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Useful Notes / North Carolina

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The Tarheel State

"I suppose more than anything, it's the way of life in this part of the country that influences my writing. In Eastern North Carolina, with the exception of Wilmington, most people live in small towns."

One of the original Thirteen Colonies, the State of North Carolina supplied one-third of the soldiers and much of the industrial resources during the period of the Confederacy, and still has a strong industrial base. Geographically, North Carolina includes many types of terrain across its 560-mile (901-km) width—from beaches, coastal plains, and swamps in the east, through the rolling hills of the Piedmont and the Uwharrie Mountains in the center, to the Appalachian Mountains in the west.

Some of the rural parts conform to Deep South or Appalachia stereotypes, but its largest city, Charlotte, is the second largest banking center in the United States. North Carolina also has the Research Triangle (the Raleigh-Durham area), home of one of the largest university research centers in the world and an important center of the bio-tech industry. Research Triangle is not to be confused with the Piedmont Triad (Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point) which is 90 miles to the west and known for manufacturing furniture and textiles. The state public university system is one of the best in the nation, and its private schools include Duke University and Wake Forest University. The impact has been felt in politics: long considered a lock for the Republicans (and before that, a lock for the Democrats) in presidential elections, North Carolina has joined Virginia as the second battleground state in the Old South (just barely voting for Democrat Barack Obama in 2008, just barely voting for Republican Mitt Romney in 2012, and going with Republican Donald Trump by only a slightly wider margin in 2016). As a result, North Carolina has come to symbolize the 'New South'.


North Carolina can also claim that its citizens were the first to proclaim independence from Great Britain, as two counties did so in 1775. (The dates are on the state flag.) Possibly most widely known for being the state that the Wright Brothers took their historic flight from Kitty Hawk (it's on their license plate and state quarter, in case you forget). North Carolina residents are also known as 'Tarheels', which is where the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill takes its team name (Tar Heels) from. Speaking of which, the vitriol of the Duke–UNC basketball rivalry can never be understated; at least one weatherman in the area has been known to describe a blue sky as being a shade precisely between Duke blue and Carolina blue, and one U.S. Representative who is a diehard Carolina fan remarked in 2012, "I have said very publicly that if Duke was playing against the Taliban, then I'd have to pull for the Taliban."note 


Wilmington, arguably North Carolina's most prominent coastal city, is the home of the largest film and television production studio outside of California, the EUE/Screen Gems facilitynote note  (though it's not 'East Coast Hollywood' just yet), which produced Dawson's Creek, One Tree Hill, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Muppets from Space, and The Crow.note  Wilmington is also notable outside entertainment as the hometown of Michael Jordan.note In recent years, Winston-Salem has also become a popular site for filmmakers, especially up-and-comers, thanks to being home to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and its School of Film. Colonial-era capital city New Bern is considered to be the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola, though the company only seems to care about that when marketing the beverage to this particular state. Asheville, nestled in a river valley in the middle of the Appalachians, has gained a reputation in recent years as a New Age mecca, and is also a major center for Appalachian folk art.

The state is an odd mix of very rural and very urban areas, enough that a metropolitan City could be found right next to an Everytown, America-esque small town.

The state is also known for its divisive politics, being considered a purple state, being subject to a lot of Gerrymandering, and being ridiculed by other states for it. That's all we have to say about that.

Works set in North Carolina


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