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Perception of Charlotte Nationwide

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I brought some visitors from Singapore and Perth, Australia to Charlotte today to my company's office after a tour of the Country to see some of my client's sites. They had never heard of Charlotte, and were extremely impressed when they saw it. They thought Charlotte was more the size of Gastonia or Concord. Their first "wow" was the airport. They couldn't believe how busy it was -- they were expecting a 10-gate airport or something. They thought the skyline was beautiful and were impressed with the huge amounts of development, with all the cranes. But most of all they loved the tree-lined streets of Tryon, Morehead, and Providence.

We visited Las Vegas, San Antonio, and Kansas City earlier this week, which I wouldn't consider the countries best examples of cities, but still, they said that Charlotte must be a wonderful place to live compared to the other cities they saw. They had also visited LA, NY, and Chicago in the past (their only other tastes of the states), and said that they enjoyed Charlotte most of all in the US. They said "If I lived in the US, I would love to be a part of this city." It was mostly a livability thing -- a fairly large city, the beauty of the trees, the cleanliness and newness of the architecture, but not too hectic or crowded, and with the convenience of restaurants and shopping.

The fellow from Perth said that it reminded him of home, while all the other cities he just despised visiting.

I know this doesn't say much about the national perception, but it's great to hear that from people that come from two extraordinary cities that are probably some of the best places in the world to live. I've often heard of Singapore as an urban utopia (can't wait to visit them in January!), so it was especially pleasing to here it from them. Their only complaint was that it was not near enough to the ocean, but of course Perth is on the ocean and Singapore is a 15x20 mile island, so the ocean has never been more than a 10-minute drive for any of them. CLT was looking good, though, in their eyes.

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^^^

That's nice, Scott, thanks for sharing.

I love Charlotte's "look." Tree-lined streets forming a canopy, terraced topography, I think it's beautiful. I'm well aware that some parts of Charlotte do not have this look, but it is fairly widely distributed.

I also love Charlotte's skyline and can't wait to see it in 3 or 4 years.

I know, I'm a total homie :)

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Did anyone hear last Sunday's broadcast of "A Prarie Home Companion" on NPR? They recorded in Charlotte last Saturday night. Unfortunately, I went to buy tickets too late and missed out. It would have truly been an experience...I hate that I missed it! To make it worse, I missed the broadcast on Sunday.

However, thanks to Minnesota Public Radio, you can listen to any show, any time -- online. The Charlotte show is available in its two-hour entirety on the website: http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/programs/2007/10/20/.

I was really blown away by the positivity of Charlotte that came out of the broadcast. A few phrases that I heard in the first few minutes were..."The airport was packed with people...it was a busy travel day", "Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in Charlotte. Some cities have a few nice things, but here there are a lot!", "Cheeseburgers with cole slaw...the slaw's right in there with the cheese and it's an amazing thing called the Carolina Classic."

And the Charlottetown song (about 5 minutes into the show) was nothing but friendly praise to the city. If I started quoting all the praise in that song, I'd basically be writing out the lyrics to the song...just listen to it.

The 4th segment of the show (about 1:15 into it), more references to Charlotte are made. Garrison Keillor went over the history of Charlotte, from being called the "Hornet's Nest" to the gold rush. He also mentioned the 2 big banks, the beautiful skyline, the trees and plazas downtown. And amongst all the corporate atmosphere with the marble and grand buildings, you can still find a joint like Mert's on College Street, where you can get BBQ, fried chicken, and black-eyed peas and when you leave, the waitress will call you "honey." Mentions of NASCAR, the beauty of Charlotte's suburbs, how messed up our roads are (in a funny way), and all the cranes and development downtown. "Charlotte is a city on the move," he said.

I must admit that I was worried a bit on how Keillor's perception of the city would be, but after hearing this broadcast, I can rest assured that he found Charlotte a beautiful and welcoming place that seemed to burst with innovation while maintaining just enough "southernness" to make it friendly. I would encourage all of you to take a listen -- at least to the referenced sections of the broadcast.

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^ i listened to the broadcast on sunday. i, too, thought it was a great show... i loved when he was talking about the gold "rush"... but, it being the south it was more of a gold "walk".

classic.

(btw - i'm from charlotte)

Edited by cinco

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That's the great thing about perceptions. We all have different ones. I don't think that all single people here are miserable. I am not. Compared to other cities that draw young professionals Charlotte is often rated lower when it comes to meeting a future partner. At least that is what I hear anectdotally from friends gay and straight. Dilworth is very family friendly, East Boulevard sidewalks gridlock with spandexed mommies with strollers on nice days. Most of them are quite nice and friendly. There are still some singles, the residents of my apt building being an example and others hang around the restaurants and Caribou on East . You are right that I don't like the "scene". I met my last BF while I was out walking a client's dog and it still did not work out so I guess the "scene " or place of first meeting may not matter for me :lol:

From guy that moved here back in the spring, I have to say it didn't take me long to meet cool people, find a few dates and now a girlfriend. When I hear people say that it's hard to meet people here, I just sit back and laugh. I'm not the most outgoing of people and it really didn't take much at all for me to find a good group of friends. You just have to go out and do it. Sitting on your couch won't get you anywhere. I think Charlotte has some the friendliest people around. Most people I meet aren't stuck up and for the most part allow you in their circle. Gay or straight people seem to treat me the same (as I do the same to them). I couldn't be happier about that. Definitely wouldn't trade this place for anywhere right now.

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You are right that most people in this town don't care. I am in the minority of those who do think it's something that needs to be worked on. And I was discussing the perception from groups and people that also note this deficiency.

You seem to me to be a somewhat self-centered person yourself. I have no negative feelings towards gays. I also have some gay friends. To me they are just friends. I think that the fact that people accept and welcome gays elliminates Charlotte from being gay hostile city. You catagorize the citizens of Charlotte based on comments or views of the mayor or whomever you have mentioned. I don't know anybody that gays, although I must admit that gayness isn't ususally the topic of conversations. I definately do not think that you are 'special'. I think that you are just like me with different sexual preferences which is totally your business. You should not be scorned for that nor awarded. We just need to be one happy community. I know a little about persecution, my family is Jewish.

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I am Jewish and Gay. It's not about me or anyone else thinking they are "special". It's about being treated equally. This city provides no domestic partner benefits for city employees. No sexual orientation ordinances covering employment or housing. Many cities we are supposedly in competition with have these ordinances on the books. Like other places Charlotte has a lot of work to do on this issue. I don't think the whole town is hateful. I don't care if you think I am self centered. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. Nothing special about that either.

Edited by voyager12

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I am Jewish and Gay. It's not about me or anyone else thinking they are "special". It's about being treated equally. This city provides no domestic partner benefits for city employees. No sexual orientation ordinances covering employment or housing. Many cities we are supposedly in competition with have these ordinances on the books. Like other places Charlotte has a lot of work to do on this issue. I don't think the whole town is hateful. I don't care if you think I am self centered. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. Nothing special about that either.

Does the city of Charlotte provide benefits for heterosexual men and women that live together as partners? What kind of ordinances would cover employment and/or housing of homosexuals? I am not being argumentive, I don't really know and would like to. Are the desired ordinances established to disallow discrimination against homosexual couples? If that is the reason for the ordinances, my full support is there. I certainly realize that there are prejudices against gays 'everywhere' and that bothers me. I was very happy recently to see that the Baptist are going to make efforts to be more accepting of homosexuality. I hope all churches do the same.

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If you can't grasp the inequalities to begin with I am not going to waste my time with you. This is completely :offtopic: on this thread anyway. And you are not going to instigate me into a posting war. That's all I am going to say about it.

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If you can't grasp the inequalities to begin with I am not going to waste my time with you. This is completely :offtopic: on this thread anyway. And you are not going to instigate me into a posting war. That's all I am going to say about it.

Hi Charlotte, It's shocking and a shame that such a fast growing, progressive city still has these issues. I feel bad for my "family" in Charlotte. If you want to move down to another boomtown that has ovecome these issues you are most welcome to move on down to Orlando. We are are already tied with Minneapolis as the 8th largest city with the highest percentage of GLBT residents (4 in every 10 residents) San Fran is #1 with (8 in 10) and Tampa/St.Pete was #7 with (5 in 10).......no NYC, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, or LA in the top 10 gayest cities!

Besides our annual Gay Days which attracts over 150,000 pewe ople (and both the Mayor of Orlando and the Mayor of Orange County support and officially welcome our visitors) we just celebrated Orlando Pride 2 weekends ago that attracted 45,000 people and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer gave the welcoming kick off speech and lead the huge parade through downtown and at 6pm the city sponsered a huge party in the park which featured Jennifer Holiday performimg. Also all the streetlamps downtown flew rainbow flags, over 700 of them. Come on Charlotte, you've got so much going for you, you need this also. Goode Luck!

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^ Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think that a parade is the solution to our lack of domestic partner benefits. There is a difference between a Gay-Day type event and actual, tangible progress in the civil rights of homosexuals.

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Hi Charlotte, It's shocking and a shame that such a fast growing, progressive city still has these issues. I feel bad for my "family" in Charlotte. If you want to move down to another boomtown that has ovecome these issues you are most welcome to move on down to Orlando. We are are already tied with Minneapolis as the 8th largest city with the highest percentage of GLBT residents (4 in every 10 residents) San Fran is #1 with (8 in 10) and Tampa/St.Pete was #7 with (5 in 10).......no NYC, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, or LA in the top 10 gayest cities!

Besides our annual Gay Days which attracts over 150,000 pewe ople (and both the Mayor of Orlando and the Mayor of Orange County support and officially welcome our visitors) we just celebrated Orlando Pride 2 weekends ago that attracted 45,000 people and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer gave the welcoming kick off speech and lead the huge parade through downtown and at 6pm the city sponsered a huge party in the park which featured Jennifer Holiday performimg. Also all the streetlamps downtown flew rainbow flags, over 700 of them. Come on Charlotte, you've got so much going for you, you need this also. Goode Luck!

Just happen to come across this thread and felt very strongly this person's posting (above) needed some response/correction. I have no idea what actual formula the poster was using, but I live in San Francisco. Moreover, I've worked on numerous community outreach campaigns with the city's public health department where hard data needed to be collected, and strict extrapolation criteria were used to develop the target cohorts probable size.. Based on services accessed via city programs, including our city clinics, available data from the GLBTQ Center and various civic foundations based in the gay community, (please remember, the US. Census Bureau does not collect data on sexual orientation), San Franciscans identified as gay males are projects at 140 - 160K (plus minus 10,000), with exclusively lesbian identified women toping out at about 30,00. This is slightly less than 200K out of a city population of almost 800K (using the Cal. Department of Finance tracking data - based on tax revenue reported, license and permits, etc, not U.S. census sampling methodologies from the actual decennial surveys). This is a fairly significant concentration (almost one in every 4 residents), and we are potent voting block in the city as well as a vocal, dynamic part of the civic culture. However, we are not 8 out every 10 residents. That would put us at well over half the city population. This is empirically not true.

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Does the city of Charlotte provide benefits for heterosexual men and women that live together as partners? What kind of ordinances would cover employment and/or housing of homosexuals? I am not being argumentive, I don't really know and would like to. Are the desired ordinances established to disallow discrimination against homosexual couples? If that is the reason for the ordinances, my full support is there. I certainly realize that there are prejudices against gays 'everywhere' and that bothers me. I was very happy recently to see that the Baptist are going to make efforts to be more accepting of homosexuality. I hope all churches do the same.

As a city employee I do know that the City of Charlotte does not extend benefits to same sex partners nor does it say anything about discrimination in the workplace toward homosexuals in its employee policies. I think that for a city this size that it is a shame that the city does not take a more progressive stance toward GLBT employees that work for the city. We pay taxes too just like everyone else.

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Not getting into the debate about city benefits, I obviously believe that partnerships of any type should be treated equally.

On the note about housing, though. 1) I've never seen discrimination towards gays or lesbians in housing in Charlotte though I am not saying it doesn't occur. I'm sure it does, but would suspect it is on an individual basis and not part of a greater policy of the city, property owners, or management companies. 2) You might be interested to know that North Carolina still has a law on the books that precludes ANY non-married male/female couple from occupying a rental property together. Almost no one enforces this, yet TR Lawing rental agency in Charlotte does if they decide to and I know people they have been refused renting housing because they are a straight non-married couple. The interesting part is this ordinance does not apply to same sex couples.

I only point this out to try and make sure everyone recognizes that there is inequity and dated laws that affect many segments of our population.

Edited by Charlotte_native

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I was watching the Panther's game yesterday, and Jim Nance had many favorable things to say about the city. That was the national game (not being in Charlotte any more is tough on game day, because it's all Redskins/Ravens all the time up here), so I assume that lots and lots of people got an eye-full of uptown (Nance even referred to it as Uptown several times). Also when the camera panned North you could really see that South Tryon looks like construction mania; I think Nance's words were a "tremendous expansion of the Uptown area."

For my friends from Jersey/Philly/points North who've never been to Charlotte, this was a real surprise. There was a wide cam shot that made Uptown look monstrous, and the general consensus was that Charlotte is a big place period, but for its size, it's ginormous.

I know a city's downtown isn't representative of an entire place, but right or wrong, most people judge a city's size and importance by its skyline, and Charlotte has that going in spades. I've mentioned it in another thread from a while back, but if you get out and travel the country much, you realize that there's nowhere else in this country that even comes close in terms of downtown skyline to metro population (excluding NYC, Chicago of course).

To reiterate, for folks who've never seen Uptown and yesterday's game was a first for them, Charlotte is now definitely more than some cow-town in the Carolinas.

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I was watching the Panther's game yesterday, and Jim Nance had many favorable things to say about the city. That was the national game (not being in Charlotte any more is tough on game day, because it's all Redskins/Ravens all the time up here), so I assume that lots and lots of people got an eye-full of uptown (Nance even referred to it as Uptown several times). Also when the camera panned North you could really see that South Tryon looks like construction mania; I think Nance's words were a "tremendous expansion of the Uptown area."

For my friends from Jersey/Philly/points North who've never been to Charlotte, this was a real surprise. There was a wide cam shot that made Uptown look monstrous, and the general consensus was that Charlotte is a big place period, but for its size, it's ginormous.

I know a city's downtown isn't representative of an entire place, but right or wrong, most people judge a city's size and importance by its skyline, and Charlotte has that going in spades. I've mentioned it in another thread from a while back, but if you get out and travel the country much, you realize that there's nowhere else in this country that even comes close in terms of downtown skyline to metro population (excluding NYC, Chicago of course).

To reiterate, for folks who've never seen Uptown and yesterday's game was a first for them, Charlotte is now definitely more than some cow-town in the Carolinas.

I watched, too - Nantz did have a lot of good things to say (he had to say something not about the game).

Did you know Nantz is from Charlotte?

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I was excited to finally see a Panther's game here in Boston...they never show them....I agree about the aerial shots....it did make the city look large, and the commontator's did speak favorably of Charlotte. I was slightly irked that they said the NASCAR HOF was going to be THE tourist attraction to bring a lot of people....possibly he's right, but it did over-simplify the reasons one would want to visit Charlotte.

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Not getting into the debate about city benefits, I obviously believe that partnerships of any type should be treated equally.

On the note about housing, though. 1) I've never seen discrimination towards gays or lesbians in housing in Charlotte though I am not saying it doesn't occur. I'm sure it does, but would suspect it is on an individual basis and not part of a greater policy of the city, property owners, or management companies. 2) You might be interested to know that North Carolina still has a law on the books that precludes ANY non-married male/female couple from occupying a rental property together. Almost no one enforces this, yet TR Lawing rental agency in Charlotte does if they decide to and I know people they have been refused renting housing because they are a straight non-married couple. The interesting part is this ordinance does not apply to same sex couples.

I only point this out to try and make sure everyone recognizes that there is inequity and dated laws that affect many segments of our population.

I am sorry that you didn't see where I was not being confrontative previously. I only wanted an answer which you furnished in our first paragraph. Whenever someone that isn't gay inquires about such situations, it doesn't imply that there is ill intent. I was genuinely interested. I agree with you that all should be equal. If a non-gay common law relationship wasn't eligible for benefits, I would be opposed to a same sex relationship with the same tenure being eligible. Anyway, if you want to see some strange victorian laws, look some puritanical laws in Massachusetts that still exist (but are ignored). Back to the subject. Is anyone aware that Charlotte was known as being one of the most openly gay cities in the U.S. in the early 1960s. Does anyone remember the Anchor Inn, the Brass Rail, the Blue Note, and numerous other gay bars back then. What happened? I was told this by people from San Francisco and other gay cities. Talk about a change in perception. Take care and I hope Charlotte is able to become the city you wish it to be.

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I watched, too - Nantz did have a lot of good things to say (he had to say something not about the game).

Did you know Nantz is from Charlotte?

I didn't know that he was from Charlotte. It was good to hear the good things he had to say. I think pretty much any telecast that Nantz does from Charlotte, he talks up the city. I remember watching the Wachovia Championship back in May on TV and he continuously raved over Charlotte and the "great visionaries" (his words not mine) that are moving the city forward. It's nice to have free advertisement huh? :) Now if only the Panthers could step up next time.

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Deleted for variety of reasons.....

We have a thread about gay-rights in Charlotte. Unless commenting on a national perception about Charlotte, please post in the Charlotte Pride thread.

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Related to the previous conversation about the perception of Charlotte during Panther broadcasts, here are some stills from the game on Sunday. The city blocks of red clay hold almost as prominent a place as the parking lots these days.

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Edited by Mugen682

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We do have a good smile from a wide angle :D Perhaps this is part of the reason why I often see the moniker "Emerald City" or "Shining City on a Hill" in national publications.

Edited by voyager12

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Not getting into the debate about city benefits, I obviously believe that partnerships of any type should be treated equally.

On the note about housing, though. 1) I've never seen discrimination towards gays or lesbians in housing in Charlotte though I am not saying it doesn't occur. I'm sure it does, but would suspect it is on an individual basis and not part of a greater policy of the city, property owners, or management companies. 2) You might be interested to know that North Carolina still has a law on the books that precludes ANY non-married male/female couple from occupying a rental property together. Almost no one enforces this, yet TR Lawing rental agency in Charlotte does if they decide to and I know people they have been refused renting housing because they are a straight non-married couple. The interesting part is this ordinance does not apply to same sex couples.

I only point this out to try and make sure everyone recognizes that there is inequity and dated laws that affect many segments of our population.

You know, I really hope that the National perception of Charlotte is based on people like you! The more I read, the more I appreciate your balanced, positive view on what it's like to live in Charlotte. I'm proud of our booming population, great weather, growing skyline, and new job generation. But, I'm equally proud Charlotte has such a positive social atmosphere. I'm glad, in this case, that straight and gay people seem to coexist peacefully and your point of view is always a refreshing change from others I read (not just limited to anything posted in this particular thread).

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I am sorry that you didn't see where I was not being confrontative previously. I only wanted an answer which you furnished in our first paragraph. Whenever someone that isn't gay inquires about such situations, it doesn't imply that there is ill intent. I was genuinely interested.

Sorry if my post appeared to be directed at you -- it wasn't :) . Just dropping a couple of facts out there!

You know, I really hope that the National perception of Charlotte is based on people like you! The more I read, the more I appreciate your balanced, positive view on what it's like to live in Charlotte. I'm proud of our booming population, great weather, growing skyline, and new job generation. But, I'm equally proud Charlotte has such a positive social atmosphere. I'm glad, in this case, that straight and gay people seem to coexist peacefully and your point of view is always a refreshing change from others I read (not just limited to anything posted in this particular thread).

Thanks so much! My attitude is genuine. I LOVE IT HERE. I didn't like it growing up and wanted to move to a big city, but I stuck it out, I've been involved, and the big city came to me!

Related to the previous conversation about the perception of Charlotte during Panther broadcasts, here are some stills from the game on Sunday.

Thanks so much for those! Great to see. We go to all the games so I never get to see the stuff on TV unless we remember to record.

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