It goes without saying that if you come from a certain place that you are often privy to information and habits that most people who live outside your area wouldn’t fully understand. You might note that many cities have the same trends, the same habits, and the same overall day to day operations that make them almost carbon copies of one another, but then there are those locations that are in a class all by themselves. This select group would include Charlotte, North Carolina.
There are several aspects of this city that many people know about. Wrestling fans know that Charlotte Flair, not her real name but go with it, is from Charlotte. NFL fans know that the Carolina Panthers hold sway here. Others might also know that it is a city steeped in American history and tradition. But here are a few things you might just need to be native Carolinian to know.
10. All the cool people in Charlotte can be found at NoDa.
This is the North Davidson district where you can find nearly anything you want that can pique your interest, such as craft beers, sustainable shopping, art, Indie music, and a host of other innovative ideas that are both trendy and prized by Charlotte residents. Though it might be similar to many other cities, NoDa is essentially its own entity in that it is known only to Charlotte residents and is without a doubt one of the most entertaining locations throughout the state. It’s where you can be free to be who you want and let everything just hang out, metaphorically speaking.
9. Carowinds gets the vote for being the “real” happiest place on earth.
Forget Disneyland and its overhyped status among amusement parks. Carowinds tops most places as far as fun and entertainment go. As a family vacation it is one of the premier locations throughout the US, and North Carolina it is without a doubt the best destination to keep in mind. From a water park to its many insanely fun rollercoaster rides this park is without a doubt the epitome of a good time.
8. It’s where burgushi thrives.
Kind of confusing, isn’t it? Well, if you can derive the meaning behind the word you must be a Charlotte native. Whoever said that cheeseburgers and sushi don’t go together obviously never spent time in Charlotte. These two dietary staples are considered to be a pairing that’s on par with peanut butter and jelly despite the rest of the world thinking that the creator of this concoction must have been drunk or otherwise under the influence when they slapped raw fish and cooked hamburger together. Despite the odd look and obviously suspect taste, many Charlotte residents have been noted as saying that this is a tasty flavor bomb that they would gladly eat again and again.
7. Don’t bother with a map, you’re going to get lost anyway.
It’s very true that the nickname for Charlotte is “The Hornet’s Nest”. This doesn’t have anything to do with their NBA team either, as driving through the streets in Charlotte is a maddening experience that confuses even the locals that have been navigating the streets all their lives. If you think places like New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, or even Portland are maddening, then you most likely wouldn’t survive when it comes to Charlotte’s insanely named streets and the fact that so many bear the same name. Take it from a resident, if you don’t have to drive in Charlotte you’ll be saving yourself a great deal of stress.
6. NASCAR causes a massive divide in Charlotte.
Again, you might think that this is common of any city. But in Charlotte, you’re either a diehard racing fan that wants to get out and party with the rest of the bunch, or you’re bound to head for the coastline, far away from the track where you can think. NASCAR is a big deal in Charlotte, despite the fact that the raceway is in Concord. When it comes time to race the city becomes divided between those who make tracks for the raceway and those who just want to get away from the madness. Picture the Superbowl festivities that happen at the end of the season, then picture that happening every day from start to finish, and you might have an idea of the enthusiasm of Charlotte natives when NASCAR season comes around.
5. Fast food is an art form in Charlotte.
You won’t get the pre-packaged or dumpy-looking meals that you find in chain restaurants in Charlotte. Their fast food almost literally means something far different than just the quick and easy fare that is mass-produced by most nationwide franchises. Those eateries in Charlotte that offer a quick and easy meal are much more particular when it comes to the type of food they serve and the quality that they give their customers. Fast food in Charlotte is more than just a quick calorie fix, it’s a gourmet meal to go.
4. That ubiquitous and unknown “Sharon”.
Nope, that isn’t a typo or an unfinished sentence. Go and ask any Charlotte native who Sharon is and they might laugh at you before offering up a very simple explanation. “Sharon” is a name that is found on a large number of street signs, churches, and other various places. Going by this you might think that Sharon was a highly important figure in North Carolina’s history, but you would be absolutely wrong. Instead, Sharon was the coastal plain of Palestine, now Israel, spoken of in the Holy Bible. You think that Carolinians might be a bit devout? Ask any native of Charlotte and they’ll likely tell you without fail the real reason why “Sharon” is such a common name.
3. Either watch the Hornets or don’t bother speaking to a Charlotte native.
Charlotte is all about supporting their professional sports teams, and the Hornets have for a long time felt the love of their city. Despite having changed their name and mascot for a number of years, the Hornets have made a huge comeback and are now poised to have a standout year that many Charlotte natives can’t help but be excited about.
2. You are either a Panthers fan or you don’t have a voice.
The entire town turns black and blue come NFL season, in a good way of course. The panther outfits come out, the number 1 jerseys start popping up everywhere, and the dab and the Superman shirt pull are in full effect. You can argue that this happens in every major city that hosts an NFL team, but in most cities the tolerance for representations of other teams is fairly standard. In Charlotte, if you’re not a Panthers fan, you have little to no voice when it comes to football, or anything else while the season is on. It’s one of those cases where you either root for the Panthers, or you’re wrong.
1. BBQ pride is everything in Charlotte.
Don’t mess with the BBQ or even insinuate that anyone does it better. Texas might come close, but to a Charlotte native to speak of anyone else having that special, one of a kind favor is as close to sacrilege that anyone in this city will ever allow you to get. There’s no doubt that all through the state that BBQ is sacrosanct to the people, but in Charlotte, telling a story of how another state has the best BBQ is bound to be taken as fighting words.
Every city has its own little quirks and those few things that only residents would know about, and in that way Charlotte is no different. But when it comes to their treasured qualities and habits, it’s best to believe that Charlotte residents know what they’re talking about.