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NcSc74

Is NC still too humble?

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I kicked around the idea for this thread for a while. I lurk around other forums and I have to say NC has some really laid back low key personalities in comparison to other places, states and regions. Talking to various folks at work nobody had anything really bad to say about NC. Other than the stuff we already know. More on that for later discussions. Also nobody really had anything great to say either. I mean there were facts that they didnt even know about the state. The most obvious is NC has 9 mil plus residents. I work with a mixture of intelligent and not so intelligent but the haves outnumber the have nots so I was baffled at the sheer lack of star power my state has. I think its high time for NC to get out its horn and start playin very loudly. The DNC is a great starting point whether you like the platform or not I think everyone should hope the state shows its positive side.

OK here is a paraphrased conversation I had at work. Mind you we are a hodgepodge of people from every walk of life and different states. Here it goes ME- "Whats up man welcome to England were you from."

NEW GUY- "Maine."

ME-" I think your are the first person from Maine I've met you should fit in fine here we only have 3 weeks of summer the rest of the year is cold."

NEW GUY- "Yeah but I have'nt lived there in a while I kinda got used to the weather in NC."

ME-"Really I'm from there how did you like it."

NEW GUY-"Not to bad I guess just there was nothing to do really. The beach was cool but not what I thought and Raleigh was cool but to far a drive."

ME-"So you were in the eastside understandable but there are other cities in NC. I mean did you travel much."

NEW GUY-"Yeah we went to Myrtle Beach it was awesome."

ME-"Dude thats SC totaly different state. I'm talking about Gboro, W-S, Charlotte, Asheville all the stuff in between."

NEW GUY- Blank sare

ME-"So you spent 4 years in NC and didnt make it past west of 95."

NEW GUY- Blank stare

Guy from GA-"Whats up man just getting in."

NEW GUY-"Yeah from Seymour."

Guy from GA-"Oh yeah sucks huh I'm form GA and hope to be getting back there soon."

NEw GUY-"Oh you from GA thats cool I loved it when I went there last Labor day. Man ATL is crazy."

ME-"So you went to ATL but totally whiffed on the whole state of NC. Why?"

NEW GUY-"Because everyone said dont bother just go to VA, SC or GA. So I did."

There in a nut shell is what is wrong with NC. Now I know that the conversation is a little extreme but that is the stuff I encounter a lot. Now the folks who move to the metro areas might have a different view. But when you mention NC the reaction is a shrug of the shoulders and say its nice I guess.

Any thoughts?

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Firstly, I will say that tons of people are still ignorant of geography. I remember talking with a guy who had relocated to Charlotte from NY some years back and he remarked that before he actually visited Charlotte, he thought it was probably like Fayetteville because his only point of reference for NC was traveling through the state on I-95. Also, I won't fault someone for knowing that NC has 9 million+ residents as that's just something of a random fact so the speak. Secondly, it seems somewhat normal to an extent for a transplant who lived in a smallish eastern NC town to be referred to VA, SC, or GA to hang out. That part of the state is nearest the beach and has I-95 running through it, so you have relatively easy access to Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach. And the third point is that NC is still a relative newcomer to the big city/state game whereas Atlanta, by contrast, has been established for years as the go-to big city in the Southeast.

But all in all, the word is getting still getting out about NC but it will take some time before the state is truly part of the national consciousness so to speak.

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I'll admit it: North Carolina is a very separate-feeling-state.

I grew in MASS and although I didn't get from the shore to the mountains often - it certainly didn't feel daunting. There was a unity within in the state. I was proud to have those small towns and mid-sized cities in the western part of MA because they had their own charm that made the state as a whole seem better off.

Then I lived in VA for quite a few years. And again, I felt that the different cities and regions of VA only made the state stronger with more options, all working for a better state.

I don't get that feeling from NC. Maybe it's because I live in Charlotte and I've been indoctrinated to think that Raleigh has it out for Charlotte; or Eastern NC is so very different that The Piedmont. It doesn't feel like NC, as a state, has the WHOLE state's interests as a priority.

I've thought in the past that having so many mid-sized cities, and two power-capitals is a bad thing. How many other states have this anomaly? California? Florida? Michigan?

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No, it's not a bad thing at all. It's good because it gives urban areas throughout the state more of a voice and forces the state to pay attention to urban issues. Otherwise, you have an Atlanta/Georgia situation where Atlanta is viewed as the big bad city sucking up all of the investment and attention from the rest of the state.

And other states would include Texas, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Virginia, etc.

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I think the geography is a real strong point. We have the tallest mountains in eastern North America, and therefore the best :lol:. But seriously Linville Gorge and the Black Mountains are incredible. I'm from Colorado, and I miss the Rockies every now and then. If I didn't live in NC I would probably go insane.

We also have the outer banks. Jockey's Ridge, Cape Hatteras.... lots of good stuff.

The appeal of these areas is that they haven't been commercialized like travel destinations in other states are. We don't litter the state with tacky, tourist-trappy things. It's all very low-key. We don't toot our horn very much. The growth of the major cities hasn't affected that. Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro haven't developed enough personality to find their way into US pop culture. I do think the state is a bit... 'sleepy' in some ways. We could probably liven it up more. When people talk about Charlotte and Raleigh they talk about the corporate culture, the technology sector, banks, very bland industries--great for the economy, but it doesn't say anything positive about us if we're a giant office park.

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I think the geography is a real strong point. We have the tallest mountains in eastern North America, and therefore the best :lol:. But seriously Linville Gorge and the Black Mountains are incredible. I'm from Colorado, and I miss the Rockies every now and then. If I didn't live in NC I would probably go insane.

We also have the outer banks. Jockey's Ridge, Cape Hatteras.... lots of good stuff.

The appeal of these areas is that they haven't been commercialized like travel destinations in other states are. We don't litter the state with tacky, tourist-trappy things. It's all very low-key. We don't toot our horn very much. The growth of the major cities hasn't affected that. Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro haven't developed enough personality to find their way into US pop culture. I do think the state is a bit... 'sleepy' in some ways. We could probably liven it up more. When people talk about Charlotte and Raleigh they talk about the corporate culture, the technology sector, banks, very bland industries--great for the economy, but it doesn't say anything positive about us if we're a giant office park.

I agree, Our cities in NC lack the kind of culture that is seen in many major cities across the U.S. (New Orleans, Memphis, Miami, Chicago, New York, just to name a few). I have heard several people from cities like Houston and other places say that while Charlotte looks like a big city, it doesn't feel like one and they flat out told me that Charlotte isn't a big city. Big population and fancy towers alone isnt what makes a big city according to them. It was pointed out that the city of Virginia Beach has almost half a million people yet it gets classified along with cities with populations of 200,000. Richmond, VA has the skyline of a big city but has less people than Greensboro. Based on skylines, you'd think Greensboro was ten times smaller. So you have to question what really is a big city. A city may be big by numbers but is it big in the minds of people across the country? Perception is more powerful than numbers and geographic data.

NC cities lack cultural identity which is really the essence of what a big city really is. However you don't have to be a big city to have a cultural identity. cities such as Asheville and Charleston, SC are great examples. Charlotte's identity is banking, Raleigh's is RTP, Greensboro is still trying to figure out its identity. Our cities only seem to have industry and job related identities. Asheville is ahead of Charlotte, Raleigh or Greensboro by leaps and bounds when it comes to cultural identity.

What really is a big city?

Greensboro Skyline (population 269,666) Piedmont Triad metro pop: 1,603,101

greensboro-aerial-bob-ponzoni.jpg

Richmond, Va Skyline (population 204,214) Richmond-Petersburg metro pop: 1,225,626

richmond.jpg

Virginia Beach Skyline (population 437,994) Hampton Roads metro pop: 1.7 million

3813285885_8cc921fdcf.jpg

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Does anyone else think this issue could have something to do with our annexation laws? I've thought about this before, and one thing that stood out, in my mind, is the fact that N.C. cities are very sprawled out. Can you really create a true identity in largely suburban areas?

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I have some friends who have traveled from MA to Florida via I-95, and when I mention I'm from Raleigh they are like "oh yeah we passed through Raleigh on I-95, there was an outlet mall near there right?" so I'm all like "um no Raleigh is like 30 miles west of the I-95/I-40 interchange where you saw the signs for Raleigh. The outlet mall was in Smithfield, and Raleigh is just a tad larger then Smithfield" LOL

Such a shame I-95 wasn't built just a bit further to the west...

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Does anyone else think this issue could have something to do with our annexation laws? I've thought about this before, and one thing that stood out, in my mind, is the fact that N.C. cities are very sprawled out. Can you really create a true identity in largely suburban areas?

They would be sprawled regardless of annexation laws because they are Sunbelt cities. If you're going to sprawl, at least try to have as much within city limits as possible to increase the tax base and prevent regional balkanization from becoming a bigger issue.

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I think one of the biggest things is that North Carolina spans a large area from east to west . . . but is very poorly connected from east to west. I.e., it's easier to get through North Carolina than across it. I-95 is the perfect example. We have one freeway (I-40) to get you from one side to the other (sort of).

When I tell people in Raleigh where I'm from, they have no clue. Since we're near I-26, anyone I talk to from South Carolina knows exactly where I'm from. I've never been to Fayetteville because it's simply in the middle of nowhere and difficult to reach from the west. My home is closer to the capitals of Columbia and Atlanta than Raleigh. Heck, even Kentucky is closer than Raleigh. Clemson, USC, UT, UGA, and Georgia Tech are all closer than Chapel Hill and NC State. And I'm not even in the mountains!

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I wouldn't reach too far with the whole issue. I know dack about most states outside of the major cities and some geographical items. I mean, how important is it to know all about the different areas of Florida if you mainly like Miami?

On the flip side - Ask someone from Albany, Buffalo, Rochester or Montauk the same question about New York. When you say you are from NY most people think/know New York City.

I think North Carolina is no different from most other states in the general public perception of it. You know what you know and you discover what you want to know and everything else is just someplace that when mentioned you give a blank stare.

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I have some friends who have traveled from MA to Florida via I-95, and when I mention I'm from Raleigh they are like "oh yeah we passed through Raleigh on I-95, there was an outlet mall near there right?" so I'm all like "um no Raleigh is like 30 miles west of the I-95/I-40 interchange where you saw the signs for Raleigh. The outlet mall was in Smithfield, and Raleigh is just a tad larger then Smithfield" LOL

Such a shame I-95 wasn't built just a bit further to the west...

It would have made a lot of sense for I-95 to go through Raleigh. I don't have a clue as to why it doesn't. Two of the nation's longest interstates would have intersected in Raleigh (I-40/I-95)

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I'd actually be really interested in hearing the story of that decision. Could it be that National Defense priorities preferred a faster route in and out of Ft. Bragg?

Anyway, when I-95 was build through cities like Richmond, it decimated neighborhood connectivity, turning once thriving parts of the city into segregated, dark and unlivable ghettos. I would imagine Raleigh would be a different place today if I-95 were built through.

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I like it the way it is, under the radar (sort of); don't worry, as we continue to grow the touristy stuff will come, it's inevitable.

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I'd actually be really interested in hearing the story of that decision. Could it be that National Defense priorities preferred a faster route in and out of Ft. Bragg?

Anyway, when I-95 was build through cities like Richmond, it decimated neighborhood connectivity, turning once thriving parts of the city into segregated, dark and unlivable ghettos. I would imagine Raleigh would be a different place today if I-95 were built through.

Not really, other than I-40 (original) through Winston, most interstates in NC are placed quite aways from downtown.

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^ I've wondered about that, actually. While 277 certainly doesn't do Charlotte any favors, I-40 wrecked neighborhoods in Knoxville and Nashville. Central Nashville had the poor luck to get massacred by 40, 65, 24 and Ellington Parkway all. NC cities have it easy by comparison.

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^ Admittedly it is slightly different than a long-range interstate but I-240 did not do downtown Asheville any good.

I-77 in Charlotte created a substantial cleavage between downtown and the adjacent middle class black community

But in general terms you are absolutely right, it is remarkable the degree to which the interstates avoided downtowns in NC

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I think someone mentioned what I was trying to say. Sleepy is a good analogy to what I feel is the problem. I guess Tar Heel still has some legitimacy to it. I want the feel the "it" feeling so much when I go home and many times I find myself making excuses for the lack of "it". True the steady growth and the general health of business and industry are great but why has that not correlated to a bigger culture identity. I think NC has just as much to offer than GA but it just does not translate. We mention multiple urban centers mountains to the shore leading ed centers but still nothing to bring it all together. The state is fractured we need something to rally around to say THIS is NC and this our culture. Looking back at history NC was always an also ran...One of the first colony attempts but it failed and what happens, Jamestown gets the first successful colony. Ok fast forward we had to be carved out of VA and what happens next. SC becomes more populated and rivals VA even though one would think logically NC would. Its just as old and many of the early VA colonist migrated southward to the Albermarle region. All I'm saying is yes she is 9 million strong the state just doesnt pack a punch. What has to happen in order to break away. Does Charlotte need to become the dominate urban center to pull the rest of the state up. This subject has always bothered me because of the shear ignorance and disrespect NC recieves. What changes way back in the 1700s should have been made to push the state in a more positive light now-a-days...

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<br>I think someone mentioned what I was trying to say. Sleepy is a good analogy to what I feel is the problem.&nbsp;&nbsp;I guess Tar Heel still has some legitimacy to it.&nbsp;&nbsp;I want the feel the "it" feeling so much when I go home and many times I find myself making excuses for the lack of "it". True the steady growth and the general health of business and industry are great but why has that not correlated to a bigger culture identity.&nbsp;&nbsp;I think NC has just as much to offer than GA&nbsp;&nbsp;but it just does not translate.&nbsp;&nbsp;We mention multiple urban centers mountains to the shore leading ed centers but still nothing to bring it all together. The state is fractured we need something to rally around to say THIS is NC and this our culture.&nbsp;&nbsp;Looking back at history NC was always an also ran...One of the first colony attempts but it failed and what happens, Jamestown gets the first successful colony.&nbsp;&nbsp;Ok fast forward we had to be carved out of VA and what happens next.&nbsp;&nbsp;SC becomes more populated and rivals VA even though one would think logically NC would. Its just as old and many of the early VA colonist migrated southward to the Albermarle region.&nbsp;&nbsp;All I'm saying is yes she is 9 million strong the state just doesnt pack a punch. What has to happen in order to break away.&nbsp;&nbsp;Does <b>Charlotte need to become the dominate urban center to pull the rest of the state up</b>. This subject has always bothered me because of the shear ignorance and disrespect NC recieves.&nbsp;&nbsp;What changes way back in the 1700s should have been made to push the state in a more positive light now-a-days...<br>
<br><br><br><br>That's what is happening and that is what is needed to happen to make North Carolina a powerhouse name. A clear cut - major - anchor city. That's true for all states/countries/counties/regions though./<br><br><br><br>I think the DNC is a good example. The DNC Chose Charlotte for 2 reasons. One reason is because Charlotte is in North Carolina. The 2nd reason is because North Carolina has Charlotte. I don't think The DNC would have chose Charlotte if it weren't for the population powerhouse of NC. I also don't think the DNC would have chose North Carolina if it weren't for the "powerhouse" city of Charlotte. <br><br><br><br><br>I think NC is the best. Charlotte, Wilmington, Triad, Triangle, and Asheville. Can you have a better group of cities?

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There are several states that have more than one big city. Texas, California, and Florida come to mind. All three of those states seem to have their own brand, or culture. A lot of people I talk to seem to think that N.C. is full of a bunch of yokels and hillbillies. I don't think it's the lack of one clear cut power city. I think it has more to do with the fact that N.C. was a mostly rural state until a few years ago, and that so many of our elected leaders seem to have a rural mindset.

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There are several states that have more than one big city. Texas, California, and Florida come to mind. All three of those states seem to have their own brand, or culture. A lot of people I talk to seem to think that N.C. is full of a bunch of yokels and hillbillies. I don't think it's the lack of one clear cut power city. I think it has more to do with the fact that N.C. was a mostly rural state until a few years ago, and that so many of our elected leaders seem to have a rural mindset.

Now THIS is a statement I can agree with. It is not that NC doesn't have a power city.. in fact, it does in Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham.. I agree that the biggest problem is that people still see North Carolina as "Mayberry".. Huckleberry town.. Hillbilly.. and many people.. and a lot of those people have never even been to the majority of the state to find out..

And why is that? probably because they don't have anything to change their perception. I have seen advertisements for Michigan, Texas, Florida, and California all over the tv. But nothing for NC.. I see other cities and states advertised in magazines and print.. but not really anything for NC..

If you tell them, they will come. NC needs to serious PR revamp.. and not just nationally but also INTERNATIONALLY..

I'm just saying...

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There are several states that have more than one big city. Texas, California, and Florida come to mind. All three of those states seem to have their own brand, or culture. A lot of people I talk to seem to think that N.C. is full of a bunch of yokels and hillbillies. I don't think it's the lack of one clear cut power city. I think it has more to do with the fact that N.C. was a mostly rural state until a few years ago, and that so many of our elected leaders seem to have a rural mindset.

My point exactly. Big city.

I think Charlotte is the only city in NC that will be able to have the "big city" voice and "big city" recognition for some while. I think it would be tough to sell Raleigh as a big city as opposed to Charlotte which seems to be reaching that point right now if it hasn't already (In the leagues of Orlando, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Austin, etc.). I'm not trying to be offensive or anything or disrespectful to Raleigh or try to be arrogant or anything. I'm just saying what I honestly think.

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It does seem as if the only time you see NC advertised it is for the mountains or the beaches....rarely does one see an advertisement for anything in between....which probably leads many folks to think there's not much there to see...

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Does anyone else thing that the Southern drawl is a big reason NC doesn't get recognized as more than just Mayberry?

I hate to admit it (and I've lived in the South for 14 years) but I still can't hear the Southern drawl and NOT thing "clueless."

I am sure Jerry Orr is a very smart and savvy business man...but every time I hear him speak...yikes. And the fact that he celebrated the DNC with a nationally broadcast "yeehaw!" made me shudder.

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Does anyone else thing that the Southern drawl is a big reason NC doesn't get recognized as more than just Mayberry?

I hate to admit it (and I've lived in the South for 14 years) but I still can't hear the Southern drawl and NOT thing "clueless."

I am sure Jerry Orr is a very smart and savvy business man...but every time I hear him speak...yikes. And the fact that he celebrated the DNC with a nationally broadcast "yeehaw!" made me shudder.

^ Jerry has enough sense not to do that. It was Camerion Harris who did the yeehaw bit -- that really did make me cringe.

It has been my experience that when a Southern drawl is pronounced in a business setting it is often to encourage the yankies in the room to assume he drawler is clueless (with the exception of Cammie Harris -- who knows what he was thinking). This strategy can produce an advantageous position in negotiations by encouraging the opposition to underestimate you. My very successful NYC based investment banker cousin (from eastern NC) swears by this technique. Hugh McColl has also admitted to occasionally using this strategy.

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