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atlrvr

Hey...what's the big hurry?

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So, during lunch today, I'm wondering what the reasons are that everyone is in a hurried self-centered attitude around here? Soccer mom's in SUV's and minivans acting like the speed limits are suggestions, and close in parking spaces are prizes that are worth sacrificing a few elderly shoppers so as to secure that spot first. Once inside the Harris Teeter at Morrocroft, I was nearly flattened by about 3 different women in their workout clothes using the shopping carts as devices that could part the red sea...my presence wasn't even acknowledged as I jumped back each time.

I'd like to say that I'm having an unlucky day, but I've learned that being a pedestrian is pretty risky business. I let two people cross streets this morning where they had obvious right of ways, but both times they first stood at the curb expecting me to pass, and seemed confused when I waved them on.

Why is Charlotte this way? Am I being overly sensative, or have other people noticed it too? If I had a guess, I would say that their is a relationship between how much time people spend driving and their lack of courtesy. This is based on living in Atlanta (more driving, and more self centered) and Boston (less driving, and while ornary, certainly more humble).

Thoughts?

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I just returned from Oregon where the cars will NOT budge if you're in the crosswalk. If you try to flag them through the intersection you will be punished with a smile. Before someone says something like, 'Why don't you go back to Oregon', I'd like to say I was born and raised here.

I think these days there are a lot of unhappy people. Imagine being stuck in a McMansion after having been sold it as a way to happiness, then having to pay the gas prices in your SUV that isn't bringing you the status you thought it would.

Anyway, Southern Hospitality is a myth. I've said that before, and I'll say it again.

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Technology has created 24 hr job stress. Charlotte is all about having the biggest McMansion and the biggest fanciest car to show off, that takes up a lot of time and energy. I walk and run down East Blvd quite often and I can't keep up the number of close calls I have had.

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I was born in the South and have lived in Charlotte since 83, and it is quicker and ruder than twenty years ago. I never liked the term "Southern hospitality" anyway, you're either nice or you aren't, no matter where you're from.

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I blame a lot of it on all the Northeasterners moving down here. They have brought their hurried and rude ways with them down here and now it's rubbing off on the locals.

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A buddy of mine came back from his two week vacation in France. The first thing he mentioned to me was that the French seemed to less stressed out and in less of a hurry than Americans. Our French guy Xss could probably give a comment or two about it.

For me, I'm in no hurry to do anything (even going to work). Just wished the rest of this city would take it easy as well.

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I was taught to drive in Boston during "the Big Dig." I was taught to cut down on the time that you may be vulnerable to another drivers negligence by moving quickly through all situations on the road. (Don't get me started on rubbernecking for a highway accident). I know it sounds ridiculous, but this is how I drive. The faster I can get the hell away from you and your car, the better it is for me. It has nothing to do with you, though, so don't take it personal.

BUT...

I would like to make it clear, that I grew up choosing to ride the T (subway) rather than drive anywhere; which is a big factor for me not owning a daily-drive car. Three main reasons to use the T: One, growing up during on the largest roadway debacles in the country, you never knew which roads would be closed, rerouted, or completely missing (and the old Central Artery was stacked 3 roadways high, so you could SEE where you wanted to go, but not know how to get there). Two, there wasn't gridlock or fender-benders on the T. Three, once you got to where you needed to be, good luck finding parking.

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I blame a lot of it on all the Northeasterners moving down here. They have brought their hurried and rude ways with them down here and now it's rubbing off on the locals.

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I think he was being cliche as I believe Smelly at one time mentioned he's from NYC.

Regardless, I think the in migration has something to do with it, but more-so in the diluting of small town, everyone knows you, way of life that has quickly disappeared over the last couple of decades. Not sure that northern attitudes are really the cause. As I mentioned, I think they can be fairly generalized as ornary and rude, or at least not overly personal, but I didn't notice the level of self-centeredness/importantness in Boston as I do here. Even in Beacon Hill (old, as in Pilgrim days old, money) the interaction with the wealthy is more social aloofness, but they still understand the pricipals of human interaction. In Charlotte, I've been getting the sense of Hollywood prima donna wanna be attitudes.

The Escapist....I'm not even necessarily against fast drivers. There is still a noticable difference between aggressive, yet aware, driving, and driving like the road is for your own personal use.

I don't know...I'm trying to quantify a really subtle difference that I've been noticing lately. I'm not trying to imply Charlotteans are rude, rather that they are obliviously self-centered.

I guess I was speculating that spending time isolate in vehicles that allow you "freedom", is a possible source of this attitude, as opposed to knowingly being reliant on public transit or one's own legs, where thoughtful planning, time management, and social interaction are much more common occurance.

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I think he was being cliche as I believe Smelly at one time mentioned he's from NYC.

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^ Amen to that...I would be in a cranky mood if I had to empty my wallet filling up a monster SUV on a weekly basis.

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I enjoy the independence of driving and not having to rely on others. It is upsetting that the roads are overcrowded during rush hour, we can only hope for continued improvements to the interstate and intrastate system. With that being said, I am moving uptown so I can walk to work... And back from bars. The savings in fuel will allow for the casual evening drive through the country.

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My personal pace of life changed when I moved closer to town about 10 years ago. I used to have the same road rage that everyone talks about when I had a commute (and it really wasn't all that long). I hated sitting in my car, sitting in traffic, and the time wasted between work and home. At this point, at least in my car, I'm just never in a hurry because I'm never very far from where I need to be. My morning commute is 5 minutes -- 10 if there is heavy traffic -- and it is about to change to a walk of one block.

My personal opinion about what is written above is people are constantly having to travel to everything they do. They get pissed about waiting in traffic, about people cutting them off, about everything that comes with an auto-centered life. It takes up time and raises blood pressure. Once people get wherever they are going they are wound up and still plugging at the pace they had in the car.

I'm glad I don't have to deal with this very much.

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My personal opinion about what is written above is people are constantly having to travel to everything they do. They get pissed about waiting in traffic, about people cutting them off, about everything that comes with an auto-centered life. It takes up time and raises blood pressure. Once people get wherever they are going they are wound up and still plugging at the pace they had in the car.

I'm glad I don't have to deal with this very much.

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I am very disappointed in Charlotte. Drivers no longer respect the pedestrian in most environments. Once outside of their own neighborhoods, drivers act out with their cars. I had a little hope a few weeks ago when gas prices rose so rapidly and drivers slowed down.....briefly. But self-centeredness and lack of respect for humanity has once again over our roads.

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I think a big part of the issue is that most people are NOT used to driving around pedistrians. Meaning that most people feel as though they have the right of way while in their car. They personally do NOT walk often and therefore do not have a walker's perspective.

Also, I think people feel safe behind their wheel to behave in an abnormal manner w/o consequences for rudeness. People who cut you off on the road would probably open the door for you in person.

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Since Charlotte is such a business town there is not as big a premium on being relaxed and taking it easy. That's seen as akin to laziness. If you are not rushing around in a suit and tie every week in this town you are considered odd and inferior. This mindset drifts all over the map into a wide range of issues. No saint here. I have no problem admitting to being an evil rude prick at times. I try every day to be polite and courteous but we all have our moments behind the wheel and not.

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Anyway, Southern Hospitality is a myth. I've said that before, and I'll say it again.

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atlrvr, these words really nail it. It's one of my biggest pet peeves, and my wife and I are doing our best to raise our girls to be aware of, and be considerate of, other people. Seems simple, right? I know. I don't understand why so many people are so wrapped up in themselves. I'm not asking everyone to be a bleeding-heart liberal; rather, just that they open their eyes are realize there are other people in the world, and to consider how their actions impact others.

Examples:

- People who walk their groceries out to their car, then just abandon their cart on the curb, when there is a perfect cart return less than 50 feet away.

- People who wait/park just outside the door of the grocery store, instead of a parking space 50 feet away. Apparently because *their* trip inside the store is soooooo much more important (and quick?!) than anybody else's.

- People who make their own parking spaces on the end of a row or in a traffic lane, instead of parking another 100 feet away in perfectly good weather.

- Failure to wait 2 seconds and hold a door for someone.

- People riding up or down an escalator with their friends, and then just coming to a dead stop after getting off the escalator to talk about whatever they need to talk about; apparently oblivious to the fact they are blocking the only possible route for the people behind them.

- Many more.

While many of these could trace back to being in a hurry, as your thread title might suggest, I really think it comes down to a basic lack of common courtesy. All from being completely self-centered and apparently thinking they are more important than anybody else. And that is sad.

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  1. This city is more yankees than southerners, so that statement doesn't suprise me.

  2. Go and live in a city that is not as large as Charlotte and you'll see the hospitality is quite alive and well.

  3. Someone else nailed it- people here are just not used to driving around pedestrians. I experience this on a daily basis while I walk around Uptown. you can easily tell who is used to driving there and who is not by their driving habits.

Its comments like that that separate you from "people down here" and probably why you keep "hearing things" from "us."

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Buddy, you keep proving my point. Its not "you" versus "us." You moved here, therefore "you" are one of "us." Your attitude towards everyone else is pretty evident based on your comments above. If I moved to the north people would assume based on my accent that I am some uneducated hick (at least, thats what my yankee friends tell me).

I am not sure what to think about the pace of life in the North. Its well stereotyped that its faster up there. I don't know if its a sociological thing or not. I have to wonder what Charleston was like around 200 years ago, when it was one of the largest cities in the nation. Was it all hustle and bustle? It certainly doesn't have that effect today, at least not to the degree of its contemporary sister cities like Boston and Philadelphia.

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Buddy, you keep proving my point. Its not "you" versus "us." You moved here, therefore "you" are one of "us." Your attitude towards everyone else is pretty evident based on your comments above. If I moved to the north people would assume based on my accent that I am some uneducated hick (at least, thats what my yankee friends tell me).

I am not sure what to think about the pace of life in the North. Its well stereotyped that its faster up there. I don't know if its a sociological thing or not. I have to wonder what Charleston was like around 200 years ago, when it was one of the largest cities in the nation. Was it all hustle and bustle? It certainly doesn't have that effect today, at least not to the degree of its contemporary sister cities like Boston and Philadelphia.

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To stay on topic, yes the pace has picked up in Charlotte because we are getting larger. This is urbanplanet, not podunkplanet. We all want to see Charlotte urbanize and grow, but that comes with a price and in this case it happens to be a faster paced lifestyle. I think it has nothing to with Northerners, but the fact that we are becoming larger and there are just more people here. People like to confuse it with Northerners because the Northeast has a lot of larger cities compared to other regions of this country and overall has a faster paced lifestyle.

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While a growing city does have its stretch marks here and there, I feel that large cities don't always reflect that stereotype. If you go to cities like Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Fort Worth, and maybe Tampa, the cities have a much more laid-back, slower pace. Yes, they have traffic. Yes, they have a faster pace than Mount Pleasant, NC; but they certainly reflect the "southern hospitality" still by comparison to cities like Atlanta, NYC, LA, and Chicago. These southern cities have northerners, westerners, Asians, Hispanics, Europeans, etc (it doesn't matter,) and their city's pace has remained more or less the same. To give a horrible analogy: you can introduce a few rabbits into a cage full of turtles. At first they'll keep at their own pace, but it seems that they will eventually adapt to the pace of their surroundings after awhile. Thus, people who are "fast-paced" will eventually adapt to their new home's pace. However, in Charlotte's case, it grew very quickly in a very short period of time. Thus, this gradual change in people's paces was less effected as more people came in that were used to this faster pace as well and Charlotte eventually molded itself into a more fast-paced city. At least that is my interpretation for why Charlotte has become this way compared to how it used to be back when I moved here 14 years ago.

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