According to Business Journals, every 17 minutes someone NEW moves to the Charlotte area. Moving to a new town can be stressful when you don’t know lay of the land or the culture. To keep you from feeling like a fish out of water and to show you that we do still have a little Southern Hospitality left, we are happy to share some of our knowledge that will make you one of us very quickly.
Charlotte was named after Queen Charlotte, wife of King George, III. You know the King George that we sent a little document called the Declaration of Independence to in 1776. Did you know that on May 20, 1775, the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was signed, making Mecklenburg County the first in the 13 colonies to declare independence from Great Britain. Unfortunately, there isn’t conclusive evidence to the original documents existing and information about said declaration wasn’t really published until 1819. However, we stand behind the story and there is a plaque to prove it. So there!
Charlotte is comprised of several different neighborhoods which have a history all their own. When referring to a specific area of town, you must refer to the closet neighborhood; otherwise we will definitely know you are not from around here. The main neighborhoods you need to know are:
- Arboretum – The shopping center, not where we grow trees.
- Ballantyne/Piper Glen – Where only a few can afford to live.
- Plaza-Midwood – East of Uptown.
- NoDa – Where you find the art.
- Cotswold – Where your doctor’s office is probably located.
- Dilworth – South of Uptown.
- Elizabeth – Where WE are located!!
- Historic South End – Where you tailgate for Panther games.
- Myers Park – Where we really did grow the trees.
- University City – Close to UNCC.
- Quail Hollow – Where “The Tournament” is played and if you just asked which one, then bless your heart.
- Southpark – Where Neiman Marcus is located.
- Lake Norman - Duh! It’s a lake.
- Uptown/Center City – Where the large buildings are but a stern warning: You may refer to Center City as Uptown but never and I mean never call Uptown, downtown. We will roll our eyes at you, again.
Despite the fact that there is a CVS, Harris Teeter and a Starbucks located on almost every street corner of the city and the outer areas, we will never walk to them. We love our cars and it will be faster if we drive anyway. You should also know that all lanes must be clear before a native will make any turn into traffic and when approaching a stoplight, remember the following rule: Red = STOP; Green = GO and Yellow = FLOOR IT!!
If you plan on purchasing season tickets to Carowinds for the family this year, know that adult Charlotteans only go twice a year. Once in the spring when it opens and once in the fall before it closes for the season. The children on the other hand will spend every week there because the family pass is usually purchased as a babysitter for boys ages 10 and up while their parents work in the summer months.
In the event of snow (doesn’t matter how much) we will raid the grocery stores of bread and toilet paper and then will lock ourselves inside our homes until it is all gone. Schools will remain closed until they are good and ready to go back and declare “rural areas” too slick for buses despite the fact that the street in front of you is clear and it’s 50 degrees outside.
Charlotte has four seasons. Humid, very humid, insanely humid and Christmas. Also, it is not unusual to decorate your house for Christmas in your cool weather uniform. College sweatshirt, cargo shorts/athletic shorts and flip-flops.
Speaking of Christmas, don’t go near the mall during the yuletide season. You will never get a parking place. Best to shop in August during all the clearance sales or buy online.
On New Year’s Eve, you must eat the following, no questions asked: Black-eyed peas, Collard Greens (with vinegar) and Corn Bread. Don’t eat them and see what happens. I dare you!