charlotte, nc... what do you know?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Micah Cohen, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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    Might move to Charlotte, North Carolina. Baltimore is stalled: high taxes, high utility rates, and no more good investment opportunities for a little guy like me.

    My posting here hopes for insight into QOL issues in Charlotte. Can you tell me about... Sushi restaurants in Charlotte; is there a "best one"? Utility delivery in Charlotte (electric, NG); is it expensive and are there plans for it to skyrocket in the future (as it has in Maryland)? Public radio in Charlotte; is there a local NPR affiliate that does local-political coverage or has locally produced programs that deal with issues such as local utility delivery? (I am at this moment listening to my pal Marc Steiner fussing about the BGE rate hike on the local public radio station.) Say I'm looking at Areas 4 and 5 in which to live... Is there another area like these that you'd recommend, and what are some (mature, reasonably-priced) neighborhoods in these areas that you'd recommend? Here in Baltimore we're blessed with bargain stores like Ollie's and Big Lots and DJ Liquidators, as well as The Loading Dock and Wink's for off-price building materials; are there any bargain stores like this (not "Family Dollar") in Charlotte? What about local festivals; any ones I should be aware of to have fun and get to know the city?

    Maybe if everyone contributes one spot of info, maybe you know something about Charlotte and someone else knows something else, I could amass a respectable knowledge of Charlotte before I even get there!

    And if this thread disappears like all my other threads, like my threads have The Pox or something, then I'll be steamed and quit wasting your time so you all can discuss the new Super Special Collector's Edition of HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS or something while RAISING ARIZONA languishes in non-anamorphic hell; I know that's really important. I'm a little bitter, you see, about my treatment here on HTF sometimes, so please excuse my rant. I just want to be loved.

    MC
     
  2. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Hmmm, there _may_ be some sushi places in Charlotte (it's a big city). I have relatives there and people eat at the Fish Camps when they want seafood (fried catfish, shrimp, crayfish, etc., etc.). Is there a Charlotte.citysearch.com?
     
  3. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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    Prolly a citysearch... I was hoping for a more personal insight.

    Also, while I'm at it: Any recommended home theater dealers and installers?

    MC
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I live in Area 1 -- approximately 2 miles from Area 11. I really love the north end of Charlotte. When my wife and I moved here we were in a townhouse in Huntersville which is a fantastic area. We moved a little closer to the city when we bought our house because Huntersville was pricey (we just finished grad school) and it puts us both a little closer to work.

    We live in a mature community called Highland Creek. It's a "super-community" with a few thousand homes. They range in age from 0-12 years, but it's nice because it actually has grown trees and plantlife that many newer communities do not have.

    Utilities:
    Electric - Duke Power
    NG - Piedmont Natural Gas
    Water - City of Charlotte
    Cable - Time Warner
    Phone - ATT

    I live in a 2400 sqft house -- we've only been here for 2.5 months so I don't have a solid grasp on average costs yet. We're "paying on the average" for ng and it runs $77/mo, electric is around $40, water around $40.

    I have not heard anything about skyrockets in energy costs here. I think I heard that Duke was going to raise their rates by about 3%, but that's their first increase in something like 5 years, so it's hard to complain. A potentially larger concern here is property taxes. Mecklenburg county has the highest rate in NC and they continue to go up because the bond referendums for the schools keep getting voted down. Nearby counties (like Area 11) have lower taxes, but the housing prices are going up due to the high demand for low taxes.

    Local Festivals -- SpeedWeek (three or four days of uptown festivities prior to the CocaCola 600), Taste of Charlotte (two or three days where local restaurants show what they can do -- lots of good eats), I'm sure there are many others, but I'm still new to the area too

    Radio -- NPR in Charlotte is on 90.7FM

    Bargain Stores -- Big Lots, Tuesday Morning, Value City
     
  5. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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    VALUE CITY! Whoo hoo! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

    Excellent. I. Am. There.

    Thanks for your notes, Seth. You'll see I sent you a PM.

    BGE just hiked rates FIFTY PERCENT, just now, June first. It's insane.

    Now I have to check my area map for Area 11... [​IMG]

    MC
     
  6. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    How are the mosquitoes there?
     
  7. Jason L.

    Jason L. Second Unit

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    I lived in Charlotte for 8 months after moving from NY in 1995-96, so my info is dated. There is a huge difference between if you are married or a single guy like I was. If you are married then you'll have your own support system.

    1. A big red flag for me is that you brought up NPR. The people I met in Charlotte were....how can I say this....not that bright or worldly. I didn't find a whole lot of stimulating conversation. If you asked people in Charlotte to name the leaders of Canada/Mexico/France/Germany - I would say 98.5% of the people couldn't name a single one [unless they are from Mexico]. I would assume the city is a bit more blue than the rest of the state but this is the land of Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond [South Carolina is only 5 miles south of Charlotte].

    When I was there the play "Angels in America" was in town. There were HUGE protests every single night like it was the end of the world - absolute chaos. [I've never seen it but I heard it has some homosexual themes that the protesters didn't like]. It was the lead story on the news every night. I can't remember if the play was shut down or not but people were trying their best to do that. This was quite an eye-opener for me. I heard the phrase "Charlotte is the buckle in the Bible Belt" used. I think that is a bit much, but there was some truth in that. Like I said, this was more than a decade ago.

    If you happen to like good looking [and soon to be fat] but vapid, brainless, sorority-type Stepford women then Charlotte is the place for you. Personally, it drives me crazy [and not in a good way].

    2. I would assume that traffic in Charlotte is really bad right now. The problem is that Charlotte was a sleepy little town for a long time and was built accordingly. Then, its population kept growing. The problem is that there all these little 2-lane roads throughout town when they really need 3 and 4-lane roads. The problem is that everything is built up already and you can't create extra lanes without tearing things down.

    3. I worked downtown [called uptown] but it was a ghost town after lunch time. This was before the new basketball arena was built and the football stadium was almost completed. Things may be very different now. There weren't many places to go out drinking. The South End(?) Brewery was the only thing really happening at the time.

    4. I consider Baltimore to be part of the Northeast. You might just not fit in with the "good old boy" and "he's good people" atmosphere like I did. [By the way, when I hear "he's good people" I asume that is code for "he's white"]. There is a certain Northeast mentality [fast, quick-witted, talkative, sarcastic, outgoing, ballbusting] that just doesn't mesh in the South, IMO.

    5. When I was there the city had a higher per capita crime/murder rate than NYC.

    I assume that since I left, the city has become a bit bigger, more cosmopolitan, has more things to do, and has worse traffic. If you like Nascar, Busch beer, ACC Basketball, Nascar, Wal-Mart, Fast Food [Bojangles], Nascar, Billy Graham, Sweet Tea, and Nascar you'll do just fine.
     
  8. TV555

    TV555 Stunt Coordinator

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    Lol, this is a pretty accurate description.
     
  9. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    While this is true you must also recognize that NYC has a pretty low crime rate as far as big cities go. Among the 50 largest cities/metro areas in the US (as of 2003) Charlotte had the 29th highest murder rate and NYC had the 36th highest.

    Source: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004902.html

    Also, regarding traffic, you are correct that it is bad, but there have been some improvements since you were here. For instance I-85 on the north side of town is 4-5 lanes in each direction from about 10 miles out of the city. I-77 on the north end of town is 3 lanes+HOV lane in each direction from uptown for about 14 miles north of uptown. They are also building a "beltway" that is admittedly undersized -- they built it all 2 lane when they should have done at least 3.
     
  10. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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    Jason, your post cracked me right up.

    Sorry about that NPR "flag"... Personally, I hate them. I listen to them because it's the only outlet for hourly news headlines and because I love getting all riled up about their often idiotic reporting. Lewis Black stole my act, when it comes to NPR. LOL!

    I grew up in New York, but my family is actually from western NC. My wife's family is in Charlotte now (been there forever), and I have other family there as well. I have lived all over this great country of ours. So, I'm not so worried about the people and their stupid ideas. I generally assume (as most New Yorkers do) that most non-New Yorkers are a little slow on the uptake. Bible Belt, smible belt. I have found that the Jewish community (educated, affluent) is large, growing and thriving in Charlotte now (which means, by extension, that there are probably more and more New Yorkers there... and I plan to tap this network, boys).

    I'm more concerned about quality of life issues, like housing prices, good restaurants, "cosmopolitan" stuff like shopping and the symphony (I did see the Charlotte Symphony once... Oh well) and traffic issues. So I really appreciate your input.

    Tell me about... Basements. Termites. Summertime humidity.

    MC
     
  11. CapnSharpe

    CapnSharpe Stunt Coordinator

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    Jason L. hit the nail on the head. Since making the mistake of moving here 2.5 years ago, I've been told that I'm nothing, nobody, that I don't know my place, and that I should let my husband handle things. I'm single and have a Ph.D., thank you very much. When I traded my car from a Ford Focus to a Honda CR-V, the nearly weekly attempts to intentionally hit my car miraculously stopped. I've lived in Maine, Connecticut, Ohio, Nebraska,and Texas. I've never lived anywhere so classist, sexist, or racist in my life. Charlotte has triple the crime rate of Houston. I personally think it's not a crime problem but class warfare. My department hasn't been able to retain anyone longer than 2 years who was single or who has at least a master's degree. Reading posts from men who like living here has been quite an eye-opener although not surprising. Time to go hang with the other home theater women on AVSforum...
     
  12. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    Holy S#$% [​IMG]
     
  13. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Basements are pretty hard to come by. They do exist, but they add a significant premium onto the house because there are so few of them. I live in a community of approximately 5000 houses and I would estimate that about 300 of them have basements. These are off in the own little subcommunities where they built slightly larger houses to take further advantage of premium pricing the basement lots.
     
  14. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Are they hot?

    Seriously, I don't get it. Two residents of Charlotte commented, one whose experience appears to match yours, and the other focused mosltly on real-estate. So what's so eye-opening about the cost of utilities?

    --
    H
     
  15. TV555

    TV555 Stunt Coordinator

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    To get an idea of Charlotte and Charleston from which Charlotte was spawned

    Watch Talladega Nights and pretend it was real and not just a bad movie w/ a couple of one-liners.
     
  16. Jason L.

    Jason L. Second Unit

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    That might be a bit over the top, but I would say the movie Junebug is spot on. The man who did the commentary on the Junebug DVD was from NC, so it is authentic. It was also filmed there.
     
  17. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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    Edwin... It's called "humor." Just kidding, man. See? West of the Hudson, no one gets it. Look: I'll use a smiley to show "humor" -- [​IMG]

    MC
     
  18. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Well, if you like comics, Heroes Con will take place at the Charlotte Convention Center next weekend (Friday-Sunday) during the Father's Day weekend. The only major celeb that will be there is Rosario Dawson (uber-cool lady in person), but lots of comic-related talent will be there as well. I'm making the trip up there next weekend.

    If you're not into comics, please disregard.
     
  19. TV555

    TV555 Stunt Coordinator

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    It was a joke. Junebug was supposed to be Winston Salem or Greensboro. I have family there. Did not care for the movie it dragged one a bit...

    leads me to my next suggestion. Buy a special slow watch, b/c things move real slow in NC and having a slow watch helps w/ the lag.

    You know you have acclimated when you are proud of getting one thing done a day.
     
  20. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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    Hmmm. I'll fit right in. (I make this post, and I have done my one thing for the day. Back to bed!)

    [​IMG]

    MC
     

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