Ask anyone to describe the city of Charlotte and you'll undoubtedly hear adjectives like "conservative" and phrases like "Bible Belt" and "banker's town." But, rest assured, there's more to our city than just money, religion and stuffed shirts.
Bubbling beneath the well-behaved surface of the Queen City lies a wondrous world of weird.
Now, this weird world ain't exactly easy to find. But if you do a little peeking and poking about town, you'll find the strange side. It's a place inhabited by artists, writers, business owners, psychics, rabble rousers and more -- and it's been documented and reported on for years on the Web site Weirdcharlotte.com by, perhaps, our town's weirdest denizen: Little Shiva (see story on opposite page). Our writers and editors have long been fans of Shiva (she currently writes our weekly Hot Linx column) and we're lovers of weird shit in general, so we thought it would make perfect sense to devote an issue to exploring and celebrating our town's weirdness. And that thought led to this, our Third Annual Urban Explorer's Handbook -- dubbed, for 2007, "Welcome to Weird Charlotte."
Our hope is that once you've peered through the pages of this peculiar edition of our paper, you'll come to think of your home as more than an office park. We hope you'll gaze through our eyes at the weirdness in Charlotte's streets ... and embrace the weirdo within your own heart and soul.
Urban Explorer's Handbook