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FROM THE EDITOR
CATHY MARTIN EDITOR
s I sit down to write this column, I’ve just dropped my youngest off at college for the first time. Before you stop reading, I promise this isn’t going to be one of those sappy, oh-how-I-miss-mydaughter posts. Facebook is already littered with plenty of those. Just like I did, she’s attending a traditional Southern university, so the vibe was familiar, even a bit nostalgic for me. Still, much has changed since I headed off to Chapel Hill years ago. When I first left home, I don’t think I spoke with my parents for at least a week, maybe two. But, it’s 2019, and we’re all tethered to our cellphones — I got the first text 16 minutes after we said our goodbyes. The first call came less than 24 hours later, followed by a few campus and dorm photos. I won’t pretend it isn’t nice getting calls and messages from my kids, but this era of constant communication is puzzling to me. Isn’t a big part of college supposed to be learning to become more independent? As time goes by, I imagine I’ll hear from her less and less so for now, I’ll just take it as it comes. Eighteen years is a long time. I don’t remember when or where I first heard the expression “your children are not your children,” but it stuck with me through the years as mine were growing up. Turns out, the adage is from a poem by Kahlil Gibran, a Lebanese-American writer and painter born in 1883. “You may house their bodies but not their souls,” wrote Gibran, who incidentally never had children of his own. Here I must point out that Gibran was dismissed by many intellectuals as a sentimentalist — “mawkishly mystical” was another term used on the Poetry Foundation website to describe him. Nevertheless, reminding myself of this aphorism has somehow helped me keep my sanity over the years, particularly during times when my kids decided to behave in a manner that was at odds with my thoughts or beliefs. Parenting is hard. You never know whether or not you’re doing it right. All you can do is try to raise your children to be kind, respectful, hard-working — the rest is up to them. And if it takes the schmaltzy musings of an overly sentimental, 19th-century poet to get you through it, that’s just fine.
Anyone who knows me well knows my typical attire consists of jeans, Birkenstocks or boots, and a T-shirt or sweater, depending on the weather. Let’s just say I’m most comfortable in clothes that are, well — comfortable. But dressing casually doesn’t mean you can’t cultivate a unique sense of style. Adding a one-of-a-kind belt, necklace or other accessory can spice up any look. At the end of the day, it’s all about feeling confident in how you present yourself to the world. Given my admittedly stripped-down sense of fashion, I’m extremely grateful to SouthPark’s contributing style editor Whitley Adkins Hamlin for producing this month’s cover feature, which was photographed by Richard Israel (shown at work on the project, left). With her eye for style and fervor for her helping others achieve their closet goals — Hamlin is also a wardrobe stylist — Whitley helped us identify 29 Charlotteans who are dressing to impress and captivating the Queen City with their unique sense of personal style. Flip to page 64 to see who made this year’s list. SP 10
Sway to the Music of the Hammock Coast!
October 3 - 19, 2019 Decades Rewind • Blood Sweat & Tears Carpenters Remembered • Next Generation Leahy Pablo Cruise • The Lords of 52nd Street Marshall Tucker Band • Shades of bublé • Soul town Pawleys Island Wine & Food Gala
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September DEPARTMENTS 29 | Blvd. Fall festival roundup; Evelyn Henson paints the town; mystery writer turns to truecrime stories in latest book; five essential dates for September.
49 | Simple Life A good soak is the gift that keeps on giving.
55 | Bookshelf September’s notable new releases.
59 | Queen City Journal Exploring spaces and creating connections — a Charlotte native changes perspective for the changing season.
61 | The Road Home A new mom comes to terms with her husband’s newfound obsession.
117 | Swirl The Queen City’s biggest and best bashes and events.
SNAPSHOT 128 | A Stage for All Monica Pettiford’s Porch Productions youth theater company celebrates its 10th season.
ABOUT THE COVER Photo of Brit Drozda, Bean Ervin, Ryan Jor El and Gracia Walker by Richard Israel.
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G E N E R A L C O N T R AC TO R
FEATURES 64 | The IT List produced by Whitley Adkins Hamlin
Charlotte’s most stylish men and women
84 | Art House by Vanessa Infanzon
The minimalist design of a midcentury home captivates local architects Gray Stout and Heather St. Aubin-Stout.
92 | Hello, Goodbye and Cheers! by Virginia Brown
Generations of culture and baklava in the thousands — what started as a simple
church fundraiser has become one of Charlotte’s most popular fall festivals.
98 | Beyond the Rules by Michael J. Solender
Pop-culture author Gavin Edwards blends exhaustive curiosity, dogged research and quirky analysis into compelling behind-the-scenes storytelling.
102 | Take the Road Less Traveled by Page Leggett Sure, north Carolina has mountains, too. But the north Georgia mountains and historic Glen-Ella Springs Inn are worth the 3-hour drive.
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Ben Kinney Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org Cathy Martin Editor email@example.com Whitley Adkins Hamlin Contributing Style Editor Andie Rose Art Director Alyssa Rocherolle Graphic Designer Lauren M. Coffey Graphic Designer Contributing Writers Michelle Boudin, Sally Brewster Virginia Brown, Allison Futterman Vanessa Infanzon Caroline Hamilton Langerman Page Leggett, Michael J. Solender Katie Toussaint Contributing Photographers Daniel Coston, Richard Israel Dustin Peck, Peter Taylor ADVERTISING Jane Rodewald Account Executive 704-621-9198 firstname.lastname@example.org Scott Leonard Audience Development Specialist/ Account Executive 704-996-6426 email@example.com Brad Beard Graphic Designer
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Owners Jack Andrews, Frank Daniels Jr., Frank Daniels III, Lee Dirks, David Woronoff Published by Old North State Magazines LLC. ©Copyright 2019. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Volume 22, Issue 9
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Lark & Key gallery’s newest exhibition “Plumage” celebrates the beauty and charm of feathered creatures. The mixed-media show features the work of at least 10 artists, including gallery co-owner Duy Huynh. Pictured here is Huynh’s “Eternal Windfall.” The exhibit will be on view through Sept. 27. 700 East Blvd., Ste. 1, larkandkey.com
southparkmagazine.com | 29
Autumn is the season to get outside and check out one of the Queen City’s vibrant festivals. Luckily, Charlotte has plenty to choose from, including the annual Yiasou Greek Festival in Dilworth (Page 92). Here are a few more picks, plus a couple of out-of-town events that are worth the drive.
FESTIVAL IN THE PARK
Sept. 20-22: Now in its 55th year, this Freedom Park extravaganza is one of the city’s longest-running festivals. Listen to a spectrum of music ranging from classical to folk to jazz at the festival’s multiple stages, grab a bite to eat from local vendors, or simply feast your eyes on paintings, sketches, sculptures and more. Admission is free. festivalinthepark.org
Club, with more than 100 wines and appetizers from eight local chefs (limited tickets available). pawleysmusic.com
CHOW CHOW (ASHEVILLE)
Sept. 12-15: This inaugural culinary festival is sure to become a regional favorite, with acclaimed Asheville chef Katie Button presiding. “What excited me about Asheville and why I ended up living here is because it’s this amazing community of makers: farmers, beekeepers, distillers, brewers, mixologists, chefs, potters, woodworkers, glassblowers,” Button says. “It’s a community of craftsmen, and we wanted a festival that gave them a platform to share what they do and their story.” Ticket prices vary. exploreasheville.com/chow-chow-culinary-festival
Oct. 5: Enjoy cider samples, fall-themed yoga, an obstacle trail race and a build-your-own boat competition at this daylong festival at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Free to attend; registration required for races and contests. usnwc.org Oct. 5: Enjoy samples from more than 150 North Carolina wineries and listen to live music at the 17th annual Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival at Symphony Park at SouthPark mall. General admission tickets — souvenir wine glass and unlimited samples included — are $35 if purchased in advance. uncorkthefun.com/charlotte-nc/show-info
PAWLEYS ISLAND FESTIVAL OF MUSIC & ART (PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C.)
Oct. 3-19: In its 20th year, this Pawleys Island festival features a slew of musical performances, from Blood, Sweat & Tears to the Marshall Tucker Band. The event kicks off with the Pawleys Island Wine & Food Gala at the Reserve Golf
Around Town Mal Pan, a taqueria and cocktail bar, plans to open this fall at Piedmont Row; former Aix en Provence chef Nicholas Tarnate was named chef at Bar Marcel; Texasbased healthy-food concept Flower Child opened in South End; Optimist Hall food hall opened in a former hosiery mill in Optimist Park; Napa on Providence opened its second location at Kingsley Town Center in Fort Mill, S.C.; Bentley’s on 27 will open in the former George’s Brasserie space at Piedmont Row; Osteria LuCa, an Italian concept from the team behind True Crafted Pizza, plans to open in Park Road Shopping Center; micro-winery Davidson Wine Co. opened in downtown Davidson; Greg and Subrina Collier (of downtown’s Uptown Yolk) plan to open Leah & Louise, a Memphis-inspired restaurant at Camp North End.
TOP LEFT PHOTOGRAPH BY DEBORAH YOUNG STUDIO, TOM SHELLIAN. TOP RIGHT PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF BUN INTENDED FOOD TRUCK
GREAT GRAPES WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL
Painting the Town with Kindness EVELYN HENSON’S WHIMSICAL DESIGNS SPARK JOY AND FUN. BY MICHELLE BOUDIN
It wasn’t until her senior year at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., that she officially started painting. Her first work was a floral painting for her mom, a Mother’s Day gift. Over the next year, she painted every single day and after graduation had accumulated enough work to start a small Etsy shop. “It was such a good stress relief. I painted perfume bottles, beaches, landscapes, birds. I just was painting anything that was whimsical, colorful and happy.” Then she hit upon an idea that helped catapult her career. “The thing that made it so I could make it as an artist was when I started painting cities,” Henson says. She originally painted map prints of just 10 cities, featuring popular neighborhoods and hangouts around town. The collection became so popular that she now has more than 150. She also has licensing deals with Hallmark, Pier 1 Imports and Pottery Barn. Now 28 and living in Charlotte, she’s gained a huge following thanks to her colorful Instagram-friendly mural that’s just around the bend from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in South End. The marketing team for the property owners had seen Henson’s whimsical designs on Instagram and reached out. Henson was used to painting on canvas and designing for mugs, stationery and other gift items. But a wall? “I’d never done anything like this. It was crazy! I usually paint on small pieces of paper, but I was seeing murals pop up all over Instagram and I was really interested. ... I thought, wow that’s so cool that someone who wouldn’t normally interact with art in their every day [life] would walk by and stand in 32
PHOTOGRAPHS PROVIDED BY EVELYN HENSON
velyn Henson wasn’t always sure she could be an artist. The fresh-faced Columbus, Ga., native who painted the popular South End confetti hearts wall remembers walking into her first art class as a college freshman — and being seriously intimidated. “If you think of artists, they’re really edgy, they have piercings and tattoos and I’m rolling in with Lilly Pulitzer and I just didn’t think that I fit in. What’s crazy is that what makes you successful as an artist is standing out, but I didn’t realize that at 18.”
PHOTOGRAPH BY LAURA SUMRAK
front of it, take a photo and feel creative.” The oldest of five siblings, Henson is also a triplet — and the only creative one in the bunch. “None of my siblings are interested in art, but for me it brings me a lot of joy, and research shows even if you can just walk by it you get the same benefits of joy.” That’s why she was so excited to paint
the now famous mural. The concept is a play on the quote “throw kindness around like confetti.” But in order to actually paint the wall, Henson had to do a little research. “I wrote down all the things I didn’t know how to do and went one by one and just figured them out.” Henson painted the colorful hearts during a rainy, dreary week last
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December and almost immediately knew she was onto something. “It was pretty cold, and I was still finishing up, and fashion bloggers were already taking photos as I was still painting.” Posing in front of the mural has pretty much been a regular thing ever since, and the people at Jeni’s know a good thing when they see it. This year, they hired Henson to paint a second mural on the side of their new NoDa ice cream shop. Henson hopes it doesn’t end there. She has an idea for an entire series of “kindness walls” she’d love to paint across the Queen City. If she has her way, we’ll be throwing kindness around like confetti, all around town. SP evelynhenson.com
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Mystery Maven IN WRITING HER NEW BOOK, CATHY PICKENS FINDS REAL-LIFE CRIME STORIES ARE MORE INTERESTING THAN FICTION.
BY ALLISON FUTTERMAN
athy Pickens is well-known as the author of the Southern Fried mystery series set in a fictional town in South Carolina, her home state. She’s also written a nonfiction book exploring haunted spots and unsolved mysteries in Charleston. In her intriguing new book, Charlotte True Crime Stories, Pickens explores crimes that have rocked and riveted the Queen City. In addition to being a writer, she’s a former lawyer and had a lengthy career as a business professor at Queens University. Today, Pickens uses her experience and skills to help others in the community. What can you tell us about your new book? Just as each place has its unique history, each place has crime stories that help define it. Charlotte has had colorful characters — like the fraudster who beguiled the owner of the Hope Diamond and got away with murder — and cases that made international headlines or touched our hearts or changed the way we cared for each other. These stories intrigue me and, together, they add interesting threads to the picture of Charlotte. Did true crime ever play a part in your novels? In pieces, yes. When I started writing mystery novels, I wanted the details to be as authentic as possible, so I began seeking out forensics experts, lawyers and law-enforcement [officers]; studying court cases; and keeping up with the science. Eventually, I found real-life stories more compelling and [more] unexpected as anything I could make up. True crime is an immensely popular genre, including podcasts, TV shows and documentaries on the subject. Why do you think it attracts us? I’m not attracted to gruesomeness or gore. I’m interested in stories that explore what we share. I’ve thought about this fas 36
cination a lot. First, with both true crime and mystery fiction, we love to solve puzzles — and real-life puzzles can be more interesting than made-up ones. We’re also fascinated by inside glimpses into worlds we don’t know, and we’re curious about how other people experience extremes in their lives. You spent much of your career as a professor at McColl School of Business at Queens University. Do you teach now? Yes, I’m lucky enough to be both a faculty member and a student at Charlotte Lit, a terrific resource in Charlotte for both beginning and seasoned writers. In addition to a full catalogue of courses, Charlotte Lit’s Authors Lab is a yearlong series of classes and coaching support for those working on a book. How have you used your talent and experience to help others? In an unexpected collision of my life as a business professor and my life as a writer, with a group of MBA students we created an entrepreneurship curriculum for the Mecklenburg County Jail under former Sheriff Chipp Bailey. Later, we began working with re-entry clients through the Center for Community Transitions and Goodwill. I also offered a creative writing class in the jail and still work with a couple of guys who’ve gone on to prison and now offer a creativity class at Dove’s Nest in Charlotte. In all this, the theme is story — and helping others tell their stories. What other projects are you working on? I’m working now on another book for History Press on eastern North Carolina true crime stories, with plans to explore the rest of the state. Also, CREATE!, a book on developing your own creative process, is due out next year. Pickens’ latest book, Charlotte True Crime Stories: Notorious Cases from Fraud to Serial Killing, is available at Amazon.com and through select booksellers. SP
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My Favorite Things...
ulie Eiselt’s preferred way to explore the Queen City is on two wheels. “Peddling through the city can lead to some great little surprises in the form of restaurants, shops and unique urban spaces that are little pockets of organic development,” says Charlotte’s Mayor Pro Tem. Here are a few of the Wisconsin native’s favorite spots. Comments were edited for brevity and clarity.
THE GOLD DISTRICT
My guilty confession is that I am not a huge “foodie.” The food needs to be good, but it’s more about the atmosphere and experience for me. Given my crazy city council hours, I often eat by myself. Reid’s Fine Foodsq on Selwyn is my
PHOTOGRAPH BY RICHARD ISRAEL
One of the best kept secrets in Charlotte is near uptown, bordered by Morehead, Summit, Church and Graham streets. The Gold District is a collection of original and repurposed warehouses that sit on top of three mines that date to the early 1800s. Thanks to a group of local businesses, the district has been preserved (yes, some things in Charlotte are preserved!) with repurposed buildings and walkable streets. This place is starting to pop with bars and restaurants, art galleries and other small businesses that intentionally honor the city’s Gold Rush heritage. From the fun and funky Magnolia Emporiumq to Craft Growler Shop and Tasting Room to the great murals on walls and alleyways, there is something new to experience every time I visit.
go-to. It’s the kind of place where you can comfortably dine alone while reading a book, chat with other diners at the bar or share an intimate meal with a group of friends. The food is great and the service attentive. Get there early on Tuesdays for half-price burger night! Also, I hate seeing the original no-frills Charlotte eateries disappear, so I am a bit protective of Art’s BBQ and Deli. Great down-home simple breakfast and lunch on paper plates. Who needs china when you have good food and great people watching? The who’s who of Charlotte just might be working deals or catching up on the latest news on any given morning.
Having a thriving arts community was a key criterion to get my husband and me to move our young family here 21 years ago. In 1998, it was a bit of a shock coming from Miami and previously London, but we could see the cultural scene was changing and growing. A strong arts and cultural
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community brings people together: young, old, rich, poor. Nick Napoletano’s murals pare a great example of the home-grown artistry that we need to support and nurture in Charlotte. A great arts scene attracts people of all backgrounds and ethnicities. Probably the best example of that I’ve seen in my years here was the recent Charlotte SHOUT! festival. This past spring, for two weeks at venues throughout uptown, Charlotteans and visitors took in some of the best art, music, curated performances and thought leaders from around the world — almost entirely for free. On a Saturday night, [my husband] Tom and I munched on pizza and sat in the middle of 3rd St. with 2,500 of our closest friends, watching acrobats “dance” down the side of the Government Center to an incredible light and music show. At 11 p.m., the streets were still filled with a wonderfully diverse mix of people and families.
I’ll go anywhere for a truly great margarita. In Charlotte, it’s on Central Avenue at Three Amigos Mexican Grill and Cantina. Hands down the best salsa as well — and great food — if you can get a table at this cozy authentic cantina. I was born and raised in Milwaukee, and I still appreciate a good brew. My favorite Charlotte beer is What He’s Having at Wooden Robot.q But to hang out, see friends and listen to music, my husband Tom and I head to the biergarten at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. I love that the beer gardens in Charlotte are becoming more like those of Europe, where the seating is communal and families are welcomed with food,
|blvd. games and nonalcoholic drinks. In this age of social media and political division, any place that brings people together just for fun is a much-needed escape.
Charlotte Squawks, because you have to be able to laugh at yourself, Charlotte!
SPOT YOU GO TO BUY SOMETHING, AND END UP WITH THINGS YOU DON’T NEED
I CAME FOR THE TRAINING. I STAYED FOR THE RESULTS.
Blackhawk Hardware at Park Road Shopping Center
Open Streets 704. Three times a year, the city and county map out a 5-mile street festival in a different part of town. Great way to bike or walk and get to know Charlotte!
STORE TO FIND SOMETHING FOR ANYONE
Tie between Paper Skyscraper in Dilworth or CLTCH in Plaza Midwood
DOUGHNUTS Your Mom’s Donuts
SPOT TO MEET YOUR NEIGHBORS
Common Marketq on Monroe Road
Literally any show at the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte — no matter your age! SP
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History enthusiasts take note: In collaboration with the Charlotte Folk Society, the Charlotte Museum of History’s annual Backcountry Days Festival explores the cultures and traditions of our region’s early residents, from European colonists to the Catawba Indian Nation. Bring a picnic blanket and stay for the outdoor concert. The festival is free to attend, and food will be available for purchase. charlottemuseum.org
Bank of America Stadium will be buzzing when the Carolina Panthers host their first regular season home game vs. the Los Angeles Rams, the reigning NFC champs. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.; ticket prices vary. panthers.com/tickets
Get a glimpse inside seven private residences on the 47th annual Dilworth Home Tour. This year’s tour of one of Charlotte’s most beloved neighborhoods includes a classic Craftsman bungalow, an American Foursquare and a renovated condominium. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales — $25 in advance, $30 if purchased after Sept. 12 — will support Dilworth Elementary School. Dilworthonline.org
Relax your mind and body at Flow Fest, a two-day festival at the U.S. National Whitewater Center featuring yoga classes and workshops, nature hikes, live music and vendors offering sustainable and ethically produced goods. Take mindfulness to another level with Flow Fest Immersion, an overnight experience that includes guided meditation, a three-course Ayurvedic dinner, sunrise yoga and breakfast. The festival is free, though some events may require preregistration. Flow Fest Immersion costs $200 per person. usnwc.org
Charlotte Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 2019-20 pops series with Sinatra and Beyond, featuring vocalist Tony DeSare’s tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes. Knight Theater. Tickets start at $26. charlottesymphony.org
PHOTOGRAPH FROM U.S. NATIONAL WHITEWATER CENTER
THIS MONTH’S FIVE ESSENTIAL DATES
3 OFFICE LOCATIONS SouthPark WAVERLY LAKE NORMAN
LISA EMORY 704-724-3504
6501 Glynmoor Lakes Drive Breathtaking custom home | 5BR/6.3BA | Pool $2,399,000
CLOVER, SC ESTATE
726 Frontier Road 86+ acres | Custom farmhouse | 5BR/5.1BA $2,380,000
KATY BRADFIELD 704-965-5968
2016 Cortelyou Road Spectacular renovation | 5BR/5.1BA | 1.2 acres Under Contract | $2,250,000
2423 Vernon Drive
MEG WILKINSON TEAM
Stately new construction | 5BR/5.2BA $2,195,000
JENNIFER COOTS 704-777-1745
2001 Stedwick Place Remodeled | 4BR/4.2BA | Park-like yard $1,495,000
5537 Challis View Lane Gated community | 4BR/3.1BA | Lake access $899,000
VIVIAN & MARK MUNSON 704-661-7551
8820 Rosslare Villas Court Spectacular | 4BR/3.2BA | Gated community $925,000
70 4 - 5 5 2 - 9 2 9 2
2923 Heathmoor Lane
Inviting plan | 4BR/4.1BA | Spacious kitchen $875,000
h m p ro p e r t i es .c o m
“ We have a special team here in Charlotte, excited about serving our community. Let us introduce you to a unique style of banking, based on relationships and friendships. Expect the extraordinary at TowneBank.”
Phil Jurney, President TowneBank Charlotte
6337 Morrison Blvd. (704) 644-4001 Art by Susan Grossman / courtesy Jerald Melberg Gallery “Peeking Sun”
3 OFFICE LOCATIONS SouthPark WAVERLY LAKE NORMAN
1737 Queens Road W
326 Meadowbrook Road
265 Cherokee Road
626 Malone Way, Wilkesboro
Exquisite | 6BR/7.2BA | Carriage House $2,300,000
Private modern retreat | 4BR/4.1BA $1,999,999 or lot for $549,000
Architectural gem | 4BR/3.1BA | 0.62 ac. $2,595,000
Gated | 4BR/4.1BA | 6.79 acres $1,425,000
PROVIDENCE COUNTRY CLUB
12048 Royal Portrush Drive
3600 Foxridge Road
2015 Queens Road W.
14111 Rhone Valley Drive
Updated | 5BR/4.1BA | 1+ acre $749,000
Lovely contemporary | 3BR/2BA | 0.5 ac. Spectacular unit | 4BR/3.1BA | elevator $1,745,000 $400,000
To be built | 5BR/4.1BA | 0.93 acre $698,103
PROVIDENCE COUNTRY CLUB
11317 Pine Valley Club Drive
4625 Piedmont Row Dr., #408
3311 Providence Road
3700 Haven Drive
Immaculate | 4BR/3.1BA | Wonderful bkyd $669,500
2BR/2BA condo | Great location $250,000
Updated | 3BR/2BA | 0.5 acre $559,900
Updated | 3BR/2BA | Screened porch $674,000
PEGGY PETERSON 704-904-6279
MELANIE COYNE 704-763-8003
COOK | PIZZO TEAM 704-236-1135
MAREN BRISSON-KUESTER TEAM 704-287-7072
70 4 - 5 5 2 - 9 2 9 2
h m p ro p e r t i es .c o m
36th & Holt
Modern townhomes in Charlotte from the mid $300’s - $500’s
Towns on Central
Synergy at Midwood
All are minutes from Uptown Charlotte
3 & 4-story townhomes near Uptown Charlotte located in Plaza Midwood & NoDa, from the mid $300’s - $500’s SheaUrban.com 36th & Holt and Towns on Central: Synergy at Midwood: 1,614 - 2,529 sq ft; 2 - 3 Beds; Flex rooms 1,363 - 2,104 sq ft; 2 Beds; Flex rooms 3-story townhomes; 3 plans to choose from 3 & 4-story townhomes; 3 floor plans 9’ ceilings throughout; modern, on-trend finishes 9’ ceilings throughout Covered Terrace, attached 2-car Garage Rooftop Terrace, attached 2-car Garage Quick Move-in Homes available Sales Begin Late Summer
Sales conducted from our Shea Urban sales office Towns on Central: 2329 Central Ave Charlotte, 28205 | 36th & Holt: 1168 E 36th St Charlotte, 28205 Synergy at Midwood: 2909 Simpson Dr. Charlotte, 28205 Shea Urban sales office: 601 S. Kings Dr Suite EE Charlotte 28204 | Sun/Mon: 1 - 6: Tue - Sat: 11 - 6 sheaurban.com | 980.293.5886 Sales: Shea Group Services, LLC DBA Shea Realty (NC: C21630), (SC: 10424). Construction: Shea Builders, LLC, NC: 68875, SC: G116074. This is not an offer of real estate for sale, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, to residents of any state or province in which registration and other legal requirements have not been fulﬁlled. Pricing does not include options, elevation, or lot premiums, effective date of publication and subject to change without notice. All square footages and measurements are approximate and subject to change without notice. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Equal Housing Opportunity. Photos depict virtually staged furniture and accessories not available from Seller, and designer features, optional items and other upgrades that may be available from Seller at additional cost.
of BISC parents believe that their child is motivated by their teachers
The World After Rain A GOOD SOAK IS THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING.
BY JIM DODSON
very year about this time, as another summer’s lease expires, I remark to anyone who will listen (i.e. mostly my dog Mulligan) that we’ve survived the hottest summer ever. Unfortunately, this year I turned out to be right. According to the National Weather Service, the months of June and July logged their hottest temperatures on record, symptomatic of a year forecasters predict will be hottest in history — for the third summer in a row. If misery does indeed love company, at least we weren’t sweating it out alone. In England, suffering through its own record heat wave, jurors weighing evidence in a sensational murder trial in Oxford were dismissed after complaining to the judge of being unable to concentrate due to intense heat. The case involved a church warden and a magician who allegedly conspired to murder a famous Oxford lecturer and his headmistress neighbor in a scheme to steal their pensions and wills, a plot line worthy of Dame Agatha Christie. The judge halted the proceedings and sent everyone home to rest and cool off. At last check, the jury was still out. But stay tuned for the blockbuster movie. Across the Channel in France, meanwhile, where dozens of meteorological records suffered heat stroke due to weeks of three-digit temperatures, maps of the country’s hottest zones at one point eerily resembled a human skull, reminding some of Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream.” As you may have guessed by now, I’m no fan of summer.
Perhaps this is because I am a child of winter, reportedly born in the midst of a snowstorm. Or possibly it’s because I lived on the coast of Maine for more than two decades and grew accustomed to summers that are short but cool affairs, ruining me for increasingly hot Southern summers. Curiously, when I think back on my boyhood — a kid growing up in three different small towns of the deep South — summer heat never seemed to get under my collar the way it does now. In Mississippi, a beautiful state beach lay just across the highway from our house. There was always an evening breeze off the water, and my mother and I used to go there in late afternoon to wade in the tranquil surf of the Gulf of Mexico to hunt for interesting wash-ups. Someone at the weekly newspaper my father owned told me that the Gulf offered the widest variety of shells in the world, an idea that inspired me to mount dozens of beautiful sea shells — striped turbans, Scotch bonnets, false angel wings — on a pair of lacquered pine boards. The pressman at the newspaper also informed me that we lived in the heart of “Hurricane Alley,” which prompted me to begin watching for signs of gathering thunderstorms that boiled up far out over the Gulf and swept ashore with curtains of wind and rain. Secretly, I confess, I hoped a real hurricane might blow ashore, having no clue what might have resulted. A few years ago, the town where we lived was almost erased from the map by just such a September storm. The next stop in our family odyssey was a small South Carolina town that could have been the setting for To Kill southparkmagazine.com | 49
|simple life a Mockingbird. Save for a beautiful African American lady named Jesse who nursed my mom back to health after a pair of late-term miscarriages and taught me to “feet dance” to the gospel music she played from a transistor radio in the open kitchen window, my long summer days were spent either in a wicker chair on a wide side porch reading my first chapter books or — like smart dogs across the sultry South — burrowing into the cool dirt beneath the house, where I played for hours with my painted Greek and Roman soldiers. The days I liked best were those soothing gray affairs when a soft, steady rain fell all day and into the night, refreshing a parched world with its music. Today, whenever I see the TV spot for the popular Calm app — featuring a full minute of nothing but gentle rain dripping from leaves — I’m reminded of something Miss Jesse liked to say. “Slow rain is a gift, child. This tired old world is like new after a good rain.” In Wilmington, the next stop on our Magical Mystery Tour of Southern newspapers, we joined the Hanover Seaside Club on Wrightsville Beach, where after a long day on the searing beach I liked to sit in a big rocking chair on the club’s open-air porches, slugging down ginger ale as I eavesdropped on grownup cocktail chatter about politics and weather. On at least two occasions a hurricane was in the vicinity. Small people have big ears, as my mother liked to remind my father at such times. But I remember a few of his corny summer heat jokes to this day. It was so hot today I saw a dog chasing a cat, and they both were walking. Did you hear? It was so hot today, why, the chickens were laying omelets and cows were giving powdered milk. These days, of course, owing to global warming, rising seas and other factors, ordinary thunderstorms seem more menacing than ever, and hurricanes have become even more lethal. Last September the citizens of Wilmington were marooned by a lady named Florence that dumped catastrophic amounts of rain on the coastal Carolina region, killing 51 people and doing a record amount of damage to property. A month later, tropical storm Michael turned into the most powerful hurricane ever to hit the Florida panhandle, obliterating Mexico Beach and adjacent communities before churning up through the Carolinas and knocking over record numbers of trees and power lines across the Piedmont. Four huge oaks went down on our street alone, which left us in the dark for over a week. At least two of our neighbors’ houses were severely damaged, but thankfully nobody was killed or injured. In Michael’s wake, however, tree crews began combing the neighborhood, playing on people’s fears as they went door to door. For the moment at least, we are willing to accept the risk of living in an urban forest beneath stately century-old white oaks, if only for the kindness of shade they offer in summer and cathedral-like beauty they present come fall. Besides, at the start of the summer just ending, I made my wife smile by claiming that I was going to fully embrace the 50
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|simple life heat of this summer the way I did as a boy — with grace and a true sense of wonder, and absolutely no grumbling about the horrible heat. “Oh, nice. Are you planning to spend the summer in Sweden?” came the cheeky reply. I suppose she knows me all too well. For a while, at least, I gamely managed to live up to this impossible goal, as abundant rain in May and half of June made my garden flourish and the staff gardener smile. Then came July and someone thoughtlessly turned off the great spigot in the sky — turning yours truly into Munch’s Scream. Despite heavy watering by hand — city water is no match for the kind that comes from the clouds — my garden withered during a solid month of relentless 90-plus days of heat and sunshine. Every little pop-up thunderstorm on my weather radar app, alas, seemed to just miss our little patch of earth, a personal affront that soon had me swearing an oath that next summer, “Stockholm here I come!” One afternoon when I least expected it, burrowed away in my air-conditioned treehouse office, my wife phoned to report that a cold front was bringing a series of thunderstorms our way. I told her that I would believe it when I smelled it. Not 10 minutes later, I heard the thunder and stepped outside. Ten minutes after that it was raining gloriously. I actually stepped out into my garden with my arms outstretched, savoring the smell and feel of summer-ending rain like the character Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption who, after he finds his way to freedom by crawling through a prison sewer pipe to a rain-swollen creek, strips off his clothes and stretches out his arms to embrace the water of heaven. I’ve watched that movie half a dozen times and never fail to find that scene deeply moving, a metaphor for the power of love and a tired old world washed clean. SP
Contact Jim Dodson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amina Rubinacci 6401 Morrison Boulevard • Specialty Shops Southpark Charlotte, North Carolina 28211 • 704.817.9247 www.aminarubinaccinc.com southparkmagazine.com | 51
ALLEN TATE SOUTHPARK
5330 Carmel Crest
1515 Maryland Avenue
2639 Idlewood Circle
Charlotte, NC 28226
Charlotte, NC 28209
Charlotte, NC 28209
Offered at $2,590,000
Offered at $4,500,000
Lauren Campbell 704-579-8333
Missy Banks 704-968-0547
Offered at $1,550,000 Myers Park Tony Nicastro 704-615-5553
2825 Briarcliff Place
3217 Colony Road
6911 Green Turtle Drive
Charlotte, NC 28207
Charlotte, NC 28211
Charlotte, NC 28210
Offered at $1,150,000
Offered at $725,000
Myers Park Amy Peterson 704-533-2090
Offered at 699,900
Deering Oaks Linwood Bolles 704-905-5732
Johnston Hall Amy Peterson 704-533-2090
5408 Haynes Hall
2911 Arundell Drive
1530 Queens Road #901
Charlotte, NC 28270
Charlotte, NC 28209
Charlotte, NC 28207
Offered at $550,000
Saint Michaels Gay Dillashaw 704-564-9393
Offered at $490,000
Offered at $515,000
The Carlton Myers Park
Barclay Downs Harper Fox 704-804-0101
Missy Banks 704-968-0547
5909 Masters Court
Charlotte, NC 28277
Charlotte, NC 28226
1218 Biltmore Drive Charlotte, Charlotte, NC NC 28207 28207
Offered at $1,189,000
Offered at $1,175,000
Piper Glen Jean Benham 704-363-2938
Offered at $1,160,000
Carmel Country Club Tim & Suzanne Severs 704-564-7346
Eastover Gay Dillashaw 704-564-9393
5634 Camelot Drive
3023 High Ridge Road
2517 Rosegate Lane
Charlotte, NC 28270
Charlotte, NC 28270
Charlotte, NC 28270
Offered at $625,000
Offered at $599,900
Providence Plantation Shelley Spencer 704-907-3800
Offered at $589,900
Providence Plantation Kelly Ross 704-609-3159
Kelly Ross 704-609-3159
2623 Rosegate Lane
3703 High Ridge Road
5405 Magnolia Creek Court
Charlotte, NC 28270
Charlotte, NC 28270
Charlotte, NC 28270
Providence Plantation Suzanne Cowden 704-301-1012
Offered at $485,000
Offered at $345,000
Offered at $460,000
Providence Plantation Charlie Emmanuel 704-906-8800
Tracy Brener 704-516-7048
ALLEN TATE SOUTHPARK
4701 Old Course Drive
3 OFFICE LOCATIONS SouthPark WAVERLY LAKE NORMAN
Peggy Peterson Team KIM ANTOLINI 704-608-3831
KATY BRADFIELD 704-965-5968
MAren BRISSON-KUESTER 704-287-7072
STEVEN CHABEREK 704-577-4205
COOK | PIZZO TEAM 704-236-1135
MELANIE COYNE 704-763-8003
BRIDGET GRAVES 704-560-2311
PATTY HENDRIX 704-577-2066
CHRISTY HOWEY 704-996-0484
BETH LIVINGSTON 704-778-6831
SUSAN MAY 704-650-7432
ELIZABETH M C NABB 704-763-8713
ANNA MEDICA 704-620-2047
VALERIE MITCHENER 704-577-8200
RIVERS & CHIP MOON 704-619-9693
PEGGY PETERSON 704-904-6279
JOCELYN ROSE 704-975-9900
ANNE SPENCER 704-264-9621
HELEN ST. ANGELO 704-839-1809
STACEY STOLAR 704-400-1539
JAMIE THOMAS 704-649-2855
MEREDITH TOMASCAK 704-806-7650
LISA WILFONG 704-909-5062
MARGARET WOOD 704-904-6022
70 4 - 5 5 2 - 9 2 9 2
h m p ro p e r t i es .c o m
September Books NOTABLE NEW RELEASES
COMPILED BY SALLY BREWSTER
The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
Ann Patchett returns with her most powerful novel to date: a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood and a past that will not let them go. Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives, they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost, with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested. This Tender Land, by William Kent Krueger In 1932 Minnesota, the Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O’Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent’s wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own. Over the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphans will journey into the unknown and cross paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers
and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, This Tender Land is an enthralling epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams and makes us whole. Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?, by Caitlin Doughty Every day, funeral director Caitlin Doughty receives dozens of questions about death. The best questions come from kids. What would happen to an astronaut’s body if it were pushed out of a space shuttle? Can Grandma have a Viking funeral? In Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?, Doughty blends her mortician’s knowledge of the body and the intriguing history behind common misconceptions about corpses to offer factual, hilarious and candid answers to 35 distinctive questions posed by her youngest fans. Doughty details lore and science of what happens to, and inside, our bodies after we die. Why do corpses groan? What causes bodies to turn colors during decomposition? And why do hair and nails appear longer after death? Readers will learn the best soil for mummifying your body, whether you can preserve your best friend’s skull as a keepsake, and what happens when you die on a plane. Red at the Bone, by Jacqueline Woodson Two families from different social classes are joined by an unexpected pregnancy and the child that it produces. One evening in the year 2001, 16-year-old Melody has her comingsouthparkmagazine.com | 55
|bookshelf of-age ceremony in her grandparents’ Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the soundtrack of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody’s mother, for her own ceremony — a celebration that ultimately never took place. Unfurling the history of Melody’s parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs — the tolls they’ve paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity; ambition; gentrification; education; class and status; and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives — even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be. Chasing the Bear: How Bear Bryant and Nick Saban Made Alabama the Greatest College Football Program of All Time, by Lars Anderson Both Bear Bryant and Nick Saban are undeniable kings of college football, two coaches at Alabama who each have won more national championships — six apiece — than
anyone else in the history of the game. Chasing the Bear examines how they did it, revealing along the way their similarities in style, background, football philosophy and recruiting methods, while providing readers a rare inside look at two of the greatest leaders in the history of sports. Separated by two generations, Bear Bryant and Nick Saban are mythic figures linked by a school, a town, and a barroom debate centering on one question: Which is the greatest college coach of all time?
The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood
Finally, the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale! When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her — freedom, prison or death. With The Testaments, the wait is over. Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead. Atwood assures us that every question she has been asked are the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything: The other inspiration, she tells us, is the world we’ve been living in. SP Sally Brewster is the proprietor of Park Road Books, located at 4139 Park Road. parkroadbooks.com
FEATURED HOMES of the MONTH
1153 Crestbrook Drive in Cotswold | $899,900
3208 Highbury Place in Bromley | $749,000
101 Rainbow Falls Lane in Weddington | $749,900
This home offers breathtaking hardwoods throughout as well being bathed in natural light! The overall effect is welcoming and happy! This home truly has it all! Don’t miss your opportunity to live in this highly sought after area within Charlotte! Nestled within a cul de sac for ultimate privacy!
Fabulous entry way with rich hardwoods throughout the main level. The kitchen is a gourmet chef’s dream come true - Jenair Appliances and convection oven! Spacious main level Master Suite. Once you walk outside you will be pleasantly surprised by this flat and very large back yard! A lovely paver patio as well as herb garden await you!
Private, tranquil and completely nestled within a delightful cul-de-sac. This home shows like NEW! 4 Bedrooms and 3.1 Baths, Gourmet Kitchen, Huge Master Suite on main with large, oversized shower. Gas firepit on paver patio overlooking a private backyard with plenty of trees! Award Winning Schools!
Cynthia Pensiero-DeFazio Licensed Realtor NC/SC | 980-253-4549 2018 Top 100 Agents for CLOSED VOLUME Company Wide! Tate Luxury Certified “
The Charlotte is designed with one purpose in mind, to help our residents enjoy their families and friends and remain independent as they age. We do this by providing Charlotte with the premier Assisted Living & Memory Care community.
Assisted Living & Memory Care
ASSISTED LIVING & MEMORY CARE
9120 Willow Ridge Rd. Charlotte, NC 28210 Charlotte-Living.com I (704) 710-6968 Senior-Living-Communities.com
A NEW MODEL FOR A NEW GENERATION
OUR DISTINCTIVES: CHRIST-CENTERED ACTIVE LEARNING MODEL YEAR-ROUND LEARNING LEARNING READINESS CURRICULUM SERVICE LEARNING CURRICULUM FRIDAY ENRICHMENT CLASSES
VISIT WWW.THEOAKSCHARLOTTE.ORG OR CALL 980.242.9933 TO SCHEDULE YOUR VISIT TODAY!
HOME. OUR PLACE. YOUR CHILDâ€™S PLACE.
Voorhis, MD, your child: L to R: Kerry Van for ing car E NC RIE PE EX S l Bean, MD With OVER 90 YEAR , Andrew Shulstad, MD, Michae MD ll, nne Sca sey Ka , MD r, Stephanie Richte FA MI LIE S NO W AC CE PT IN G NE W Novant Health Pediatrics Symphony Park 704-384-9966 | 6010 Carnegie Blvd Charlotte, NC 28209 nhpediatricssymphonypark.org
Pediatrics Symphony Park
|queen city journal
Bored in Charlotte?
TRY HARDER. BY EXPLORING SPACES AND CREATING CONNECTIONS, A CHARLOTTE NATIVE CHANGES PERSPECTIVE FOR THE CHANGING SEASON.
BY KATIE TOUSSAINT
admit it. I’ve complained about Charlotte plenty of times. Traffic’s a cluster at rush hour. The neighborhood I rent in (love you, Dilworth) is too expensive for me to buy in. There’s absolutely no decent local wine around here (sorry, muscadine, you don’t count). I’m too boxed-in as a writer. I’m a Charlotte native who’s spent 24 of my 29 years here, so my intermittent griping has been somewhat informed. But it’s also irresponsible. There are ways I can work around these points of discontent. Like: Never drive to my parents’ house in south Charlotte on a weekday before 7 p.m. Suck it up and buy a house I can afford in an up-and-coming neighborhood, and make it a home. Stop wishing for local wine and start supporting some of the city’s eclectic local wine bars. Start freelance writing more, and push my way into brand writing for a digital marketing agency (thanks for having me, Union). Lately, I have little tolerance for snide remarks about the Queen City. A friend of mine just moved away with these parting words: “Charlotte is so boring.” Mmm. Boredom should be the blazing red flag in your relationship with this city, not your reason for leaving it. I know boredom — I’ve felt it here, too. Boredom is what happens when you have zero plans that excite you, or when you realize that not a single person in your social bubble lights you up. Boredom is infectious — it can make you complacent toward relationships. It can make you hate your job, it can make you hate where you live. It makes you wonder what’s next. What about what’s now? My least happy years — the years I didn’t want to be here and the years I didn’t want to move back — were years I didn’t seek out adventure and inspiration and creative sparks and new faces. I never asked myself: What can I do today to enjoy where I am? If you’re bored in Charlotte, you’re not trying. Once you decide you’re open, this city unfolds as a vibrant, energetic
expanse of opportunities. Have you looked for them? You might find this is a place worth staying in. Especially now, when my favorite season is sweeping in. Fall is the season I get to pull on a sweater, sip a glass of dry Malbec on the patio of my favorite wine bar, and watch the canopy turn yellow and crimson. It’s the season I set the date to marry my favorite person, who took a risk and followed me to this city I keep calling home. I like to remind myself: Fall is a season for change — so change. Change location. Pop open your work laptop at a new coffee shop. Check out one of the city’s amazing patios — Dilworth Tasting Room has quite the Koi pond. Stray far from the skyline — south Charlotte has its magic, too. Search for it. Change your definition of adventure. Shed your routine, get weird and sit under the hanging bras at the Thirsty Beaver Saloon. Hang out with a friend on those enormous yellow swings on the Charlotte Rail Trail. Haven’t yet hiked around the trails at the U.S. National Whitewater Center? What are you doing? All you have to pay for is parking, and the miles are yours to explore. Change your community. Ask that stranger on the yoga mat next to you her name, make her your friend. Go to your neighborhood farmers market and prompt vendors and artisans for their stories. Mingle with crazy-loud creatives at the monthly CreativeMornings speaker series. It’ll change your Friday. Be conversational, get inspired. Collect names, ask for opportunities. Settle into a new-to-you space and drink it all in. Look around this city and really see it — adventure across it. Today, tomorrow and the next day. Just try. It’ll change your life. SP Katie Toussaint is a copywriter at Union agency by day and a freelance writer and yoga instructor by night. Lately, she favors any dog-friendly adventure Charlotte has to offer. southparkmagazine.com | 59
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|the road home
The Layered Garden HOW A NEW MOM CAME TO TERMS WITH HER HUSBAND’S NEW-FOUND OBSESSION.
BY CAROLINE HAMILTON LANGERMAN
had finally gotten both babies into an afternoon nap when the doorbell rang. The man in the green jumpsuit on my porch was too attractive to be an escaped convict, so I opened the front door. “Good afternoon, ma’am. Your husband sent me to oil your camellias.” I looked back at him dumbly. “I didn’t want you to be frightened if you saw me in your backyard. If it’s all right, I’ll head back there and get to work.” We had lived in Charlotte for about a year and were still learning the landscape. I knew what camellia plants were — gorgeous, scarlet- and blush-colored blossoms that snuck out of bushes in the dead of winter — but I didn’t understand the part about oiling. I smeared something wet (breast milk? diaper cream?) down the side of my jeans. “Oh, thank you. Let me know if you need anything.” I smiled as if I had lemonade in the fridge. My husband and I had two babies under 2, and my new job was to keep them alive. It turned out I was unqualified and needy, and his devotion to our plants was starting to feel like a betrayal. His knowing that our camellias needed oil was insulting to my own to-do list: breathe, eat, sleep, cry. There was definitely not lemonade in the fridge. I was out on the doormat the moment I saw my husband’s headlights each evening. “Dinner’s ready,” I pleaded. “I’ll be right in after I turn the compost pile.” The jingle of his keys sounded light, carefree. I sat stir-crazy at the kitchen table while he stirred worms. On Saturday morning, I longed for a hot shower while he played with the kids. “Sure! They can help me finish the weeding.” The weeding? Pre-kids, his perfectionism had been sexy. His Ivy League degree, the white undershirts stacked neatly in his closet like magazines, all of this was like gasoline on my
crush. He flossed not once, but twice a day. Was that even a thing? I wondered, as I stepped into my dirty pajamas and waited for him to come to bed. When the dentist said “daily,” I figured you got 100% credit for doing it once. His search for extra credit had taken root outdoors at the very moment when all of my needs were indoors. The yard — even the word itself — adapted a kind of demented hilarity for me. I, too, wanted our new home to exude Southern charm, but right now it was so irrelevant, so immaterial to the roundthe-clock survival care I was giving two small beings. At best, the concept of The Yard made me giggle like a mad scientist. At worst, it made me mad. “Where do you want to keep your poison?” I asked menacingly, holding up his bottles of fertilizer. When he dialed the plant nursery to see if his new bushes had arrived, I muttered, “I’ll just be manning the real nurseries.” One day, after I’d strong-armed both crying babies into their maddeningly complicated car seats to go for a “colic cruise,” my phone buzzed with an email from my husband titled “Zoysia vs. Bermuda grass.” The pros and cons were bullet-pointed, and he ended with a note about needing to get the grass seed rooted before a business trip to Sea Island. Double whammy. “Go,” I said softly, trying to mean it. The business trip was 72 hours. “Sea Island,” I said to the toddler, who had an entire quarter of a peanut butter sandwich in his mouth, “is off the coast of Georgia.” I pointed to a pink state on the plastic map under his bowl. Then I turned the map to the baby. “Geor-gia,” I said again. She burst into tears. Later, there were friendly texts from Sea Island, wanting a report. My mind jumped to the toddler’s amazing new habit of affirming every statement I made. “You had so much fun in the backyard.” southparkmagazine.com | 61
|the road home
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“I did!” “You are so sweet.” “I am!” “We are proud of you for pooping in the potty!” “You are!” “It’s wonderful to be outdoors.” “It is!” “Do babies like bananas?” “We do!” Our little boy’s perfect use of pronouns and verbs was almost enough to erase all the hardship. I loved every inch of him. His little eyelashes that blinked at a pace that let me appreciate each one. His nascent understanding of the English language, my other love. His cheeks that looked poppable and his small eyebrows, whispering to one another like his dad’s. And beside him, his rabbit-footed sister with her low, throaty chortle. Some hideous creature inside me wanted to horde these images, insisting that I alone had earned them. I sent a cute photo; he sent back hearts. Was I the problem? The night he was due home from Sea Island, I watched the clock like a bird of prey. The children were asleep, and the counters smelled like lavender. I wanted him to open a bottle of wine and shower me with praise. He wanted to open his Amazon boxes and take a shower. He pulled some gardening mittens out of cellophane, and next, a hardcover book called The Layered Garden. On the back, it had twelve pictures showing how just when one plant died, a new blossom would emerge. It looked ambitious, but I had to admit, it looked appealing. Over the course of the next few months — camellia season, then spring’s delicate dogwoods unfolding, and finally summer’s limelight hydrangeas opening their green faces to the sky — the babies cried less, talked more, laughed louder. In summer’s heat, while their daddy was delayed at LaGuardia or crunching numbers in a cubicle, we played hide-and-seek in his garden and made a waterslide with his hose. I noticed how when my day was easier than his, he didn’t complain; on the contrary, he celebrated with me. Maybe our marriage was like the layered garden at our first house: As one stage was dying, another was blooming. One day in early November, when our Carolina yard had September’s warmth but December’s light, our trees were both raining leaves and snowing flowers. White petals, storming down from the perfectly oiled camellias, delighted the kids, who dropped them over each other’s heads, laughing. I sat on a teak picnic chair that had been expertly weather-protected and stained by the busiest arms on the block. Against the odds, in spite of the difficult elements, I felt I was finally blooming, too. “Thank you,” I whispered, letting go of the scorecard and letting appreciation fully take root. SP Caroline Hamilton Langerman is a writer in Charlotte. Her essays have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Town & Country and others.
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The It List
29 OF CHARLOTTEâ€™S MOST STYLISH MEN AND WOMEN
CREATED AND PRODUCED BY WHITLEY ADKINS HAMLIN | THE QUEEN CITY STYLE PHOTOGRAPHY BY RICHARD ISRAEL HAIR AND MAKEUP ON LOCATION BY JOSIAH REED SHOT ON LOCATION AT THE VISULITE THEATRE
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hether you shop online, frequent local boutiques or peruse thrift shops, your personal style is a way of communicating to others who you are as an individual. “I believe that putting effort into our appearance sends the message that we respect ourselves and others,” says Whitley Adkins Hamlin, wardrobe stylist with the Queen City Style and creator and producer of annual The IT List. “While the clothes we wear help tell the story of who we are, I have always felt it is much more than just outer appearance. To me, personal style is conveyed through consistent intentional dress, but it is also communicated by the way we hold ourselves and the way we interact with and treat others. “My goal each year in the selection of participants is to showcase a diverse reflection of the playmakers for style from all pockets of our thriving, growing and ever-changing city,” Hamlin says. “It would be impossible to capture every stylish person in just one year — which makes the future for The IT List all the more exciting!”
Grazia Walker’s distinctive style — “elegant European with a rebel touch” — was undoubtedly influenced by her experiences growing up near Milan. The retired marine biologist, teacher and cooking enthusiast also recently added children’s book author to her resume — Gregorina the Horseshoe Crab was published in May. Walker, 82, is always looking for new pieces to add to her closet. “I shop in Italy and in the U.S., wherever I am. I love shopping!”
BEAN ERVIN Eight-year-old “Instafunner” Bean Ervin (@ thesweetlifeofbean) is a budding fashionista — but her clothes have to be comfortable too. “I love really fancy clothing, but I also like to wear relaxing clothing so I can always dance and run.” Biggest influences include her mom, her grandmother, Barbie, Vogue magazine — and IT List producer “Miss Whitley” Hamlin.
BRIT DROZDA Brit Drozda’s style has been shaped by the places she’s lived, from New York to Florida to Davidson and Charlotte. “Seeing high fashion in New York made me appreciate sophisticated tailored looks; beachy bohemian looks came from Florida; and living in the South brought feminine whimsy and bold color,” says the folk-rock singer-songwriter. Her look? “Feminine, colorful, with nods to ’70s silhouettes and some western elements, be it a cowboy boot or hat — I’m all about a jumpsuit or a long dress,” says Drozda, 33, whose newest album is titled Make Something Beautiful. southparkmagazine.com | 67
RYAN JOR EL “Classic with a twist” is how Ryan Jor El describes his look. “I’ve always pushed the envelope, and a friend advised me to go as far left as I can go — so I do!” Jor El, whose professional resume includes everything from nonprofit founder (Black Fathers Rock!) to wardrobe consultant, appreciates the timeless designs of Ralph Lauren, but his main inspiration stems from “never wanting to look like the next man.” Jor El, 37, tends to shop anywhere and everywhere, though a local favorite is the Woodbury Collection, a custom concierge clothier in Charlotte. “Their fit and styles are impeccable, and attention to detail, phenomenal.”
NAZY WEEKS “Feminine — and a little extra,” is how Nazy Weeks, 36, describes her personal style. “Textures, colors and styles that conjure joy,” influence her look, along with travel and French and Italian artisans. Weeks, who grew up in Florida, counts Capitol, Barney’s and The Webster among her favorite places to shop.
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HEATHER CINNAMON GWALTNEY
“I may not always get it right, but I always prefer clothes that are flattering and try not to wear something just for fashion’s sake if it doesn’t suit my shape,” says Heather Gwaltney, 49. “My personal style is most of all characterized by a mix, and I am not loyal to any one look — casual with dressy, dash of classic, a little boho, a tad girlie and almost always a high-low combination.” While Gwaltney’s Charlotte favorites include Capitol and Poole Shop, she occasionally scoops up pieces from fast-fashion chains Zara and H&M and online retailers Net-a-Porter, Moda Operandi and Shopbop.
“My style influences are very fluid,” says Tyler Johnson, general manager of Hendrick Motors of CharlotteMercedes-Benz. “I typically trend toward classic, vintage and rugged styles. I am old school!” Johnson, 33, admits he does a lot of online shopping, but local favorites include David Watkins’ Abbeydale and “my guys” at Taylor, Richards & Conger and Tabor.
ELIZABETH WHITE The Twine & Twig co-founder describes her style as “earthy chic. I gravitate towards neutrals and prefer to mix in texture over pattern,” says Elizabeth White, 40, who started the jewelry company in 2013 with her sister, Jacquelyn Stafford (Page 80). Travel destinations have been a major style influence. “I love to grab those one of a kind pieces that no one else has and mix them with my closet staples.”
Simple and eclectic is how Blair Farris describes her style. “I’m a jeans and sneakers kind of girl on most days but love a beautifully chic dress,” says the landscape architect and publisher and editor in chief of digital magazine Peachy. “My grandmother ‘Peachy’ was so chic,” says Farris, 51. “She loved to take us shopping in Dallas and felt like the entire ensemble needed to be pulled together.” Neiman Marcus is a goto — Farris has curated runway events for the national retailer — while Poole Shop and Sloan are local favorites. “And I always try to make it to the Found Collection trunk shows.”
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MARYSUE BOYLE “I love to discover the undiscovered,” says Marysue Boyle, co-owner of Beau Monde Venues, a collection of local event spaces. “That means no matter where I see something, if it piques my interest, I’m tenacious about tracking it down.” Growing up, Boyle, 33, says her home “was filled with a mix of family finds, one-of-akinds and local curiosities. Her mother and grandmother taught her how to be “natural and always thoughtful,” she says. “I try to be thoughtful and expressive through my channels of life, whether it be a new venue, finds for the home, clothing or accessories.”
DAVITA GALLOWAY “My family often jokes and says it looks like I get dressed in the dark, simply because I’m a fan of wearing as many colors as possible at once,” says Davita Galloway, co-owner of DUPP&SWAT creative studio. “I would call my style quirky eclectic,” says Galloway, 33. Influences include her grandmother (“who always looked ‘ready’”), her lifestyle (long days require comfortable clothing) and music. Thrift shops and local boutiques are favorite places to shop. “But I’m able to find something/ anything anywhere — literally, anywhere! It’s not really about where you shop but how you wear the shopped items. Ya dig?”
MARIA OWEN “My style is elegant with a hint of sexy — and always a pair of heels!” says Maria Owen, 53, who admits she dresses to impress her husband. “He is the one that matters to me.” Favorite labels include Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino and Alexander McQueen, and Owen also pays attention to styles worn by Melania Trump, Jennifer Lopez and Ingrid Vandebosch. “I love the style in Charlotte,” she adds. “I like to support our local stores. We need them! … I do not want to order online if I do not have to. We are a lucky city — we have it all.”
MATTHEW MEANS “My father was a big inspiration for me,” says Matthew Means, a real-estate broker and investor at Savvy + Co. “He was a big believer that you can tell a lot about the man by his shoes — polished shoes are a must!” Means, 36, who describes his style as “a mix of timeless and classic with a touch of flair,” also looks to modern style icons Idris Elba, David Beckham, Lewis Hamilton and David Gandy. Means is all about shopping local, including Tabor, Taylor Richards & Conger, House of Abbeydale, Ole Mason Jar and Billy Reid. “Ultimately the man makes the outfit. Never the other way around.”
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“My personal style is a mix of everything!” says Nikki Takemura, director of visual merchandising and events at Capitol boutique. “I’m not afraid of color or even something a little bold,” says Takemura, 27. “I love taking something with an interesting pattern and giving it an edgy flair.” Where does she like to shop? Capitol and Poole Shop, of course.
“I would say my personal style is an ode to classic American prep with a twist of sartorial Italian flair mixed in,” says Noah Williams, a freelance marketing consultant and content creator. Williams, 24, takes fashion cues from classic American designers Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren. Taylor Richards & Conger and Tabor are local shopping go-tos.
GEOFFREY FORBES SHERRARD GEORGIUS “I go for bold color, sleek shapes and a wink of razzle-dazzle,” says Sherrard Georgius, a wardrobe stylist at Paul Simon Women, her “home base” for fashion for more than 20 years. “Every trend is not my friend, so I stay with long lines, a collar, mostly solids and creativity — you do you and I’ll do me.” Her style influences run the gamut — from Charlie’s Angels and Wonder Woman as a kid to Charlotteans Carrie Cook Wilson, Tricia Harrison and Carolyn McMahon. “I love to be a little different,” says Georgius, 49. “I say GO FOR IT in fashion and beyond!” 74
As a sales associate at Neiman Marcus, Geoffrey Forbes doesn’t have to go far to find great fashion. “I attribute my personal style to the opportunity I have working for a retailer that carries an amazing arsenal of luxury brands,” says Forbes, 52. “I get to see the latest fashion trends every season and decide how to interpret what I see into my own personal style,” which he describes as timeless classic. “I believe personal style comes in the details. I’m a firm believer that with the right accessories, any outfit can go next-level. I always say invest in quality over quantity.”
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KAREN PERRY Boutique owner Karen Perry admits her personal style has evolved since opening Five One Five in Eastover in 2016. “Going to market multiple times a year plays a big role in my personal style and the shop’s,” says Perry, 49. While she describes her style as “California chic — understated but not afraid to be bold,” Perry admits she also draws inspiration from styles on the streets of New York City.
FREDERICK JABBER “I think of my style as a mix of modern tailored and leisurely chic,” says Frederick Jabber, a partner at Ike Behar Charlotte, a menswear boutique at Phillips Place. Jabber also operates his own men’s styling business, J. Frederic’s. “My style was influenced early by my uncle, a really cool Cotton Club Jazz artist, and musicians like Miles Davis,” says Jabber, 55. “Daily, I prefer wearing a soft but beautifully tailored Italian-made jacket, trousers and shirt, but after work, comfortable athletic-inspired tops and bottoms.”
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AMANDA MORAN LANIER Amanda Lanier, a pediatrician at Atrium Health’s Charlotte Pediatric Clinic, doesn’t let a serious job keep her from having a little fun with her wardrobe. “I love mixing my existing closet pieces with new, hip selections, creating a professional yet playful vibe that carries me from the office to dinner on the town (#funworkclothes).” Lanier, 46, attributes her sense of style to her grandmother. “In our little West Virginia town, she was a leader in fashion — always fun and fabulous, and I wanted to be JUST like her!” When it comes to shopping, Moran favors local boutiques including Sloan, Luna, Five One Five and Monkee’s.
ALESSANDRA JAMES Alessandra James’ job as a dancer for Charlotte Ballet — she’s entering her 15th season with the company — is a constant source of inspiration, from the works to the costume shop. In addition, “my friends near and far (on Instagram) always give me ideas and influence me,” says James, 36, who describes her style as whimsical, colorful and sparkly. “I love wearing items that simply make me happy.”
AMY HINES Amy Hines draws inspiration from a plethora of sources: “I have been influenced since a young age by arts, architecture and design, religion, music, friends, fitness and travel. I find style to be an artistic expression of that and it makes me happy.” The mother of four, 50, describes her look as “sort of an easy, California” style. Hines loves to shop while traveling, though she also supports her Charlotte friends who own retail shops or host pop-up events. “I have so many influences in traveling and what is going on in other places, but also I have validation that Charlotte has such a creative, intelligent and progressive style. I can see when I travel that Charlotte is on par.”
PAIGE ROSELLE Paige Roselle confesses her personal style changes often. “That is the creative and fun part of fashion, but my general goal is a sophisticated, flattering mix of colors, textures, shapes and styles, always with some unexpected piece,” says the lawyer and former owner of Society Charlotte magazine. “The fun part of fashion for me is the hunt,” says Roselle, 48. “Charlotte has amazing clothing stores. ... I have favorite dresses from Capitol that I purchased more than 10 years ago. Another must do in Charlotte are the EDIT consignment sales. The selection of designer clothing and accessories is fantastic.”
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PARIS PULLEN My personal style has always been very classic, like my dad’s,” says Paris Pullen, 31, a marketing and brand consultant. “Clean and crisp with a a small accent of color, just enough to catch the eye without saying too much.” He prefers Indochino for suits and Filippo de Laurentiis for more casual styles, “and on occasion, I’ll pop in Zara and H&M to grab my basics.”
JACQUELYN STAFFORD The other half of the Twine & Twig team admits she’s a bit of an old soul. “I tend to draw inspiration from the ’60s and ’70s … I connect with the style, music and vibe from that time,” says jewelry designer Jacquelyn Stafford, 37. Comfort is key: “In the fall and winter, you will find me in a Canadian tuxedo — I cannot own enough denim. In the spring and summer, I love the Woodstock look — flowy skirts and dresses, and preferably barefoot.”
WILLIAM WILSON CARRIE CARICKHOFF “I love to mix feminine and masculine silhouettes that have a little bit of interest and special detail,” says Carrie Carickhoff, owner of McKenzie Claire boutique in Dilworth. “A small patterned floral dress with a boyfriend blazer and sneaks is my go-to outfit!” Carickhoff, 41, loves searching for uncommon pieces and collecting vintage finds. “I love to go on the hunt to find beautiful pieces that are unique and special.”
The owner and CEO of William Wilson Clothing claims to be a sartorial Jekyll and Hyde. “I’m a professional first and foremost, but I also have a very childish, immature side to me. That tends to reflect in my wardrobe — I’m usually either dressed in a suit, or I’m relaxed in shorts or jeans.” Wilson, a Navy veteran and self-proclaimed neat freak, gets most of his looks from his own company. “I like classic professional looks that can be transformed into metropolitan nightlife with very little effort.”
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CHAD WHITTINGTON Travel and lifestyle blogger Chad Whittington (Chad is Rad) likes to mix modern and vintage pieces “to create a curated look of dapper street style.” Whittington, 37, draws inspiration from people he sees while traveling and from iconic celebrities of yesterday and today. When he’s not traveling, you’ll often find Whittington working behind the bar at Dilworth Tasting Room. “I shop everywhere from thrift shops to online to malls to local shops and boutiques.”
SARAH OLIN Sarah Olin, 42, describes her style as “quirky, fun and colorful — with a dash of preppy sophistication.” Over the year, influences have ranged from her high-school best friend (“who looked like an Esprit or Benetton ad”) to the Southern women she has worked with as a life and leadership coach. “I have so many Charlotte fashion crushes! Chandra Johnson, Barrie Benson, Lisa Dargan, Pam Stowe and Laura Vinroot Poole to name a few.” SP
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Art House THE MINIMALIST DESIGN OF A MIDCENTURY HOME CAPTIVATES LOCAL ARCHITECTS GRAY STOUT AND HEATHER ST. AUBIN-STOUT. BY VANESSA INFANZON PHOTOGRAPHS BY DUSTIN PECK
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ast year, Nick Stout challenged his parents with a question: “Do you want to live in a piece of art or in a regular house?” His query came during Gray Stout and Heather St. Aubin-Stout’s search for a new home. The question made it easy for the two architects, married almost 32 years, to decide to purchase the 1958 midcentury modern home in Cotswold. They knew there was something special about the Merwick Avenue property, and in August 2018, Gray and Heather became the third owners of the 2,700-square-foot home. “This house had everything we were looking for,” Heather says. “[It had] the connection to the outdoors and the light quality. It’s been well-maintained and loved over the years.” Gray and Heather’s home is part of the Charlotte Museum of History’s 8th Mad About Modern Tour. The tour is one way the museum advocates for the preservation of Charlotte’s historic neighborhoods and its architectural character. “I hope people get inspired to think about creative reuse of 86
historic buildings,” says Adria Focht, president and CEO of the museum. After World War II, architects began designing homes with clean lines, open floor plans and walls of windows that provide lots of natural light. The Cotswold home was a project of Al Cameron, a prominent local architect during the middle of the 20th century. “As we’re heading towards retirement, the simplification and minimalism appealed to us,” Heather says. The double-door entry with sidelights is indicative of the time period, as is the exposed post-andbeam construction. Gray calls it purity of structure: You see what’s holding up the house. The home’s 12-foot vaulted ceilings and exposed brick and distinct ridgeline skylight in the galley kitchen attracted Gray and Heather, who moved to Charlotte in 2015 after 23 years in Salisbury to be closer to family. Window walls in the den and living room bring in light and provide a view to a lush landscape.
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“The blurring of the interior and exterior is a big thing with midcentury modern,” Gray explains. “When you’re in the house you feel like you’re outdoors — there’s a flow from in to out.” Brightly colored paintings by Heather’s sister, local artist Amy St. Aubin, adorn the walls. Other works by Mark Bridgwood, Cara Reische, Carol Dunkley and Ann Marie Wagner Bourque are placed throughout the living spaces. A recent acquisition, an abstract painting by North Carolina artist Andrew Atkin, hangs in the couple’s dining room. Several original midcentury modern furnishings were purchased from the home’s second owners. A white tulip dining set offers an inviting place to enjoy a meal alongside the lightfilled kitchen. The table and chairs, as well as a marble coffee table in the den, were designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen. An Eileen Gray glass and metal side table complements the sleek lines and uncomplicated atmosphere of the house. “We want to be the caretakers of the home,” which needed little restoration, according to Gray. “Going forward, we want to see it preserved the way it is. We’re not going to do anything to it to mess up the architecture.”
The couple worked with New Look Services to install a 12-by-28-foot saltwater pool. Precision Landscape added saw palmettos, deodar cedar trees and a backyard vegetable garden At the suggestion of their new neighbors, Gray and Heather contacted the home’s original owner, Margi Goldstein, to learn more about the history of the home. She and her late husband, Julius, lived in the house for 56 years. Goldstein lovingly remembers family celebrations held there — decorating the carport with yellow ribbon for their daughter’s bat mitzvah party and turning the backyard into a miniature golf course to celebrate her husband’s 40th birthday. “I think it has a really good vibe,” Heather says. “People come in and say, ‘You can tell a lot of happy things have happened here in this house.’ It’s a happy home.” SP Want to visit? The Charlotte Museum of History’s Mad About Modern home tour is Saturday, Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tour includes entrance to seven homes. Advance tickets are $25 for museum members and $30 for nonmembers. If available, day-of tickets are $35. Purchase tickets online at madaboutmodern.com, and use the code SOUTHPARK for $5 off the purchase of 2 tickets. The code is valid through Sept 27.
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Hello, Goodbye, and Cheers! GENERATIONS OF CULTURE AND BAKLAVA IN THE THOUSANDS — WHAT STARTED AS A SIMPLE CHURCH FUNDRAISER HAS BECOME ONE OF CHARLOTTE’S MOST POPULAR FALL FESTIVALS. BY VIRGINIA BROWN • PHOTOGRAPHS BY PETER TAYLOR
PHOTOGRAPH BY ANGELO POLITIS
s a kid, John Tsumas remembers running around the grounds of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, trying to avoid being put to work. It was the 1970s, and his mother was outside under the pastry tent at the church’s annual Greek Festival. From a young age, the tent filled with made-from-scratch delicacies was his favorite part. “When I was a kid, I would shadow my mom,” he recalls. “My mom lived at the Greek Festival.” He’s not alone. Virtually every member of Charlotte’s Greek community — across every generation — plays a role at the Yiasou Greek Festival, held in September at the church on East Blvd. It’s part of the culture, from wine tastings and Hellenic cultural exhibits to the dancers and festival volunteers who place individual cloves atop each slice of baklava. “It’s hard work,” Tsumas says. “The magic is that the families all share a long-term commitment to pulling it off.” Born and raised in Charlotte, baptized and still a member at Holy Trinity, Tsumas has grown alongside Charlotte’s long-standing fall tradition, watching it move from a simpler Greek Night with a bake sale to the juggernaut festival it is today. In 1970, the event started as an annual fundraiser held in the church’s Hellenic Center: Parishioners brought families and friends to enjoy a taste of Greek culture. In 1978, the fundraiser expanded into a multiday festival that drew 3,000 guests. Today, about 50,000 people attend the four-day event. In Greek, “yiasou” means “hello,” “goodbye,” or “cheers” — it’s the kind of word that not only greets but celebrates. “It’s our warm friendly hello to Charlotte,” Tsumas says.
ALL ABOUT THE FOOD Carnival rides and face painting for kids, shopping for Greek olive oils and wines, Greek musicians and local dancers, and an art sale are just a few of the elements that draw thousands to this iconic festival. But the biggest attraction: the food. Under the big top outside, savory gyros are topped with tzatziki, the cucumber-yogurt sauce often served as a condiment with Greek fare. Seasoned potatoes fill paper containers. Some festivalgoers opt for Greek salad, others, souvlaki on a stick. Inside, in the main dining room, baked chicken, lamb and fish are favorites, plus spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese pie) and dolmada (grape leaves stuffed with ground beef and rice). The lines are long, but most guests would agree: They’re worth it. Tsumas and the other men make 500 full-sized pans of pastichio, a Greek lasagna-type specialty made with pasta, ground beef and cheese in a Béchamel sauce. “The older gentlemen who’ve been doing this for years — we help them, and that’s how we learn,” he says. “We have no recipe card.” But Tsumas has a sweet tooth, and once the festival begins, he gravitates toward another tent, one that’s familiar from his childhood. “The sweet side of what we offer is unique, because you don’t see what we serve everywhere,” he says. “The sheer volume of what these women do is truly incredible. They’re the backbone of the festival.” southparkmagazine.com | 93
PASTRY PERFECTION Georgia Andrews is fussing with her hair. She’s fresh from the salon, where her stylist left her with a little flip-curl — not her typical cut. She smooths down each side with her hands, “My hair never looks like this,” she says. “I always have my hair in a bob.” She’s particular. And for a woman tasked with overseeing the detailed planning and baking of more than 100,000 pastry 94
pieces, craved by thousands over one weekend in September, that’s understandable. Andrews has lived in Charlotte for more than 40 years, but she’s been involved in pastry production at the Greek Festival since 2005. “Before that, I worked in the gift shop,” she says. “I inherited the pastries.” She’s a member — and three-time president — of the Philoptochos Society, a ladies’ philanthropic organization that oversees baking the festival sweets.
Producing pastries in bulk requires meticulous planning long before the festival begins. In January, the women review notes from past festivals to correct and perfect the process. For months, Andrews and her crew work to finalize the schedule for all 12 pastry varieties sold at the festival. Greek Festival sweets range from kourambiethes, the white wedding cookies that are made closer to the festival, to koulourakia (also known as Easter cookies), buttery little twists with a hint-of-vanilla flavor. Loukoumades, or Greek doughnuts, are served warm, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Oval-shaped melomakarona cookies are dipped in honey with nuts on top. The diples come last. To make these crispy pastries, dough is rolled into long, thin strips, fried in hot oil, and dipped in honey and sugar. Then there’s the diamond-shaped darling of the festival: Baklava, which is not only the most popular of all the pastries, it’s also one of the more involved recipes. After orders are placed, preparations begin in early August and lead right up to the festival. In all, volunteers bake 450 pans of baklava, each holding 72 pieces. The final yield is 32,400 pieces, excluding what they bake to couple with cold vanilla ice cream for the coveted baklava sundaes. It’s a perfected process. First comes the syrup — a mixture of water, sugar, cinnamon sticks and lemon that’s boiled until thickened, then set aside. Then, each volunteer, equipped with premixed bags of two pounds of walnuts, breadcrumbs, sugar, cinnamon and ground cloves, layers the mixture with phyllo until they run out. Another group brushes phyllo sheets with clarified butter. After it’s assembled, the baklava is ready to be cut into its distinct diamond shape. “You have to cut it horizontally, and then diagonally,” Andrews says, noting that just a few ladies are trusted with this delicate task. “They can get it just right — they get it straight.” Volunteers from teens to those in their 90s come together to “clove” each piece. Cut and cloved, each piece is buttered (again) and baked. To achieve baklava’s flaky exterior crust, the sheets are stored in an air-conditioned room before they’re topped with the syrup. And that’s the key, Andrews says. “You have to keep one part cold and the other warm, or it won’t work.” The sheets cool until Labor Day weekend, when they’re removed, recut, cupped in white baking cups and left to rest in boxes until showtime. These days, pastry-making is a well-choreographed process, each with its own chairperson, an overseer who schedules, orders and communicates timelines to volunteers. But it hasn’t come without hitches. One snag sticks out for Andrews. It was 2010, and she was knee-deep in koulourakia — the twist cookies — when she went to move one of the completed racks to cool. One of the cart’s wheels snagged on a sloped drain in the kitchen floor. “All of the pans just [went] flying in the kitchen,” she says. They lost 12 pans of cookies. “We had to throw them all away and start all over again.” After 14 years of experience, Andrews is more comfortable. “That first year, I was in tears,” she says, “but it’s
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Georgia Andrews has been involved in pastry production for the Greek Festival since 2005. Planning for the September festival begins in January, and volunteers begin making the sweets in early August. second nature to me now.” During the festival, she stays put in pastry headquarters, overseeing the four locations where the sweets are sold. Pastries are so popular, they’re for sale in assorted boxes at the drive-through, in the main dining room, under the big tent and at the takeout counter. With an operation that size, teamwork is essential. “It’s not one person, but the whole community — everyone working together. I love sharing my culture and the fellowship it brings,” Andrews says. “We have it down to a science.”
“A LIVING PART OF OUR CULTURE” Color and energy fill the festival stages, as the youngest members of the Greek community don intricate cultural costumes, join hands and step to traditional Greek music. The sounds of the bouzouki, a mandolin-like Greek instrument, permeate the grounds. In Charlotte, like elsewhere, Greek kids go to Greek school, where they learn music and dance. It’s an important way of handing down not only the language but also the cultural customs through the generations. Stacie Peroulas was born and raised in Virginia, a dancer her whole life. Peroulas has been the chair of the Holy Trinity 96
dance program since she moved to Charlotte in 2001. Every year, Peroulas spends countless hours preparing 400 students, ages 5 to 25, for an annual January dance competition in Atlanta. They learn specific dances — like those from Crete, with fast footwork, among others — but she leaves room for interpretation. “It’s not about perfection,” Peroulas says. “It’s a way for the kids to express themselves.” Dance infuses all facets of Greek culture. From ancient wartime dances used to communicate without words to the joining of families at weddings, songs are important. “Each dance tells a story,” Peroulas says. “It’s a living part of our culture.” And the Greek Festival is a way for the Greek community to share its culture with Charlotte. At the festival, Peroulas says, it’s like hiding vegetables in dessert. She understands the draw of the gyros and pastries, but she’s optimistic that people will leave with a new takeaway. “We want to inspire people to learn more about our culture and connect with these traditions.” SP
GO GREEK The 2019 Yiasou Greek Festival will be
held Sept. 5-8 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 600 East Blvd. Admission is $3, free for children under 12 who are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Estimated visitors who attend Yiasou Greek Festival each year
Pastry varieties sold at the festival
Pastry pieces baked for the festival, including
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANGELO POLITIS
32,400 Pieces of baklava, plus additional
pieces prepared to pair with ice cream for baklava sundaes
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Beyond the Rules POP-CULTURE AUTHOR GAVIN EDWARDS BLENDS EXHAUSTIVE CURIOSITY, DOGGED RESEARCH AND QUIRKY ANALYSIS INTO COMPELLING BEHIND-THE-SCENES STORYTELLING. BY MICHAEL J. SOLENDER PHOTOGRAPH BY PETER TAYLOR
avin Edwards hands me a skinny CD jewel case, on its cover a block paragraph listing 40 song titles, their artists and run times under the heading “Brief Blunt Blows.” Most of the tunes clock in around 90 seconds. “I wanted to see how many singles I could cram onto a CD,” Edwards says. “We Got the Beat,” by The Go-Go’s, the all-female ’80s superstar rock band, is the longest selection at 2 minutes, 30 seconds. It’s buried about halfway into Edwards’ monster set of adrenaline-amped, cross-genre programming that features songs by artists both obscure (Tomoyasu Hotei) and iconic (Bob Dylan). The songs on this strategically curated playlist share not only brevity but also a musical compatibility and rhythmic intensity, pieced together with precision like a shattered prehistoric vase reassembled by a sure-handed archaeologist. This ability to find relationships among disparate puzzle pieces has helped make Edwards, 50, one of the most successful writers on today’s contemporary music and pop-cultural scene. His essays, reviews, commentaries and observations have been featured in The New York Times, Rolling Stone (where he is a contributing editor), Details, Spin, GQ and Wired, among others. Edwards has authored 11 books, including the biographies Last Night at the Viper Room: River Phoenix and the Hollywood He Left Behind; The Tao of Bill Murray: Real-Life Stories of Joy, Enlightenment, and Party Crashing; and most recently, The World According to Tom Hanks: The Life, the Obsessions, the Good Deeds of America’s Most Decent Guy. A literary rule breaker, Edwards uses an unconventional approach in covering his subjects, often engaging with them in offbeat ways. He’s played skee ball with actress Kristen Bell, accompanied actor Mark Wahlberg to a car dealership promotion at a Jackson, Miss., parking lot, and quizzed fabled 98
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sportscaster Marv Albert about his status as an unlikely stylistic influencer for rapper Chuck D. One statute Edwards wholly subscribes to and rarely deviates from, however, is Rule 42, an homage and cultural nod to Alice in Wonderland and a sobriquet he used to name his website. “Alice in Wonderland is the first real book I remember reading,” says Edwards, who moved with his wife, Jen Sudul Edwards, to Charlotte from Los Angeles in 2015. (She’s now chief curator at The Mint Museum.) “It was weird and funny, and I read it over and over. Rule 42 refers to a scene in the book where Alice is in the courtroom for the trial of the Jack of Hearts. She is big at this point, dwarfing everyone, and the king declares [that] according to rule 42, all persons taller than a mile high must leave the courtroom.” Alice rebels, declaring that Rule 42 is not a real rule. Like Alice, Edwards doesn’t always feel like abiding by the standard “rules” or conventional norms. “[Rule 42] is the secret key to my sense of humor, logic and absurdity.” Edwards’ latest book, Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever, will be released in late October. The book celebrating the beloved PBS children’s show producer and star is strategically timed to come out just prior to the Mister Rogers feature film, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which stars Edwards’ recent bio-subject, Tom Hanks. “I like to think about subjects in the context of what I call the ‘Big American Story,’” says Edwards, who might spend a year working on a biography. “I [figuratively] draw a Venn diagram of people I care about and those [I think] readers care about — that’s the sweet spot.” Edwards has been hitting the sweet spot for decades, the seeds of his writing career sprouting as a rock music critic while he was an undergraduate English major at Yale University. “I began as a computer science major,” Edwards says. “It was a sliding-doors moment in my life. I might have stuck with it if I had a more interesting professor but ended up switching majors and started writing reviews for Yale’s rock ‘n’ roll magazine Nadine. I felt by my junior year my reviews were on a professional level and look back on my experience there as one that (positively) colored my approach.” The campus publication was co-founded by Joe Levy, who went on to become editor at Billboard magazine and spawned the career of many rock and culture writers including Edwards’ longtime friend and colleague, Rob Sheffield. “Gavin is gifted at getting people’s stories,” says Sheffield, a music journalist and columnist for Rolling Stone. “What made his name as a writer was doing stories in the ’90s on rock stars that were just too far out for most people to relate to. He would embed with eccentric characters like Tori Amos, Kurt Cobain, Rivers Cuomo and Barry White, absorb their world view, listen to their voices, understand and relate back how they saw things.” Sheffield often engages Edwards as a beta reader for his books, cherishing his insight. “Gavin reads every sentence of my books,” says Sheffield, who has authored bestsellers Love is a Mix Tape and Dreaming 100
the Beatles. “He is one of the readers in my head when I write, and the person I’m always trying to impress.” Edwards’ previous success with biographies led him to his current project. “Fred Rogers was a man who didn’t know he was working toward his mission, but once he found it, it was obviously true,” Edwards says. “Every talent he had grew into the show. He wrote songs, he learned TV production at NBC in the ‘50s and did puppetry. He was the right man with the right talents and brought this all together to create a wonderful gift for children.” His research led him to a curious observation about Rogers, connecting him to two other prominent Pittsburgh residents of the era, pop-art legend Andy Warhol and famed zombie/ horror film director, George Romero. “The links between these guys are right out there in plain sight,” says Edwards, who devotes an entire chapter of the book to the parallels among the three men. “They were all around the same age, created artistic communities, and went back and forth between Pittsburgh and New York. One of Warhol’s cousins worked on Rogers’ production crew, and Romero actually produced a short film that screened in Mister Rogers’ living room during one of his shows.” For Edwards and his readers, the story is yet another puzzle piece that, once discovered, fits neatly into place. SP Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever by Gavin Edwards will be available Oct. 29.
Take the Road Less Traveled SURE, NORTH CAROLINA HAS MOUNTAINS, TOO. BUT THE NORTH GEORGIA MOUNTAINS AND HISTORIC GLEN-ELLA SPRINGS INN ARE WORTH THE 3-HOUR DRIVE.
ormally, I’d be leery about driving directions like these: “... we are located on an unpaved road that is narrow in places and can be quite dusty and bumpy in the summer.” But Glen-Ella Springs Inn looked beautiful on its website — the very place that warned about the road — and came highly recommended. The approach to the inn is precisely as advertised. Along the way, I passed an abandoned house on the left and several vine-choked trees on both sides of the gravel road. But the humble surroundings don’t adequately prepare you for the moment the circa 1875 inn, painted a hue I’ll call “old-barn red” and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, comes into view. It’s sort of like that moment when The Wizard of Oz changes from black and white to color. Luci and Ed Kivett bought the inn in 2008 and moved with their two sons from Winston-Salem to become the property’s
on-site caretakers. Another couple had purchased and restored the inn in 1987 after it had suffered 30 years of neglect. Ed, a former Hanesbrands executive with undergraduate and MBA degrees from Wake Forest University, had always wanted to be his own boss and manage a retreat center. (The Home Depot and The Coca-Cola Co., both based in nearby Atlanta, have held retreats here.) Luci, originally from Brazil, redecorated every room. The fresh flowers in the lobby and on each table in the restaurant? She probably cut them in the garden out back. You won’t find a TV in any of the guest rooms. “We want this to be a restorative place,” Luci says. There is a TV — along with books, movies, coffee, sodas and snacks — in the Garden House, which is open 24/7, though I never saw anyone watching it. I did, however, meet people on the front porch, drinking coffee and rocking in rocking chairs. Nearly everyone I encountered during my stay was a repeat guest. Why watch TV when the inn’s garden is always in bloom? southparkmagazine.com | 103
PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHRISTIAN GIANNELLI
BY PAGE LEGGETT
PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHRISTIAN GIANNELLI
In May, peonies, viburnum and mophead hydrangeas show off their colors. In June and July, purple veronica, verbena and bottlebrush buckeye take center stage. Staffers and guests alike urged me to come back in the fall, when the landscape is its most impressive. All 16 rooms in the inn were booked the weekend I was there, but I still had the pool overlooking a manicured meadow to myself. It was sunny and 80 degrees. The inn — at least for the 48 hours I spent there — and the weather were straight out of Central Casting. Despite having a lazy afternoon, I was hungry by dinnertime. The inn’s restaurant is a popular destination for area residents — you don’t need to be an overnight guest to dine there — so reservations are a good idea, especially on weekends. If the weather’s nice, request a table on the terrace overlooking the garden. After savoring the nightly special — corvina (sea bass) en papillote with jasmine rice and roasted local snap peas in a Gruyere consommé — there was still a little daylight left. So, I lingered with a glass of rosé in the garden, as Ella Fitzgerald’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye” played in the background. I had only been at this woodsy respite a few hours and was already melancholy about leaving on Sunday. But first, there’d be a good night’s sleep in my pristine second-floor room with heart pine floors and soothing neutral shades on the walls and bedding. Plus, there was a full Saturday to enjoy, starting with breakfast at the inn — a buffet of homemade granola, fruit, yogurt and pastries, along with one hot entrée. Cheese strata was the main course one morning; caramel French toast the next.
Tallulah Gorge State Park, the area’s main attraction, is just a 15-minute drive from Glen-Ella Springs Inn. The gorge had its 15 minutes of fame on July 18, 1970, when 65-year-old Karl Wallenda performed a high-wire walk across it. He even did two handstands during the walk. You can learn about this daredevil spectacle and more history of this natural wonder at the Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center — it’s worth a visit. Tallulah Gorge is 2 miles long and nearly 1,000 feet deep. For comparison’s sake, the Empire State Building in New York City is 1,250 feet tall. Rim trails lead to several scenic overlooks, but the best view of the Tallulah River and waterfalls might be from a suspension bridge that sways 80 feet above the bottom of the gorge. Permits to hike to the gorge floor are free, but only 100 are available each day. However, you don’t need to navigate all the way to the bottom for spectacular views. The 2.25-mile Hurricane Falls Trail starts at the Interpretive Center and descends more than 300 steps leading to the suspension bridge. If a twisting staircase with a handrail seems like a lazy way to hike, wait till you have to come back up. I made friends along the trail with other stair climbers who had stopped to “enjoy the scenery.” The 540-acre nearby Lake Rabun offers even more opportunities for recreation, such as boating, fly fishing and trout fishing. Just a 15-minute drive from the inn, Clarkesville’s surprisingly thriving downtown features antique shops, clothing and gift boutiques and several good restaurants, all within walking distance of each other. I had lunch at Midtown Grill, a no-frills spot almost entirely devoid of charm. But, no matter: The Ellijay burger with bacon, spring lettuce mix, goat cheese and apple jelly was divine. The sweet potato fries came with a side of some-
W R I G H T S V I L L E
B E A C H
PHOTOGRAPH BY PAGE LEGGETT
ON THE WATER
thing — ranch dressing, maybe? No, that something turned out to be — have mercy! — marshmallow cream with a hint of cinnamon. (Why isn’t every restaurant serving sweet potato fries this way?) Thus fortified — and having reached my steps goal for the week in one hike — I was able to do something I consider essential whenever traveling: Shop. Mark of the Potter is worth seeking out, if, for no other reason, its picturesque creekside setting. The shop is part of what used to be Grandpa Watts Gristmill. One of the in-house potters might even be throwing clay on the wheel while you’re there. North Georgia is also a wine-growing region. Wolf Mountain, Habersham and Frogtown are among regional wineries worth a visit. If you want to go “off campus” for dinner, Harvest Habersham in Clarkesville is a good choice. The farm-totable restaurant has an ever-changing menu that depends, according to its website, on what “the farmers, fishermen and foragers” have available. Back at the inn on Saturday night, I ordered a glass of Chardonnay from the restaurant and took it up to my room. But I didn’t go inside right away. The stars were out, the crickets were singing and the rocking chair on my terrace was just the right perch from which to revel in them. After Sunday breakfast, I packed up and headed back down the gravel road. By now, it felt sweet and familiar — not as primitive as it appeared on my way in. Now, I knew it led to someplace special. And I knew I’d be back, someday soon, driving slowly down that narrow road to a destination that feels like a well-kept secret — but one you want to share with friends. SP Get away from it all. Find Glen-Ella Springs Inn down a gravel road in Clarkesville, Ga. Learn more at glenella.com. Explore all the recreational opportunities the Tallulah Gorge offers at gastateparks.org/ TallulahGorge. Learn about Clarkesville at clarkesvillega.com.
Stay in oceanfront luxury, learn to sail from our ASA instructors or simply relax aboard an evening sail. Photography by Joshua McClure
Named Best Beach for Families & Kids by TODAY Show 877.703.1095
blockade-runner.com southparkmagazine.com | 105
TEN RESTAURANTS HELPING CHARLOTTE’S CULINARY CULTURE THRIVE: • Bonterrra Dining and Wine Room • Sir Edmond Halley’s Restaurant & Freehouse • The Manchester • Beef ‘N Bottle Steakhouse • Estia’s Kouzina • Upstream • Ruth’s Chris Steak House • The Fig Tree • SouthPark Grill • Baku
A special preferred vendor section showcasing some of Charlotte’s top dining destinations.
PREFERRED VENDOR SECTION
Celebrating 20 years of distinct flavor with the freshest local farm food. Nestled in the heart of Dilworth for 20 years, Bonterra Dining & Wine Room offers a unique experience for both everyday dining and special occasions. Executive Chef Blake Hartwick’s Southern-inspired seasonal menu spotlights locally sourced ingredients, from seafood dishes to steaks prepared in the restaurant’s wood-fired brick oven to the famous Church Burger, topped with Ashe County cheese and house-made pickles. More than 200 wines by the glass
are available to pair with cheese and charcuterie platters and a selection of house-made spreads. Bonterra’s experienced staff can help you find just the right selection to complement your meal and please your palate. Housed in a historic church, guests can experience Bonterra’s fresh, delicious cuisine in the main dining room, in the choir loft, at the bar or on the shaded patio. It’s the perfect setting for groups, and Bonterra can accommodate private parties of 10 to 175.
1829 CLEVELAND AVENUE | CHARLOTTE, NC 28203 | 704.333.9463 | WWW. BONTERRADINING.COM
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Come for the food and drink. Stay for the fun. Sir Edmond Halley’s, a classic English pub, has been a gathering place for more than 23 years — a place where guests can enjoy fresh, made-from-scratch food in a lively atmosphere. Order from a wide selection of both local and international beers (no one else pours a better pint of Guinness), choose from an extensive wine list (half-priced bottles on Wednes-
days and Sundays) or try something off the cocktail list. Dine in the fresh air on the spacious and dog-friendly patio, in the handsome dining room, at the friendly bar or in the infamous pub room, complete with darts, chess, checkers, backgammon and more. Serving a full menu each day to 2am. Come for the food and drink — stay for the fun.
4 1 5 1 P AR K RD A | CH ARLOTTE, NC 28209 | 704. 525. 7775 | W W W . HA L L E YS P U B .CO M
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You are exactly where you need to be. The Manchester, an American Gastropub, with English flair in the heart of Charlotte’s vibrant South End. With a wide selection of 20 rotating craft beers on tap, and an unbeatable gastropub menu, The Manchester continues the tradition of these restaurants by offering delicious dishes you’ll come back for time after time. Join us for lunch or dinner any day of the week, and stop by on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy our special brunch menu 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
If you’re searching for a more intimate and exclusive setting, join us at Room 1812. Nestled underneath The Manchester is Room 1812. In the tradition of prohibition era Speak-easies, Room 1812 is a top-tier cocktail bar, offering an array of house specialty cocktails and classic spirits. Access to Room 1812 is exclusive, with a password that changes daily. Visit our Instagram page or call our hostess for the password of the day. @room_1812. (This space also available for Corporate happy hours, group lunches, birthday parties or any special event)
1812 SOUTH BOULEVARD | CHARLOTTE, NC 28203 | 704.923.4277 • 980.237.0391 | WWW.MANCHESTER1812.COM
PREFERRED VENDOR SECTION
A dining experience that should be on everyone’s culinary bucket list. Beef ‘N Bottle Steakhouse is an award-winning Charlotte institution, voted the Best Steak House in North Carolina by Tasting Table, 2017 and one of OpenTable’s Top 100 Steakhouses in America. To find out why, come for dinner — and step back in time. Inside, candles flicker as you slide into a wooden booth. Tables are cloaked in crisp white linen, with black-and-white photos of classic Hollywood movie stars — from
Audrey Hepburn to Cary Grant to Sammy Davis Jr. — lining the walls. It’s a perfect setting for an intimate, romantic dinner, yet equally appealing to the business traveler looking for a quiet break from the day’s activities. Beef ‘N Bottle is known far and wide for steaks, seafood, service and atmosphere, along with an impressive wine list. It’s a local favorite, consistently serving the finest steaks since 1958!
45 3 8 SO UTH BLV D | CH ARLOTTE, N C 28209 | 704. 523. 9977 | W W W . B EEF A NDB O T T L E .N E T
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Greek-influenced flavors that are healthy, tasty, and unique! Dining at Estia’s Kouzina in historic Belmont, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to the Mediterranean. Owners Vicki and Gus Georgoulias bring a deep love of Greece to the community through the restaurant’s artfully presented, healthy plates. With ingredients imported from Greece — seafood purists can enjoy a delicious, whole fresh fish, grilled and served with braised greens and a vinaigrette — the menu features authentic Mediterranean cuisine. Start with house-made pita
bread and hummus or tzatziki, or try the keftedakia, beef and pork meatballs seasoned with spearmint and garlic. Select from traditional Mediterranean plates such as marinated pork souvlaki with Cretan pilaf or char-grilled Spanish octopus, or opt for more familiar fare such as the filet mignon with lemon potatoes. Named after the Greek goddess of hearth and home, Estia’s also features a full array of wine and spirits to complement your dining experience.
609 N MAIN ST | BELMONT, NC 28012 | 704.825.7005 | WWW.ESTIASKOUZINA.COM
PREFERRED VENDOR SECTION
Enjoy the sizzle you’ve come to love at Ruth’s Chris. Summer might be winding down, but the menu is heating up at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Our late summer classics menu offers three seasonal courses starting at $49.95. That’s just one of the special offers available at our SouthPark and other locations. For a memorable couple’s night out, enjoy two starters, a 40 oz. tomahawk ribeye to share, a shared side item, dessert and a bottle of wine — our Tomahawk for
6000 FAIRVIEW ROAD |
Two special is just $215. And if you’re planning ahead for the holiday season, remember you can earn private dining rewards when you book your party with us.
CHARLOTTE, NC 28226 |
Make each special occasion an unforgettable experience at Ruth’s Chris Steak House-SouthPark. Let us know what you’re celebrating and enjoy a special treat on us!
704.556.1115 | WWW.RUTHSCHRIS.COM
PREFERRED VENDOR SECTION
Chef Owned and Operated Fine Dining in a restored Historic Bungalow Exceptional Service Award Winning Wine List with over 1000 bottles Open 7 Nights a Week 1601 E 7TH STREET | CHARLOTTE, NC 28204 |
704.332.3322 | WWW.CHARLOTTEFIGTREE.COM
PREFERRED VENDOR SECTION
SouthPark Grill offers patio ambience at its finest. Looking for upscale openair dining? You’re in luck… SouthPark Grill has not one, but two patios to choose from while enjoying brunch with friends or clinking glasses for the bubbles and oysters special on Friday’s. Both patios offer a warm,
intentional ambience, featuring twinkling string lights and umbrellas to shield you from the Carolina sunshine. Expect a high quality, classic American menu featuring Certified Angus Beef, fresh seafood, and made-from-scratch desserts.
4300 CONGRESS ST. | CHARLOTTE, NC 28209 | 704.900.6945 | WWW.SOUTHPARKGRILL.COM
PREFERRED VENDOR SECTION
4515 SHARON ROAD | CHARLOTTE, NC 28211 | 704.817.7173 | WWW.BAKU-RESTAURANT.COM
A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas
Colonial Gem A benefit for the Charlotte Museum of History The annual Colonial Gem fundraiser celebrates Mecklenburg County’s oldest house and supports preservation of the region’s history. On May 9, about 250 people attended a lovely dinner at the Hezekiah Alexander Home Site, built in 1774, where local author Tommy Tomlinson spoke about the importance of historical preservation.
Tony & Beth Zeiss
Vida Harvey, Rodney Walker
Larken Egleston, Adria Focht
PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON
Eric Spose, Melissa Schluter
Kate & Chas Fagan
Wali Molina, Kelly Lawrence
Joe Thomas, Paul Kurzeja southparkmagazine.com | 117
Epilepsy and Sleep Disorder Care for Both Children & Adults Michael Amiri, MD Matthew McConnell, MD Kelly Xiong, DNP, FNP-C John G. Rancy, FNP Betty Mays, NP-C
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A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas
A Night Of 4,000 Dreams A benefit for A Child’s Place at the Westin Hotel
PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON
Jason & Jennifer Moore
Kristin Strawhun, Mike Smith
Ramona Holloway, Louise “Wheezy” Glover
Robert & Karen Hopkins
Brad Pratt, Steve Crook, Derek Green, Sarah Desnan
Chrissy Brown, Scarlet Hamrick, Jessica Wilfong
Alex Schendell, Melodee Lewis
Diarmuid O’Sullivan, Rhonda Abel, Shantiqua & Kazon Neely
On May 10, the 2019 A Night Of 4,000 Dreams raised more than $260,000 for A Child’s Place, which works to eliminate social and educational barriers for homeless children. The annual gala held at the uptown Westin Hotel included dinner, drinks and a live and silent auction.
Bo & Leto Powell
Rob & Chrissy Pettman
Jenna King, Helena Lopez southparkmagazine.com | 119
E N JO Y PE AC E O F M IND A S YO U R NEEDS C H A NG E. Home Care options tailored to your needs. Finding reliable help for short-term health needs following surgery or an illness can be a challenge and even more of a concern if the needs are longer-term. Southminsterâ€™s Embrace Care, a fully licensed home care provider serving the Charlotte community, eases your worry by offering flexible individualized care options, either at Southminster, or in the comfort of your current home.
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A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas
Shake, Swagger & Stroll
Aaron Laughlin with his daughter
A benefit for Dress for Success Charlotte at SouthPark mall It’s not every day that you see a group of men strutting through SouthPark mall in high heels. The May 11 “Stilletto Swagger,” followed by a 5K walk, was actually a benefit for Dress for Success Charlotte, which provides workforce development services to help women secure and advance employment to achieve economic independence. The family-friendly event was emceed by WBTV news anchor Maureen O’Boyle and Riley Fields, director of community relations at the Carolina Panthers.
Elliott Van Ness, Miss USA Cheslie Kryst
Jim Catlin with his kids
Brent Fatticci with his daughter
Elliott Van Ness
Maureen O’Boyle, Riley Fields
PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON
Cobey Riley with his daughter
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A monthly guide to Charlotteâ€™s parties and galas
2019 Echo Foundation Awards & Gala McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square This yearâ€™s Echo Foundation Awards held on April 29 honored Jesse Cureton, chief consumer officer at Novant Health, and Ophelia Garmon-Brown, senior vice president, community wellness and education at Novant, for their work in the local community. Hugh McColl Jr. was the keynote speaker. The Echo Foundation was started in 1997 by Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel and educator Stephanie Ansaldo to support those working to promote human dignity, justice and moral courage.
Bailey Patrick, Jane & John Cato
PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON
Kayla Clark, Elise Palmer, Ananyaa Bharadwaj
Jesse Cureton, Ophelia Garmon-Brown, Yele Aluko
Jim & Mary Lou Babb
Mike Hawley, Katherine Pierce
Angela & Jesse Cureton, Harvey & Lucinda Gantt
Hugh McColl & Stephanie Ansaldo
Benjamin Clayton, Stephanie Ansaldo, Wesley Mancini, Ervin Gourdine southparkmagazine.com | 123
CHANNEL YOUR CURIOSITY with PBS Charlotte this September Downton Abbe y
M O V I E P R EM I ER E A N D AF T ERNO ON T EA
Sunday, September 15th at 12:30pm Ballantyne Country Club The Sharpe House Statesville, NC
free screening and concert by joe lasher Monday, September 9th at 7:00pm CPCCâ€™s Halton Theatre
FREE SEASON 5 PREVIEW PARTY
Tuesday, September 24th at 6:30pm Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Learn more and RSVP now at pbscharlotte.org A Viewer Supported Service of
A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas
2019 Blumey Awards Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center For the eighth year, the Blumenthal Performing Arts High School Musical Theater Awards honored standouts in local high-school musical theater. Winners in 15 categories were announced at the sold-out event on May 19. Top honors for Best Musical went to Pine Lake Preparatory School for its production of Bright Star and to Ardrey Kell High School for its production of Curtains.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON
Ardrey Kell High School students perform a scene from Curtains
Providence High School students perform a scene from Newsies
Alex Manley as Schroeder in Stuart W. Cramer’s production of You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown
Arella Flur reacts to winning the Best Actress award
Piper Loebach performs a song from Pine Lake Prepatory School’s production of Bright Star
Tom Gabbard, Arella Flur
Best actress nominees perform
Gillian Huntley performs a song from Fort Mill High School’s production of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers
Mia Rice, Brittany Schell
Sayo Oni performs a song from Central Academy of Technology and Arts’ production of Rock Of Ages: High School Edition southparkmagazine.com | 125
A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas
Fashion & Tea A benefit for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at Tiny On July 17, children’s boutique Tiny hosted a garden party and fashion show to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, in partnership with @thesweetlifeofbean.
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southparkmagazine.com | 127 6/24/19 12:25 PM
A Stage for All
MONICA PETTIFORD’S PORCH PRODUCTIONS YOUTH THEATER COMPANY CELEBRATES ITS 10TH SEASON.
BY VANESSA INFANZON
ore than 20 years ago, Monica Pettiford staged a sit-in on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday at Queens University of Charlotte. The silent protest led by Pettiford, then an undergraduate at the liberal-arts university, was successful; it convinced the school’s president to form a task force to find ways for students and faculty to effectively celebrate MLK Day. Unintentionally, Pettiford also set in motion a series of events that led to the development of Porch Productions Inc., a youth theater production company. Pettiford’s activism in college prompted an introduction to Barbara Ferguson, the founder of Afro-American Children’s Theatre. Through that relationship, Pettiford became familiar with theater and began to learn about the different aspects of the business. Remembering shows she performed on her grandmother’s porch as a child growing up in Greensboro, Pettiford started Porch Productions in 2011. The company is now in its 10th season and produces two shows a year, mainly musicals such as The Wiz, Hairspray and Annie. Each production typically involves 40 to 50 youth, ages 4 to 18, and 25 parent volunteers. Most performances are held at Spirit Square. The nonprofit group partners with Blumenthal Performing Arts, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Galilee Ministries of East Charlotte, Forest Hill Church and TRU Spirit Mime for rehearsal space. The company also supports drama clubs at Irwin Academic Center and Cotswold Elementary School. Comments were edited for brevity and clarity. What makes for a good day? Just one more kid running up to us saying they’ve never had this opportunity before and thank you for choosing him/her to be a part of it. The appreciation from a young person is just mind blowing. The number of opportunities are small, specif 128
ically for children that are black and brown. Our cast is very diverse. How do you keep the youth motivated? They really want to do it — we don’t have to do much. After one show of Porch Productions, we tell the parents, “Get ready, because they’ve been bitten by the bug.” This happens every time — parents will text me four months after a production, “My kid is still singing Annie.” It’s because we give all of them a chance to shine. What do students in your productions learn? We’re developing the whole child. We’re training them to be good people — character, integrity, honesty, values. We spend a lot of time in rehearsals teaching those life lessons. How might parents support their children who are interested in performance art? Parents can help support their child by exposing them to different things. Take them to see a show, whether it’s community theater, or whether you can get access to tickets through Blumenthal Performing Arts. Once kids see a show, it automatically sparks an interest in them. I think that’s the biggest thing. Take them to see a lot of things — opera, theater, dance, visual arts. They will tell you if that’s what they want to do. . . . If they want to try it and they decide they don’t like it, that’s fine too. How do you choose a cast? We’re really just looking for that child who has a desire and wants to creatively be there. You don’t have to be the best singer or dancer or actor. I have an amazing staff who can pull that out of anyone. We had kids who couldn’t even do a box step, and now they want to sign up for dance classes. I send them all to Ms. Jackie at Open Door Studios. SP
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