To all of the North American cities still in the running for Amazon’s second headquarters, I offer my hearty congratulations. I won’t lie – we wanted to win badly here in the Queen City because, well, we’re Charlotte. We set audacious goals for ourselves and usually accomplish them.
So this one stings, even after a month. But rather than curse the darkness, I shall light a candle. After all, you learn more from your losses than your wins. Perhaps this can be a teachable moment for our fair city.
You know what? To heck with that. The teachable moment just boarded the Light Rail and went off in one of the two directions the Light Rail goes. The way I see it, if we can’t be the city that won, we can be the next best thing: The city that no longer gives a rip.
We’ve been cinched up in our Spanx for too long, with solicitous smiles seared on festooned faces. It’s time to embrace the moment. Let’s enjoy being the city that can wear sweatpants to wine bars and slippers to Harris Teeter. So we were bounced early from the Miss Universe Pageant: Let’s hit the Tiki-Bar.
You know something? I’m starting to feel downright good about things. So good, in fact, that I can think of 10 ways we’re actually better off without Amazon’s second headquarters in Charlotte:
▪ We don’t have to explain the whole Sharon Road, Sharon Lane, Sharon Amity thing to Mr. Bezos. That guy figured out how to move a scarf stitched in Seattle to a preteen primping in Provo. He’d have blown a gasket over such directional imprecision.
▪ We are once again free to dress as we like. Wearing a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert tee in Uptown during business hours is no longer a Class 2 Misdemeanor.
▪ Life can return to normal for Lars, Charlotte’s one glassblower. That poor guy was conscripted to appear in every “edgy vibe” glossy we put out. Now Lars can get back to, you know, blowing glass.
▪ Vuvuzelas would not have been far behind. You’re just going to have to trust me on this one.
▪ We no longer have to pretend to like bike-sharing. I have it on good information that many bikes were mere props. Some didn’t even have chains.
▪ We had deal fever. I see now how “sacrifice your first born” as a non-negotiable deal-term was too much. We dodged a bullet, people.
▪ It’s a great day for the First Amendment. Bars and restaurants within the city limits now will only have to put songs by Moby on their jukeboxes if they want to.
▪ Be careful what you wish for. In hindsight, I’d rather not be neighbors with the guy who knows the Golden Girls Commemorative Plate Set was my last Amazon Prime purchase.
▪ Public roadways are no place for irony. Always more sop to hipsters than good idea, the Penny Farthing Bicycle Lane surely will die in committee now.
▪ Dinner Wait Times. Make no mistake, it would have been “Goodbye Thursday Night Table” at Western Sizzlin.
So good luck to the cities still in contention. And if you simply cannot wait any longer, and just have to know if your city will win, my suggestion? Ask Alexa.
Kerrigan is a Charlotte attorney.