Drive into Charlotte/NC on a warm, gloriously sunny, autumnal day.
It’s been about four years since a prior visit. Much looks the same; much is different.
Charlotte, is growing: more/bigger, quite attractive, commercial complexes; more/bigger, albeit, unattractive, housing complexes; more social settings.
Banks continue heir to their “Edifice Complex”, so skyline has changed. Churches continue to flourish downtown, as do some small, human-scale shops. Horse-drawn carriage rides seem an anomaly: old, distinguished Charlotte no longer exists downtown – a more appropriate transport method would be Segways.
A downtown (tho in Charlotte, it’s called “Uptown”) Mint Art Museum is housed in a modern building with impressive open space, but no charm. Across the street, a modern art museum manages modernity with taste. (Ironically, a nearby church retains a sense of what appeal Charlotte once offered).
An evening professional football game fills this area with pro/con numbered/named uniform shirts: players names largely unknown to me, often on bodies which make me wonder whether wearer knows a football’s laces from its seams. Parking lots become ad hoc “BBQ joints” as families and friends sit on camping chairs beneath canopies preparing for late afternoon’s gladiators event.
Two young Japanese girls take one-another’s photo in front of a silver sculpture at modern art museum. As one has a “real” camera (have discovered cellphone cameras are not my métier), offer to take one of them both, and minutes later notice them chatting up an older man sitting on a shaded bench holding is jazz trumpet on his lap.
In fairness, Uptown offers some delightful “open spaces”
Close to old-time Independence Square (where, some years back, observed Charlotte’s Symphony season “opener” close off traffic for a couple hours… definitely, a class act), charm from its past.