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Thursday, June 4, 2015

June 4, 2015
What do I see?

Charlotte, NC is a beautiful city in many ways.Not all the ways readily visible because some like to tear down buildings and homes and restaurants to make way for new. It is as though we cannot be content with what we have achieved but keep pushing to prove that we are a cool city…or that we will be when everyone wants to come here. We boast about our location between the mountains and the sea, we celebrate our weather because for the most part it is ideal with only a few exceptions here and there. Charlotte is made of fine stuff. But all that glitters is not gold. The rumbling I hear from every corner troubles me. The marauders have come. The faceless who buy and sell. I call it the Board Game. There are those who come or who are joined by others called investors who build buildings because the money is cheap not because they are interested in office space or living space. They are interested in selling the building before they even build it. And the buildings I see them building are far from inspired, not even close to filling an appealing corner with a statement that helps define our gracious southern city. We become fodder. Charlotte becomes an opportunity. And we help. Because no one is watching the store, no one is tending the look, the appeal, the city blocks, the neighborhood history, the countryside sprawl. We are busy going fast. Waiting for someone to speak up and say, “What is happening?” Why is what is happening troubling? Is it because our identity as a charming southern city is hurtling forward at a rate not easily changed. Because blocks and blocks of apartments without design or imagination or thoughtfulness are casting corner after corner so we can lose our way on frequent boulevards because they all look alike. It is already too late.