Thursday, April 7, 2011

So What Happens When You Have a Brand New City?

Everything is so nice that it's boring.

I checked out Charlotte, NC today. My deep dark secret is that I want to move to the southeast, so this is my way of taking off the rose colored glasses to be sure of what I want. This would be a big move for me if I decide to do it.

The first thing that struck me about Charlotte is that it looks like the entire city was built at the same time - within the last ten years. There had to be a time when every city block was under construction. Everything is new, I was hard pressed to find anything old, at all. Because of that, I surmise that this is a very nice, successful city with no personality. Everything is new, mostly chain, and highly functional. People from most walks of life and all races carry themselves in a much more honorable manner than I'm accustomed to. And people are very friendly, they look you in the eye. Technically it's everything I've looked for, but I can't put my finger on why I'm not completely sold on it.

It's upscale, too. I appreciate upscale. You can buy very nice things here because they sell them. Clothing and furnishings and other services are not "catalog" and the same old... boring styles made of crappy material.  And all cultures and races are well dressed - families are intact and look cohesive - not dragged around. Kids aren't bitchy, you don't catch hell for making eye contact with strangers.

There is no litter. Charlotte is clean, even in the lower income areas. The roads are all intact.

There is no water and it's completely landlocked. I have to wonder if that's part of what strikes me as off. The lack of historical areas is also strange to me. Outside of downtown there are older buildings from the 60s and 70s and much of that is still functional, just not flashy and well planned like downtown and the city.

I don't know. Maybe I was expecting Chicago but south. And I know it's only been one day and I'm probably not giving it as much of a chance, or let it sink in yet. I'm sure I could make my home here, but I worry that I might feel understimulated. I'll be back here later on my trip and I might feel very differently once I get a chance to see more of the state.

What would I miss?  Aside from my family and life in Milwaukee?
Bay View, Rockabilly, Honky Tonks, fun Americana shows.  I might even miss some of the hipsterness of Riverwest, but I wouldn't miss the disposable scene of east Brady street and being aggressively hit up for change. I'd trade that for people who actively care about their lives, anyday, regardless of how vanilla.

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