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"Transcending the Sprawl"

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There was an article in the South Meck version of the Observer the other day that basically depicted a sensationalized comparison of the Ballantyne area versus Uptown Charlotte - in terms of entertainment, restaurants, conveniences, shopping, etc. The overriding theme was that a lot of newcomers to either place don't venture to the other, don't know about what each area has to offer, or don't care. The concept of the article made me kind of chuckle, because I have a few neighbors who moved to Ballantyne area in the past year and they literally know NOTHING about what's uptown, all the new construction, good restaurants, etc.

I took great pride in reading through the article and thinking that I do a pretty good job of "transcending the sprawl" and taking advantage of all that there is to offer throughout the area. I live in Ballantyne area, I work Uptown. On any given weekend, I can be found jogging on the greenway in Freedom Park, eating Pad Thai at "Creation" in Plaza Midwood, or shopping at Northlake Mall.

Anyone else want to brag here about this? :D

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There was an article in the South Meck version of the Observer the other day that basically depicted a sensationalized comparison of the Ballantyne area versus Uptown Charlotte - in terms of entertainment, restaurants, conveniences, shopping, etc. The overriding theme was that a lot of newcomers to either place don't venture to the other, don't know about what each area has to offer, or don't care. The concept of the article made me kind of chuckle, because I have a few neighbors who moved to Ballantyne area in the past year and they literally know NOTHING about what's uptown, all the new construction, good restaurants, etc.

I took great pride in reading through the article and thinking that I do a pretty good job of "transcending the sprawl" and taking advantage of all that there is to offer throughout the area. I live in Ballantyne area, I work Uptown. On any given weekend, I can be found jogging on the greenway in Freedom Park, eating Pad Thai at "Creation" in Plaza Midwood, or shopping at Northlake Mall.

Anyone else want to brag here about this? :D

I wish I could, but I have to admit I don't venture far from Dilworth/Wilmore/Uptown. I don't really "need" to actually. I don't know that it is that unusual for any larger city to have people who stay closes to home. One of the reasons I moved downtown as fas as I could was to try and have everything I needed close by so I didn't have to drive all over the place. If everyone in the little "towns" in the 'burbs has that, I can't say it is all bad.

I think my friends in Atlanta, Toronto, Seattle pretty much do the same (stick to the areas where they live), though mass transit makes travelling from area to area more fun if it is available.

I think younger crowds in Charlotte, especially singles, are more likely to come uptown if they don't live there due to the bars and nightlife, families on the other hand might not. My friends who live outside the city and have kids do come in town for their "night out" when they want a night away from the kids...

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^Yep. I am always surprised by the number of Charlotteans that never venture north of Independence Blvd, west of South Blvd, and think downtown is the end of civilization as you head north in this county. (Northlake & Concord Mills doesn't count)

In any case many people are surprised at the nightlife and events that take place at the Lake almost constantly.

You can review it at this site.

LKN FUN

I would be surprised to hear there is Jello Wrestling in Ballentyne. :lol:

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I pride myself on going to Pineville only about once a quarter, and to Ballantyne only once a quadrennial.

Once more retail is in the central part of the city (such as Epicenter and Midtown), I can bump the Pineville visits back down to the quadrennial frequency.

I always enjoy my visits to LKN, but I don't own a boat, so that is probably only a few times a year.

It is always amusing to me that major local restaurants that earned their fame in town have most setup second stores in Ballantyne. People out there literally will tell you about them like they are one of a kind, not realizing the original is in town.

I also enjoy scoffing about friends of mine that live down there :). Face it, sometimes it is just fun to feel superior and more enlightened. ;)

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I will be going to Ballentyne for the first time in a few months this weekend...on my way to the beach..lol.

I think of lot of it is where your friends are. Most of my friends are within the inner ring neighborhoods of Charlotte and that is also where I work so thats where I spend most of my time. I do have friends that live in the University and North Meck towns so I do go up that way about every couple of weeks.

I did just have a friend buy a house in Raintree (an 80s fabulous neighborhood at the intersection of Providence and 51) so I suspect I will be spending some time down there as well.

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And here I was lamenting that the average Charlottean seems to know very little about what other areas in the metro have to offer (particularly the attractions in York County), but apparently the same phenomenon exists in the city itself. No big surprise here.

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^Natives excluded, i wonder how many Charlottean transplants know about North Carolina period? :D

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I live in Dilworth and tend to stay within this area or PlazaMidwoodElizabeth. I just don't like suburbia. I have a particular distaste for Ballantyne because I grew up on Hilton Head. So being down there gives me flashbacks. Bytne is Hilton Head without the tourists. Overly planned and artificial in every way. I see more HHI stickers down there than anywhere else in the area. Makes sense. Most people in Ballanytne consider the city neighborhoods to be dangerous and too diverse for them. These perceptions are common in most cities, especially new metro areas like Charlotte that lack cohesive mass transit that brings a mix of people together. Our endless sprawl only exacerbates these social divides.

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I go to each of Charleston, the NC mountains, the NC beaches, and the Triad more than I go to Ballantyne. The issue is that it is not a "place" in my mind, but rather just a periphery to an actual place. If I live in the place, and they are just the periphery of my place, so why go?

It is a beltway exit with big box power centers, to support a suburban sprawl area that follows the same formula as most other suburban sprawl areas in the country. I've been to sprawling suburbs in other cities, and don't have much point in my life to going there. It is entirely possible that at some future date, I will be in my breeding years and will have had some life changing trauma of a frustrating criminal act performed by a duly-impoverished, hateful, and ignorant inner city felon. But until that time, I've seen it once, twice, a million times, and don't need to go back.

The Lake Norman towns are definitely places in my book, so I go there when I have the chance and desire. There are hundreds of places in North Carolina and South Carolina, that I love to visit, and want to visit.

When family visits me next month, we will be visiting a few of those "places". We will not be visiting Ballantyne. Afterall, the family I have visiting happens to live in Ballantyne. Well, their city's equivalent.

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I think people would be amazed by what they would find if they would take the non-interstate roads to some of the surrounding cities around here. Sure it's not SE Charlotte, but that tends to get very boring after a short while anyway. (and I have lived all over SE Charlotte so I speak from experience)

I recommend a ride to Kings mountain on Hwy 74 for example on a Saturday. Take the time to turn off into Belmont and Cramerton. There are some fish camps back in there that serve some of the best seafood in the entire area. There are flea markets, auctions, junk stores, parks and interesting homes to look at on this route.

Another interesting ride is to take Hwy 29 North from Charlotte through Kannapolis past the bridge that takes you into Cannon Mills. Then turn and go into Cannon Mills where the new Biotech Research Campus is going in. The neighborhoods around this campus are some of the best gridded neighborhoods in the entire area and are essentially undiscovered.

Everyone in the county should at least ride up Hwy 115 through Mooresville at least once and if you have time, continue on through Troutman and into old Statesville. Or take Hwy 150 west through Mooresville to see some of the worst in urban planning in this area as exit 36 has not only a super walmart, but a super target (the first in this area) and brand new Lowes. But as you continue on, it all of a sudden changes into more of a beach atmosphere as the road heads towards the lake. The road crosses the midpoint of the lake on two different bridges and there is plenty of waterfront dining here if you are hungry. Queens Landing is another place to check out.

There are many such places here like this.

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I have to share a story here. I was at a party in a Ballantyne home last summer. As a matter of reference, there is a wooded area behind the house. As I stood on the deck sipping an adult beverage, a woman from out of town asked, "What's behind those woods?". My friend Scott replied without missing a beat, "Georgia."

I do enjoy going down there once in a while, though. But don't be like me and go too late. The duty free shop was closed and then I had to sit in a long line at passport control as well as customs and immigration.

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I am proud to say I am going to Birkdale tonight to have a dinner meeting at Zing! It is possible...

Allright!!! Thats what I like to hear!!!

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This is why I love living where I do (NoDa). Not only do I get to enjoy the Noda and Uptown areas (including Plaza Midwood, Dilworth, Myer's Park, Elizabeth, et al) but I can be in any one of the other major nodes of the city with a mere 20-30 minutes drive time. I work near the NC/SC state line off of I-77, so commuting is a breeze going against traffic in the mornings and evenings, and I am able to enjoy Pineville, South Tryon, and Ballantyne after work or at lunch. Pretty much the ONLY part of the city I never get to is Matthews and out to Monroe. Everything else is fair game when deciding on things to do. However, given a choice I am apt to choose a venue I have never been to for movies, restaurants, shopping, etc to get a new experience under my belt. Uptown can become pretty small (to me) if I never leave the area.

And PS, I am a transplant from New Mexico, and I love living here! I won't retire here though, but that is 40 years away.

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.............But as you continue on, it all of a sudden changes into more of a beach atmosphere as the road heads towards the lake. The road crosses the midpoint of the lake on two different bridges and there is plenty of waterfront dining here if you are hungry. Queens Landing is another place to check out.

There are many such places here like this.

A beautiful area id like to add, is the Lake Tillery area (Yadkin and Pee Dee Rivers meet) along NC 24/27 at the Stanley/Montgomery county line. Into Montgomery County, are the Uwharrie Mountains. They are not high like the High Country but similar to the Foothills. Most of Montgomery County is under parkland preservation so you will never see major development out there.

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Allright!!! Thats what I like to hear!!!

I liked it! Birkdale Village was really cute, quaint, and last night busy. Lots of folks strolling about, skateboarders on the sidewalks, outdoor seating filled. It only took 15 minutes to get back to Dilworth (though I drive far faster than I should). I can't say I'll be making moving plans, but this is far superior to most suburban sprawl, especially compared to where my mom lives, Mint Hell.

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I liked it! Birkdale Village was really cute, quaint, and last night busy. Lots of folks strolling about, skateboarders on the sidewalks, outdoor seating filled. It only took 15 minutes to get back to Dilworth (though I drive far faster than I should). I can't say I'll be making moving plans, but this is far superior to most suburban sprawl, especially compared to where my mom lives, Mint Hell.

yeah, it really doesn't take as long as you think to get around Meck Co., (at least when its not rush hour). Anyway, Birkdale is a great public space - there's lot to offer up there.

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I'm a bit confused and I've lived here a year. Is Birkdale Village a large subdivision in the Huntersville? What constitutes the "City of Charlotte" . I assumed anything within the ring is Charlotte while everything else is surrounding counties. Huntersville and Matthews for example are not "boroughs" (for lack of a better term) that make up the city of Charlotte like how BK, BX, Queens, SI and Manhattan make up NYC, right?

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I'm a bit confused and I've lived here a year. Is Birkdale Village a large subdivision in the Huntersville? What constitutes the "City of Charlotte" . I assumed anything within the ring is Charlotte while everything else is surrounding counties. Huntersville and Matthews for example are not "boroughs" (for lack of a better term) that make up the city of Charlotte like how BK, BX, Queens, SI and Manhattan make up NYC, right?

Birkdale is in Huntersville. The City of Charlotte is what is in the city limits (promise not being a smart *ss :) ), it comprises a lot of Mecklenburg County, but not all of it. Huntersville, Pineville, Matthews, Cornelius, Davidson are all in Mecklenburg but are individual towns.

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To be more specific, Birkdale is a New Urbanist village in the city limits of Huntersville.

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Huntersville and Matthews for example are not "boroughs" (for lack of a better term) that make up the city of Charlotte like how BK, BX, Queens, SI and Manhattan make up NYC, right?

The NYC way is defined as counties but elsewhere in America, its another way to call a town (borough, city, township, village, town, etc). NYC began in New York County (Manhattan) but expanded through four other NY counties. They are Queens Co (Queens), Kings Co (Brooklyn), Richmond Co (Staten Island) and Bronx Co (Bronx).

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Maybe a tad off topic...

I was wondering if Charlotte is developing an alternative downtown area and where would it be? By that, I mean an area distinctly separate from downtown, but containing an extensive mix of high-rise and mid-rise office and residential (condos and apartments and even single family) with a dense mix of retail, shopping, fine eating and entertainment? Examples would be Atlanta's Midtown or Buckhead or even Nashville's Midtown.

I will be visiting Charlotte soon, just to see what all the fuss is about, and was curious as to where a 'mid town' might be.

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Maybe a tad off topic...

I was wondering if Charlotte is developing an alternative downtown area and where would it be? By that, I mean an area distinctly separate from downtown, but containing an extensive mix of high-rise and mid-rise office and residential (condos and apartments and even single family) with a dense mix of retail, shopping, fine eating and entertainment? Examples would be Atlanta's Midtown or Buckhead or even Nashville's Midtown.

I will be visiting Charlotte soon, just to see what all the fuss is about, and was curious as to where a 'mid town' might be.

the area that fits the bill the closest is the SOUTH PARK area... though, not that much entertainment.

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^Thats what i was thinking too but its still a suburban area with just higher buildings.

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