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Posts posted by davidals

  1. ^

    Indeed - I didn't hear the NPR piece, but I expect that it was a boiled-down version of the piece he has in this month's issue of The Atlantic. That I did read, and it's the usual round of cocktail-party pop sociology from the first book, reworked a bit to reflect a new economic landscape. He generally had some nice things to say about Charlotte, without getting too specific, before moving on to the likes of Vegas, Detroit and his favored set of CC meccas. I'd recommend the article - it isn't going to tell you much that you don't already know, but it's entertaining (in a way) to see him play armchair economist.

  2. I think there is a very fine line to walk on this one as these "urban" research parks have been pretty much failures to this point in attracting companies. There may be other underlying reasons such as these parks being based in cities/towns that just won't foster tech industries, etc. (the "build it anywhere and they will come" mentality) I know from an inside source that PTRP is in big-time trouble with buildings that sit empty so I don't know if I would cite this as an example-many of the companies that are listed as tenants don't have a soul working there but have to maintain addresses there for political reasons. I think the best option for RTP is to build a central hub with amenities combined with smaller lab/office space for startups. Transit should run out from this hub to the larger campuses in the park. One reason Biogen wants to relocate here is they want space to expand easily where they feel confined in Cambridge along with exorbinant real estate costs-this came from my source.

    Yes, but the real point is use of space, and the potential revision of design ideas that may be hitting a sell-by date. The validity of PTRP could be debated, but it's just as true that RTP could be better connected to the remainder of the Triangle. Tweaking setbacks, and working to bring various amenities closer (whether coffeehouses, gyms, living spaces, et. al.) has many advantages, and need not threathen the 'room to expand' that various companies will continue to look for. Boosting density at the park need not make it any more expensive than it would anywhere in the Triangle, and it won't hit Cambridge-like levels of expensiveness anywhere. Except maybe Chapel Hill.

  3. BBC Radio has a feature - listening now (10:45PM) - on the recession's impact on Charlotte, focusing upon financial services, and (to a lesser degree) post-election expectations and economic fears. Charlotte, but no NC, throughout the feature. Not the cheeriest journalism by a long shot, and they did misidentify Wachovia as having been "founded in Charlotte," but it's otherwise one of the more credible Charlotte-centric pieces of journalism I've run into in a while. There are a number of brief "man on the street" type interviews, and they run a diverse gamut from McRorey to local small business owners to people in barbershops to someone working in a health clinic, and it does appear that (apart from the gloomy subject matter), BBC made a solid attempt at capturing as much of a cross-section as they could in a 7 minute featurette.

  4. Below is a quote from the Census dept. I hope that it helps! :)

    Standard definitions of metropolitan areas were first issued in 1949 by the then Bureau of the Budget (predecessor of OMB), under the designation "standard metropolitan area" (SMA). The term was changed to "standard metropolitan statistical area" (SMSA) in 1959, and to "metropolitan statistical area" (MSA) in 1983. The term "metropolitan area" (MA) was adopted in 1990 and referred collectively to metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), consolidated metropolitan statistical areas (CMSAs), and primary metropolitan statistical areas (PMSAs). The term "core based statistical area" (CBSA) became effective in 2000 and refers collectively to metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas.

    Among many other issues, the census bureau really needs to get their acronyms under control. They'll be flinging pseudopolitans, megapolitans, brachiopolitans, broncopolitans, neopolitans or neapolitans at us in no time. Where will it end?

  5. http://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/2008/10...iest_small_town

    The current issue of Bon Appetit magazine has a nice article about the local food scene, dubbing the Durham-Chapel Hill area "America's Foodiest Small Town." (None of the towns in the running are exactly small, it should be noted.)

    There's a focus on the usual resturants, and a decent bit of attention devoted to the Carrboro farmers market and local farmers as well. I wasn't expecting the article - a friend pointed it out to me - and I was reading fairly critically, but it's a decent piece; worth a look.

  6. Define the term astronomical. Other than York, Horry and maybe Dorchester I don't think any county in the state is experiencing "astronomical" growth. Let's face it; South Carolina isn't growing nearly as fast as North Carolina or Georgia and I place a lot of the blame on our good ol' boy legislature and some provincial attitudes among many South Carolinians. Wouldn't it be nice if we could experience the same sort of growth Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida have seen?

    Maybe yes, maybe no. You could be getting two or three times the sprawl you're already having to deal with: I'll invite you up to spend valuable time sitting in heavy traffic on I-40 near RTP. There's something to be said, in theory at least, for modest but steady growth. There's a golden opportunity to grow smart, as the numbers start to curve upward. As for Florida levels of growth: be careful what you wish for. Once it's paved over, you ain't getting it back.

  7. Generally, it's all good. I just know - from family - people who have been on both sides of the gentrification debate - I have family who have done the gentrifying, and other family who have been priced out of places and were pretty explicitly resentful after the fact. Seeing older, close-in neighborhoods improve, especially at the grass-roots level is a great thing. Seeing realtors from multiple states away (who don't know sqaut about an area's history or current residents, and frankly could care less) salivating over the same neighborhoods because they see dollars is a far less appetizing prospect. Idunno...it's a neverending argument I guess...

  8. Check out this link to "Good Morning America"...a show from last week where they listed 4 up and coming neighborhoods in the USA that are sure to "Pop" soon. The title of the show was "How to spot the next up and coming neighborhood". One of the 4 neigborhoods they talk about is Biddleville in Charlotte, NC. Check out the link and tell me what you think:


    So intriguing - I knew the neighborhood when it was definitely not trendy - I still have an aunt who lives on State St, 3 blocks down from 5 Points. Great to see the area getting attention, though the vid clip also made me a tad nervous about what precisely this might portend for the area.

  9. It's been a while since I've been down there, but growing up I had family in some of those neighborhoods. Most of the projects were badly built decades ago, and some of the neighborhoods along La Salle near 77 and Norris Ave are a patchwork of rental duplexes, but there are some areas mixed within (like the bungalow section of Druid Hills - bounded by Statesville-Norris-Graham-Woodward, or - I think it's Lockwood - along Plymouth/Sylvania/Keswick between Graham and Tryon) that are comparatively well-built neighborhoods.

    Double Oaks was for decades in very bad shape; when construction began on 77 it really went into a spiral. I recall my dad telling me that the Double Oaks project was built on top of a WWII-era landfill, and that later the initial plans for 77 were to tie Oaklawn in to the 77/Brookshire interchange, which would have consumed far more of those surrounding communities, but complaints or a petition drive forced modification of those plans.

    The oldest section of Druid Hills was (also according to my dad) one of the first suburban Charlotte neighborhoods to experience white flight - he did yard work there when it was still an entirely white neighborhood (Statesville Ave was - in the 1940s - the line of segregation, which at some point during the decade shifted east of N Tryon Street).

  10. Journey... Don't Stop Believin'

    I never can get enough of this song. :)

    Easily one of the best songs ever. EVER. Period. End of story.

    Steve Perry - quite the diva. I'm more of a fan of "The Lights" ("When the lights go down in the cit-y/And the sun shines on ... the baaay..."). That faux-Queen production gets me every time.

  11. Pulcinella's is a good little storefront Italian restaurant, but don't think they make their own pasta....it is in the shopping center where Old Wake Forest and Falls of the Neuse split, next to the Wild Birds Unlimited.

    Didn't know about the Raleigh Pulcinella's. I think it's a family place; there's one in Durham (Woodcroft) and in Graham (1 block N of the Alamance courthouse), and they are both quite successful; the one in Graham is (mostly) outstanding Sicilian at great prices. Pizza wasn't anything special, but the entrees I tried were out of sight.

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