June SouthPark 2023

Page 1

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Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was no stranger to controversy during the eight years — plus a bonus season in 2021 — he called Charlotte home. He was also perhaps the most fashionable athlete the Queen City has ever seen (sorry LaMelo, but you’ve still got time).

While working on this month’s style feature, one particular photo, above, instantly reminded me of Cam’s “romper moment” in 2017. If you’re new here, or don’t pay much attention to pop culture, the 6-foot-5 Newton set the internet on fire when he showed up at California’s Coachella music festival in what appeared to be a navy floral romper. Turns out the 2015 NFL MVP actually was wearing a two-piece matching shorts-and-shirt set purchased from an uptown men’s boutique. That didn’t stop the fashion police from weighing in on Cam’s wardrobe choice — some applauded it, others clearly did not, but it sure got people talking.

“I stand out, I don’t blend in; when I said that I meant it!” Cam wrote in an Instagram caption, multiple reports shared (the post has since been deleted).

Seeing this photo (also on page 90), I suddenly realized how far men’s fashion has come, in the Queen City and beyond — and especially since the days when, on a night out, it was nearly impossible to spot a man who wasn’t wearing a pressed blue or white button-down oxford and khakis.

Our style scene has come so far in a mere six years! Today, will anyone be buzzing about three handsome guys strutting by a pool in matching shorts-and-shirt combos? Nah. And that’s great. We no longer need to stick to a “uniform.” There are so many ways these days for all of us to express ourselves sartorially.

But fellas — if you’re still showing up to social events in khakis and polos, it might be time for a closet refresh ;) SP


1 — North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green (page 83) 2 — Birthday boy Richard Israel and Whitley Adkins behind the scenes at our cover photo shoot (page 90) 3 — New dishes at Suffolk Punch SouthPark (page 32)
4 — A scene from Montana’s magnificent green o resort (page 106) editor@southparkmagazine.com
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22 | interiors

A designer carves out a floral, feminine space in a houseful of boys.

26 | style

Closet Crush: Bob Tapp

32 | food + drink

Suffolk Punch Brewing’s new SouthPark location is foodfocused and family-friendly.

38 | beverages

Georgia Dunn Belk’s tropical-inspired alcoholic drinks preserve a centuries-old culture.

44 | hiking

A seasoned hiker shares four favorite trails in the Uwharrie Mountains.

48 | authors

A.J. Hartley pens an adventure set in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

52 | profile

The YMCA’s Stan Law retires after three decades of breaking barriers and helping others.

56 | around town

What’s new and coming soon in Charlotte

60 | happenings

June calendar of events


67 | art of the state

Greensboro painter Jennifer Meanley creates kaleidoscope realities.

71 | bookshelf

Notable new releases

75| simple life

Fresh-cut grass stirs up memories.

110 | swirl

Parties, fundraisers and events around Charlotte

120 | gallery

With more events and revitalized spaces, a new picture of SouthPark Mall emerges.



Avani Kodali, Renata Melissa Nemenz and Hodges Miller styled by Whitley Adkins and photographed by Richard Israel at the Copper Builders Model Home & Design Center in SouthPark.
32 26
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83 | this I know for sure poetry by Jaki Shelton Green

85 | Father knows best by Michael

Lessons from Dad: Charlotte notables share their most cherished lessons.

90 | Make a splash

styled by Whitley Adkins photographs by Richard Israel

Style: A poolside party with tropical sips, delectable fare, and bold and breezy style


102 | Hello, old friend by Sharon

Soak in Charleston’s rich history and eclectic cuisine while getting reacquainted with old favorites and new attractions around every corner.

106 | Feast and forest by

Foodies and wilderness lovers: Plan a visit to the green o for an unforgettable Montana getaway.

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Ben Kinney Publisher publisher@southparkmagazine.com

Cathy Martin Editor editor@southparkmagazine.com

Sharon Smith Assistant Editor sharon@southparkmagazine.com

Andie Rose Creative Director

Alyssa Kennedy Art Director alyssamagazines@gmail.com

Miranda Glyder Graphic Designer Whitley Adkins Style Editor

Caroline Boulware Editorial Intern

Contributing Editor David Mildenberg

Contributing Writers

David Claude Bailey, Michelle Boudin, Jim Dodson, Allison Futterman, Jaki Shelton Green, Vanessa Infanzon, Liza Roberts, Michael J. Solender

Contributing Photographers

Daniel Coston, Justin Driscoll, Richard Israel, Amy Kolo, Dustin Peck

Contributing Illustrator

Gerry O’Neill


Jane Rodewald Sales Manager 704-621-9198 jane@southparkmagazine.com

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Letters to the editorial staff: editor@southparkmagazine.com

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Twitter: twitter.com/SouthParkMag


Jack Andrews, Frank Daniels III, Lee Dirks, David Woronoff in memoriam Frank Daniels Jr.

David Woronoff President david@thepilot.com

Published by Old North State Magazines LLC. ©Copyright 2023. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Volume 27, Issue 6
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people, places, things


Summer entertaining just got a lot more colorful with these handblown glasses from House of Nomad. The global-inspired design studio debuted its design center and retail store at Hazel SouthPark in January. The shop is filled with HON’s eclectic finds, including this wavy glassware collection from Australian lifestyle brand Fazeek. The glasses are sold in sets of two and are priced from $56-$92. Flutes, coupes, mugs, wine glasses and other drinkware are available, along with vases, bowls and plates.

4401 Barclay Downs Dr., Ste. 132, or online at houseofnomaddesign.com. SP

southparkmagazine.com | 21

Bloom room


photographs by Dustin Peck

When it was time to update the powder room of her 1980s-era SouthPark home, interior designer Tucker Donnelley had her work cut out for her. The walls had been coated with a textured, stucco-like treatment in a wave pattern that was a challenge to remove. Fortunately, Donnelley is used to practicing patience in designing her personal living spaces. “I had an IKEA coffee table forever,” says the Arkansas native, who moved to Charlotte in 2018 with her husband and two sons. Instead of quickly filling her home with uninspired, poorly made

22 | SOUTHPARK blvd. | interiors

blvd. | interiors

furnishings, the designer prefers investing in quality pieces and antiques, acquired slowly over time.

Donnelley transformed the space, covering the walls with a bold floral wallpaper by Kelly Ventura and adding a vintage Venetian mirror. She painted the dark wood vanity a soft, powdery pink and replaced a green-hued granite top with a sleek, leathered quartzite. On another wall, a framed quartet of delicate handmade blooms by North Carolina metal artist Tommy Mitchell continues the floral, feminine theme.

In a houseful of boys, it’s nice to have a space to welcome guests with a touch of glamour, the designer says. “I don’t even like the color pink,” says Donnelley, who studied interior design at Western Carolina University and worked at Chicago’s iconic Merchandise Mart before her husband’s job sent them on a series of moves around the eastern U.S. “Though I would say there’s an asterisk — it’s starting to grow on me.” SP


Wallpaper: Kelly Ventura

Mirror: vintage from Hamilton-Stuart

Vanity: Southern Comfort by Benjamin Moore, with a leathered quartzite top

Artwork: Tommy Mitchell


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Alaska native Bob Tapp has lived all over, from Japan to Long Island to Charlotte. His career path has been just as varied: An investment banker for 10 years, he designed a women’s clothing line, Tapp New York, which was sold in Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel, for 13 years.

“Then I was a self-taught landscape designer,” says the Duke University and Harvard Business School alum. “I have done interior design for people, and I’ve also rehabbed real estate, improving properties.” Tapp, 68, considers himself an aestheticist — a lover of all things beautiful. “I’m consumed with making a space beautiful,” he says. During the pandemic, Tapp and his husband, Charlton, launched Tapp Beautiful, a line of “elegant, spirited women’s wear” that’s sold at Tapp Beauty in Eastover. “Everything is one of a kind.”

Comments have been edited for length and clarity.



It’s multifunctional: It’s a closet. It’s a decorative space. It’s a meditative space. It is a library.


There are icons of all faiths represented. I’m Libra — my decorative style is altarlike. To me, that means there is a center point and a balance on both sides. Nothing is purchased for the space, and there is a story behind every single piece. I would call it kitsch; campy, taken to the extreme, a little bit tongue-in-cheek. It’s a spoof. It is also, importantly, an example that you don’t need

26 | SOUTHPARK blvd. | style
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Color or pattern: Pattern

Vintage or contemporary: Contemporary

Sneaker or dress shoe: As I age, sneakers, but I love dress shoes

Novelty socks or novelty tie: Novelty tie — I’ve just been able to put on my socks from having a broken leg last year. I had to improvise — it was a bare ankle!

Sweater or jacket: Jacket

Tie or pocket square: Both, at the same time

Hat or sunglasses: Sunglasses

Black or brown: Brown

Toile or floral: Toile

Tucked or untucked: Untucked — it adds visual length and elongates

Beauty or practicality: Beauty dictates

an expensive wardrobe to look good and be stylish. This is my entire wardrobe, except for outdoor wear.

THAT IS VERY INTERESTING FOR A MAXIMALIST LIKE YOURSELF. There are 30 long-sleeve shirts in there, and that’s all I wear. How could I ever want more than 30 shirts when others have none?



All the shirts are hanging on slim velvet hangers, which take up no space. All the pants are folded in one drawer. The shelf liners are from a vintage book of perforated pages intended for use as gift wrap.


Everything in here is intentionally placed. These are 11s, which is an angel number of mine. Angel numbers, for me, are affirmations from angels who have predeceased us that we are on the right path. I started seeing 11s the day after my first partner died, and they haven’t stopped.


There are pictures of family and other people close to my heart… The decor in my closet is like whiskers on kittens — my favorite things.


The suit that I got married in, and my father’s robe. It’s from Japan in the ’60s, and I wore it in the ambulance when I broke my leg.


I always keep one shelf empty and some empty boxes. This way I always have space to bring in something new.

28 | SOUTHPARK blvd. | style
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I start with pants. I have like 10 pairs, and they are usually plaid. Then I come up with a contrasting shirt. After the shirt, I accessorize, like with a scarf. I love an Hermes scarf — I think they are beautiful, but I use them for practical reasons. … It’s all about the fit. If it doesn’t fit, you’re never going to look good. Sunglasses cover the wrinkles around my eyes, and I tell people that style compensates for age. I have a wardrobe of sunglasses.


Dillard’s Murano private label is a hip, updated, elevated line of men’s clothing —it fits great. Also, Zara, H&M, Nordstrom. We mostly shop when we go out of town — I love to shop in LA and Las Vegas. I tend not to spend a lot of money on clothes, to tell you the truth. All of those Hermes scarves are secondhand.


We’ve all heard it before, but accentuate the positive. Similarly, hide your worst areas like I do with my elbows by wearing only long-sleeve shirts. Mix, don’t match.


Jackie O for her elegance. Thurston Howell III (from Gilligan’s Island) for dressing like a baller. [Actor] Billy Porter, for his independence. For this year’s Dancing With The Stars [local fundraiser for Carolina Breast Friends], I wore a hit-the-floor, purple Asian cloak that would be very Billy Porter.


I’m good at moving with progress, so I would say now. SP

blvd. | style

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Hops & shop


photographs by Justin Driscoll

Millennials have flocked to Suffolk Punch since it opened in South End in 2017. The all-day café has a cozy, industrial-chic vibe, a solid brunch menu and a large patio for meetups with friends.

But hey, it turns out young professionals aren’t the only ones who enjoy noshing on chicken biscuits and truffle fries in a trendy, al fresco setting. Suffolk Punch Brewing’s second location at SouthPark Mall opened May 13. It’s a key component of the reimagined West Plaza area, which also includes a revamped children’s play area and a stage (more about that on page 120).

The owners of the popular all-day café started mulling expansion after California Pizza Kitchen closed during the pandemic. “We have really good beer, we have really good food — it just seemed like a natural fit over here [in SouthPark],” says co-owner Dan Davis. “It’s kind of a paradigm shift … In South End, it’s young professionals, millennials. Whereas SouthPark is the whole gamut — it’s young professionals, older people with families and younger people

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blvd. | food + drink
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with families.” The owners are also hoping to entice mall customers to stop in for a beer and a burger while shopping.

The indoor-outdoor space spans more than 11,000 square feet and channels a similar modern-industrial aesthetic as its South End sibling, with concrete floors, wood accents and the same comfy, curved leather barstools as the original location. The bright, glass-enclosed beer garden feels like an oversized greenhouse, with rollup garage doors to bring the outdoors in. Three separate bars house nearly 60 taps for beer, seltzers, ciders and hard kombuchas, along with wine and craft cocktails.

“We’re a restaurant-driven brewery,” says Executive Chef Michael Rayfield, who joined Suffolk Punch about four years ago. “Everything is actually made in house here.” A larger staff — double the size of South End’s kitchen crew — allows Rayfield more freedom in the kitchen, where his team includes Executive Sous Chef Vince Giancarlo, formerly of The Jimmy and Zeppelin. “Everybody thinks breweries are just hot, gloomy and dull — we want to liven up the atmosphere, make it more of a family atmosphere,” Rayfield adds.

blvd. | food + drink
The owners worked with Cluck Design, who designed the original Suffolk Punch, on the project. The restaurant seats 300 but can accommodate dozens more outside on the West Plaza, where there’s also a stage for live music.
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Like in South End, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, and the menu boasts plenty of shareables. “It’s comfort food, but kind of upscale comfort food,” Davis says. Suffolk Punch’s popular brunch menu is offered here, along with a few signature items like the SPB burger. Other small plates, salads, flatbreads and entrees are unique to the SouthPark location.

When the Starbucks inside the mall closed, the Suffolk Punch team pivoted and transformed a space originally designed for private dining into a coffee bar. Adjacent to the main bar, the coffee bar can also be accessed through the food court and serves espresso drinks, nitro cold brew and draft lattes from HEX Coffee Roasters.

New dishes will hit the menu every six to seven weeks, when seasonal beers are released. Beer-pairing dinners are also on the horizon.

“We’re not going to let the brewers have all the fun,” Giancarlo says. SP

Suffolk Punch is open 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. Sunday. thesuffolkpunch.com

36 | SOUTHPARK blvd. | food + drink
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Tropical tradition


During her childhood, Georgia Dunn Belk spent many family holidays and summers in Salt Cay, one of the easternmost islands in Turks and Caicos. She has a strong familial and historical connection to the area — the ancestral home where six generations of her family have lived is still used for family gatherings, and her own father was laid to rest on Salt Cay. (Grace Hutchings — the namesake of the renowned Grace Bay Beach on neighboring Providenciales — was her great aunt.)

After discovering she was a descendant of Thomas Harriott — British navigator, mathematician and member of Sir Water Raleigh’s expedition team — Georgia felt compelled to find out more of her family history. In her quest, she found that Harriott was believed to be the first British person to ferment beer in North America. He also collected botanicals, including ginger, to bring back to England.

This struck a chord with Georgia, because she knew fermented ginger beer had been the most popular drink in several Caribbean islands

since the 1700s. After talking with the island elders, she learned it was a defining part of the culture, so integral that each family had their own recipe.

Armed with a sense of nostalgia and a desire to preserve island culture — but no experience in the beverage industry — the Morrocroft resident felt drawn to re-create the (alcoholic) ginger beer of the past. With a master’s in public policy, this had not been in her life plans, yet here she was, hand-mixing citrus, spices and other ingredients. Through trial and error, she learned about the fermentation process and crafted small batches of ginger beer.

She repeated the process countless times, making revisions until the ingredients were transmuted into the refreshing drink she remembered — a flavorful, balanced mix of spicy, sweet and tangy.

Georgia launched Harriott’s Islander Ginger Beer in 2015, and customer feedback was enthusiastic. But there was a problem: Her distributor explained that, in this industry, one product isn’t enough

blvd. | beverages
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to be competitive. He told her it was like “trying to hold up a cinder block with a toothpick,” Dunn recalls. “I needed to have more than one product — I needed another toothpick.”

She took her distributor’s advice and went to work on her next drink. Returning to the fresh fruit she associated with her island experience, she created a hard lemonade, which evolved into what is now Harriott’s Lemon Mimosa. Taste is so important to her, she changed the lemons several times until she found one that had less of the bitter pith.

More joyful memories led to the third drink in the Harriott’s line: a mango mimosa. “I did this as an homage to my grandmother,” Georgia says. Her grandmother would take her to the port in Salt Cay, where boats selling fresh produce and sugar cane would stop to sell their goods. Her grandmother took a fresh mango and peeled it right there, for Dunn to taste the fruit for the first time. “It was the most amazing flavor,” she recalls. “Sticky and sweet.” She spent months sourcing the highest quality mangos that replicated the same intense flavor from her childhood. Today, she remains heavily involved in sourcing the fruit used in making the beverages.

In 2022, she began thinking about incorporating ingredients that

southparkmagazine.com | 41 blvd. | beverages
Georgia with her nephew, Nolan, the 14th generation of Harriotts, the day before her father’s memorial service on Salt Cay. Historic photo of Harriott’s salt operation on Salt Cay, from the Library of Congress

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not only taste good but also have health benefits. This inspired her to create an orange turmeric mimosa. (Turmeric is touted for its possible anti-inflammatory properties, along with treating other conditions such as arthritis and anxiety.)

All of Harriott’s drinks are 5% alcohol, lightly carbonated and gluten-free. They’re made with clean ingredients — real fruit, filtered water, cane sugar and spices. And they’re packaged in cans that are lined to ensure there is no tinny taste.

The beverages are made in Charlotte at Sugar Creek Brewing Company, which also sells the drinks. Three of the varieties — the ginger beer, lemon mimosa, and orange-turmeric mimosa — can also be found at about 250 Harris Teeters, along with Whole Foods, Total Wine, some Food Lion stores and others. And you might even see Georgia herself in one of the stores, pouring and handing out samples. She loves interacting with customers and sharing about her drinks, her special island home and her family. SP

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Uwharrie here


As a travel writer and former airline-magazine editor, I’ve visited a mountain or two — from Mount Olympus, the seat of Zeus in Greece, to Yellowstone. But all mountains are not created equal. Without getting New Age woo-woo on you, on some of them I get a feeling that transcends the five senses — an eerie, almost spiritual sense of connection.

I felt it first at Delphi, the ancient precinct that was home of the Delphic oracle. I felt it again among the ancient ruins near Ayacucho in Peru. And I feel it every time I go to the Uwharries, a Piedmont mountain range near Asheboro, where the peaks have been worn down from a whopping 20,000 feet to a mere 1,100.

How did that happen? More than 500 million years is one answer. When you tread the trails along Big Island Creek, you are walking on ground that belonged to the ancient landmass of Gondwana, a megacontinent that was once part of modern-day South America and Africa. Somewhere between 460 and 430 million years ago, part of Gondwana broke off and merged into ancient North America, piling up the Uwharrie mountains. Books and websites insist the Uwharries are the oldest mountains in North America, but that’s by no means the case.

“The Rocky Mountains are between about 70 and 35 million years old,” says Kevin Stewart, a UNC Chapel Hill professor in the department of Earth, Marine and Environmental Sciences. “Ancient mountains in the northern midwest stretch back to 2.5 billion years,” he says. And you want really old? Some mountains in South Africa are 6.3 billion years old.

In more recent years, the Uwharries have been the scene of gold mining, timbering, farming, bootlegging and, now, recreation. Running from south to north, the Uwharrie Trail is the longest single-track footpath in central North Carolina at 40 miles in length. Numerous other trails snake through the 52,000-acre National Forest, established in 1961.

This is not a hiking guide, rather a thumbnail of four of my favorite trails. Don Childrey’s comprehensive Uwharries Lakes Region Trail Guide is excellent, along with websites such as alltrails.com and gaigps.com. Happy trails.


“Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side, keep on the sunny side of life,” the Carter family warbles, and it’s not bad advice.

If a sunny walk in the woods is what you want, get yourself to the Jumping Off Rock Trailhead. Cross Flint Hill Road and hike up about a half-mile to the overnight camp cabin. There, you can enjoy a stunning, 360-degree view of the Uwharrie Mountains and have a picnic while reading the camp log. Keep going and you’ll bag an exhilarating 8-mile out-and-back hike to King Mountain, the highest point on the Uwharrie Trail.

If you want a challenge, trek instead right up in the shadow of the appropriately named Dark Mountain. That will put you on a trail trod by murderers, moonshiners and the odd haint or two. Mind you, the switchbacks up Dark Mountain are arduous — you’ll gain 400 feet of elevation in less than a mile. After about three-quarters of a mile, you reach the ridge line. Follow the white blazes on the Uwharrie Trail and you’ll enjoy a glorious 3.9-mile out-and-back jaunt.

But my hiking companion and I have come to see Paint Rock, which we look for along a deserted road to the left. Joe Moffitt, a legendary Uwharrie Trail-blazer, insists in his book, An Afternoon Hike into the Past, that there’s a rock in the woods that still “bleeds” from where a giant man ran his sword through a diminutive Civil War deserter. As far as we can tell, there are numerous Paint Rocks. And maybe that fits Moffitt’s narrative: Three Civil War deserters were murdered near Dark Mountain in 1865. Bootleggers also killed two revenuers at nearby Licker Spring.

We come across some of the largest boulders in the forest. We don’t find the cave where a bootlegger and his family once hid out. But as Moffitt observed, wandering around these shady hills is a bit unnerving: “I always seemed to feel as if someone is watching me.”

Better to get back in the sun and remember what the Carters sang about the sunny side: “It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way, If we’ll keep on the sunny side of life.”

Length: Two hikes are available from the trailhead, an 8-mile out-and-back and a 3.9-mile out-and-back.

Difficulty: Both hikes are challenging with significant elevation gain.

Don’t miss: The sign in the parking lot that outlines a number of other nearby hikes.

Good to know: The actual Jumping Off Rock is west, heading up Flint Hill Road on the left.

Address: 2015 A Flint Hill Rd., Troy

44 | SOUTHPARK blvd. | hiking
SHARES FOUR FAVORITE TRAILS. by David Claude Bailey | illustration by Miranda Glyder


Getting 5-year-old Wilder out of his car seat when he’s raring to go is a little like untangling an octopus from a ball of yarn. So as soon as his mom, Cassie, finally gets his feet on the ground, he rips off across the farmyard like the Road Runner pursued by Wile E. Coyote.

Charging full throttle onto the porch of the circa-1850, two-story, apple-green Lewis-Thornburg farmhouse, he’s fascinated by the screen door with its self-closing wheeze and whine, followed by a shuddering slam — for a solid minute.

The National Register of Historic Places’ listing says not to miss the rambling farmhouse’s wide, heart-pine floorboards; the square balusters and molded handrails on the staircase; and the narrow, distinctive beadboard on the walls and ceiling. Wilder, though, is entranced by the mix of soot, feathers and leaves that have spilled out of the chimney onto the circa-1940s linoleum.

“I love holes in the wall,” he says of a crawl-space door left open on the second floor. Spotting a trap door overhead, I boost him up through the cutout. “Spooky,” he says, after peering around into the dim recesses off the attic. It is.

Back outside, we’re finally on the actual trail heading down toward the creek. “Stop!” Wilder says, stooping over. “Sparkles!” The red mud

is alive with tiny, shimmering mica bits. Specimens of quartz from tiny to basketball-sized are everywhere, pieces of which he stuffs into his already overloaded pockets. On a little side trail across sage brush beaten down by rabbits, possums and the previous day’s rain, we’re soon surrounded by milkweed pods, which explode into a white flurry that swirls off into the wind, seeding next year’s crop.

We veer off onto another game trail and snake the edge of a field, where blackberry brambles soon occasion a cry of “Ouchy, ouchy, ouchy,” but no tears. “Snack,” comes to the rescue.

“Stop! It’s a gem,” Wilder says, holding up a rare piece of rosy quartz. No room left in his pockets, he casts it aside. “This is Quartz World,” Wilder decides. And he’s absolutely right. It might just be the second most magical place on Earth.

Length: 3.4 miles out and back, with side trails

Difficulty: Moderately challenging with a fair amount of elevation gain

Don’t miss: The rocks strategically placed across the creek near the bridge

Good to know: As Wilder notes, it can be quite muddy.

Address: 3977 Lassiter Mill Rd., Asheboro

southparkmagazine.com | 45
LAKE To Charlotte


“David, the entrance to the zoo is over there,” my wife, Anne, says as I slide into the North Carolina Zoo’s totally empty Parking Lot A.

“I thought we’d take a short walk in the woods before looking at the animals,” I tell her. “You’re gonna climb a mountain today.”

“The sign says ‘Purgatory Mountain,’” my knee-challenged wife points out.

“Trust me,” I say. She’s heard that before.

“It’s a gentle stroll, suitable for people with mobility issues,” I say pointing to a sign.

And so it is — a wide path paved with very fine gravel soon segues into a little more rugged trail that winds its way up through towering pines and mature hardwoods.

To our left, deep woods and massive boulders the size of baby elephants stretch to the horizon. We breeze past the sign heralding the endangered Schweinitz’s sunflower; past the sign explaining woodland seeps (small pools), which sometimes harbor the rare fourtoed salamander; past the sign marking the half-mile point.

At the summit, it’s 950 feet above sea level, only 60 feet shy of the highest point on the Uwharrie Trail. After enjoying the vista, we read all about ghosts, Indians, legendary critters, bootleggers, Confederate objectors and why the mountain was named Purgatory.

“Maybe because it’s just short of Hell’s Gate,” jests Anne, who, in the end, admits it’s a great trail and worth the climb.

Length: 2 miles if you go straight up the mountain, 1 mile up, 1 mile down. Three adjacent trails are available so you can easily bag a 5-mile walkabout.

Difficulty: Fairly easy, with 177 feet of net elevation gain Don’t miss: The zoo! Hike as much or as little as you want and ride the tram back to the entrance.

Good to know: The main trailhead is north of the North American entrance. A second trailhead is available off of Woodell Country Road.

Address: 4401 Zoo Pkwy., Asheboro


My friend Randall’s German shepherd is a free-range critter. Pia is untrammeled by leashes, fences or property lines. Randall lets her out whenever there’s a need … and Pia rings the doorbell to be let back in. German shepherds are like that, though she has yet to master the TV remote control.

Today, we’ve brought Pia to the Tot Hill Farm Trailhead, the northernmost point of the Birkhead Mountain Wilderness Area, where she can roam free. Our playground is the 52,000-plus-acre Uwharrie National Forest that stretches into Montgomery, Randolph

and Davidson counties. Under National Forest rules, Pia can run free. As can we. Cross-country trekking is allowed, as is horseback riding, ATV riding, camping, panning for gold, hunting and fishing — all, of course, with some reasonable restrictions. (You must “control” your pets.)

Our inner child kicks in as we cross Talbotts Branch. We pass the stone remains of a dam, and at the tippy top of Coolers Knob, our GPS says we’ve clocked 333 feet of vertical ascent in 1.2 miles. We pant. Pia pants.

We keep booking it, heading for Camp 5, one of a number of campsites established by Joe Moffitt. In 1972, he started his Uwharrie Trail Project, backed literally by troops of Boy Scouts. At the 3-mile mark, we hang a left and take the Camp 3 Trail, which is marked as the Coolers Knob Mountain Trail on some maps. This initiates a loop that will take us back to Coolers Knob.

Serious hikers call this a lollipop trek because of its shape on the map. It’s one of the most magical hikes in the Uwharries. We descend to the inviting Camp 3 site, checking out an enclosed spring. Decades peel away and we’re soon frolicking kneedeep in a maze, aptly named fern valley. At 3.9 miles, we cross a cascading brook. A gentle waterfall is punctuated with islands of wildflowers.

At 4 miles, we come to a series of openpit gold mines, each of which Pia explores extensively. These are the remains of a gold mining era that began in 1799 when a 12-year-old found a 17-pound nugget of gold in a creek about 25 miles east of Charlotte. Farmers riddled their land with open pits and shafts like the ones that surround us. At one time, as many as 600 mines dotted the nine counties surrounding Montgomery County.

But the riches of the Uwharries are less tangible — its lush vegetation and wildlife, its wilderness, and its storied past. Though I hike for exercise and adventure, I’m always looking for something else — for the child who once roamed free without a care. And for the ties that bind us to the land and to those who inhabited it millennia before we did. Whether it’s the Moonshine Run Trail or the hike to Bingham’s Graveyard, the treasures of the Uwharrie Mountains always beckon.

Length: Our “lollipop” trek totaled 7.4 miles. If you just hiked to Camp 5 and back, it would be 6.4 miles.

Difficulty: More than moderately challenging with 607 feet of elevation gain

Don’t miss: The gold mines. You can visit them without making the loop by taking a left after 2 miles onto the Coolers Knob/ Camp 3 trail. They’re about a mile down the trail.

Good to know: There’s not a sign on the road marking the Tot Hill Trailhead. Slow down and look for it as soon as you see the golf course.

Address: 3091 Tot Hill Farm Rd., Asheboro SP

46 | SOUTHPARK blvd. | hiking
2330 Randolph Road, Charlotte, NC 28207 704.342.1000 | DICKENSMITCHENER.COM Vicky Mitchener Owner / REALTOR®/Broker 704.517.0177 vmitchener@dickensmitchener.com

Over the last two decades, New York Times-bestselling author A.J. Hartley has written two dozen books, from adult mystery-thrillers to historical fiction to youngadult novels.

In his upcoming young-adult novel, Hartley’s fascination with Japanese folklore creatures and his family’s personal stories are woven into a tale based in a rural town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hideki Smith, Demon Queller, Hartley’s 25th novel and most recent book in the young-adult fantasy genre, will be published in August. His wife, Hisako Osako, and college-aged son, Kuma Hartley, helped Hartley flesh out the story.

“Writing is a complicated process,” Hartley says. “It’s not just about sitting down and typing out words. A lot of it is about research and conversation. The story has emerged out of a couple of decades of talking to [family members] about their experiences as Japanese or half-Japanese people in this country.”

The stage was set for Hideki Smith, Demon Queller more than 30 years ago, when Hartley left his hometown of Preston in Lancashire, England, to teach English in Japan for two years. He met his wife, a Japanese American, there. Though he tried writing the story several times over the years, he finally settled on a fantasy adventure featuring a boy and his sister who gain ancestral powers to combat monsters and demons specific to Japanese folk culture. “It’s

Fantasy folklore

an adventure, but it’s also sort of comic,” he says. “It’s got a snarky, self-conscious kind of tone.”

The main character, high-school student Hideki Smith, fights off the creatures with samurai and superhero combat abilities such as stamina and strength. His sister, Emily, can turn into a fox, a gift she finds hard to manage. “This iteration of the story grew out of watching my son navigating high school and such as a mixed-race kid, who was not particularly connected to his Japanese heritage,” he says, “and then the effect on him the first time we took him to Japan and seeing how he connected with that side of things.”

Hartley was the Robinson Distinguished Professor of Shakespeare at UNC Charlotte until his retirement this spring. During his 18 years at the university, he taught Shakespeare and creative writing in the English and theater departments, as well as running production for performances. He’s written eight academic books about Shakespeare.

If fans don’t find Hartley through his novels and academic pursuits, his lectures about Japanese rock music on YouTube widen his audience. “I probably get more fan response to that than anything else because YouTube is a very immediate forum and people are commenting all the time,” he says. “I introduce people to new bands and walk them through the songs so they understand the lyrics and cultural context.”

48 | SOUTHPARK blvd. | authors
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Retirement from teaching will allow Hartley more time for writing. He’ll continue his partnership with Tom DeLonge, a guitarist and vocalist in Blink-182, a rock band known for “All the Small Things,” and “I Miss You,” popular songs released in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Over the next several years, Hartley will write four books for DeLonge’s To the Stars entertainment company. “We’ve been working together for about eight years,” Hartley says. “I’m writing a book he’s commissioned. It’s set in the early ’60s in Nevada and connected to a UFO event.”

From his Charlotte home, Hartley writes on a laptop in his study, preferring the silence to a noisy coffee shop. He writes the entire book, rereads it, then starts the editing process. “Once I

know what the story is and figure out the main premise and issues, I’ll write a very short outline of the story, 15 to 20 pages,” Hartley says. “Once I’m happy with that, I’ll write the first draft in about three months. That means doing 3,000 words a day, three days a week. I write from beginning to end — I don’t edit as I go.”

In 2022, Hartley released Burning Shakespeare, a time-travel story about removing Shakespeare’s works from history. It’s a statement on anti-censorship wrapped in a sci-fi adventure. “One of the oddities of my career as a writer is I have always moved from genre to genre,” he says. “I don’t always write the same thing. I started out writing realist mystery thriller kind of things, then moved into fantasy and science fiction. I’m writing for adults, kids and young adults.” SP

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E l e g a n c e S e r i e s

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Law’s legacy


You might say Stan Law was born to run the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. “There are all these family connections that make it that much more special to me,” the 61-year old says from his office at the Dowd YMCA, which overlooks the rooftop track and workout space that showcases Charlotte’s skyline. Hanging just to the right of his giant office picture window is a framed photograph of Law’s grandfather, taken when the elder Law worked at the Johnson C. Smith campus branch of the YMCA from 1907-1911.

On top of all the family history, it is Law who repeatedly has made history while working for the YMCA over the last three decades. He was the first African American to run a large YMCA in Alabama, then in Winston Salem and, since January 2022, the 17-branch YMCA of Greater Charlotte.

“I think it’s important. I’m proud of that, and I’m sad that it took so long for [an African American] to have those roles. I also treat it as a responsibility to try to do my best, because there are tons of others who haven’t had the opportunity to follow — but I’ve got to pave that way.”

That’s why so many people were shocked this spring when Law suddenly announced his retirement as of June 2, citing decades of long hours that he says took a major toll on his physical and mental health.

“It has been difficult to have a work/life balance. At 61 years old, I feel like it’s time to focus on myself and address some of

these health issues,” Law says. “Maybe this can help someone else pause and think about how they’re living their lives … that would mean a lot to me. I’ve been pushing myself for more than 33 years and I need to put my attention on myself so I can have a higher quality of life — spirit, mind and body.”

Law worked hard to honor his parents, who made sure he had opportunities growing up despite facing discrimination literally from birth. “I was born on the 30-yard line of Panthers stadium. If you’re going in the main entrance, there’s a historical marker because it was the only hospital for African Americans. We weren’t allowed to go to the other hospitals in Charlotte.”

Law was also among the first students in Charlotte bussed across town to help diversify schools. He grew up on the west side off Beatties Ford Road, but beginning in the third grade, he spent an hour and a half each way riding a bus to a school in southeast Charlotte. There, one of his teachers told his parents she believed “Black kids couldn’t learn,” Law recalls.

“I remember it like it was yesterday.” Law says his father, a college professor who had master’s and doctorate degrees from Duke University, told Law’s teacher, “I can learn, so my son can learn. Every kid, no matter what they look like, can learn.”

After that experience, Law admits he became angry for a while, prompting his parents to get creative with his after-school activities. Instead of sending him to their neighborhood Y, they purposely sent him to the Dowd branch.

52 | SOUTHPARK blvd. | profile
Stan Law and the Dowd YMCA, left
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“They put me at Dowd, where I was going to be one of the few Black kids. But my parents trusted that the Y was going to have white people who were nice. My second week, I won camper of the week and I got a trophy that I still have to this day. It was basically what changed my life. I did see adults who were amazing who didn’t look like me.”

Law learned to swim and later worked as a camp counselor at the very place where he now sits in the big office just a few stories above.

Law’s experience at elementary school wasn’t all bad, though. He met his wife there in the fifth grade. “We did recess together and she liked to play jacks. I liked to play sports, but two to three days a week I would come inside to play jacks. I never beat her!” The couple didn’t start dating until after college, when they ran into each other while Law was working at a jewelry store at SouthPark Mall. The couple just celebrated 30 years of marriage.

Law stepped into the CEO role at a difficult time — the Charlotte YMCA is slowly bouncing back after losing $40 million in revenue overnight during the pandemic, Law says. Shortly after his retirement was announced, the YMCA shared plans to sell the Johnston YMCA in NoDa to a developer.

Law spent 33 years working with the YMCA, if you don’t count the summer during high school when he worked at the Dowd as a

camp counselor. As he walks away from the organization he’s served for so long, he’s hoping he’ll be remembered for helping people who were less fortunate — something he told his dad he wanted to do when he was in the fifth grade.

“I don’t have biological kids, but I’ve always felt the Y kids were my kids. My legacy is that I have this unbelievable compassion and empathy for others, and I’ve tried to dedicate myself so that the programs and services the Y offered literally made a difference to every child, family and community we connected with.” SP

54 | SOUTHPARK blvd. | profile
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State of Confusion

eat + drink

Now open:

 Rhino Market & Deli opened at Capitol Towers. It’s the market’s fifth street-facing location and its largest to date at 5,877 square feet. Expect coffee, grab-and-go options, and the hearty sandwiches and salads Rhino is known for, plus a bar serving beer and wine and plenty of outdoor seating. Rhino is open seven days a week. 4300 Congress St. rhinomarket.com

 Uptown Yolk reopened in South End after a two-year hiatus. Menu highlights include Mojo Hash with coffee-braised steak, Sweet Potato Waffles, and Benny Baja, a seasonal veggie benedict. The restaurant is open 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday. 1220 S. Tryon St. uptownyolk.com

 Rosemont Market & Wine Bar, from the team behind The Crunkleton and Cheat’s Cheesesteak Parlor, debuted in Elizabeth. The all-day restaurant features counter-service breakfast and lunch and full-service dinner, plus a wine and liquor bar with patio seating. Rosemont is open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. seven days a week. 1942 E. 7th St. rosemontclt.com

 The Teal Turnip opened in Oakhurst. Chef/owner Taylor Kasle describes the restaurant as “fine dining in a T-shirt.” The restaurant serves lunch and dinner with a seasonal menu. 1640 Oakhurst Commons Dr., Ste. 105. thetealturnipclt.com

 State of Confusion, from the team behind STIR, is open in LoSo. The menu is a mashup of Latin, New Orleans and Lowcountry fare. The two-story 600-seat restaurant has three bars and is open daily from 11 a.m. – midnight. Don’t miss the nitrogen-infused draft cocktails, including a margarita and Confusion hurricane. 3500 Dewitt Ln. confusionloso.com

 Dressler’s Improv Kitchen has taken over food and drink operations at uptown’s Middle C Jazz Club. “We love the heart and soul that Middle C brings to our city, and we’re thrilled to play a part in the experience guests have at this truly unique uptown destination,” says John Dressler, co-owner of Rare Roots Hospitality. The small-plate menu features Dressler’s favorites like Fried Calamari with Thai Peanut Sauce and Warm Bacon Jam, along with new dishes like Hummus Flatbread, BBQ Shrimp and more. 300 S. Brevard St. middlecjazz.com


 True Crafted Pizza planned to close at the end of May after a 10-year run in Ballantyne. The restaurant, sibling to Osteria LuCa in Park Road Shopping Center, is looking for a new location, according to a post on the restaurant’s Instagram account.

56 | SOUTHPARK blvd. | around town
704 . 364 . 1700 | COTTINGHAMCHALK.COM
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 Resident Culture debuted its first line of hard seltzers: Yard Ripper is sold in individual 12-ounce cans and six-packs at RC’s taprooms in Plaza Midwood and South End, and at Harris Teeter, Whole Foods and Lowes Foods. The lime, peach and grapefruit beverages are made with real fruit.


 Trendy pop-up shop The Pearl Pagoda opened a brick-and-mortar location at 4424 Park Rd. The lifestyle store from Christina Murphy sells clothing, accessories and home goods. thepearlpagoda.com

 Current Nostalgia opened at Camp North End. Founder/owner Dylan Foster-Smith launched the streetwear brand in 2020 with shirts, hoodies and beanies. The shop also sells sneakers, bags and accessories — labels include Nike, Supreme, Palace and others. currentnostalgia.com

 California-chic apparel and homegoods brand Jenni Kayne and women’s contemporary brand alice + olivia plan to open at Phillips Place this fall. The alice + olivia store will sell ready-to-wear clothing, gowns, shoes, handbags and accessories. Jenni Kayne will also carry the brand’s new beauty and skincare line, Oak Essentials. phillipsplacecharlotte.com SP

58 | SOUTHPARK blvd. | around town
Current Nostalgia
alice + olivia
Jenni Kayne
southparkmagazine.com | 59 STYLE THAT TURNS HEADS! 1013 Union Rd. | Gastonia Monday-Friday 10-4 Saturday 10-3 www.tallyhoclothier.com 704.861.1990 Melanie Coyne Broker | Realtor® 704.763.8003 melanie@hmproperties.com hmproperties.com ©2023 Corcoran Group LLC. All rights reserved. Corcoran® and the Corcoran Logo are registered service marks owned by Corcoran Group LLC and fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each office is independently owned and operated. 3700 SELWYN FARMS
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Juneberry Jams at Juneberry Ridge

June 10, 24, July 8

This summer series returns for a third season. Each evening kicks off with a fireside chat followed by performances by two bands, from bluegrass to country to a Fleetwood Mac tribute. Juneberry Ridge is about an hour north of Charlotte. Adult single-day tickets are $25. juneberry.com

Charlotte Squawks 18: Barely Legal

June 7-30

The annual comedy show poking fun at all things Charlotte returns to Booth Playhouse. Tickets start at $24.50. blumenthal.org

Spring Artisan Market at Anne Springs Close Greenway

June 10 | 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Shop from dozens of regional vendors, with food and beverages for sale from the Gateway Canteen. Greenway admission is $6 for adults and $4 for ages 5-12. Members and children 4 and under are free. ascgreenway.org

SouthPark Magazine Pro-Am

June 10

Enjoy a fun day of tennis for a great cause at our round-robin style competition, where winning players from each division (3.5, 4.0, 4.5+) advance to pair with local pros for a championship Pro-Am round. Top wheelchair tennis players will also compete in a separate Pro-Am. Tickets are $125 per player and include a player reception. A portion of proceeds benefits Wheel Serve NC, a nonprofit that supports recreational and competitive wheelchair tennis. southparkmagazine.com

Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas

June 15-18

Speakers, performers, a youth culture camp and a drum circle highlight this year’s celebration in historic Plaza Midwood. juneteenthofthecarolinas.com


Community events at North Corner Haven

The peaceful 600-acre venue in Lancaster, S.C., hosts three summer community experiences in June. northcornerhaven.com

Slow Flow Yoga & Sound Bath

June 8 | 10 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.

Follow the vibrations of crystal singing bowls, frame drums and the didgeridoo as you move through a series of poses. The session concludes with a picnic lunch. Open to all levels. Tickets are $75.

Foraged Art Workshop

June 15 | 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Explore the hardwood forest on this 3-hour guided experience led by Proper Flower. Learn to identify and collect forest finds, then create a unique piece of art to take home. A picnic lunch and art supplies are provided. Tickets are $165.

In the Farm Kitchen - Sous Vide and Seared

June 22 | 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Learn how to cook pasture-raised chicken using the sous vide technique, along with fresh seasonal vegetables and Carolina Gold rice, in this hand-on class with Chef Joy Turner. Tickets are $150 and include lunch with dessert.

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Juneberry Ridge

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Summer sounds

Make this your go-to guide on where to find live music this summer — just grab a blanket or a chair and go! Many of these concerts are free, kid- and dog-friendly and offer food for purchase.

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Pops

The summer series at SouthPark’s Symphony Park kicks off with the Music of John Williams on June 11, followed by Swingin’ Jazz on June 18 and Family Night at the Movies on June 25. The season wraps with Celebrate America, a night of patriotic favorites plus a fireworks finale on July 2. Adult tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the gate. Season tickets are available. charlottesymphony.org

Anne Springs Close Greenway

This nature preserve in nearby Fort Mill, S.C., hosts live music every Thursday night through July, from 6-9 p.m. Food and beverages are available for purchase — bring your own lawn chairs and blankets. Tickets are $6 per adult, $4 for ages 5-12; members and children 4 and younger are free. $5 parking per vehicle. ascgreenway.org


Trifecta at Elder Gallery

Through July 22

This group exhibition features works by Martha Armstrong, Carla Aaron-Lopez, James Erickson, Caroline Rust and others. The show, curated by Aaron-Lopez, Davita Galloway and Ohavia Phillips, examines what it means to be a woman, individually and collectively. Also on view: Fragmented, a solo exhibition of Holocaust-informed sculptures by ceramicist Roy Strassberg. eldergalleryclt.com

The Next 100 Years III at The Brooklyn Collective

Through July 31

Beats ’N Bites

This concert series at Stumptown Park in downtown Matthews offers live tunes and food-truck fare on the last Friday of each month. The park and food trucks open at 5 p.m., music starts at 6 p.m. No pets or outside alcoholic beverages allowed. matthewsnc.gov

Fridays at Camp North End

This ongoing event centers around live music, food, new public art and local goods. 5-9 p.m. camp.nc/events

Jammin’ by the Tracks

Head to downtown Waxhaw and relax under the Water Tower on the first and third Fridays of the month from June-August. Free to attend. 7-9 p.m. waxhaw.com

Music at the Met

Head to the patio (beside Dressler’s) for live acoustic music by local musicians,

Thursdays through Oct. 5. Food and drinks from surrounding restaurants are available for purchase. Free parking and free admission. Dogs are welcome but must be leashed. metropolitanclt.com/events

MoRa’s Summer Breeze

Formerly known as Thursdays Live, MoRa’s live music series continues throughout the summer on June 15, July 20 and Aug. 17. Bring a blanket and hear some great bands around the Embrace Sculpture at the corner of Monroe Road and Conference Drive. Dogs are allowed. moraclt.org/events

Whitewater Center River Jam

Sit back and relax with live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night through September. Music genres range from bluegrass to funk. Leashed dogs allowed; no outside food or drink permitted. Parking is $6. whitewater.org/things-to-do

sculptures, photography and mixed-media works by 22 contemporary visual artists at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for AfricanAmerican Arts+Culture. ganttcenter.org

Potentially Everywhere at SOCO Gallery

Through Aug. 3

Paintings by Charlotte artist Holly Keogh are featured, along with works by Jillan Mayer, a Miami-based ceramic and glass artist. socogallery.com

Rotate by Lori Glavin at The George Gallery

June 16-July 7 | 6-8 p.m.

This group exhibition is described as a “fine art vision board” and features works by two dozen African American artists, offering predictive ideas about the next century. brooklyncollectiveclt.org

Seeing Stars: Works from the Fischer/Shull Collection of Contemporary Art

Through Sept. 24

This exhibition curated by Dexter Wimberly features paintings,

A solo exhibition of works by the Connecticut-based abstract artist kicks off with an opening reception June 16 from 6-8 p.m. The George Gallery was established in Charleston, S.C., in 2013. The Charlotte location opened this year at 631 S. Sharon Amity Rd. georgegalleryart.com SP

Scan the QR code on your mobile device to view our online events calendar — updated weekly — at southparkmagazine.com.

Holly Keogh, Passenger, 2023, oil on canvas, 34 x 26 inches
Live music at Anne Springs Close Greenway
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Intimate, lush and allegorical, Jennifer Meanley’s paintings are large-scale depictions of human experience.

Figures, often out of scale with their environments, gaze at odd angles within kaleidoscopic settings, more consumed with their interior lives than with the scenes they inhabit. Animals, alive and dead, sometimes share the space. Something’s clearly about to happen, or might be happening, or perhaps already has happened. Are her subjects aware?

“There is often a sense of lack of synchronicity between how we experience our bodies and how we experience our mind, our emotional states,” Meanley says. Her paintings

Visual language


“often register that paradox, whether that’s with the animals, or the symbolism with the space itself … or whether the figure seems to be looking and registering and connecting” to reality.

A painting underway on her working wall features a caped, gamine figure gazing upon a flayed animal, possibly a deer, within a riotously overgrown landscape. “I was thinking of this sort of crazy Bacchanal,” says Meanley, a New Hampshire native who teaches drawing, painting and printmaking at UNC Greensboro. “Or of a surplus, imagination as a kind of surplus.” Anything is possible in the abundant realm of the imagined, she points out. The real world is another matter.

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| art of the state
PHOTOGRAPH BY LISSA GOTWALS As if smoldering and smoke were oneness evoked by thought and expression oil on paper mounted on panel, 15 x 15 inches, 2019 The whirl of an eddy, flush with rain oil on paper mounted on panel, 15 x 15 inches, 2019

Color plays a major role in her work. “I’ve always had a penchant for really saturated colors,” she says, especially as a way to indicate atmosphere, like light, air, wind and the grounding element of earth. Like poetry, her images reveal themselves in stages and elements: rhythm, tone, vocabulary, story.

So it’s no surprise to learn that Meanley writes regularly in forms she compares to short fiction, a process she describes as “a field that I experience, stepping in and noticing punctuation, noticing the spaces between things, or the pauses, the way breath might be taken. That’s all really, really fascinating to me.” When she’s teaching, she tries to create a corollary to visual language in much the same way. “What does it mean to literally punctuate a drawing, in a way that you would take a sentence that essentially had no meaning, and make it comprehensible?” she asks her students. “In words, you do it through timing, space, rhythm and breath — what are the ways we can do this in art?”

As she grows older, her writing sessions have taken on more importance, Meanley says. “[Writing] is a way for me to deepen my personal exploration of my own psychic space, which is the origins of the paintings as well.” Though she doesn’t intend to publish these writings, Meanley is open to the possibility of including some of her words in new paintings. “I think the world that I’m exploring has to do with the idea of psycholog-

ical interiority, and how that can find representation” through words and images.

This exploration also connects to physical movement, another practice Meanley credits with fueling her creative process. Long walks in the woods with her dog spark marathon writing sessions, which help inspire drawings and paintings.

They have also attuned Meanley to the natural environment of the South, so different from what surrounded her in New Hampshire, where she earned her BFA at the University of New Hampshire, or even at Indiana University, where she received her MFA. She moved to Greensboro in 2008 for the job at UNCG, and in and around the Triad, she finds nature so lush, so green, so impressive. “I started realizing that there’s this battle within the landscape,” she says. “Just to even maintain my yard, I feel like I’m battling the natural growth here. It did amplify that sense of tension, of creating landscape as a narrative event ... as an important space to contemplate hierarchies of power.”

Summer, with its time away from the demands of academia, provides Meanley with more time for outdoor exploration and for contemplations of all kinds. She’s also looking forward to having time to tackle larger works, with the hope of a solo exhibition later this year or in 2024. “Doing a solo show is an endeavor,” she says. “Right now, I’m gearing up.” SP

southparkmagazine.com | 69 | art of the state
The Earth of an Enlightened Being cut paper collage/watercolor and acrylic, 72 x 144 inches, 2020


CHARLOTTE | $899,900 1908 Bardstown Road SasserFritz Team | 704.975.9577

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June books


Lady Tan’s Circle of Women by Lisa See

According to Confucius, “an educated woman is a worthless woman,” but Tan Yunxian — born into an elite family, yet haunted by death, separations and loneliness — is being raised by her grandparents to be of use. Her grandmother is one of only a handful of female doctors in China, and she teaches Yunxian the pillars of Chinese medicine, the Four Examinations — looking, listening, touching and asking — something a man can never do with a female patient. From a young age, Yunxian learns about women’s illnesses, many of which relate to childbearing, alongside a young midwife-in-training, Meiling. The two girls find fast friendship and a mutual purpose, and they vow to be forever friends, sharing in each other’s joys and struggles. But when Yunxian is sent into an arranged marriage, her mother-in-law forbids her from seeing Meiling and from helping the women and girls in the household. Yunxian is to act like a proper wife — to embroider bound-foot slippers, pluck instruments, recite poetry, give birth to sons, and stay forever within the walls of the family compound. How might a woman like Yunxian break free of these traditions, go on to treat women and girls from every level of society, and lead a life of such importance that many of her remedies are still used five centuries later? Lady Tan’s Circle of Women is a captivating story of women helping other women.

The Say So by Julia Franks

Edie Carrigan didn’t plan to “get herself” pregnant, much less end up in a home for unwed mothers. In 1950s Charlotte, illegitimate pregnancy is kept secret, wayward women require psychiatric cures, and adoption is always the best solution. Not even Edie’s closest friend, Luce Waddell, understands what Edie truly wants: to keep and raise the baby. Twenty-five years later, Luce is a successful lawyer, and her daughter Meera now faces the same decision Edie once did. Like Luce, Meera is fiercely independent

and plans to handle her unexpected pregnancy herself. Along the way, Meera finds startling secrets about her mother’s past, including the long-ago friendship with Edie. As the three women’s lives intertwine, the story circles age-old questions about female awakening, reproductive choice, motherhood, adoption, sex and missed connections.

All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby

After years of working as an FBI agent, Titus Crown returns home to Charon County, land of moonshine and cornbread, fist fights and honeysuckle. Seeing his hometown struggling with a bigoted police force inspires him to run for sheriff. Winning the election, he becomes the first Black sheriff in the history of the county. Then a year to the day after his election, a young Black man is fatally shot by Titus’ deputies. Titus pledges to follow the truth wherever it leads. But no one expected he would unearth a serial killer who has been hiding in plain sight, haunting the dirt lanes and woodland clearings of Charon. Now, Titus must pull off the impossible: stay true to his instincts, prevent outright panic and investigate a shocking crime in a small town where everyone knows everyone yet secrets flourish.

100 Places to See After You Die: A Travel Guide to the Afterlife

Ever wonder which circles of Dante’s Inferno have the nicest accommodations? Where’s the best place to grab a bite to eat in the ancient Egyptian underworld? How does one dress like a local in the heavenly palace of Hinduism’s Lord Vishnu, or avoid the flesh-eating river serpents in the Klingon afterlife? What hidden treasures can be found off the beaten path in Hades, Valhalla or NBC’s The Good Place? From the bestselling author and Jeopardy! champion and host, 100 Places to See After You Die is written in the style of iconic bestselling travel guides. But instead of recom-

southparkmagazine.com | 71
| bookshelf




Fifty stunning designs celebrating four centuries of fashion and 50 years of The Mint Museum’s Fashion Collection.

500 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202 | 704.337.2000 | mintmuseum.org | @themintmuseum
Fashion Reimagined: Themes and Variations 1760s-NOW is generously presented by Wells Fargo Wealth & Investment Management and the Mint Museum Auxiliary. Additional support is provided by Bank OZK. The Mint Museum is supported, in part, by the Infusion Fund and its generous donors. IMAGE: Anamika Khanna (Indian, 1971-). Coat, Pants, Necklace (detail), Fall 2019, silk, cotton, metallic thread, beads. Museum Purchase: Funds provided by Deidre Grubb. 2021.19a-c

mending must-see destinations in Mexico, Thailand or Rome, Jennings outlines journeys through the afterlife, as dreamed up over 5,000 years of human history by our greatest prophets, poets, mystics, artists and TV showrunners. This comprehensive index of 100 different afterlife destinations was meticulously researched from sources ranging from the Epic of Gilgamesh to modern-day pop songs, video games and Simpsons episodes.

Translation State by Ann Leckie

Qven was created to be a Presger translator. The pride of their Clade, they always had a clear path before them: learn human ways and, eventually, make a match and serve as an intermediary between the dangerous alien Presger and the human worlds. The realization that they might want something else isn’t “optimal behavior” — it’s the type of behavior that results in elimination. But Qven rebels. And in doing so, their path collides with those of two others. Enae, a reluctant diplomat whose dead grandmaman has left hir an impossible task as an inheritance: hunting down a fugitive who has been missing for over 200 years. And Reet, an adopted mechanic who is increasingly desperate to learn about his genetic roots — or anything that might explain why he operates so differently from those around him. As a Conclave of the various species approaches — and the longstanding treaty between the humans and the Presger is on the line — the decisions of all three will have ripple effects across the stars. SP

Sally Brewster is the proprietor of Park Road Books. 4139 Park Rd., parkroadbooks.com.

southparkmagazine.com | 73 | bookshelf
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Jimmy the Lawn King


It started with a simple phone call from our neighbor across the street. Mildred Horseman had seen me mowing my family’s yard and wondered if I might be willing to mow her lawn. Her husband, Gene, was just home from the hospital and under strict doctor’s orders to rest for a month. She even offered to pay.

It was early summer, 1968, and I was 15. We were new to the neighborhood where everybody had lush green lawns. I’d been mowing lawns since age 12, trusted not to destroy anything or chop off my own toes.

“I’ll send Jimmy right over,” said my mom. “No need to pay him. He loves mowing the grass.”

That was partly true. I liked mowing grass. I also liked money, which I needed to buy the beautiful classical guitar I had my eye on at Moore Music Company. It was $95 dollars, a whopping $800 in today’s dollars.

So off I went with our crotchety old Sears & Roebuck power mower, which normally took forever and required a number of impolite muttered oaths to start. Mr. Horseman sat on his screened porch watching me unsuccessfully crank until I had to rest my arm. He finally got up and stepped outside.

“Jimmy,” he said. “Come with me. I’ve got just what you need.”

In his garage sat a bright green Lawn-Boy power mower, one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen.

“She’s got a few years of age on her but will almost always start on the first pull. I keep her tuned up.”

He was right. One pull and she started. Gene Horseman went back to his club chair on the porch, and I got busy on his lawn, marveling at the way his Lawn-Boy cut grass. When I finished and put his mower back in the garage, he waved me onto the porch. Mrs. Horseman had brought out lemonade.

“So what do you think?”

“Great,” I said. “Wish my dad would get one of those.”

As I drank my lemonade, I learned Gene Horseman was a retired business professor from Michigan. The Lawn-Boy mower, he explained, was created before WWII by a Wisconsin man who built Evinrude outboard engines. “I knew him when I was young. He became quite the successful businessman.”

Gene Horseman handed me a ten-dollar bill. Sadly, I was compelled to explain that I was unable to take his money due to a mother who didn’t care a fig if I became a successful businessman.

“In that case,” he said, “how about we do a deal. You mow my lawn this summer and you can use the Lawn-Boy to mow lawns

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| simple life

Famil y Fun

along the street. Sound good? I’ll even buy the gas.”

It did sound good, a potential gold mine at ten bucks a clip. But I didn’t know any of the neighbors yet.

“Print up some fliers,” he said. “Or, better yet, I’ll have Mildred get on the phone. You’ll have a job or two in no time.”

Within a week, I had two paying jobs, half a dozen regulars by the middle of summer. At 10 bucks a pop, I was the richest kid on the block. By July, the Yamaha classical was mine. My mom took to calling me “Jimmy the Yard King.” It was my first real job.

I also had my first real crush that summer on a cute girl named Ginny Silkworth. Ginny had a great laugh and a solid right hook. When I asked her to go to the movies, she laughed and punched me sharply on the arm. We went to see Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet, an evening somewhat diminished by the fact that my father had to drive us to the theater and never stopped chatting with my date.

That summer, Ginny and I went to see The Graduate, the Beatles released “Hey Jude,” and I snagged a second job teaching guitar to kids and senior citizens at a music store. Between mowing and teaching, my pockets overflowed. I started saving money to buy my first car.

Something about the orderliness and the smell of fresh-cut grass and the satisfaction of a job well done permeated my teenage brain and grounded me in a way that made my narrow world seem oddly immune from all the bad news on TV. It was the first and last great year of Jimmy the Yard King, though its impact was lasting.

Perhaps this explains why, when my wife and I built a post-andbeam house on a high forested hill near the coast of Maine — my first home ever — I created a large garden that featured more than half an acre of beautiful Kentucky bluegrass and fescues.

By then I’d graduated to a serious deluxe John Deere lawn tractor that gave me more than a decade of mowing bliss. A sad parting came, however, when we packed up to move home to North Carolina and discovered there was no room in the moving van for my dear old John Deere. I seriously considered driving my Deere all the way to Carolina, but finally gave up and sold it to our snowplowing guy for a song. I still have dreams about it.

Today, back in the old neighborhood where I started, I own a modest suburban patch of grass I can mow with my Honda self-propelled mower in less than 18 minutes. It’s a fine mower, but nothing compared to Gene Horseman’s marvelous Lawn-Boy. Professional lawn crews now roam our streets like packs of Mad Max mowers, offering to relieve me of my turf obligations for 75 bucks a pop, roughly what I earned over a full week of cutting grass. They seem offended by an old guy who loves to mow his own yard.

Sometimes, when I’m cutting grass, I think about that faraway summer and Ginny Silkworth, my laughing first date. We stayed in touch for four decades. Ginny became a beloved teacher in Philadelphia and passed away a few years ago. I miss her laugh, if not her punch.

Maybe the smell of fresh-cut summer grass does that. Whatever it is, if only for 18 minutes once a week, Jimmy the Yard King is back in business. SP

76 | SOUTHPARK | simple life
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Cynthia is a top 1% residential agent with complete attention to detail. Her support, communication, and guidance throughout the process are professional and first-class. Her delightful positive energy is a joy throughout the process, and we thoroughly recommend her team without reserve.

Cynthia is proud to be a multi award-winning agent and Top Producing Agent! She takes pride in caring for her clients as though they were her own family. She is proud to say 98% of her business comes from referrals. She is blessed and honored! In 2018, Cynthia became the proud team lead of The Pensiero-DeFazio team. The sole purpose of this was to serve her clients even more effectively. She hired a full-time licensed assistant, a closing coordinator, and a two full-time agents!

Compass is a licensed real estate broker under the name “Compass South Carolina, LLC" in South Carolina and under the name “Compass” in North Carolina and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Nothing herein shall be construed as legal, accounting or other professional advice outside the realm of real estate brokerage. Cynthia Pensiero-Defazio M. 980.253.4549 | cynthia.pensierodefazio@compass.com cynthiapensierodefazio.com LAURIE.HOOTS@COMPASS.COM C: 704.641.1542 LISA.NANNA@COMPASS.COM C: 704.650.4334 JULIE.LINNANE@COMPASS.COM C: 704.287.4906 LAURIE
Your Home. Our Mission. Whether it is your first home or your forever home, Tracey and Ashley are here to help you navigate this shifting market and can provide the expertise and guidance you need to make informed decisions. Our team will provide the tools you need to get your house ready to list or can help you be prepared to compete when making a new home purchase. We realize your home is often your biggest asset and we take that responsibility very seriously. If you trust us with the process, we will deliver our best to you. Compass is a licensed real estate broker under the name “Compass South Carolina, LLC" in South Carolina and under the name “Compass” in North Carolina and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Nothing herein shall be construed as legal, accounting or other professional advice outside the realm of real estate brokerage. Tracey Cook M. 704.236.11135 tracey.cook@compass.com Ashley Pizzo M. 704.756.8654 ashley.pizzo@compass.com 5 BD | 4 FULL 2 HALF BA | 7,004 SF | $1,799,000 5 BD | 4.5 BA | 5,806 SF | $2,195,000 1408 Venetian Way 1621 Rutledge Avenue

Get to know Munson Realty Group

Let us put our combined 40+ years of real estate experience to work for you! Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling, give us a call.  We’d be happy to chat about this ever changing market. Let us obsess about the details.

Vivian and Mark have been selling real estate in Charlotte, NC for a combined 40+ years. They have been consistent top producers and they understand the value of owning real estate, whether it’s a personal home or an investment property. They believe that selling real estate in Charlotte is the best job anyone could have and they love introducing new people and families to the Carolinas.

Compass is a licensed real estate broker under the name “Compass South Carolina, LLC" in South Carolina and under the name “Compass” in North Carolina and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Nothing herein shall be construed as legal, accounting or other professional advice outside the realm of real estate brokerage. VIVIAN MUNSON Broker, GRI, ABR m. 704.661.7551
m. 704.661.7330
MUNSON Realtor®, Broker
Compass is a licensed real estate broker under the name “Compass South Carolina, LLC" in South Carolina and under the name “Compass” in North Carolina and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Nothing herein shall be construed as legal, accounting or other professional advice outside the realm of real estate brokerage. Carrie Brighton M. 704.241.4418 carrie.brighton@compass.com 4 BD | 3.5 BA | 3,658 SF | $1,315,000 3 BD | 3F 2H BA | 2,741 SF | $645,000 4 BD | 4.5 BA | 5,056 SF | $1,300,000 1801 Maryland Avenue, 28209 11921 Fiddlers Roof Lane, 28277 7515 Polyantha Rose Drive, 28104 6 BD | 6.5 BA | 8,781 SF | $1,800,000 5 BD | 4.5 BA | 5,187 SF | $885,000 7206 Sumters Camp Trail, 29707 Patience, Persistence, Expert Guidance. Finding the right home in a competitive market requires a combination of patience, persistence and expert guidance. Carrie advises buyers and sellers across all price points and areas. She is committed to a client focused approach with proven results. 4920 Parview Drive South, 28226
This is a group of real estate agents individually affiliated with Compass, a licensed real estate broker under the name “Compass Carolinas, LLC” in South Carolina and under the name “Compass” in North Carolina and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. Energy, Enthusiasm, and Experience. STEPHANIE HARTMAN 704.609.8772 KATHY HUMBERT 704.502.7080 You can trust us to guide you home. compass.com MIKE KLYN 704.604.4685 KATHY MORRIS 704.701.4876 ROBYN RIORDAN 704.905.4991 MARINA SIDORENKO 704.751.5442 MIKE STEARNS 704.441.2478 LISA WILFONG 917.478.8354 GINNY WILLIAMS 704.293.9297 TOMMY WILLIAMS 704.458.2369 LISA EMORY 704.724.3504 JOEL BENNETT 704.519.9977 SUSAN AXTON 803.370.2788
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this I know for sure

We are the breath the skin the muscles the heart the hands the unmeasurable bones whispering across the Atlantic Ocean. We are the bellies of Middle Passage ships. We are the blue door of no return on Goree Island. We are the mornings that broke with our living and our dead fastened together. We are the eyes bearing witness to sharks following our human cargo waiting for the feast of dead or sick bodies tossed overboard. We are the shadows in the back of the eyes of daughters throwing themselves and their babies overboard. Our blood is the red that stole the blue of the ocean. We are scattered bones rising up from the bottom of the Atlantic revealing a pathway marking the route. We are the fruit of those bone trees planted deep in the fertile Atlantic. We carry a DNA of survival, strength, extraordinary will. From forced migration to slave market we are all the links of all the chains of the past and future. Binding spiritual links from the bones in the Atlantic to the bones of slaves in a place like Galveston Texas where ancestral whispers became the wind… Caressing tired bones with a timeless spirit of rebirth and love. The wind heard first. Whispering from the trees, from the ground beneath their feet, whispering…




The wind knew and rattled tiny bones beneath the feathers of birds. The wind knew. Giving voice to the rain falling creating fertile freedom ground. The wind whispered to every butterfly, every insect pollinating from flower to flower. Freedom. Freedom. Freedom. Eagles stopped in midair to listen to the wind’s song… Freedom came today. Freedom came today… And because our people are a chosen people we could understand the dance of the trees, the tremble of the water. Hoes stopped striking. Hands stopped picking. Feet stood still. A mighty storm named freedom rained over them. Soaked them clean. Mothers kissed hope into the air above babies’ heads. Grandmothers and grandfathers stretched prayers into a sky that would not bend. Men asked where will this freedom live. Children asked what does this freedom taste like. What does this freedom smell like. What does this freedom sound like. What does this freedom look like. Mama, tell me what this freedom gonna feel like. We screamed a jubilee into the clouds. We shed the skin of a slave. We shed the rags of a slave into the river. Our freedom skin was a shining brand-new nakedness that outshined the sun. We be clothed in freedom’s gold. On Juneteenth dead bones came alive and flew on the wings of Sankofa birds all the way back to the river where blood is born… All the way back to the womb that never forgets. We are the Juneteenth resurrection… We are the ancient prayers answered. We are the cup overflowing inviting generations to this feast of freedom.

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Bobby Wildermuth, robertbobbyart.com



As we navigate life’s unmarked side streets or celebrate mountainous achievements, many of us first turn to our dads to share the experience. Whether we call him Pops, Father, Padre or Daddy, he’s our trusted life-sherpa whose advice we seek, follow and revere. It’s his wise counsel we incorporate into our own advice canon to share with our children or others in our orbit.

My dad, for example, imparted a joy for life, and demonstrated how being generous with others and open to new experiences could be rewarding. When I became of age, he also schooled me on the perfect way to enjoy a martini — straight up, with an olive and a twist. His words resonate with me to this day.

Though June honors dads everywhere with their very own 24-hour holiday, these Charlotte notables keep their dads in their hearts every day of the year. Here are the lessons they most cherish.

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From top: David E. and David B. Chadwick; Felix and Tamu Curtis; Muggsy and Brittney Bogues


founder and CEO, RealResponse

David B. Chadwick, founder of the RealResponse feedback platform for college student athletes, enjoys a closeness with his father that was built early on through their shared love for basketball.

His dad, David E. Chadwick, senior and founding pastor at Charlotte’s Moments of Hope Church, had a storied athletic career at UNC Chapel Hill. Son David B. starred at Charlotte Latin in high school and went on to play at Rice and Valparaiso universities. And while Chadwick points to lessons from his dad through the lens of the hardwoods, he’s picked up many additional life lessons from him off the court.

“My time with my dad in adolescence, high school and college years was very much tied to basketball,” Chadwick says. “While I didn’t have the honor of playing at Carolina like he did, their [ethos] of ‘play hard, play smart and play together’ is something he continually preached to me. It had a significant influence on my approach to basketball, being a good teammate and beyond.”

When the younger Chadwick got married, his father told him a story about the night before his own wedding. “He asked my grandfather for the one piece of advice he’d share [to be a] good husband and father. My grandfather told him, ‘The best way to love your kids is to love their mom.’ That’s something that resonates with me to this day.”

His father also imparted parenting wisdom when David B. became a dad. “He told me that children spell love ‘T-I-M-E’ and to be thoughtful and intentional in spending time with my kids, because that’s what they care about most. One thing his dad said to him, and he said to me, and now I say to my kids is whenever they go out in public to remember not only who they are but also ‘whose’ they are. The idea of who they are revolves around them as individuals, and the notion of whose they are is they’re Chadwicks, and their behavior represents me and their mom — and there are expectations that accompany that.”


co-founder, Charlotte is Creative

Tim Miner’s father Ken has long been his best friend, coach and hero. When Ken Miner retired from his career in the Navy, he parlayed his project-management skills into similar roles in the corporate world. According to Tim, co-founder of Charlotte is Creative, regardless of how busy his father was with work, he always was available for quality time for him, his only child. It’s time Tim cherished growing up and revels in today as the two connect regularly.

“I learned and continue to learn so much from him,” Miner says. “But the lesson I come to over and over again is how to use uncertainty and fear of the unknown as motivation to stretch and grow.”

“Dad always said, ‘If you don’t wake up every day a bit afraid of the challenges that lie ahead, it might be time to move on from what you’re doing.’ He taught me how to lean into the anxiety I sometimes have and harness it to push through to success. He showed me [that] if things are too comfortable, there’s no challenge there. On the ballfield as a kid, he coached me and always reminded me if my uniform was clean, I likely hadn’t accomplished anything. ‘Go out and get your uniform dirty,’ he’d always say. That advice has stuck with me.”



founder, The Cocktailery

Anyone familiar with Tamu Curtis knows she’s a glass half full kind of person. Curtis, founder and owner of The Cocktailery, a cocktail supply and beverage lifestyle shop, says she gets her sunny disposition from her father.

Her dad, Felix Curtis, is a film historian and founder of the Classic Black Film Series at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture. Felix Curtis moved to Charlotte in 2007 from the San Francisco Bay area; Tamu followed him in 2012.

“Dad’s taught me to be optimistic and know that there is always a solution to every problem,” Curtis says. “He’s always so calm and even keel. He’s not easily rattled. That’s a trait he’s helped me develop over the years.”

“Years ago, when I lived in southern California, there was a series of traumatic events that occurred very close to me, only two days apart. There was a bad car accident that killed several pedestrians, and a small plane crashed one apartment over from where I lived at the time. I was very shaken up and shared my anxiety about even leaving the house with Dad. He paused and told me to go out and buy a lottery ticket. With that advice, he showed me the next freak occurrence could be a positive one. It was brilliant and helped me see there’s always another perspective.”


chairman and CEO, SteelFab

“A very early lesson, one of so very many I learned from my father, is how gracious and nice he was and how to treat people with respect,” says Glenn Sherrill Jr., chairman and CEO of SteelFab, one of the country’s largest steel fabricators. “He treated everyone he dealt with, from a server in a restaurant, to a building developer he was selling steel to, with respect and how he wanted to be treated.”

Glenn Sherrill grew up in the family business and in 2017 succeeded his father, Ronnie, who led the company for many years before retiring as chairman emeritus. R. Glenn “Ronnie” Sherrill Sr. passed away in 2021.

“When I began working, I strived to emulate him — he was such a wonderful role model. In business, he taught me to always do the right thing, even if it cost us money. There may have been a situation where a decision might be costly in the short term, yet was the right call to maintain a long-term relationship — there was never a question what to do.”

When his father became ill, Glenn recalls his father telling him, “Glenn, I love our business, but I love the people we work with even more. Do not ever sell it.”

At the end of the workday, he and his father (pictured right and center, with Glenn’s brother Stuart, left, on a golf trip to Scotland) knew how to enjoy themselves as well. “As I reflect back on all the good times I had with my dad — skiing when he was younger, playing golf, working together and traveling together — that conversation keeps me wanting to go to work every day.”

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founder, Bogues Group

Brittney Bogues was born in 1987 — the same year her father, Muggsy Bogues, was drafted into the NBA. For Bogues, founder and chief innovation officer for Bogues Group, a Charlotte events and marketing firm, growing up with a dad who was always in the spotlight seemed perfectly normal. “I knew things were a bit different attention-wise for my dad,” says Bogues, “but my parents kept us very grounded and as close to normal as possible.”

Lessons from her father, an immensely popular guard for 10 years with the Charlotte Hornets, were learned over time. She often saw his values in action in the way he interacted with others, including zealous fans and complete strangers. “He always treats everyone with incredible kindness,” Bogues says. “I recall we came home after being out to find a family waiting outside our house. They had experienced some misfortune and were there to ask for [financial] help. After hearing their story, Dad didn’t even hesitate in helping with some cash for them. He is the living embodiment of kindness.”

Brittney’s father also encouraged her to believe in herself and her abilities. “So many people told him he was too short to play in the NBA,” Bogues says. “It was his confidence and belief in himself that fueled his success. He’s shown me and many others, including our mutual friend, Wake Forest alum and NBA star Ish Smith, to be our own champions. I hear stories all the time from people who tell how motivated and inspired they are by Muggsy and what he’s been able to accomplish, on and off the court. It’s heartwarming.”



Former ER physician and novelist Kimmery Martin recalls her father as a Renaissance man — and someone who taught her that logic and emotion are not mutually exclusive.

Her dad, Richard Martin, designed and built energy-efficient, affordable homes in eastern Kentucky. “He was funny and caring and could figure out most anything,” Martin says. “He was a relentlessly logical genius, but despite his nerd status, he was also funny. When I was little, he’d perform elaborate practical jokes and leave biting, sarcastic signs around the house when I failed to do chores.”

“He was also my person. No event went unheralded by a letter from Dad: He wrote after every academic achievement, every wretched boyfriend breakup, every little triumph and disappointment. Each time I moved, he’d drive hundreds of miles to haul my stuff and hand-build me furniture. When a troll I’d been dating dumped me for somebody prettier, he sent me a 10-page letter detailing his own romantic misadventures in college. He asked my opinion about geopolitics and physics and human rights and economics and history.”

Martin revered her father. And though he passed away 11 years ago, he’s never far from her thoughts and always in her heart.

“It would be hard to overstate the impact of my father’s unconditional love,” Martin says. “What greater blessing could a parent ever give their child?”


journalist and co-anchor, WSOC-TV

For Erica Bryant, the behavior her father, David Hankerson, modeled for her growing up is a lifelong source of inspiration, admiration and learning. Bryant, an Emmy award-winning journalist and co-anchor at WSOC-TV, grew up in Marietta, Ga., and saw how hard work and determination led her father to many accomplishments.

“What stands out to me about my father,” Bryant says, “is the way he’s lived his life and all that he’s accomplished. He’s the son of a sharecropper from Waynesboro, Ga., where he grew up on a farm — one he went on to own. He served in the military and used the GI Bill to go to college and get his degree in agronomy. He then worked in soil conservation for Cobb County (Ga.) and served for more than 24 years as the county manager there.”

Bryant finds it captivating to see how people use their talent and skills to move along life’s journey. “I’m always intrigued with how someone can go from one place in life to another and have the vision and drive to do that,” she says. “For my dad to go from such humble beginnings, growing up in a farmhouse with dirt floors, to accomplish so much, taught me nothing can substitute or replace the value of hard work. He also taught me that your word is your bond. Those are two lessons I learned by watching him.”


founder, Caroline Calouche & Co.

“One important lesson I’ve learned from my dad is how to value spontaneity,” says Gastonia native Caroline Calouche, founder and artistic director of the eponymous nonprofit dance and aerial circus troupe, Caroline Calouche & Co. Her father, Samir Calouche, is an environmental engineer.

At her wedding in 2011, Calouche recalls, the traditional father/daughter dance the two had prepared for didn’t exactly go as planned. “The song was the Nat King Cole duet with his daughter Natalie, ‘Unforgettable.’ We’d practiced and timed it all out. But when the time came, my dad kept adding twirls and dips, and when the music ran out [he] had the DJ replay it so we could continue dancing. It was warm and fun and memorable. He is so much fun with a quirky sense of humor — all good lessons for me.”

Calouche said her dad recognized she had a head for business early on and encouraged her to work for herself. “I don’t think he saw circus arts in my future,” she says. “But he knew I should be my own boss and follow my passion. That’s a wonderful thing to learn — to never give up chasing your dream.” SP

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Make a



styling by Whitley Adkins

photographs by Richard Israel

styling assistant: Abbey Crouch

hair & makeup by Jami Svay

hair and makeup assistant: Nikki Miller

party guests: Renata Gasparian, Avani Kodali, Lamar McManus, Hodges and Wade Miller, Melissa and Stefan Nemenz

on location at the Copper Builders Model Home & Design Center at 5555 Fairview Rd.

featuring chef Hector Gonzalez-Mora of El Toro Bruto and mixologist Stefan Huebner of Dot Dot Dot

Stefan, left: Stone Rose cabana shirt, $145, and shorts, $98, King Ice Jesus necklace, $125, all from Bruce Julian

Lamar, center: Stone Rose cabana shirt, $145, and shorts, $98, Bailey straw hat, $90, King Ice Money Stash necklace, $125, all from Bruce Julian

Wade, right: A.P.C. Chemisette Ross shirt, $245, and De Bain Bobby shorts, $215, both from Tabor

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Clockwise from top left: Lamar: Lords of Harlech short-sleeve shirt, $145, Stone Rose shorts, $125, and King Ice Money Stash necklace, $125, all from Bruce Julian

Wade: Lords of Harlech burnout terry shirt, $168, and embroidered fish pants, $228, both from Bruce Julian

Renata: Jonathan Simkhai Masala top, $345, and skirt, $395, both from Sloan; Smith & Co. earrings, $60, Monkee’s of Charlotte; Twine & Twig necklace, $200, twineandtwigstyle.com

Avani: Devotion Twins dress, $409, Sloan; Twine & Twig necklace, $275

From left: Avani: Place Nationale maxi skirt, $295, Five One Five; Twine & Twig collar, $275; Smith & Co. earrings, $68, Monkee’s of Charlotte; Krewe sunglasses, $286, Sloan; swimsuit top and shoes, model’s own

Renata: Renata Gasparian kaftan, $298, renatagasparian.com; Twine & Twig necklace, $310

Melissa: Lemlem Rosa caftan dress, $355, and Sunshine Tienda hat, $108, both from Monkee’s of Charlotte; Holst + Lee bracelets, $110 each, Sloan; Twine & Twig necklace set, $150; earrings, stylist’s own

Hodges: Moussy Vintage Packard shorts, $235, Sloan; Hope Macdonald bag via Lizanne Shaver, $190, hopemacdonald.com; Noelle Munoz bracelet, $735; swimsuit, shoes and other accessories, model’s own


Stefan: Gitman shirt, $218.50, and Save Khaki United corduroy shorts, $120, both from Tabor

Hodges: Alexis skirt, $365, Sloan; Clare V trucker hat, $45, Five One Five; Twine and Twig necklaces, $160-$200, swimsuit, model’s own

From left: Melissa: Renata Gasparian top, $288, and skirt, $288; Twine & Twig collar, $310, and bracelets, $30-$55 Lamar: Altea trousers, $299.60, and Norse Projects short-sleeve shirt, $290, both from Tabor Avani: Bell Lapis Top, $325, AG Jeans Alexxis denim shorts, $168, and Cristina V trade beads, $249, all from Monkee’s of Charlotte; Krewe sunglasses, $255, Sloan Wade: top and shorts, model’s own Antik Batik shirt, $385, Five One Five; Renata Gasparian skirt, $328; earrings, $38, Sloan
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Hodges, top: Paolita Ballet maxi skirt, $460, and Ballet Selena top, $170, both from Monkee’s of Charlotte Stefan, left: Lords of Harlech short-sleeve shirt, $145, and pants, $125, and King Ice Jesus necklace, $125, all from Bruce Julian Melissa, opposite page: Lemlem Rosa caftan dress, $355, and Sunshine Tienda hat, $108, both from Monkee’s of Charlotte; Holst + Lee bracelets, $110 each, Sloan; Twine & Twig necklace set, $150; earrings, stylist’s own

Mix it up

Party-pleasing cocktails with a tropical twist.

Recipes by Stefan Huebner, co-owner Dot Dot Dot

Very Pedestrian

1 ounce Tanqueray gin

1 1/2 ounce winter strawberry cordial

1/2 ounce Pasubio amaro

3 1/2 ounce sparkling rose

Add gin, strawberry cordial and Pasubio in an ice-filled shaker tin, shake and double strain into a champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with mint sprig.

Passionfruit Daiquiri

2 ounces Don Q gold rum

1 3/4 ounce passionfruit puree

1 ounce lime juice

Add all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker tin, shake and double strain into a large coupe glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.


1 ounce Cruzan Black Strap rum

1 ounce Don Q rum

1/2 ounce Campari

1/2 ounce lime juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup

2 1/2 ounces pineapple juice

Add all ingredients over ice, shake, and strain. Serve in a tiki mug with large ice topped with crushed ice.

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Spicy and cool

A ceviche-like Mexican seafood dish perfect for hot summer nights.

recipe by Hector Gonzalez-Mora, owner/chef El Toro Bruto



1 pound shrimp

6 limes

1/4 ounce chile piquin

1 teaspoon salt

2 ounces roasted garlic

1 avocado

1 red onion

cilantro sprigs for garnish


1. Toast the chile piquin.

2. Roast the garlic.

3. In a mortar and pestle, grind the chiles to a rough powder and then add the garlic.

4. Squeeze the limes into the chiles and garlic, season with salt, and reserve.

5. Shave the red onion in thin strips.

6. Butterfly the shrimp, arrange on the plate, then pour the lime-chile mixture onto the shrimp.

7. Let the lime and shrimp marinate for at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

8. Once the shrimp have turned in color, the dish is ready to eat.

9. Garnish with slivered avocado, red onion and sprigs of cilantro.

10. Salt to taste.

11. Enjoy with crackers or your favorite tostadas!

Opposite page, from left: Avani: Renata Gasparian wrap, $178; swimsuit, model’s own; Melissa: Renata Gasparian wrap, $178; Twine & Twig necklace, $200; St. Armands earrings, $42, Sloan; swimsuit, model’s own; Renata: Emerson Fry caftan, $168, Cristina V trade beads, $249, and Sunshine Tienda earrings, $48, all from Monkee’s of Charlotte; all others: models’ own

Hector Gonzalez-Mora

About the location: Photographed at Copper Builders’ 4,200-square-foot model home and design center at 5555 Fairview Rd. In April, the homebuilder won Custom Builder of the Year at the 38th annual MAME Awards, presented by the Home Builders Association of Greater Charlotte. For the interiors, Copper’s Hodges Miller teamed with Melissa Lee of New South Home, also winning the MAMA award for Best Interior Merchandising (over $900,000).

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Hello, old friend


It would take more than two hands to count my trips to Charleston over many years. Just three hours from Charlotte, it’s a convenient and popular destination for weddings and weekend getaways. But this was the first time the city itself got top billing on my itinerary. And our three-day reunion did not disappoint.

My friend Martha, who knows Charleston, appreciates good cuisine and is well-traveled — and whom I’ve known since seventh grade — tagged along. Our familiarity with the city and each other allowed us to be selective and intentional. We sought a range of culinary adventures — from esteemed fine dining to trendy, new cafes — all in a quest to experience Charleston in a new way.

With a head start leaving Charlotte, I put Weltons Tiny Bakeshop first on my list. This newcomer to Upper King Street, which opened late last year, is known to have a line out the door and limited hours of operation. As the name implies, it’s tight

quarters — only parties of two are allowed in the shop at a time — but patience pays off. An attentive and friendly face behind the counter warmly guides guests through a selection of savory and sweet pastries and breads made with heirloom grains.

Outside, a gussied-up side alley hums with the happy chatter of people sharing a bite to eat, while the bakery’s mobile wood-fired pizza oven is in full swing. As if this little bakery needs anything else to add to its charm, a blue retro bicycle with a basket rests underneath the shop’s colorful mural.

For lunch, I meet Martha at Chez Nous, a pint-sized downtown restaurant featuring elevated European comfort food. Tucked away on a tiny side street in a historic property, Chez Nous has a Parisian-inspired patio and a cozy, dark wood interior. We browse the handwritten menu over a glass of wine and catch up over the Smoked Trout Rillette and Lumache with Duck Sauce. The choices are few (two appetizers, two entrees and two desserts) and

102 | SOUTHPARK travel | weekend away

they change weekly, but that speaks to the confidence of Chef Jill Mathias. This secluded neighborhood gem consistently draws high praise from national food critics.

From there, we head to The Charleston Place on Meeting Street, in the heart of the historic district. The luxury hotel was built in 1986 as part of a larger vision to revitalize the city. Last year, it was acquired by Beemok Capital, owned by local businessman and philanthropist Ben Navarro, which is making significant reinvestments in the iconic property. With restaurants, boutiques and a luxury spa on site, it’s well-designed to be a luxurious, comfortable oasis for travelers coming from near or far.

For dinner, Martha and I have a reservation at the elegant Charleston Grill. It would be easy to overlook this Lowcountry fine dining destination amid such a dynamic dining scene. But don’t mistake Charleston Grill’s longevity for being staid. The seasonal menu is inventive, and each course is an experience. The

restaurant’s knowledgeable staff take pride in crafting a culinary memory for each guest to take home.

To wind down, we settle into Thoroughbred Club just across the lobby. As two talkers, it doesn’t take long for us to exchange stories with a mom who flew in from Philadelphia to visit her daughter, a College of Charleston student. She faithfully stays at The Charleston Place on each visit. Soon, a guest from California jumps in, a Marine-turned-caviar grower who is in town for a food and wine festival. Our new acquaintance generously shares samples and humors us by fielding questions about his line of work. Rounding out our new circle of friends is a Boeing executive from Seattle, in town for a conference.

Sitting here, I am struck by how Charleston is the place where people from all over come to sample life in a thriving, beautiful and complicated Southern city. “This just doesn’t happen,” Michael, the caviar rancher, says. “Strangers don’t just meet like this and act

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Opposite page: Boone Hall This page, clockwise from top left: Charleston Grill; The Charleston Place; Weltons Tiny Bakeshop; Chez Nous

like old friends.” How fitting that this random group would embrace the core values of Southern hospitality — to be welcoming and friendly — in this place, The Charleston Place hotel.

The next morning, I’m ready to relax with a facial at The Spa at Charleston Place, which also offers an array of massage and wellness services. Double glass doors lead to a modern, refreshing interior which invites hotel guests, visitors and locals to reboot and recharge. The adjacent indoor pool is connected to a rooftop veranda with a small bar. On this bright, sunny day, a few guests have already claimed spots on the cushioned chaise lounges.

For dinner that night, several locals recommend Melfi’s, an Italian spot featuring fresh pastas and Roman-style pizzas on Upper King Street. The nondescript brick-and-mortar exterior belies the classic, clubby vibe that packs people in night after night. Don’t leave without trying the stracciatella and olive oil bruschetta.

The next day, I met “Lid Lady” Tyler Page Wright Friedman, founder of Walk & Talk Charleston for a tour, which I booked through the hotel. Tyler points out many of the colonial and

antebellum buildings built with skilled labor from enslaved people. “It’s their skilled craftsmanship that went into building so much of the beauty that we admire in the historic buildings. It’s hard to balance, but it’s important to reflect that these buildings are both/ and. They are beautiful and reflect an ugly history,” Tyler says. The tour is an insightful and engaging way to explore the city’s storied character and characters. It is my first Charleston tour, and I consider it two hours well spent.

For a late, quick lunch, I hit the newly opened Mercato, adjacent to Sorelle on Broad Street. The market cafe serves casual fare (salads, paninis, pizza, pastries), while Sorelle offers more formal Italian dining. People are constantly coming and going from Mercato, so if you’re patient, you should be able to snag a seat.

Finally, I couldn’t leave without walking through The Battery to see the giant live oaks and enjoy the water view. No matter how many times I visit Charleston, there is always something new to experience. SP

travel | weekend away LEFT


The highly-anticipated International African American Museum is set for a late June opening, after a series of delays. A wide range of exhibitions, including the African Ancestors Memorial Gardens, tells the story of how Africans and African Americans have shaped history through trauma and triumph. 14 Wharfside Street, iaamuseum.org

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travel | weekend away
PHOTOGRAPH BY GREG NOIRE Opposite page: Huguenot Church, patio at Melfi’s This page, clockwise from left: Melfi’s pizza; Charleston Grill; High Battery Seawall; Sorelle (2)

Feast and forest


travel | destinations

More often than not, my vacations revolve around food: After locking in accommodations, the search begins — polling friends and family, then a deep internet dive to discover the best local fare, from grab-and-go markets to quaint cafes to fancier datenight spots.

So when I was invited to visit the green o in Montana — a 2-year-old luxury resort nestled among towering Ponderosa pines that’s quickly developed a reputation as a foodie hot spot — it was an offer I couldn’t resist.

On the 45-minute ride from the Missoula airport, keep your eyes peeled for bighorn sheep that graze along the hillsides and a glimpse of the famed Blackfoot River before arriving at the gated woodland sanctuary. If you’re expecting the Yellowstone version of Montana, you’ll find that at the green o’s family-friendly sibling, The Resort at Paws Up, which is best-known for its summertime “glamping” (think: fully furnished multi-room tents with luxe linens, full bathrooms, riverside decks and private dining pavilions). But behind the gates of the adults-only green o, which Town & Country dubbed “a modern remake of the western fantasy” in its 2023 list of the world’s best new hotels, the aesthetic is sleek, sophisticated and serene.

Minutes after arriving at the Social Haus, the green o’s hub for meals and transportation, my host makes sure I’m seated comfortably with a soothing view of the forest and offers a lunch menu. I’ve got a dinner reservation here in less than four hours but, eager to jumpstart this culinary journey, I don’t refuse. A light salad — crisp greens, thinsliced avocado and crunchy watermelon radish with a tahini green goddess dressing — hits the spot, and I’m off to get settled into my home away from home for the next few days.


Each of the green o’s 12 homes were designed to blend into the surrounding woodland — in fact, fewer than a dozen mature trees were taken down during the property’s construction. Floor-to-ceiling windows make you feel im-

Guests at the green o can choose from among four distinct home designs: A Tree Haus, opposite page and left, sits 23 feet above the ground and has a central spiral staircase.

mersed in the forest: Spring is on the cusp when I visit, but I can envision the splendor of winter’s snow-covered pines from my Green Haus, one of four distinct home designs at the green o.

Modern details like concrete countertops and an oversized skylight above the sunken sleeping area blend with cozy elements like the linear fireplace with its soft, flickering glow, wraparound deck with cocoon swing chairs, and private hot tub for soaking after a day on the river or tromping around the adjacent Lubrecht Forest.

There are little luxuries, like Dyson blow dryers and homemade ice cream sandwiches. Morning coffee arrives via a YETI cooler just outside your door, along with scratch-made pastries for a sweet or savory indulgence before breakfast.

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Like the homes at the green o, the Social Haus is warm but modern, with vibrant artwork, Japanese charred-wood paneling and large folding glass doors that let the outside in. The 24-seat dining room never feels crowded — with a few exceptions, only overnight guests of the green o are allowed to dine here.

Breakfast ranges from a hearty breakfast sando (sausage, cheese and egg frittata on a toasted crumpet) to a delicate, fluffy souffle omelet with roasted wild mushrooms and broccoli sprouts. There’s an extensive tea list — sachets are made in house, just one example of the attention to detail that goes into nearly everything on the menu. Breakfast and lunch offerings change seasonally, and the chefs here are happy to accommodate specific dietary needs.

But dinner at the Social Haus is the main event. Pull up a stool at the chef’s counter or settle into a cozy booth by the fire, sit back and enjoy. Each night, a team led by Executive Chef Brandon Cunningham and Pastry Chef Vincent Donatelli prepare an 8-course tasting menu filled with sweet and savory surprises. The menu teases with simple two-ingredient descriptions (sunchoke &

cherry, prawn & tomato, matcha & pear). But there’s nothing basic about the dishes to come. Some presentations are more straightforward — salmon with potato atop a delicate sauce — while others are playful, like the pork & xo, a spicy, sweet and savory noodle dish served in a mini Chinese takeout box.

Service is professional but unfussy. The chefs present each course tableside, sharing ingredients, techniques and inspiration for the dish. Pastries are elevated to the same status as the savories; a palate-cleansing “interlude” was followed by two knock-your-socksoff dessert courses each night of my stay.

travel | destinations
The Social Haus

The green o is all-inclusive of all meals and house beer, wine and cocktails. If you want to mix it up, in-home (gourmet, wood-fired) pizza delivery is available, or reserve a table at Pomp, the fine-dining restaurant at neighboring Paws Up — green o guests can dine at either property — for a more traditional dinner experience that’s equally delightful.


While privacy, seclusion and amazing farm-to-table fare are fundamental to the green o experience, guests also have access to Paw Up’s 37,000 acres and full slate of outdoor activities.

The resort is so intimate, green o staff members are always familiar with your itinerary and will have a car waiting (or arriving in minutes) to drive you to your next activity. If you prefer, you’ll have your own personal Lexus SUV to drive around the property during your stay.

Take a guided ATV tour — cross rolling fields of sagebrush while looking for bison and white-tailed deer on the way to Lookout Rock, with panoramic views of the storied Blackfoot. Spend an afternoon fly-fishing, where swallows, ducks and geese are about the only living creatures you’ll encounter besides the whitefish and trout gliding beneath the surface. Or go on a trail ride — Paws Up boasts the largest equestrian center in the state.

If you’re craving tranquility, outdoor adventure and culinary delights, the green o is an experience you won’t want to miss. SP


The green o and its sister resort, The Resort at Paws Up, host a slew of musical and food-focused events each year. This September, a handful of the Tar Heel state’s finest chefs will join the resort’s culinary team for Montana Master Chefs: North Carolina, which takes place Sept. 21-24.

Guests can expect special dinners, outdoor events and plenty of wood-fired cooking, says William Dissen, chef/owner of Charlotte’s Haymaker and Asheville’s The Market Place and a participating guest chef. Others include Dean Neff, chef/owner of Wilmington’s Seabird, Asheville chef Annie Pettry, and Raleigh chef Scott Crawford, a five-time James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef Southeast.

“I think we’re pretty blessed with amazing food culture and restaurants across the state of North Carolina,” says Dissen, who

GETTING THERE: The closest direct flight to Missoula is Atlanta, but there are a number of connecting flights from Charlotte. Upon arrival, the green o provides complimentary round-trip ground transportation to the resort in Greenough. thegreeno.com

splits his time between Charlotte, Asheville and the Triad, where he operates three Billy D’s fast-casual restaurants. “We’ll all bring that local flair from the Carolinas and be able to combine it with the best of the Big Sky cowboy country out there.”

Several members of the culinary team at Paws Up have Carolina connections. Brett Edlund, a South Carolina native and the chef at Pomp, Paws Up’s fine-dining restaurant, and Krystle Swenson, Pomp’s pastry chef, both previously worked with Crawford in Raleigh. California’s Hundred Acre Winery will also be on hand for the three-day event, which includes performances by Montana musicians.

“The weather [in Montana] in September is superb,” Dissen says. “Cooking outside over an open fire, with the mountains and prairies behind you, and then getting out there to play on the ranch … It’s a wonderful place, and I can’t wait to get back.”

Rates start at $2,395 per night for two adults. pawsup.com

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travel | destinations
William Dissen Dean Neff The Blackfoot River Annie Pettry Scott Crawford CHEF PHOTOS BY LINDY SCHOENBERG (DISSEN) AND SARAH BABCOCK (PETTRY)


A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

Becoming Brave Gala

benefiting BraveWorks

March 22

This 10th anniversary gala included dinner, cocktails, music and the chance to purchase goods from the women artisans who have learned life and career skills through BraveWorks programs.

photographs by Daniel Coston


Frances Queen and Sherry Waters Cassandra Richardson and Julie Jones Lou and Dezi Hawkins Anne Ratcliff, Marinn Esch, Laura Burt Molly Bush and Joyce Niemann Tracey and Keith Atkinson Cathy Grammar and Denise Von Gnechten Betsy Liles and Liz McDowell Laura Konitzer, Suzanne Cowden and Beth Bell Whit McDowell and Caroline McArthur Natalie Corrigan and Melodie Ohaus Katrina Cooley and Emily Hak


A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

Oscar Viewing Party and Fundraiser

Independent Picture House

March 12

Film enthusiasts and friends filled two screening rooms and enjoyed food, music and dancing as they celebrated Hollywood’s biggest night, The Academy Awards.

photographs by Daniel Coston

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Pam Stowe and Audrey Hood Renata Gasparian and Kendra Dodds Nancy McNelis and Jennifer Appleby Marty and Marcie Kelso Heidi Abell and Tracy McCrea Matt Cramer and Dana Gillis Charlie Elberson and Christy Baker Thalberg family Grazia Walker Tom and Julie Eiselt Ivana Woodcock Mary and Charles Love Brad Ritter Rodney and Jennifer Stringfellow Priti and Dipak Patel Elyse Williams and Ben Simon Eric and Diane Schmidt


A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

LAWA Gala for Education

UNC Charlotte Marriott

March 11

Patrons listened to guest speaker Grace Nystrum during this annual gala for LAWA (Latin Americans Working for Achievement), before hitting the dance floor.

photographs by Daniel Coston

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Rosa Gonzalez and Ivonne Erion Radmila and Daryl Hollnagel Daniel and Juliana Gandarilla Carolina and Henry Ko Samir and Erin Suleima Marcus and Kesha Smith Andrea and Luis Romero Matt Collins and Nelida Melcho Grace Nystrum and Ana Rey Erika and Luisa DeLeon Ernest and Priscilla Perry Jennifer and Jorge Colato Sean and Alexa McCune Ana and Manuel Rey Angel Phipps and Marcelo Alvarado


A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

Hearts for Hope

Benefiting Families Forward Charlotte

Feb. 25

This annual fundraising dinner drew a big crowd to Lenny Boy Brewing Co. as patrons mingled and heard stories about families who are breaking the poverty cycle with support from FFC programs and mentoring. Panthers legend Greg Olsen also entertained guests. photographs courtesy Lindsay Dickerson Beverly

SouthPark Magazine Movie Night

AMC Park Terrace

May 2

SouthPark Magazine readers and friends came together for a special screening of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. The night included conversation with Charlotteans who had a special connection to the movie when it was filmed in our area two years ago and words from our sponsor, Three Leaf Orthodontics.

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Niki and Brady Koesel Daniel and Tasha Bentley Greg Olsen Ron and Janice Abluton Deja Coney and Carrie Christian Sam and Kelly King Eric and Lauren Layne Mike and Anne Sinsheimer Elaine Largen and Doug Jones Austin Helms, Telitha Hight, Jason West Alicia and Scott Rudd


A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

Allegro Foundation’s Ambassador Ball

Quail Hollow Club

March 25

This annual ball celebrates the people and cultures of distant places while raising money to help children with disabilities. This year the program included His Excellency Miloslav Stasek, Ambassador of the Czech Republic.

photographs by Daniel Coston

Spring Market & Shopping Stroll

Phillips Place

April 29

To celebrate spring, the open-air shopping and dining hub In SouthPark hosted a family-friendly afternoon with artisan vendors, live music, activities and special offers.

photographs courtesy of Phillips Place

Christina Melissaris and Oliver Badgio Emily and Bill Oliver Larry Sprinkle and Pat Farmer Jill Stratton Brook and Felix Sabates Vincent and Sandra Voci Keyla Sandoval and Carmen Hilton Ambassador Miloslav Stasek and Jason Schugel Suzie and Nick Trivisonno Allegro kids Vic Sayegh and Lisa Palmer


A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

2023 UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball

The Westin

March 25

It was a fun night of philanthropy as Red Ventures CEO Ric Elias and Atrium Health CEO Eugene Woods were honored for their community work. Mayor Vi Lyles joined others in dancing the night away.

photographs by Corrie Huggins

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Milton Jones, Eugene A. Woods, Tiffany Jones-Boyd and Mayor Vi Lyles Clarence and Denise Armbrister Serena and Kieth Cockrell Tiffany and Fernando Little Milton Jones Eugene A. Woods and Ric Elias Heidi Currence and James Dunn Kaela Mason and Tiffany Jones-Boyd James and Nina Jackson
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A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

Purple Rain Soiree

Hyatt Centric SouthPark

April 13

Boris and Kristen Bunich hosted this benefit in honor of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Charlotte, which drew local luminaries from the sports and business worlds. Guests enjoyed a menu inspired by Prince’s favorite foods and plenty of cover songs.

photographs by Lizzy Otten

Come “play to learn”

at Myers Park Baptist’s Through-the-Week Preschool!

As one of the most established preschools in Charlotte, we offer a quality educational experience with a focus on kindergarten readiness. Through a play-based curriculum, we provide a half-day program for 1-year-olds through transitional kindergarteners that fosters cognitive, emotional, social and physical growth.

Visit Through-the-Week School and discover a welcoming, inclusive environment for families of all cultures, religions and race.

1900 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC 28207

bgeuss@myersparkbaptist.org 704-377-1683

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Jenna Enoch and Vanessa Merhib Nilou and Gerald Henderson Jr. Ivory Latta and Phil Ford David Thompson, Derek Whitenburg, Doug Doggett Kristen Bunich, Julie and Blake Hollingsworth, Boris Bunich George Lynch, Ryan Schalles, Mike Dempsey Derrick Brown and George Lynch Josh Norman, Jehlin Hayes, Tony Orr



SouthPark Mall is leaning into its fifth decade with the confidence and goals of a young adult ready to be seen. And she’s naming it — spelling it out, in part — with a new postcard-style mural that says “Charlotte.” Each letter depicts various Queen City landmarks and icons, reflecting the city’s vitality and SouthPark as a part of it.

The mural greets passers-by in the newly-revitalized West Plaza anchored by Suffolk Punch Brewing. It’s a colorful piece of the mall’s recent push to expand its identity beyond a luxury retail destination. SouthPark Mall is morphing into a real contender for live music, social gatherings and entertainment in its quest to create an engaging vibe that draws people in.

Greenville, S.C., artist Lacey Hennessey completed the mural in April. “Public art is so cool because everyone has access to it. I just love that, it’s really rewarding,” Hennessey says. Like many of

us, she’s also drawn to murals as a photo backdrop to document her travels.

A fellow Charlotte artist recommended her for the SouthPark job. “They wanted it to encompass the Carolinas ... everything from the sports teams, the beach, mountains, the food, entertainment.”

The mural is an extension of a community-first vision, says Holly Roberson Van Cleave, director of marketing and business development at SouthPark. “We see SouthPark Mall as a true community convener and a gathering place for shopping, dining and entertainment for Charlotteans and visitors alike.”

The mural is just one small visual cue that this Charlotte institution is looking ahead. As Hennessey says, she hopes the mural fosters a sense of pride and connection to SouthPark for everyone who sees it. SP

120 | SOUTHPARK | gallery
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