I’ve lived in Charlotte for four years. Before that, I lived in Denver, Little Rock, Dallas, Houston, Austin, and, as a kid, Southern CA (San Diego/LA). So I’ve experienced quite a few different areas of the country. I want to make sure you know that so when I say that Charlotte is a pretty great place to live, you know that I do have some experience with different places.
For those of you who don’t live here (or live under a rock), people from Wells Fargo were in town today to look around the city. We, of course, want them to base their east coast operations here in what will soon be called The Old Wachovia Building. The less job cuts, the better. Of course, it was a bonus to get them here on a day like today. Beautiful, cloudless day, high in the low 80’s with a light breeze. One of those days that make you want to play hooky from work and go sit in a park and soak up the sun. Not that days like today are in short supply here – quite the contrary. We have weather like this quite often (which makes me want to play hooky quite often). Summers are mild, with highs in the high 80’s to mid 90’s most of the time, rarely reaching 100 (I think we hit 100 twice this summer). Winters are also quite mild, with highs in the 50’s and morning lows in the mid 30’s to mid 40’s. According to Wiki, the average high in July is 90, the average low in January is 32.
We also have the good fortune to be close enough to both the beach and the mountains, something that is in short supply in some of the places I’ve lived. The beach is three hours away, the mountains are only two. No, we don’t have white sand beaches or world class snow skiing, but it’s certainly better than nothing. And within easy driving distance: Atlanta, Charleston, Savannah, Richmond, Asheville. Heck, even DC is less than 6 hours away. (While Denver was a lovely city to live in, with lots of outdoors activities, it was not within driving distance to ANYTHING – except Taos, the middle of nowhere Kansas, and the middle of nowhere Wyoming. And if you loved the mountains you were set – if you’re a beach person, you’re screwed.)
Is Charlotte The Perfect Place to Live? No. But you could certainly do much, much worse. (BTW, in my experience, The Perfect Place to Live is San Diego, c. 1985-ish. Before real estate went through the roof.)
So, the point of my post. There was a discussion on the radio today that I found intriguing – If you were showing the Wells Fargo people around town, what’s the one thing you would be sure to show them, and what is the one thing you would be sure not to show them? Some things mentioned on the radio, around my office, and in email discussion:
Wouldn’t show them – BofA Stadium (it is, after all, the competition), neighborhoods in East Charlotte, the Onion Rings sculpture (I could not find a photo of this anywhere!), the light rail (they would only laugh), the Gold Rush Trolley (again…)
I would show them USNWC, and I wouldn’t show them the cluster f— that is construction in uptown (including foreclosed half built highrises).
If you are familiar with the area, what do you think? What would you be sure to show people What would you be sure not to show people?