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Charlotte_native

Urban life in Charlotte

30 posts in this topic

Since so many people have recently moved into center city (myself included), I wanted to start a thread to share the experiences from those that live there. The good, the bad, the surprises. What brought you? What have you discovered that you didn't expect? What do you find is most missing (yea, I know, retail!)?

I'll start - even though I had been to some events downtown (theater, sporting) I didn't realize how many people would be on the streets at night all the time. I think I used to assume whatever random night I came downtown just happened to be busy from some event(s). Not the case, for one there are always all kinds of events, but there is also a pretty lively after work, after evening, and late night crowd. I love walking and I love people watching. Sundays excepted, every night I walk my dogs, and all areas I walk them, there are people everywhere. I also didn't realize how many early evening food specials and drink specials there would be. It seems with the growing number of restaurants that competition is a good thing for us. I didn't know we had so many skateboarders -- and it seems unlike many cities were are tolerant of them. Sometimes on the Square I've counted as many as 30 or 40 congragating.

I'm also very happy with the restaurant mix. I love all kinds of food and have found most everything in town -- from very expensive to very cheap. I just discovered a Japanese Teriyaki place in Latta Arcade that I didn't know was there -- massive amount of food for six bucks.

What I dislike: parking lots everywhere, construction projects that I wish would move forward that are standing still, and businesses that still aren't open on the weekends. I also can't stand the motorcycle crowd that decides to cruise downtown on the weekends. Not that I don't like motorcycles, I don't care about them one way or another, but I don't get why cars have to have mufflers but bikes don't. No one wants to hear your loud-ass bike -- go to Mac's! :)

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What I dislike: parking lots everywhere, construction projects that I wish would move forward that are standing still, and businesses that still aren't open on the weekends. I also can't stand the motorcycle crowd that decides to cruise downtown on the weekends. Not that I don't like motorcycles, I don't care about them one way or another, but I don't get why cars have to have mufflers but bikes don't. No one wants to hear your loud-ass bike -- go to Mac's! :)

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Ugh. The Obnoxious Harley riders reving their engines makes me want to throw things off my balcony at them. It's awful as it resonates up and into my living room. I have to pause the TV or wait for them to drive on before finishing a sentence. I don't understand how it's legal to have a vehicle purposely cause so much noise. Bring on the Mopeds...at least they don't shake buildings.

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Ugh. The Obnoxious Harley riders reving their engines makes me want to throw things off my balcony at them. It's awful as it resonates up and into my living room. I have to pause the TV or wait for them to drive on before finishing a sentence. I don't understand how it's legal to have a vehicle purposely cause so much noise. Bring on the Mopeds...at least they don't shake buildings.

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Agreed on the noise. Our small Downtown feels very vibrant to me...especially in relation to other Southern Cities. Particularly - Houston, Dallas, ATL, and JAX.

I feel like I see a News Reporter broadcasting daily, and lunch time during the weekdays will overwhelm your out of town guests.

I like to play Frisbee in 4th Ward Park....during warmer months. The Skate Boarders are a blast to watch.

Personally, I don't really need the retail. How often do people go shopping? I generally go to SouthPark once a month or maybe two months...for that I can drive. I don't enjoy window shopping. Otherwise between the HT, Reids, and the CVS I don't want for anything.....EXCEPT for a freaking bookstore/coffee shop.

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ditto on likes: 4th ward park

ditto on dislikes: way too many parking lots

i wanted a bigger selection at the baby harris teeter, but target seems to have taken care of my needs.

strangely, the noise hasnt been a problem....i'm on church st, so i get the fire engine sirens 5-6 times a week and can hear the train at night.

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Ugh. The Obnoxious Harley riders reving their engines makes me want to throw things off my balcony at them. It's awful as it resonates up and into my living room. I have to pause the TV or wait for them to drive on before finishing a sentence. I don't understand how it's legal to have a vehicle purposely cause so much noise. Bring on the Mopeds...at least they don't shake buildings.

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I don't think it's all Harley Riders. All I ever seem to see is the packs of crotch rocket riders that come in on the weekends. They go up and down the main drags revving their engines all night.

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Something else I realize I really like about my move to downtown (realized it last night while hanging out with a neighbor). The variety and mix of people I've met, both neighbors in the building or neighbors nearby that we run into often. The age range is 25 to 65, male female, straight gay, and all types of fields of work. The type of folks I hang out with now is far broader than it used to be. I like as much variety as possible, so this has really been fantastic.

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Likes:

Walking home from work when the weather is nice and seeing non-stop street activity all the way down Tryon/College.

CC Needs:

More than Fuel and Pita Pit after 9pm. I can't believe that I can't even get Starbucks after 9pm. There have to be enough people working (very) late to support more food/coffee options.

Surprises:

When I leave downtown for an errand (car maintenance, Southpark shopping, etc.), I'm shocked to see such congestion. Witnessing the I-77/I-485 southern interchange on a Friday afternoon once was enough for me. You can't put a price on the luxury of being able to walk out of your office on Friday afternoon, have a beer (or 3) and walk (or drive) a few blocks home, knowing that your friends and co-workers are on I-77 and traveling home at 10mph.

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^ Definitely a need for more late-night options. Granted, you can usually pick up basic bar food after 9 at places like Stool Pigeons and Cans... but that's not the same as a place that's still functioning as a restaurant. In my most recent trip home to Charlotte I actually had to order room service in order to get a meal after midnight. That's just sad.

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^ Definitely a need for more late-night options. Granted, you can usually pick up basic bar food after 9 at places like Stool Pigeons and Cans... but that's not the same as a place that's still functioning as a restaurant. In my most recent trip home to Charlotte I actually had to order room service in order to get a meal after midnight. That's just sad.

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At the risk of taking this completely off topic, does anyone have a suggestion for a good (take-out) cup of coffee downtown past 9pm?

The Flavia packets at work don't cut it...

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They are putting up Crimmus decorations everywhere!! They already look great, but are only partially up. I'm very excited to see everything out this year -- and can't wait for the ice rink (they are doing that again I hope) at The Green.

Oh, another postive I saw today while walking, CVS on Tryon is open on Saturday! I hope the trend continues. The Dean & Deluca on Tryon that finally started opening on Saturdays has been doing a good business on the weekends.

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Easy access to Light Rail will help me enjoy Uptown's vibe more. I can just hoof it to EastWest and not have to drive and circle anymore. Less hassle will definitely increase my trips to Reids, the museums, and I will explore more in general.

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Easy access to Light Rail will help me enjoy Uptown's vibe more. I can just hoof it to EastWest and not have to drive and circle anymore. Less hassle will definitely increase my trips to Reids, the museums, and I will explore more in general.

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Are there any parents here? What is there to do uptown in the evenings?

My wife and I like coming into town to walk around with our kids (2, 3, 10) but always end up leaving pretty quickly for lack of anything to do. There are plenty of upscale restaurants, but these are neither cheap, nor where I want to try and enjoy a meal with all the kids in tow. We'll usually just walk up and down the main strip and then go home. The little retail that there is seems to close very early (promptly at 5 PM it seems). :(

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The Uptown rink will be great holiday cheer for residents and vistors. I will only be a spectator. Tried to ice skate once and it was quite an embarassing and slightly painful display :lol: It's also nice to see the menorah at the square when Hannukah starts.

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I'm another parent here (3 yo). For us, the bus ride to the transit hub is half the fun. Any excuse to take the bus makes our kid happy. Once we're uptown, we usually do one of these:

- Go to a Lollipops or other concert

- Watch skateboarders

- Participate in whatever event is going on (bike/foot races, parades, festivals, speed street)

- Goof around at the Imaginon and check out some books

- Go to Discovery Place (family memberships here and the Mint are valuable because it can be more of a drop-in visit - check in on the wildlife, see what's going on - and you get in the Nature Museum with a Discovery Place membership, so it can enhance Freedom Park visits, too)

- Check in on construction progress (probably as fascinating for a little boy as it is for the most out of control 'scraper fanatic).

- Visit Reids to put together a picnic (for the time uptown or later)

- Find someplace to hang out and play a game or watch people.

And out of season right now, but some other things we do:

- Skating Rink

- Farmer's market

- Run around in the fish fountain at the Green

Food options are definitely around for families too. A few of our frequent meal spots uptown:

- Tin Tin Box of Noodles

- Mert's (oh yeah)

- Matt's Chicago Dog

- Picnic from Reids

- Brixx

- Bellacinos

- Showmars

I'm sure uptown residents have more food ideas. There are lots of great family dining options within a short blue line ride as well.

I am also looking forward to the blue line, but in addition to that the extra cross town connectivity the bus realignment is bringing. There were so few cross town connections before. Now the LRT feeders really open up ped+bus connections for us to places we couldn't access easily before except by car.

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^ That's a pretty good overview. I would also add that Fuel Pizza is very kid-friendly, especially the location at the Green where you can let the kids run around a little. Also, the park space is great for kids if you bring a frisbee or ball to kick around.

I would suggest visiting the Charlotte page at http://www.wikitravel.com and checking out the "Charlotte with kids" itinerary. It has some helpful suggestions.

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Likes:

- Being able to walk to any day-to-day convenience like grocery stores, drug stores, dry-cleaning

- Being able to walk to restaurants and bars

- Being able to walk two blocks and see a jazz band perform on the side of the street

- Being able to walk to pick up my rental car (which I frequently use) from Avis in the Hilton

- Being able to walk to a park

- Being able to walk to a game of football or basketball

- Being able to walk around and simply be entertained by doing it

- Basically, just the walking aspect more than anything. You get my drift.

Dislikes:

- Ditto on the parking lots.

- The occasional bum (but you could also argue that that is actually part of the character of an urban atmosphere)

- The sirens (again...just part of an urban atmosphere...you'll find that in every one)

- The lack of retail (there are some things that I can't walk to, and it pisses me off when I have to drive anywhere now)

- Actually, I'm having a tough time of thinking about dislikes

Can't wait for:

- More retail

- Baseball

- Movie Theater

- Bowling

- More restaurants

- Light rail (Mainly to get to Southend without having to drive)

- More density!

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I'd definitely recommend Discovery Place/OmniMax Theater, Imaginon Children's Library, and Spirit Square for your kids. Those are the top three places that come to mind. If they like riding the bus, then they are going to love riding the train.

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Ditto on the walking! I've discovered that most of the time, on Tryon, the lights work in your favor. Sometimes you can almost walk (at a good pace) and make all the lights.

Last Saturday my girlfriend and I were walking down North Tryon when we were approached by about a 12 highschoolers dressed up as hippies. They were playing a jambox with music from the 60's. They also carried banners and signs that said "Free hugs". Needless to say those hugs made our day, and we'll never forget that.

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Last Saturday my girlfriend and I were walking down North Tryon when we were approached by about a 12 highschoolers dressed up as hippies. They were playing a jambox with music from the 60's. They also carried banners and signs that said "Free hugs". Needless to say those hugs made our day, and we'll never forget that.

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