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Starmount's neighborhood association president, Rusty Hubbart, moved to the quiet community eight years ago for a contract job. When his contract was up, he'd grown so fond of Starmount that he decided to stay. Here's what he has to say about one of Charlotte's best-kept secrets:

How would you describe Starmount?

It's a quiet, tight-knit neighborhood. It's definitely a melting pot of, not only backgrounds, but also of ages. It just seems to be one of those neighborhoods where everyone gets along and is friendly with one another.

What is the most eye-catching landmark in your neighborhood?

I would have to think that it's the mature trees. We don't exactly have a park we can put our name on, but I'd have to say the landscape itself. We've got rolling hills, winding roads in the neighborhood, especially in the spring and the summer -- that's one thing that catches everyone's attention

What are the top three places to shop in Starmount?

Well, we're one of those areas where we don't have a lot of little niches, but as things have developed around us, we've lost a lot of the bigger stores. I think the Starmount Shopping Center still has a variety of things to do in there; anywhere from records, to a pet store, to cleaners.

Top three places to eat?

If you ask anybody about Chinese food, it's takeout and it's called Fortune Garden. I was in the neighborhood one day, and someone said, "You have to try Fortune Garden." Taco Rita, which is a Mexican restaurant outside of Starbrook, is an excellent, authentic Mexican restaurant. It's very clean -- great score in there. Those are two restaurants that aren't chains that are right there in our neighborhood. And of course there's Showmars. You can't go wrong with Showmars.

Top three party spots?

You definitely have a corner bar where you get a little bit of everything and that's Luigi's. You go in there, and if you're from the neighborhood, it's sort of like Cheers where everybody knows your name. When you walk in there, you're going to know everybody in there. After that, we don't have a lot of bars that are adjacent to us like that.

What's a little-known fact about your neighborhood?

Because we are a dead-end neighborhood, it is a quiet and cozy neighborhood, and I don't think people realize that we have over 14,000 homes in here. And that makes us one of Charlotte's biggest and oldest neighborhoods.

Where is the first place in Starmount you would take a newcomer?

I would take them on a walking tour through the neighborhood so that they could see the landscape and see the different sizes of homes here -- and meet some of the people as you're walking around.

How has the recession changed your neighborhood?

We do have a lot of people who have been caught up in downsizing. Our area is affordable so we haven't seen a lot of foreclosures. I know we have some as any area is going to. We have seen the sales of homes really slow down.

Why should people move to Starmount?

You don't have the downtown atmosphere; you kind of have the quiet atmosphere but very convenient to downtown. We've got light rail right outside the neighborhood that you can very easily walk to or drive across South [Boulevard] and park. We have easy access to all of the shopping you want. It's very quiet and it's a friendly neighborhood.

Name one downside to living in Starmount

Honestly, when I moved here it was a temporary situation. When it came time to move after 18 months, there was no other place that I wanted to move.


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