It doesn’t matter how long you have called yourself a Charlottean. It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a career person, a creative, a homebody, a socialite or an adventurer. No matter who you are or where you came from, there are five crucial aspects of Charlotte you must know.
1. Why it’s called ‘uptown.’
It’s one of the first questions people usually ask when they come to Charlotte. Yes, it’s called uptown (though downtown is also acceptable to most). Is it because the city wants to sound fancy? Or is it up on a hill? It’s actually a little bit of both.
“This was the highest elevation point, and the city grew around it. When people came to this point, they were going ‘up,’” Charlotte historian Tom Hanchett says. “The second part is more recent. On Sept. 23, 1974, a City Council proclamation declared that the shopping and business district in the center city be officially named ‘Uptown Charlotte.’”
Now you know.
2. We have confusing intersections and roads that change names, but you’ll figure it out.
▪ The Providence/Providence and Queens/Queens intersection.
▪ Queens Road turns into Morehead in one direction and Selwyn in another.
▪ All of the Sharon roads: Sharon Road, Sharon Lane, Sharon View, Sharon Amity …
▪ Idlewild turns into Rama then Sardis then Fairview then Tyvola and then you’re at the airport.
Pro tip: Just get a little lost. You’ll find your way. Or just go drive the recently completed I-485 loop. Joy ride.
3. It’s easy to meet people here.
Most major area nonprofits boast a young professional affiliate eager for new members, such as:
▪ RAIN Young Affiliates, supporting the mission of Regional AIDS Interfaith Network.
▪ BRAVO!, a young professionals group which supports Opera Carolina.
▪ The First Tee Young Ambassadors, which support a golf-centric nonprofit called The First Tee of Charlotte.
YP groups don’t jive with you? #InstabeerupCLT is a meetup phenomenon created by Corri Smith of Black Wednesday and Amy Herman of Vintage Charlotte to bring together Charlotte-based social media users to interact in real life.
While you’re at it, don’t miss the monthly speaker series that Garrett Tichy created called #WeLoveCLT. He brings diverse speakers who offer varied perspectives on life and Charlotte. His primary goal for #WeLoveCLT: Bring awesome people together.
4. Craft beer is a thing here.
Like craft beer? Charlotte has it. More than a dozen breweries have opened in the city with many more planned or opening soon. You can find most of them clustered together in South End and NoDa, making it easy to create your own little brewery tour.
If you’re new to craft beer, we wrote a little “Beginner’s Guide to Charlotte Craft Beer” recently, which you can find here: http://bit.ly/C5craftbeer.
Not a beer fan? We also have Red Clay Ciderworks, a distillery in the works – Doc Porter’s in South End – and some of the breweries have wine.
5. Our booming little banking city is actually teeming with creatives and entrepreneurs.
We give Charlotte a pat on the back for creating jobs with big banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Fifth Third, Bank of North Carolina and PNC. But a bunch of creative startups and individuals are making waves in the entrepreneurial pool, too.
Cameron Lee left his job as a loan officer to start CLTure two and a half years ago. He strives to create a vivid online presence for music, food and art in Charlotte.
Kaitlin and Josh Krogh, along with designer Jay Flood, just launched a mobile website in July called Phyrefly. The site serves as a source for special deal offers at mystery local restaurants – fret about your next food decision no more.
And in the nonprofit realm, there is Janine Davis. She founded Girl Talk Foundation in 2003 to empower teenage girls with social poise and professional competence, to ultimately change the directions of their futures. The programming impacts nearly 700 girls annually.
We think Charlotte has a lot going for it. We hope you agree.