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Old 08-31-2007, 01:01 PM
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,264 posts, read 83,834,677 times
Reputation: 39572


Originally Posted by bdogg View Post
This thread interests me because I moved to Charlotte over Raleigh recently upon relocating (again) to NC. A bit about my slant…and I dont eman to stir the pot, but beyond my rambling take on the two cities, I want to tell you what "deep south" means to me as someone who has lived a lot of different types of places and travelled the world.

I am 34, have 2 kids and live in the Charlotte area and have for 3 years (Lake Norman) also lived in Raleigh (Cary area, 1985-1990. Chapel Hill 1991-1998). I was born in Mass and spent much of my life in the NE or Midwest. Also lived in Upstate SC (1980s) and Northern VA. Enough about me though.

Both cities are great in their own way. I find much to like in each….primarily…JOBS. Charlotte is obviously much larger (approx 600k vs. 350k).

The CLT schools are not as good as the Raleigh area (seat of State Gov’t) period. No debate there. Both have sprawl, but CLT is far worse…it goes all the way into another state. They say the schools in SC suburbs are decent compared to Mecklenburg County but to me, its still South Carolina. I went to school there and although that was 20 years ago…SC is consistently at the bottom for nationwide test scores. If not dead last (by states; DC doesn’t count), very, very close. Why? They can blame schools and teachers all they want…but like any place, its slow, lazy people. Maybe SC just has more of them? I don’t know. Both SC and NC suffer from very conservative populations (and therefore State Reps) who would rather fund roads (or war) than schools. CLT does have some of the best High Schools in the country, but the public schools are overcrowded on the whole. Raleigh may not be much better on that front but being close to the Capital helps whether you are talking about the amount of litter on the streets, how often they get paved, or the number/quality of schools.

Charlotte and Raleigh both have strong job markets. Charlotte has something like 7 Fortune 500s based here. Banking is king, but there is a lot of retail, too and some MFG. Raleigh is more IT, research, government and creative efforts. Raleigh has 2 of the best universities in the country in UNC and Dook less than 20 minutes away. NC State is a strong design and engineering program too. Raleigh is a lot more “brainy.”

The thing that delineates the two areas….and I this gets into the “deep south” question is the level of conservatism. Deep South to me = deep seeded conservatism.

Charlotte is far more conservative than the Raleigh area (even if don’t include the Durham/Chapel Hill area which are very “green” and liberal). Charlotte may be much larger, but Raleigh is more progressive; period. Why? The college effect for one. Young hungry minds and very smart kids in the RDU (“triangle area”). No major colleges of note in Charlotte. Davidson is a fine small liberal arts school 30 minutes out of town; but kinda blue blood and conservative (a factory for pre-law types). No offense to UNC-Charlotte, but despite its size, its not even in the same league as its UNC cousins in Chapel Hill and Raleigh, and Duke (rich, annoying Yankee kids…blue bloods of a different sort) is just about the finest school in country. Youth and students bring a vibrant and liberal environment. “Liberal” to me means open to new ideas. It does not have to mean drugs, counterculture, gender bending or whatever…just an “openness.” Something college aged kids have in spades and it gives the Triangle a little more edge or “soul.”

Plus you have big time college athletics that is sports at its best; still relatively pure. The Atlantic Coast Conference is the best conference in the country top to bottom. I am not saying the teams are the best. But if you factor in athletic success/competitiveness AND Academics. It puts an emphasis on the students as evidenced by the fact that 8 of the top 50 colleges in the country are in the ACC. So the ACC effect is a big plus for Raleigh. Yes, there are more bars in Charlotte. Yes there are more nightlife avenues, but they seem to tend towards the very “fratty.” Oh yes, per capita, there are more strip clubs in CLT than any other city in the US outside of Las Vegas. There’s good times for you.

In general, locals don’t want to try new things in Charlotte in my experience. Let’s take food. The most popular eating spot in my suburban town? A Jimmy Buffet themed cheeseburger place. Enough said. That’s not to say Charlotte doesn’t have good or hip restaurants; but they mostly seem to follow the same mold. As a former chef, I love to eat out. Despite Charlotte being so much larger, there is a wider variety of GOOD, accessible, ethic restaurants in Raleigh/Durham? Why? It’s more heterogeneous there. I have seen with my own eyes maybe 3 non-white families in my average middle class suburban subdivision outside CLT in 2 years. In Raleigh, my (mostly neighborhood) friends were all Indian, Korean, or Taiwanese. Some of that was a function of my school, but I think that was very refreshing to have a mix of cultures and voices (if you care to listen).

Charlotte has a lot of wealth. My wife and I do fine. Both well educated, professional, good salary, PT nanny 2 days a week...but to me it seems its all about which private school your kids go to, what tee time you can get, and what church you go to on Sunday.

My wife takes the kids to the playground and women find out she actually works...and she is scorned. And even though the banks pull Billions of dollars and 1000’s of transplants into the regions; it cannot buy Charlotte a soul. If you want good jobs and affordable housing fine, but be prepared for strip mall after strip mall. And on every intersection, a steak/fast food restaurant on each of 4 corners.

Look at the pro sports teams and fans, too. Provides kind of unique view… but having been to both cities’ venues, its speaks volumes. RBC Center is home to the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh. Also doubles as home of NC State (ACC) basketball. The clientele is dominated by young professional, students, and families. Not that there are not plenty of drunks; there are. But seemed clean and civil. Panthers, Charlotte’s NFL team plays in BOA Stadium....the scene is…well its football (Low IQ). Loud mouths, drunks, and plenty of people without teeth that rode in on their tractors. The tailgate scene is pretty sad. There is as much tailgating in Raleigh for NHL as in CLT. And then there is NASCAR. You can put a pig in a dress, but its still a pig. That is, yes, NASCAR is not just toothless redneck fans anymore, but nouvaeu riche rednecks. They are even worse. That said, I respect NASACR as a business, although I have never been to race. CLT being the capital of racing is kind of a dubious distinction; I don’t care how many races they hold in California now…. Charlotte has Bobcats arena for its NBA team. Much like CLT in general….smoke and mirrors. An awesome facility….but no one goes, no one cares. So what good is it? The Team has taken the unique approach of stocking its roster and front office with former UNC stars from up the road in Chapel Hill. And it just might work. I hope it will….

And as for the “deep south” question. Let me say, I have lived in the south most of my life. And I love raising a family here. Mostly its the economy and natural resoruces, but also, there are MANY great people here.

But if someone says “Deep south” to me that means “Old Dixie;” conservatism and backward thinking. Now all of that does not apply to Charlotte. Traditionally, to me, “deep south” started at South Carolina/GA and goes down to Central Florida and all the way over to Texas. Not all areas have all those qualities and not all the people in those places are Southern, or conservative and backward thinking…do not get me wrong. But there has been backwardness and separatism in the South that is not really even really open for debate. Its still there.

That said, “Deep south” is an unfair terms because the South is changing. But, it is the same in many distressing ways. The "charm" of the people for the most part is true. But the charm and sweet “genteel” nature often only shines through if you are just like your neighbor. Maybe its just my part of suburban hell where this happens, but I doubt it....

Take the women at the neighborhood playground; they can seem sweet but their judgmental attitude is a big part of what keeps the South in general from advancing past the perception of “deep south.” These are the same type of mindless souls that permeate much of the South. “Deep South,” “New South,” wherever. They drive giant SUVs and then complain we never see any snow anymore, or why the front lawn is dead every year now by June. The have no desire to work and cannot believe that woman would choose to formulate their own thoughts, or have a job and not stay home with kids. They are the type whose lives revolve around which week they will go to the beach this year, which tanning place to go, and what flavor latte to get. They are the type who blindly vote a straight ticket on Election Day even though the white men on the ticket all basically believe woman should not have the right to make decision about their own bodies. They are the type who form judgments about folks based on whether they see you out on Sunday mowing you lawn instead of dressed in Sunday best. That type of person (I am not picking on women, the guys are often worse) is all over the Queen City. They are obviously in the Capital City too. And I am sure they are in Hackensack NJ and Haggarstown, Maryland. But to me, they typify the term "deep south." Small minded.

¼ of South Carolina (the whole upstate) is essentially becoming a bedroom community for Charlotte. The State House of SC in Columbia flew a confederate flag over its cupola well into the 21st Century. That’s Deep South. Period. You can call that “southern pride” "honoring our dead," or “heritage” or whatever you want to call it, but if a symbol offends at least 1/3 of your population (SC is 1/3 afro-american)…than that is just plain ignorant to keep it. i am caucasian and it offends me. Not just for what I think it represents, but for the polticians who run that state (and out country) who think thats is in any way shape or form acceptable. It took SC almost 150 years to figure that out…that’s slooooooooow. That's Deep South to me. Guess what, many pols and citizens in SC want the flag back. And unfortunately, Charlotte is guilty by association.

My 2-cents.

So yes, Raleigh has a little less "deep south" feel, even though you go 30 minutes out of Raleigh in any direction and you hit tobacco fields. And yes, Charlotte has enough transplants and Bank sponsored building/culture that its changing. You can’t go wrong with either place. Both cities consistently win “best place” to do this or that…in terms of family or jobs. Charlotte feels more like a real city and has more outlets even though much of its “city feel” is smoke and mirrors, while Raleigh is more manageable, and people are more apt to have a functioning brain (and want to use it)…

"Two cents" is really all this info is worth
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Old 08-31-2007, 04:07 PM
Location: Fort Mill, SC (Charlotte 'burb)
4,730 posts, read 17,215,652 times
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Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
"Two cents" is really all this info is worth
I agree 100%.

Do you have a source for the strib club stat ( a realiable one, not wikipedia).
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Old 08-31-2007, 04:29 PM
Location: Charlotte, home of the NY/NJ refugees
1,384 posts, read 1,267,053 times
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Originally Posted by groove1 View Post
I agree 100%.

Do you have a source for the strib club stat ( a realiable one, not wikipedia).
No kidding, especially since Portland has that honor, not Charlotte.
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Old 08-31-2007, 07:11 PM
3,031 posts, read 7,995,122 times
Reputation: 825
I have one observation (and I've not lived in either city!)

This thread is posted in the Raleigh forum and the Charlotte forum. Gee, no great surprise that in the Raleigh forum, the majority of the posts "favor" Raleigh and in the Charlotte forum, they "favor" Charlotte.

I don't think ya gotta be an MIT grad to figure it out! LOL
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:37 PM
Location: Fort Mill, SC
1,105 posts, read 4,022,574 times
Reputation: 624
Wow, while I think bdogg has a few actual valid points in there, it was way too extreme. Full of too many generalizations for sure. Presentation is half the battle and boy did he suck and getting his point across.

I do have to take exception to the comment that conservatives get along with liberals better than liberals get along with conservatives. SOOOO not true - I think you've probably been listening to too much Rush! Let me give you a tip, not everything he says is true. I am not even extremely liberal, just a little bit left of the middle, but boy do I get shunned very quickly when a conservative doesn't agree with my point of view!

And that's all I'm gonna say about that!
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Old 09-01-2007, 08:56 AM
Location: Cornelius
3,662 posts, read 8,384,300 times
Reputation: 797
Originally Posted by jenn02674 View Post
Wow, while I think bdogg has a few actual valid points in there, it was way too extreme. Full of too many generalizations for sure. Presentation is half the battle and boy did he suck and getting his point across.

I do have to take exception to the comment that conservatives get along with liberals better than liberals get along with conservatives. SOOOO not true - I think you've probably been listening to too much Rush! Let me give you a tip, not everything he says is true. I am not even extremely liberal, just a little bit left of the middle, but boy do I get shunned very quickly when a conservative doesn't agree with my point of view!

And that's all I'm gonna say about that!
Well, sorry, there, you thought wrong. My opinion is strictly based on experience.
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Old 09-01-2007, 10:38 AM
Location: Concord, NC
1,418 posts, read 6,194,350 times
Reputation: 620
Originally Posted by RobbBrown21 View Post
Hi FriendNC, as someone who was born and raised in Chicago, (the North) and whose ancestors migrated from the "deep south", Mississippi specificially, I can tell you that when I told my grandparents that I was going to make a move to Charlotte, NC, they literally were in horror and did everything in their power to try to talk me out of mouth to the south in general. As you can imagine the old images and stories are constantly passed on and on from geneerations. You must not forget that people from the North are fed not the "good" but the "negative" images of the South and the old reputation. Yes, when people think of the south especially Black people from the North, they automatically think of racism. That's just the way it is and it's just a form of conditioning.

I can tell you, I called my aunt who is orginally from the deep south and who moved to Chicago to escape racism and discrimination literally could not believe me when I told her that Charlotte, NC is a beautiful awesome place. I could still detect in her voice some doubt and reservation about my observations. After a 3 hour phone conversation, she said she would be willing to take a visit there and that I would not steer her wrong. I think people like you and me and hosts of folks who use this message board medium can spread the good news and ease folks mind from our own experiences. We are all one, but each of of has to teach one for all of us to be united and live in peace.

From my own experience, the folks that I have met in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Wilmington, NC have been some of the nicest, friendliest folks that I have met in my life. I felt right at home in North Carolina and especially my new favorite city, Charlotte. Let's continue to promote your hometown and your hometown with cheer and possitivity. Now we dont' want to let everybody in the whole country know about our little hidden gem now do we? Anyway, that's my opinion and I am excited that we can come here and have these very positive discussions, and once folks from the North come on down they too will change their minds if they are open minded they will see how great folks are in the south.
Wonderfully said, Rob! Thanks fo the great post!!!
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Old 09-01-2007, 12:36 PM
33 posts, read 236,397 times
Reputation: 18
Default Charlotte vs. Raleigh, continued...

Thanks all for your thoughts here -- despite this post taking on a little life of its own beyond my original question, I recognize that people are here to share their opinions and experiences -- a dialogue is what I wanted, and a dialogue is what I got! I think we will definitely be taking a close look at both cities. Though I posted this in Raleigh's forum as well, it seems the majority overall still preferred Charlotte for what I said we're looking for -- so that's a start. It's interesting to get opinions on things like politics and geographic prejudices in these forums -- an even more authentic look into the diversity of thought that Charlotte has to offer.

Again, thanks -- all opinions continue to be welcome as my boyfriend and I try to choose between Charlotte and Raleigh!

Moderator cut: Due to cross posting or duplicate postings the two threads where merge together and moved to the state forum where both regions are able to respond in one place the questions you posed.

Last edited by SunnyKayak; 09-01-2007 at 12:46 PM..
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Old 09-11-2007, 01:53 PM
Location: Mountain Island Lake area of Charlotte
74 posts, read 69,158 times
Reputation: -1
Default Charlotte...the ONLY city in North Carolina

I have lived in both...Raleigh (2 years and that was long enough)...Charlotte (15 years and still LOVE IT).

The Arts scene in Charlotte is 10 times larger...we have 2 Gallery Crawls...one in NODA (North Davidson Arts District) and one in SOUTH END.

Raleigh is a nice SMALL town...and Charlotte is more of a major metropolitan city...and the person said that nightlife is better in Raleigh...YES if you are talking about sleeping.

Don't get me wrong....Raleigh is nice if you have a family....VERY nice...but if you dont have kids and want a faster pace...avante garde funky trendy lifestyle...then move to Charlotte...there are many diverse neighborhoods.

Raleigh has always been jealous of Charlotte...due to Charlottes growth...we have a major International Airport, Professional Football, Professional Basketball...minor leage Hockey & Baseball...with Professional Baseball coming to Charlotte in the next few years...they are starting our new Uptown Baseball Stadium next year...not to mention 1st Class Shopping.

Also Charlotte's light rail opens in 2 months...yes only the South line is opening...but then in years to come...North Line, Northeast Line, West Line, East Line...you get the drift...it may take years...but Raleigh doesn't even have one planned.

What it boils down to...if you want Boredom...choose Raleigh....if you want excitement...choose CHARLOTTE....the Queen City!!!
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Old 10-04-2007, 11:20 PM
Location: Atlanta
1,392 posts, read 1,793,970 times
Reputation: 1531
charlotte can refer to itself as a "major city" and build very tall buildings and even create it's own boundaries of it's metro area (the 13 county "charlotte region") but the fact remains that the 6 county population of the charlotte msa is only about 1.7-1.9 million- about 200,000 more than the 6 county rdu metro population.

the census predicts that by 2025 the charlotte 6 county metro will be about 2.5 million, and the triangle at 2 million.

charlotte claims to be the next atlanta, however atlanta is in a completely different league. for now, charlotte will have to suffer being referred to as "mayberry with skyscrapers".

charlotte is way ahead in its downtown and light rail implementation though. and i think charlotte is awesome...and better than raleigh in many, many respects...but aside from annexing significantly more of its county...the size of the two areas isn't all that different.
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