In the seven years that I've lived in Charlotte, I've watched it explode with development — I can only imagine how you native Charlotteans feel. And the city just keeps on growing: The light rail will extend up to UNCC within the next five years; Publix is opening a second Charlotte location in South End (which itself has seen a huge influx of residents wanting to take advantage of the Blue Line); and for goodness' sake, fashion retailer H&M is finally coming to the area.
Yep, Charlotte ain't small town anymore.
One thing we've realized recently, spurred by the positive feedback we've received from our Question the Queen City column (in which writer/historian David Aaron Moore explores unusual and historical people, places and events in Charlotte) is that our readers are truly invested in this city — admiring its history and cheerleading its growth.
Well, dear reader, have we got something for you.
Allow me to welcome you to the return of our Urban Explorer Handbook. Consider this entire issue a pared-down guide to eight of Charlotte's historic and burgeoning neighborhoods. Plus, news editor Ana McKenzie offers a glimpse at what Charlotte's future looks like.
Based on what you read in these pages and your own experiences in the areas we've written about, cast your vote for what you think should be deemed 'Hood of the Year. The Battle of the Hoods ballot is available at www.clclt.com/battleofthehoods. Voting ends Aug. 2.
After all, competition spurs greatness.