I've lived here since '84. I didn't get to see its first transformations but I've been around now long enough to see a few.Charlotte is a delayed child. Back in the early 80's and before the city council did not want Downtown (as others have pointed out named Uptown) to be lived in. They thought you worked in Uptown but you didn't participate. This created two immediate things. An urban sprawl that is intense in all directions and an Uptown that is still a fledgling in redevelopment for live/work/shop/use.Charlotte isn't concentrated, it's based on large neighborhoods which have very different demographics. Old money, new money, young people, families, older generations wrapped in a giant loop called 485 and it has dunlap disease as it spreads beyond into neighboring bedroom community counties.The populations attitudes are equally spread out and diversified. From the elite, the entitled, the every day, good neighbor, bad neighbor, southern redneck and all the shades in between.I've left and come back to Charlotte a number of times. My roots are down here now and I doubt I'll leave at this point. Charlotte's retail overhead is very expensive for where and who we are, which makes running startup businesses a bit of a trick. The city and its landlords still have the concept of running large box long term leases vs small business incubators. However I still think Charlotte is a great place to bring great ideas to. If you have a passion and an immense amount of willpower in you, you can realize an idea here into something greater.The county is Democratic, population dense cities in NC are democratic, but the rural communities are pretty deep red. When looking at us make sure you look at how the state perceives you. Healthcare, teaching, progressive thoughts need to be looked at closely. We've swung polarities lately and that may impact your abilities. We're friendly to big business but pretty lousy when it comes to the small business and individual. Doesn't mean you can't survive and thrive it just means you need to do your homework before you get here.I have a love, meh, relationship with the city. I'm always glad to come home to our trees and green when away. There is something soothing about that. The food, the bbq, the diversity in the area--all great things. I love working with the people I've met, the networks I've built, the non-profits I give time to, and a myriad of other great things my family and I experience. I'm meh about the traffic, construction (you know the orange barrel is our state flag right?), the states reps, the tax codes, and a few other things--but I'm a small business owner so the pinch of many things effects me.Hope that helps. You can also get some good flavor from reading the Reddit forums: The Queen City!