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Charlotte- Then and Now in recent history

06_09 thumb charlotte abandoned parking lot So there I was, out for an early morning stroll in Charlotte, NC. I walked through the hotel's back parking lot, noticing a lane that went off from the lot. Walking down the lane I came to a large, obviously disused, pie- wedge shaped parking lot... weeds growing from cracks in the asphalt, light fixtures removed, signs in disrepair. A walkway led to the tip of the wedge. At the lower end of the lot was a large pile of sewer and water pipes that had been obviously pulled from the ground. 

06_09 charlotte abandoned parking lot 2

Having nothing better to do, I continued walking to the far side of the lot where I found.... another parking lot, also pie- wedge shaped and equally abandoned. And yet another on the far side of it. The lots formed a semi-circle of a pie with the tips of the wedges pointing to a common center.

I walked to the tip of one of the parking lots, the center of the pie, and found

06_09 charlote colessium  
a large field at the crest of the hill bordered by trees on the far side. Interesting, but not terribly so. I took an image of the approaching sunrise... see previous posting... and returned to the hotel (BREAKFAST!).

Curiosity and insomnia got me thinking about the parking lots with their large field, wondering what had been there. Using the magic of Google Maps, I discovered it was the site of the infamous Charlotte Coliseum: a large facility built by the City of Charlotte in the late eighties to entice a pro basketball team, the Charlotte Hornets. The coliseum was a money-maker for several years largely due to the success of the basketball team occupying it. The building quickly turned into a boondoggle when the team's fortunes turned sour. It was too big (the largest NBA venue of its type), very noisy and didn't have many of the amenities affluent fans wanted. The basketball team abandoned Charlotte for New Orleans and use of the Charlotte Coliseum became sporadic. The coliseum fell into disuse, was closed in 2005 and after less than twenty years, was imploded in 2007. The lots and the field are all that remain.

06_09 charlottecol1

The arrows point to where I took the pictures
06_09 charlotee collesium satellite    
 

Learn from History?

Remember how, when you go on vacation, you take some basic precautions so folks won't see that your house is empty? Such things as canceling the newspaper or having someone pick it up (if your local paper hasn't gone belly up yet), leaving a light on or putting lights on a timer, having a trusted neighbor park in the driveway, getting the grass mowed, having that trusted neighbor keep an eye on the house, etc., etc. All pretty basic stuff so that the casual passer-by wouldn't know the house was unoccupied and a target for dastardly deeds.

Well, it appears that some folks are having difficulty adjusting the need for basic precautions to new technology. Take, for example, the tale of Israel Hyman:

Israel, Izzy to his friends, went on vacation and decided he should use Twitter to update 2000 of his best friends as he went along.

06_09 TwitterBurglary

You KNOW what is coming next...

Izzy, upon returning from his vacation, found his home had been burglarized. He voiced suspicions that the burglary might be related to his tweets.

You think, Izzy? You only broadcast out real time using one of the largest social media networks that your house was empty and would be so for a while. PLUS, everyone who followed you for any period of time knew you ran a video business so there was probably good stuff at home. The Bad Guys may not be rocket scientists when it comes to smarts, but even they can figure out your house will be empty when you tell everyone in the world that you and your family will not be there! 

Another example of the glitz and glory of golly- gee whiz technology counteracting common sense and everything that might have been learned from history!