C5’s most-read story of 2017: I should have never moved to south Charlotte

First published Feb. 23, 2017


Three years ago I moved to Plaza Midwood from Matthews. I didn’t want to. I was dragged along kicking and screaming as my roommates made it clear they weren’t going to continue settling for grocery store trips as our sole means of “going out” at night.

For three years, living first with the roommates and then a little down the road with the girlfriend, I made sure everyone knew I was NOT a fan of living where I did.

Last month, however, all of my bellyaching ended when the opportunity to move out of Plaza Midwood finally made sense. After quite a persuasive speech from me, the girlfriend and the cat agreed to pack up and move out to south Charlotte.

We’d be near Cotswold, I told them, and the ritziest mall in the city! The crime would be minimal and we’d actually be able to sleep at night without hearing a symphony of sirens and squealing tires. We could all see it now: A blissfully quiet and happy existence away from the hustle and bustle.

Less than a month after moving to south Charlotte, I can admit it: I was wrong. I take it back. I take it all back.

What nightmare did I conceive in my mind that allowed this to happen? South Charlotte, while certainly a very safe and popular community, is driving me crazy.

[Related: What exactly constitutes south Charlotte?]

To better describe just how much regret I am experiencing, here’s the breakdown of a typical day in the life of a south Charlotte resident (me):

11 a.m.: Working a later-than-normal shift has usually been a perk for me as I miss a lot of rush hour traffic. Not in south Charlotte, however! I painstakingly try to merge onto Providence so I can trek home but a series of 400 minivans and SUVs plow through lights ranging from green to yellow to “HOW DID YOU NOT JUST GET INTO AN ACCIDENT?”

11:15 a.m.: Witness the usual line of 25+ cars wrapped around Chick-fil-A and spilling into the street as every soccer mom in the city has decided this is the only place to provide their children with sustenance every weekday afternoon.

6:30 p.m.: As I prepare to head home, I make a note to myself to stop at the Harris Teeter near work as I am absolutely, positively certain that the Cotswold location is going to have a “Mad Max”-esque battle scene in the parking lot.

6:45 p.m.: Contemplate my existence as I stare ahead at an endless row of vehicles waiting to turn left onto Providence from Fairview, yet again.

7:30 p.m.: Arrive home and am immediately greeted by a gang of 8 year olds on Razor scooters darting in, around and possibly under (?) my car as I try to park. Grit my teeth and wave.

7:45 p.m.: Oops, looks like I forgot to get ground turkey. Dinner is put on hold until I get that pronto. The cat is also muttering about the need for some wet food.

8 p.m.: Arrive at Harris Teeter’s Cotswold location. Strap on battle armor and pepper-spray cartridge before entering.

8:15 p.m.: The checkout line is literally 20 people deep and there’s no sign of any registers opening up elsewhere. I again contemplate my existence and the amount of time waiting in lines to buy turkey. I return the meat and head out empty-handed.

8:45 p.m.: We decide to order from Postmates and embrace laziness. Lo and behold, however, the old $3.99 specials and meal deals readily available to people living in Plaza are not as common here in south Charlotte, where everything is just far enough away to not be considered nearby.

9:15 p.m.: Get in the car and head to Pizza Peel. We had about five options in the area, and they have a bar I plan to get to know very well in the future.

9:30 p.m.: A mixture of children screaming, guitars playing and people murmuring as they wait for a table greets us as soon as we enter. We leave the establishment with more questions than answers.

10 p.m.: We are eating Jack in the Box tacos in the car because there is an odd amount of poorly planned construction making Sharon Amity impenetrable from the parking lot.

10:15 p.m.: I ask if perhaps we should go out for a drink somewhere else but am met with a cold stare and the sobering realization that there’s nowhere else to really go at this point.

11 p.m.: Flip through old Facebook pictures of past nights out in Plaza Midwood: Eating at Three Amigos, having a High Life at Elizabeth Billiards, walking to Legion Brewing. Spent the rest of the night in a state of whimsy and nostalgia while the endless stream of honking and revving engines lulls me to sleep, with the hope that perhaps tomorrow this nightmare will have ended.

Photos: CharlotteFive/Charlotte Observer file


  1. Good lord son, take a breath and relax. You only work a 7 hour day starting at 11am which is obviously not spent thinking of creative or informative blog articles. Your entire day would have been fine had you made a grocery list and not forgotten the crucial ingredient for dinner. No one gives a shit that you hate life because YOU forgot some turkey.

    Quit your whining and moaning about self-inflicted, first-world problems. You sound like a rejected blogger from the Agenda. Go jump through some tables and root for the Bills, moron.

    • This was way more entertaining then any article I’ve ever read on the agenda. Someone finally writes something other than sycamore, Olde meck, or condos going up in south end. Sounds like you’re the one that needs to chill

    • Brian you’re a millennial, what we called a yuppie. You should not be in S Charlotte but we’re glad you’re here. If enough of your age group move here maybe we can get a brewery. You are the vanguard. Be proud of it. We know we are not cool but its a great place for raising kids, as you noticed, and when you want to buy a house- our schools will appeal to you. As for the lineup at HT I’m sure it wasn’t so bad. Shop at the Ballantyne HT and have a craft beer waiting in line. Now THAT’s S Charlotte.

    • Agreed, but let’s not act like a five year old and continue to name call on someone who’s complaining. Realize, that’s really immature too….

    • Haha, you’re right Deidra, Cotswold is not South Charlotte. But it sounds like this guy would run his car off the road if he had to deal with Ballantyne/Steele Creek or Highway 51 traffic.

        • Good Lord, Man….don’t tell everybody how close Stonecrest is to everything! The only thing we’re lacking down here are some greasy spoon diners, museums, and a Blumenthal Performing Arts Center of our own. Hint, hint, hint….build us an entertainment center. We have money to spend.

      • based on that logic plaza midwood is also south charlotte. he didn’t need to move LOL (I know this is a year old but it popped up in a C5 search haha)

    • Exactly!! Clay you are my hero. Where did you live? I’ve got 2 years in Korea, one year in Vietnam, and 5 months in Puerto Rico. As a Bay Area California native, I’ve lived in Charlotte for a year now and love the size and cost of living. The city does have some infrastructure issues and the construction and traffic are a result. May I buy you a beer after the Thursday evening Legiondary run? 😉

  2. Wow, you completely just described the entire problem with the millenial generation in a very short, whiney article about, well “YOU and your feelings.” You and your first world problems of having to wait in line for groceries and turn left on the Providence, and all the mini-vans, oh the horror.

    And seriously, Charlotte Observer, why on earth does this qualify for news? Some whiney millineal can’t find a bar to hang out at in South Charlotte, and you give it a center position on your website. I mean seriously, this is the best you got….

    • Agreed. And no way Pizza Peel was that crowded at 9:30 during the week. Also, once Publix opens HT will be less crowded (hopefully) so put on your big boy pants and write your list down next time. If you can’t appreciate what a great neighborhood Cotswold is then by all means move back to Plaza Midwood. Or you could take some time, get to know the rhythm of the neighborhood and meet some great people.

  3. Brian, just a few things to cover here. First, the Cotswold Mall area is not “South Charlotte.” How about go down to the Arboretum area…then you can call it South Charlotte. Second, you can spend a little time doing homework when it comes to demographics, zip code crime rates, and even word of mouth. No, you do not move to the Cotswold area in 2017, based on who you are. Not married? Living with friends? You stay within the Uptown area and pay the money. Your backup is the Southpark area.
    You have to learn where the Northerners reside. This is from a former Detroiter who has lived here 25 years.

  4. Hahaha seriously???
    Yes I agree, your mistake was making the decision to move to Cotswold. If you had moved to TRUE south charlotte then your “experience” would certainly be different on several fronts.
    In the meantime, take a chill pill lol…..it’s can’t be that bad lol.

  5. I live in Cotswold and he’s right. It’s a mess. I didn’t expect this level of traffic and congestion when we moved across town.

    What is Publix going to do to traffic…

  6. Try Eddie’s Place next time, at the corner of Sharon Amity and Providence. Cotswold is a lovely area to live in, and uber rides to Plaza-Midwood are cheap. You will learn the traffic patterns, and PUBLIX is building to cut down the chaos that is H-T now. Common Market and Hawthorne’s are opening soon on Monroe Road too!

    • Eddie’s place is great food–but they are pretty pricey. Everything around here is pretty pricey. We just moved to the neighborhood in December and we too are questioning some of these things. We’ve been doing most of our shopping at the Metro Target and BJ’s because HT is ALWAYS a mess. Pizza Peel–again, expensive for what it is outside of lunch hours. The traffic on Randolph requires me to site for 5-10 minutes before I can pull out in the morning because for whatever reason no one will put any lights in on our stretch of Randolph even though we probably need like three of them.

      I’m very excited about Common Market on Monroe–I could pass on Hawthorne’s. The last thing on my list would be another pizza place. We’ve got plenty of those.

      Blah. I’m glad we are closer to things–but we are realizing more and more how lucky we were to have access to 85, 77, and 485 from our old Northlake neighborhood.

  7. You make contemplating your existence sound like a bad thing. It’s what smart, intellectual men SHOULD be doing. Other than that you sound like you could really use a change in the way you look at the world. Maybe SERIOUSLY contemplating your existence instead of joking about it would change your outlook, or just get off the anti depressants

  8. This might be the worst article I’ve ever read. You are literally just complaining about your bad day. Traffic?!? In a city?!? Who could imagine! Go back to Plaza midwood snowflake…. or Buffalo (where I too am from, and there is a reason we both left….)

  9. How old is this guy (20’s, 30’s) ? That is the problem with young white people. They think they are entitled to a life where they can go to work at 11:00am if at all, or work from home on their computers. Nobody cares about your social life, what you eat or where you live. I know your parents are glad you are not still living in their house (basement). Grow-up.

    • Why do you have to play the backwards racism card? Who gives a crap about that. Not all younger white people think this way…………….

  10. Follow your 6 Ps. Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. You may also want to consider Amazon Prime Food Pantry for non-perishable foods to be delivered to your apartment. Alexa would also be helpful in managing your shopping list of those things that are perishable.

  11. I laughed the entire way through this post. I too am a Providence Road warrior! I love South Charlotte and couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else, but the struggle is REAL.

  12. I can’t believe this was the lead story on the Charlotte Observer home page. Nor I can I believe that Cotswold was mentioned in the same sentence with South Charlotte. Fake news?

  13. The biggest issue is with kids, it seems. That’s understandable if you’re single and young, but once you have them, you’ll be looking for places like South Charlotte. There’s a time and place for everything.

  14. Dude. Cotswold is a dump (although it may be a step up from crime ridden PlazaMid). And thinking there is “no crime” in Cotswold? Please, there are actual projects in Cotswold. Anybody who would move there and complain about traffic did not do homework. Ever heard of Southpark? You can walk to a million great bars and restaurants. Ooops, but you probably would want a job where you wouldn’t have to “drive out Providence road.”…oh yeah, and you will need $$. Cotswold=dump and is the nightmare you decided to move into. Please do not complain….a lot of people actually like it there. You want peace and quiet?…move to Lancaster SC and commute to Providence road.

  15. Deidra is right. Cotswold is NOT South Charlotte. It is still in the city. But, that wasn’t your only mistake. Look, I know that hipsters and such that move out of Elizabeth or Plaza Midwood might have an adjustment to life with the rest of us. I take this piece as was meant as a comedy piece because you have completely exaggerated what life is like in the area. I have lived around Cotswold for over ten years and it is what it is. You should have done more research before you moved. You’re right. Get over yourself and accept the decision you have made and make the best of it. That’s what the rest of the world has to do.

  16. I’m not sure if I’m more embarrassed for the guy that wrote this article, or for CLT Five for posting this garbage. This was your lead story for the day? SMH.

  17. What I distilled from this is anger and irritation being around anyone with children. All the references to mini vans, soccer moms and screaming children lead me to believe that this guy was a child once but now doesn’t think children or people with children should exist anywhere near his life. This is by far the worst cover story I’ve ever seen from the Observer.

  18. Brian,

    Welcome to Charlotte, where haters are gonna hate and the “you kids get off of my lawn ” types with too much time on their hands have no concept of humor or satire… At least the winters are nicer down here even if you can’t find a decent beef on weck!!

  19. Dude, 1. Cotswold is not South Charlotte nor the suburbs. 2. Sounds like you would slit your wrists if you really lived in south Charlotte… Ballantyne

  20. I fixed all this…moved to Fort Mill (after growing up in “South Charlotte”) and work from home. Only cross the line for occasional customer visits of to get to the airport. Charlotte in general is a mess, not just South Charlotte…or Cotswold! It’s truly better down here…and less expensive for sure!

  21. Wow. This is one of the worst articles I’ve ever read. THis is the ‘lead’ story on the Observer’s site? There is far more important issues to discuss than why some kid doesn’t like his choice of where he resides. Here’s a thought man, do some homework before you move somewhere. And as everyone else points out, Cotswold is not South Charlotte. Who even edits this Charlotte Five stuff??

  22. Is this the best we can do for the cover article, Charlotte Observer? An article bashing and complaining “south Charlotte”? I’m a life long Charlottean and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. If it’s that bad then feel free to move back to whatever northern enclave you came from.

  23. You’re kidding me….this is the lead story in the Observer this morning? Horrible article and a complete waste of time. Why not cover Aunt Bea’s pickles for the county fair or how Mr. Haney is gouging the citizens of Hooterville? BTW, Cotswold is not South Charlotte just like South Blvd/Old Pineville Road is not Southwest Charlotte.

  24. Chillax, folks. It’s just a bit of hyperbowl. But it’s true that Cotswold hasn’t been ‘South Charlotte’ since Ivey’s was still in business ‘uptown.’

  25. You moved to a place you your car is your only option. I live in South Charlotte near the Harris YMCA. I take the light rail. No traffic issues.

  26. This is the type of attitude so common in the gentrifying segment of the population in cities. Would this guy have liked Plaza Midwood 25 years ago? Or does he only like it when people like him (white, single) live there and there are trendy bars and restaurants to go to?

    If you prefer cats to families, don’t move to where families are. Or better yet, check your attitude and embrace the entire community, not just the segment that looks and lives like you.

  27. hahaha, so many ridiculous comments. Is it really that controversial to state that South Charlotte sucks? Traffic, subpar options for virtually… everything. You couldn’t pay me to live there.

  28. Wow, a lot of people commenting here that must not have been in Charlotte a long time making their own definitions of South Charlotte. For all those claiming Ballantyne, Steele Creek or Pineville you really don’t know Charlotte and its history. Luckily wikipedia still does: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Charlotte_neighborhoods. FYI Pineville is its own town. Steele Creek has not been completely annexed by Charlotte, and Ballantyne wants to declare its independence and doesn’t even want to be in Charlotte. CPCC needs to offer a free course on Charlotte history based on these weird thoughts.

    South Charlotte is the best. This “blog post” making the front of the Observer webpage is hyperbole. I’ll never live any where else. You describe America buddy, unless you want to live in Troy, NC.



  30. Let’s numerate your complaints: minivans and SUVs, soccer moms, “gangs” of 8 year olds, traffic and children screaming. Summarizing, you hate families and people moving about the city. I know it’s tough when you first learn that not everything is about you or millennials, but you demand a federal program to hold your hand through this crisis.

    • Again, it’s NOT all millenials- wtheck is with the judging of a single entire generation… You’re messed up for thinking that because I do not feel that way and enjoy family life and “suburbs”… I want country quiet and away from the noise. Get the grouping out of your stupid head!

  31. Charlotte Observer: This should not be on your home page. It’s just a guy complaining about his bad day. This isn’t news.

    To the author: Did you ever come to the Cotswold area before moving? Or look at a map? You had a bad night because you forgot something at the grocery store. Is that really worth writing a whiny article? I’ve lived outside of Cotswold for nearly 2 years; there are plenty of places to get food and a beer or two. If you want more of a bar scene, just go a couple miles to South Park or down Monroe. And you know Plaza Midwood is not that far away, right? Not to mention Dilworth, Southend, Uptown, NoDa… I’ll spot you the Chick-fil-a can be pretty annoying, and Fairview at rush hour can be bad. But, you weren’t driving at rush hour. The current road construction around the shopping center isn’t helping matters, but perhaps you’d know that if you had been living there more than a few weeks. I’ve also never seen a line “20 deep” for a check-out register at the Cotswold Harris Teeter – not even the day before Thanksgiving- and I go there 3-4 times a week.

  32. I loved the article.

    Lived here since 1987. Cotswold is/was south Charlotte. The city traffic is real. I would not choose to spend my life sitting in a car line waiting to get from point A to B. The area is residential, not urban, at least not densely populated with restaurant variety or options.

    Charlotte has something for everyone. Families generally *plan* their meals. If you are renting, move toward amenities. If you purchased your house, it probably increased in value already due to proximity to town.

    Doesn’t sound like you are ready to start a family. Many a dad lives your commute for years. Choices. Kids change our priorities.

  33. South Charlotte is Southpark and further south, not Cotswold. The whole area has traffic problems, plus Plaza Midwood had murders happening.

  34. “I have to put up with traffic”. Duh, Charlotte is the 20th largest city in the country. “People around here procreate and then feed those children and take them to school”. Duh, that’s life….ANYWHERE! This guy does need a bit of perspective, indeed. I’m guessing the editor job went to his millennial buddy that had a (slightly) better resume….poor offering by the observer. We should all stop whining about how bad this article is and move to a better news source…..

  35. Seriously… I go to that Teeter all the time (even though I live closer to Midwood). I have NEVER experienced what you claim to have experienced with the possible exception of the day before Thanksgiving right after work. I’ve never seen checkout lines 20 people deep. The parking lot is not that bad. Just you know, drive slowly and expect to walk a bit. OR better yet, if you hate crowds, prepare a list for the week and shop on an early Saturday.
    It’s not rocket science. It’s just planning and common sense. The worst grocery parking lot is hands down- Trade Joe’s at Midtown….
    Also…. pizza places in family rich areas are going to have noisy children- though usually not at 9:30 on a weekday. And every Chic Fil A has giant lines at all times.
    And I don’t know- maybe take a moment to consider how blessed you are to have options to live in now 3 safe, affluent parts of the city, where shopping and dining are easy to get to. Maybe consider the pain it would be if you lived in a community (with no car) where groceries were an hour bus trip away, or whatever the gas station has. Or maybe consider the pain it is for families priced out of the City of Charlotte who are forced to drive out to Monroe or Gastonia each day for affordable housing.
    You basically sound like a spoiled whiner.

  36. Title is wrong— should read “I Should Have Never Moved to Charlotte” . 77N to 79N to 90 to 75 to 5 will get you back to Buffalo in 10 hours.

  37. Welcome to any progressive city in United States.. it’s not us it’s you … please feel free to move to back to Matthews or try Pineville ,Concord…. or feel free to move back to Buffalo . but whatever you do please move.
    Love Clt

  38. The author is a douchebag- Pure and simple. This is the type of individual would complain in the same exact manner in another city and about another neighborhood, I hold the Charlotte Observer responsible on this one though…. Whomever decided to post this on the main page should get a sit-down– Bush League. high School filler article.

  39. This is precisely what’s wrong with “journalism” today. My bet is that this tool has an agenda. He’s probably being paid by a residential real estate agent group or an apartment developer who has interests in
    Plaza Midwood. Thumbs up, Charlotte Observer. Bring on the ‘Prom night pictures’. That’s also good journalism.

  40. Man, life is rough.

    “We’d be near Cotswold, I told them, and the ritziest mall in the city! The crime would be minimal and we’d actually be able to sleep at night without hearing a symphony of sirens and squealing tires. We could all see it now: A blissfully quiet and happy existence away from the hustle and bustle.”

    Apparently you had never actually BEEN to that area of town before. All of your complaints are normal aspects of suburban society, in particular Charlotte as it grows (sorry, but growth is messy and hard, weep). Perhaps you were not meant for that, maybe you should move to a remote compound in a distant county/state/country.

    But please, write more of this drivel for us! It engages your readers!

  41. What a terrible waste of bandwidth,, I hope this clown stays in Cotswold and doesnt move to SOUTH CHARLOTTE. Poor kid is in for a world of trouble as he gets older and takes on actual life responsibilities.


  42. Hey guys! Thanks for all the feedback, even if it’s just to call me miserable or correct me on where exactly South Charlotte is 🙂 I just want to clarify that this piece is largely tongue-in-cheek and while traffic and proximity is definitely a nuisance, I’m sure that the area has its merits which I’ll learn to appreciate soon enough. Also, I assure you that as someone who admittedly eats at Jack In The Box, I’m not getting paid from any realtors to write this piece.

    • Kudos to you for taking it on the chin Brian. Chill out and enjoy what Charlotte offers. You must not be miserable, otherwise you would go back to Buffalo, which almost no one ever does.

    • Please admit you slandered the Cotswold HT with that ridiculous comment about lines 20 people deep at 8 p.m. I’ve shopped there for 30 years and have never seen anything like that. Customer service at that store is second to none and they don’t deserve your ire.

  43. I live right down the street from Cotswold plaza and agree that going to Harris teeter on a week day is possibly the worst decision one can make. However, remember that you live in a small city and moved a mere 5-10minutes from plaza midwood…you can still frequent those places easily, as well as others. Next time you’re in Cotswold plaza do yourself a favor and go to improper pig

  44. Try exploring areas outside of Cotswold shopping center. Dude … at night you are 10 minutes from down town, 10 from Montford drive, and 10 from the bars and restaurants in downtown Matthews… and a Common Market coming later this year. Traffic is a nightmare all over the city, and will be that way until Charlotte fully embraces mass transit.

  45. I see you riled up all of the south charlotte snowflakes lmao.
    These commenters are complaining about the article more than the article complains about Cotswold.
    I laughed more than i expected. Thanks 😀

  46. “South Charlotte” isn’t just a place, it’s an attitude. Wherever large percentages of women in black yoga pants with ponytails pulled through the back of their NYY ball caps gather with their Dunkin Donut / Starbucks coffee cups, I’ll be there. Wherever teenagers drive their own late model Camrys and Altimas to school, I’ll be there. Wherever Dudebro Dads in their shorts and sockless slip-on shoes are followed by a pack of young boys in cleats with blue, green or red uniform shirts on, I’ll be there. I’ll be there in the bank accounts that actually have money set aside for both college tuition AND retirement. I’ll be there in the way the BMW SUV cuts you off in traffic without using a signal. I’ll be there where the golf courses are priced such that you never have to worry about running into “those people.” Wherever Harris-Teeter is the new Food Lion, I’ll be there…

  47. YOU ARENT EVEN IN SOUTH CHARLOTTE. lol…as someone born in ballantyne, actual south charlotte, believe me it could be wayyyy worse

  48. Man, funny to see how many people can’t read a tongue in cheek article and find a little humor. Must be hard sitting down to drive around Charlotte with a stick up your *$$ all the time.

  49. Seriously? I live in this part and never complained as much as you have in this article. You lived in Matthews, then Plaza and now HATE South Charlotte. Go ahead and leave then, we’ll have one less car driving through the Harris Teeter parking lot. If this is the worst thing to happen to you, living in South Charlotte, you have a pretty fantastic life.

  50. I live near there (Stonehaven), and the author is right, traffic on Randolph and Sharon Amity is ridiculous and I avoid the Teeter there because I feel like I’m going to get killed by some self-absorbed lunatic in the parking lot.

    That said, if this sanctimonious hipster hates “South Charlotte” so much, why doesn’t he and his shack-up honey move back across Independence to the neckbeard capital of the south, so he can have his ground turkey and wake up after most of us in the real world have already been at work for 3 hours?

    • Just to clarify, I’m absolutely not a “hipster”. I assure you this was hyperbole to the highest order meant more as a satirical commentary than anything else. Also, I don’t have a shack-up honey but I do have a long-term girlfriend who runs her own business and is certainly not worthy of such a questionable term. Lastly, I leave for work at 11 because I have my own business I operate from home every morning before going to work. You can absolutely bash my writing or my opinions but please leave speculation out of it. Also, glad you can agree about traffic at least 🙂

      • (in Brian’s head)
        Brian, why don’t you just come clean with everyone and tell them that, upon reading your own work a little more closely that you can see now that it does come across as excessively whiny and maybe could have used an extra few revisions before being published? People are human, right…they’ll understand. Wait, what did you say? Hyperbole…satire…no, don’t do that, Brian. NOOOOOO!!!!!

        • I’m sorry, was there literally nothing else you could have been doing in the time it took to write this comment?
          If you didn’t like the article, that’s fine, but to actually take time out of your day to belittle someone for it is kind of overkill. You’re complaining about someone else complaining. Seems hypocritical.

    • Very rude and sexist term you just used there, Ken.

      Brian, you need to work on your satirical writing skills if you intended it to be such. It didn’t work.

  51. Cotswold has been cold and spiritually abandoned for ages and along came IHOP, Wells brightened the scene and now with the new grocer, just driving by will be uplifting. Sure. It’s safe and very close in but don’t try and contact anyone.

  52. Good grief…this is just a fluff piece people. You don’t have to agree with it, but beating the guy up makes you sound just as pathetic as you are making him out to be.

  53. What we have here is 1) a guy that should have done a little more research before moving, and 2) a zillion commenters wound so tight that they need to only eat Fiber One cereal for a month.

    1) I’d like to hear more from the author on what he did to prep for this move. Did you frequent Cotswold much while you lived in P-M? Were you just in love with the idea of living in “south Charlotte”? As others have said, Cotswold is much more of an urban neighborhood than the more suburban areas of Ballentyne, Steele Creek, etc. And it is true that traffic is terrible everywhere. I just had my 47th birthday, and if I could have all the time back that I sat doing nothing on Albemarle Rd every day, I’d only be about 45.

    2) Why all the hate, y’all? It’s just one guy talking about his perspective on life in Charlotte. Just because it doesn’t match your experience doesn’t make it wrong, or him wrong. Y’all are the ones that need the chill pills.

  54. Good Lord. You Published This GARBAGE? The Only Part I Can Agree With Is The Chick-Fil-A Drive-Through Traffic STOPPED In The Middle Of Randolph. Why Do The Police Not Enforce Traffic Rules. Blocking Traffic Is Not Legal. Cops, Please Write Tickets! **PREACH!**

  55. I AM disappointed this qualified as a story for the CO’s Charlotte 5. But, listen fella, Cotswold is NOT south Charlotte. Move to Ballantyne or Raintree or anywhere on Colony, Carmel or Old Providence. THAT’s south Charlotte. I’ve lived in south Charlotte and knew exactly what I was getting into when I moved to Cotswold. Deal.

  56. I’ll go ahead and offer here without a hint of satire that Charlotte, in its entirety, is a big dump suburb and not an actual city. Whatever soul this place had was tucked away in ugly dump row buildings, and those have now been bulldozed for cheesy apartments. The line takes you anywhere you want to go as long as it’s 485 or a tacky bar. “Uptown” is the baldest example of buried history imaginable, right down to its embarrassing name. This coming not from a northeastern elite but a rural midwesterner with a very low bar for expectations. And if I hate it so bad I should just leave, so I will… moving day a$$holes! Outty! Enjoy your luxury SUV capital of the world and worst airport hub in America. Also your sports team sucks, byeeeee

  57. I was born and raised here in Charlotte, born at Presbyterian Hospital, attended public school, and was bussed uptown to First Ward. We first lived in Lansdowne then moved to Carmel Road (which later became Fairview). Graduated from East Meck. Then I went to college at USC – had a great time. Opened a nightclub uptown and lived on 7th Street. My house was broken into several times. I lived on Truman Avenue in Plaza-Midwood before it was trendy. The bums used to urinate in the aisles at the Harris-Teeter. I lived in Elizabeth, on the corner of Laurel and Randolph – it was a real shit-hole but it was cheap and convenient until they condemned it to build condos. Lived at Carmel on Providence for a few years then Fenton Place in Eastover. Then a house off of Woodlawn, Fairbluff Place. Then Montibello, and now Fairmeadows. My mother still owns the property on Fairview Road and it’s worth over 5 million now. I spent a goodly portion of my living near Southpark – I was even here before the mall was. It might not be hip and filthy like you’re used to, but everything is clean and unpretentious, except for silly young professionals who think they’re the only people born here, but I don’t pay them much mind – and they’re usually transplants too, claiming seniority over a city they weren’t born in. However, after living in all those other parts of the city, I discovered, there’s no better place to live than South Charlotte.


  59. Hi everyone, I’m the girlfriend the author mentioned in the article (Or, according to Ken, his “Shack-Up Honey”).
    I noticed a lot of you have questions, and also a lot of unfounded harsh criticisms, and I would like to clear a few things up in the face of all of this outrage.
    1.) I can say that Brian never expected to be the lead story on The Charlotte Observer’s website. Brian has written many articles similar to this one, and they have all only been featured on The Charlotte Five. I do agree that it’s not exactly news worthy in the context in which it was published and taken.
    2.) Brian listed Cotswold establishments as more of a sample of the area we are familiar with at this point in our transition. We actually DO live in South Charlotte, however it is also quite close to Cotswold, in the transitional area between the two. Speaking of our transition, we actually had little time to research the area fully before our move. We were given short notice from our landlord in Plaza Midwood that he was putting our town home on the market, and we decided to embrace an adventure for a year and explore a new neighborhood.
    3.) Most importantly, this was honestly intended to be a satirical, tongue-in-cheek piece that was meant to be lighthearted and never intended to bash a community, neighborhood, or soccer moms. He did not write this from a place of wanting sympathy or from an angle of malice, but rather as a cathartic outlet to vent a few minor frustrations as we adjust from what he thought was a humorous angle.
    4.) Lastly, as a native Charlottean, and on a personal level, it disturbs me to see so many of you calling for him to simply move back to Buffalo. Brian has been a resident here for more than 20 years, and if he didn’t love our beautiful city he has had every opportunity to move back, but he truly loves living here. I am proud to be a part of a city and culture that is a desirable destination from other parts of the country, and I like to think that a large part of that is the allure of our hospitality. If you truly love Charlotte, you should continue that trend and extend it at all costs, instead of attempting to alienate someone for what really only boils down to a puff piece.
    And PS- I know his love of Jack in the Box is bizarre and I do not condone it.

    • Well said/explained… maybe some insanely mean people will follow? It seems they’re judging all Millennials & assuming. I couldn’t tell that he was joking or light hearted about it. It sounded real to me. But either way, thanks for clearing up to the public.

  60. Some of you guys really aren’t using common sense. Cotswold and South Park aren’t in south Charlotte, really? What area of town are they then? South charlotte is anything south of downtown. Ballantyne and Steele creek are almost at city limits, and Pineville definitely isn’t South Charlotte, it’s its own town, called Peville. Trust me, I was born and raised in Charlotte. And no real Charlottean would say “uptown,” that’s some campaign they started about 15 years ago. Also, even though the writer was whiny, you do have to admit that the traffic in south charlotte is rather congested, largely due to the fact that there is no highway running through it, we all know how much of a monster Providence and Sharon road are during rush hour.

  61. I’m Cotswold, too. Harris Teeter is indeed a nightmare. Shop at Food Lion on Monroe Road. Cheaper than Harris Teeter and the staff is amazing…really friendly. Easy to get in and out. Never crowded. Harris teeter only sells its own brands. Food Lion has the brands I prefer. Good producing good meats. My new favorite place. The Mexican restaurant next-door is authentic and has delicious food. Uni-k. And Common Market and Publix are coming. Hold on.

  62. Yes, and let’s don’t discount the millions of apartments(soon to become transformed into condos) that the stupid city is allowing developers to make our South Charlotte a complete parking lot. I am seriously considering opening a chick fil a franchise, that made me giggle, as I think that very thing every time I try and turn into the place.

  63. Aside from the obvious, that this article is complete tripe, I question this writers problem solving skills. There area probably nearly a dozen restaurants in Costwold that have bars in them.

  64. Happy New Year — My goodness this is a fun thread.
    Darlings, we are all blessed to be in the fabulous South.
    Charlotte and the surroundings are the most wonderful places to live.
    Some are crazy busy, some have lines some have eclectic cool places to hang out ..
    That is what makes it so very special. We have millions of options.
    I love that I go to multiple HT’s .. and multiple starbucks.
    I do not even mine the crazy parking at Trader Joes..
    Resturants we have it all… We even have a real deli ..
    Most importanly we have the best people,there are no strangers,take the time to explore and find you niche,

  65. I like that I moved from Pineville-Matthews/Carmel road (apartment living) to the suburbs/almost country in Hemby Bridge (Indian Trail). It’s quiet (for now) and it’s better than all the traffic from Uptown to Southpark… I’m not sure why anyone would enjoy walking/living around Midwood Plaza… ick. Matthews is way nicer and calmer. I like the calm and quiet. I’m married, no kids yet, just turned 30 and seem to be the only “kid” my age that enjoys Traditional service vs. contemporary at my church. It’s bizarre but I am who I am. Hemby Bridge is even building new homes beginning from $250-500… it’s insane how quickly it’s booming out there. But I must say, I completely disagree with your “south Charlotte experience”…. it’s simply because it seems you had one bad day and enjoy the bachelor life (middle to Uptown area and noisy pubs and mess)….. I’m sure plenty can agree but I love the .3 acre lot, and farm behind my neighborhood with cows and roosters nearby! I can’t stand the thought of living in Charlotte for any more than maybe 5 more years…. I miss North Raleigh’s calmer lifestyle and could see me outside of Asheville city limits one day! 🙂 To each their own, I guess….

  66. I’ve lived in the Cotswold area since the 1960’s. I spent lots of time at the Cotswold Mall since it opened. Roses was great, not to mention Ernie’s and many others. I moved several times but always remained in this area. I’d much rather spend a short commute downtown for work than sit in traffic coming from Huntersville, Ballantyne, etc. Seems to me some folks after dealing with the insanity in the surrounding areas are looking to get back into the city. It’s great watching the value of the homes skyrocketing. I’ll concede the Chick-fil-A is a royal pain, but it seems to me that’s the case with this restaurant everywhere.

  67. With all the good we have in Charlotte, I’m AMAZED that this was the most-read C5 story of 2017.

    Let’s make the most-read story of 2018 one where neighbors are lending each other a hand, or creative solutions to the REAL challenges we have in our community.

  68. So I literally just came across this article. As a NATIVE Charlottean, I have to say that the rude comments left on this thread, are exactly why I hate this city. Somehow, I managed to avoid becoming one of the cookie-cutter Charlotte types that I grew up around & deal with on a daily basis. This city has ZERO soul, and its citizens (I’m especially lookin at you, other “native” Charlotteans) are boring, stuck-up stepford wives/husbands. I could throw a penny from where I live (In Cotswold, no less) and hit a hundred of you people who look, act, dress, and think the same exact way- BORING with a capital B. This is the only city I’ve ever been to, that is so full of people of every age that are complete busts when it comes to personality. I feel like I’ve been stuck in a zombie movie for four decades. The city tears down every piece of history it ever had- to build cookie-cutter homes & businesses. It fights for an identity, when it has NONE. It’s a boring, mundane place with nothing interesting about it- Not the architecture, the people, the entertainment, the food, nothing. Hell, the ONLY reason I still live here is because it’s easy to fly in and out & it’s in between the beach/mountains. And the best part, is that you all just proved my point. Together, as a stepford pack, you all railed into someone who CLEARLY wrote a humor-based article that was meant to entertain readers in a light-hearted way. You guys embody exactly what sucks about this city the most- the judgy, self-important, righteous, and utterly boring people with no sense of humor who live here. Know what I think almost EVERY time I get stuck having to talk to some bro/chick for more than 3 minutes who’s from this area? When is this conversation going to be over. I want to run for an exit. Because it’s truly painful. I feel sorry for all of you who are so excited to live in your HOA approved homes & have neighborhood block parties with all the other bros who have no soul. You all smell like Miller Light & unfulfilled dreams. Get a sense of humor, Charlotte. And keep dreaming of being interesting. Not gonna happen. That’s what a real female Charlottean thinks of you and your thoughts.

    OP: That was a little harsh on HT Cotswold, I’ve never seen lines like that there & since you mentioned em by name, I gotta give you crap about that. Otherwise, I completely giggled at the article. Cause some of us have a sense of humor.

  69. There is a lot of new development in Charlotte, bringing in a variety of people. I have lived here for my entire life and I love it here but the traffic has gotten crazy. I loved reading this post. NC sometimes doesn’t get recognized as being as amazing as it is.

  70. The city tears down every piece of history it ever had- to build cookie-cutter homes & businesses. It fights for an identity, when it has NONE. It’s a boring, mundane place with nothing interesting about it- Not the architecture, the people, the entertainment, the food, nothing.

  71. I’m a native and a boomer. Grew up in Plaza Midwood, had relatives all over town including Cotswold. Plaza Midwood is EAST Charlotte. Cotswold and South Park area are SOUTHEAST Charlotte. The unofficial boundaries were that if you crossed Monroe Rd, that was East Charlotte. Noda area would have been considered Northeast, even though parts of it shared a zip code with Plaza Midwood. Things may have shifted since all of the rearrangement of new construction and altered street, but those were the original boundaries at least in the minds of the natives. Charlotte’s neighborhoods had very distinct “lines” drawn around them back then. They were almost towns within a town. Plaza Midwood, Elizabeth, Myers Park, and Eastover were all a very short drive from each other but they might as well have been on different planets. Just thought some might find all of this interesting if you are a newcomer.

  72. Should have added Dilworth and the Cherry neighborhood to that list. All very close together, as the crow flies. Charlotte was a smaller place in 1953 when I was born. South Charlotte was mostly woods and farmland back then.


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