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Uptown versus...?

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So the other day I'm innocently listening to Morning Edition, and I kept hearing something that has been gnawing away at me since. Scott Graf kept referring to Uptown as "The Uptown." As in, "so-and-so was in the uptown."

Was this just a fluke, or is it common to refer to "The Uptown"?

And while I'm at it, is there a geographical difference between Center City and Uptown? I usually include inner ring neighborhoods as being part of Center City, but I don't know if that would be "correct" or not.

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I've never heard of it referred to at "The Uptown" unless you are saying something like the uptown area. I refer to the area as downtown, as do many native Charlotteans. Center City and Uptown are the same thing and generally refers only to the 4 wards located inside of the 277 loop.

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I've seen some maps indicate center city as the immediate blocks around the center city intersection Tryon & Trade, then the four wards seperately, but I consider center city everything in the loop myself. Nothing official, I guess. "The uptown", that's a new one. I tell anyone visiting or moving here that we have a downtown that is called uptown, because historically it is higher in elevation due to being built on a granite bed. I say that the two can be inversely used, and myself I try to use uptown although often I slip and use downtown out of habit. It gets confusing for people moving from places like NYC that has both an uptown, a midtown, a downtown, etc. to describe different areas.

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Never heard of "The Uptown."

I too think of Center City as everything within the 277 loop, although the corners between the railroad tracks and 77 sure don't feel like uptown, downtown, or anything else. The NC Music Factory and the Morehead Commons projects will help that somewhat.

Maybe "The Morning Edition" is trying to start a trend ...

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"Uptown" was started in the late 80's/ early 90's to try and make it sound nicer. Back in the 80's Charlotte wasn't as nice of a place as it is now. The reasoning for the sky bridges so people didn't have to deal with all the thrift.

I always forget and say downtown myself sometimes I feel kind of weird describing it as Uptown.

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"Uptown" was started in the late 80's/ early 90's to try and make it sound nicer.

But was also used prior the 1950s, until the first large wave of outsiders brought in the more universally-accepted 'downtown'.

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But was also used prior the 1950s, until the first large wave of outsiders brought in the more universally-accepted 'downtown'.

My grandparents said people referred to the middle of town as Uptown when they were young. As posted earlier, this was because you actually walked or took the trolley UP the elevation of the land to get there.

The debate about Uptown vs. Downtown has been around for years now. To me, it is both and just depends on what I feel like saying. Center City to me also refers to the same area but could include some of the ring 'hoods.

As for The Uptown, thats just plain goofy. About as bad as the attempt to call the Belmont and Optimist Park area 'SoDa'. I guess I used to live in The Dilworth.

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"Uptown" was started in the late 80's/ early 90's to try and make it sound nicer. Back in the 80's Charlotte wasn't as nice of a place as it is now. The reasoning for the sky bridges so people didn't have to deal with all the thrift.

I always forget and say downtown myself sometimes I feel kind of weird describing it as Uptown.

Actually the new label became official on September 23, 1974 when Mayor John Belk issued a proclamation designating the central business district as Uptown Charlotte, according to the Charlotte Observer in an article published on September 27, 1974.

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A lot of long term residents, including myself, still refer to it as downtown, but that was from different times when the area inside I-277, was still connected to the rest of the city before I-277 was built.

Some time in the late 80s downtown all of a sudden downtown became Uptown when other such names were made up like South End and NoDa.

More recently I have noticed the tendency for the media to call it The Uptown. I am not sure why but possibly they are trying to add something to it like they do in infomercials where they add "your" to whatever they are talking about. Or most likely, it's just bad journalism.

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I don't mind Uptown I have always thought of it as downtown though. Just makes more sense to me. We have a midtown. We have labled downtown uptown so where do we put uptown? Don't we need a downtown to pair with uptown? Oh who cares :silly:

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I'm kinda used to calling it uptown even though it is pretty weird that we do call it that.

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I listen to FFNZ in the morning and the woman that does traffic calls it "the uptown". Drives me nuts.

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This may arise from the characteristic west-coast style of referring to "the ______" when naming a highway... for example, "the 10" in LA (instead of I-10). In particular, traffic reporters would be likely to carry this idiosyncracy from one market to the next.

It's definitely not of local origin, and I don't see it catching on anytime soon.

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Center City Partners always insists on calling it "Center City" which just adds to the confusion. WBTV is their media friend so you'll notice that station uses Center City. I'm sure the group is inflamed that the new wayfinding signs say "uptown" on them.

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^Well, it was mostly their funding for the signs, so one would think they had a say in it.

This is the only city I know of where uptown, downtown, and center city all mean the same thing. When I first moved here I thought that Center City was more a reference to Uptown + the 1st ring neighborhoods. I use all three interchangeably now.

I have never heard of "the" uptown. Thats just a mistake. The whole west coast thing with "the 405" is just annoying to me.

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This is the only city I know of where uptown, downtown, and center city all mean the same thing.

Even though it's been around for a long time quietly, at least Midtown now has an identity of its own with the Metropolitan.

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"Downtown" commonly refers to a city's central business district. This originated in New York, where downtown is the southern-most part of Manhattan and was the first CBD.

Here in Charlotte, "uptown" is topographically up, as others have noted. Old-timers (even older than I am) called it uptown.

I like center city, myself and try to use it. There's little mistaking what that means and it has the added allure of being alliterative . :D

In L.A., I think the articleization, if that's a word, of the freeways comes from the Spanish-language influence. City streets in L.A. such as La Cienega, La Brea and others are articleized. So, the freeways "the 5, the 10, the 405" became articleized, too (seems plausible.) Anyway, it seems to be a creeping style: the O.C., the ATL, etc and blah and so forth. "The uptown" for Charlotte's center city seems like a desperate attempt to be hip.

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Listening to WFNZ this morning, the moron traffic woman not only called it "the" Uptown, but she also called it "the" South End.

"Downtown" commonly refers to a city's central business district. This originated in New York, where downtown is the southern-most part of Manhattan and was the first CBD.

Here in Charlotte, "uptown" is topographically up, as others have noted. Old-timers (even older than I am) called it uptown.

I like center city, myself and try to use it. There's little mistaking what that means and it has the added allure of being alliterative . :D

In L.A., I think the articleization, if that's a word, of the freeways comes from the Spanish-language influence. City streets in L.A. such as La Cienega, La Brea and others are articleized. So, the freeways "the 5, the 10, the 405" became articleized, too (seems plausible.) Anyway, it seems to be a creeping style: the O.C., the ATL, etc and blah and so forth. "The uptown" for Charlotte's center city seems like a desperate attempt to be hip.

I'm originally from Buffalo (not very hispanic compared to, say, Los Angeles) and the highways up there are called "the" 90, "the" 190, "the" 290, "the" 33, etc. It's just the way it's said in some cities.

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Listening to WFNZ this morning, the moron traffic woman not only called it "the" Uptown, but she also called it "the" South End.

I'm originally from Buffalo (not very hispanic compared to, say, Los Angeles) and the highways up there are called "the" 90, "the" 190, "the" 290, "the" 33, etc. It's just the way it's said in some cities.

Maybe in Buffalo it's the French influence from nearby Quebec? I lived in New Jersey for 6 years and I never heard "the" for I-95 or I-78-although it was attached to "the" GSP and "the'' turnpike...

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I found an article online that explains that phenomenon for Southern California. Until you mentioned Buffalo I knew of no other city that used this. The article is called "The" Freeway in Southern California by Grant Geyer. Basically he says that the use of the article "the" did not appear until the 1970s. Before then interstates were known as named highways as they were/are in all other American cities (eg: the New Jersey Turnpike, the San Bernardino Freeway, etc) or Route 66, Route 99, etc. The word-names stuck because they connected one place to another. In LA, more people grew up with cars than in other cities, so people were used to referring to I-405 as "The San Diego Freeway" before it was designated a freeway, and things like that. But around 1975 little short stretches of interstates like I-118 starting being built and people didn't collectively come up with names for them because they were really connections to other interstates that did go somewhere.... so the use of the "the" started because these new roads didn't have any other name, and people were already used to called interstates "the ___ freeway" so that precedent just stuck.

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My grandmother grew up here (born 1899) and called it "uptown".  She lived in Plaza Midwood on Pecan and took the streetcar UPtown to shop.  

Edited by Miesian Corners

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I can only tell you that I'm moving to Charlotte, in a few weeks, and the numerous contacts I've made suggest that 'Uptown' is STRONGLY entrenched. The term is used quite unabashedly. And personally, I don't understand why Charlotteans should be embarrassed about a fairly unique moniker. No, I don't think that it suggests of 'small town' or 'podunk.' You could just as easily argue the same for 'downtown.'

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^I agree.  If Chicago has "The Loop", Philadelphia has "Center City" and Atlanta has a downtown and a midtown, but no UPtown, why can't we embrace our own?  It's on a hill. You go up to get to it.  Done.

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Yeah I like the uniqueness of it. But I also like making fun of it. When Daily Show was here for the DNC the hardest I laughed in those 3 or 4 episodes was when John Stewart goes "...reporting live from downtown Charlotte, which folks here call "uptown", which I think we can ALL agree...is stupid."

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