Saturday, April 28, 2012

Charlotte, North Carolina in pictures

At this time last week I was attending Freedom Works' BlogCon in Charlotte, North Carolina. The sessions were intense, but I was able to break away long enough to walk around Uptown and its environs.

You can't engage in a struggle without a battle standard. Oh, the staff at the Hilton Charlotte Center City were awesome.

Charlotte's skyline. The center skyscraper is the Bank of America Corporate Center, the tallest building on the eastern seaboard between Philadelphia and Atlanta.

The Time Warner Cable Arena--which will host most of the proceedings of the Democratic National Convention late this summer.

As they did in Denver four years ago, the Dems will utilize a football stadium for the final night of their convention. But the irony will be as thick as Joe Biden's hairline is thin. The Occupy-movement loving Democrats will be sitting in the Bank of America Stadium that night. The field is the home of the NFL's Charlotte Panthers.

NBA history was made two nights ago when the Charlotte Bobcats ended their season with the worst winning percentage ever. Last Friday I convinced a guy selling tickets on the street to part with a good one for $8. It was easy to see why the Bobcats suck. The only player on the team worth a damn that night was guard Gerald Henderson, who scored 32 points--he's their best player, although that isn't saying much.

The Bobcats led early in the 4th quarter, but the playoff-bound Memphis Grizzlies turned up the intensity at that point in the game--and the 'Cats lost their 19th straight contest. They'll start the 2012-13 season with the burden of an ongoing 23 game losing streak.

Notice all of the empty seats in the stands. But the fans who were there were spirited--but they left disappointed. Again.

The Triple A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox is the Charlotte Knights, who now play in suburban Fort Mill. But the Knights hope to move here--two blocks from the Bank of America Stadium. Yesterday the South Siders called up the Knight's Dylan Axelrod--yes, another Chicago Axelrod. But he's no relation to Obama's Svengali, David.

These two shotgun houses have been preserved as a remembrance of the old Charlotte. The utilitarian homes, which were common in rural settlements and textile mill towns in the South, often have no hallways.

Fancier homes, many of them Victorian, can be found in Charlotte's Fourth Ward.

Marathon Pundit loves graveyards particularly old ones. This is Old Settlers' Cemetery, which is just north of Uptown--across the street from the First Presbyterian Church. The first known burial here was in 1776, the last one in 1884.

Among the prominent people buried in this cemetery is General Thomas Polk, who served in the Revolutionary War. He was the great uncle of President James K. Polk, who was born twenty miles south of Charlotte.

Charlotte is in Mecklenburg County. This plaque, which is in front of Polk's grave, notes that the general was a signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence on May 20, 1775, which North Carolinians claim was the first such declaration in the thirteen colonies. But the document has been lost--so historians are understandably skeptical of this claim. However, May 20, 1775 is emblazoned on the North Carolina state flag.

In Charlotte's Government Center is a monument to the Mecklenburg Declaration.

While the British were victorious in the 1780 Battle of Charlotte, the redcoats were not the beneficiary of southern hospitality. General Charles Cornwallis called Charlotte, "a veritable hornet's nest of rebellion." That's why the city's first NBA team got the Hornets name. This marker is on Tryon Street in Uptown.

Back to work at BlogCon.

Besides the Queen City, another nickname for Charlotte is the City of Churches. This is the First United Presbyterian Church, which is located between Uptown and those shotgun homes. The congregation was founded by freed slaves in 1866. This structure was built in 1896.

Charlotte's best-known religious connection is that it is the birthplace of Billy Graham.

One last look at Charlotte. I took this photograph from a hill in Pinewood Cemetery. Pictures from there will dominate my next post in this series.

Next: Confederate Charlotte

Earlier post:

Video and photos: Charlotte and the Fall of the Confederacy

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