Wednesday, October 06, 2010

NY writer likes us! He really likes us!

Krista Terrell of the Arts & Science Council just sent along a note revealing that the New York Times' Frugal Traveler, Seth Kugel, spent a few days in Charlotte and blogs about it, "Making Pit Stops in Charlotte."

While he wrote a lot about the NASCAR Hall of Fame and that he enjoyed his visit there despite not being a NASCAR fan, he also praises the ASC's new public art tour and podcast, which is why Terrell was interested in sharing.

Here's Kugel's remark about NASCAR: "I know that Nascar is awesome in the same way I know that cricket and Tolstoy novels and contemporary dance are awesome. I personally can’t see the appeal, but enough reasonable people disagree with me that I believe in their awesomeness."

He's not exactly kind to the city's image elsewhere, though (the bold-facing here is mine): "The city — which has experienced rapid growth (with a population of over 700,000, double what it was in the mid-1980s) and at the same time maintained a relative lack of identity (banking center and airline hub, total snoozer) — intrigued me. Something had to be going on there, and I would find out what it was."

Here's Kugel's take on the public art tour:
"Uptown is one of those clean areas that people from grittier cities may at first perceive as sanitized and devoid of character, but the podcast will go a long way to dispel that, pointing out many works of public art, including the four statues that stand at the four corners of Trade and Tryon Streets. (Don’t miss the very odd bust of Alan Greenspan in the statue representing “Commerce”.)"

I wrote about the public art tour in a September op-ed, "The art of a city: more than mosaics."


Anonymous said...

I'll be damned, I never really looked at it that close. That's Greenspan? Otherwise I couldn't care less what that slob Seth Kugel thinks!

Anonymous said...

You mean there's someone left in New York that hasn't moved here already? And why should we care what New Yorkers think of us? If I did care, all I would have to do is go to "New" New York (Ballantyne) and ask.

Anonymous said...

Before hyperventilating, it should be noted that Mr Kugel suggested Charlotte as a 'detour' on the way to Asheville. At least he enjoyed the Dukes of Hazzard Museum of Stock Car Racing.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see we're getting some positive press from the NYT. We must be turning a corner.

CharlotteAlmostANative said...

OMG, What will happen when Charlotte becomes the ultimate Milky Way Class city, there will be no one left to recognize us.

What will we do, what WILL we do?

It IS all about our image.

Do you really think people in Asheville or Charleston (places higher home values) care about what the world thinks of them.

CLT is nothing more than a cheap alternative to someplace better.

Anonymous said...

This is a "world class" city??? Do you see Los Angeles commenting on if a writer likes them or not???

I don't know why Charlotte is so insecure about itself but it's just sad.

Anonymous said...

I used to live in Charlotte - and loved it.

Now I live in New York City - and love it.

I might move back to Charlotte one day.

Can I like both of them and appreciate each for what it has to offer?

Or do I really have be monogamous?

Anonymous said...

I live in New York City - and love it.

I used to live in Charlotte - and loved it.

I may move back to Charlotte, but I don't know yet.

Can one not love both places and appreciate what each has to offer?

Or do I have to be monogamous?

Anonymous said...

How dare he not mention our best asset, SouthPark Mall! Home to the largest Belk store in the world...

Anonymous said...

Just wondering-Did Mr Kugel leave off the "N.C." when discussing Charlotte or did he include it to so his erudite readers would know what state we're in?

Mary Newsom said...

You can follow the link to read whether Kugel assigned Charlotte the dreaded "N.C."

But here's a spoiler. The headline has no "N.C." The first reference, in the story, does.

And, gentle readers, please recognize my "hyperventilating" headline as tongue-in-cheek."

Anonymous said...

Good post, 4:06

I have lived in NYC and now live in Charlotte and love both.

PS: Yes, Los Angeles (where I have also lived and love it, too) and every other city absolutely does care what writers say about them.

Some of you really do not understand anything about marketing.

Anonymous said...

I am an adult.

I live in Charlotte because I like it here.

What anyone else thinks is irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

"The city — which has experienced rapid growth (with a population of over 700,000, double what it was in the mid-1980s)"

And therein lies the problem - Charlotte got way too big way too fast.

Anonymous said...

I do understand marketing, since I am in the business and a world class city doesn't write articles about whether other cities like it or not.

Maybe you just don't understand how pathetic Charlotte looks when it talks about other cities writing or talking about it.

Theo Tiefwald said...

"The city — which has experienced rapid growth (with a population of over 700,000, double what it was in the mid-1980s)"

Notice how NC used to be a whole lot more green, lush, rainy, and humid? If the developers and others continue to cut down the remaining forests in the Charlotte region the city and region will become a desert over time. The whole Piedmont area of NC is already trending that way (semi-desertification) due to massive loss of forests in the past few decades, especially in the last 20 or so years. A lot of times developers will replant some trees when they clear-cut an area for a development or neighborhood, but they are not the same species native to the region (birches, oaks, other trees found in moist/humid regions) which promote humidity and thus the rainfall we desperately need. A lot of developers in the region are replanting trees found primarily in semi-arid regions while at the same time clear-cutting all of the native trees which promote humidity and rain.

Forest cover, trees, and associated woodland vegetation promotes rainfall, humidity, and moisture; when you lose the native trees you lose the rain and the humidity.

For all of you people who moved here looking to live in a low humidity area, I recommend that you move to the American Southwest or Southern Cali. I hear Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, SoCal, etc are nice places.

Even the NC mountains are suffering due to all of the development which has occurred there in the last 20-30 years. Entire forests have been clear-cut which has caused the humidity and even the precipitation to leave the area, leading to even more death of native trees.

We native North Carolinians do not want our state to become a treeless, rainless, dry arid desert. We North Carolinians love our trees, our forests, and our humidity. Stop chopping down all our trees -- you are permanently altering the weather patterns around here and turning our state in to a desert.

Anonymous said...


If you weren't serious about the Sally Field headline, you wouldn't have even posted this. The unbridled boosterism and insecurity exhibited by you and the rest of the Observer staff is hard to disguise.

Mary Newsom said...

Dear Anonymous, who left a comment recently about the Sally Field headline: I've tried 4 times to publish the comment and the blogger software for some obscure reason chokes on it. My apologies. I'll try again later.