTube - Bobcats game night

Metro Charlotte as a whole is slightly more "country" than the Triangle. However, Charlotte as a city is less "country" than Raleigh. I hope this makes sense. My only question is what's wrong with being "country"? I mean, you are moving to the south ya know. If you don't want "country", I personally would not move to Charlotte or Raleigh. Just being honest. I think you will like living here because you have stated that you want the "southern charm" with "big city" excitement. Dude, that's Charlotte hands down. (No offense to Raleigh)

At least in Charlotte, you could get a view like this in the "country" lol.
Flickr Photo Download: 43rd floor (http://www.flickr.com/photos/thevue/3853525750/sizes/l/ - broken link)

Oh, and sorry my camera work made you sick BTW.

Last edited by urbancharlotte; 09-24-2009 at 10:14 AM..
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Charlotte
2,447 posts, read 6,641,576 times
Reputation: 1389
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt23 View Post
My intent was not to offend you (you being someone from Charlotte). I am simply trying to get some information from people who live here who are knowledgeable about the area.

I am trying to get a feel for the people in Charlotte (not saying one is better than other). Yes, I can visit and try to do that myself, but the opinion of others who live there is also a valuable resource. In visiting I can talk to a bunch of people, but by using this forum and others I can gain a wider perspective.

I am not saying charlotte is home to stupid people. I was asking the people who live there to compare it to raliegh and give me their opinion on which place would be better for someone who prefers to be in a city that is home to business ideas, museums, go getters etc.

Again, this was not meant to slight anyone. I am just looking for a cultural comparison. Every city has a different vibe and mindset.

You are correct that perhaps I should ask others who have moved to Charlotte what their experiences have been. Anyone not from Charlotte who has moved from an area outside of the south (preferably in or close to a progressive urban area) care to share their experience?

I appreciate your feedback from your personal experience. Thanks.
Kurt I understand what you are saying, especially after you posted on the Raleigh board and the majority of posts said Raleigh = educated people. Raleigh is home to NC State and other Universities and colleges. There are other schools including UNC Chapel Hill and Duke nearby.

You may have received the impression that means there are not a lot of educated people in Charlotte. That isn't the case. There are universities and colleges in and near Charlotte as well. IMO, when it comes to intellectual conversations, you will not feel out of place.

Raleigh does have more educated people. Stats from city-data: For population 25 years and over
Charlotte Population in July 2008: 687,45- High school or higher: 84.9%
Bachelor's degree or higher: 36.4%
Graduate or professional degree: 10.5%

Raleigh Population in July 2008: 392,552 - High school or higher: 88.5%
Bachelor's degree or higher: 44.9%
Graduate or professional degree: 14.4%

From what you've posted I think Charlotte may be more of what you are looking for.

From you other post I
Quote:
feel I need to clarify where I want to live within one of these areas. I do want to live in a very family friendly area (parks, good schools, safe), but I would like it to be in an area that doesnt shut down at 8pm. Somewhere that either has a slightly urban feel to it, but two blocks away is suburban (but not retirement or nothing around you suburban). If the town doesnt have an urban feel I would want it to be close enough to the city for a short drive. Someone else mentioned places and spoke of public transportation and pedestrian friendliness. Those things would be important to me. I would like some level of walkability (whether that be to uptown charlotte, or to the local town center)........

My home price range would be 450-750 though id prefer to stay on the lower end of that (cheaper housing is one of the reasons I am moving haha).
Personally I don't think the Ballantyne area fits what it sounds like you are looking for. I suggest you look the Elizabeth neighborhood here in Charlotte. UrbanCharlotte posted this video in his previous post.

YouTube - Elizabeth Neighborhood, Charlotte NC

One a side note this was posted in the Raleigh thread
Quote:
It is worth pointing out that Cary is more or less an extension of Raleigh and if you combine the populations of both cities, you end up with 380,000 + 140,000 = 520,000 and this is not much less than the population of Charlotte.
I don't understand this logic. 1. Charlotte's population is now estimated to be around 700k. 2. There are towns in Mecklenburg county that are "extensions" of Charlotte however these are not included in Charlotte's population figures.

Last edited by NCgirl; 09-24-2009 at 10:21 AM..
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:17 AM
 
12 posts, read 18,845 times
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No need to apologize hooligan, I just wanted to make it clear that my intent is not to offend anyone.

You guys all offered some great advice. I plan on visiting all areas of Charlotte a few more times and Raliegh area as well.

UrbanCharlotte, you were riding a bike and working the camera so I can imagine how hard it was to keep it steady. I actually liked your commentary and the video, I just felt like I was watching The Blair Witch Project.

I completely understand what you are describing about the city being less country than Raliegh, but I would ask you how far south would you say the "city" ends? Would all the areas described plaza, dilworth, southpark, myers, ballantyne, noda, elizabeth fall within the area you are describing?

I am not knocking "country" (here comes some stereotypes so i will apologize in advance). Some of it isn't my thing. What I do like is southern charm, politeness, beautiful landscape and weather. Some things off the top of my head that I do not like about "country" are nascar ( i am more of a football, basketball, baseball kind of a guy), hunting or things fried (i had a friend from the south make fried twinkies), or smoking indoors. I was very happy to read about that law change.

Newtoqc, I appreciate your feedback. That was helpful. How do you like Myers Park? Keep in mind that expensive is relative, so I am not scared by the prices like someone coming from another area though it would be great to live less expensively.

NCGirl, I take all posts with a grain of salt. I understand that everyone who responds has a different view point and agenda to some extent. You have to look at the info in its entirety and then mix it in with one's own personal experience from visits to come to an informed conclusion. I think the presence of UNC, Duke and NCSU in the triangle area helped to from my opinion of the higher education there as well. It seems like Charlotte is lacking in major high quality universities (no offense meant to uncc, but its not chapel hill). Davidson is a great school though so that helps.

What are everyones thoughts on the light rail? Is it used often to go into the city on a weekend or by commuters? Is it safe at night and clean? If you are in uptown at 5-6 at night on a thursday is there a lot of pedestrian traffic with people going home, happy hour etc ( I realize it wont be like nyc)? Thank you very much again for everyone's input.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:35 AM
 
6,270 posts, read 9,990,932 times
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^^^Great post NCgirl!!! But here is another post by "Carolina Blue" that shows Charlotte being MUCH closer to Raleigh than that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina Blue View Post
Let’s clear up a few things….

1) Raleigh has a greater “percentage” of educated young people in its population (see graph below)

Percentage of College Graduates:



2) Charlotte has one of the highest “net migration rates” of the young and educated in the country, much higher than Raleigh’s. Charlotte ranked #2 in the last census study that was done. Charlotte’s Rate = 344.3, Raleigh’s Rate, including Durham = 49.2…

Full Study: http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/censr-12.pdf

Full Tables: http://www.census.gov/population/www...bles/tab02.pdf

Raleigh attracts a lot of young educated folks, but it appears it’s a bit of a revolving door. Apparently most of Raleigh’s growth comes from the retention of an older, more stable family type population. I recall reading that the fact that Raleigh is such a college town area, also makes it’s population very transient. People who work in education, and R&D, and also students themselves tend to move a lot.

Top Metros for Net Migration of the Young and Educated:
Here is the link so y'all can give this man some reps. HE DESERVES THEM!!! http://www.city-data.com/forum/north...-barred-6.html

This is why I stated that the "educated" questions are totally subjective. 20 years ago, Raleigh blew Charlotte away in this category (hence the reason why our Triangle friends are now spreading dated information).

Today, Charlotte is larger than Raleigh and just as educated (with a faster growing educated class at that). Those are the facts.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Charlotte
2,447 posts, read 6,641,576 times
Reputation: 1389
Hey Kurt! Charlotte's city limits extend all the way to South Carolina. You have the Steele Creek area on the SW side of town and Ballantyne and Blackney areas on the south side of town. The "country" parts of the metro are outside of Mecklenburg county.

The light rail is very popular. It only goes from Pineville to uptown. CATS Lynx home page (http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/CATS/LYNX/home.htm - broken link)

I must stick up for my alma mater UNC Charlotte. it doesn't get a lot of publicity but it is a great school with well respected undergrad and graduate (master's and doctoral) programs. It is the 4th largest school in the NC university system. There are 16 schools. Go Niners!

Urban you are exactly right! That's what I was trying to say but you articulated it perfectly.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Dublin, OH
2,363 posts, read 3,411,046 times
Reputation: 1473
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt23 View Post
No need to apologize hooligan, I just wanted to make it clear that my intent is not to offend anyone.

You guys all offered some great advice. I plan on visiting all areas of Charlotte a few more times and Raliegh area as well.

UrbanCharlotte, you were riding a bike and working the camera so I can imagine how hard it was to keep it steady. I actually liked your commentary and the video, I just felt like I was watching The Blair Witch Project.

I completely understand what you are describing about the city being less country than Raliegh, but I would ask you how far south would you say the "city" ends? Would all the areas described plaza, dilworth, southpark, myers, ballantyne, noda, elizabeth fall within the area you are describing?

I am not knocking "country" (here comes some stereotypes so i will apologize in advance). Some of it isn't my thing. What I do like is southern charm, politeness, beautiful landscape and weather. Some things off the top of my head that I do not like about "country" are nascar ( i am more of a football, basketball, baseball kind of a guy), hunting or things fried (i had a friend from the south make fried twinkies), or smoking indoors. I was very happy to read about that law change.

Newtoqc, I appreciate your feedback. That was helpful. How do you like Myers Park? Keep in mind that expensive is relative, so I am not scared by the prices like someone coming from another area though it would be great to live less expensively.

NCGirl, I take all posts with a grain of salt. I understand that everyone who responds has a different view point and agenda to some extent. You have to look at the info in its entirety and then mix it in with one's own personal experience from visits to come to an informed conclusion. I think the presence of UNC, Duke and NCSU in the triangle area helped to from my opinion of the higher education there as well. It seems like Charlotte is lacking in major high quality universities (no offense meant to uncc, but its not chapel hill). Davidson is a great school though so that helps.

What are everyones thoughts on the light rail? Is it used often to go into the city on a weekend or by commuters? Is it safe at night and clean? If you are in uptown at 5-6 at night on a thursday is there a lot of pedestrian traffic with people going home, happy hour etc ( I realize it wont be like nyc)? Thank you very much again for everyone's input.
Kurt, I would definitely scratch Ballantyne off your list...it's suburban and not easily accessible to get to downtown...yes, you can drive from there to the Light rail park and ride to get downtown on the rail but it's still a bit of a drive and the traffic out there, especially at rush hour is bad...

As for the light rail, It's very clean, and is used for all types of travel (work commute by some, and just to get downtown to go out in the evenings or go to big events)...also, it is safe...Thurs evenings in downtown do have a lot of stuff going on, especially around the EpiCentre (College and Trade) which has Alive After 5...

The Triangle area may have more universities, but again, it's sprawled out much more and is much more of a suburban atmosphere than an urban atmosphere...Plus, many college grads from those schools as well as other schools (I'm an Ohio State University Graduate, and our alumni club has almost 1,000 members here in the Charlotte metro area) move here, so it's not like not having a major university hurts...

I hope this helps a little bit more...
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Dublin, OH
2,363 posts, read 3,411,046 times
Reputation: 1473
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbancharlotte View Post
^^^Great post NCgirl!!! But here is another post by "Carolina Blue" that shows Charlotte being MUCH closer to Raleigh than that.



Here is the link so y'all can give this man some reps. HE DESERVES THEM!!! http://www.city-data.com/forum/north...-barred-6.html

This is why I stated that the "educated" questions are totally subjective. 20 years ago, Raleigh blew Charlotte away in this category (hence the reason why our Triangle friends are now spreading dated information).

Today, Charlotte is larger than Raleigh and just as educated (with a faster growing educated class at that). Those are the facts.
That is all great information...also, if I had to choose between Austin, TX and Raleigh, NC, hands down it would be Austin...Raleigh thinks they are a great college city, but Austin blows it away in every way possible...
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:03 AM
 
6,270 posts, read 9,990,932 times
Reputation: 4723
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt23 View Post
I completely understand what you are describing about the city being less country than Raliegh, but I would ask you how far south would you say the "city" ends? Would all the areas described plaza, dilworth, southpark, myers, ballantyne, noda, elizabeth fall within the area you are describing?
Good question and I am glad you asked. The "city" of Charlotte is probably 1/2 the size of Boston (and Boston has a very tiny foot print; less than 50 sq/mi I think). However, there is a fairly decent string of "city" development stretching from Uptown south towards Myers Park. Honestly, the "city" ends at Dilworth IMO (roughly 2 miles south of Uptown). After that, it is all "suburban" my friend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt23 View Post
Some things off the top of my head that I do not like about "country" are nascar ( i am more of a football, basketball, baseball kind of a guy), hunting or things fried (i had a friend from the south make fried twinkies), or smoking indoors. I was very happy to read about that law change.
I can't speak for everyone here, but I was raised in the south (born in Flushing believe it or not ). My mother was a Jersey girl (East Orange). As a result, I talk country , I don't eat beef nor pork, I can't stand the sight of grits, I have NEVER smoked anything in my life (not even a pig), I don't ever wish to see a NASCAR race (but I LOVE me some Speed Street), and I am scared to death of guns (saw someone shot to death at the basketball court growing up in the 'Southside Homes' housing project). Yeah, Charlotte was THAT bad in the early 90s. We had more murders than Miami back then. Things have gotten MUCH better. Gentrification has really changed south central Charlotte for the better IMO. This is the Wilmore/South End area that I am speaking of BTW.

Today, I am soooo proud of this area that I now take videos of it, upload them to youtube, and show this area off to total strangers wanting advice on where to move in Charlotte LOL!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt23 View Post
What are everyones thoughts on the light rail? Is it used often to go into the city on a weekend or by commuters? Is it safe at night and clean? If you are in uptown at 5-6 at night on a thursday is there a lot of pedestrian traffic with people going home, happy hour etc ( I realize it wont be like nyc)? Thank you very much again for everyone's input.
Well, first of all the light rail is only a 9.6 mile single line as for now. There are plans to expand it over more areas of town, but that won't happen for atleast 10 years or so. The good news is if you live on the south side of town, the current line is VERY convenient.

Depending on the night, you can usually catch a small crowd around the Epicenter complex shortly after 5 pm. That place has some nice restaurants (Lebrettos has authentic NYC pie and it is soooooo good ) and a bowling alley (Strike City). It is in the middle of uptown next door to the Bobcats Arena, the Arena light rail station, and a Ritz Carlton hotel.
Epicenter also has a large roof top pavilion that often has live music during those hours as well.

As for the train being safe, I have not had any major issues. Just know that it is mass transit, so expect the unexpected just like in NYC (yes, I have seen bums sleeping on Charlotte's train).

Last edited by urbancharlotte; 09-24-2009 at 11:17 AM..
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