"Charlotte, North Carolina" Charlotte by DrewV

Charlotte Travel Guide: 567 reviews and 652 photos

<font face=verdana>Due to circumstances beyond my control, I found myself living in Charlotte for a year and a half in 1997-1998. While I met some great people and had a groovy job at one of the local financial institutions, I developed an odd sort of love-hate relationship with the city itself.

First of all, Charlotte is not really a city. I mean, yes, in the strictest sense of the word, it is, but it lacks the history, cohesion, and sense of purpose that other Southern cities have. After all, Charlotte didn't really show up on the scene until very recently. Last Thursday, actually.

So everything is new and clean and happy. It's like living in Beaver Cleaver-land. A friend of mine called it "a perfect little fascist city," and there's some truth to that. Certainly, Charlotte is trying to get a grip on its personality as it explodes into national prominence. Unfortunately, whatever personality it has is lost in the showroom gleam.

All is not lost, however. Several hidden jewels abound, little glimpses of life among the marble. That said, you the tourist will not find them. Honestly. In fact, you're probably on a business trip anyway, so you're camped out at the Westin downtown, eating mediocre food on a corporate account. So you don't care. Tourists do not come to Charlotte, and really, why should they? Go two hours west to Asheville for the mountains, or three hours south to Charleston for the South's most glorious historic city, or four hours southwest to Atlanta. Charlotte does not yield up its pearls to the transient.

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It's been a few years, and I'm older and wiser now. And I find myself craving some things about Charlotte, things I don't crave about Atlanta or Washington DC. I crave etoufee at the Cajun Queen. I crave jamming at Oakhurst Pub. I crave barbeque from a South Carolina truck. I crave buckets of cheap beer at Vinny's. Stupid things, yet somehow unfrogettable. In a way, that's how Charlotte is. Once you live there, it always sticks with you, like good barbeque should. I wish I had more pictures and more memories.</font>

  • Last visit to Charlotte: Jan 2000
  • Intro Updated Jun 19, 2003
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