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.
“WOW! As an almost fifty year old, I was surprised how much I love CHARLOTTE AGENDA. Awesome stories, great writing, good variety, and I even read “jobs” even though I don’t need one! LOVE IT! Cant believe I didn’t hear about y’all sooner.” – G
“Hey! I have been following CA for several months now and have loved the daily updates on what’s going on in Charlotte. I love hearing about new restaurants and projects being built, the job postings, weather… I love it all. However, recently I feel like there has been more opinion based political talk and honestly if I wanted to read about liberal-sided agenda I would just read the Observer. Maybe I’m the odd one out and people love that, but it seems that the highly opinionated pieces are getting a lot of negative feedback, and I agree. Since when does minority rule? Please know that not all your audience is into liberal agenda-pushing and that there are so many of us out there that love CA for what it’s actually good at.” – H
In response to: How to experience the childbirth-like joy of ordering a Publix sub online
“Who the heck chooses not to have their sandwich heated up?! Ted is crazy. And I’m starting to wonder how much of a sandwich guy he really is, even though he claims to be a big dog in that department. Eating half and not getting toasted… big dog… more like weiner dog!!!” -G
“Ted, I’m MG from the Publix Deli at Southline. I’m so glad you enjoyed the sub I made for you yesterday. It is truly a pleasure to serve you. Stop by anytime you have a moment and say hello. I’m glad you’re a fan of #pubsub. Best regards” – M
“My husband is one of the guys in the photo! I sent him the story and asked him why he didn’t order online. His response: ‘bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. So true. I was so furious. I always order the special online, but that day they didn’t have a special posted so I decided to wing it. This picture totally captures me silently angry in line… I totally remember seeing that guy take that picture too. He was giggling like a school girl. I was thinking that guy must be really excited for lunch.'” – B
In response to: No, Charlotte didn’t really just outlaw men’s and women’s bathrooms
“Yes, let’s talk bathrooms. Look, ultimately I agree – this probably has very little impact on most of us and optically it will probably help the city recruit. I’m pragmatic. I honestly don’t understand transgenderism, but I like being good to people and I like seeing this city grow, so whatever. Here’s the problem I have with your story though. Note that of the two “real” reasons you gave to support the fact that this doesn’t outlaw gender specific restrooms/locker room… you invoke ‘interpretation’. So sure, the city – at this moment – interprets the ordinance this way. And sure, most Judges – at this moment – interpret ordinances in this manner. But if history has taught us anything, it is that interpretation changes over time and – mostly – liberalizes. Otherwise, you guys are crushing it and I enjoy reading the stories, even the ones that make me scratch my head 😀 Cheers.” – J
In response to: Here’s why you have to buy a private club membership at VBGB and Thomas Street Tavern
“The private club rule doesn’t deserve to exist and hasn’t for at least 20 years, my length of time in Charlotte. Seems like the ALE is suddenly enforcing the rules? We should get to the bottom of why, and start a conversation about the relevance of enforcement anymore. Not to go on a rant, but we need to examine, understand, and put in the past the history of older regulation. Regulation might be costing people a buck recently, but regulation burned me so reading this struck a nerve, apparently like a lot of other people. I owned a brewery in Charlotte back in the day, and there were three regulations that made it VERY hard to stay open; (1) the law was that a 3 tier distribution system was required. If you picked a distributor, by law it was for life – period – whether or not they were a good one, (2) a brewery was not allowed to sell beer on premise if they were a manufacturer, so when we sold onsite (and we used to have crazy, wild parties) all proceeds had to go to charities by law; and (3) the alcohol content was capped at 6% so most of the IPA’s that we can now buy (love NODA’s Hop, Drop, and Roll) wouldn’t be allowed in the market. Love that the regs changed. Love and drink local beer always. Go to VBGB’s, since I work across the street. We need to change the rest of the damn antiquated laws to finish bringing Charlotte into the present!” – T
In response to: Workout Wednesday: CycleSouth
“Thanks so much for the shout out for CycleSouth! I just started going to spin class there a few weeks ago and absolutely love it. Full disclosure: I HATE to exercise but this class is so much fun that I honestly can’t wait to get there and get started on spin class day! The instructors are all super fun, challenging and encouraging and they play awesome music. Erica, the owner, is delightful and supportive.” – L
In response to: A guide to ordering treats off the Spanish-language menu at Cocos Locos
“¡Que sorpresa, que sabrosa! ‘Still can’t figure it out? Seriously, just ask the clerk to guide you through the menu. Go visit. Now.’ Katie, not only was your article fun and deliciously tempting to read (I gave up sweets for Lent–grrr), with enticing photos… your ending statement could have been a good bit of encouragement to the first #caLIVE event for folks to get out of the Wedge parts of Charlotte and get to know the Fan parts of Charlotte–Tom Hanchett mentioned this too quickly, but maybe one of your staff might follow up on this someday. Truly, Cocos Locos is a refreshing suggestion on many levels. Made my wife and I miss LA, our adopted home, and miss Tucson, where we both grew up.” – P
In response to: Yes, your leaving Charlotte to avoid black people during CIAA is racist
“This really needed to be addressed! Being from NYC and not understanding racism here in Charlotte is a issue for me. We’re here 2 yrs now and we love it. My only problem with this city is DIVERSITY hasn’t grown amongst the races. From new businesses to schools, it seems as if black and white people are content with isolating themselves from each other. I appreciate you for this article.” – D
“This is for the author…”
“Let me tell you that you can only comment on CIAA if you have experienced it as a person in the service or hospitality industries – whether you are a white person or a person of color. Consider the following questions…
- Have you had a group of customers treat you so terribly as to make you cry (and I am a tough woman)?
- Have you had someone call you a racist b**** who accused them of being poor, while throwing thousands of dollars in your face just for you asking for a credit card to start a tab? (Context: A man ordered a $500 bottle of champagne to be delivered to another table. After I delivered it, he walked out to leave without paying. I followed him out because if he didn’t pay for that champagne, I would have to. I asked him for a card to which he replied, ‘You think I’m poor, you racist b****? Here, take this money. I don’t need it.’ To which he threw about $3,000 in $20s at my face. I humiliatingly picked up all the money and handed it back to him – then he went to my manager to make a complaint that I was racist for asking him for a form of payment.)
- Have you worked for 18 hours straight while leaving with less than $200 in tips?
- Have you had a table with a $300 check leave you 10 cents for a tip?
- Have you had someone threaten to beat you in the face for not being able to find their jacket?
- Have you had to lock the doors of your establishment because there is a full riot happening outside with more police than you even knew existed in Mecklenburg County?
- Have you seen teenagers f***ing in the streets right outside your window?
- Have you had to maneuver through the Epicentre after it had to be shut down during the day due to overcapacity?
- Have you been screamed at and threatened for running out of a certain type of liquor?
- Have you had to have your event space professionally cleaned because the corners were used as a bathroom?
… If you answered NO to more than 3 of these questions, then you cannot say that those who avoid Uptown because of CIAA are racist. This is extremely offensive. I would avoid any “party” where the above happened… I have experienced all of these things in several capacities as a service industry and hospitality employee over several years. Every year at this time, I am SO thankful that I no longer work in this capacity and I feel so sorry for those who undoubtedly still have to endure this.” – K
In response to: Best restaurant row trifecta? The Elizabeth Strip vs. The Dilworth 3
“How can Dilworth have 3 top restaurants if 1 just opened and the other isn’t even open yet, WTF? Maybe I am biased because Elizabeth is my hood, it’s the bees knees.” – A
“There are two small pockets in town that each contain three of Charlotte’s top 25 restaurants within 60 yards of each other.” Is everything on this site now an advertisement? Kid Cashew just opened, Babalu won’t open for months, and you are calling them part of the top 25 restaurants in Charlotte and the top 3 of Dilworth? Absurd. This article should have been shelved until fall or at least until the restaurants are all actually open. Between this and the awful CIAA articles yesterday CA is now 0 – 2 on the week for reader satisfaction for this reader. I’ve been a daily reader since you started and have really enjoyed the site (and have generally been fine with the advertisements). I’m fairly new to town and it has become my go to when looking for recommendations, but if this is the direction the site is going, I’m out.” – T
“Is this a serious question? Three of the consensus top restaurants in town on Elizabeth versus Babalu, that’s not even open, Kid Cashew, of which nobody I know says anything good, and Summit Room, primarily known for cocktails. Maybe Dilworth will become a better place for “socialization” and to “hang out,” but I go to restaurants to, you know, eat good food…” – S
In response to: 12 things they don’t tell you before moving to Elizabeth
“A few years ago before the crosswalk was added on 7th Street I was running along with a friend’s dog and looked back over my shoulder to see if I could run across the street and in that split second I fell into the exact uncovered water meter you show in the article. My leg went into the hole up to my knee and my upper body fell into the street. Luckily a car wasn’t coming and luckily my friend has a good dog that didn’t run off. It is apparently a problem around town because people steal the covers to sell at the recycling center. I learned that on the same 311 phone call that began with “Mam?! Mam?! Are you still in the hole?!” – L
In response to: Top 10 Charlotte coffee shops to work from, ranked
“I’ve been to half of those coffee houses that you listed in your article and must admit that I disagree with what you’ve written. Every time I go, they’re either loud or packed or a combination of both. I’ve tried accomplishing ‘work’ at many of them, only to find myself distraught by the noise and/or inability to have personal space. I think you should delete your article because it’s not very truthful.” – C
“I know you guys don’t make it out to the burbs very often, but for those of us who commute, location to home is key when we want to work remotely. All of the spots you named were near center city. If you want to see a true hub of work/interviews/people avoiding the commute, visit the Starbucks at the Promenade on Providence (off of Ballantyne Commons Parkway). It is the go to spot for those of us from Duke, Wells Fargo, TIAA, the Bank, etc. who live out this way. Yes, another national brand, but friendly staff and loyal customer base.” – S
In response to: Here’s what Blue Blaze Brewing will look like when it opens this spring/summer
“First off, gentrification is a real issue and concern for longtime residents in Seversville. As a newly minted resident, my wife and I want to respect the history of our new neighborhood and hope to mesh into its fabric. But gentrification implies that people are being forced out, by being priced out of the community and there homes. In the case of Blue Blaze Brewing this couldn’t be farther from the truth. This site is currently a dilapidated relic of the textile area… an old mill sitting empty and unused. The construction of Blue Blaze is the opposite of gentrification. Blue Blaze is revitalization and the productive adaptive re-use of empty space. Hopefully the developers’ plans for the rest of historic Savona Mill will come to fruition… and the revitalization of the mill will continue. But if these good things happen, and I think they will, then we as a community also have to protect the heritage and history of our neighborhood. We have to make sure that those who came before are not slowly pressured out by rising property taxes and home values. We as residents, and those that we elect to represent us, have to find creative ways to make sure that gentrification doesn’t become a reality. At the same time we have to cheer revitalization and welcome those who are choosing to joins us in Historic West End.” – C
In response to: Busing isn’t the answer for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
“I support the article about Busing isn’t the Answer by Angela Williams. As a mother of 3 in 3 different schools I would be heart broken to have my kids separated from their friends and bused all over the city. My husband travels all week and without the support of my neighborhood friends I would not be able to manage all 3 schedules by myself. It is often that I have to leave before my middle schooler gets on the bus to volunteer at the elementary school. Without my neighbors helping to get him on the bus I would not be able to volunteer. Without my carpools for after school activities my children would not be able to participate in school sports. This isn’t an issue about race or socioeconomic status, it is about our children being close to home and parents being able to use their tight knit community resources in their areas!!” – C
In response to: Congrats on having a kid! Condolences on becoming a Charlotte parent.
“I’ve enjoyed CLT Agenda from the beginning, but between Monday’s outrageous CIAA op-ed and the piece this morning on having children, I’ve become increasingly frustrated with the subjugation of actual news by paragraphs-long opinions that, frankly, belong on personal blogs. The former of those two articles was clearly written by someone who spends very little time Uptown to begin with. As someone who works there every day, I can tell you that most people lamenting the tournament are doing so not because of skin color but because of the great deal of inconvenience involved with doing anything Uptown (i.e. trying to park so you can get to your office). To lump everyone into the racist barrel is ridiculous. I could continue to pick this article apart beef-by-beef, but instead, I applaud CLT Agenda for its transparency in sharing all the negative feedback received in response to that article. Now, to the piece on having kids vs. being a parent. That “realistic, BS-free” one. I understand that there was no ill intent here, and that Mr. Show feels the need to vent his feelings (we all do from time to time). This, however, is not the venue in which to do so. My wife and I had a great deal of difficulty trying to have a child because of a pre-existing medical condition. The ordeal was truly heartbreaking, and it’s a feeling that one cannot possibly understand unless they themselves have been there. I used to be that guy, in fact, who had very little sympathy for couples who reveled in sadness over “not being able to have kids,” but my experience completely reconfigured that mindset. We spent a lot of money on tests and procedures and this fall, we were blessed that one of those costly procedures worked and we’ve had a healthy pregnancy ever since. All this is to say that people have no idea the gravity of this topic, and how insensitive and frankly, offensive, this article could seem to any readers who have been down that road. I’ve not yet “parented,” but I understand that it will be a challenge. Bring it on. Most things worth doing are a challenge. My wife and I have waited a long time for it and we could not be more excited. For Mr. Show to joke about putting a vasectomy on his wedding registry and generally patronize readers who’ve endured a great deal of sadness in trying to get pregnant is uncalled for. I know plenty of couples from our crowded fertility clinic who would gladly take those kids off his hands; perhaps he shouldn’t take the downs of the experience for granted. And sure, my wife is doing most of the work in this adventure, but it is an extremely collaborative process so I’m going to say “WE’RE pregnant,” and I don’t care whether or not your author calls me an idiot. I rarely opine and I’m only sharing my thoughts because I know CLT Agenda can do better. I admire the entrepreneurial spirit of the Agenda, and I enjoy getting well-curated news on the exciting growth and change of Charlotte. I could do without the cynicism and the personal rants.” -R
In response to: Naming: Only 39% prefer the name LoSo. Top 30 opinions and alternatives like Scawoola, Craft Row & QuPa
“I was shocked that the name Southside wasn’t mentioned in any of the responses. It’s catchy, and plays into the relationship with South End, the actual location of the neighborhood and one of the major streets in the area. Also, it’s just flashy enough to sound like the place you’d want to be on a Saturday night (like Montford, which is why I think that name has stuck). According to Google Maps, there is an area around Remount Road and Tryon called Southside Park. I say extend the length of that neighborhood to Southside Drive and Verbena Street and let’s call it all the Southside.” – A
“I’m going to be brutally honest here. When I reviewed my Axios Charlotte email this morning and saw yet >>another<< article about what to name this subsection of South End, I think my head actually tilted back from the eye roll I gave it. Of course, I had to open it up and take a look. Curiosity got the best of me. I was curious how this could still be an ongoing thing. I was thinking, are there really this many people that care about this? Is there something new to report here, some major new development in this riveting story? I read the whole thing. I laughed. I cried. Well, I cried on the inside because I really feel like this is a waste of time. I couldn’t stop thinking ‘Do any of these people actually live in this area?’ ‘Do any of these people actually have teeth in this?’ ‘Why all the concern about what to name it?’ ‘Why the urgent push for a name?’ Now I get it, I’m all for having pride in our city and there’s a lot of new development in this area so some people want to give it a cool or trendy name. Maybe it’s their hang out area, but is anyone using any of these names in a sentence? Even with all of this discussion I’m not confident anyone would ever actually use the name that’s picked! …
“Hey where are y’all going tonight?”
“We’re going to LoSo.” “Meet up with us in LoSo.” “I’ll be in LoSo.”
“Umm, oh you mean Lower South End? Okay.”
“Hey where are y’all going tonight?”
“We’re going to Queen Park.” “Meet us in Queen Park.” “I’ll be in Queen Park.”
“Oh, what, Meyers Park?”
“Uhh, no, uhh over where OMB is.”
… They both sound terrible right? Here’s what I really wanted to say… this is becoming a joke. This is just like the South Park episode with the new pop-up area being given a ridiculous name. With all of this discussion over names, pie charts, voting, etc. does anyone think people in other neighborhoods are going to actually call it whatever some majority decides on? The answer is no, we won’t. Right now we’re laughing. And we’re going to call it the most ridiculous choice of the bunch. Perhaps we’ll put 2 or 3 of them together to recall this ridiculousness…how does Queen LoSe sound? Haha! Neighborhood names that matter happen over time. They happen organically, by people in conversation. You don’t force them. Sorry/Not Sorry…just an opinion #QueenLoSe” – M
In response to: The introvert’s guide to social Charlotte
“I’m also an INTJ and have experienced all of these same things. It’s as if we were aliens but cannot be identified or identify others from our home planet easily. On the rare occasions where I’ve met some of my same type to get along instinctively, and I wonder if early education could help us to feel like we fit in better then the struggles we have when we are young.” – D
“Oh, Katie. This really speaks to me. As a fellow INTJ, I could relate to all of that! Currently at work, blasting my white noise app in my earbuds, waiting until lunch when I can go for a solo run on a quiet greenway. Also met my husband online – I mean, how else?! Enjoyed that article! :)” – V
In response to: 3 big ideas for transforming how Charlotte gets around
“The interactive transportation app was a wonderful idea and seems entirely “do-able”- both from an operational and budgetary stance with the added bonus of potential profits for the city! The addition on this aforementioned transportation app, however, which would allow a passenger/user to summon the automated transport connecting the Blue Line areas north of the city seems a bit far reaching. Can you imagine the security issues and the ensuing liability for the City (not to mention the additional police presence required to monitor and/or respond)? Given that Charlotte as a whole, and the Blue Line area referenced specifically, occupy “top twenty” designations in numerous lists ranking cities in the U.S. with the highest violent crime statistics, I think most folks would be terrified to use this unmanned transport after dark or alone- especially in the North Side of Charlotte. Of course, the most catastrophic danger would be pedestrian deaths. Can you imagine the consequences if an intoxicated person or a visitor to the city were to step out wrongfully or inadvertently and is struck by one of these unmanned vehicles? Finally, I think a plan to deal specifically with freight transportation is an excellent idea! I do, however, question the reality of installation and operations logistics of traffic light altering devices that switch the signals at intersections to green as the freight vehicles approach. A method that could result in disastrous consequences both on the roads (auto accidents and traffic jams due up signaling malfunctions to name a few) and in City Hall (increased labor forces to administer and oversee licensure applications, requirements and approvals and then the added burden of enforcement). An option to enforce designated freight lanes on the interstates to ease the traffic burden a bit might be a more plausible first step? Or provide incentives for overnight travel? Either way, I do agree that this issue needs to be addressed.” – P
In response to our first #caLIVE event on February 18
“I’ve been in the land of Panthers, Hornets, & Hounds, – and quite possibly other creatures for which I’m unaware – for all of 30 days. Since arriving I’ve been exposed to culturally diverse foods, people, & live artistic showcases. As a self-proclaimed creative being, All of these things are good for my soul. Tonight I accompanied my very social & equally creative entrepreneurial husband to an event called ‘Axios Charlotte Live.’ Axios Charlotte is a cool local website with equally as cool writers, ideas, & bold topics. Admittedly, I prepared myself for social conversation, networking, & cocktails… many, many, cocktails. (I like cocktails.) Completely unprepared for tonight’s actual events guess what happened? This foreigner LEARNED SOMETHING! Tonight I learned about the history of Charlotte all the way back to the 1800’s. I learned about segregation, entrepreneurialism, status, & culture. Take what I say next as you will – let’s face it, you will anyways – the most important thing I learned about tonight was Me. Turns out, this transplant is not one of few, but of many. The nights speaker shared many insightful nuggets but none as transparent, profound, & critical to ones existence here in this eclectic city as “plug in your identity.” I moved to the land of 704 with minimal expectations. Mostly because 704 would NEVER be 412. Yes. You heard that right. Black & Gold courses through the veins of this transplant. My stubborn nature silently declared war on your land & while I would temporarily take residence here, I vowed never to call your foreign planet home. Suffice it to say, tonight’s event shocked the hell out of me. 45 minutes, & “some cocktails” later (I like cocktails) I found myself wondering if maybe declaring war on 704 was no better than declaring war on myself. 704 – all the way back to the 1800’s – while also working through periods of oppression, moved towards what it is today – a culturally progressive city. Through segregation & oppression, this city has continued to grow. Why then would my tiny stubborn – 412 ass – prevent myself from growth? When I heard the words, “plug in your identity”, I didn’t see potential. I saw a barricade. The barricade I was putting up in forbidding myself to allow this place to become my home. Sure, I had my share of cocktails. (I like cocktails.) Sure, I met some awesome people. Seriously. Awesome. People. Tonight’s event was, as I imagined Axios Charlotte had intended it to be, a beacon of hope & support to an area that’s not just the 2nd fastest growing city in the U.S., but a culturally progressive area ready to welcome anyone willing to call it home. Mentally, I think I’m progressing. Sure it’s hard to leave your home but it’s even harder when you Charlotte-block yourself. I live here now. I guess I’m a “Charlottian” now too. I might as well open myself up to how I will progress & “plug into my identity.” – H
“I attended last nights event on Montford. What an incredible event! I learned so much and got to meet some incredible people. I’m a transplant from NYC since ’08 and always maintained it’s the people and the neighborhoods that make this city so incredible. Please please please make sure I’m included on the future talks and if there is ANY way my company, Nestlewood Realty, could help to sponsor one or any of the CA messaging, please let me know. We are a local boutique firm with roots that firmly embedded throughout our hoods and you have the type of message that’s close to our hearts as we help our clients fulfill a critical dream called ‘HOME.’” – K