Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Atlanta vs. Charlotte for 'King of South'


Atlanta Journal-Constitution weighed in last weekend on the Charlotte-Atlanta rivalry with a piece by former Observer reporter Dan Chapman: Rivalry to be economic King of South heats up.
Read it, then read the comments. Then tell me whether you don't suspect that a lot of the talk about how well (!!) Charlotte has dealt with growth and transportation comes from Atlanta types hoping to goad their legislature with some jealousy. The story says the Georgia leg won't let Atlanta or other metro regions impose sales taxes for roads, and won't even let MARTA use its own money to fill budget holes.

Is Charlotte doing things better than Atlanta? Depends on what you look at. Definitely we're doing better at tying land use to transit – at requiring transit-oriented development along our light rail line. Atlanta didn't do that during MARTA's earliest decades and results show.
Is Charlotte doing any better at controlling sprawl? That's a tough question. I think some of the counties and smaller towns in the region (Cabarrus County, Davidson, Belmont, etc.) are, indeed, doing better. Further, N.C. annexation laws have left Charlotte in a healthier situation and have allowed the city limits to expand, instead of being hemmed in like the actual city of Atlanta itself.

Yet Charlotte and Mecklenburg have done virtually nothing to preserve farms or any section of the county from suburban-style development, other than a few county parkland purchases. Eventually every square foot of the county will be developed except for those parts purchased for parkland or privately donated to land conservation groups such as the Catawba Lands Conservancy. No serious farmland or forestland protection measures have been taken by local governments other than Davidson.

Atlanta is definitely bigger. Is it better? I think that depends on what you're looking for and how closely you look.

220 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Funny you should post this today. My wife and I both lost our jobs here at the first of the year. After months of fruitless looking for work here, my wife found a full time job in Atlanta. I will be following soon after I figure out what to do with my hous which has lost all of it's value.
I was asking my wife the same questions the other night about whether Atlnata will be better for us than Charlotte. Being from Atlanat originally, she loves the area. I will let you know my impressions when I get settled.

Anonymous said...

Right now it is Atlanta. 75% of the Fortune 500 companies have presence in Atlanta. I love Charlotte and have lived all my life but their are certainly more job opportunities in Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

I heard this on the radio yesterday, something about a former Observer reporter who now works for the AJC posing the question. It's now day old news.

Anonymous said...

Atlanta is to crowded, the traffic is badand the weather is better here.

Andrew Voigt said...

First of all, the statistics that were given regarding population were skewed. Charlotte is actually LARGER when basing the population stats on the city limits. I was born and raised here in Charlotte, moved to Los Angeles for a few years, and now I'm back in Charlotte. I can tell you, with family near Atlanta for my whole life, that Charlotte has made far better strides at being a "commuter city" than Atlanta. Most people I know who want to live in a "metropolitan area" have the desire to stay away from driving everywhere and being able to make life happen in the city. Atlanta, while it does have MARTA, just is too sprawled like LA to make that happen. Charlotte on the other hand is growing rapidly in the inner city, which will make it far more attractive to the people who are interested in being pedestrian commuters.

Just my two cents, but I love Charlotte and hope for the best with this great city!

-Andrew V.

Anonymous said...

We're a city. Why are you so fixated on farm land? There are still plenty of farms around here. Even New York city has farms less than 30 miles away from it. If you like farms, so much mary, move to Nebraska.

We have done a much better job than Atlanta on trying to be walkable and have urban areas, yet still let suburban development occur for those who prefer those lifestyles. What's wrong with having both?

Anonymous said...

Atlanta vs. Charlotte? Are you serious? Charlotte can't even complete a bypass around the city. This must be a humor piece.

Anonymous said...

c'mon really? Doesn't it depend on what you're looking for? They're two totally different cities - one isn't better than the other. They're different. It's as irrational as arguing whether Maui or St Lucia is a better vacation destination. Bottom line, you can only pick one. The opportunities are different, the culture is different, the climate is different - geographic location, leadership, segregation, sports, industry....get back to work!

Anonymous said...

I was born and raised in the City of Atlanta. It sucks.

Anonymous said...

Are you serious...Atlanta by far....More growth/job opportunites/better nightlife/more diversity/ and last but not least affordable housing. As a previous post stated 75% of Fortune 500 companies have a presence there. Charlotte saddens me because it is becoming a city where either you have to be "superrich" or "very poor" to live. No middle ground.

Anonymous said...

Moved to Charlotte from Atlanta 2 years ago. For all the talk about Charlotte traffic - Atlanta's is many times worse. An 18 mile commute in Charlotte is 30-45 minutes. 18 miles in Atlanta is an hour plus (+)! When I was commuting to Buckhead from Roswell - I wished I saw traffic as light as I-77/I-485! If King of the South means spending 480+ hours a year in the car driving to work - Atlanta can keep the title!

Anonymous said...

Atlanta is garbage. Charlotte is way better than Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

How can you honestly compare a place that has nearly 6 million people to a place that has 1.5 million? Atlanta was the size Charlotte now is almost 40 years ago, and it will be at least another 40 years before Charlotte gets to 6 million. By then, Atlanta will have over 11 million, so there is for lack of a better term, a time warp problem.

There wasn't the technology in the 60's when Atlanta was where Charlotte is now, remember? I hope Charlotte uses that to do a better job, but I lived in one for 35 years (Atl), and the other now for 20 (CLT), and I'm telling you, it's apples to oranges. It's more like trying to compare Chicago to Orlando. Can't be done.

slinknc007 said...

Oh boy, I love this topic. I am living in Atlanta but I lived in Charlotte for 10 years previously. I grew up in Raleigh. I can't waight to move back to Charlotte. I moved to Atlanta because I met my wife in Atlanta and she needed to help her sister out down here so I moved. My wife is from Toronto a much larger city than Atlanta and Charlotte. She hates Atlanta as well and cannot wait to move back to Charlotte when the economy turnes around. Charlotte to me has much more class than Atlanta. The people in Atlanta are rude and just seem miserable. Atlanta is very small so what makes Atlanta bigger than Charlotte? The metro area which consists of towns and minicipalities that are country backwards. I live in Marietta, Ga and I have to go to another town 20 miles away to get goods and services. Traffic is a joke. I swear if their is a fender bender on looker traffic delay is rediculous you would think these people have never seen an accident it is so funny. These people are very slow mentally and physically. Please do not get any traffic offenses. I promise you will go straight to jail. The food is so bland. I had barbecue that smelt like crap and the restaurant was full. There is no sense of community here. People her hate Charlotte. (I was at a bar watching the Panthers game and I had my Panther shirt on and this guy came up to me and asked me why I was a Carolina Panther fan you are in Atlanta now). I almost lost it, that is how everyone feels down here which half of these people have not been outside of Atlanta. They feel Atlanta is the center of the earth. I could go on and on seriously; but I am not. I am going to end on a positive note because that is how people from North Carolina act. Atlana metro has the best DMV bar none. Man, when you go and get your car registered, license etc no wait which is so refreshing compared to Raleigh and Charlotte in which you have to take a whole day off to complete license, tags and registration errands. Their is no question Atlanta metro is bigger; but better than Charlotte. I don't think so

Anonymous said...

I love the smog-filled, traffic ridden picture of ATL next to the sparkling clean, blue sky picture of CLT.

Anonymous said...

Slink, Atl stretches from Griffin to Gaineville, and from Carrollton to Covington, so how can you live in Marietta and say you have to drive 20 miles to get goods??? Metro Atlanta has 168 Kroger Stores and 127 Publix, and over 20 regional malls the size of Carolina Place or bigger, not to mention both, the world's largest & busiest airport with 5 runways, look it up. At least be honest here, good grief. 20 miles?

Anonymous said...

If Charlotte was the capitol like Atlanta is. Charlotte would be bigger and have more to offer.
You can thank the crooks in Raleigh and down east.But you must be thankful for what you get.

Anonymous said...

Atlanta is the armpit of the south.

Anonymous said...

I live outide of Charlotte. I dont really care for either Altanta or Charlotte. How interesting can subdivisions and chain restaurants be? Doesnt matter what city its in.
Atlanta and Charlotte cant really be compared IMO. There is alot of migration between the two though. Many in Atlanta move to Charlotte for more of a small town feel, and many in Charlotte move to Atlanta to experience "the big city".
Anyway, both cities are fairly bland. Both boomed after the invention of the car and therefore both have little sense of community.

Anonymous said...

I like this comparison of apples and peaches. Obviously Atlanta is the King of South, and Charlotte is the Queen City. We are only in the news because we have other streams of money going into transit, something they don't have currently.

slinknc007 said...

Anonymous I respect your comment but it is true. Lowes Dallas, Ga. Sports Authority Kennesaw, Ga. Hobby Town Kennesaw, Ga. Whole Foods, Smyrna, Ga. Ikea, Atlanta, ga. I do have to admit, Walmart is on every corner! To get a good job you may have to travel 1 hour to get there. Well that is not true because once employers see where you live that is a deciding factor whether to hire you or not. Don't forget that when searching for a job down here.

Anonymous said...

I love Charlotte and am not a fan of Atlanta, but the pictures on the top are not exactly equal. The one for Atlanta shows a traffic jam and smog, while Charlotte free and clear on a bluebird day...

Anonymous said...

Slink...you do not live in Atlanta, you live in Marietta. That's like me living in Salisbury and stating that I live in Charlotte. If you want more excitment, better food, more to do and a better feeling of community, move ITP (Inside the Perimeter, for Charlotte folks). That said, I don't understand why there's a comparison on this subject?? I moved here from Atlanta (ITP) 6 months ago so I can honestly say the two don't compare. I'm not saying that in a bad way either; they both have their strongs points as well as their weak. Personally, I know which I would choose but as they say, 'it is what it is.' I do have one gripe about Charlotte though that I never had in Atlanta...if someone lets you out in traffic, waving is the polite thing to do. Other than that peeve, 'it is what it is.'

Anonymous said...

The only edge that Charlotte has in this competition is "The Penguin".

Anonymous said...

Can't compare them...ATL is WAY bigger and has much more a diverse population and economy.

Mia said...

It's funny, I'm originally from Orlando (another high growth city that I was happy to escape from) which draws many parallels to Atlanta (I traveled there frequently for work). The main one being traffic and city planning - which are awful in both cities. Charlotte has many problems and the biggest being Raleigh, however, for all the problems the city is much better than Atlanta when looking at planning and traffic. Charlotte has had insight to get people out of their cars and suburban sprawl and into the core of the city. It has worked wonders and the city life here is fabulous. It's not as exciting as Atlanta (and the lack of 24 hour stores is irritating), however, it has class and is growing thoughtfully. When the extension of the light rail is done watch how this city grows!

Anonymous said...

you have to be kidding?

you are really trying to compare one of the largest metro areas in America with an area barely larger than Richmond, VA?

charlotte is the most insecure town in america.

You are NOT Atlanta, Denver, NY, LA, Chicago, DC, Dallas, etc, etc, etc....not even remotely close.

slinknc007 said...

Atlanta has the most dirty, vile, and disgusting people I have ever encountered. I was in banking in Charlotte when I moved down to Atlanta I hated the people I worked with so much I decided to purchase a cleaning franchise. I have seen people wipe themselves and throw the toilet tissue in the trash can. I have seen this at more than one of my accounts. People throw crap under their desks just so my cleaning crew could pick it up. These people complain about everything I am referring to the workers not management. All I know is that I worked in Corporate America for 12 years in Charlotte and the last thing I would think about was the cleaning crew I was way too busy. At one of my medical clinics the techs there throw their gloves in the front, back, and side of trash bin but they can't seem to make it in the trash bin. Sounds a lot like the Atlanta Hawks. Charlotte I am coming home soon!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't live in either place. Neither have anything I need.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in both cities and they are so different. Charlotte is growing into a big but trying to maintain the small town mentality. As for the money going to mass transit, really? A light rail that runs up and down South Blvd can in NO WAY be compared to Marta. CATS can't find the ON TIME schedule if you put it on the windshield of every bus. Marta is better with thier timing because of the numbers it deals with. Atlanta has it short falls but come on people. When I moved from Atlanta to Charlotte in 03 I had never heard of so many bank roberies. What you can call Charlotte is King of Bank roberies. So if you are comparing, compare the things they both have not the cities themselves

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter which city is "better". That is an extremely objectional opinion. The city that is better is the one you are living in, as long as you are as happy as you can be there. What a stupid article anyway.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the afternoon entertainment on an otherwise dead day at work....again. This coming from one mile outside downtown Charlotte. Until the phone starts ringing again, I'll be right here - with each of you - reading about this cr*p as the time falls through the hour glass and I leave at 5:00. I don't care what amounts to similarities b/t charlotte and atl - this economy has got to turn around!

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Anonymous said...

Slink007, What you are referring to is what charlotte will be like when another 4 and a half million people move here so you can compare the two places side by side. Charlotte is STILL SMALL and the people are mostly still friendly, but if you continue to grow and grow and grow at the rate Atlanta has, and that is to say Atlanta has added over 100,000 new people every single year since 1960, you will, (then and only then, many, many years from now), see all of that crap here. Bet on it!

Chris Stephens said...

I have lived south of Charlotte for almost 15 years and I would definitely have to go with Charlotte. I believe in this comparison it's not just about your Fortune 500 businesses or strong public transportation with MARTA, but it's about the quality of life in these areas. Atlanta is smoggy, very crowded, overly populated on the outskirts of the actual Downtown Area. Charlotte has better air quality, improving public transportation, improving employment opportunities, access to great colleges, and a population that is spread very well throughout Mecklenburg county. You can compare the overall morale of the people living in Atlanta to that of people living in New York City; in a hurry to get nowhere fast!

Anonymous said...

uh, Atlanta is the capital of Georgia. Whoa

Anonymous said...

to Chris Stephens,

Read the post just prior to yours for your answer. Same answer fits.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte vs Atlanta? They both suck. Too hot, too flat and nothing at all worth preserving long term.

Greeko said...

My biggest fear is that Charlotte would be like Atlanta. I have said for five years that Atlanta will be the site of some ugly racial problems. Between the gang problems and ridiculous court decisions it's on the verge of imploding. You try and go to an outside cafe and it's impossible to hold a conversation because the sirens drown you out. Charlotte is killing itself with the crime and the rail is a huge cash cow that is chasing everyone across the state line. The schools are an embarrassment so they better get it fixed in a hurry before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte needs an MLB team to be a real city.

Anonymous said...

Ive visited ATL and CLT and hands down Charlotte is better. ATL is a bunch of hype. And Im not from either city.

Chris Stephens said...

Well obviously, that is a 'duh' statement. Every city has a larger projected growth within a certain amount of years; look at the York County area. That is something that home owners and business owners should expect when they move anywhere near a city like Charlotte or Atlanta. Even the little farm towns in rural South Carolina have projected growth. It's inevitable. But a lot of Mecklenburg county's projected growth will spill over into South Carolina due to short commutes, lower taxes, cost of living and access to major interstates.

Chris Stephens said...

In response to Greeko --


Haha, did you hear the news story about Charlotte 'drastically reducing crimes rates to 0% by 2015'? I laughed for a good 5 minutes.

jonathan5052 said...

One Anonymous wrote: "For the idiot that said Atlanta is the Capitol of Georgia -- go back to school." Well, the last time I checked, "New York City of the South" is indeed the Capitol City of Georgia! Hey, I even drove past the Capitol building on one of my visits there...was I hallucinating? Or was it for real? Check your maps sometime....

Anonymous said...

Atlanta is so much better, especially for the 20-35 year old crowd. It looks and acts like a city and the nightlife is 100 times better in Atlanta. Boo-hoo so there's more traffic in Atlanta. What do you expect when it's the 9th most populated metro area in the country? Traffic is a small price to pay to live in a city with some energy and normal people.

Charlotte still has way too many rednecks, it is not an international city, and there aren't as many job opportunities here.

Once I graduate from UNCC this fall I'm moving to Atlanta! See ya later Charlotte, you SUCK.

GA Conner Family said...

After living in Charlotte for 13 years and now in Atlanta for the past 5 years, I can safely say, CHARLOTTE RULES. The entire state of GA feels like an Atlanta suburb and there are people everywhere you go..all the time day or night...too much traffic and it takes 45 min - 1 hr to go anywhere...I hope and pray Charlotte never strives to be like Atlanta!

Anonymous said...

1) I don't know why anyone thinks Atlanta is flat. It's quite hilly. Charlotte's topography undulates and slopes down to creeks. Not as hilly as Atlanta but not flat
2) 3:07 has erroneous population figures. (Braggarts of the "mine's bigger persuasion can usually countered on to be wrong.) Atlanta now has just over 5 million in its CSA (combined statistical area) which is generally equivalent to the media market. Charlotte has about 2.3 million in its CSA. The 1.7 million is our MSA. Check census.gov for further accurate [populaation figues. I'm not sure that population projections for either city area are sound since both cities (Atlanta especially) already have water issues that are only going to get worse. I have also lived in both cities, along with New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. That experience leads to me to say that I am struck how much Atlanta is like Charlotte, just bigger. If you have lived only in these two, you've really just lived in the same place all your life.

3)I like Atlanta for its buzz and audacity but without Atlanta Georgia is Mississippi and not much of a state. Further, Atlantans are often myopic and ignorant. Charlotte is lovely and not overwhelmed (yet) but it can be awfully stuffy-the flip side of lovely and gracious. Atlanta's horrific traffic has led to nasty people, I fear.
4) The city of Charlotte has about 700k people, the city of Atlanta about 500k. Again, check census.gov for latest and correct population figues.

Anonymous said...

GA Conner Family --

That's the truth. When they list Altanta suburbs in weather advisories it seems like the entire state is listed!

Anonymous said...

yeah, but I don't think charlotte has added over 100,000 people in a single year even one time ever, compared with Atlanta doing it 40 years in a row. You are going to find that many if not most of the people who have moved into Atlanta have come from all over the world, causing many cultural divisions, like NY has, and Charlotte has, for the most part not yet had to experience that on a huge scale. It's much more complex than this article remotely suggests. the ARC, Atlanta Regional Commission is comprised of 22 separate counties, that includes over 65 separate town munincipalites. Hard to compare that to say, 5 or 6 counties around Charlotte. It's is still apples to oranges, no matter what. The article was saying which is going to be King, not better or worse. No one wants to stick to the main topic. Which will be King? Pretty simple to me. It will forever be Atlanta in the south, whether anyone here likes it or not. Most people in Atlanta don't even know Charlotte from Charleston, (outside of sports), but people here seem to talk incessantly about Atl. Silly comparison actually.

Anonymous said...

"Atlanta is the armpit of the south."

Um no, the real armpits of the South are the whole state of South Carolina and/or Birmingham, Alabama.

Anonymous said...

Capitol: usually the building where the legislature meets.

Capital: the city that is the seat of government for a state, province, or country

Got it?

thergh said...

That's BS. Wilmington's the best!

Anonymous said...

And I think the article was designed to goad Georgia into developing new funding for Atlanta.

It's always the 20-somethings who want to move to Atlanta from smaller southern cities as I once did myself. Once you gain some age and perspective and get your fill of nightclubs, it's not so appealing.

Charlotte has nothing on Georgia and Atlanta when it comes to drooling, mouth-breathing rednecks.

Anonymous said...

Having grown up in Charlotte, it is great if you are 1) 40 and you have kids and 2) OLD. It's a nice place to grow up, but once you grow up that's it. Atlanta is great for young people and it's suburbs are great for families. It's the best of both worlds.

Atlanta will always be the King of the South. Charlotte won't because it can't let go of it's small town mentality. Sorry, but big city and small town is like oil and water. They don't mix and you can't have both. The statistics show that Charlotte will grow into a big city in the future but it should be interesting to see what actually happens...

Anonymous said...

Nobody cares about the city limits of Atlanta unless you are talking Buckhead! The inner city is run much like Detroit...Charlotte is fallowing fast.

Anonymous said...

All of the people who don't like big cities are the ones who don't like Atlanta. For us big city people, Atlanta is a hell of a lot better than Charlotte.

slinknc007 said...

I have lived in Buckethead and moved back to Marietta, Ga. I never found out what the big deal was. I still needed a car. Statistics show people are moving away from downtown Atlanta. I said, when were people ever moving to Atlanta. Suburban sprawl at it's finest. If you walk on peachtree you will find whatever you need but if you take a left or right you will be in the woods. pis por planning. Thank God my Queen City has a blue print of what not to do when it comes to planning. Hallelujah!

Anonymous said...

The people in Charlotte are lame. The city is nice and there are cool places to go out, but the crowd is always lame. It's always the same breed of people and it's BORING. Oh, did I forget to mention all of the ANNOYING, UGLY, STUPID REDNECKS?

Chris Stephens said...

You think Georgia is any better in terms of rednecks? That is one state closer to Alabama and two closer to Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

Once I graduate from UNCC this fall I'm moving to Atlanta! See ya later Charlotte, you SUCK.

5/13/2009 04:26:00 PM

POST YOUR ADDRESS....I THINK WE CAN ARRANGE A PACKING PARTY AND CARAVAN TO SEE YOU HIT 85 SOUTH.

commismold said...

I am from Charlotte but lived in ATL for 10 years. ATL began to suck in ways unimaginable, i.e. long rides on the freeway, long lines in public places, and cold, unfriendly and competitive people who didn't say hello unless they know you. Charlotte boasts of a warm, hometown feel, which makes it so wonderful! Upon moving back here, I felt a calmness on that day and upon seeing the green grass and blue skies, I was once reminded that this is God's country!! I haven't been back to ATl since!

slinknc007 said...

I swear I went up to New york couple of years ago. I met this lady at a bar she was in the mortgage business like me. She asked me where I was from and I told her Charlotte but I live in Atlanta now. She said oh yea I almost moved there but sorry to say she did not know where this atlanta was she thought it was Alabama I swear on my life so. Not everonr knows where this Atlanta is!

Anonymous said...

I don't really see Atlanta as a big city so much as a conglomeration of Georgia white trash crackers. And let's face it, Atlanta attracts people from the south as much as anywhere so there's nothing terribly sophisticated like you would find in New York or Chicago.

Atlanta itself inside the Perimeter is a nice city. Outside the Perimeter it is a traffic-choked nightmare. I'm not sure why anyone thinks that's something to aspire to.

If you want a real city, go to New York, Chicago, San Francisco, even Dallas. But please don't bring me Atlanta. It's just an overgrown Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

Within the Atlanta metro area, there are A LOT LESS rednecks. The Atlanta metro area makes up more than half of the population of the state of Georgia. I agree that outside of Atlanta and maybe Savannah, there are a lot of rednecks in Georgia. Overall, there are more rednecks in Charlotte and all over North and South Carolina than Atlanta and you know it.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 4:07,

I pulled this just now off the U.S. Census 2008 data sheet. Perhaps I was off a pinch, but you are trying to position Chlt up to half as big...still a dumb comparison.

Atlanta 2008 5,729,304
Charlotte 2008 1,701,799

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Anonymous said...

"Upon moving back here, I felt a calmness on that day and upon seeing the green grass and blue skies, I was once reminded that this is God's country!! I haven't been back to ATl since!"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAA

Sorry... God's country!?

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAA

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Charlotte should always be a nicer city since all the crummiest of things/people are first filtered out and settled/concentrated in Gastonia.

If you can't make it in Charlotte doing crime and being sleezy or redneck, it's a great move to Gastonia.

Anonymous said...

I have to go to Atlanta on business next week. I once lived there but I have not visited since 2004. I expect to find more of the bad things I remember: people from small towns in GA, AL and MS, horrific traffic because people are too stupid to use transit (it's a very racist thing there)and really bad air. I like Atlanta ITP. OTP it's just gross.

jonathan5052 said...

Atlanta is smaller than Charlotte when we look at the population INSIDE the city limits (Charlotte is 19th-largest city in U.S.; Atlanta is 33rd). The Atlanta metro (5.5 million) is almost 3 times bigger than the Charlotte metro (1.8 million), sort of like us comparing ground beef to filet mignon, in terms of size and importance. Yes, Charlotte is the larger city with 675,000 vs. 520,000, but Atlanta has the larger metro area, which helps the Georgia capital with more clout worldwide. Charlotte may have a smaller metro for now, but as Dallas, Houston, and Philadelphia have shown, cities are constantly gaining and losing population over time, so who knows what the future will hold for either city?

Anonymous said...

To Anon 4:07,

I pulled this just now off the U.S. Census 2008 data sheet. Perhaps I was off a pinch, but you are trying to position Chlt up to half as big...still a dumb comparison.

Atlanta 2008 5,729,304
Charlotte 2008 1,701,799

You're still not comparing CSAs. The figure you have quoted for Charlotte is an MSA. I won't do your research for you. I believe you're the stupid one. Get back to us when you can differentiate between the two. (I won't hold my breath.)

Anonymous said...

Charlotte needs to do a better job at attracting younger people here. As a young person in my 20's, I feel like I am wasting this part of my life away here in Charlotte. It just has no energy and everything and everyone is so... blah. Everytime I go out (and I have tried everywhere from Uptown to NoDa to South End to Central Avenue to South Charlotte to freaking Pineville!) I usually encounter lots of rednecks and old people, people who think they are celebrities (hahaha) and 40 year old dudes wearing Ed Hardy t-shirts. It's just LAMMMEEEEEEEEEE. Give me Virginia Highlands in Atlanta any day!

jpt said...

who cares. Let Atlanta win. We don't want their traffic problems. We don't want their crime problems. We sure as hell don't want Vick.

Anonymous said...

Metro Atlanta consist of 28 Counties. Atlanta City Population 519,145.

The Charlotte Metro Area is only taking into consideration 5 counties. There are 2.5 million people witin The Charlotte CSA.

You can filp numbers anyway you like.

Anonymous said...

More importantly, why is bigger better? Bigger hasn't made Atlanta better. It was a nice place and a nice city 20 years ago. Now, it's a cesspool, at least OTP. But for those whom bigger is the only possible metric, have at it.

Anonymous said...

Here is Atlanta's metro population in 1970 = 1,761,575, look it up. I'm just saying that WHEN Charlotte ever gets to 6 million, it will be just like ALL of the cities in the U.S. that are now that size or larger. What is so hard to understand about this??? I guess you will just have to wait 40 years to find out. I lived in Atlanta in 1970, and it was very friendly. We never locked our doors, and we lived in Brookhaven. I'm JUST SAY'N...You'll see!

Anonymous said...

If we could cut Charlotte off beginning north at Sunset Road and send half of Buffalo back to South Canada....Charlotte would truly be a gem!

Anonymous said...

All of the people who don't like big cities are the ones who don't like Atlanta. For us big city people, Atlanta is a hell of a lot better than Charlotte.

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Anonymous said...

All of the people who don't like big cities are the ones who don't like Atlanta. For us big city people, Atlanta is a hell of a lot better than Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

All of the people who don't like big cities are the ones who don't like Atlanta. For us big city people, Atlanta is a hell of a lot better than Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

All of the people who don't like big cities are the ones who don't like Atlanta. For us big city people, Atlanta is a hell of a lot better than Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

All of the people who don't like big cities are the ones who don't like Atlanta. For us big city people, Atlanta is a hell of a lot better than Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

All of the people who don't like big cities are the ones who don't like Atlanta. For us big city people, Atlanta is a hell of a lot better than Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

Guys and gals some of you sure love ATL why the nightlife is better. I would say the nightlife is a little too urban for me. Also have you driven at rush hour? That is all I need to never live there. Finally the only reason it has the number one Airport is they only have one while NY has 3. They are also the 1 for delays. Charlotte still has room to grow ATL is peaking due to the in ability to move through the city. They could keep growing if they had or started a sub way or restructured the Marta to include the middle class. Charlotte will surpass ATL in less than 20 years. Number 2 banking center don’t ever forget that. Enjoyed reading all the funny opinions…. Jay

Anonymous said...

I have lived here 37 years! I will never understand WHY we care so much about ATL??? We are about 1.7mill people and they have over 5 mill Metro. If both were closer in size then maybe? But since were on the subject... THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATL(Ghetto) is a Total Embarrassment!!!!!

Anonymous said...

All of the people who don't like big cities are the ones who don't like Atlanta. For us big city people, Atlanta is a hell of a lot better than Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

All of the people who don't like big cities are the ones who don't like Atlanta. For us big city people, Atlanta is a hell of a lot better than Charlotte.

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Anonymous said...

More people live in Charlotte (yes really, look it up) and it's cleaner. Plus Panthers vs. Falcons? HAHA OK so let's move on. Who's next?

Anonymous said...

Charlotte doesn't qualify for a CSA. It isn't big enough. If you can find it, let me know. I can't and I have tried. What's with the "stupid" name calling...What are you twelve? I don't recall calling anyone a name. I simply don't know where you are culling that 2.3 million figure? And you don't seem to want to say where exactly so I can go look it up.

jonathan5052 said...

I have seen Charlotte grow and mature since the mid-1980's, when the city had around 320,000 people! At that time, the skyline was not as full, but the buildings could still capture your attention. No real trolley, no light rail...see how far things have come! No I-277 either, and the Charlotte Coliseum was on Independence Avenue. I am impressed with the progress the city and county have made, and more great things are on the way within the next 20 years. And one more thing, what in the heck is a "real city"? Charlotte is pretty much as real as you can get!

Anonymous said...

The Charlotte CSA consists of 13 counties (3 in SC and 2 of them are rural!). I believe the CSA includes Hickory and Salisbury. That is where the 2.3 million comes from. The MSA is 1.7 million (1.85 million if you include Iredell County. I'm not sure why they don't include Iredell in the MSA).

Remember that the reason why Atlanta's metro has 28 counties is because counties in Georgia are very small compared to other states.

Anonymous said...

It's on wikipedia, with links to census.gov, you ignoramus:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Carolina_census_statistical_areas

These figures are from 2006.

Anonymous said...

"Charlotte doesn't qualify for a CSA. "

Good gracious, you're ignorant and dumb.

Anonymous said...

Atlanta is better.

Anonymous said...

Through the Lincoln Tunnel unto 42nd street now tell me if Charlotte or Atlanta or big cities or if they ever will be big cities. You see I didn't even have to tell you what city I was in. Now thats Big!

Anonymous said...

Atlanta is nothing more than an accident of geography, a big giant train station that morphed into an airport that is miserble to get through. Much larger areas (SF, NY) don't have Atlanta's congestion problems.

Anonymous said...

Everytime I go to Atlanta I feel the energy and the excitment and I feel like I'm somewhere important. When I go to Charlotte, I just want to fall asleep...

jonathan5052 said...

Since population stats are one of my favorite subjects, may I answer with my own opinion why so many people like to talk about big cities so much? Maybe it has to do with the fact that MOST of the world's people live in very large cities! It's no coincidence: Big cities provide people with diversity, variety, and greater job opportunities. Charlotte does provide some of these qualities, even though the job market may not be providing as many opportunities right now. That will change, and our economy will get better...sometime in the not-too-distant future. Even Atlanta is hurting from the recession, as well as a lot of big cities from coast to coast....

Anonymous said...

Been working for CMPD for 17 years. When I applied in Atlanta (city PD) in the early 1990's a black recruiting officer told me to come back when I was blacker. I am a white male. That is the way with Atlanta government and Charlotte and Meck County are heading the same way.

Anonymous said...

Atlanta has Charlotte beat on colleges. Atlanta has one of the largest college student populations. Atlanta has SCAD Atlanta and Charlotte doesn't even have an art and design college.

There is a lack of creativity in Charlotte and it's just a boring place to be. A lot of people are fine with that because a lot of boring people continue to move to Charlotte so it doesn't bother them.

Charlotte just seems to attract conservative, small town folk looking for a utopia that doesn't exist and Atlanta attracts educated, big city people. Atlanta wins.

Anonymous said...

tried that link, said is doen't exist. Still waiting for a good link....from the u.s. omb census bureau. That is the site that counts and it doesn't show Charlotte with a CSA. If you are so smart, tell the link. In the mean time, I still think you are making it up. Charlotte used to have a CMSA, but since they STOPPED using that stat by changing the criteria, Iredell is not considered part of Charlotte because not enough people commute from there to Charlotte. I can't help you there, but I can provide you with a copy of a letter from the OMB that explained that to me over a year ago. The 1.7 stands.

Anonymous said...

The city of Atlanta is not like Detroit. Charlotte does have the same insanely high unemployment rate as Detroit though...

Anonymous said...

Atlanta consistently adds over 100,000 new people a year. Charlotte adds about half that much. As you can see by the statistics, more people would rather live in Atlanta than Charlotte. Therefore, Atlanta is better.

jonathan5052 said...

The reason why Charlotte seems so conservative is because it is a major banking center, and banking cities tend to be conservative by nature. As for Charlotte being a "boring place" and lacking in the arts and education, please give the city a break! North Carolina, overall, like Georgia, is located in a Bible belt. And as you may know, outside the Atlanta city limits, the same kind of attitudes some people find "undesirable" in Charlotteans are also present in people living outside "Hotlanta." The cliche is overworked, but it's very true: People are people, anywhere you go. I have no problems with Charlotte people, any more than I have with Atlanta's. I guess it's how you look at things.... Come back to me, and tell me how you feel about this issue when Charlotte finally has its first million....

Anonymous said...

NYC is the largest banking center in the country, but it is not a conservative city. Your logic doesn't work.

Charlotte is so boring and conservative because it is stuck in the Bible Belt. I mean, we have a road called Billy Graham Parkway. Charlotte sucks.

Anonymous said...

Istanbul is better than any U.S. city.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in both. Lived in Charlotte first, then moved to Atlanta because of a better paying job. Funny thing was, I hated everything about Atlanta...the traffic and I didn't find the people friendly as I did in Charlotte and then moved back here. Charlotte is definitely better in my opinion. If you know how to get around, traffic isn't that bad here. And every time I here someone complain about Charlotte's traffic, i tell them to go visit Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

I was born in Charlotte, went to South Meck and UNCC, and moved to ATL after graduating college. I lived there for 4 years and moved to Denver (CO, not NC). After living in Denver for 4 years I can honestly say that while both Charlotte and Atlanta have their good points, the bad outweighs the good in each city.

In Denver, I have 50 weeks of outdoor opportunities (it doesn't snow NEARLY as much as people think); in Atlanta and Charlotte you have to stay inside from June-August. There are no mosquitoes here, either. In Atlanta and Charlotte, if you try to ride your bike anywhere, you're taking your life into your own hands; in Denver the entire metro area is covered with bike paths. Light rail here is a godsend and in 10 years will cover most of the metro area (pop. 2.5 million).

Judging from the number of NC license plates I see here I'm not alone...

jonathan5052 said...

Another Anonymous wrote: "NYC is the largest banking center in the country, but it is not a conservative city." I won't argue over that one, but as someone who has visited this great city many times in the last 40 years, there is a lot of conservative attitude hiding under that liberal exterior! Even though it may not seem important, the last 2 mayors are Republicans, even though Mr. Bloomberg has decided to go Independent. Just because the Big Apple is huge does not mean that it's liberal. Wall Street, the powerhouse of stocks and investments, is a conservative enclave inside Manhattan. Need I say more? And in my opinion, that's another quality of big cities: It's easy to mistake them for "liberal," when in fact, they are not!

slinknc007 said...

I get scared when I drive past the last highrise in downtown Atlanta (Kountry).

Anonymous said...

I am a Charlotte native (25 years with the Red Bank, wife is 20 years with Green/Blue bank). We moved to Atlanta two years ago, but return to Charlotte frequently to visit family and friends. (And I still read stuff like this daily.) We find Atlanta to be a great place to live on all fronts. We probably will not return to Charlotte. We feel that Atlanta is a much more progressive and diverse place to live -- economically, socially, and culturally.

Anonymous said...

Peachtree Street. Now you tell me what city I am in?

slinknc007 said...

How can you have a NFL team for 40 years and not have one championdhip! How can you have a NBA team for 40 years and not have one Championship! The little engine that couldn't. Atlanta is only a place to go when you are forced.

slinknc007 said...

I think I want to drive to henry county to get some water. I am a little perched; it is too hot down here.

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Anonymous said...

Anyone with half a brain knows that Atlanta is better than Charlotte. Charlotte is nice, but it lacks many of the qualites that make Atlanta so much better. Boo-hoo, so there's more traffic in Atlanta: 1) don't live so far from where you work and you won't hit a lot of traffic and 2) when you live in the 9th most populated metro area in the country there is going to be more traffic. Cry me a river...

slinknc007 said...

What county lost it's school accreditation in the Atlanta metro area?



Answer: Clayton Co.

Anonymous said...

And guess what, Clayton County got it back.

slinknc007 said...

Anonymous, I am idiot sometimes. I just really don't like Atlanta. I am a little frustrated because the job market is terrible in both cities. I can't find a job in Charlotte or Atlanta and I am college educated. I would not be telling all these truths about Atlanta if I were in Charlotte I would not be waiting my time.

jonathan5052 said...

Peachtree Street=Atlanta. Queens Road=Charlotte. Light rail=Charlotte. Heavy rail=Atlanta. Up-and-coming kid in town=Charlotte. New kid in town=Atlanta. Both cities are making their names in the 21st century, one of these days they will both be about the same size in every aspect....

Anonymous said...

Good comments here. Having lived in both cities, I'm in the big city vs. small town camp - Atlanta is way bigger than Charlotte. Both have ups and downs, but I personally prefer Charlotte.

Atlanta had a very standoffish, snobby feel to it. You get that some in Charlotte, but not as much as in the ATL.

There are def. more jobs in Atlanta, but there are numerous reasons why - history, infrastructure, location, etc.

Go Panthers, Bobcats, Knights, Charlotte Rugby, and the list goes on.

Anonymous said...

Must be a slow news day???

Anonymous said...

Charlotte needs to make up its mind. It is not a small town anymore so it needs to ditch the small town mentality, especially if it wants to be a big city. Statistics show that it will be a big city in the future. When Charlotte learns to act like a city it will be taken more seriously. There are still too many rednecks holding it back.

jonathan5052 said...

An Anonymous Writer typed: "Must be a slow news day???" WHOO, WHOO! You got a chuckle out of me! Slow news is good news, I guess. Rolling on the floor, HEE, HAW!

Anonymous said...

What a pointless debate...Let's worry about lowering taxes....

Anonymous said...

Why don't you people who love Atlanta so much GO THERE and stay. I have been all over the USA and Atlanta is just another over-populated Southern "town" that thinks it is a city. I don't live in Charlotte now, I live about 25 miles west but Charlotte has so much to offer and is very accessible via the I-85 Interstate. Traffic? What traffic. LA has traffic; Atlanta has traffic. Charlotte, not so much.

Anonymous said...

Granted I'm a native Charlottean, I think it is hands down that Charlotte is the king. Now the fact is that Atlanta is bigger. But bigger is not better. In fact I really haven't not even heard the two cities compared in at least 10 years. Years ago Charlotte was trying to copy Atlanta and Raleigh. But no one even bothers anymore. Charlotte is making cash like noobody's business.
Years ago when NCNB and FUNB were just starting to grow, I remember my mom taking us to Atlanta. It dwarfed Charlotte back then. Mom thought it was so great. It was ok. But I remember how crazy it was downtown there. I remember getting off at the wrong MARTA stop and ending up in a really burned out part of town and being scared - really scared. I lived next to Piedmont Courts and this was worse.
And everytime I met anyone who went there, they told me how their car got broken into or a purse or camera got stolen.
About ten years ago I went there and downtown was messed up. This is how the first hour went. We parked the car. Some teenagers were smoking pot in open public as we walked by. as we walked the few blocks to hard Rock Cafe a crazy homeless man grabbed my sister's arm and I almost ended up in a fight with the guy in the middle of a busy city street. Then after we left Hard Rock Cafe, there were the contents of several obviously stolen purses strewn about the street a few blocks from the Coca Cola museum. The next day we went to a Braves game and the rednecks behind us were drunk and were trying to start a fight for no reason ...and we were also cheering for the Braves... Last time I ever go to Atlanta. I hate to just flat out disrespect a city. but Atlanta sucks and I am very glad I live in Charlotte. I would never consider Atlanta in the same league as Charlotte as far as quality. In all my life of living in inner-city Charlotte I never felt as unsafe ever as I did in Atlanta. In fact when I think about it I felt more vulnerable to street crime in Atlanta than most of the cities I have visited.

fatdawg said...

I lived in Atlanta from 1973 until October 2007. My wife and I moved to Charlotte because we have family here and had grown weary of the Atlanta traffic. We are constantly saying how much we enjoy living in Charlotte. We live in the University/Research Park area and can be anywhere in the metro Charlotte area in the time it took to go 5 miles in Atlanta. Yes, right now there may be more job opportunities in Atlanta, but our quality of life has improved enormously since moving here.

jonathan5052 said...

This is an exciting time in North Carolina's history: Both Mecklenburg and Wake Counties (Raleigh) will each have over 1 million people within 25 years, and that's not talking small tomatoes for our state! For too long, our citizens have been thinking "small," but thanks to our liberal annexation laws, North Carolina has been able to attract a wide range of transplants from around the globe. I care about taxes too, but population is a very important issue that will impact our resources, utilities, transportation systems and networks, education systems, and a whole lot more. Taxes are important, but what good will they be to our governments, if our cities and counties will end up being overwhelmed by the additional residents and voters? That's why we need to plan for tomorrow RIGHT NOW....

Anonymous said...

Neither.

jonathan5052 said...

I meant to say that we need to plan AND BUILD for tomorrow TODAY.

Anonymous said...

You couldn't pay me enough to live in Atlanta or Charlotte, or any other christian taliban city in the bible belt.

Molly Bloom said...

I'm a Charlotte native, child of "pioneer transplants," if you will. I don't love it to death here, but Charlotte has it all over Atlanta, a city I like not one whit.

jonathan5052 said...

What is a "Christian Taliban"? Is that a minister who packs an Uzi and wears a purple turban with dove insignia?

Anonymous said...

This is a pathetic and weak arguement all the way around. Miami, Florida is the king of the south on all levels. Charlotte folks are delusional about their diversity, including at their beloved Chapel Hill headquarters. Everybody laughs at the idea of Charlotte being anything other than a small city living in delusion. Funny how you completely forgot other southern cities known to be world class in many areas.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte can't even keep it's street lights and it's freeway lights turned on.

Anonymous said...

Why the hell should we care? What freaking difference does it make how we compare to Atlanta unless you're some kind of city "leader" who wants a larger ship to helm? Let's build the community that is RIGHT for this area in NC and not give a rat's a$$ how we're compared to Atlanta.

I'm All A Twitter said...

Wow, Mary, you hit the jackpot with this topic! Over 140 responses already. You need to rethink your topics to take advantage of this bonanza. Where were all these under-forty-year-olds when your topics dealt with serious local issues for which their feedback would have been greatly appreciated, and to which maybe 20 people at most responded? I think the only “Naked City” topic that has attracted more attention was the one about the Confederate Memorial.

And how did all these replies come about? Does today’s unproductive workforce sit around waiting for their iPhones to download alerts of online blogs discussing mine-is-bigger-than-yours topics, so they can push aside their “workload” and reply to it? Or is the economy so bad that the unemployed generated all these postings?

While I’m glad so many are reading your Observer blog, I’d feel more secure as a citizen if they actually paid 50 cents every so often to read the local Observer, especially the stories and investigative reports therein that deal with Charlotte issues these new citizens need to understand. You just can’t get that scoop from TV, the Internet or a blog.

slinknc007 said...

Anonymous, I like you because you have not reduced yourself to using negative epithets unlike people in Philly. Oh no, Look at what I started now! Now people from Philly are going to get at me!

Anonymous said...

Homer!

Anonymous said...

Suggested Future Topics:

1. Chapel Hill vs. Athens
2. Gastonia vs. Winder
3. Demon Deacons vs. Bulldogs
4. Rednecks vs. Crackers

Anonymous said...

You silly people! HOUSTON is the king of the South--not ATL and certainly not Charlotte. It is by far the most diverse city in the South, up there with NY and L.A., and has arguably the best medical center in the world. It is also the city least affected by the recession.

And before any of you say Houston isn't in the South--do a little reading. Granted, much of Texas isn't Southern, but East Texas certainly is, and Houston definitely qualifies as Southern. The fact they have Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis high schools proves it. Charlotte and Atlanta don't have those...

Anonymous said...

If being "King of South" means having a polluted sky horizon like Atlanta's, they can have the title. Oh, and the crime...

Anonymous said...

Charlotte's air isn't that clean either. Charlotte is going to lose federal money for transit and roads if they don't clean up the air soon.

Anonymous said...

Atlanta is wonderful and Charlotte is terrible.

Anyone looking to move south from from the North East, Ohio or Michigan would find themselves much happier in Atlanta.

The Peach State is GREAT!!

Anonymous said...

Gotta love how they use a low-quality picture of Atlanta versus a high-quality picture of Charlotte. There are a lot of pictures of Atlanta's skyline that blow Charlotte's out of the water.

Anonymous said...

Jonathan5052: The Christian Taliban are the fundamentalist evangelicals who tried to take over this country using the Bush Administration, ignoring our Constitution's wise separation of church and state. They favor the "way of the group", oppose individual rights, and if they could, they'd try to forcibly convert everyone else to their brand of religion, making this a Christian nation in fact.

In Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, the Moslem Taliban wants everone to adhere to its strict interpretation of the Koran and follow religious law. It wants to turn back the clock to the middle ages. Everyone would have to be a Moslem if the Taliban got control.

In Georgia, North Carolina and other parts of the Bible Belt, the majority evangelicals want to impose their religious beliefs on everyone else. They want all public school kids to pray to their God, they don't want equal rights for those Americans who don't fit their religious mold, and they want to turn back the clock on progress and human rights.

Moslem Taliban. Christian Taliban. Same zealots; different religions.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more, however, isn't it spelled Muslim?

Anonymous said...
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Xavierclt said...

This is a ridiculous comparison with very skewed facts. First, the City of Charlotte is larger than the City of Atlanta. From a statistical standpoint, Charlotte is always ranked in the mid 20s and Atlanta in the lower 30s regarding largest U.S. cities. This is a simply fact. The Atlanta MSA, however, is larger than the Charlotte MSA. WHY? Completely uncontrolled sprawl. Therefore, it is all a matter of judging the environment in which you would like to live. Yes, there are lots more "things" to do in Atlanta, but you will pay for it regarding pricing of housing (close-in vs further out) and commute times. A commute from Concord to Charlotte CBD can be as little as 15-20min. The same commute in Atlanta could be 45min (or more). Pick your poison, but please don't try to match one city to the other on an apples to apples basis. It is not really possible.

Anonymous said...

Atlanta has more diversity, more business opportunities, it's own professional teams, not to mention a few college (doesn't have to share with another state), and is the original capital of the South.

Charlotte is a nice place to live, but it's a big small town - not a city.

Anonymous said...

falcons suck. GO PANTHERS!

Anonymous said...

Traffic is horrible in both places! However, at least Atlanta drivers will let you over if you put a turn signal on. Charlotte drivers act like they have something to prove...

Rick said...

Mary, I think this is probably a record number of comments for one of you posts...

...and for such a pointless topic.

You must be so proud.

Anonymous said...

It's a pointless topic alright but wait... isn't it time to revive that working moms vs. stay at home moms thing again? Or how about the northerners vs. southerners thing? Anything to get the page hits up.

Anonymous said...

Having lived in both, Atlanta definitely has a better nitelife atmosphere for the 20-35 set.

Also, when its not rush hour, it's a breeze to get anywhere in Atlanta (ITP) because the interstate highway system (plenty of lanes to choose from). Going cross town Charlotte can be difficult because of red light after red light.

Somehow Georgia built GA400 right through the middle of a densely populated Buckhead area and the NCDOT can't finish an outerbelt for 25 years through what was mostly farmland.

Anonymous said...

Atlanta is a soulless mess. A lot like LA's San Fernando Valley. Traffic, strip malls, liquor stores and crazy people.

Anonymous said...

YES I agree THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATL is SO Ghetto NO Class!!!

Anonymous said...

"Atlanta is a soulless mess. A lot like LA's San Fernando Valley. Traffic, strip malls, liquor stores and crazy people."

Actually that sounds like Charlotte. Atlanta didn't tear down all of its historic buildings and since it is an older city, it has a lot more older areas with lots of character. Outside of the small "historical" areas, Charlotte is full of strip malls and vinyl houses and you know it's true.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, there are lots more "things" to do in Atlanta, but you will pay for it regarding pricing of housing (close-in vs further out)"

What are you talking about? Atlanta is not anymore expensive than Charlotte. What a stupid statement. I can pay almost the same amount for a house or a condo in Atlanta as I can in Charlotte and have a lot more things to do in Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

If I didn't live in Charlotte, the only other big city I'd care to live in is Atlanta. It reminds me a lot of Charlotte, but it is better in some ways. In general, the people are friendlier; there's a Major League Baseball team there (and you can take your own food and drink into Turner Field, as long as you're not packing aluminum cans); and they have a finished beltway that's been widened at least once since I've been alive.

I've visited Atlanta many, many times, and I enjoy going down there. Sure, it's got traffic and crime like any big city, but the place really has a lot going for it. Charlotte does, too, and I'm glad that I've gotten to watch it grow into a nationally-known and recognized city. Really, this rivalry thing is just as much baloney as the Charlotte vs. Raleigh "rivalry."

Anonymous said...

I heard that all the people in Atlanta act like those crazy broads on the Real Housewives, and that thought just scares me to death. Surely the women in Charlotte have better quality wigs. Oh, the horror!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Um, wow.

Anonymous said...

Check emporis for Atlanta and Charlotte CSA population. Emporis only use official census estimates. Atlanta's csa is roughly 31 counties with 5.8 million. Charlotte is 13 counties with 2.3 million. Atlanta is bigger than Charlotte hands down, but some folks are trying to make Atlanta look like NYC and Charlotte look like Mayberry which is just funny and pathetic LOL!!!

Fulton county has 1 million people and 532 sq/miles of land. Mecklenburg county has 900,000 people and 526 sq/miles of land. Atlanta is only bigger than Charlotte in the burbs. Period!!!

Anonymous said...

Government needs to control spending or we are going to have run away inflation. And it won't matter if you are in Charlotte or Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

charlotte, "NC"...yes, you are still part of North Carolina.....and yes, most people in America still need to see the State to know where in the hell you actually are located.

comparing Atlanta, one of the largest metro areas in America to charlotte, NC is a joke.

Anonymous said...

"Fulton county has 1 million people and 532 sq/miles of land. Mecklenburg county has 900,000 people and 526 sq/miles of land. Atlanta is only bigger than Charlotte in the burbs. Period!!!"

Ok, well you forgot to include Dekalb County (where a part of the city of Atlanta is located), which has over 750,000 people. That is almost 2 million people in Fulton and Dekalb Counties. Basically the entire MSA of Charlotte is in Fulton and Dekalb counties...

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

It is interesting you keep talking about Cabarrus County controlling growth when Concord initiated the efforts that caused the Commissioners to sue them to try to force them to accept lower development standards. The legal settlement resulted in the growth agreement you admire so much.

Anonymous said...

Umm Atlanta and Charlotte's weather are the same. I lived in both places. In fact I find Charlotte more hot and humid with more thunderstorms in the summer afternoon. As far as comparing them. You can't. They both have a lot going for them. But if it wasn't for my family and friends living here. I would move back to Atlanta right away!!

Anonymous said...

First.....who cares about NYC or Chicago. Yes, they are large but, judging by growth numbers, people are not beating the doors down to get there. In fact, ATL(as does Dallas) has a real chance to equal Chicago in size based on historical growth figures. As far as this comparison, I have been in Charlotte for 14 years and would not leave. While there is nothing wrong with ATL (and I would rather live there than NYC, SF or Chicago...), Charlotte is a great place to live. The restaurants are great and getting better, there is plenty of sports, and lots to do outdoors. Additionally, it is not too far to the SC beaches. Could it be better, yes, every city could but, it is hard to be bored in Charlotte. As for Charlotte's bad economy, you all should do a little more research. Banking is the headline industry in Charlotte but by no means is so concentrated that the financial downturn will hurt Charlotte permanently. The demographics that have made Charlotte attractive are still there. 7 F500 companies still call Charlotte home which places it 7th nationally...tied with SF. Charlotte is roughly at the national average in unemployment. And, there is no magic to having a CSA, Charlotte's is at 2.3m.

Anonymous said...

"Ok, well you forgot to include Dekalb County (where a part of the city of Atlanta is located), which has over 750,000 people. That is almost 2 million people in Fulton and Dekalb Counties. Basically the entire MSA of Charlotte is in Fulton and Dekalb counties..."

We agree, Atlanta is only bigger in the burbs (outside of Fulton county). NYC (my birth place) has over 9 million people in roughly 300 sq miles of land. Atlanta is sooooo much like Charlotte to those of us that are familiar with REAL big cities. I laugh every time I hear someone compare Atlanta to NYC.LOL!!! They have no clue. None what so ever. Stop being so dense and let's just agree to disagree on this one. I like Atlanta and Charlotte both. I see Atlanta as a step between Charlotte and DC. Atlanta and DC are not even equals in my book. DC has over 1 million people (visitors plus residence) in only a 60 sq.mile city. Atlanta nor Charlotte comes close to that. Heck, even Pittsburgh at one point had a population of over 600,000 people in only a 60 sq.mile city. I think you get my point. Atlanta is just a bigger suburban version of Charlotte. Deal with it. It is not a bad thing you know.

Anonymous said...

Dekalb County is 271 square miles with 750,000 people. Dekalb County is not very big. Fulton County is 532 square miles with 1 million people. Fulton and Dekalb might as well be one county anyways. The Charlotte MSA (that includes the city of Charlotte and it's suburbs) is in Fulton and Dekalb Counties. Is that really hard for you to understand?

By the way, NYC has nothing to do with this conversation so shut your mouth, nobody cares.

Anonymous said...

By the way, Dekalb County isn't the "burbs" of Atlanta. Fulton and Dekalb Counties are the core urban counties. Cobb, Gwinnett, Clayton, Cherokee, Forsyth, etc - those are the suburban Atlanta counties.

Anonymous said...

You can always count on someone from NYC to talk up their city whether anyone cares or not. If you want to live in NYC, move back up. I hear there plenty of condos for sale, prices dropping fast. You are right, I laugh when people compare NYC with Atlanta. It is no secret that Southern cities are not as dense as northern cities primarily because southern cities grew as the car became the primary mode of transportaion. LA is way larger than Chicago but, downtown LA would not suggest it. Charlotte, Atlanta, Dallas, Tampa, Phoenix are all cities that have smaller downtown areas but large (relatively large) metros...and CSA's. As time goes on, that may change somewhat depending on how fast mass transit is implemented in the cities. But, the growth in this country over the next 50 years will be in the southern cities.

Anonymous said...

"By the way, Dekalb County isn't the "burbs" of Atlanta. Fulton and Dekalb Counties are the core urban counties. Cobb, Gwinnett, Clayton, Cherokee, Forsyth, etc - those are the suburban Atlanta counties."

By the way, I used to live in a subdivision off of Panola Rd in Lithonia (Highland Park). Like I said, most of Dekalb county is suburban. The only thing good about that area is the fact that the Indian Creek Marta station was not too far away. Other than that, that area looked more country than Charlotte's Ballantyne area (which is also just outside the loop like Lithonia). Decatur has more of an urban feel, but in all honesty, it has the feel of a lot of neighborhoods in Gastonia (a black version of Gastonia ofcourse). Ok, I am exagerating a little a bit, but still I stand by my statements. Atlanta is only bigger outside of Fulton county. That is a fact. Not my opinion. Charlotte's 4 largest counties have a population of about 1.5 million. Atlanta's 4 largest counties have a population of about 3 million. Meck and Fulton are only 100,000 apart. The difference is outside of Meck and Fulton. Got it? Good!!!

Anonymous said...

The difference between 3 million and 1.5 million is A LOT. 1.5 million makes a big difference. Got it? Good!

John Keels said...

Well, this is an interesting conversation. I think that there are tremendous similarities between both cities but also some significant differences. I can speak only because I have lived in both places for about the same amount of time. Atlanta is more "exciting" for sure if you want to put it that way. However, now even as a liberal person I am kind of over the "out every night and dance" way of life. If I had to choose now I think I would choose Charlotte simply because it is still a large town and not as overrun with traffic and craziness. Charlotte is doing a better job on urban planning in recent years and that also gives it an edge in my book. Atlanta has great night life though and Charlotte isn't there on that one yet.

Anonymous said...

"The difference between 3 million and 1.5 million is A LOT. 1.5 million makes a big difference. Got it? Good!"

LOL LOL LOL LOL My suburbs are bigger than yours!!!ROTFLMAO

Half of Charlotte's msa resides in Mecklenburg county. 1/5 of Atlanta's msa resides in Fulton county. Mecklenburg's population will reach 1 million loooong before the msa reaches 6 million. This is why Atlanta is considered to be an urban infrastructure failure. It is also the reason why many roads in the metro area have 16 lane freeways (think I-75 in Smyrna) and they are ALWAYS gridlocked. Whether you like to admit or not, Charlotte is doing a better job at containing sprawl than Atlanta. The county to metro population ratio is proof of this. Enjoy your suburbs down in GA. I've had my fill of GA suburbs LOL!!!

Anonymous said...

LOL LOL LOL I'm not moving to the GA suburbs idiot. I'm moving to the city. I have a great job opportunity in Atlanta that doesn't exist in Charlotte. You enjoy the whopping 6 blocks that make up downtown Charlotte. Don't get too bored doing the same thing and seeing the same lame people over and over again. Charlotte has nothing to offer.

Anonymous said...

I'm LOL because so many people have responded to such a moronic topic as though it was Charlotte's top issue. Awww, the dumbing down of America to attract the Twitter crowd.

Based on the replies, Mary, it appears Generations X, Y and Z prefer quantity over quality.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say to the nut-case that likes to LOL LOL ROFL LMAO a lot, is that even NYC has massive amounts of sprawl and suburbs. Charlotte has sprawl and suburbs too and it just annexed most of it. Ballantyne is in the Charlotte city limits! I mean really! Now that is worth LOL-ing about. Outside of the couple of blocks with some tall buildings, Charlotte isn't a city, it is a giant suburb (much more than Atlanta!)

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