Four and a half years ago, I came to Charlotte with my then husband, to visit a friend. It was the first week of March, I was on spring break from massage school and we made the plans kind of last minute. That trip changed my life.
We were here for two days, just hanging out with friends and coming Uptown that Wednesday night. We ate at Blue, hit up Connelly’s. But the moment the city stole my heart happened when I stepped out of Hearst, where we’d parked.
I stepped out into the courtyard, through the front doors, random offices lit in the buildings above me. Hearst’s gorgeous retro-modern self standing impossibly tall at my back, while warm air wrapped around me.
I was done for.
Of course, this followed coming into town down 77, and coming up the carpool lane – which really offers the best skyline view from the North (in my opinion). I’d already started to fall at first sight. Standing in her heart just knocked me head over heels.
That Saturday morning I awoke in tears. I lay on my husbands lap and wept and informed him that we were moving to Charlotte, one way or another. 11 months later, to the day, we moved.
Charlotte is Home. I did not know this until I came here, but it is without a doubt where I am supposed to be. I was born just outside Philadelphia, grew up (mostly) in central PA, a place I do love dearly but never felt like where I was supposed to be. I considered Seattle, but the doctors told me “no” for health reasons.
The longer I have lived here, the more home it has become. I love Charlotte more every day. I can not even imagine leaving to live somewhere else. (I am even holding out on chasing med school, with the hope UNCC will actually get one before I turn 40 – though by then I may change my mind. I may just want to relax & run my business.)
I’ve lived in Steel Creek, Dilworth and now I’m over in Plaza-Midwood area. I adore NoDa, Uptown, Lake Norman, and I even like South Park, Ballantyne, Matthews & Indian Trail. I have been to just about every part of the region for one reason or another, and I am happy to call this place home.
And unlike a lot of transplants, I know the roads. I feel fairly confidant I can get anywhere without a map, or at least close. I can even navigate Queens Rd with success these days.
I love how my heart skips a beat when the skyline peeks up at you just past Exit 16 coming in 77. Waking up to see the sun rise through the window at Amelie’s Bakery is worth the lack of sleep, the view literally took my breath away. I love the way fog hangs on the building tops in the mornings, and the lights at night. My heart reaches out to the little tiny sparkling center of life & light of Uptown viewed from an airplane.
I love having my massage studio in Dilworth, being across the street from the famous Paper Skyscraper, walking into Common Market SE and the boys (and Annie) saying hi and asking how my day’s going.
My heart sings when I ride the light rail. My heart smiles at the feeling of being Uptown on the streets. I adore that I can sit at Dilworth Billiards after dinner, swing up to NoDa and then hit Suite all in one night with friends.
I love living in Plaza-Midwood and exploring new spots, hanging at Thomas Street or stopping at Soul to have a drink in the night air with friends and knowing the server.
I love that Charlotte is small enough for you to get to everything, and big enough that there’s always something new to explore.
The thing I love the most about Charlotte is the people and the love they have for their city. And the locals (all like, six of them) are lovely folks too, so it’s not just transplants who make this city what it is. Charlotte is a fantastic place to build a business, to create a life and settle roots.
This pretty little Queen City stole my heart years ago, and I am so glad that my love at first sight has turned into a sweet, smoldering passion that just gets better with the years.