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What is living in Charlotte, NC, compared to Cincinnati, OH?

What is living in Charlotte, NC, compared to Cincinnati, OH

What is living in Charlotte, NC, compared to Cincinnati, OH?

Credentials: Lived in both cities. Former Business Editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer and Business Editor of the Charlotte Observer.

Cincinnati is an old city. When Charlotte was at a crossroads, Cincinnati was the Queen City of the West.

History hangs heavy on Cincinnati, from its remarkable architecture stock to the large proportion of natives from multi-generation families.

Charlotte grew into a large city much later and became the dominant metro of the Carolinas around 1990. It is clearcut most of its architectural history and urban fabric, leaving a shiny, innocuous Sunbelt city. That fits with Charlotte’s white demographics, too. More and more are from the Northeast and Midwest. Drive 30 miles away, and you’ll find the South. Charlotte could be Columbus, Ohio, or suburban Dallas.

That new suburbanization, warm weather, and a strong economy help Charlotte attract people from places such as Cincinnati.

Race is a big issue in Cincy, which saw a riot as recently as 2001. The city struggles with a large black underclass. The problem is more concealed in Charlotte, but it’s there.

As a city, Cincinnati wins by a mile. It has a dense downtown, diverse, walkable neighborhoods, world-class cultural institutions, magnificent architecture, universities, etc. All set amid hills rolling down to the Ohio River. No wonder Churchill called Cincinnati America’s most beautiful inland city.

Charlotte, by contrast, is second-rate in all those categories. It also sits on the boring Carolina Piedmont. But it’s a major center of banking and finance—on a national and world scale. This gives the city enormous power.

Both are car-burdened, although Charlotte has a light-rail system and better Amtrak service.

Compare and contrast the two Queen Cities … {Disclosure: I give both a thumbs-up.)

Charlotte has a hotter, longer-by-a-month summer.

Cincinnati has a colder, snowier, longer winter.

Charlotte is almost 300 square miles – very sprawled out, tough without a car.

Cincinnati is a relatively compact 80 square miles, much more walk/bikeable.

Charlotte’s downtown (uptown) is 8 miles from the Catawba River.

Cincinnati’s downtown is right on the Ohio River (scenic).

Charlotte is a very fast-growing Sunbelt city (lots of construction).

Cincinnati is a more mature Midwest city with a slower growth rate.

Well, just my unscientific comparison. Both offer a lot.

Why does Charlotte, NC, have no culture like Asheville, NC, and other cities like Chicago?

Someone finally asked it…

The short answer is because most people in Charlotte don’t give a shit about culture.

Here’s the long answer:

  1. It is a consummate transplant town. There are very few native Charlotteans around Charlotte. That means there are not a lot of people who embody the “culture” and “vibe” of the city. Almost every household has a separate culture from whatever state or country they came from. So there are 1000s and 1000s of micro-cultures around but very few blanketed customs. If it helps you understand better, I was born and raised in Charlotte, and I can count the people I know who were born and raised there too. It’s sad. *Cue Mr. Lonely by Bobby Vinton*
  2. Gentrification has wiped most geographic cultures clean. Because so many people are moving to Charlotte, real estate companies are capitalizing on the growth by building new apartments. There are apartments everywhere, literally everywhere. Every. Where. The old Charlotte “vibey” buildings are torn down, paved over, or repurposed as apartments, shopping centers, breweries, or other assorted businesses (e.g., Noda). When that happens, you have a cultural blank slate. Although Charlotte is quite old, it is what I call a “New Town.” Asheville and Chicago have MUCH more history preserved and not bulldozed by suburban soccer moms and dads.
  3. Professional sports need to be more unifying. The Panthers, Hornets, Knights, and Checkers are all professional sports teams based in Charlotte. Spectator sports are a god to people in Charlotte. They live, breathe, and die sports. Very few people care about music, art, language, history, and sociology. When they want to go out, they go to a football game, not to see a concert. Not trying to knock sports (okay, yes, I am) because they bring a shitload of money to town, but this environment creates a very bland and rudimentary community. Also, remember that most people in Charlotte aren’t from there, so even if they are “unified” under the Carolina Panthers, their allegiance is split between whatever sports team they like from the state/city they are from (mostly New York). Again, this further dilutes the community in Charlotte.
  4. CMS sucks. Mecklenburg County has some of the worst schools in the nation. North Carolina also pays its teachers an insultingly low wage. This needs to help create culturally excited citizens. Unless you count craft beer as innovative, you won’t see any Elon Musks coming out of Charlotte anytime soon…And last but not least…
  5. Charlotte is full of transient people. Transient people need to be made aware of the culture they are in, and they care. Most people I’ve met are just passing through on to the next job or opportunity somewhere else. Charlotte is a stepping stone for many. Culture needs more time to dig its roots. To put it bluntly, Charlotte is one big ugly revolving door.

I hope that helps. Cheers.

Which city is bigger—Cincinnati or Charlotte?

As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, Charlotte is generally considered to be larger than Cincinnati in terms of population and economic influence. Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina and is a major financial hub in the United States, particularly known for its banking sector.

Cincinnati, on the other hand, is the third-largest city in Ohio and is known for its cultural attractions, historic architecture, and various industries.

For the most up-to-date and accurate population and city size comparisons, it’s recommended to check the latest census data or official city statistics. Population figures and city rankings can change over time due to factors such as population growth, economic development, and other demographic changes.

Charlotte,What is the cost of living in Charlotte NC, compared to Cincinnati?

As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, the cost of living can vary based on individual circumstances, lifestyle choices, and specific locations within each city. However, I can provide some general information about the cost of living in Charlotte, NC, compared to Cincinnati, OH.

  1. Housing: Charlotte tends to have a higher cost of housing compared to Cincinnati. The real estate market in Charlotte has experienced growth, driven in part by the city’s economic development.
  2. Utilities: Utility costs may be relatively comparable between the two cities.
  3. Transportation: The cost of transportation, including gas prices and public transit, can vary, but it’s generally reasonable in both cities.
  4. Groceries: Grocery costs are influenced by factors such as local markets and individual shopping habits. Prices may vary, but they are generally similar in both cities.
  5. Healthcare: Healthcare costs can vary based on individual needs and insurance coverage. Charlotte, being a larger city, may have a wider range of healthcare facilities and services.

It’s important to note that these are general trends, and individual circumstances can significantly impact the cost of living for a person or family. Additionally, economic conditions and housing markets can change over time.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information, consider using cost-of-living calculators, consulting local housing market reports, or checking with relevant local authorities.

Is Charlotte or Cincinnati the queen city?

Both Charlotte, North Carolina, and Cincinnati, Ohio, are often referred to as the “Queen City,” and each city has its own claim to the nickname. The nickname “Queen City” is a term used in various places around the world and is often associated with a city’s growth, prominence, or regal status.

In the case of Charlotte, it is commonly known as the “Queen City of the South” or simply the “Queen City.” The origin of the nickname is said to date back to the city’s rapid growth and development during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Cincinnati also claims the title of “Queen City,” and it has historical roots as well. The nickname is believed to have originated during the mid-19th century, when Cincinnati was a flourishing and rapidly growing city along the Ohio River.

So, both Charlotte and Cincinnati proudly use the nickname “Queen City,” and it’s associated with the historical significance and prominence of each city in its respective region.

Where does Cincinnati rank among U.S. cities?

As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, Cincinnati, Ohio, is one of the major cities in the United States, but its specific ranking in terms of population or other factors may change over time. Population rankings, economic indicators, and other city metrics can be subject to shifts based on various factors such as population growth, economic developments, and urban trends.

To obtain the most up-to-date information on Cincinnati’s ranking among U.S. cities, I recommend checking recent census data, municipal reports, or other reliable sources that provide current statistics and rankings. Local government websites, the U.S. Census Bureau, or reputable city ranking publications are good places to find the latest information about Cincinnati’s standing among U.S. cities.

Which city is best to live in, NC, Charlotte, or any city else? Want to choose Charlotte to settle down now?

It depends on what you are looking for. I’ve lived in Charlotte for 30+ years.

It’s a great city. It’s very clean w/ lots of flowers & trees. Even the housing projects look nice compared to what I’ve seen in other cities. The skyline is beautiful at night, and the architecture is amazing uptown. (Yeah. Not downtown.)

Rent for a decent one-bedroom apt is approximately $1000. I understand property taxes are wonderful compared to what they were paying up north.

If you like to party, I recently saw an open bus uptown taking people from one bar to another. It looked like a blast, but these were mostly people in their 20s. I wish they had that when I was in my 20s!

There are plays, restaurants & a museum or two here. We also have great concerts & have an outdoor arena. Also a football, basketball & baseball teams. We are serious about our teams.

We are 5 miles or so from the SC State line. Carowinds is there. It is an amusement park. We are 2 hours from the mountains and 4 hours to the beach. Great location.

If you don’t own a car, the public transportation is awesome. That brings up the traffic problem. The city is growing & there is construction everywhere. I wonder why they tear down perfectly good buildings that are ten years old to build something else. The traffic could be better but not like, say, Washington DC. Yet when I listened to the traffic reports in the morning to decide which way to go to work, there were accidents every day and many times fatal.

There are a lot of transplants here, which I like. The town is not as conservative as the smaller towns in NC. There are rednecks, too, which we call Appalachian Americans. (It’s a joke) All in all, we have very nice people living here. Also, the crime is about average for this size town. I would always keep my windows and doors unlocked at night.

The only other city I would consider moving to in NC is Raleigh. I lived there, but it was a long time ago. Their nickname is “Raleighwood,” which I guess says it all.

There are smaller towns that are nice, but that’s not what you are looking for. Good luck and welcome!


A commenter made me think of something. This was not an isolated incident. I’ve had a lot of problems with CMPD. I am an upstanding citizen who has never been in trouble. I won’t call them for help anymore if I need it. I’ll call the fire department if I can’t handle it alone.

I have been made to feel foolish for calling them every time. They roll their eyes. Ask me how I expect them to help me if I can’t give them more info. Such as “What color were his eyes?” I didn’t know I was looking at the gun. This one scolded me: “Didn’t I know you are supposed to look them straight in the eyes?” No. I didn’t know that. Many other stories from over the years.

I haven’t used public transportation except to take the Lynx. I had a really bad experience with a couple of cops on there recently.

Had a friend from out of town with me. I was so embarrassed for my city. The people who heard the conversation thought it was so petty, and it was. I pleaded with them since my friend didn’t know she did wrong & she was a visitor to our city, could they help me show her Charlotte is a hospitable place. They couldn’t have cared less.

She had bought a Student ticket since she went to UNG. She had her student ID to show him, but it is for 1st to 12th graders. She offered to pay right there, but no. They kicked us off at the next stop & gave her a $200 fine. Nice guys. I’m sure they felt like a big, important man. They looked like they thought so.

She said she would never return to Clt because the police were horrible. And she hasn’t. If they treat law-abiding citizens that way, what do they do to those that aren’t?

And some people wonder why law-abiding citizens don’t like cops.

What is it like to move to Charlotte, North Carolina?

Charlotte is one of the best places I’ve ever lived in. Everything is lush green and beautiful. The roads are well maintained, and all the grass is mowed on time, so everything looks fresh, beautiful, and upbeat.

I lived in a University off-campus apartment that was very cheap: 4-bedroom apartments for $960 rent. My share of the rent with roommates was $240. My monthly budget was $400 when I lived there as a student.

The Downtown of Charlotte is also really good; it is plush, shiny, and neat.

Public transportation is decent as well. Enough buses are moving around between the university and Downtown. I heard that the mono-rail is also making good progress.

Weather is one of the best things about Charlotte! The coldest spat I’ve ever experienced is about 30F. It snows about once or twice a year, and everything gets shut down when it snows.

I miss Charlotte.

What is Charlotte, NC, known for?

I’m a Brit and moved here about seven years ago. I love Charlotte. I love Charlotte. I’ve lived around the world and like this the most.

Feel it’s a cosmopolitan city and the 2nd largest banking center in the US, and there’s a LOT of healthcare, so there are many great jobs and a lot of wealth married to low costs that can give people a truly phenomenal quality of life. While being cosmopolitan, it’s still really extremely friendly. There’s a sector of town to the South called Myers Park, full of grand mansions and is very classy.

It used to be a boring place and has that rep to some extent. However, while that may have been true 20 years ago, it is certainly not anymore. The number of quality restaurants is high (and growing thanks to the Johnson and Wales cooking school in the City), there are several major music venues, a symphony orchestra, several theaters, standup comedy, etc. I used to live in London, and all the major bands would, of course, play. Most of them will show up here in Charlotte, but you don’t have the struggle of two-hour travel time to get there, and it’s all super easy.

There are lakes all around the City and lots of great real estate on them – I live on one and enjoy seeing herons, egrets, beavers, osprey, and even eagles almost daily. Try getting that in London!

There are SO many upsides to the City – what are the downsides? Few, though they exist – it’s getting popular, so traffic is getting perceptibly worse every year. Unsurprisingly, the towns outside are not cosmopolitan or developed, and the NRA, God, and F150s are the order of the day – although the people are very nice.

What is Cincinnati best known for?

Cincinnati, Ohio, is known for several things:

  1. Cincinnati Chili: This unique style of chili is characterized by its spiciness and inclusion of cinnamon and chocolate. It’s often served over spaghetti or hot dogs and topped with ingredients like shredded cheese and onions.
  2. Major League Baseball (MLB): Cincinnati is home to the Cincinnati Reds, one of the oldest professional baseball teams in the United States. The Reds play at Great American Ball Park.
  3. Fiona the Hippo: Fiona gained international fame as the baby hippopotamus born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2017. She became a social media sensation and captured the hearts of people around the world.
  4. Music Heritage: The city has a rich musical history, especially in jazz and bluegrass. Cincinnati is also known for its contributions to the early days of rock and roll.
  5. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden: Apart from Fiona, the Cincinnati Zoo is renowned for being one of the oldest zoos in the United States and is known for its efforts in wildlife conservation.
  6. Riverfront: The city is situated on the banks of the Ohio River, and the riverfront area features parks, stadiums, and recreational spaces.
  7. Architecture: Cincinnati boasts beautiful architecture, with notable structures like the Cincinnati Music Hall, Carew Tower, and the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.
  8. German Heritage: The city has a strong German influence, especially evident in neighborhoods like Over-the-Rhine. This heritage is reflected in the city’s traditions, festivals, and cuisine.

These are just a few highlights, and Cincinnati offers a diverse range of attractions and cultural elements for both residents and visitors.

What are the benefits of living in Charlotte, NC?

Charlotte, North Carolina, offers a variety of benefits for its residents. Here are some key advantages to living in Charlotte:

  1. Job Opportunities: Charlotte is a major financial hub, home to several banking and financial institutions. The city has a diverse job market, including opportunities in finance, technology, healthcare, and energy.
  2. Economic Growth: Charlotte has experienced significant economic growth in recent years, attracting businesses and professionals. The city is often cited as one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States.
  3. Quality of Life: Charlotte consistently ranks high in various quality of life indices. The city provides a good balance between urban and suburban living, offering a range of amenities, parks, and cultural attractions.
  4. Outdoor Recreation: The region around Charlotte has numerous parks, green spaces, and recreational areas. The U.S. National Whitewater Center, located in Charlotte, offers outdoor activities like whitewater rafting, kayaking, and zip-lining.
  5. Sports Culture: Charlotte is a sports-friendly city with major professional sports teams, including the Carolina Panthers (NFL) and the Charlotte Hornets (NBA). Sports enthusiasts can enjoy a vibrant sports culture.
  6. Cultural Attractions: Charlotte has a thriving cultural scene with museums, theaters, and art galleries. The Levine Center for the Arts is a cultural hub that includes the Mint Museum, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture.
  7. Education: Charlotte is home to several educational institutions, including the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The city provides a range of educational opportunities for residents of all ages.
  8. Diverse Communities: Charlotte is known for its diverse and inclusive communities. Residents can experience a variety of cultural influences, especially in neighborhoods like NoDa (North Davidson) and Plaza Midwood.
  9. Climate: Charlotte generally experiences a mild climate with four distinct seasons. Winters are relatively mild, and the city gets a good amount of sunshine throughout the year.
  10. Transportation: The city has a well-developed transportation infrastructure, including highways, public transit, and an international airport. This makes it convenient for residents to travel within the city and beyond.

Overall, Charlotte offers a dynamic and growing urban environment with a range of opportunities and amenities, making it an attractive place to live for many people.

What do you love and hate about living in Charlotte?

As someone born and raised there, my answer is biased, so bear with me.

What I love about Charlotte:

  • My family lives there
  • The distinct four seasons of weather
  • The Uptown skyline
  • The over-abundance of churches

What I hate about Charlotte:

  • The incessant round-the-clock noise
  • The public schools
  • Transplants
  • The overloaded, haphazardly built infrastructure
  • The City Government
  • HB2 – that shit made the City look undeservingly bad. Thank you to our former mayor for spearheading that. There’s a reason she’s a FORMER mayor now.
  • The sheer amount of transplants
  • The lack of any unique culture
  • Gentrification
  • The superciliousness of the Northern folks who move down and think they own everything. I hate this above anything else on this list***
  • Driving in town
  • The “bro” culture
  • The blatant anti-southern sentiment of the City ***
  • Did I mention transplants?
  • The sheer amount of apartment buildings

There’s more I don’t like about Charlotte than I do. I don’t know many people who LOVE their hometown. Growing up in a constant state of flux will jade you, haha. Anyway, I hope that helped answer your question.


***Some may wonder about my disdain for the North. They might dismiss me as just another disgruntled Southern person – they would be partially incorrect. My parents are from New York and moved down to North Carolina before I was born. The entire lot of my extended family is from New York and Massachusetts. I don’t have a single southern relative in my family tree. My point is that these observations have not been passed on to me from my “plantation-owning ancestors,” and no one told me to think this way. I have come to this conclusion through my own experiences in my short 22 years of growing up in the South. Northern people have been told how terrible/racist the South is. Then, they move down to “show us rednecks who are boss like they did back in the 1860s.” Sounds crazy, right? It is unbelievable. Feel free to deny it, but Southern discrimination is real, and it is happening every day all around. I hope one day it won’t be.

How bad is it to live in Charlotte, NC?

I was born and raised in Germany, went to college in Switzerland, and then moved to Pennsylvania to attend Carnegie-Mellon U. I have since lived in Annapolis, Old Town Alexandria, Bethesda….settling in Milford, Connecticut.

Nineteen years ago, I followed a BF to Charlotte (I had never been in the South), and after five years of living by myself with my kids in college, I stopped thinking about where I would want to live next. This City has captured my heart and involvement.

Charlotte is a culinary and cultural center…diverse, growing, exciting, social, dynamic, beautiful, manicured, clean, artistic, innovative, progressive, intelligent, open-minded, sophisticated, creative, entrepreneurial, trending, and constantly changing/upgrading. There are as many free events as paid events. There is so much to do here for all ages that it’s impossible to do it all.

The geographic layout is extremely convenient. The Charlotte Symphony, Blumenthal Theatre, and Charlotte Douglas International Airport are a 20-minute drive away if you live near Uptown like I do. (I used to loathe my one-hour-plus travel times to NY and CT airports!)

Two major lakes are a 30–40 min drive away if you love water activities. Charlotte also boasts a huge craft brewery and distillery industry. This City attracts many retail and restaurant businesses (many top-level from NYC) and is fast becoming a 1st Tier city.

I remember when national TV weather maps did not have Charlotte listed. But they do now, and it makes me proud, even as a non-native (as many residents here are).

I love to travel, but I have found my forever home here. No matter how old I become, I will never be bored. That’s for sure. The question “How bad is it to live in Charlotte?” does not make sense from my perspective. It should be “How great is it to live in Charlotte?”

What is it like to live in Charlotte, NC?

I’ve lived here since ’84. I didn’t see its first transformations, but I’ve been around now long enough to see a few.

Charlotte is a delayed child. Back in the early 80s and before, the city council wanted to avoid Downtown (as others have pointed out named Uptown) being lived in. They thought you worked in Uptown, but you didn’t participate. This created two immediate things. An urban sprawl that is intense in all directions and an Uptown that is still a fledgling in redevelopment for life/work/shop/use.

Charlotte needs to be more concentrated, based on large neighborhoods with different demographics. Old money, new money, young people, families, and older generations are wrapped in a giant loop called 485, and it has Dunlap disease as it spreads beyond into neighboring bedroom community counties.

The population’s attitudes are equally spread out and diversified. From the elite, the entitled, everyday, good neighbor, the bad neighbor, the southern redneck, and all the shades in between.

I’ve left and come back to Charlotte several times. My roots are down here now, and I doubt I’ll leave now. Charlotte’s retail overhead is very expensive for where and who we are, which makes running startup businesses a bit of a trick. The City and its landlords still have the concept of running large box long-term leases vs small business incubators. However, Charlotte is still a great place to bring ideas. If you have a passion and an immense amount of willpower in you, you can turn an idea here into something greater.

The county is Democratic, population-dense cities in NC are democratic, but the rural communities are pretty deep red. When looking at us, look at how the state perceives you. Healthcare, teaching, and progressive thoughts need to be looked at closely. We’ve swung polarities lately, and that may impact your abilities. We’re friendly to big businesses but lousy regarding small businesses and individuals. That doesn’t mean you can’t survive and thrive. It just means you need to do your homework before you get here.

I have a love, meh, relationship with the City. I’m always glad to come home to our trees and green when away. Something is soothing about that. The food, the BBQ, the diversity in the area–all great things. I love working with the people I’ve met, the networks I’ve built, the non-profits I give time to, and many other great things my family and I experience. I’m meh about the traffic, construction (you know the orange barrel is our state flag, right?), the state reps, the tax codes, and a few other things–but I’m a small business owner, so the pinch of many things affects me.

Is it a good idea to live in Cincinnati, Ohio?

Sure, if you’re going to work at a decent place.

The cost of living in Cincinnati and the surrounding area is comparatively low. You can get a nice 2-bedroom apartment downtown in the trendiest areas for 1400 dollars a month. You can get a high-quality meal for fifty bucks a person. There’s a lot to do Downtown. The area has a tremendous amount of breweries and brewing history, one of the top brewing scenes in the nation. Some of the biggest companies in the country are in Cincinnati, including 5/3 Bank, Scripps, Paycor, the WORLD HQ for Proctor and Gamble, GE, GE Aviation, Kroger, and Macy, and that’s only talking about the big dogs that people would recognize.

If you live in downtown Cincinnati, your nearest major airport is about 15 minutes away and in another state. If you’re into general aviation, Lunken Airport is about as far away but is still in Ohio.

There’s a lot to like about Cincinnati. Plus, you can live in Kentucky and walk into Cincinnati every day. And they’re home to the country’s third oldest cigar shop/lounge.

What are the people like in Charlotte, NC?

For the most part, I find them friendly and caring. One thing you will discover right away is that Charlotte is not a city of the south. People have been migrating to Charlotte for many decades. My wife and I went to a party of about 40 people and discovered she was the only Charlotte native. And the largest Catholic church in the country is located in Charlotte. Charlotte has appeared on the list of the 100 best cities in the U.S. However, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its minuses. Rents are increasing, and the traffic could be better. Do you want to check it out, come to a Panthers or Hornets game or a race, and enjoy a weekend of good food, “mostly” friendly people, and a city still covered in big green trees?

Is Charlotte, NC, racist?

As others have written, indeed, there are racists in Charlotte. Still, because of its diversity in Charlotte (population around 800,000 in the city limits, with a metro population of 2 million), I would say, in general, it is not.

Within Charlotte (the incorporated city), whites are in the minority, around 45% of the population, while blacks make up around 35%, Hispanics 13%, and other races of people of mixed race make up the rest. In the suburban areas outside the city itself, whites are in the majority. Most African-American residents are clustered on the north side of the city.

I believe the current Charlotte City Council has five black members and seven white. Although the current mayor (who also serves as the 12th city council member) is white, the previous two mayors were black (one resigned from office due to an arrest for accepting bribes). I believe 9 of the 11 city council members are Democratic.

The city leans Democratic, but its politicians tend to be moderate centrists. Due to Republican gerrymandering, two of the three U.S. Representatives representing the city are Republican and one Democratic.

It was Charlotte’s passing of an LGBT anti-discrimination law that spurred the then North Carolina governor, a Republican and a former mayor of Charlotte, and the GOP-dominated Legislature to enact HB-2, the so-called “bathroom bill” that caused much pushback from companies and progressive voters, and that lost the state billions in new investment. In 2016, the Republican governor was voted out of office, and now the Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, has helped put together a compromise bill that repealed HB-2. The old bill’s provisions included prohibiting local cities and other entities in N.C. from passing anti-discriminatory local laws. The new bill continues but only as a moratorium until 2020.

As noted, suburban and semi-rural areas outside the Charlotte city limits tend to skew white and more conservative.

Bottom line: I would say while there are racists and bigots in Charlotte, overall, the city is not racist and is probably less so than several other cities of similar size in the United States.

What advice would you give to someone moving to Charlotte, NC?

Charlotte is known as the “Queen City.” Named after Queen Charlotte of England, she married King George III in the 1740s. I was born and raised here. Although I have lived in Chicago and New York, I find myself back in Charlotte as happy as a hornet. As Charlotteans, we have sports; we have Arts, we have big banking, we have NASCAR; we have two major medical centers; we have a major airport hub; we are located just about smack dab in the middle of the East Coast, and are only 2 1/2 hours from the mountains and 3 hours from the beach. So, whether you want to live in Charlotte or not depends on your demographics. If you’re single, Charlotte’s a great place to live, with great nightlife and many apartments downtown and in the South End. Charlotte is an amazing city to live in when you are single. And just as great of a city to live in when you are married. Once you decide to have a family, consider moving out of the County for the schools or consider sending your children to private school. I cannot tell you how many superintendents CMS has been through over the last 25 years; however, it’s approaching the double digits. I am not making this recommendation lightly. I have my master’s degree in teaching and taught in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools for 13 years. It isn’t easy to find continuity and strength within a system when a superintendent tends not to stay but two or three years. But pay attention; some phenomenal school systems exist in the surrounding counties. Cabarrus County, & Fort Mill (S.C.) have some of the best schools in the state. Concerning the schools in Charlotte… rezoning is happening quite often, which means children are moved from school to school based on their address. Just because your child is assigned to go to their home school one year does not mean they will go to the same school the next year. So, when looking at a home in Charlotte, ask the realtor about every school that the address could be rezoned for if there were any unexpected changes. This way, you will not be thrown a punch if it happens to you. Also, ask the neighbors before you purchase or rent an apartment or home what the possible schools are for your street and if they have heard of any rezoning happening soon.

What is the best thing about living in Cincinnati?

Livability is reflected in so many things.

The cost of living, especially housing costs. Virtually free medical costs for the indigent and a sliding scale for the low-income; the parks, which are the best in the country; the excellent microbreweries; the music and the arts are world-class.; The symphony, the ballet, and the opera repeatedly blow me away. There are many great art galleries, the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Taft Museum, and free parking. I almost always find free parking or at least inexpensive parking. I go to the symphony regularly, and rarely do I have to pay for parking. I have to look. Cincinnati is a relatively safe city. Most of the violent crime is drug-related. The police are tolerant and at least rational. A great roots and jazz music scene. A lot of free concerts; Cincinnati has great city water. Great recycling. A great library system. The rolling hills. The lush greenery. Plus, Cincinnati has a lot of quirks, especially in food: Cincinnati chili, which is not chili, but they call it that.; goetta, city chicken, A unique bratwurst made with milk and veal; a lot of sumac for making “Cherokee Lemonade.

What is your review of Charlotte, NC?

I have been in Charlotte for 1.5 years now and love everything about the Queen City!

  1. It is the perfect place for an immigrant like me, having a tropical climate. Winters are bearable with Little-No snow! It isn’t that hot during summer.
  2. It is a clean and quiet place far from mountains(Smokies and Grandfather) and beaches(Myrtle, Charleston, and Outerbanks). Just a thought away from planning a trip!!
  3. To all the food lovers out there- Here comes the best part! 24/7 open Amelie’s, which always makes you run high on coffee. Super spicy foods ranging from Indian delicacies to Mexican grills!
  4. Shopaholics can pinch their pockets from malls such as Concord, Premium Outlets, South Park, and North Lake Mall! It can counterbalance the budget as living costs are quite cheap compared to most other cities!

Visit once, and you’ll fall in love with this place!!

Why is Charlotte, NC, awesome?

I suspect this question is designed to attract some more Rubyists, given that Bigfleet asked. It’s hard to answer without knowing the specific people to whom it’s aimed and without sounding like the Chamber of Commerce. But here’s a shot from someone who moved to Charlotte in 1985 after growing up in Atlanta.

Charlotte is the East Coast’s Portland, without the fish and the light rail, and with football and better access to big spots of power.

Location: Charlotte’s location is why it exists, at the intersection of old trading paths used by the pioneers and the Native Americans. The foundation of trade has influenced everything since, leading to generations of sales and marketing people and bankers. Gold was found nearby in the early days, giving rise to the tradition of banks. Easy travel to Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, and by air to New York, Paris, and Germany, fueled growth. One mountainous area is an hour away, and beaches are three hours away, as is the culture of Charleston, S.C., and the mental power of the Research Triangle.

Climate: Middle of the road, with real seasons, but occasional days that feel like spring in January.

Cost of living: Relatively cheap and cheaper than Portland. You can consume on the high end at South Park Mall and live in an estate worth $5 million on the banks of Lake Norman, or you can consume on the low end in some center city neighborhoods, where immigrant neighbors remind you how to get by on very little.

People: Many sales and banking people, a growing creative class, many migrants in recent years from the northeastern U.S. interested in shorter commutes, better schools, and greener neighborhoods; the best hustlers from small towns across the Carolinas, and many folks of all ages interested in living balanced lives. Strong immigrant and African-American communities bring a reminder of the diversity of the U.S. every day. Growing Nepalese immigrant community, in particular.

References: Immigration data since 1880, NYT,

Regional migration within the U.S.:

Services: Top notch medical care, NBA and NFL teams, children’s museums, small light rail line, a growing network of greenways, symphony, and opera, cozy modern art museum. A strong tradition of good public schools has been endangered recently but with a growing network of private schools.

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