This is part of an ongoing series titled Mailbag, items readers submit via email or our feedback form (not social media, everybody already sees that). We get a ton of feedback, this is not close to everything (it’s about 4%), but it’s a good sample.
“I have to say that due to CA I have a cousin and his family who are now looking to move to CLT from FL. My sister and brother in law who have lived in the Bay Area for 10 years (I was there prior to them being there), are also slowly seeing the light of how cool Charlotte is b/c of Axios Charlotte! So I do thank y’all for being so spot on in your emails to then lure people to your full articles. Like I said I read them every morning before getting out of bed. I’m even using CA as a away to show my parents that it would be awesome if they moved here or got a pied-a-tierre here at some point (my dad likes the ocean so they are in FL in the winters and my mom is a hippy and they migrate to Asheville during the summers).”
“I love hearing about all of the new development going on around the city, but I feel like I rarely see any coverage of neighborhoods outside of Uptown, NoDa, Plaza and South End. I noticed some new construction happening at the corner of Antando Ave & Statesville Ave. (turned out to be 130 new apartments according to the citys development site) and reached out to Jason Thomas on Twitter to see if he had any details. While I was impressed he responded so quickly or at all, I was somewhat disappointed when he replied that it was too far outside of his area of expertise. It is only 2 miles from Uptown and there is massive development happening right there with the Brightwalk development and the planned outdoor aquatics center.”
“I’m a satisfied subscriber who enjoys reading your daily briefing. I have only one complaint- where’s the coverage for local arts??? … There’s great live entertainment going on in this city and a lot of it is produced by local artists who live/work/play in our community.” – B
“I don’t think avoiding Craigslist is the solution but I DO think you have to do your research. We got our Aussie/Lab puppy from Craigslist because in my opinion, you never know could happen to them if you don’t adopt them- they could end up ANYWHERE.”
“While I appreciate the story’s potential to bring awareness to this serious and disgusting issue taking place in our community and elsewhere (because really, people who “flip puppies” are SICK!), at its core it’s still giving a nod to people who choose to BUY puppies from breeders/people they think are breeders. One woman in the story, regardless of whether her gut was nudging her that it was wrong, willingly spent $600 on a puppy. That amount of money could have been spent not only covering her adoption fee for a homeless dog (even a puppy!) from a local rescue organization – many of which are run strictly by volunteers who do what they do because they truly love animals!”
“There are 2 messages here. The first message being that people BUYING dogs from these supposed breeders are just feeding the problem. It’s a simple case of supply and demand… The second message is ADOPT!! North Carolina alone has countless kill shelters filled with puppies and dogs just begging for a family. Don’t like shelters? There are so many local rescue groups that work tirelessly day in and day out saving lives. Up to 30% of dogs in shelters are purebreds so if you must have a purebred, they’re out there. There are also breed-specific rescue groups. These rescue groups will help families find the right dog for them. These dogs are all fully vetted, spayed/neutered, and typically microchipped. And the best thing about adoption? You’re saving a life! Just look up the euthanasia stats in NC by county. There are several counties euthanizing close to 100%(!!!) of their dogs. And yet, people are willing to seek out so-called breeders on Craigslist? It’s just wrong any way you look at it.”
In response to: The 10 best things I ate in 2015
“The 10 best things I ate in 2015 was honestly one of the most disappointing things I’ve read all week (okay maybe all day). Ruth’s Chris steak as number 1? Random pub food scattered throughout the list? Are you f***ing joking me? Allow me to propose an alternate list, dipped and battered in sarcasm. My 10 best experiences in Charlotte from 2015:
1. Went to the Apple Store at South Park mall
2. Enjoyed a nice Big Mac at the McDonalds in Overstreet Mall.
3. Drank a cold Coors Light at Hickory Tavern.
4. Explored the local start up farmer’s market in Metropolitan: Trader Joes.
5. Enjoyed the local culinary scene at EpiCentre.
6. Took in Star Wars at the local AMC theatres at Northlake.
7. Wrote a letter of support for I-77 tolls to my city council person.
8. Splurged on the local delicious ice cream at Showmar’s.
9. Went for not one, not two, but THREE hot dogs at my local IKEA.
10. Purchased some homemade furniture and textiles from the World Market antique mall.
Seriously that was a terrible list. You guys are awesome usually…”
“So, I normally would not send in stuff about an article, but I wanted to shoot you a quick note on this one. I’ve been to Pisces many times for the $10 lunch deal. Three of us had already planned on eating there again today before I read the email this morning. I’m wondering if everyone in Charlotte read your email today and decided to eat lunch there! It took us well over an hour to have lunch and the place was packed and we arrived at 11:40am. I’ve never seen that place packed for lunch like it was today. It’s the first time I’ve ever had an issue with the service, despite them doing the best they could. I’ll go back, but it was rough… Give us a heads up the day before so we don’t make lunch plans at your next story.”
In response to Katie’s Workout Wednesday articles
“I wanted to let you know that I really enjoy reading your Workout Wednesday articles! I am new to Charlotte (moved here in June) and always looking for a great workout. I have taken several of your recommendations on the different workouts that are offered here in Charlotte. Your most recent one, Fast Fit Boxing, is my favorite! They actually came into the leasing office a month ago and told us about it. I have been going the past two weeks and LOVE it!”
In response to: Top 10 places to take a bored toddler in Charlotte(ish)
“Hey CA, the article about things to do with bored toddlers is possibly one of your most useful to me ones yet, but…I’m disappointed you would include Lazy 5. Have you been there? What about the way those animals are kept looks humane? They have been repeatedly cited by PETA and the USDA among others for neglect and improper care. Not something I want to teach my toddler.”
“Good post on loving Charlotte and leadership. Hope more people read it and heed it. Don’t look at age. Look for wisdom.” – G
“I’ve written you with critiques of articles before so I feel inclined to write you with praise when warranted. This article was great, I’ve heard those same things and have come to the same conclusions. The reality is that Charlotte is a small town and the power brokers all know each other and frankly are a sensitive bunch. It makes people in my generation feel like we have to walk on egg-shells and it’s crap. A lot of the money (& leaders) in Charlotte is either old family money or comes from banking, both of which produce the same conservative outlook of trying to maintain capital and the status-quo. I really think we need someone to get serious about startups in Charlotte and I wish it would be Ric Elias. There’s very few people in town with the amount of “new money” that he has who aren’t in the financial industry… Start an international competition with real capital behind it to bring real entrepreneurial talent to Charlotte. Ric has a great relationship with Silverlake, SierraMaya360, General Atlantic, Blue Point and I’m sure many others that I’m unaware of. He could bring development talent, sales talent, and a tremendous amount of capital to the table. Anyway that’s just something that came out of my head and I’m sure you have a lot more ideas than I do. I wish you would have gone deeper with this article and shared them..” – M
“My partner and I often feel the same way and have this conversation constantly…we’re both transplants – as many Charlotteans are – and come from or have lived in places where speaking our minds is part of the culture of the city. One of the things I’m surprised by is why the city doesn’t have a deeper involvement in the black lives matter movement. As a city with deep roots in the civil right movement, I am also boggled by our lack of leadership now as it relates to the immigrant rights movement. I am taking the charge you offered to GO LEAD, and am re-inspired by your message this morning. It gives me renewed hope there are more people who think like us…now if we could just get them to act.” – A
“Thank you for today’s editorial, Ted. It was on point. Charlotte suffers from terminal politeness, and quietly marginalizes anyone who offers a critical perspective.” – R
” I couldn’t have added one thing to your article this morning. I’m am still trying to figure out this place…It looks like a city but it may be more like the old quote about LA being a thousand neighborhoods in search of an identity. My only determination these last two years is that the bandwidth of opportunities has broadened a bit beyond the bankers/blue bloods but it is still very narrow. I don’t know what it is like for guys your age but you don’t want to be my age and out of work in this town…” – M
“Originally, the Marathon in Charlotte was sponsored by The Charlotte Observer. It was called The Charlotte Observer Marathon! It was a big deal in those days. Started in 1977 and was run each year in January. I was the assistant Promotion Manager at the Observer in those days. We organized a whole weekend. Friday night spaghetti dinner at the civic center co-sponsored by Pergo! The entire community was excited. I’m guessing the name changed to Thunder Road about 10 years ago when the Observer could no longer manage such an event.”
In response to: Why my kid rides the bus
“Always and forever enjoy reading Jon Show’s posts. I don’t have kids, but the stories he tells make me want to have them. Is that bad? The hilarious stories and real-talk he provides make me literally laugh out loud. Please give us more Jon Show stories!!!”
Jon: “Funny, I have two married friends without kids who keep telling me that these stories have solidified their decision to not have kids.”
In response: Translating Charlotte Internet behavior 101
“Ew, are you guys really doing GIF pieces now? What is this, Buzzfeed? C’mon guys, you’re better than that.”
In response to the newsletter intro on Friday, January 15
“I am a strong confident woman in Charlotte who agrees with the guy you spoke to about dating. Are there no confident, successful, independent, authentic men out there in Charlotte? Any ideas?”
“When I read, ‘I don’t want the preppy Southern woman that just goes out on Montford…’ I laughed so loudly and ok, I snorted too. Great stuff. I am going to unsubscribe from the TheSkimm now. Thank you!” -S
“Tell him to call my daughter! Isn’t a Montford girl, works for [***], [***] from UNC, attractive, works out… however she is traveling cross country from LA to DC this next week.”
“Who is he? Where has he been? All I can seem to find are men who want the stay-at-home-wife type (I’m not knocking women who want this. At the end of the day, it’s about your choices and what makes you happy. Personally, so much of my identity is wrapped up in my career and ambitions and I will never let that go). If he’s looking for strong, confident women, he needs to meet my friends. Or me. At any rate, good luck to him. There are some bad ass women out there looking for bad ass men to run the world with.”
“I share the same sentiments as your good-looking, nice single dude friend. In the event you’re up to making the intro, I thought I’d share a few highlights:
-28 years old
-Economically independent from my parents
-Starts each day with the Axios Charlotte and a grande blonde coffee
-Spent last 5 years climbing the corporate ladder
-Weekend craft beer drinker
Sincerely, Strong, Confident Woman in Charlotte” – A
“Did you happen to get the name of the good-looking, nice single dude? I consider myself to be a strong, confident woman looking for someone single in Charlotte, and despite the fact that I live within walking distance from Montford I avoid it like the plague unless I am eating at Good Food. I have to agree that if you are not an avid Match.com user or into looking for love at the bar, finding suitable singles can be difficult. Thought it would be worth the time to ask you if you got his name and number! Love CA & your whole team! You guys rock!” – L
“Who is this man looking for that kind of woman? Because I’m a strong confident woman who struggles with finding a guy in Charlotte that isn’t a complete loser with no ambition beyond the weekend party… haha” – E
“There are a lot of strong, confident women who attend my church as single young adults who can’t seem to find men who are looking for life partners (vs a short-term thing). I wonder if there’s a story here somewhere about where people look for their dates (bar, match, work, church, Dowd, charity event, condo complex, men vs women), what the unique rules of engagement in each are, and where you’re most likely to find what type of date… Maybe you’ve already done it, but as you say, I’m always hearing about how limited the pool is. What if that has to do more with where people are going/what they’re doing and less to do with the quality of our fine city’s residents?” – J
“As a 30 year old recently divorced woman with a highly visible career and a lot of drive, I had trouble finding quality men who could handle a strong woman. I mostly found guys looking for a hookup and to ‘keep it casual.”‘Quality women know what they bring to the table and don’t wait around for foolish boys and their games. After a lot of truly terrible dates, I did find someone to love, who respects me and is just as driven as I am. Our one year anniversary is next month.” – K
In response to: Start 2016 in style: 10 local fashion finds for women
“I think I am going to have to officially avoid any Fashion article written on the Agenda. Perhaps I am still scratching my head over the egregious omission of Laura Vinroot Poole in last year’s Top 10 Fashion Players article or perhaps I am just officially a bitter late 20’s something? I am guessing the latter because I simply could not relate to anything in Rachel’s Spring 2016 trend article in Charlotte. Where can I get the lace and floral mixed dresses, blush/pink, pleated skirts, latin/bohemian, lighter denim, slip dresses, sequins, and ruffle off shoulder blouses I saw all over Spring runway’s in Charlotte?? I completely understand fashion is subjective, and I am guessing QueenCityChic has curbed the market for ladies in their early 20’s in Charlotte. What about the 27-35 year old’s? Is there a Charlotte fashion blogger out there for me?”
“The dating debate: I’m always skeptical of broad generalizations. My company has 30,000 employees worldwide. There are 30 people on my team. If you ask each of them, “How do you like it here?” you will get 30 different answers based on their level of satisfaction with their work, their manager and the company culture. In this case, there are 30 different versions of my company… Here are some reasons why it might be difficult:
- Transplants: Charlotte is full of them. It’s hard to move to a new city and create a friend network, at least initially. It’s even harder for people who are addicted to their phones in social situations (more on this in a moment).
- Career-focused young professionals: I don’t have statistical evidence to support this, but it’s my hunch that young women (say, 23-28) are likely more focused on their careers than finding a mate. If they moved here for a job, there’s a good chance their career is riding shotgun. Sorry, dudes.
- “Technology-natives”: Considering (a) the number of people who almost bump into me every day because they have their heads buried in their phones; (b) the number of people who wear ear buds when they’re walking around in public; and (c) that almost no one can be in an intimate social situation (think: elevator) for any amount of time without pulling out their phone, it’s safe to say people don’t know how to break the ice and make meaningful human conversation. Actually, it’s not even that – they simply miss the opportunity because they aren’t paying attention.”
In response to: How Montford can become the next hip neighborhood in Charlotte
“Keep the name Montford…It doesn’t need a rebranding.”
“I love all that’s going on with Montford. Enough so that I’ll probably show up tonight, even though I’m 20 years removed from apartment ownership, and I only get there for dinner maybe once a year (three kids will do that to one’s restaurant budget). But there is ONE detail that will define the success or failure of Montford Park, or whatever they call the area: whether the developers are truly serious about doing their part to maximize the greenway, rather than making Montford yet another case of ‘drive-by urbanism.’ I’m guessing you know that Little Sugar Creek Greenway will eventually run all along the eastern edge of this Montford Park district. In fact, that 1.5-mile stretch is the missing link limiting the greenway’s success right now. The county gave a contract last November to build the segment from Tyvola to Huntingdown Farms, with construction starting this year. But there’s zero action at the greenway’s current dead-end on Westfield. I checked with city officials a while back, and the good news is they’re planning to do it right – they hope to take the greenway under all three roads (Brandywine, Woodlawn, and Park), just like they did at 3rd Street, 4th Street, and Morehead. The bad news is that’s an extremely expensive proposition, so they’re not even starting construction until 2017 – and that’s only if the bonds vote passes later this year. They didn’t say this, but if the bond vote fails, they’ll probably have to delay construction further, or do some half-baked overground crossing instead, which would be a safety nightmare. Think about it this way: is there one example of New Urbanism in Charlotte – just one – where even 5% of the users don’t get there by car? Even the good ones that invested in hidden parking decks and pedestrian-focused open spaces, like Birkdale Village, are destinations that everyone drives to. Drive-By Urbanism. With the LSC greenway, Montford has the possibility of being The Exception to the rule. To be sure, most will still get there by car. But the minority who walk or bike could at least be a substantial minority, not a token one, IF the developers get it right. For future Montford Park residents who work uptown, the possibilities are even better – they’ll be able to bike all the way to their jobs without touching a surface street (other than that unfortunate hiccup along Jameston) until they reach midtown. Aside from the bond vote, the Big If is whether the developers are truly serious about making their developments greenway-centric, rather than roadway centric. Think about Park Road Shopping Center as an unfortunate counterpart. Imagine how much more appealing that destination would be if it had restaurants and shops facing the greenway. I’ve heard that this is part of Edens’ long-term vision, with possibly another bridge across Little Sugar Creek over to Westfield, and the potential is definitely there. But they’re stuck with the brutally exorbitant cost of undoing a parking-lot oriented development that shows its ass-end to the greenway. At best, that will take decades to undo. The multiple Montford developers have one shot – ONE – to get it right from the outset. Will their shops have one face along the greenway, or be oriented toward the asphalt? (And not a useless face either, like the absurd caricature that is the Harris Teeter “storefront” at Providence/Queens.) Will their restaurants have outside dining along the creek, or will all that frontage be dedicated to apartment views to maximize rent rates? For properties not directly touching the creek itself, will they have dedicated bike paths leading down to the greenway, or just curb-side paint strips on surface streets? Will the walking and biking connections be designed in terms of how they connect with surrounding neighborhoods like Madison Park and neighbors just across the creek along Selwyn Ave., or will they focus solely on their internal residents? I’m mystified as to why the city hasn’t tied every Montford rezoning request to getting developers to invest in this piece of greenway infrastructure, rather than waiting on the bonds. Rezoning is the perfect carrot-stick enticement, but if that’s happening, no one in the media is writing about it. We could be gaining real traction on this greenway stretch already, but instead, we’re left to cross our fingers that the bonds pass, and that developers will have enough foresight to design accordingly, even though the greenway design for that 1.5 mile stretch is still incomplete. The Montford area is poised on the edge of becoming a true live-work-play hub rather than just a restaurant scene. PLEASE shine a spotlight on this. The scale is smaller, but it’s no exaggeration to say that the greenway could be to Montford Park what light rail has been to South End. And please keep that spotlight bright over the next 3-5 years, to help make sure Montford doesn’t become yet another case of drive-by urbanism.”