A phenomenally rapidly growing "town" that threatens to turn the Research Triangle of North Carolina into a Research Quadrangle. About 91,000 people live here, up from about 206 five years ago.

Okay, so I exaggerate. But not by much. Due to its prime location near the Research Triangle Park and the state capital Raleigh, NC, the population of Cary and its surrounding communities has exploded -- Chapel Hill, NC may be the only Triangle community more expensive to live in. The influx of people and rapid growth have led to the predictable regional humor: when the Raleigh News and Observer held a contest for a new motto for the capital city, one submission was "Raleigh: Gateway to Cary." Another common gag is "CARY: Containment Area for Relocated Yankees."

While residential-and-retail heavy, Cary businesses include SAS Institute, the largest privately-held software company in the world, and IBM. (IBM's PC manufacturing center is in the Park.)

Cary was featured in National Geographic Magazine's June issue, as part of the ZipUSA feature for Zip code 27513. Now, in addition to being known nationwide for its control by SAS, its look-alike subdivisions, and its Yankees, it is known worldwide for the magazine's description of housewives who get drunk and play bunco while wearing tiaras. According to the photographer's journal online, they also got a bit grabby for married ladies. See F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

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