Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Son of Big House

A reader shares this link to another article about the Big House phenomenon, and the backlash against it. Her comment, “pretty much same story/justification – if they can afford it and they run you off from your home/ruin your neighborhood then too bad for you. They are rich and you are not so get lost...” Here’s the link:

And if you’re interested in something a bit less public-policy-wonkish, try this site from Charlotte’s avant-gardista, Little Shiva:


Anonymous said...

I think Charlotte has a long way to go if they're going to try to run a campaign like Louisville

Louisville rocks. Charlotte doesn't.

I am not Mary Newsom said...

Didn't Austin, TX already corner the market on this?

I am the only one who notices the sad irony of a movement to fabricate artificial 'culture' and weirdness in imitation of other cities so we can call ourselves 'different'.

Is Newsom off her medication again?

As for 'son of a big house,' the same-ole same-ole tired politics of class envy.

When you run out of ideas you must flip though the index cards to see which symbol of wealth you can bash next.

How about something current? Like how City Council raided $32 million in road funds from Old Providence road reconstruction under the radar to pay for a light rail pedestrian bridge and then still claim the light rail is 'on budget'?

How about the fact that the city wasted $40 million building the stupid trolley tracks just 2 years ago, and then tore then ALL UP to make room for the light rail, only to rebuild them AGAIN after the light rail??? I am sure given the heavy volume of commuters that took the trolley before (sarcasm) will remain loyal when they light rail is whizzing by the trolley (light rail: 20 mph. trolley: 10 mph).

Newsom you are blind to every wasteful government scheme, but have all the vision in the world when it comes to the evils of people building their dream home when THEIR dream differs from yours.

Rick said...

I grew up in Louisville. I spent the first 18 years of my life there and still return two or three times a year. It's a nice city. As I've said before, it’s not unlike Charlotte, but Charlotte is a nicer city overall.

Louisville is not that "weird" and what "weirdness" it possesses has been there for many years.

When people talk about Louisville "weirdness" they mean Baxter Ave and Bardstown Road. There are some very cool bars, restaurants and music stores there, but it's a very small part of the city - not unlike NoDa may someday be. Also, ALL of the bars stay open until 4am - not just the clubs. Believe me, nothing good comes of that.

Also, the rockin' music scene is mostly Punk and Rockabilly with some Bluegrass and Country thrown in as well. I highly doubt that most of Charlotte's world class city types would even like it. It would be way too crass and redneck for them.

Anonymous said...

I visited the Make Charlotte Weird Site. I played in the sandbox, read the letter and meet the “weirdo’s”. I don’t think they are weird, they seem frustrated and angry. Over fifty percent of the pictures was the anit-bush rally- (what is so weird about a rally and if rallies are weird why were there no pictures of the Hispanic rally?). And most of the people talked about how much they hated Charlotte.

When I think of weird I think of the statue at the corner of Queens and Queens and Providence and Providence, the funky looking carwash on Albemarle road, the guy at Kenilworth holding a cardboard “will work for food sign” as he sits and reads grapes of wrath, the fact that our mayor always wears a blue dress shirt, and that no one drinks coffee at the Coffee Cup. But the weirdest thing of all is a website that bemoans how Charlotte is changing and getting worse links to a site that laments the fact Charlotte is ridged and is in need of change (at least they find the common enemy in bankers)

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it make Charlotte 'cool' a year ago to appeal to the slacker, er uh, the younger generation?

Now its weird (a ripoff of Austin, TX, BTW).

What's next? A campaign to smell like the French (website -

Anytime you need a campaign to create an image, you're in trouble.

Of course, 'keep Charlotte weird' sounds much more exciting than 'keep Charlotte's taxes low' or 'keep Charlotte criminals in jail'.


Mary Newsom, why don't you spend your energy with an orange vest, a garbage bag, and a pointed stick picking up trash on I-485.

Now *that* would be something that would acutally improve the image of Charlotte when your precious out-of-towners (the only ones you seem to care about) arrive!

I am not mary newsom said...

Charlotte has an image. Pay attention:

1) NASCAR country
2) Barbeque
3) Beaches and mountains
4) Concealed carry law
5) Great weather

As for the city, we are not Los Angeles or Nashville.

Our industry (you know, the one that blessed us with all this) is banking.


But deal with it. We are a city of banking and bankers, and that is dull. But that's just the way it is. If you want Austin, TX, move to Austin, TX.

BTW, Ms. Newsom, how much of YOUR money are you willing to spend to change the image of Charlotte?

I though so.

anonyMoses said...

McMansions and Hummers remind me that there is a sucker born every minute. After is the view FROM your house, and not the view OF your house that really matters.
And to guzzle gas is selfish.

As far as could only hope. Instead of weirdness, we get these bloviating blowhards with horrendous manners who somehow think their poor manners will confer manliness upon them - a product of poor education + poor breeding.

Keep up the great blog!

Dave Beckwith

PS - I mentioned your blog on my blog today.

Anonymous said...

>>...And to guzzle gas is selfish.>>

Is having kids selfish too?

If you have three or more kids, what should you transport them in, a Toyota Prius?

Any good parent would do whatever it takes to protect their kids. That means house is a nice neighborhood in exchange for a horrendous commute, that means owning a large, safe vehicle that gets crappy mileage.

Do you really think people buy large SUVs BECAUSE they get bad gas mileage? Do you think that people LIKE paying more money for gas?

No, they buy cars like that (other than the 1 in a 1,000 that do so for ego) because they offer safety and usefulness.

And as far as the 'view from your house' comment, same thing. Large houses and cul de sacs and large back yards offer space and room for kids and families to spend their own quality time and have a nice life.

You're knocking that, too?

Plain ole jealousy and class warfare.

Rick said...

Definition of bloviating at

"to discouse at length in a pompous or boastful manner"

this from a guy, anonyMoses, who mentions on his own blog profile every accomplishment he's had since infancy and participates in what appears to be 40 plus blogs.

now that's some serious bloviating.

anonyMoses said...

anonymous - I'm not sure if having kids is selfish. I'll have to think about it. It may well be.
Why did you do it?

As far as SUVs go...many of the ego-drivers will soon feel the sting on many fronts. Just like in the 70s, the big cars, as smaller, more efficient cars emerge, will seem like ugly mostrosities. No on will be able to re-sell them or get rid of them.

I learned that lesson long ago. In '96, I bought a car for a dollar, and still drive it. It works great, because I take care of it. Why spend more than a dollar per decade on a vehicle?

Anyone who has read Buckminster Fuller would be concerned about how much your house weighs. As with big cars, they invite ridicule.

There are those who use their heads in service of their heads, and those who use it in service of the belly.

The gulf is wide.

Rick - That was a condensed bio.
My life is as rich with experiences as it is poor in material things. We make choices.
I wouldn't trade places with Bill Gates.

Anonymous said...

"Louisville rocks. Charlotte doesn't."

Then go back to it if it's all that and you think it's better than Charlotte.

Shively Guy said...

Louisville has a history. Granted, some great buildings were destroyed during urban renewal, but the city has an ample supply of cool places (

The culinary scene is incredible for a city its size:

It also has a hip public radio station. I encourage you to listen through the internet:

It's a bit stagnant in terms of growth, but home prices are reasonable, schools are decent, taxes are low and people still asky you "where did you go to high school." Oh, the Olmstead Park system, connected via beautiful parkways, is incredible. Louisville is a good case study for "slow growth" being superior to "fast growth".