In the past week, two surveys came out lambasting Charlotte from different angles.
One said the city was among the least safe places in the state and another by Travel + Leisure put Charlotte among the Top 5 “least attractive cities” in America. That site also ranked us among the nation’s 15 rudest cities, while another recent study said we were 99th among 100 cities for a lack of fun things to do. (Our airport was also recently listed as one of the 10 in the nation to be avoided.)
Which got us thinking.
What has everyone got against Charlotte...and when is it time to fight back?
We took to the Internet to find out what else people are saying behind our backs, using such test questions as: “What’s wrong with Charlotte, N.C.?” “Should you move to Charlotte, N.C.?” and “Is Charlotte a terrible place?”
What we found wasn’t pretty and it showed Charlotte’s critics have been taking swipes at us for a decade or more.
“We moved here about a year ago from California,” said one testimonial on City.data.com. “Then we realized the horrible traffic, crammed up streets and just kind of a generally 'dirty' city. I want out of Charlotte as soon as possible.”
Said another Internet commentator: “I would absolutely not recommend Charlotte or any place in N.C. to others considering moving down here. Stay away while you can!”
Even people who defended Charlotte started by apologizing: “The traffic is formidable. The schools are historically poor. The crime rate is significant. Having said that - there are some lovely neighborhoods, some good people, fine restaurants and excellent shopping,” said a post on TripAdvisor.com.
The civil unrest in Charlotte this past summer didn’t help our image. Go to the Internet and look up “Charlotte protests” and you’ll see all kinds of angry photos of chaos, burning cars, and screaming people. And they appear on Web sites around the world.
But there’s a question that needs to be asked when national publications start picking on one’s hometown: Do we really care?
Let’s face it, no one in Charlotte is losing sleep over Travel + Leisure’s ugliness survey. In fact, some people have taken to the internet to fight back, posting defiant responses.
“What a stupid article. I would bet most people voting in their poll have never even been to Charlotte,” posted Julie Hansen McArdle.
“This magazine (Time + Leisure), along with disco music and polyester, was actually popular in 1979,” added Jason Reece.
“What an absolutely asinine article,” posted Jane Marie Howard. “I've lived in Charlotte 27 years (from CA) and if there are people lacking in manners it's usually from the plethora of Northerners and Ohioan invaders.”
The best response of all, however, could be one found on City.Data.com, when a native Charlottean tried to address complaints raised by someone who moved here from California.
“I love Charlotte for my own reasons - most importantly my family is here. I think there are a number of things that contribute to loving where you live (family, friends, job satisfaction, weather, etc.). Some people move thinking things will be better in a new place, but unfortunately, most problems follow you wherever you go.
“A new place will not solve your problems...Good luck getting back to your life in California. Sorry things didn't work out.”