..."variety vacationland", they used to call it in the tourism brochures. Just don't take a bus in Charlotte: "NC bus driver, passenger get into WILD shootout after arguing over stop – on MOVING bus".
I'm sorry the bus driver got fired - but at least he's still alive.
I hate Charlotte, incidentally, always have. Even before it got huge and became an Atlanta wannabe and acquired the typical, and apparently irreversible, pathologies of leftist local government, I didn't like it. I made the mistake of transferring to Charlotte headquarters when First Union bought out Florida National Bank back in the late 80s. The place was like a bumper-car ride filled with huge executive egos clashing constantly - and pointlessly, for the most part - and there I was, a mid-level credit officer, wandering around on foot.
But I hated the city far earlier than this. We lived there for a few months, over the autumn and early winter of 1960. Crummy little rental house, nasty landlady, absolutely no other children in the neighborhood to play with, a stove with faulty heating elements that Ma Paco never quite mastered (leading to my fondness for pancakes blackened around the edges). Of course, that unhappy arrangement could have happened anywhere, but, fairly or not, I forever associated Charlotte from that moment on with tedium and general unfriendliness and seediness. And by the time I took a job there in the 80s, it had by then advanced a long way toward picking up the thick patina of metropolitan leftism that characterizes the city today.