May SouthPark 2022

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Locks of love: The Quarry at Grant Park was an unexpected surprise when we visited Winston-Salem for our city guide on page 101.




pring weather is always a roller coaster, but the season this year has been more like Carowinds’ Intimidator — sunny and in the 80s one day, a frost advisory the next. If you were paying attention last month, you might have even seen a few random snowflakes during one particularly uncharacteristic cold snap. When Mother Nature threatened to spoil our spring style photo shoot (Page 72), we wondered if we might have to change the theme from “Garden Party” to “Singin’ in the Rain.” It takes a small army of dedicated creatives to put together these features, so rescheduling was out of the question. Thankfully, before the day was over, the clouds cleared and the sun broke through for a fantastic finish. May is the month for graduations, spring celebrations and of course, Mother’s Day. In this issue, mothers and families are central themes. We feature a stylish nursery designed by Traci Zeller (Page 44) for a couple’s first child, a girl — a bright, cheerful space with a fresh, modern aesthetic that’s not too pink or prissy. On page 82, we take a look inside a SouthPark home designed for extended family: When Stephen Walker’s father decided to move to Charlotte to be closer to his son and grandchildren, Four Story Interiors helped Walker and his wife, Anastaysia, design a home that balances style and practicality for their multigenerational household. Contributor Michelle Boudin describes how Carrie Christian started Families Forward, a nonprofit that provides mentors, workshops and essentials to help families in need get back on their feet (Page 52). In his monthly column, writer Wiley Cash speaks with Charlotte author Judy Goldman about her new book, Child, that’s set to be released this month (Page 60). The memoir examines Goldman’s loving but complicated relationship with her family’s live-in domestic worker, a Black woman named Mattie Culp, growing up in Rock Hill, S.C. And if you’re thinking about buying flowers for Mother’s Day (or for any occasion) you might want to read Page Leggett’s story about Giovy Buyers, owner of Dilworth’s Southern Blossom Florist (Page 24). Whatever you’re celebrating, we’ve got a feeling the festivities might be a little extra this year. Go for the bigger bouquet. Have an extra mimosa at brunch. And, after two years of muted celebrations, savor the close company of your friends and family. SP

Spring scene: The crew at work on our spring style feature.

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May BLVD. 24 | retail Southern Blossom’s grab-and-go bouquets bring a splash of color to Dilworth.

30 | artists Choreographer Audrey Baran’s newest work challenges Asian stereotypes.

36 | cuisine First look: Ever Andalo

44 | interiors Traci Zeller designs a bright and modern nursery with room to grow.

48 | entertaining Celebrating a post-pandemic birthday party in style.

50 | community Sharon Towers’ expansion includes a new public park in SouthPark.

52 | givers Families Forward provides mentors, workshops and essentials for families in need.

36 48

54 | around town What’s new and coming soon to the Queen City

56 | happenings May calendar of events

DEPARTMENTS 60 | creators of N.C. Charlotte writer Judy Goldman looks back on the Jim Crow South.

64 | simple life The kindness of strangers

67 | bookshelf Notable new releases

71 | well + wise Finding time and space for creativity

120 | swirl Parties and events around Charlotte

128 | gallery Sonia Handelman Meyer’s lifelong photography career

ABOUT THE COVER Stepping out in spring florals: Carlee Huffman with Modelogic photographed by Olly Yung and styled by Whitley Adkins. Turn to the feature on page 72 for additional credits. 14




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72 | Garden party photographs by Olly Yung | styling by Whitley Adkins and Brooke Werhane Maples Setting the stage for a stylish spring soiree.

82 | Family style by Catherine Ruth Kelly | photographs by Laura Sumrak A SouthPark home balances beauty and practicality for a multigenerational household.

72 16



90 | Teeing up the Presidents Cup by Michael J. Solender Quail Hollow Club readies for the perfect match.

94 | Day out in Davidson by Page Leggett | photographs by Justin Driscoll A college town comes of age.

101 | City guide: Winston-Salem by Cathy Martin History, arts and culture collide in the Triad.


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1230 West Morehead St., Suite 308 Charlotte, NC 28208 704-523-6987 _______________ Ben Kinney Publisher Cathy Martin Editor Sharon Smith Assistant Editor Andie Rose Creative Director Alyssa Kennedy Art Director Whitley Adkins Style Editor Contributing Editors Jennings Cool, David Mildenberg Contributing Writers Michelle Boudin, Wiley Cash, Jim Dodson, Catherine Ruth Kelly, Juliet Lam Kuehnle, Amanda Lea, Page Leggett, Michael J. Solender Contributing Photographers Mallory Cash, Daniel Coston, Justin Driscoll, Amy Kolo, Dustin Peck, Laura Sumrak, Peter Taylor, Olly Yung _______________ ADVERTISING Jane Rodewald Sales Manager 704-621-9198 Scott Leonard Audience Development Specialist 704-996-6426 Cindy Poovey Account Executive 704-497-2220 Sarah Fligel Marketing Specialist Brad Beard Graphic Designer _______________ Letters to the editorial staff: Instagram: southparkmagazine Facebook: Twitter:

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PUNCH PERFECT Ripe, red strawberries are one of the first harbingers of spring. This month, farmers markets will be brimming with the fruit, perfect for smoothies, shortcake or eating by the bowlful, topped with fresh whipped cream. This punch — which combines sparkling wine, grapefruit juice, edible flowers and strawberries — is a refreshing way to enjoy the first fruits of the season. See more photos from this strawberry-themed birthday party on page 48. SP | 23

blvd. | retail



he order — 200 soft pink and cream roses — was large even by Valentine’s Day standards. But getting the roses wasn’t the challenge. The customer wanted them all in one container for maximum impact. Giovy Buyers, owner of Southern Blossom Florist on East Boulevard, had to call in reinforcements. It took four hands to create the floral masterpiece. “It was a challenge,” 24



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blvd. | retail

Buyers recalls. “We put all the roses in a large bucket because our vases were too small ... Once we started assembling, two of my designers had to work together to create that beautiful bouquet. One was holding the roses in place, and the other was making sure it was nice and tight.” It’s just what she does to make her customers happy. “If someone wants us to make something very different, we love it,” Buyers says. “We don’t have cookie-cutter arrangements. We’re not what you get when you call 1-800-FLOWERS or go through FTD.” Buyers, whose family owns a flower farm in her native Ecuador, always dreamed of owning her own flower shop. Opportunity presented itself in 2008 to buy what she termed a mom-and-pop operation that had been in business for nearly 50 years. Called simply A Fruit Basket, it specialized in the obvious — but had some flowers in the mix. Buyers shifted its focus to mostly flowers. She bought the business in the midst of a recession and soon wondered if she’d made a mistake. “It was a very scary time,” recalls the mother of two. 26



“A lot of longstanding accounts went out of business.” She created a website, hoping e-commerce might be the antidote to getting minimal walk-in traffic at the shop on Hawthorne Lane due to streetcar track construction, which blocked the view of her shop. Gradually, she began doing more events and weddings — she estimates that weddings account for 40% of her business today — and needed a space for consultations. She needed a new brick-and-mortar spot that would attract walk-in traffic. When her current location in a charming two-story house in Dilworth came open in 2018, she took it. She leases part of the downstairs. She had been operating as an online-only shop since 2010, biding her time until she could find what she considered the perfect spot. Young professionals are among her biggest customers, and there are scads of them just around the corner in South End. You can walk into her shop and purchase a ready-made, wrapped bouquet, just as you would at the grocery store — but Buyers offers a wider variety of flowers.

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blvd. | retail

THINKING INSIDE THE BOX The pandemic led Buyers to a smart business idea. “During Covid, when we all had to kind of shut down and stay home, I was approached by several small businesses asking me to help sell their products,” she says. She agreed to post some of their products on her website so customers could buy, say, a candle at the same time they bought flowers. But she took the idea a step further. She thought inside the box. Charlotte Blossoms Together is a flower-topped gift box that includes locally made organic soap from The Soap Boutique, local honey from Charlotte Honey, an organic beeswax candle from Wellness by Ari Candles, cookies with a Charlotte skyline design from The Little Cookie Shop, a little succulent garden from Living Décor by Valentina and several other treats. It’s perfect for a newcomer to the area, Buyers says, or for anyone who appreciates buying local. Community engagement is important to Buyers. In early 2019, Southern Blossom began a horticulture and floral mentoring pro28



gram for Providence High School students. Since its inception, nine teens have served as interns at Southern Blossom, where they learn about horticulture, how to run a small business, customer service and more. Besides Buyers, the Southern Blossom team includes four floral designers. “A couple of my designers have been in the industry for about 30 years,” she says. “They like art. They are painters; they’re crafty. It’s a really good combination because working with flowers can inspire you to be creative, to do something different. I give them free rein.” Does Buyers have a favorite flower? She’s shocked by the question. “That’s like asking if I have a favorite child!” she says. “If I say, the other flowers may get jealous. But the one I’ve always loved is ranunculus.” SP Room to bloom: Stop by Southern Blossom Florist at 321 East Blvd. Or find a bouquet or other gift online at

















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blvd. | artists



udrey Baran is troubled by what she describes as the current dichotomous state of invisibility and hyper-visibility of Asian Americans in the United States. The Filipina-American dancer and choreographer is using dance to address head-on perceptions and stereotypes of female Asian Americans, ranging from the obedient and subservient manicurist to dehumanized sex workers. Baran, 40, just completed a new work tackling these themes after being selected through Joffrey Ballet’s 2022 Winning Works Choreographic Competition. Baran moved to Charlotte at age 4 from New Jersey. She is a visiting assistant professor of dance at UNC Charlotte and founder and artistic director of the eponymous troupe Baran Dance. She’s long been a creative force on Charlotte’s burgeoning dance scene. Her work has been featured at the Charlotte Dance Festival, North Carolina Dance Festival, Tobacco Road Dance




Productions, Triangle Dance Project, Women’s Showcase and numerous self-produced productions. Joffrey Ballet started in 1956 as a boundary-pushing touring company and has been Chicago’s resident dance company since 1995. Winning Works, now in its 12th year, was created to recognize talented and emerging ALAANA (Asian, Latinix, African American, Arab and Native American) choreographers. Baran is one of only four artists — and the only woman — selected through this year’s competition. She was chosen from a pool of nearly 100 national and international applicants. Her 12-minute contemporary piece for the Joffrey, entitled Porcelain, addresses the stereotyping of Asian American feminine identity related to the image of the Oriental porcelain doll. “Silent but gestural, beautiful and exotic, superhuman yet subhuman,” Baran says. “She is strong yet breakable, but once she breaks, she will cut you if you are not careful.”


by Michael J. Solender








“Porcelain represents an abstraction of various stigmas around Asian Americans,” Baran continues. “I’m interested in this idea of being ostracized and ignored at the same time. The feelings and the physical actions come from the part of someone who’s being targeted. There are a lot of power dynamics going back and forth between control and caring for someone. At the end there’s this rebellion and feeling of taking back your own power and not needing permission to do anything or look a certain way. I think a lot of the dancers related to that on a lot of different levels.” Baran’s proposal stood out to the team at the Joffrey. “Her letter of intent was beautiful,” says Raymond Rodriguez, Abbott Academy director of the Joffrey. “We read her letter, and Christopher Marney (head of Studio Company and trainees at the academy) and I viewed her previous works — we thought she would be a great fit. Audrey had a beautiful voice in what she wanted to say with her work.” Upon her selection, Baran auditioned members of the Joffrey Academy Studio Company and trainees, about 40 in all, ultimately choosing 15 dancers to perform her piece. “We fly in each choreographer for a two-week period individually, where they audition a workshop day and then choose their cast with understudies as well,” Rodriguez notes. “They have a minimum of 30 hours to choreograph their work, work with our team, and return for more rehearsal and the performance.” Baran’s work was performed in March at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s Edlis Neeson Theater. She also received a $5,000 stipend as part of her award. What most impressed the team at the Joffrey is the collaborative way Baran worked with the dancers in creating her piece. “Audrey brings a blend of work from the concert stage and academia in her approach,” Rodriguez says. “It’s made the dancers think in a different way, where they have a voice in the work. She explained her concept and ideas and workshops together with the dancers to create the work.” Baran says it is important to her to incorporate the voice and movement of her dancers into the work she creates. “Being collaborative with the dancers and letting them have a lot of ownership over the piece and the content gives me a great deal of energy and translates into the work,” she says. “We spent time in the beginning talking and writing about invisibility and hypervisibility and our individual experiences ... We inspire each other with our own thoughts, words, phrasing and movement.” Two primary byproducts came from the experience for Baran: newfound inspiration and motivation to tackle more ambitious projects. “With every creative process, 32




blvd. | artists


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blvd. | artists


I learn a lot about how I work and how I interact with other dancers and makers,” she says. Baran hopes the chance to show her work on a national platform will lead to other opportunities. As far as what’s next, Baran says she’ll continue both her teaching and performance in Charlotte, with a special affinity for performing in small venues. She’s no stranger at Petra’s and has often performed there accompanied by live music. Baran Dance is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. She’s planning a party and a performance at Charlotte Ballet June 18 and 19. “We’re performing 10 works that represent our past, present and future. We’ll have dancers who have been with us since Day One, new dancers, understudies and our youth company participating. It’s going to be a fun time.” For Audrey Baran, a new muse is always in sight. SP

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blvd. | cuisine

Postcards from Italy FIRST LOOK: EVER ANDALO by Cathy Martin | photographs by Justin Driscoll


aying goodbye to Crepe Cellar, the NoDa restaurant Jamie Brown and Jeff Tonidandel opened in 2009, was a bittersweet moment. The couple had nurtured the neighborhood spot through the lowest point of the Great Recession, along with an expansion when the space next door opened up. Crepe Cellar maintained a loyal following as Brown and Tonidandel later opened Growlers Pourhouse, then Haberdish, the upscale Southern comfort-food spot down the street, followed by Reigning Doughnuts and Supperland, arguably the most anticipated Charlotte restaurant opening in 2021. “This was a different place,” Brown tells me as she surveys the 88-seat restaurant, newly christened Ever Andalo, from a seat at the quartz bar that had been installed the previous day. “But the climate has changed. People’s expectations have changed, and the reasons people are going out have changed. I think people value a lot more sourcing and the craftedness of food, and we just felt like Crepe Cellar as a brand was not allowing our team to expand past crepes.” So on January 30, Crepe Cellar closed and a mere five weeks later, the Tonidandel-Brown Restaurant Group opened Ever Andalo, a restaurant inspired by an ambling trip across Europe the couple took more than a decade ago. Before their kids were born, the couple, both with MBAs, left comfortable corporate jobs — Jamie in marketing at Lance (now part of Campbell Soup Co.), Jeff in sponsorship with a NASCAR team — for an eight-month backpacking trip across Europe and Asia. Eggplant Rollatini 36



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blvd. | cuisine

“We left without a plan,” Brown says. They spent much of their time in Italy: Florence, Milan, the Amalfi Coast, Sicily and Sardinia. Tonidandel knew his ancestors had come from a little town called Andalo in the Dolomites region of northern Italy — an area that had once been part of Austria — but he knew little about them. So the couple spent six weeks there, tracing Jeff’s family history and meeting distant relatives. The couple had discussed reinventing the cozy neighborhood spot in 2019. After the success of Haberdish, which draws diners from across the area with its Southern-inspired menu (and some of the best fried chicken in town), they realized they could develop concepts with a broader appeal. Covid accelerated their plans. They began renovations in November, tackling small projects on days when Crepe Cellar was closed, and finished the work ahead of Ever Andalo’s March 5 opening.

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blvd. | cuisine

Chicken Piccata





Gone are the dark ceilings, wood floors and black awnings that made Crepe Cellar feel, well, like a cellar. Black-and-white mosaic tile floors, a vibrant botanical-print wallpaper and a new bank of windows across the front of the restaurant bring light and energy from the sidewalk into the space. Though Andalo, the city, is in northern Italy, the menu isn’t specific to that region. “The tricky thing about Italian in general, whether it’s food or drinks, is a lot of people have [a set idea] of what it should be,” Brown says. “You also want chefs and mixologists to have creativity with it. In a grander scheme, Italian food still needs to evolve, too.” In Italy, cooking often relies on using local ingredients, Brown says. Led by Chef Cory Owen, the restaurant works with Freshlist, which provides local chefs with produce from regional farms. Those items complement authentic Italian ingredients, such as olive oils, San Marzano tomatoes and cheeses. While the menu is organized into five courses in typical Italian fashion, sharing is encouraged, and skilled servers will help you navigate the selections. Starters include housemade focaccia with a flight of olive oils, roasted Italian olives, and plenty of seafood dishes: tuna crudo, raw or roasted oysters, and tender grilled octopus with a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. Don’t skip the housemade burrata, served over a bright orange marmalade with grilled focaccia for just the right balance of sweet and salty. You’ll find housemade pastas ranging from a mushroom tortellini to a cavatelli with homemade pork sausage, broccolini, sundried tomato cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano. The Calabrian chili pappardelle with a spicy beef ragu has a zesty kick, but the homemade ricotta served with it balances the heat. While the menu is Italian, carbs are optional here, and you’ll find plenty of protein-heavy options such as a whole branzino, short ribs, chicken picatta and lamb chops. The dessert menu offers Ever Andalo’s take on tiramisu, along with cannoli, an orange olive oil cake and more.



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blvd. | cuisine The 80-bottle wine list is 100% Italian, developed by Michael Klinger, a Level 3 Sommelier who also runs the wine program at Supperland. Like Tonidandel and Brown’s other concepts, Ever Andalo has a stellar craft cocktail menu created by Colleen Hughes. Here, expect fresh takes on Italian classics, from homemade limoncello to the South of Pisa (Tito’s vodka, Galliano, grapefruit, lime, ginger beer syrup and bitters). There’s even a twist on the classic margarita (!) with pineapple-basil syrup and Calabrian chili. Charlotte has seen more than a handful of new Italian restaurants in recent years, amid an already punishing period for the industry. Brown credits the staff at Ever Andalo, along with the group’s other concepts, with creating a unique dining experience that keeps customers coming back. And if the couple’s track record is any indication, Ever Andalo will enjoy a run as successful as its predecessor, Crepe Cellar. “People are going to eat Italian food, but they’re [also] going for the experience,” says Brown, whose next big project with Tonidandel is the reinvention of the former Dilworth restaurant Bonterra, expected to open in 2023. “Let’s make it a beautiful time that I can remember and take with me. And that’s something that nobody can replicate.” SP

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blvd. | interiors

Sweet dreams TRACI ZELLER DESIGNS A BRIGHT AND MODERN NURSERY WITH ROOM TO GROW. by Cathy Martin | photographs by Dustin Peck


hen Traci Zeller’s clients come to her for nursery design, she is always mindful of the fact that babies don’t stay little for long. “These precious babies are in cribs for such a short amount of time, and I always design a nursery with an eye towards how the room will transition into a big-boy or -girl room,” the interior designer says. When creating this nursery design for a young couple’s first baby, a daughter, Zeller already had a good grasp of the parents’ taste: She had worked with the couple over the previous year designing the rest of the home. “Their aesthetic leans modern and fresh, while still embracing the Southern vernacular, and we wanted the nursery to embody the same feel,” Zeller says. 44



The Babyletto crib is outfitted with bedding from Crate & Kids. The swivel glider from Vanguard is upholstered in a durable indoor-outdoor fabric. The whimsical fur stool was custom-made by an Etsy vendor.

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blvd. | interiors

ROLL TIDE “The mom was born and raised in Huntsville, Ala., and grew up as a University of Alabama fan,” Zeller says. “The elephant mural was our nod to her ’Bama roots in a much more sophisticated way than a ‘theme’ room.” The designer scaled the mural so the elephant would be appropriately positioned relative to the crib.

STAYING POWER When designing a nursery, Zeller suggests investing in a few enduring pieces that the baby won’t outgrow quickly. “The investment pieces should grow with the child. I want to see those pieces, whatever they are — it could be window treatments or artwork or a dresser — last for at least eight to 10 years. That way, you aren’t starting over with an entirely new design in the toddler years.” Here, the designer chose lighting, including the chandelier from Visual Comfort, and an upholstered swivel glider from Vanguard, that she says will “work beautifully for years to come.”

OUTSIDE THE BOX While the variety of nursery décor and furnishings has expanded widely in recent years, Zeller says you don’t have to use furniture specifically designed for babies. “You can use a changing topper on an ordinary dresser, for example, as long as the dresser is an appropriate height, and the dresser will transition beautifully to a big-boy or -girl room.” SP 46




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feel Confident

to buy & sell at the same time

EASTOVER | Price Upon Request 131 Altondale Avenue Lauren Campbell | 704-579-8333

A Howard Hanna Partner

blvd. | entertaining

Berry bash photographs by Amy Kolo


ike many babies born during the pandemic, Vivienne Mae Knaus came into the world during a time of muted celebrations. As Covid restrictions began easing ahead of Vivienne’s first birthday, her parents, Brooke and Chad Knaus, decided to go big with a strawberry-themed celebration at their Myers Park home to mark the occasion. “It was one of the best afternoons,” Brooke says. “Andrew [Thomas with John Lupton Events], our planner, gave us a party that embodied the magic and sweetness of childhood.” The vanilla-and-strawberry mousse cake from Edible Art Cake Shop inspired the theme: “The cake plates were strawberry leaves, the flowers pink zinnias, and the punch (for adults) was a concoction of sparkling wine, grapefruit juice, edible flowers and, of course, strawberries,” Brooke says. Even Chad’s vintage convertible coordinated with the theme: The Chevy Impala became an impromptu gift table as guests left presents on the hood. “A happy surprise,” Brooke says, to sweeten a picture-perfect backyard celebration. SP Event planning and decor: Andrew Thomas with John Lupton Events Flowers: John Lupton Events Cake: Edible Art Cake Shop Marquee number: Alpha-Lit Charlotte Balloon installation: Pop Charlotte Balloons Entertainment: Corky the Magic Clown Caricature artist: Caricatures by Jeff Yard sign: Sassy Grass Charlotte Charcuterie: Copain Gatherings

View more party photos at




blvd. | community

Growing green space A SLICE OF NATURE IN SOUTHPARK by Sharon Smith

Rendering provided by Belgrave Associates. Early artist’s vision — the final plan may vary.


outhPark is known for shops and restaurants, not for having a lot of green space. Acres of woods along Fairview Road are long gone. Lots with brick ranches and sprawling yards along Sharonview Road are now home to luxury townhomes. Small condo communities have been torn down to make way for large mixed-use projects. Besides Symphony Park behind SouthPark Mall, it’s hard to find an inviting patch of green to stroll or a shaded bench to park yourself while sipping a cup of coffee. In a few months, that will change. As part of a major campus revitalization and expansion at Sharon Towers, the continuing-care community is dedicating a half-acre of green space for use as a public park at the corner of Hazelton Drive and Sharon Road. While the total construction project will take years to complete, the park component — which includes public art, benches and a fountain — is expected to be finished in September, upon final city approval. “Given the ongoing development around us, it is exciting to see some new green space added in SouthPark. It just doesn’t happen very often,” says Drew Thrasher, president of the Laurelwood Neighborhood Association. Thrasher has lived a stone’s throw from Sharon Towers on Hazelton Drive for nearly 20 years, with a front-row seat to SouthPark’s increasing lean toward a more urban commercial core. “It’s a little piece of nature in an urban setting,” says Angela Rigsbee, CEO and president of Sharon Towers. You can hear the 50



excitement in Rigsbee’s voice as she talks about the park’s potential to attract residents and connect them to the neighborhood. “We’re building it and looking at the future consumer,” she says about the community’s desire to improve the aging experience with a more engaging, open campus that promotes an active, healthy lifestyle. “The fact that most of this expansion is visible from Sharon Road is intentional,” Rigsbee says. “We want to weave Sharon Towers into the fabric of the greater neighborhood.” Eventually, the park will connect to public retail space (like an ice cream shop) on the Sharon Towers campus, steps away from The Loop, a planned 3-mile urban trail scheduled to be built in phases. While few neighbors welcome the sights and sounds of largescale construction projects, Thrasher focuses on the park’s long-term payoff as a buffer from the hustle and bustle of Sharon Road. He says Sharon Towers was responsive to feedback from his neighborhood, Fairmeadows and SPAN (SouthPark Association of Neighborhoods) in the park’s design and in moving the park project up on the construction timeline. “When I think about this park, along with the development of The Loop around SouthPark, the city’s construction of the new Backlot Trail and all the greenway extensions (with their neighborhood connections) coming along Little Sugar Creek, Briar Creek and Little Hope Creek, there will be a lot more outdoor opportunities in SouthPark at this time next year,” Thrasher says. SP

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blvd. | givers



very Christmas, Carrie Christian and her husband supported a family with kids at a low-income school in Charlotte. “Every year, a friend of ours at a Title I school would contact us, and we’d buy presents. A few years ago, she told us about a family who was homeless because the mom was in remission from cancer and the medical bills were too much,” Christian says. “And I just started thinking, with all the great organizations in Charlotte, it seemed like there was a gap in the system.” Christian immediately went to work trying to bridge that gap. She started on social media. “I asked for support from friends. We ended up founding this organization and came up with the concept of providing essentials; connecting people with resources, education, life skills and workshops; and really focusing on mentorship and coaching families toward economic mobility.” Christian officially formed Families Forward Charlotte in 2017 with the intention of working with just two families. “But as we got closer to the families, we thought if we got more volunteers, we could help more people.” That first year, Families 52



Forward worked with 20 families, pairing each of them with a mentor. “That’s where the magic happens,” Christian says. “The mentorship is what’s unique about our organization. We’re really a support to them emotionally.” The volunteer mentors spend four to six hours a month working with the parents. They ask each family to set financial goals that will motivate them — anything from saving enough money to signing a child up for soccer or taking the family on a vacation. Over the last five years, Families Forward has worked with 125 families. The nonprofit has a staff of five and 60 volunteers. Still, Christian says they’re looking to assist even more families in need, and the organization is working to open a program hub so that families have a consistent place to come for workshops. Christian is currently scouting for the right location. “We really just work to be a support for our families, and we know it works,” she says. “I really can’t believe the growth we’ve seen in the last five years and how much we have learned. I pinch myself every day that I get to do this work.” SP


by Michelle Boudin


When tomorrow... becomes today. Caring for someone with acute medical needs can feel overwhelming. When faced with difficult decisions about your loved one’s care, our hospice house teams are there to support you today and each day after.

Be sure to ask for us by name. Levine & Dickson Hospice Houses are exclusively for patients of Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region.

To find out more: 704.375.0100 |

blvd. | around town Rendering of OpenTap

Just when it seemed Charlotte had reached maximum beer capacity, at least a half-dozen new breweries and taprooms have recently opened or announced plans to expand. Concord’s Southern Strain Brewing opened in March in Plaza-Midwood. Resident Culture Brewing opened a new taproom in South End. Asheville’s Burial Beer (Plaza-Midwood) and Hi-Wire Brewing (South End) and Texas-based Weathered Souls Brewery (South End) have new locations on tap for later this year. Even south Charlotte is getting in on the sudsy scene. Construction is expected to begin this spring on OpenTap, a craft beer and wine bar at 5010 Carmel Center Dr. OpenTap will offer 64 self-pouring taps in a 7,500-square-foot family-friendly space that will include an outdoor shade garden, a tree house mezzanine and a village green. “To my wife and I, there was an obvious need for a community hub where family and neighbors could congregate while enjoying wellcrafted beers and kids could safely play in an enclosed outdoor space,” says OpenTap co-founder Scott Thorne. Beer, wine, cider and hard seltzer will be offered; 12 of the 64 taps will dispense craft sodas and other kid-friendly beverages.

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery will be an anchor tenant at The Bowl at Ballantyne, a new entertainment, retail and residential center. OMB plans to open a biergarten and restaurant with nearly 14,000 square feet of indoor space, a 7,000-square-foot patio and a second-level mezzanine in 2023.

Stepping stone for success

In March, Charlotte Country Day School and HoopTee Charities — founded by Charlotte Hornets President Fred Whitfield — teamed with the Dee-Lite Foundation to award four-year academic scholarships for four high-school students at CCDS. The scholarships valued at $500,000 include tuition, books, extracurricular fees and more. The Dee-Lite Foundation is led by Henry Shaw, a minority owner of the Hornets. “We want all the kids to truly be a part of the entire school experience from education to social activities,” Shaw said in a news release. “I want these kids to use education as a stepping stone for great success, and I’m rooting for them every step of the way.” SP





On tap

ON VIEW THROUGH JULY 3, 2022 MINT MUSEUM UPTOWN Bridging the gap between museum, gallery, and studio to highlight innovative and thought-provoking works by artists from across the Southeast.


blvd. | calendar


Fourth Ward Secret Gardens Tour

Crave CLT May 3-8 Enjoy culinary experiences across multiple Charlotte neighborhoods at this six-day food and wine festival. The main event, the Grand Culinary Celebration, will take place on May 7 at Romare Bearden Park and feature creations by some of Charlotte’s top chefs and mixologists. Ticket options vary. North Carolina Brewers & Music Festival at Historic Rural Hill May 6-7 Kick back for some fun on the farm with breweries, food and a music lineup that includes The Steeldrivers, Acoustic Syndicate, Jade Bird and more. Tickets start at $15 for adults and $8 for kids ages 5-15 (kids 4 and under are free). 4431 Neck Rd., Huntersville. Mother’s Day Celebration at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden May 7-8 Moms get free admission all weekend (timed ticket reservations are recommended). Enjoy live music, food-truck fare and a special presentation from local chef and cookbook author Peter Reinhart. 6500 S. New Hope Rd., Belmont. Pet Palooza Walk for the Animals at the new Humane Society of Charlotte Animal Resource Center May 14 | 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Back in person for the first time after two years of virtual events, this year’s festival will feature live music, food trucks, pet-loving vendors and 56



a 1-mile fun walk. Free to attend; $10 HSC donation to register for the walk. 1308 Parker Dr., Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Presents Broadway’s Longest: Phantom, Chicago, Cats, & More at Knight Theater May 13-14 Tracks from Broadway’s bestloved musicals come together in this dazzling arrangement of enduring hits. See how many classics you recognize and revel in the memories that may come flooding back. Tickets start at $29. Charlotte Garden Club Art in the Garden Tour May 14-15 Tour six private gardens, from Ballantyne to Washington Heights. Sip wine and enjoy appetizers at the after-tour party at Mint Museum Randolph from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets start at $20 for museum members and $30 for nonmembers.

and special points of interest along the route. Tickets start at $30. The Cheerwine Festival in Downtown Salisbury May 21 Enjoy ice cold Cheerwine in the town where it originated, along with Southern cuisine, family-friendly activities, local craft vendors, and live music from Blues Traveler and The Spin Doctors. Free to attend. Carolina BBQ Festival at Camp North End May 22 | noon-4 p.m. See pitmasters from the Carolinas in action and taste your way through three regions of barbecue (East, West and South). Live music and a variety of vendors round out the festivities. General admission is $75 and includes barbecue, sides and beer pairings.

Emmet Cohen Trio Plays Homage to Piano Greats at Stage Door Theater May 20-21 The Harlem-based trio will perform selections from their latest album Future Stride, an homage to piano greats of yesterday with a modern twist. Tickets start at $25.

2022 ACC Baseball Championship at Truist Field May 24-29 Truist Field, home to the Charlotte Knights, will host 12 teams in 15 tournament games to determine the league champion. The semifinals will take place on Saturday, followed by the championship on Sunday. Ticket options vary. charlotte-knights/events/accchampionship

Fourth Ward Secret Gardens Tour May 21-22 | noon-4 p.m. The Friends of Fourth Ward invite you to revel in the flora and fauna of this picturesque Charlotte neighborhood. The walkable, self-guided tour also highlights public art, historic homes

Freestyle Love Supreme at Knight Theater May 24-29 Performers take suggestions from the audience in this improvisational, hip-hop comedy creation. Instantaneous riffs and full-length musical numbers ensue as


Events + activities

Your Smile... is Our Passion! Lanette’s natural looking smile by Dr. Steven Ghim


blvd. | calendar

Donald Sultan at Jerald Melberg Gallery each performance unfolds before your eyes. Tickets start at $20. The Alice: An Immersive Cocktail Experience May 25-July 24 Climb down the rabbit hole for a topsy-turvy cocktail adventure. The 90-minute Wonderland tea party experience will be hosted at a “magical location” on Yancey Road and run multiple sessions over 12 weeks. Things are about to get curiouser and curiouser. Tickets are $45 per person and include two bespoke cocktails and cake.

Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway May 29 Rev up your Memorial Day weekend with the 63rd running of this fan-favorite race. Don’t miss the pre-race concert featuring Chris Janson and a military salute with demonstrations from Fort Bragg, plus performances by the 82nd Airborne Chorus. Ticket options vary. Party in the Park at Mint Museum Randolph May 29 | 1-5 p.m. Enjoy free admission to the museum, food trucks, live music and a cash bar on the front terrace. From 2-4 p.m., join in a calming, slow-looking exercise

in the museum galleries and a mindfulness drawing activity in recognition of Mental Health Awareness month. Free to attend. Summer Concert Series at Anne Springs Close Greenway Thursdays, May-June | 6-9 p.m. Nothing beats summer evenings under the trees with friends, family and live music. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Bring your own chair or blanket. Parking is $5 per car. Admission is free for members. Tickets for nonmembers are $6 for adults and $4 for kids ages 5-12. Children 4 and under are free.

Museums + galleries Karine Laval Trembling Giant and Marjorie Norman Schwarz Mining a Glittering Stone at SOCO Gallery Through June 8 French-born and Brooklyn-based Laval’s still and moving images challenge familiar perceptions we have of the world and can be seen as a bridge between the world we live in and a more dreamlike dimension. Schwarz’s meditative paintings appear as “infinite abysses, a place to get lost, to meditate, perhaps conjure a memory, and, if the viewer is lucky, ultimately discover.” It’s the Dallasbased artist’s first North Carolina show. 412 Providence Rd.;




blvd. | calendar w rig hts v ille

b e ach



Your drive-to island vacation resort

Painter’s Refuge: A Way of Life - A Solo Exhibition of Recent Work by Reginald Sylvester II at Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture Through June 10 Born in North Carolina and the son of a U.S. veteran, Sylvester’s use of military tents connects with the familial. For his first solo museum exhibition, his body of abstract paintings allude to shelter, protection and refuge. 551 S. Tryon St.; Donald Sultan at Jerald Melberg Gallery Through June 11 Paintings, conte crayon drawings and screen prints will be on display in the Asheville native’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Sultan is known for large-scale, multimedia compositions of simple forms that are both representational and abstract. 625 S. Sharon Amity Rd.;

MyLoan Dinh: Mixed Blessings at Elder Gallery Through June 18 Through her work as a multidisciplinary artist, MyLoan Dinh reflects on her experiences as a former refugee and as a woman of color. Her pieces address everyday manifestations of cultural identity, memory and displacement. 1520 S. Tryon St.; Coined in the South: 2022 at Mint Museum Uptown Through July 3 The second installment of this juried exhibition highlights 41 artists from across the Southeast. Coined in the South is presented by The Young Affiliates of the Mint in collaboration with The Mint Museum. 500 S. Tryon St.; SP — compiled by Amanda Lea

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

Tranquil mornings, long beach walks, and evening cruises, all await you on the island of Wrightsville Beach and the historic Blockade Runner Beach Resort. Our Beach and Breakfast Package is perfect for some fun in the sun; this two night package includes two beach chairs and an umbrella, as well as breakfast in bed each morning! 855-416-9086 | 59

|creators of n.c.

A shared life JUDY GOLDMAN LOOKS BACK ON THE JIM CROW SOUTH. by Wiley Cash photographs by Mallory Cash


first met author Judy Kurtz Goldman in summer 2013 when we were seated beside one another at a dinner sponsored by a local bookstore in Spartanburg, S.C. Of that evening, I can remember Judy’s elegant Southern accent, her self-deprecating humor and her teasing me that my calling her “ma’am” made her feel old. But Southerners like Judy know that the conventions you are raised under are hard to buck, regardless of whether they are based on something as benign as manners or as oppressive as prejudice. According to the late Pat Conroy, Judy Goldman is a writer of “great luminous beauty,” and I happen to agree with him. She’s published two previous memoirs, two novels, two collections of poetry, and she has won the Sir Walter Raleigh Prize for fiction and the Hobson Award for Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Letters. In her new memoir, Child, Judy confronts the horrible legacy of the Jim Crow South while coming to terms with the fact that the customs and laws born from Jim Crow delivered one of the most meaningful and long-lasting relationships of Judy’s life. The memoir explores the life she shared with her family’s live-in domestic worker, a Black woman named Mattie Culp, who came to live with and work for the Kurtz family in Rock Hill, S.C., when she was 26 and Judy was three. From the moment Mattie arrived, she and Judy were close, physically and emotionally. They shared a bedroom and a bed. (Mattie shared the single bathroom with Judy’s parents and two older siblings.) Judy and Mattie also shared one another’s love, and that love would cement their indescribably close bond up until Mattie’s death in 2007 at age 89. “Our love was unwavering,” Judy writes in the book’s prologue. “But it was, by definition, uneven.” There is an old saying that writers write because we have questions, and while Judy has no questions about the depth of her love for Mattie or the depth of Mattie’s love for her, she has spent much of her adult life pondering questions about the era and place in which she was raised. Judy came of age in the 1940s and ’50s, and although she has spent decades living and raising a family in Charlotte, Rock Hill is the defining landscape of her literature. “Rock Hill is in every book I’ve ever written,” she tells me one morning in early March. “It’s a love affair.” But love, as Judy makes clear in writing about her relationship with Mattie, is a complicated emotion. While Judy’s childhood was blissful on the surface, as an adult she looks back on her life with a discerning eye that is able to appraise the dichotomy of her Southern upbringing. This act of remembering and then re-seeing brings a whiplash of honest realizations to the memoir’s pages. For example, as a child, Judy was proud of the beautiful school with the new playground that she and other white children attended. She did




|creators of n.c.

not know that Mattie, who regularly walked Judy to school, walked her home and took her to play on the playground, had attended a Rosenwald School built for Black children in 1925 in the countryside, 10 miles outside of Rock Hill. Judy only learned this information while writing her memoir. She was able to find old photographs of the school: a two-room wood frame building with an outhouse, a far cry from where Judy had spent her school days. As she grew older, Judy would wonder why Mattie and her boyfriend would sit in his car in the Kurtzes’ driveway and chat instead of going out on dates like regular couples did. “I wondered why they never went anywhere,” she writes. “I know now there was no place for those two Black people to go in Rock Hill.” Life was good in the Rock Hill of Judy’s youth, but it was not always good to everyone. In one reminiscence, she recalls the lush gardens in her neighborhood, where blossoms and blooms abounded in manicured yards. But when she would least expect it, a snake could slither free from the grass and cross her path on the sidewalk where she and Mattie walked together. “Camellias and snakes,” Judy writes. “The particulars of our lives. The irregular ground on which our life stories were built.” The irregular ground of Judy’s childhood was laid by her parents. Her father owned a clothing store and went against local custom in the 1950s by hiring a Black saleswoman named Thelma to serve the all-white customers. (In one of the memoir’s most harrowing scenes, a white saleswoman’s husband shows up in the middle of the night at the Kurtz home and drunkenly demands that Thelma not be allowed to use the one restroom available to the store’s staff. Her father refused the request and sent the man on his way.) Judy’s mother kept the books at the store, and while Judy claims that her

mother “couldn’t boil water,” she never missed an opportunity to celebrate, meaning that the Jewish Kurtz family hid Easter eggs and put up a Christmas tree every year. These irregularities — going against local custom and religious practice — are somewhat easy to explain considering that Judy describes her father as fair and her mother as someone who loved joy. But there were other, harder to explain inconsistencies. The Kurtzes were a progressive family, so how could they employ a live-in domestic worker who never shared meals with them? Judy, the youngest child in the family, was being raised by a Black woman who, when just a child herself, had given birth to a daughter of her own named Minnie. Why wasn’t Mattie raising her? Judy has spent much of her life pondering these questions, and she decided that taking them to the page was the best way to try to answer them — but the answers would not be easy to find, and even if Judy found them, could she trust how she had arrived there? “Can we trust anything inside the system we were brought up in?” she writes. Judy and I are standing at the dining-room table in the thirdfloor apartment she shares with her husband, Henry, near Queens University of Charlotte. Family photographs are scattered on the table in front of us. Henry stands with the cane he has used since recovering from what was supposed to be a routine back surgery that ended up briefly paralyzing him, resulting in years of physical therapy just to be able to stand and walk again. Judy’s last memoir, Together, which was published in 2018 and received lavish praise, including a starred review from Library Journal, is about Henry’s surgery and its aftermath, but it is also about their long and loving marriage. I look down at the photos of Mattie and recognize her from the | 61

|creators of n.c. graph on the cover of Together. In that photo, a newly married Henry and Judy are coming down the steps of her parents’ home while smiling friends toss rice into the air. Mattie stands in the background, smiling as if her own youngest child has just gotten hitched. I ask Judy, after a lifetime of knowing Mattie, what made her want to publish a memoir about her now. “I think it felt right to publish it when I turned 80,” she says. “I thought, if I don’t do it now, I’m not going to do it, it won’t get done.” She pauses, looks down at the photographs. One of them, a black-and-white portrait of Mattie taken around 1944, the year she came to work for the Kurtz family, stares back at us. “I never thought I had the right to tell this story,” she says. “A privileged white child in the Jim Crow South talking about her Black live-in maid. The more details you hear, the worse it sounds.” But over the years Judy came to understand that her and Mattie’s story differed from the stories some of Judy’s friends and acquaintances would tell about the hired women who had raised them. Judy often came away from those conversations with the full understanding that many of those people had not truly examined the inequity of those childhood relationships,

choosing instead to focus only on the love Black women had shown their white charges, not the full scope of what the price of that love might have been. “I don’t want to join them in that,” Judy says. “If my book did not really examine that situation with Mattie and me, then I wasn’t going to publish it.” Child is full of Judy asking tough questions of herself, her family and the place she has always called home. “How do I cross-examine the way it was?” she asks in one scene. “Can we ever tell the whole truth to ourselves?” she asks in another. Child shows that truth — at least truth of a sort — can be found. When she was a teenager, Mattie’s daughter Minnie learned that the woman she had long assumed was her aunt was actually her mother, and Mattie eventually put Minnie through college. She would end up earning a master’s degree, as would Mattie’s three grandchildren. The irregular ground of life’s stories. Camellias and snakes. Jim Crow and a lifelong connection that endures beyond death. As Judy writes in her closing lines, “It is possible for love to coexist with ugliness.” SP

“Our love was unwavering,” Goldman writes. “But it was, by definition, uneven."

721 Governor Morrison St, Charlotte, NC 28211 | @circainteriors




Judy Goldman’s new book, Child, is set for release this month. Wiley Cash is the Alumni Author-in-Residence at UNC Asheville.

|simple life



he other afternoon I was making a pleasant run to the garden center during early rush hour when I saw something I’ve never seen on a busy North Carolina street. While waiting for the light to change at one of the busiest intersections in the city, a woman next to me in a large, luxury SUV began edging out into the heavy stream of traffic crossing in front of us. At first, I thought she might simply be unaware of her dangerous drift into moving traffic. She was, after all, visibly chatting on her phone and apparently oblivious to blaring horns of those who were forced to stop to avoid a collision. Within moments, however, traffic in both directions had halted. One man was actually yelling at her out his window, shaking a fist. But on she merrily went, indifferent to the automotive mayhem left in her wake, the first red light I’ve ever seen run in slow motion. For an instant, I wondered if I might have somehow been teleported to Italy or France, where motorists seem to regard traffic lights and road signs as simple nuisances, a quaint if daunting European tradition of civil indifference to les autorités that evolved across the ages. Having motored across all of Britain and most of France, Italy and Greece, I long ago concluded that driving there is both a blood sport and national pastime, an automotive funhouse to be both enjoyed and feared. When in Italy, for instance, my operational motto is: Drive like the teenage Romeo with the pretty girl on the back of his Vespa who just cut you off in the roundabout with a rude gesture insulting your heritage. It’s all part of the cultural exchange. But here in America, at least in theory, most of us grew up respecting traffic laws because we were force-fed driver’s education since early teen years, programs designed to make us thoughtful citizens of the public roadways. (Quick aside: I have a dear friend whose teenage son has failed his driver’s license test — God bless his heart — for the fifth time, which must be some kind of statewide record; I’ve helpfully suggested she immediately ship him off to Sorrento, 64



Italy, where he’s bound to find true and lasting happiness, a pretty girl, a nice Vespa scooter and no annoying driver’s test to complicate his life, rude gestures optional.) All fooling aside, in cities across America, officials report that traffic accidents and automobile fatalities are approaching record levels. Some blame the pandemic that has had the world so bottled up and locked down, presumably entitling folks behind the wheel to make up for lost time by driving like there’s no tomorrow — or at least no traffic laws. In my town and possibly yours, is it my imagination or do more folks than ever seem to be blithely running stop signs, ignoring speed limits and driving like Mad Max on Tuscan holiday? Running a red light in slow motion may be the least of our problems. The armchair sociologist in me naturally wonders if America’s deteriorating driving habits and growing automotive brinksmanship might simply be a symptom of the times, part of a general decline of public civility and respect for others that fuels everything from our toxic politics to the plague of violence against those from other cultures. Whatever is fueling the road rage and social mayhem, the remedy is profound, timeless and maddeningly elusive. I saw the fix written on a sign my neighbor planted in her yard the other day. Spread Happiness, it said. I found myself thinking about my old man, an adman with a poet’s heart who believed kindness is the greatest of human virtues, a sign of a truly civilized mind. My nickname for him was Opti the Mystic because he believed even the smallest acts of kindness — especially to strangers — are seeds from which everything good in life grows. “If you are nothing else in life,” he used to advise my older brother and me, “being kind will take you to wonderful places.” This from a fellow who’d been in the middle of a world war and experienced firsthand the worst things human beings can do to each other. He became the kindest man I’ve ever known. In any case, Opti would have loved how a timely reminder of his


by Jim Dodson

|simple life message came home to me during another challenging automotive moment. On a recent Saturday morning, after setting up my baker wife’s tent at the weekend farmers market where she sells her sinfully delicious cakes and such, I set off in my vintage Buick Roadmaster wagon to a landscape nursery on the edge of town to buy hydrangeas for my Asian garden. On the drive home, however, I blew a front tire and barely made it off the highway into a gas station before the tire went completely flat. I had no spare. To make matters worse, my cell phone had only one percent of a charge left — just long enough to leave a quick, desperate voicemail on my wife’s answering service before the dang thing went dead. The old Buick, of course, had no charger. I walked into the service shop whispering dark oaths under my breath at such miserable timing, asking the personable young clerk if she could possibly give my phone a brief charge. I even offered to pay her for the help. Her supervisor emerged from the office. When I explained that I was running errands for my wife when my day suddenly went flat, she gave me a big grin. “Bless your heart, child! Give me that phone!” I handed it over. She shook her head and laughed. “You’re just like my husband. I can’t let that man go anywhere without him gettin’ into trouble! That’s husbands for you!” Just like that, my good mood returned. Outside, a few minutes later, the tow truck arrived. The driver was a big burly guy named Danny Poindexter. He was having a long morning too. We dropped

off my car at the auto service center and he graciously offered to drive me home to get my other car. It was the second surprising act of kindness from a stranger that morning. As we approached my street, I saw my neighbor’s pink Spread Happiness sign for the second time. “What kind of cake do you like?” I asked Danny. “Carrot cake,” Danny replied. “I love carrot cake.” He dropped me off at home, and I drove over to the farmers market and picked up a piece of my wife’s amazing carrot cake, phoned Danny and met him at a Wendy’s parking lot near his next job. He was deeply touched by the gesture. “This just makes my day,” he said, diving straight in. I then drove back to the service station across town to pick up my phone — now fully charged — that I’d managed to forget in all the unexpected mayhem of the morning. I even offered to pay the ladies for their kindness to a stranger. They simply laughed. “Oh, honey, that’s why we’re here!” the manager said. “I’m just glad you remembered to come back for your phone, so I didn’t have to chase your butt all over town!” I drove home to plant my new hydrangeas in a happy state of mind, making a mental note to take the kind ladies at the gas station my wife’s famous Southern-style caramel cake just to say thanks to strangers who are now friends. SP Jim Dodson is a New York Times bestselling author in Greensboro.

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Stunning Giverny Home beautifully situated on a private manicured cul-de-sac lot. A well designed home with exquisite millwork throughout the house. A great find for this meticulously maintained home. Large Gourmet kitchen with granite countertops. Great for entertaining with spacious formal areas and family room that looks into a light and open sunroom Primary suite features a sitting room and private entrance to a studio or large office. Gleaming hardwood flooring. Two fireplaces. Walk out unfinished basement could be a great home office or workshop. Well done trex decking. Welcome Home!


REALTOR® / Broker & Top Producer Licensed in NC & SC Mobile: 704.578.7818 COTTINGHAMCHALK.COM/CHRIS-BLACK | 65

Experience sets the Tuck Team apart The family team began with Janet and Butch Tuck, who modeled successful Charlotte real estate careers for their daughters, Melissa Tuck Murphy and Janelle Tuck Lenhart. Janet grew up in Charlotte and has seen the city grow and change over the years, allowing her to know many neighborhoods since their inception. She loves to help newcomers find their perfect area of town and dream home. Butch believes the easy communication and flexibility among the family contributes to the Tuck team’s success. Melissa and Janelle discovered their passion for real estate in high school while helping their parents in the office. In 2005, Melissa was thrilled to start selling real estate in her hometown. Janelle, who previously worked in interior design in Atlanta and Charlotte, completed the team in 2014.

The Tuck’s strong family focus is evident in their business and personal lives. Growing up in Charlotte makes them experts in all things Charlotte. Professional and ethical, they provide seamless service and offer an authentic perspective to clients. Not only do they work together, the Tuck family lives just a stone’s throw from each other in Myers Park. They are frequently spotted in the neighborhood driving their six-seater golf cart, hosting friends for coffee or happy hour, or entertaining the young kids with their backyard chickens. The Tuck Team knows their experience and knowledge of Charlotte sets them apart. Their family loves selling real estate and would love to help you with all your real estate needs.

Janet Tuck • • 704-904-4011 | Butch Tuck • • 704-904-4008

Melissa Murphy • • 704-756-5806 | Janelle Lenhart • • 704-497-8244


May books NOTABLE NEW RELEASES compiled by Sally Brewster

River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile, by Candice Millard For millennia, the location of the Nile River’s headwaters was shrouded in mystery. In the 19th century, there was a frenzy of interest in ancient Egypt, and European powers sent off waves of explorations intended to map the unknown corners of the globe — and extend their colonial empires. Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke were sent by the Royal Geographical Society to claim the prize for England. Burton spoke 29 languages and was a decorated soldier. Speke was a young aristocrat and Army officer determined to make his mark, passionate about hunting — Burton’s opposite in temperament and beliefs. From the start the two men clashed. They would endure tremendous hardships, illness and constant setbacks. Two years in, deep in the African interior, Burton became too sick to press on. But Speke did and claimed he found the source in a great lake that he christened Lake Victoria. Burton disputed his claim, and Speke launched another expedition to Africa to prove it. The two became venomous enemies, with the public siding with the more charismatic Burton. The day before they were to publicly debate, Speke shot himself. Yet there was a third man on both expeditions, his name obscured by imperial annals. Sidi Mubarak Bombay was enslaved and shipped from his home village in East Africa to India. When the man who purchased him died, he made his way into the local Sultan's army, and eventually traveled back to Africa, where he used his resourcefulness, linguistic prowess and raw courage to forge a living as a guide. Without Bombay and men like him, who led, carried and protected the expedition, neither Englishman would have come close to the headwaters of the Nile, or perhaps even survived. In River of the Gods, Candice Millard has written another peerless story of courage and adventure, set against the backdrop of the race to exploit Africa by the colonial powers. The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at his Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened, by Bill McKibben

Like so many of us, Bill McKibben grew up believing — knowing — that the United States was the greatest country on Earth. As a teenager, he cheerfully led American Revolution tours in Lexington, Mass. He sang “Kumbaya” at church. And with the remarkable rise of suburbia, he assumed that all Americans would share in the wealth. But 50 years later, he finds himself in an increasingly doubtful nation strained by bleak racial and economic inequality, on a planet whose future is in peril. And he is curious: What the hell happened? McKibben digs deep into our history (and his own well-meaning but not all-seeing past) and into the latest scholarship on race and inequality in America, on the rise of the religious right, and on our environmental crisis to explain how we got to this point. He finds that he is not without hope. And he wonders if any of that trinity of his youth — the flag, the cross, the station wagon — could, or should, be reclaimed in the fight for a fairer future. Love Marriage: A Novel, by Monica Ali Yasmin Ghorami is 26, training to be a doctor (like her Indianborn father) and engaged to the charismatic, upper-class Joe Sangster, whose formidable mother, Harriet, is a famous feminist. The gulf between families is vast. So, too, is the gulf in sexual experience between Yasmin and Joe. As the wedding day draws near, misunderstandings, infidelities and long-held secrets upend both Yasmin's relationship and that of her parents, a “love marriage,” according to the family lore that Yasmin has believed all her life. A gloriously acute observer of class, sexual mores and the mysteries of the human heart, Monica Ali has written a captivating social comedy and a profoundly moving, revelatory story of two cultures, two families and two people trying to understand one another. You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty, by Akwaeke Emezi Feyi Adekola wants to learn how to be alive again. It’s been five years since the accident that killed the love of her life, and she’s almost a new person now — an artist with her own studio, and sharing a brownstone apartment with her ride-or-die best | 67



6700 Fairview Road, Charlotte, NC 28210

The Blowing Rock Historical Society Presents

Artists in Residence at Edgewood Cottage

May 28 to September 11 ޲ Purchase original art for every interest and budget ޲ Meet different artists each week

friend, Joy, who insists it's time for Feyi to ease back into the dating scene. Feyi isn't ready for anything serious, but a steamy encounter at a rooftop party cascades into a whirlwind summer she could have never imagined: a luxury trip to a tropical island, decadent meals in the glamorous home of a celebrity chef and a major curator who wants to launch her art career. She’s even started dating the perfect guy, but their new relationship might be sabotaged before it has a chance by the overwhelming desire Feyi feels every time she locks eyes with the one person in the house who is off-limits — his father. This new life she asked for just got a lot more complicated, and Feyi must begin her search for real answers. The Lioness, by Chris Bohjalian Tanzania, 1964: When A-list actress Katie Barstow and her new husband, David Hill, decide to bring their Hollywood friends to the Serengeti for their honeymoon, they envision giraffes gently eating leaves from the tall acacia trees, great swarms of wildebeests crossing the Mara River and herds of zebras storming the sandy plains. Their glamorous guests — including Katie’s best friend, Carmen Tedesco, and Terrance Dutton, a celebrated Black actor — will spend their days taking photos and their evenings drinking chilled gin and tonics back at camp, as the local Tanzanian guides warm water for their baths. The wealthy Americans expect civilized adventure: fresh ice from the kerosene-powered ice maker, dinners of cooked gazelle meat and plenty of stories to tell over lunch back on Rodeo Drive. What Katie and her glittering entourage do not expect is this: a kidnapping gone wrong, their guides bleeding out in the dirt and a team of Russian mercenaries herding their hostages into Land Rovers, guns to their heads. As the powerful sun gives way to night, gunmen shove them into abandoned huts and Katie Barstow, Hollywood royalty, prays for a simple thing: to see the sun rise one more time. A blistering story of fame, race, love and death set in a world on the cusp of great change. SP Sally Brewster is the proprietor of Park Road Books. 4139 Park Rd.,




Show Your Love For Your Mother Put her flowers in a hand-made, one-of-a-kind vase; she will remember you every time she uses it!

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Beautifully updated, painted brick 1.5 story home in sought after Foxcroft. Large formals w/elegant millwork & high ceilings. Large, updated kitchen & breakfast area w/high end appliances, quartz countertops & wet bar. Oversized Great Rm w/fireplace & custom-built ins. Flex room/playroom/office. 4BR/3.1BA on main includes large primary suite w/updated bath. 1BR/1BA up + expansive bonus room up w/living & exercise area, wet bar & golf simulator. Wine cellar & garage in the basement. Beautiful patio & fenced backyard w/mature landscaping.

The Salton Team

Sarah & Lynn Salton Brokers / Realtors ® Top Producers 704-315-9515 ©2021 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.

|well + wise



o you think you’re creative? When I ask this, people tend to immediately think about their musical or artistic ability … or inability. Consider the idea that, regardless of how many piano lessons you had as a kid or if your still-life paintings look more like Pollock, all of us are creative — and we need to tap into that creativity! As we get older, many of us find less time and space for creativity. Maybe we think it’s a waste of time or only for those who are “really talented.” Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to maintain an artist once he grows up.” We can change how we define creativity, and by focusing less on the outcome we can begin to understand creativity as a process. The energy in the flow of creating is magic. This is where we reap the benefits for our mental health. Outside of art or music, creativity also exists in the ideas or possibilities that come to us in the context of relationships, business and fun. It can be asking questions, learning something new or simply allowing ourselves to play. “Art-making is a personal journey in which you can connect to yourself and your body and find a way to release emotions and thoughts and make something out of them,” says Rebeca Carvajal, a registered art therapist in Charlotte. “The whole creative process is important because it can teach us to problem solve, understand our feelings, challenge unhelpful thoughts and share part of ourselves with someone else. Art expresses in ways that words can’t.” An attitude of curiosity, open-mindedness and flexibility enhances mental health, individually and collectively. When you understand creativity in this way, you might realize that you have it all throughout your day. SP Juliet Kuehnle is the owner and a therapist at Sun Counseling and Wellness. The full interview of Kuehnle’s “Who You Callin’ Crazy?!” interview featuring Matt Olin can be found on Instagram @yepigototherapy or wherever you stream podcasts.

Juliet spoke with Matt Olin, co-founder of Charlotte Is Creative. Below are excerpts from their interview, lightly edited. Tell us about your own journey with your mental health and therapy. I’ve lived in a lot of different places. Throughout that time, I’ve had a lot of different counselors, therapists and coaches. My wife and I continue to do couples counseling. We love those sessions. It’s like getting a tune up, making sure the “check engine” light doesn't come on more than it needs to. We find ourselves connecting on deeper levels. I’m also in a men's group right now, and that is deep work between men that is super vulnerable and very fulfilling. It is an investment in your wellness, your future and in your connection with people. It’s the bravest thing we can do, and I am super curious about how that shows up in a room full of men. It’s beautiful. It definitely pulls the rug out from underneath this idea of what a “man” is and challenges toxic masculinity. When you go to that level and have those types of conversations and that support happening between men that are interested in evolving themselves and helping others evolve, you realize, “Oh, this is a real man.” How does this inform your work? I advocate for creatives to put their true selves out into the world, in their words or in their work, so I need to model that. I love to celebrate the creative spirit of Charlotte. The idea that Charlotte’s a creative place has never really been a part of the story. It’s that we're great at business, banking and raising families. But Charlotte is creative. We can stitch that into the narrative. As we get older, creativity can get stifled out of us. And yet, from a mental health lens, creativity is so necessary. Every person is creative. It’s just about how you define creativity. Not just painters, actors and musicians, but we can be creative in the way that we run our businesses or grow our families or serve our community. I just always want to encourage people to not think about creativity the way you probably were taught. Break it. | 71

Garden party SETTING THE STAGE FOR A STYLISH SPRING SOIREE production and styling | Whitley Adkins photography | Olly Yung tabletop styling and flower arrangements | Brooke Werhane Maples art direction | Maureen Stockton hair and makeup | Jamie Svay model | Carlee Huffman with Modelogic




Italian rolled hem silk twill scarf, $250; Silvana silk cropped top in cerulean blue, $229; Chiquita silk pleated maxi skirt with pockets, $656; all Daniel Gonzalez Designs. Butrich Anaconda heel, $390; Talisman heel, $279; both Elston. Pop chokers by Bea Bongiasca, $900 each; Sauer 18K Tiger’s eye citrine and diamond earrings, $10,080; Multi-stone ring by Carol Kauffman, $8,915; Retrouvai rings, $13,990 and $6,700; Ananya Chakra bracelets, prices vary; all Tiny Gods.

Stepped vase, $18, House of Nomad. Blush coupe, 6 for $195; Marble grape cluster, $245; both Circa Interiors. R. Haviland & C. Parlon hand-painted Lexington presentation plate, $165; Philippe Deshoulieres Arcades green & gold dessert plate, $100; Le Jacquard Francais Venezia linen tablecloth in ash beige, $475; all Elizabeth Bruns. | 73

CLO Emotional Design Marina dress, $538, Bellezza Boutique. Jacque Marie Mage Roxy Sunglasses, $690, Sally’s Optical Secrets.




Green-dyed vintage bowl, $85; green + white dip-dyed vase, $275; stepped vase, $18; gray and natural striped Turkish towel, $32; all House of Nomad. Tall blown glass in celadon, $60; Tall blown glass in linden, $60; Vintage Vichy napkins in terracotta, set of 6, $125; all Circa Interiors. Kim Seybert Provence mint napkins, set of 4, $76; R. Haviland & C. Parlon hand-painted Lexington presentation plate, $165; Zafferano Bilia tumblers, $18 each; all Elizabeth Bruns. Green ceramic flower plate, $585, Abode. Fresh Squeezed Citrus purse, $65, The Pearl Pagoda. 18K gold bangle with moonstone, aqua and white sapphire, $6,800; 18K gold emerald star bangle, $8,600; both Surya and the Moon. Charcuterie presentation by Chef Tillie. | 75

Posh Couture emerald cowl neck dress, $267, Bellezza Boutique. Silvia Furmanovich earrings, $6,380, Tiny Gods. Emerald and pearl Chouki bangle in 22K gold, $3,000; 18K gold emerald star bangle, $8,600; Emerald and pearl choker with white sapphires and 18K gold, $4,800; Uncut emerald bead necklace, $2,200; Multi tourmaline bangle in 14K gold, $7,000; Multi tourmaline teardrop necklaces, $3,900; Geometric tourmaline earrings in 18K gold, $2,500; Blue topaz gonda necklace, $2,200; Peridot gonda necklace, $2,900; Multi tourmaline beaded necklace, $950; Rubellite leaf earrings with emeralds in 18K gold, $2,650; all Surya and the Moon. Blush coupe, 6 for $195, Circa Interiors. William Yeoward Crystal Amethyst comport, $110; William Yeoward Crystal Victoria comport, $195; L’Objet Haas Napoleon fish vessel, $4,000; all Elizabeth Bruns.




Blue Bayou two-piece set by Olivaceous, $85, The Pearl Pagoda. Rubellite leaf earring with emeralds in 18K gold, $2,650, Surya and the Moon. Diamond necklaces, Tiny Gods, price upon request. Flower crown design by Brooke Werhane Maples. | 77

CeliaB Acuarius dress, $337.50, The Pearl Pagoda. Turquoise flower earrings with 18K gold and white sapphires, $3,200, Surya and the Moon. 18K agate, diamond and turquoise ring by Silvia Furmanovich, $3,740, Tiny Gods. Blown glass pitcher, $265, Circa Interiors. Handmade lavender vase from Belgium, $284; vintage Picasso-inspired vase, $550; both Abode. Flowers by Elizabeth House Flowers.




Green ceramic flower plate, $585, Abode. Blush coupe, 6 for $195; Marble grape cluster small, $245; both Circa Interiors. Kim Seybert Provence tablecloth in mint, $112; Kim Seybert Provence mint napkins, 4 for $76; Carlo Moretti Bora glass, $155; R. Haviland & C. Parlon hand-painted Lexington presentation plate, $165; Philippe Deshoulieres Arcades green & gold dinner plate, $105; Royal Limoges La Bocca green dessert plate, $100; Herend Market Garden bread and butter plate, $135; Royal Limoges Nymphea Paradis bleu dessert plate, $95; all Elizabeth Bruns. Retrouvai rings, $6,700 and $13,990; Multi-stone ring by Carol Kauffmann, $8,915; all Tiny Gods. Appetizer bites and charcuterie by Chef Tillie. | 79




Trippy jacket, $539, and Trippy trouser, $379, by Adriana Iglesias, both Bellezza Boutique. Sauer jade, prasiolite and tourmaline earrings, $8,840, Tiny Gods. | 81








hen Stephen Walker’s father expressed an interest in relocating to Charlotte from New Jersey to be closer to family, Walker and his wife, Anastaysia, embraced the idea and invited him to move in with them. The Walkers had been in their cozy Sedgefield home for only four years, but with two young daughters and Walker’s dad committed to the move, their quest for a larger house began. “We were originally focused on turnkey options to avoid the stress of building,” Stephen says, “but Anastaysia and our Realtor found a lot in SouthPark that checked off too many boxes to ignore, so we decided go for it.” The framing of the house had been completed when the Walkers approached Jess Ebert with Four Story Interiors to tackle the interior design. “The house was truly a clean slate when they brought me on board,” Ebert shares. “We discussed how they wanted to live in the space and started working on vision boards, focusing on a fresh, modern vibe that’s beautiful yet livable for a family with young children.” The central hub of the home is the family room, which shares an open floor plan with the dining room and kitchen. Creamy white walls offer a light, airy ambiance and provide







a neutral backdrop for the eclectic mix of art, furniture and accessories. Maintaining a serene color palette of cream, charcoal and chocolate, Ebert incorporated a variety of textures such as velvet, leather, wood and brass to add depth and style. Performance fabrics and functional pieces kept it family-friendly. “The fluted design of the wooden console brings an architectural element to the space and also offers hidden storage for their girls’ toys and games,” Ebert says. “It’s a great piece because it combines beauty and functionality.” The Walkers commissioned a painting by Raleigh artist Jen

Matthews to hang above the family room console. The canvas infuses bold colors into the otherwise neutral family room, connecting it to the palette of the adjacent entry hall and foyer. Vibrant teal walls in the front hall and abstract green-andwhite wallpaper in the foyer create a bright, jewel-toned entry to the Walkers’ home. A black-and-white painting by local artist Lauren Reddick welcomes guests, and a sleek leather bench by Regina Andrew offers a spot for dropping purses or jackets. “That bench has turned out to be one of our favorites pieces,” Stephen says. “The kids like to color there, and it’s created an unexpected gathering space in the front hallway.” | 87

Across from the bench, French doors mark the entrance to Stephen’s office, painted a dramatic, dark gray. Ebert worked with Stephen to create a warm, masculine space, a stark contrast to the lighter decor in the surrounding rooms. An atmospheric gray-and-white wallpaper covers the ceiling, and a hand-knotted wool rug featuring rich hues of terra cotta, green and black grounds the space. “You have to determine who is going to be the star of the show and who is going to be the supporting player,” Ebert explains. “For this room, the wallpaper and rug are the stars, and we brought in other pieces to support.” The Walker family fully enjoys their new home, which is now a chic, comfortable space for their multigenerational household. “The process was a labor of love,” Stephen says, “but we are so happy being in a home that reflects our personal style without sacrificing the practicality required for a growing family.” SP




For service beyond your expectations Nothing Compares.



716 East Boulevard Charlotte, North Carolina 28203 c 415.515.7946 o 704.248.0243

Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Spring Fling Mixer FRIDAY, MAY 6 | 11AM Celebrate the beginning of spring with music, fresh appetizers and wine spritzers by the shores of our scenic lake. Enter to win cool prizes. BRUNCH & LEARN

The Aldersgate Difference THURSDAY, MAY 26 | 11AM At this brunch event, you’ll get the inside scoop on Aldersgate’s Life Plan Community and hear tips on how to make a successful move.

RSVP required. Learn more by calling (704) 774-4763 or visit

3800 Shamrock Drive, Charlotte, NC 28215 | 89




Teeing up the Presidents Cup QUAIL HOLLOW CLUB READIES FOR THE PERFECT MATCH. by Michael J. Solender



hen Arnold Palmer visited Quail Hollow Club for the last time in 2013, the legendary golfer had some words of wisdom for longtime club president Johnny Harris. “He put his arm around me, and said, ‘Johnny, your mother and dad would be very pleased with everything that’s happened here, but just remember — greatness is a continuous process, and don’t ever stop trying to be great,’” recalls Harris, chairman and CEO of real-estate developer Lincoln Harris. “And I promise you, one of the things that we do here at Quail Hollow is try to be a place where greatness has a home.” Palmer need not have worried. Harris and his team are making certain that “greatness” translates to outsized economic, cultural and philanthropic impact for the region. Harris’ father, James J. Harris, helped found the south Charlotte course on family land in 1961 after encouragement from Palmer, who was then at the peak of his career. From 1969 to 1979, the club hosted the Kemper Open, a PGA Tour

event. The PGA Championship, one of professional golf’s four major tournaments, was held here in 2017 (the event returns to Quail Hollow in 2025). Typically in the spring, golf fans — along with throngs of casual spectators — descend on Quail Hollow for the Wells Fargo Championship, held annually since 2003. Instead, this spring the tournament will move temporarily to Maryland’s TPC Potomac as the club prepares for another stage. September 20-25, Quail Hollow Club will host the PGA Tour’s Presidents Cup, a biennial global team competition pitting the top professional U.S. golfers against top golfers from the rest of the world excluding Europe. With more than 40,000 people expected to attend daily for the better part of a week, the 257-acre property will hold more people than the nearby cities of Statesville, Matthews, Indian Trail or Mooresville. Millions more in the U.S. and internationally will view the tournament live on television. Tour estimates project the tournament will generate a regional economic impact of more than $100 million. | 91




make lasting community connections.” On Aug. 29, the Presidents Cup will debut The Charlie Sifford Centennial Cup. The exhibition match will feature six of the top men’s golf programs at U.S. historically Black colleges and universities competing under Presidents Cup formatting at Quail Hollow Club. Johnson C. Smith is the event’s host school.


perling, who’s been working on the event since 2018, is in continuous motion, coordinating an army of local vendors, suppliers and municipal assistance in preparation for the event. Constructing a tournament village for the Presidents Cup requires a broad level of operational support, from transportation, security and hospitality, to construction, permitting and other infrastructure needs. The numbers reveal the scale — the tournament will be one of the largest sporting events ever hosted in Charlotte. More than 1,400 volunteers had signed up at press time. Upward of 400 media credentials are allocated for the event. The tournament will host more than 100 private hospitality units for groups of 12 to more than 100, Sperling says. Last fall, Center City Partners introduced the Presidents Cup team captains, Charlotte native Davis Love III of the U.S. Team and Trevor Immelman of the International Team, at the unveiling of a special Presidents Cup mural in Uptown. “This event brings national and international media, and the opportunity to participate in storytelling about the vibrancy of our city as a growing, diverse, and inclusive business and hospitality hub,” says Michael J. Smith, CEO of CCP. “We look forward to additional fan activations in Uptown this fall.” Quail Hollow is ready for the spotlight. Infrastructure spending on the club over the last 30 years exceeds $42 million, Harris says, with most of those funds coming directly from professional golf. Improvements include a paved road along the perimeter of the course, additional gated entrances, improved parking, course enhancements and expansion of the practice facilities. “This club has evolved into a venue for major championship golf,” Love said at a Presidents Cup media event last fall. “It’s built for it.” Regardless of which team takes home the Cup in September, the event is a win for Charlotte, according to Tom Murray, CEO of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. “It’s an incredible win for the region to host the Presidents Cup and gain the benefit of the prestige and international exposure of an event of this caliber,” Murray says. That’s a hole-in-one. SP



he tournament was originally slated for 2021, but the pandemic forced the Tour to delay the event. The club is only the fifth U.S. golf course to host the prestigious team match-play competition, which alternates between venues in the U.S. and overseas. Guests who regularly turn out for the Wells Fargo Championship will notice a few changes when attending the Presidents Cup. The course layout has been rerouted, with Quail Hollow’s famed “Green Mile” — usually holes 16, 17 and 18 — played as holes 13, 14 and 15. This makes the course better suited for the Presidents Cup’s match-play format, in which the outcome can often be decided earlier than the 18th hole. Each 12-person team will compete in a total of 30 matches. The Cup offers four days of competition, a distinction from the three-day Ryder Cup, which pits top U.S. players against Europe’s elite. The tournament begins on Thursday, when a first-tee experience will create a “stadium-like atmosphere” for players and fans, according to event organizers. The competition continues Friday through Sunday. The Presidents Cup is a unique golf event in that there is no purse, or prize money. (The Ryder Cup takes a similar approach in alternating years.) Players are not paid to participate, but each competitor allocates an equal portion of the funds raised to charities of his choice. Since its inception in 1994, more than $54.4 million has been raised for charity from event proceeds and other contributions. “Immersing ourselves into the Charlotte community was one of the first priorities we laid out for the 2022 Presidents Cup,” says Executive Tournament Director Adam Sperling. “Part of what defines this city are the many nonprofit organizations giving back to the heart of this community, anchored by key leaders who have created stability and growth while establishing a pathway of success for future generations.” Six nonprofit organizations in the Charlotte region will each receive contributions of more than $150,000 from this year’s Cup. These include the Charlotte chapter of The First Tee, Augustine Literacy Project-Charlotte, Charlotte Family Housing, NXT/CLT, Renaissance West Community Initiative and Lorien Academy of the Arts. Johno Harris, president of Lincoln Harris and tournament chair, notes that community outreach goes well beyond financial contributions. “Wells Fargo, Quail Hollow Club and the PGA Tour founded the nonprofit Champions for Education program in 2002 to work directly with HBCUs, including Johnson C. Smith University,” Harris says. “The Presidents Cup is hosting golf outings at Quail Hollow Club pairing students and partner organizations in a casual setting to help


South African golfer Trevor Immelman, left, and Charlotte native Davis Love III, right, are the 2022 Presidents Cup team captains.

Tuesday and Wednesday are noncompetition rounds; the Presidents Cup competition runs Thursday through Sunday. General admission tickets for spectators are priced dynamically but start at $40 for Tuesday, $60 for Wednesday and $100 for Thursday-Sunday. At press time, tickets for Friday and Saturday were nearly sold out. All tickets provide access to several on-course public venues featuring fare from Charlotte-based restaurants and an opportunity to stand along the rope line to watch the players. Captains’ Club ticket packages allow fans access to a hospitality space between holes 1 and 8 at Quail Hollow Club in a venue offering expansive views of the course. The space includes a large balcony, a sports-bar environment, and premium food and beverage options. Captains’ Club weekly tickets (Wednesday-Sunday) start at $750; daily tickets start at $175 for Wednesday and $250 for Thursday through Sunday. | 93

Main Street Books 94




Davidson A COLLEGE TOWN COMES OF AGE. | by Page Leggett | photographs by Justin Driscoll


avidson, the town, is as easy to get to from Charlotte as Davidson, the elite liberal arts college is hard to get into. Just 25 minutes from uptown Charlotte, it’s a straight shot up Interstate 77 to Exit 30, notable for having views of Lake Norman on both sides. The exit ramp to the town is unlike the ones leading to Cornelius, Huntersville and other lakeside towns in the area. There are no big-box stores or neon signs. Davidson has managed to maintain its picturesque appeal even as it’s grown to become a town of 15,106 residents (according to 2020 census data), up 38% from 10 years prior. The college gave the town its name and identity. Davidson College was founded by the Presbyterian Church and opened its doors in 1837. The college and the town government were one and the same in the beginning. The town was even incorporated as Davidson College, North Carolina, in 1879.

(It became just plain Davidson in 1891.) Davidson has long been concerned about staying small and holding onto its character. In 1973, developers proposed a seemingly outlandish idea: bringing Marine World (the theme park now known as Six Flags Discovery Kingdom) to Davidson. Citizens protested, loudly. They wanted to preserve the Davidson they knew. The town even has a vision statement, which makes it clear that Davidson intends to chart its own course, separate and distinct from Charlotte and other Mecklenburg towns surrounding the Queen City. It reads: Davidson remains committed to controlling our own destiny as a distinct, sustainable and sovereign small town. Our sense of community is rooted in citizens who respect each other; in racial and socioeconomic diversity; and in pedestrian and bicycle orientation; all in the presence of a small liberal arts college. Our history and character guide our future. | 95

Fried chicken sandwiches, doughnuts, bowls and salads are just a few items on the menu at milkbread, the new counterservice spot in Davidson from the team behind Kindred and Hello, Sailor.

Delectable Davidson It was Kindred, the Main Street mainstay, that first put Davidson on the culinary map. Katy and Joe Kindred’s mid-priced, farm-to fork dining establishment gave Charlotteans a delicious reason to make the trek up the interstate. Now the restaurant with a national reputation (Joe is a five-time semifinalist for the James Beard Awards’ Best Chef Southeast) has taken its beloved starter, milk bread, and spun it off into a bright and bustling, open-all-day casual dining spot. You’ll find milkbread at one of the town’s signature roundabouts before you even reach Main Street. Don’t let the crowd — there may be one — dissuade you. Service at the counter-service restaurant moves swiftly. It was a happy surprise to see a Kindred-style composed salad (the Green Goddess Cobb, with little gem lettuce, smoked ham, bacon, bleu cheese and egg) on the menu, though here it’s served in a sturdy paper bowl. You’ll get your own utensils and soda or water, and take a number. A server — they’re as friendly as they are at Kindred — will promptly drop off your order. The menu is divided into toasts and biscuits (avocado, Nutella, roasted mushroom and more); bowls and salads; and crispy chicken (sandwiches and tenders). Sides include the grandfather’s pickles Kindred has become known for, citrusy coleslaw, fries, mac and cheese, and crispy cauliflower. Beverages range from homemade Meyer lemonade to espresso, coffee and tea to beer, cider and wine. Those in the know won’t pass up milkbread’s doughnuts: The cake-like delicacies are served in original glazed or milk chocolate-coated. Milkbread mini cinnies are sold by the half-dozen. Signs of Charlotte-Davidson cross-pollination are everywhere. Sabor Latin Street Grill is in the same retail center as milkbread. Famous Toastery is on Main Street. Another milkbread will be coming to Charlotte, to 1431 Central Ave., later this year. milkbread, open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. makes the perfect start to a day in Davidson. But don’t stop here, even though breakfast or lunch at this light, airy spot fully satisfies. Keep heading down Jetton Road until you get to Davidson College’s campus and the most charming Main Street since Mayberry. It’s gotten harder in recent years to find (always free) on-street parking on Main Street. But Davidson has a couple of public lots (also free) accessible from Main Street. Adding to the charm on one recent day were the sounds of church bells, the smell of fresh-cut grass on the college’s campus and the occasional car horn. Not to hurry someone along, mind you. It was a driver motioning for a pedestrian to go ahead and cross. Davidson offers more noteworthy restaurants than you’ll have time to experience in just one visit. Take a coffee break at Summit Coffee. If you happen to be here in the evening, you might catch trivia night, open-

Summit Coffee | 97

The pimento cheese BLT on cornbread at The Pickled Peach

or build your own with a base, protein, four toppings, spread and a sauce or dressing. Brulé may look familiar: She was the on-air chef for WCNC, Charlotte’s NBC affiliate, and in 2019, she was one of just six chefs chosen from around the nation to compete on the Food Network’s Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge. Flatiron Kitchen & Taphouse, in the distinctive Flatiron building, is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Dinner entrees range from a burger with cheddar and bacon jam to a grass-fed ribeye with coffee-sumac dry rub.

College-town commerce

“Common Ground” by North Carolina artist Patrick Dougherty on view at Davidson College




mic night or a local performer. If it’s nice out, take your coffee to the lively back deck. The rambling Pickled Peach offers seasonally driven, local and often organic sandwiches and salads, plus juices, tea, coffee, beer and wine and a market with artisan groceries and to-go meals. Davidson Ice House, open for lunch and dinner in a historic, red-brick space on Main Street is owned and run by chef/author Jen Brulé. Choose from chef-created bowls

A smattering of local retailers makes for an “unchained” shopping experience on Main Street. Main Street Books, open for more than 30 years, makes a good starting point. Well-worn hardwood floors welcome you to the small, well-curated shop. Don’t let its size fool you: This little spot attracts nationally known authors, including David Sedaris. They also have a section spotlighting selections by local authors. Moxie Mercantile and grow, a plant shop, are two Charlotte retailers with outposts in Davidson. Moxie carries handmade and vintage finds, and grow offers plants, cards, candles and gifts. The women’s clothing/accessories boutique, MINE

grow, a plant shop

by Sandy, offers two Davidson locations — an intimate space on Main Street and a larger shop across Jetton Street from milkbread. Owner Sandy Bowers carries brands such as Frank & Eileen, Sundry, White + Warren and Citizens of Humanity. Shop for furniture, home accessories, kitchen items and gourmet foods and gifts at Honeysuckle Home. Janie and Scot Slusarick have operated their Davidson store since 2017. Their original location is in Elkin, an hour’s drive north up I-77. A trip to Davidson should include a stroll around the college. The historic campus is on the other side of Main Street from the shops and restaurants. Look for the sculpture made of hardwood tree branches. “Common Ground” by North Carolina artist Patrick Dougherty is rustic art you can walk in, around and through. Another notable work is Magdalena Abakanowicz’s “The Group of Ten,” a collection of 10 headless bronze “bodies” of varying heights acquired by the college in 2012. Stick around for dinner, and enjoy al fresco dining at several Main Street spots. Make a full day and night of it, and check out what’s on at Davidson Community Players. Upcoming

shows include Legally Blonde, Noises Off and Murder on the Orient Express. Davidson has managed to hold onto what makes it special. It’s a small town that, despite its growth, still feels like a small town — albeit one with dining that’s worth the drive. SP | 99




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Bailey Power Plant

n a Saturday night at Bailey Power Plant in downtown Winston-Salem, wide-eyed children watch as pizza chefs at Cugino Forno toss dough high in the air before turning their attention to the spinning rainbow of Italian gelato in the rotating freezer by the register. The line to order stretches about 20-deep, with customers scanning the busy warehouse-like space for an open table. Next door at Incendiary Brewing, started by two locals in 2018, the crowd sways and sings along with the band playing in the corner — it’s standing room only at the bar, where patrons line up to order porters, pilsners and American IPAs. A light rain is falling, but that doesn’t stop the crowd from the restaurant and the brewery from spilling out onto the patio outside. It’s dubbed the Coal Pit, a reference to the space’s former life as a coal-fired plant powering downtown factories.

For nearly a century, tobacco, textiles and banking were the lifeblood of Winston-Salem — which, it’s worth noting, is also the birthplace of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Today, former downtown factories and warehouses have been transformed into offices, research labs, apartments, shops and restaurants. And the vibe is electric. While tobacco is no longer the celebrated industry it was a century ago, the same families that benefited from it — the Reynolds, Grays and Hanes, to name a few — also invested deeply in their community, with a lasting impact. Home to a half-dozen colleges and universities, including Wake Forest University and UNC School of the Arts, there’s a real sense of place here. Whether strolling through Reynolda Gardens or sipping cocktails at The Katharine in the iconic R.J. Reynolds Building, there are reminders of the city’s illustrious history everywhere you turn. | 101

PLANNING YOUR TRIP Whether you’re in town for the day — Winston-Salem is an easy 1.5-hour drive up Interstate 77 from Charlotte — or plan to make a weekend of it, here are a few ideas for your visit.

STAY The Graylyn Estate This country estate-turned-hotel offers an authentic WinstonSalem experience. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco executive Bowman Gray and his wife, Nathalie, built the Norman Revival property in the late 1920s, one of the last of the great American country homes. Now an 85-room hotel owned by Wake Forest University, Graylyn is filled with architectural elements inspired by the couple’s travels, from the carved stone doorway and antique mantel from France in the front hall to hand-painted, carved wood panels from Istanbul in the Persian card room. Outside, you’ll find plenty of locals and college students walking, jogging and cycling around

The Katharine at Kimpton Cardinal Hotel, left, Hotel Indigo, top right, and Graylyn Estate, bottom right 102



the meticulously landscaped 54-acre property. The on-site butler staff is eager to share details about the home, from the origins of the handcrafted ironwork and hand-painted tiles throughout the property to fascinating facts about the Gray family history.

Kimpton Cardinal Hotel If the 22-story Art Deco-style downtown building — the tallest skyscraper in the South when it opened in 1929 — is reminiscent of New York’s iconic Empire State Building, it’s because the two structures were designed by the same architects. Even if you’re not staying overnight at the 174-room hotel, it’s worth a visit to the Cardinal’s lively cocktail bar and restaurant, The Katharine, named for the one of the city’s grande dames, tobacco magnate R.J. Reynolds’ wife, Katharine Reynolds.

Hotel Indigo The 75-room Hotel Indigo opened in 2019 in downtown’s historic Pepper Building. The six-story building, previously home to a department store, a furniture store and offices, combines Art Deco elements with midcentury design. Original pendant lights and wood floors were preserved in the renovation, and art from UNC School of the Arts and Sawtooth School for Visual Art are displayed throughout the property. In the lobby, the Sir Winston Wine Loft & Restaurant is an ideal spot for a pre- or post-dinner cocktail or bite to eat.


For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an affinity for this Triad city with a deep appreciation for the arts and historic preservation. On a recent weekend in the Twin City (Winston and Salem were, until 1913, two separate towns), I revisited a few old favorites and made some surprising new discoveries.

Reynolda Gardens, top left, Reynolda Village, bottom left, and ARTivity on the Green, right



Reynolda House, Gardens and Village Across the street from Graylyn, Reynolda House is a country estate-turned museum where you can fill an entire afternoon. The house boasts an impressive collection of more than 200 works of American art — Georgia O’Keeffe, Thomas Cole, Mary Cassatt and Jasper Johns are all represented — along with rotating exhibitions. Katharine Reynolds envisioned a self-sufficient village to support the couple’s 34,000-squarefoot home, completed in 1917. Today, Reynolda Village, once home to a dairy barn, school, smokehouse and more, is a walkable collection of boutique shops and restaurants. Dough-Joe’s, opened in 2019 by two Wake Forest alumni, is a must-visit: Doughnuts in classic and a few unexpected flavors — the Earl Grey glaze was a pleasant surprise — are made-to-order and served warm. (If you like Duck Donuts, you’ll love Dough-Joe’s.) Pair with a lavender or caramel latte for a midday treat. If you’re hungry for something more substantial, other village picks include May Way Dumplings and Penny Path Cafe & Crepe Shop. The adjacent 134-acre garden makes for a peaceful detour — take a leisurely stroll through the formal gardens or stretch your legs on the 1.7-mile loop through a woodland forest and a large meadow filled with native grasses and wildflowers.

Bailey Power Plant After a $40 million renovation, this former coal-fired power plant in downtown’s Innovation Quarter is now home to a growing number of offices, shops and restaurants. Start with beers at Incendiary Brewing, one of 10 craft breweries downtown, and nosh on Neapolitan-style

pizza cooked in ovens imported from Naples at Cugino Forno, an offshoot of the original Greensboro spot that opened Revolution Mill in 2017. Expect a crowd on weekends, from groups of students to families and friends meeting up for a casual meal. Finish the evening with espresso martinis at Black Mountain Chocolate Bar. Wood-fired restaurant Six Hundred Degrees is the newest restaurant to open here, with small plates, shareables, steaks, seafood and more cooked over oak and hickory coals. Nearby, Krankie’s Coffee is a local favorite for breakfast and brunch.

Old Salem Museum & Gardens Did you even go to Winston-Salem if you didn’t snap a photo at Old Salem’s covered pedestrian bridge or stop by the Winkler Bakery for homemade Moravian cookies or cake? The shop sells an array of fresh-baked goods — the spicy cheese stars are a delightful savory snack — along with assorted jams, honey and other items. Fuel up with coffee at the Muddy Creek Cafe and imagine life in the 1700s, when Moravians settled here, as you stroll through this living museum and historic neighborhood. Other stops worth checking out include the Miksch House — Salem’s first single-family home built in 1771 — and the potter’s studio, where craftsmen throw pots in the Moravian ceramics tradition. Salem Pathways is a new way to explore the district: Choose a fictional character based on real-life individuals who lived in or visited Salem, and with the help of your smartphone, tour the area through their eyes. | 103

Six Hundred Degrees

GETTING AROUND Triad Eco Adventures offers guided Segway tours of downtown, Old Salem and Salem Creek Greenway to the Quarry at Grant Park, a unique public green space where you can take in skyline views of the city. If you’re a first-timer, not to worry — TEA’s guides will get you oriented to your Segway before heading out on the town. Trolley and e-bike tours and rentals are also available.




Mozelle’s Fresh Southern Bistro is a cozy corner spot near downtown serving lunch, brunch and dinner. Here you’ll find fresh salads and sandwiches along with gourmet takes on Southern classics like tomato pie, fried chicken, and shrimp and grits. At Spring House Restaurant Kitchen & Bar, come for dinner or cocktails in the library bar, a lively gathering spot that’s a nod to the 100-year-old building’s history as offices for the local public library. The former family home was restored and converted to a restaurant in 2012. Blow your diet and start with the bread service — choose from sundried tomato tapenade, whipped goat cheese, honey bacon jam or pimento cheese (or all four) served alongside assorted fresh-baked breads from Camino Bakery (another local spot worth a visit, with several locations around town). The menu is updated seasonally, with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. No dainty portions here — expect a hearty meal. The fried cauliflower with kimchi mayo is a must-order. Young Cardinal Café & Co. is a busy downtown spot for breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch, with Benedicts, sandwiches, pancakes and waffles and a stellar huevos rancheros. Other local hot spots include Sweet Potatoes, which serves Southern-inspired dishes in downtown’s eclectic Arts District. Chef Stephanie Tyson was a 2022 James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef Southeast, as was Peyton Smith, founder of Mission Pizza Napoletana. Downtown, ROAR is a new four-story dining and entertainment venue with a rooftop bar, bowling, golf simulators, live music and more. SP




dynamic women O F


SouthPark introduces you to a group of energetic, innovative women, all making a mark on our community in significant ways. Discover the driving force behind their businesses, the talents they possess and the inspiration that pushes them to be their best.

Judy Miller, JK Miller Designs Jenny Crane McHugh, Campbell + Charlotte Alyssa Wilen, Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen Heather Mackey, Mackey Realty Nilou Henderson, Henderson Ventures I Ziba Luxury Salon & Spa I Stage of Designs Jackie Paynter, Drybar Michelle Renée, Bellezza Boutique Chris Black, Cottingham Chalk Maria Siragusa, Chez Marie Vicky Mitchener, Dickens Mitchener



Judy Miller views interior design much like solving a puzzle, pulling pieces together that are cohesive and inviting, yet sophisticated and beautiful. However, for her, interior design is about something more, it’s about community. It’s the relationships she cultivates with clients, sharing her skills and passion to refresh and elevate their spaces in ways that uplift them. And it’s in the collective, detailed efforts of those in the industry that she relies on – from manufacturers to seamstresses – who help bring designs to fruition in countless, unsung ways. “We are building a community, and it can be built in different ways,” Miller says. “For me, design is a way I can use my talents to give back. I believe everyone – no matter the budget – deserves to live in a beautiful space.” Miller’s ability to see beyond the walls and create spaces that work for people in today’s times is the foundation of her design process. She focuses on a client-centered experience, relying on her thoughtful, creative and collaborative approach with clients. With a commitment to beauty and integrity, she is mindful of clients’ budgets and goals. Building on what a client already owns, she often repurposes or rearranges pieces, or adds elements that bring new life to a space. Miller recognizes the design process can be overwhelming, especially with the multitude of online options and the pandemic’s push for people to create balance and harmony in their homes. She strives for clients to enjoy the process, not simply the end result. Empowering them with sensible choices, she is committed to making a home functional and stylish, as well as a reflection of the person who lives in it. “My job never feels like work,” Miller says. “Each home is as unique and special as the people who reside there.” Her goal is to continue building community one home at a time. PHOTO: GINA KANG

JK Miller Designs 704.576.3092 @jkmillerdesigns



Life isn’t always rainbows and stars. But when Jenny Crane McHugh dreamt of her Juju collection, that’s where she started. “The jewelry is literally childhood doodles translated into pieces we want to wear today,” she says. “It’s remembering the things that made us happy.” Linking happiness and fine jewelry is essential to McHugh, who launched Campbell + Charlotte three years ago. She designs the jewelry, with each piece handmade in New York City. “Jewelry is serious because it’s an investment, but it should also make you giddy every time you put it on,” McHugh says. After pursuing a promising corporate career, the birth of her daughter pointed McHugh in a new direction. Feeling unfulfilled, she left her job, determined to prove success can come from pursuing your dreams. Campbell + Charlotte is a nod to daughter Campbell and her love for the city McHugh has grown to call home. She describes her newest collection, The Edge, as an exploration into resiliency and empathy. The whimsical, imaginative pieces – all created during the pandemic – offer an escape from a stressful time. Each of McHugh’s lines showcase her love of color and gemstones. She also designs custom jewelry, ranging from new pieces and engagement/wedding bands to heirloom pieces reimagined. “I call it treasure hunting in your jewelry box,” she says. “Being able to play a role in those special occasions or bringing a piece back to life brings me so much joy.”

Campbell + Charlotte @campbellandcharlotte


McHugh’s jewelry reflects her experiences and emotions as a mother and her hope to inspire Campbell. She translates those into design elements she can build upon. “I always lead with that,” she adds. “I hope over the years Campbell can see what I built and is proud of me.”



For Alyssa Wilen, or “Chef Alyssa,” cooking is all about connections. Connecting with people as she teaches cooking skills through her ever-popular weekly classes. Connecting with local farmers as she plans menus for her to-go lunches and family table meals. And connecting with staff as she brainstorms ideas for seasonal recipes, kids’ culinary camps and expansion of her virtual classes – named one of the best by Food & Wine Magazine. “I love when people tell me that something I taught changed how they think about food or how a class gave them more confidence in the kitchen,” Wilen says. A Charlotte native, Wilen’s career combines her love of creative arts and fine food. After working for 12 years in the restaurant industry and being named an executive chef at 26, she opened Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen in 2013 with husband Andrew. The goal: to create a comfortable social environment where guests learn to cook and eat well. In 2018, they moved to a larger, custom-designed space in lower South End. Classes are offered at five ability levels and range from basic meals bootcamps to Mediterranean street food. Virtual classes can be purchased online and viewed anytime. Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen also offers an assortment of boxed and bulk lunch options, made fresh daily for pickup or delivery, as well as family dinners and seasonal holiday meals to go, crafted with care and local ingredients. “We’re putting wonderful food in a togo form and sending you food we love,” Wilen says.

Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen 4001-C Yancey Road, #100, Charlotte, NC 28217 @chefalyssaclt


As the business has continued to grow, so have Wilen’s awards. But while the recognition is nice, the mom of two just wants people to experience wholesome food. “It’s easy to get great food on the table,” she says. “And I love teaching people how to do that.”



The first thing Heather Mackey wants someone to know about her boutique real estate firm is not about herself. It’s about her agents. “I work for my agents, who are incredible people,” she says. “We all take personal approaches to selling real estate, but everyone is part of a team, supporting and learning from each other.” They also do a lot of listening, with the goal of understanding how best to help clients with their real estate needs. They call it the “Mackey Method,” ensuring attentive, hands-on collaboration with every buyer and seller each step of the way. After 14 years in the real estate business, Mackey opened her own company a year and a half ago. Mackey Realty serves North and South Carolina with a client driven-foundation and a personable, forward-focused approach. A mom of three girls, Mackey has been in Charlotte for over 20 years and loves harnessing the knowledge of her network for the benefit of her clients. From neighborhood details like traffic to schools, she enjoys sharing everything they need to know for that most important decision of buying a home. “We believe clients are like family,” Mackey says. “I love meeting different types of people and learning more about their lives and goals. And I love to tell the story of Charlotte. It has something for everyone.” Mackey agents are dedicated, resourceful and responsive. In today’s chaotic, tight real estate market, they strive to make the process fun and rewarding for clients, while offering strategic expertise and continuous communication throughout. “The industry is different from anything any of us have ever seen,” she says. “You have to embrace and appreciate it.” PHOTO: JUSTIN DRISCOLL

Mackey Realty LLC 708 East Boulevard, Suite A, Charlotte, NC 28203 704.919.0073 @mackeyrealtyclt



Nilou Henderson is a busy woman. Along with her two daughters, she juggles running three businesses: Henderson Ventures, Ziba Luxury Salon & Spa and Stage of Designs. Stage of Designs is a full-service design firm, focusing on new construction, renovations, interior design and home staging. It’s a perfect complement to Henderson Ventures, an exclusive real estate brokerage firm she owns and operates with her husband, former NBA player Gerald Henderson. “We started Stage of Designs with the goal to be a one-stop shop for our clients,” Nilou says. “We want to deliver a white-glove service to everyone we work with.” Having moved around with Gerald’s NBA career, the Hendersons understand the importance of confidentiality when it comes to selling or buying a home and provide a seamless, rewarding client experience. Right next door at Ziba – a full-service luxury Aveda salon and spa in Piedmont Town Center – customers can enjoy a cocktail or espresso while they relax and get pampered. The salon name means beauty, reflecting Nilou’s Persian roots. Raised to work hard and stay humble, she came to the United States as a young girl from Iran, where women have fewer rights. “Leadership and empowering others are things I feel I have been called to do,” Nilou says. “I enjoy creating opportunities and successfully executing the goals and vision that I have manifested.”

Henderson Ventures Ziba Luxury Salon & Spa Stage of Designs 4620 Piedmont Row Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210


Having a strong team and learning to delegate and trust allows Nilou to balance her roles as wife, mom and business owner. No matter how hectic life gets, she appreciates the freedom and opportunity to live out her dreams. “I want my girls to know they can do anything,” she says.



“I bleed yellow,” laughs Drybar owner Jackie Paynter, referring to the signature colors of the blowout salon’s logo and the dedication required in running your own business. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s also the most rewarding.” As a native Charlottean, opening a Drybar franchise in Paynter’s hometown seemed like a natural fit. After 20 years in the beauty industry, she combined her passions – a love for people and a love for beauty – into a new career. Drybar’s promise to focus on one thing – deliver beautiful blowouts – and to do it well, spoke to her. With two locations in SouthPark and South End, Drybar pushed through the pandemic thanks to talented stylists and loyal clients. Weekend appointments can now be hard to come by, as more people venture out and enjoy special events again. It’s the outward glow and inner confidence clients get from a Drybar service that keeps them coming back. Creating long-lasting client relationships as well as a company culture where employees want to work are top priorities for Paynter. She continually evaluates opportunities for future growth, as she meets new customers every day at Drybar. She’s encouraged by the ever-present demand, and she’s inspired by her two young daughters to build a business that reflects her values. “I’ve given my heart and soul to the business,” Paynter says. “As a business owner, you succeed at times, and you fail at others. But solving problems, putting in the work and doing things the right way are lifelong lessons I strive to show them.”


Drybar Specialty Shops at SouthPark 6401 Carnegie Boulevard, Suite 9A, Charlotte, NC 28211 704.749.2159 Atherton Mill 2120 South Boulevard, Suite 4, Charlotte, NC 28203 704.665.1903 @drybarshops_charlotte & @jackiepaynter



Music has always been Michelle Renée’s first love. An international recording artist, she has traveled the world performing and continues to do so now, regionally and locally. Step into Bellezza, her high fashion boutique at Phillips Place, and you’ll see those worldwide influences reflected in her merchandise. “Owning a boutique has been so fulfilling in that I’m able to bring beautiful, international apparel to the Queen City,” Renée says. “My goal is for all women to feel amazing and look beautiful when they leave Bellezza.” Renée hand selects the wide variety of accessories and women’s clothing, designed to embrace the beauty of every woman’s body type and style. Private appointments and fittings are also available. Bellezza opened during the pandemic, a challenging time for small business owners and retail. But thanks to her team of talented stylists and their enthusiasm for helping clients look and feel their best, the store continues to thrive. In recent months as things have continued to open up, Renée has seen a shift in what her clients want, opting for more lovely, stylish pieces rather than leggings and loungewear. “The ladies of this lovely city have supported me all along,” Renée says. “I remained true to my vision, and it’s been gratifying to bring new and unique pieces to Charlotte.” In addition to performing and traveling internationally, Renée is a passionate animal advocate, serving on the board of Operation CARE, an animal welfare and rescue organization, and fostering dogs on a regular basis. She also owns East Coast Match, an elite matchmaking firm. While extremely busy, Renée enjoys being involved in so many different things. “Bellezza is my happy place,” she says. “And I’m thrilled to share it.” PHOTO: JUSTIN DRISCOLL

Bellezza 6822-F Phillips Place Court, Charlotte, NC 28210 980.819.6100 @bellezzacharlotte



Chris Black’s clients have plenty of wonderful words to describe her qualities as a Realtor. From responsive and receptive to knowledgeable and experienced, all agree her personalized, clients-first approach delivers impressive results. But it’s her skill as an expert negotiator, along with her courteous demeanor, that comes up most often. “An iron fist in a velvet glove,” one client remarked. Buying and selling a home in Charlotte’s tight real estate market has never been more stressful, with multiple offers for sellers and little to choose from for buyers. But Black never wavers from how she does business. “You can work through hard situations and be kind, yet still get so much done,” she says. “I am a strong negotiator.” Black has modeled her career after her father’s, a man of faith who had great success as a large business owner. She credits her clients – many of whom have become longtime friends – as the reason her business has continued to grow and thrive throughout the years. Customers she once helped find the perfect home for with the right schools and neighborhoods are now the ones she’s helping to downsize. Black also has extensive experience as a corporate relocation specialist. One of Cottingham Chalk’s top producers in 2021, she was honored by the National Association of Realtors with the status of Realtor Emeritus for valuable and lasting contributions to the real estate profession. Her hobbies – triathlons, half-marathons and water sports – reflect her competitive, determined spirit. She holds two medals for 5-mile swims across Lake Waccamaw, her favorite place to be. Licensed in North and South Carolina, Black continues to find great joy in assisting buyers and sellers with their real estate needs. “This is my story,” she says. “I’ve made great friends, and I love selling Charlotte and its beautiful surrounding communities.” PHOTO: STEPHEN DEY

Chris Black 6846 Carnegie Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28211 704.578.7818



For Maria Siragusa, her life experiences prepared the perfect path to open her own café and patisserie, Chez Marie. Growing up in Ukraine, she learned to cook from her mom. Her design studies took her to Milan, and then on to Ukraine, Switzerland and Miami for jobs in interior and graphic design. She and husband Daniel landed in Charlotte seven years ago, opening Pizzeria Omaggio. Her passion for baking followed her daughter’s first birthday, when Siragusa experimented with homemade desserts with less sugar. That led to dessert and pastry classes in the United States and Europe, some online training and an online dessert business. “I love hands-on work, whether it’s piping an éclair or stretching and folding a piece of bread,” Siragusa says. “It’s like modeling in design. I can’t wait to see where it ends up. There is a sense of perfection that distinguishes our desserts.” Siragusa and her staff make everything from scratch at Chez Marie, offering exquisite desserts (eclairs, profiteroles, tarts and madeleines), breads with an assortment of flavored butters, and puff-pastry specialties like croissants. Guests can also order from a small menu of salads, sandwiches and crepes, along with espresso, tea, wine and champagne. The café has a catering menu for weddings and events, with plans to sell seasonal desserts and gift baskets. The beautiful, wood-paneled interior, along with cozy outdoor seating, provides the perfect backdrop for international ambiance. “People relate a place and experience to taste,” Siragusa says. “We hope our desserts inspire people to come back often and discover new things.”


Chez Marie 4732 Sharon Road, Suite M, Charlotte, NC 28210 704.910.3013 @chezmarieclt



Vicky Mitchener has a lot to celebrate. Her residential real estate firm Dickens Mitchener recently marked 30 years in business, hitting record sales of more than $1 billion in 2021. It’s a remarkable achievement any year, but especially notable amid the pandemic and historic low inventory. She credits the company’s success to its 110 agents and a supportive, collaborative environment. “Our philosophy is we don’t necessarily want to be big; we want to be at the top in our field,” Mitchener says. Placing a premium on training, Dickens Mitchener offers mentoring programs for new agents and ongoing opportunities for those who are established. She also requires agents to be full time. “Buying a home is one of the biggest financial commitments in someone’s lifetime,” Mitchener says. “A real estate agent’s fiduciary responsibility is tremendous. I don’t believe it should be something you do casually or part time.” Doing what’s right and best for clients in the long term, as well as responsive, personal communication, are guiding principles at Dickens Mitchener. While technology is helpful and saves time, listening to clients is essential. “Every home and every client are special and unique,” Mitchener says. “A computer can’t tell you that.”


Mitchener and husband Bill are the proud parents of three daughters. A native North Carolinian, avid snow skier and enthusiastic community volunteer, she launched the Homeowners Impact Fund in 2020, a nonprofit that has raised more than $200,000 so far to combat homelessness in Charlotte. The goal: Every real estate firm at every closing asks those involved – from buyers and sellers to attorneys to agents – to donate a minimum of $10. “It’s a way to harness the power of collective giving,” Mitchener says. “Closing on a home is full of hope and promise. It’s those same emotions we hope to bring to those struggling with homelessness.” Vicky Mitchener 2330 Randolph Road, Charlotte, NC 28207 704.517.0177 @vcmliving

DONALD SULTAN Iconic Florals On View Through June 11, 2022

YELLOW POPPIES MARCH 3 2022, 2022, Conte on Paper, 22 1/2 x 30 inches

An exhibition of iconic paintings, conte drawings, screenprints and sculpture by a titan of American art, Donald Sultan.

625 South Sharon Amity Road Charlotte, NC 28211 704-365-3000 M-F 10-6 Sat 10-4

May is national Mental Health Awareness Month

The more everyone knows about mental health, the better.

and awareness is the rst step to healing. Prioritize your own mental health and know the signs and symptoms of mental illness.

1-(844)-HOPEWAY •




A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

Wish Kid Kierra, Ohavia Phillips and Ben Farrell

Al and Donna de Molina

Heather Bertucelli, Kathy Jetton and Stacy Aldrich

Bill and Christy Sisley




Benefiting Make-A-Wish Central and Western N.C. Westin Hotel February 25

This year’s Wish Ball was a record-breaking success, raising more than $1.4 million to help grant life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. The night included stories from Make-A-Wish children, live and silent auctions, dinner and dancing.

Brandon and Kathryn Moran

Jackie Smith and Larry Shaheen Jr.

Webb and Taylor Simpson

Craig and Holly LePage

Wish Kids Kierra and Sophie

Jack and Robin Salzman



Wish Ball


Gala for Education

Benefiting LAWA (Latin Americans Working for Achievement) Marriott City Center February 26

A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

This black-tie event celebrated LAWA scholarship recipients with a night of dinner, dancing and auctions. Attendees helped raise more than $100,000 to support LAWA scholarship programs for Latino students in the Charlotte region.

Giovani Gonzalez and Luis Sosa-Andrade

Jackson Poulnott and Cristin Henriquez




Jose and Helen Borbor

Paulina Carmona and Andrew Putnam

Maureen O’Boyle and Maria O’Boyle

Ana Onate and Bojana Kurti

Francisco and Jeannette Alvarado


Isaac and Liz Sturgill

Careli and Humberto Alvarez



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HEARTest Yard

A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

Steak 48 at Apex SouthPark February 28

Guests enjoyed a red-carpet welcome at Steak 48 during this fundraiser for The HEARTest Yard. The nonprofit was formed by Panthers legend Greg Olsen and his wife, Kara, whose son was born with a heart condition and needed a transplant. More than $220,000 was raised to help children receive in-home care and therapies through Levine Children’s Hospital.

Jonathan and Natalie Stewart

Keren and Dovy Klarberg

Nazy and Durham Weeks

Greg Olsen and Christian McCaffrey




Greg and Kara Olsen

Teresa and Mark Czarnecki

Robin and Riley Fields

Ingrid and Jeff Gordon


Sarah and Gaurav Bharti



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1013 Union Rd. | Gastonia In the July issue of SouthPark Magazine

Contact: Cindy Poovey at 704-497-2220 Jane Rodewald 704-621-9198


Deadline June 1

Monday-Friday 10-4 Saturday 10-3 | 125


A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

Dancing With the Stars of Charlotte Gala Knight Theater March 5

The Gala returned for its ninth year with civic, corporate and community leaders paired with professional dancers from Charlotte Ballet to raise funds for the Ballet and each star’s chosen charity.

Hugh McColl makes a grand entrance

Maurice Mouzon Jr. and Kim Henderson

Jane and Hugh McColl

Roman Harper and Maureen O’Boyle

Gloria Gaynor




Maurice Mouzon Jr. and Kim Henderson

Luis Machicao, Jerry Barron, Midge Barron and Jeff Wallin

Jesse and Angela Cureton

Jonathan and Natalie Stewart

Josh Hall and Natasha Adams-Denny


Vincent and Sandra Voci, Christina Melissaris, Michael Gallis and Berhan Nebioglu


Brushstrokes and High Notes

A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

Artist reception at Studio 229 February 18


Studio 229 at the Brooklyn Collective debuted its newest exhibit, Still Standing, as part of the centennial anniversary of the M.I.C. Building. Studio 229 presented several emerging artists, while attendees listened to live jazz and mingled.

Kevin Douglas and Beverly Smith

Philip Larrimore, Michael Solender and Priya Sircar


Coretta and Clifton Farrar and Monique Douglas

Jasmyn Brown

Patrenia Hawkins-Hearn and Dasia Hood




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| gallery



by Sharon Smith

t age 102, it’s been years since Sonia Handelman Meyer picked up a camera, but she still talks about photography — and future exhibits — with clarity, specificity and excitement. One can almost picture her walking the streets of New York City decades ago, quietly capturing candid images of people going about their everyday lives. Some of her favorite “street scenes” line the wall of her home at Waltonwood, a continuing-care community in Cotswold. Many others are housed permanently in museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum in New York and the Mint Museum. “I never thought I was good,” Handelman Meyer says with a halfshrug and small smile. But, she quickly speaks to why the people in her images are important — many of them immigrants, minorities and children in Harlem, Brooklyn and the Village. Handelman Meyer got her start in the 1940s as a member and secretary of the New York Photo League, a forum and incubator for world-renowned photographers. As her artist statement reads, “Mostly, I photographed children and reflections of my city — roughedged, tender and very beautiful in its diversity.” This year, part of her collection is scheduled to be on exhibit in Poland. Her son, Joe Meyer, who manages the Sonia Handelman Meyer Photography Archive, says his mother’s works will also be part of an upcoming PBS documentary. Two books are also in the works. 128



Yet, for the better part of 50 years, her photographs sat in boxes, untouched. The Photo League disbanded, a victim of the McCarthyism era, and Handelman Meyer focused on family. It wasn’t until she moved to Charlotte in her 80s, that she and her son connected with local photographers and gallery owners who helped put Handelman Meyer’s work on exhibit. Even now, Handelman Meyer says she’s stunned by the public interest. Her son sees it differently, noting the historic importance of the images coupled with his mother’s first-person narrative. “Once she gets going, it’s beautiful — the way she speaks,” Meyer says about his mother. Then, speaking directly to her, “You have a message behind these images that you want to be perpetuated. Those moments are locked in time, thanks to you, and they’re very meaningful.” SP View more of the archive and learn about how it came to be on exhibit in Charlotte at capturing-our-attention.

Sonia Handelman Meyer


Teenage Boys, Circa 1946-1950, Spanish Harlem

Ready to Relax?

Escape to the Lake

Lake Norman’s Premier Yacht Club is closer than you think.

Cornelius, North Carolina | 704-892-9858