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BOLD GOLD COLLECTION


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Each year, Make-A-Wish® Central and Western North Carolina’s W.I.S.H. Society (Women Inspiring Strength & Hope) honors an elite selection of local women for the inspiring professional and philanthropic roles they play. Utilizing their talents, compassion and leadership qualities, Honorees in the Charlotte and Triad communities become true partners to Make-AWish® as they raise funds to grant life-changing wishes to children with critical illnesses. They are bonded by a powerful experience and empowered to make a meaningful difference in the lives of local children. Amongst the Honorees, the woman who raises the most, granting additional wishes, is named the W.I.S.H. Society Woman of the Year. W.I.S.H. is so much more than an acronym. It is a community and an ever-growing network of amazing, inspiring local women. Society Honorees and Alumnae benefit from networking with incredible, likeminded women. They inspire others to make a difference in the lives of local wish-children. A wish come true helps children feel stronger, more energetic, more willing and able to battle their life-threatening medical conditions. It is more than just a nice thing and its reach extends far beyond a single event, or moment in time. Wish kids, parents, medical professionals, volunteers, and others say that wish experiences can change the lives of everyone involved, forever.

Since the W.I.S.H. Society was established in 2013, more than $1,167,000 has been raised to grant the wishes of nearly 200 children in our community. We look forward to celebrating this year’s class of Honorees on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at the Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte Hotel.

CONGRATULATIONS to the

2019 Charlotte W.I.S.H. Society Honorees

Hannah Cutlip

Vironica Dawson

Jennifer Eckard

Aspen Dental

Beautycounter Consultant

Wish Mom

“If being an Honoree means more people know about Make-A-Wish and the impact it has in our local community, then I have accomplished more than I could ever imagine.”

“I survived a brain tumor when I was 11 years old and it was a very difficult time both emotionally and physically. Now, it’s my turn to give back and grant wishes.”

ncwishsociety.org | nc.wish.org

“I have witnessed the power of a wish firsthand when my daughter Miranda’s wish was granted in September 2013. Helping grant wishes is something I have been very passionate about since seeing her wish granted.”


Morgan Ferguson Selden Orthodontics “I believe this is an amazing organization and I am thrilled to be able to network with other women who have the same focus as I do.”

Maria Kaltsounis Jr. Honoree Weddington High School

“To me, a wish is an experience of a lifetime and I want to wake up each morning knowing that I profoundly impacted a child’s life.”

Lauren Littmann

Ali Nixon

Levine Children’s Hospital Atrium Health

XPO Logistics

“As a pediatric clinical dietitian at Levine Children’s Hospital, Make-A-Wish is very close to our hearts. A wish gives our kids an experience of strength and empowerment.”

“I am so excited about the opportunity to follow my passion and grant a child’s wish. I hope this leads to other opportunities to make a difference in a child’s life.”

Elaine Page

Nicole Ramsdell

Paula Severt

Jennifer Smith

Wish Mom

Belk, Inc.

Wish Mom

“I’m so proud to collaborate with these amazing women and support Make-A-Wish.”

“I am honored to be a small part of helping kids and their families find a bit of hope and joy during difficult times.”

Lantern Realty and Development, LLC “I have accepted the role of Honoree to help an amazing organization. There is a need and with everyone’s help, so much can be achieved.”

“I have witnessed firsthand the power of a wish. I am honored to be able to give that experience to another family whose child is fighting through a life-altering diagnosis.”

Dr. Ashley Sumrall

Jessica Treneer

Keely Warren

Terri Zandhuis

Wish Mom Levine Cancer Institute Atrium Health

Crescent Event Productions

American Airlines

Krispy Kreme

“I want to do more, be more involved, become a part of something bigger than myself that makes an impact and a difference in the lives of others.”

“I accepted the role of Honoree to make a difference in the lives of families who need it.”

“Make-A-Wish has blessed our family as well as so many others. Bringing attention and support to the organization is essential to maintain its ability to grant wishes.”

“I am passionate about Make-A-Wish and I am hopeful that [the W.I.S.H. Society] will enable me to make a bigger impact.”


FROM THE EDITOR

F

CATHY MARTIN EDITOR

PHOTOGRAPH BY TIM SAYER

editor@southparkmagazine.com

ortunately, I don’t have any of those wild and crazy tales of a holiday gone wrong. I’ve had some unusual experiences — like the time my husband decided to cook the Thanksgiving turkey sous vide, but at the last minute realized the bird was too big to fit in any of our containers. Short on time and oven space, he went out to the garage and found a big red Igloo cooler, filled it with water and cooked the turkey in that. Sure, I’ve dropped cakes and surrendered cheese platters to my dog Leo, who, unless you keep a close eye on him, will take any opportunity to snag a “people-food” snack. But thankfully, I’ve never had one of those A Christmas Story kind of experiences where the whole meal was a complete disaster. Hosting a big crowd can be a lot of fun — or extremely stressful. In putting this issue together, we consulted a couple of local pros for advice on staging a successful gathering. Craig Barbour launched Roots Catering in 2015 out of his food-truck business — one of the first in Charlotte when it opened in 2011. C ­ ustomers started placing so many catering orders he decided to close the truck. It looks like he made the right decision — in addition to plenty of corporate and social events, Roots has catered more than 200 weddings this year alone. Craig told me one of the first questions you should ask yourself when planning a party is whether or not you actually want to prepare the meal yourself. If you don’t enjoy cooking (over here!), consider having a potluck where everyone pitches in, order takeout or call a caterer. Otherwise you might spend the whole time in the kitchen and miss out on all the fun. DeeDee Dalrymple, who wrote Effortless Entertaining, a 400-page guide filled with ideas, inspiration and practical advice for hosting parties, echoes this sentiment. “I love to cook, so I tend to be very hands on … but that’s not for everyone,” she told me. Hosting a meal or party becomes easier “when you find a way to entertain in a way that encompasses the things you like to do and in a way that reflects your personal style,” she says. At the end of the day, as DeeDee told SouthPark in the story on page 90, who’s around the table is much more important than what’s on the table. And people are more likely to remember the time spent catching up with friends and family than who made the sweet potatoes.

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ANTIQUES | LIGHTING | ACCESSORIES 6 8 0 9 - c p h i l l i p s p l a c e c t , c h a r l o t t e , n c 2 8 210 | 7 0 4 . 9 9 9 . 6 9 76 | m o n - s a t 10 a m - 5 p m

www.granville-charlotte.com photo credit by Michael Blevins


November 36

DEPARTMENTS 35 | Blvd. The latest on a jazzy new nightspot, a Veniceinspired wine bar and an Eastover home boutique — plus more events and happenings.

57 | Simple life The rewards of life’s upward climb.

63 | Bookshelf November’s notable new releases.

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67 | Omnivorous reader Two presidents elevate an institution.

71 | SouthPark stories A Charlotte writer’s appeal: Share your stories — before it’s too late.

109 | Swirl The Queen City’s best fetes, fundraisers and festivals.

SNAPSHOT 120 | A new view The Mint Museum’s new chief curator aims to expand the museum’s reach — and challenges visitors to look for the stories behind the art.

ABOUT THE COVER Photo of Miss USA Cheslie Kryst shot on location at The Duke Mansion by Richard Israel. Styling by Whitley Adkins Hamlin of the Queen City Style. Makeup by Josiah Reed.

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additions renovations signature homes

Charlotte and Boone

andrewroby.com 704.334.5477

making it home since 1950

G E N E R A L C O N T R AC TO R


84 FEATURES 74 | Setting her sights by Cathy Martin

Miss USA Cheslie Kryst is busting pageant stereotypes and showing women they really can do whatever they set their minds to.

84 | New traditions by Cathy Martin

When hosting a crowd, look beyond the holiday staples for a meal that’s both farmfresh and festive.

90 | Coming to the table by Cathy Martin

DeeDee Dalrymple literally wrote the book on entertaining. In the process, a revelation led to a new friendship and a new perspective on diversity.

96 | Burke perks by Vanessa Infanzon

Hike, bike or sip wine with a view: Adventure awaits in the North Carolina foothills.

102 | Retail remedy by Michelle Boudin

Anyone who thinks brick-and-mortar retail is dying hasn’t spent much time at Park Road Shopping Center. By adding tenants and turning an unused backlot into an entertainment hot spot, Charlotte’s oldest shopping center is thriving.

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“ We are pleased to provide an extraordinary banking experience in the Charlotte community. ‘Above and beyond’ is how we do business. It’s simply who we are.”

Charles Bartz, Senior Vice President TowneBank Charlotte

6337 Morrison Blvd. (704) 644-4001 | TowneBank.com Art by Susan Grossman / courtesy Jerald Melberg Gallery “Early Evening”


THE SANCTUARY

PROVIDENCE PLANTATION

SEVEN EAGLES

EASTOVER

10124 Sweetleaf Place

5829 Providence Glen Road

9100 Winged Bourne Road

326 Meadowbrook Road

3.67 acres | 6BR/7.4BA | Guest House $1,825,000

1.25 acres | 4BR/3.1BA | Luxury MBR $599,000

Gated | 2.52 acre golf course lot $2,450,000

4BR/4.1BA | Spectacular lot $1,999,999

DILWORTH | ROYAL COURT

KINGSWOOD

QUAIL VIEW

QUAIL HOLLOW

4329 Tottenham Road

4137 Tapperty Circle

7912 Baltusrol Lane

701 Royal Court, Unit #310

New construction | 5BR/5.1BA $1,449,500

4BR/3.1BA | 0.59 acre corner lot $495,000

6BR/7.2BA | 2+ acres estate | Pool $1,850,000

Split bedroom plan | 2BR/2BA $344,900

UNDER CONTRACT

UNDER CONTRACT

OLDE PROVIDENCE

FOXCROFT

RAINTREE

MONTIBELLO

2711 Meade Court

9000 Raintree Lane

4931 Sentinel Post Road

6746 Queensberry Drive

Beautiful lot | 5BR/3.2BA | 3 car garage $1,399,000

Private golf course lot | 3BR/3BA $358,000

Spectacular updates | 5BR/5.1BA $950,000

Nicely updated | 3BR/2BA | Great lot $335,000

VALERIE MITCHENER 704-577-8200

SHARON YOXSIMER 704-819-2567

HEATHER BONNER 704-756-1394

MELANIE COYNE 704-763-8003

70 4 - 5 5 2 - 9 2 9 2

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UNDER CONTRACT

MYERS PARK

DOVEWOOD

PHARR ACRES

FOXCROFT

2620 Chelsea Drive, #A

3344 Leamington Lane

2423 Vernon Drive

2434 Red Fox Trail

New luxury townhome | 3BR/3BA $1,785,000

Gated community | 6BR/6.3BA | Pool $2,250,000

New construction | 5BR/5.2BA $2,195,000

Beautiful renovation | 5BR/5.2BA $2,195,000

MYERS PARK

QUAIL HOLLOW

MYERS PARK

LONG ISLAND AIR PARK

1111 Chollywood Drive

6701 N. Baltusrol Lane

1822 Queens Road W

8304 Aeromarine Blvd, Catawba

MBR down | 4BR/3.1BA | Cul-de-sac $1,535,000

5BR/4.1BA | 1+ acre cul-de-sac lot $1,295,000

Well-appointed | 5BR/5.2BA | 0.48 acre 1,675,000

2+ acres | Waterfront | 3BR/3.1BA $795,000

SOLD

MYERS PARK

EASTOVER

QUAIL HOLLOW

FIRST TURN

2634 Sharon Road

2661 Colton Drive

6728 N Baltusrol Lane

4741 Morehead Road, #4B

Overlooks golf course | 4BR/4.1BA Sold Price: $1,360,000

Luxury townhome | 4BR/3.1BA $1,100,000

Chef’s kitchen | 4BR/3.2BA | Pool $875,000

Spectacular Speedway condo | 2BA $675,000

PATTY HENDRIX 704-577-2066

CHRISTY HOWEY 704-996-0484

70 4 - 5 5 2 - 9 2 9 2

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MEG WILKINSON TEAM 704-906-5747

h m p ro p e r t i es .c o m

SUSAN MAY 704-650-7432

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The highest staffing ratios, not just in our city, but the entire country.

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


Julia P. Dance

POSSIBILITY SEES BEYOND WHAT IS, TO WHAT COULD BE. Choose from nearly 300 programs while saving more than $38,000 over two years.

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Donate $50 to the Jimmy V Foundation to cure cancer Receive $400 OFF Stressless Mayfair! Starts November 27th

200 Stressless® chairs in stock! Largest selection in the Carolinas! • Perfect combination of comfort, function and style. • Optimum head and lumbar support in any position. • Keeps your body in perfect balance.

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RECLINERS • SOFAS • SECTIONALS • SLEEP SOFAS • BARSTOOLS • BEDROOMS • DINING • HOME THEATER • HOME OFFICE


5909 Masters Court

3027 Valencia Terrace

Charlotte, NC 28226

Charlotte, NC 28211

Offered at $1,175,000

Offered at $1,287,500

Carmel Country Club

Myers Park Jennifer Jackson 704-622-5721

Offered at $1,150,000

Team Severs 704-564-7346

Foxcroft Lauren Campbell 704-579-8333

3206 Stratford Park Court

237 S Shore Drive

710 Lansdowne Road

Charlotte, NC 28210

Charlotte, NC 28012

Charlotte, NC 28270

CT

RA

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UN

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Offered at $1,050,000

Offered at $679,000

Park Phillips Amy Peterson 704-533-2090

McLean-South Shore Rebecca Hunter 704-650-4039

3217 Colony Road

17925 Kings Point Drive

Charlotte, NC 28211

Charlotte, NC 28031

Offered at $725,000

Lansdowne Suzanne Cowden 704-301-1012

6816 Constitution Lane Charlotte, NC 28210

Offered at $675,000

Deering Oaks Linwood Bolles 704-905-5732

Offered at $460,000

Offered at $325,000

Kings Point Linwood Bolles 704-905-5732

Olde Georgetowne Linwood Bolles 704-905-5732

ALLEN TATE SOUTHPARK

1800 Sterling Road Charlotte, NC 28209


Discover The Unique Home Our Design/Build Team Can Create For You KITCHEN & BATH I OUTDOOR LIVING SPACES I CUSTOM HOMES I REMODELING I INTERIOR DECORATING

OUR DESIGN/BUILD PROCESS Onsite Consultation

Evaluation of your project goals, time frame and budget feasibility. A high-level review of what makes sense.

Design Development

Our Design Team Works with you to generate creative options to achieve your goals. We help you balance wants with budget.

Project Estimate

The scope of work, detailed pricing and construction agreement are generated and presented.

Working Plans

Engineering and construction plans are completed as needed. Plans are submitted for county approval and permitting.

Preconstruction

Our design department will assist you in the selection process and cataloging as well as filing for building permits.

Start Of Construction

You will be assigned a project manager to coordinate the daily activities on your project.

THE FINISHING TOUCH: HOME DECORATING SERVICES Working with our Interior Designers and Home Decorators, can insure selections are cohesive with the building plans and the client’s vision. Our services include: • Interior Design • Floor Covering • Paint & Wall Covering Selections • Window Treatments • Furniture & Accessories • Lighting and More

Collin Haglund

Interior Design Consultant

Our unique Design/Build Team includes Designers, Kitchen & Bath Designers, Interior Designers, Home Decorators and Construction Professionals. View Our Online Portfolio at UrbanBuildingGroup.com

342 Circle Avenue in Myers Park PH 704.307.4606 EM JohnMorgan@ubgcharlotte.com


Persian Rugs & Antiques Exquisite Turkish and Persian Rugs

Restoration. Repairs. Cleaning. Padding and Appraisals. Trades are Considered 102-A Middleton Drive Charlotte NC 28207

704-342-1117


TM

Wonderlit Trees 10 YEAR LIGHTS WARRANTY

Celebrating our 40th season!

11729 Carolina Place Parkway Pineville, NC Shop in-store & online! PeppermintForest.com


1230 West Morehead St., Suite 308 Charlotte, NC 28208 704-523-6987 southparkmagazine.com

Ben Kinney Publisher publisher@southparkmagazine.com Cathy Martin Editor editor@southparkmagazine.com Whitley Adkins Hamlin Style Editor Andie Rose Art Director

A TrAdiTion of Knowledge And TrusT

Lauren M. Coffey Graphic Designer Alyssa Rocherolle Graphic Designer Contributing Writers Michelle Boudin, Sally Brewster Virginia Brown, Ken Garfield Vanessa Infanzon, D.G. Martin David Mildenberg Michael J. Solender

GAY DILLASHAW 704-564-9393 6700 Fairview Road, Charlotte, NC 28210

gay.dillashaw@allentate.com

Contributing Photographers Daniel Coston, Justin Driscoll Longley Photography, Richard Israel Tim Robison, Ashley Sellner ADVERTISING

9TH ANNUAL

CHARLOTTE

Jane Rodewald Account Executive 704-621-9198 jane@southparkmagazine.com Scott Leonard Audience Development Specialist/ Account Executive 704-996-6426 scott@southparkmagazine.com

D O N AT E N O W T H R O U G H NOVEMBER 15TH 2019 Why are we collecting coats? We believe everyone deserves a warm coat. Our goal is to collect 5,000 coats for the Salvation Army this year! With your generosity, men, women and children in Charlotte can keep warm this winter.

Presented By:

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Letters to the editorial staff: editor@southparkmagazine.com Instagram: southparkmagazine Facebook: facebook.com/southparkmagazine Twitter: twitter.com/SouthParkMag

Benefitting:

To find a drop-off location near youyou or to donate monetarily online, visit To find a drop-off location near www.coatdrivecharlotte.com or to donate monetarily online, visit

www.coatdrivecharlotte.com

Brad Beard Graphic Designer

Owners Jack Andrews, Frank Daniels Jr., Frank Daniels III, Lee Dirks, David Woronoff Published by Old North State Magazines LLC. ŠCopyright 2019. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Volume 22, Issue 11


The Mark of Distinction in World Class Home Building™ Charlotte (704) 889.1600 Charleston (843) 801.1600 www.kingswoodhomes.com

C H A R LO T T E C H A R L E S TO N World Class Living


What Kind Of Legacy Will You Leave? The choices you make today can make a difference for decades yet to come. Managing wealth means thinking far into the future. And making decisions about what your money should do even after you’re gone. That perspective comes naturally at First Citizens Wealth Management. Managing over $25 billion in wealth assets, we’ve been led for three generations by members of the same family. The approach we use to manage our future is the same we use, every day, to help our clients manage theirs. firstcitizens.com/wealth

INVESTMENTS | INSURANCE | RETIREMENT Your investments in securities, annuities and insurance are not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency and may lose value. They are not a deposit or other obligation of, or guaranteed by any bank or bank affiliate and are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested. Past performance does not guarantee future results. First Citizens Wealth Management is a registered trademark of First Citizens BancShares, Inc. First Citizens Wealth Management products and services are offered by First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company, Member FDIC; First Citizens Investor Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC, an SEC-registered broker-dealer and investment advisor; and First Citizens Asset Management, Inc., an SEC-registered investment advisor. Brokerage and investment advisory services are offered through First Citizens Investor Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. First Citizens Asset Management, Inc. provides investment advisory services.  Bank deposit products are offered by First Citizens Bank, Member FDIC.


Our Holidays Have

Pasts & Presents

From historical candlelit tours and vintage decorations to fresh-baked Moravian cookies and the Festival of Lights, holidays in Winston-Salem will fill your spirit with the joys of the season. This holiday, experience our centuries-old festive traditions and even start some of your own.

NOVEMBER 23 & 24

Piedmont Craftsmen’s Fair

NOVEMBER - DECEMBER

NOVEMBER - DECEMBER

Reynolda Christmas

Holidays in Old Salem

Plan your holiday getaway at VisitWinstonSalem.com


blvd. People. Places. Things.

UPTOWN GOURMET

Reid’s Fine Foods has opened its newest spot in downtown Charlotte, joining the gourmet grocer’s first center-city location on Trade Street and others in Myers Park and SouthPark. The new food store and restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner MondayFriday and lunch, dinner and a la carte brunch on Saturday. Other offerings include coffee, frozen entrees to go, beer and liquor at a 20-seat wine bar, a retail shop, and catering services. Reid’s newest spot is located at 135 Levine Avenue of the Arts between Fin and Fino and Starbucks — look for the cozy covered patio with the familiar green awning.

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Girl talk FROM STYLE TO PARENTING TO FINANCE, A NEW SPEAKER SERIES OFFERS GO-TO SOLUTIONS AND ADVICE FOR CHARLOTTE WOMEN. BY WHITLEY ADKINS HAMLIN

TelI us a little bit more about what you are creating. Women are impressive. I love when Margaret Thatcher said, “If you want something said, give it to a man. If you want something done, give it to a woman.” I am creating a 36

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speaker series where women gather over drinks and bites to hear more from badass experts in their respective fields. (Can I say badass?) Women make 80% of the household decisions in a multitude of areas — finances, nutrition, parenting and so many more. I’m just creating a way to connect the women of Charlotte to share their knowledge, focusing on education and personal growth. ... we can do so much more together than trying on our own. Today we look to our phones and computers for advice from what we assume is a trusted online resource, but what if we turned to each other? I think the outcome would be much more impactful. Who is it for? I have learned by making a million mistakes, and as a result, I have built up an arsenal of female experts. Not only are the forums for the women who are coming to learn, but it is also a powerful platform for successful women in Charlotte who have a lot of expertise to share. What can people expect? The monthly forums are limited to 30 tickets per evening to encourage easy and inviting communication among attendees and the speaker of the evening. With the intimate nature of the events, people are able to sincerely connect and ask questions comfortably after a brief 15-minute interactive presentation by the speaker. Each Good Taste forum will be founded upon three tiers: social networking, personal education and purposeful giving.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DEMI MABRY

W

hen Louisiana native Cate Gutter moved to Charlotte from Chicago in 2017, she realized she had more questions than answers on matters such as parenting, home design and other life hacks. “I needed help streamlining all the information I was getting,” says Gutter, 32. “As a woman and a stay-athome mother, life can be isolating. I craved more meaningful time with my friends and more opportunities to expand my knowledge and thinking,” says the UNC Chapel Hill grad who had owned her own baking business in the Windy City. In October, she launched a monthly forum series — Good Taste with Cate & Company — to provide lifestyle advice for women on topics ranging from home design to style and personal finance to entertaining. “Through Good Taste, I am bringing women together in a creative and open space to ask questions of Charlotte’s most experienced female professionals in various fields,” says Gutter, who lives in Eastover with her husband, Emerich, and three kids. “From hostessing how-tos to financial quandaries, we’ve all got questions, and I know where to get reliable answers — skipping the research and self-doubt and going straight to the woman who knows the ins and outs in her specific field.” Comments were edited for brevity and clarity.


D

M A K I N G H I S TO RY SINCE 1980.


|blvd.

I CAME FOR THE TRAINING. I STAYED FOR THE RESULTS. In addition to the fun opportunity to meet new people, network and gain knowledge in an unfamiliar field, there will be a featured local nonprofit that ties into the topic of the evening. When bringing together all of these amazing and accomplished women, it was a no-brainer to have a give-back component. This is your second business. Is there anything you learned from your first experience that you’ve been able to apply to this? What a gift to have second chances! My first business brought me a lot of joy, and I met an incredible bunch of people who taught me a lot. But one thing I really learned was you can’t get very far by yourself. And that is really what stirred the idea of my second business — the need for help from others. Sometimes it’s a little scary to ask for help, but when you do, you’ll be surprised about how much a little help can change your life.  What’s been the biggest obstacle so far? When I first started, all of my friends laughed at my very long-winded elevator pitch and said, “I hope you have a long ride on that elevator.” I feel so passionately about the mission of Good Taste that I often want to get into all the details of the business, when the mission is simple — this is a space for women to connect, learn and give back. Any tips for squeezing an extra 30 minutes out of a day? It’s only taken me 32 years to realize this, but setting the clock to wake up 30 minutes earlier gets you 30 minutes extra time in the day. Even when I’m exhausted and I want to press the snooze, I now count on those 30 extra minutes before my kids are up in the morning — and it is usually the most productive time of my day.

Get Your Complimentary Consultation SOUTHPARK - 704.525.5759 1600 E. Woodlawn Rd., Ste 255 Charlotte, NC 28209 fitnesstogether.com/southpark/magazine *Valid for first time clients. Contact Studio for more details and to schedule. Limited time offer. ©2019 Fitness Together Franchise Corporation. All rights reserved. Each Fitness Together ® studio is independently owned and operated.

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What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know? I moved to North Carolina in 2001 because my parents left their corporate jobs to follow their dreams of owning a summer camp for kids. We actually lived in a cabin my first year we lived in Asheville! It was one of the best things to ever happen to me. To learn more and to sign up for a forum: goodtastewithcate.com


CHARLOTTE

HUNTERSVILLE

5431 Monroe Road 704.568.7600

9715 A. Sam Furr Road 704.896.9626

MATTHEWS

PINEVILLE

9405 East Independence Blvd. 704.708.4223

11523-D Carolina Place Parkway 704.527.5510

CHARLOTTE - OUTLET STORE 5419 Monroe Road • 980.505.8440


|blvd.

Learning to listen LEIGHTON FORD’S NEW MEMOIR FOLLOWS HIS LIFE’S JOURNEY AS AN EVANGELIST — AND HELPS READERS FIND THEIR OWN VOICES. BY KEN GARFIELD

A

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Coinciding with the release of Ford’s memoir, another beautiful thing has taken place: Leighton and his son, Kevin, have merged ministries. The new Leighton Ford Ministries will seek to double the number of mentoring groups he has launched to 60 worldwide. With Kevin Ford’s experience as a consultant to churches, those congregations facing the challenge of change can turn to LFM for 40

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Leighton Ford, top, and his son, Kevin, bottom, have merged minitries guidance. Part of Kevin Ford’s work will focus on helping churches find their mission — their “Truth North,” he calls it. He will also help clergy develop healthy traits related to family, fitness, diet and exercise. A story guides this journey. Leighton lost a son and Kevin a big brother when Sandy Ford died in 1981 during surgery to correct a heart problem. He was 21. When they drove to UNC Chapel Hill to gather Sandy’s belongings, they found in his dorm room an unfinished poem, “To Dad, for his fiftieth birthday.” In A Life Of Listening, Leighton writes: “I do not believe that God brought about Sandy’s death to teach me something. I do believe he used it to prepare me and those I loved for what was yet to come.” In partnering with his father, Kevin, 54, talks of a mission discovered long ago: to make his brother proud. He also recalls the day he saw his father sobbing and realized that he must help take care of him. Kevin and his family have moved from the Washington, D.C., area back to Charlotte, where they’ve settled into New City Church (formerly Church at Charlotte). “Time together,” says Kevin Ford, “is a gift from God.” Says Leighton Ford, “To know that Leighton Ford Ministries is going to go on is a great encouragement to me.” SP A Life Of Listening and Places of the Heart are available at Park Road Books, the GoodNews Shop at Christ Episcopal Church, 3 French Hens gift shop and at leightonfordministries.com. Ken Garfield is a freelance writer focusing on charitable causes. He also writes obituaries. Reach him at garfieldken3129@ gmail.com.

PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF LEIGHTON FORD MINISTRIES

t 88, evangelist Leighton Ford has caught his second wind. Third wind actually, if you consider that he’s just published a memoir while also going into “business” with his son. In all he does — preaching, painting, writing, mentoring, listening — Ford aspires to be, as he puts it, “a bearer of good news.” Ford and his wife, Jean, are fixtures in the SouthPark community. She’s the kid sister of Billy Graham and a popular Bible teacher in town. He branched off from his late brother-in-law’s ministry years ago to start his own, focusing on nurturing young Christian leaders. The Fords’ passion is such that news of Leighton Ford’s latest work inspires little surprise, but rather the question, “What has he done now?” Ford’s 11th book, A Life Of Listening: Discerning God’s Voice And Discovering Our Own, is out in hardback from InterVarsity Press. A blend of memoir and devotional, it takes us on Ford’s life journey. From a difficult childhood in Canada, he discovered his calling. “That sense of God caring for a lonely young man was the seed of a desire to help my peers know Christ.” He found the love of his life, no thanks to his flair for romance: On their first date, he took Jean to a hockey game. Still, he writes, “How could I ever forget those eyes, that lovely blond hair, that soft Southern voice, and her humor and warmth?” Ford found meaning in working with his brother-in-law, then in going out on his own to mentor the next generation of Christian leaders. “To be an artist of the soul and a friend on the journey,” as he puts it. A Life Of Listening is more than a biography, though. Woven through the memoir is a message for our noisy times, to stop and listen to God and to each other, for that is how we discover our own voice. Last year, I helped Ford publish Places of the Heart, a book of paintings, poems and essays reflecting on the places he’s been. When we would meet, before getting to work, with a quiet grace he’d ask me about my family, work and faith. A life of listening, indeed.


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Past perfect MARTA GUALDA BRINGS OLD WORLD ACCENTS TO MODERN SPACES AT HER EASTOVER GALLERY AND BOUTIQUE. pon crossing the threshold of Marta Gualda Artifacts, visitors are immediately transported from a bustling stretch of Providence Rd. in Eastover to a quiet, calming oasis of style with a chic Mediterranean-meetsManhattan vibe. White-washed pine floors line the open, sunny gallery adorned with Renaissance and Baroque-style paintings, Spanish and Italian ceramics, bronze busts and statuary — all creating a sense of place that draws from classic European history and culture. It’s all part of Marta Gualda’s plan to seduce her guests with possibilities. Gualda, 34, the shop’s namesake owner who recently moved to Charlotte from Granada, Spain, combines her passion for craft and eye for beauty with savvy treasure-hunting in curating her newly opened gallery. Gualda’s love of historic art stems from her experience working at and subsequently operating a similar gallery once owned by her grandparents in her native Spain. It was there in Granada in 2015 that an American gentleman from Charlotte happened upon her boutique. They struck up a conversation, sparking a budding romance.

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PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF MARTA GUALDA ARTIFACTS

U

BY MICHAEL J. SOLENDER


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2902 B Selwyn Avenue | Charlotte, North Carolina 28209 704-900-5667 | www.tinyclt.com | @tiny4children www.maisonette.com

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The American was Zack Zitsos, an executive with Charlotte-based Showmars restaurants and founder of Mamu Market, a healthy meal-prep and delivery service. The couple began dating in 2016 and married a year later, and in early 2018 Gualda moved to Charlotte after only two brief visits. “My goal is to introduce people to the beauty of this style of collectible pieces,” says Gualda of her shop’s museum-quality artwork, furnishings, maps, documents and books. “Museums are wonderful places to get inspired by art, but you can’t touch the work, feel its weight, smell it and fully relate to its origins. I want to bring people the experience of getting intimate with these artifacts.” Visitors get up close to paintings from the 16th century to the 20th century by artists whose work is featured in the Prado and the Thyssen-Bornemisza museums in Madrid; the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam; the Met in New York City; and even here in Charlotte at The Mint Museum. One such work is an enormous Matador painting, Pedrucho y su Cuadrilla by Armando Miravalls Bove (pictured above). More than 6 feet tall and nearly twice as long, the original oil on canvas features a group of Barcelona matadors, most notably Pedro Basauri Paguaga, a favorite bullfighter of Ernest Hemingway. Another treasure is a fascinating Swiss music box created in 1838 for the French market. The patinaed mahogany box hosts an ornate mechanism displayed through a glass top. When activated, tiny bells ring when struck by silver bees, small wooden drums thump, and the small, keyed movement plays melodies composed by the likes of Mendelssohn, Mozart and Lecocq. “Timelessness is a quality I cultivate with my collection,” Gualda says. “To make something new, you must know the past. Bringing old things into a new context by combining past and present creates a new meaning, a new perspective and a vibrant new sense of place.” SP 813 Providence Rd., martagualda.com


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My favorite things . . .

C

harlotte native Tiffany Moore is a customer-service clerk at Harris Teeter at Park Road Shopping Center, where she has worked for 19 years. “It is a generational store, and so I have seen children grow up, go off to college and grow into adults,” says Moore, who lives nearby with her 17-year-old son, Shon. “I love to walk around my neighborhood and in the fall, see the trees change and smell the change in the air. Family is everything to me, so I really love to see people out with their families doing different things. Everyone that lives in my community shops at Harris Teeter, so I get to see people I have known for a very long time. Moore describes herself as a relationship person. “I like to go to local places where I can see familiar faces. I like to make connections. I am a firm believer that what you put out is what you get back, and that being personal and speaking kind to others and having good manners goes a long way.”

FAVORITE PLACE:

My favorite place to be is home. I open the windows and let the natural light come through. I open up the blinds, have a cup of coffee and read a magazine or a book. I meditate and find my peace until Shon wakes up. Every Saturday, I make us both breakfast. If he works that morning, I get up an hour early to have that time together.

SATURDAY ACTIVITY:

We like to go to Mr. K’s to get hamburgers. These burgers are REALLY good — they taste like they come right off the grill, as if you were at a family cookout. It’s family-owned, and there is always great service.

Getting my feet done and being pampered when I can.

Selwyn Nails is in my neighborhood, and it is such a peace-

ful and calm place for me. The people there know me by my name and always make me feel welcome.

PLACE TO BUY A BOOK:

If I want to get a good book, I go to Park Road Books. Miss Sally [Brewster] has known me as long as I have worked at Harris Teeter. I love her. When Shon was much younger, his favorite book series was Diary Of A Wimpy Kid. The author was visiting Park Road Books, and I wasn’t able to pick

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PHOTOGRAPH OF TIFFANY MOORE BY RICHARD ISRAEL

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SUMPTUOUS

SWEATERS TO WARM YOU

him up from school and get him back there in time to get a signed book. Sally got an autographed copy for Shon because she knew he loved those books. I enjoy my time there because they are good, humble people.

CUP OF COFFEE:

The Circle K on Selwyn Ave. A lot of people think you have to have a fancy cup of coffee, but I don’t. I love going there. It’s always clean, and everyone is friendly. It’s my favorite on-the-go coffee.

MOVIE TIME:

Shon and I have been going to the movies together since he was a kid. That’s one of our favorite activities. We like to go on a Saturday or Sunday. Shon gets a popcorn and Slushee — I just go to watch the movie!

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BREAKFAST SPOT:

I like the atmosphere and love the service at The Original Pancake House. Shon and I go there every year for his birthday. I get the Belgian waffle with fresh strawberries, sausage, eggs and hash browns. Their coffee is on point (but I always bring my own coffee creamer because I love flavored creamer).

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One reason I have always lived and worked in my community is because of the schools. I’ve raised Shon on my own, but meeting people at work with kids his age has helped me so much. If I needed information, if I needed to get Shon a ride, or if I had to work late, my community of friends stepped in to help me. When I had surgery, they brought food and cards or simply called with encouraging words. It takes a village to raise a child, and I’m so thankful that my village has been the customers of Harris Teeter. SP compiled by Whitley Adkins Hamlin Know of a Charlotte tastemaker or person of interest we should feature here? Email whitley@thequeencitystyle.com.


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Italy is calling CICCETTI OFFERS A VENETIAN-STYLE DINING EXPERIENCE IN A SOPHISTICATED UPTOWN SETTING.

O

BY CATHY MARTIN

enophiles take note: A new wine bar is open in the heart of uptown Charlotte, with a wide-ranging menu of delectable, shareable plates and a retail shop with a thoughtful selection of bottles available for carryout, curbside pickup or delivery. Ciccetti opened in late September at Bank of America Corporate Center in the space formerly occupied by City Smoke. It’s the latest concept from Pierre Bader’s Sonoma Restaurant Group, parent of Aria Tuscan Grill. Ciccetti are essentially the Venitian version of Spanish tapas — small bites, finger foods and other dishes designed for sharing. “It was born out of our love of eating and trying new things and being able to share food and drink around the table,” says Briana Cohen, who’s worked for SRG for 22 years and curates the wine selections. The menu developed by SRG Executive Chef Alex Piatt includes a mix of pulpetti (meatballs) that can be eaten in one bite; bruschetta, served family style with shareable toppings; plus an extensive variety of meat, seafood and vegetarian small plates. A small selection of desserts is available for customers stopping in after dinner or a show. “Watching the space transform inspired me with the menu,” says Piatt of the 100-seat venue designed by Shook Kelley. The cocktail menu includes several classics plus variations on the Spritz and the Bellini. Prosecco is offered on tap, along with two draft cocktails: A signature cocktail made with gin, house-made limoncello, Aperol, sweet vermouth and prosecco; plus a rotating whiskey cocktail developed by local mixologist Bob Peters.

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Ciccetti will host two wine clubs — one featuring seasonal selections from around the world and another featuring sustainable produced offerings. “Their names are not well-known, but their wines are truly farm-to-table,” Cohen says. “People are so into where their food comes from — it’s the same concept, just with wine.” Members will get first notice of each month’s selections and invitations to monthly pick-up parties with wine and food tastings. The 400-bottle selection also includes some familiar selections. “I wanted to include wines that people in Charlotte have a great comfort level with,” says Cohen, who’s been able to travel extensively and get to know a lot of the producers. “I think a lot of times wine shops and wine lists can be intimidating.” To take the stress out of selecting bottles, Ciccetti takes a sommelier model when it comes to hiring staff: “We are focused on hiring people who are wine-centric,” Cohen says. “These people are super passionate — they understand the producers; they understand that the story is everything.” SP

THE DETAILS

Ciccetti is open Monday-Thursday from 2 p.m - 10:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 2 p.m to midnight. Wine bottles are available via carryout or in-house (a $10 corkage fee applies). Same-day curbside pickup is offered with two hours notice. Same-day delivery is available for $5 with two-hours notice: There is a one-bottle minimum for delivery downtown, and a one-case minimum within greater Charlotte.


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|blvd.

For the love of jazz

LONGTIME CHARLOTTEANS AND MUSIC LOVERS BRING A NEW JAZZ CONCEPT TO THE QUEEN CITY.

W

BY VIRGINIA BROWN

hen Larry Farber was a young boy, he loved experiencing live jazz. “I remember going to Nixon’s Steakhouse to see Ziggy Hurwitz play,” he says, referring to the one-time Nixon Bros. Steakhouse restaurant on Independence Blvd., which often hosted the jazz pianist. Farber, a native Charlottean and longtime owner of EastCoast Entertainment, thinks fondly of a different era of jazz in the Queen City — one he wants to revive. Noel Freidline “As I’ve seen the city evolve, I felt like the time was right for Charlotte to embrace a dedicated club all about the music,” he says. “Yes, we’ll have food and great drinks, but [this is] a venue that makes music its primary focus.” The new concept, Middle C Jazz, which was scheduled to open on Oct. 31, aims to present local, regional and national jazz acts in a 200-seat venue. “My whole life has been music,” Farber says. “When Maria Howell you’re creating a city as world-class and multicultural as ours, part of what makes us better and more attractive is to have a dedicated world-class jazz club. This has been a bucket list dream of mine forever.” Today in Charlotte, while not exactly ubiquitous, jazz hangs around in a variety of improvised venues, from the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, which has its own popular Jazz at the Bechtler series, to restaurants that offer jazz nights, such as the longstanding Cajun Queen. Lonnie and Ocie Davis’ JazzArts Charlotte, which celebrates 10 years this season, continues to expand its beloved Jazz Room series, celebrating the greats like Ahmad Jamal, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk (and even its returning students, like Charlotte’s own Sean Mason) at Blumenthal’s Stage Door Theater. Adam Farber, Larry’s son and a commercial real-estate broker at Colliers International, joins him in the venture and says he’s excited about the uptown location on Brevard Street, between the Charlotte Convention Center and Spectrum Center. Poised for an influx of visitors and locals alike, the Farbers note that, much like the middle C on a piano unites the sections on a keyboard, Middle C Jazz is a centrally located meeting point for Charlotte’s musicians and music lovers. Following 47 years in the entertainment-booking business and 13 years running the Music With Friends concert series, Farber is relying on relationships he’s built with others in 52

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Charlotte to make it all work. Jonathan Gellman, who owned and operated the Jazz Cellar and restaurant at Jonathan’s Uptown (now Duckworth’s) during the 1980s and early ’90s, is charged with programming the music. And he’s off to a great start, confirming guests already known and loved by Charlotte crowds, such as Maria Howell and Al Strong, plus Grammy Award nominees and winners, including Special EFX with Emmy Award-winning guitarist, composer, producer Chieli Minucci. Pianist Joey Alexander is scheduled to headline in November. The club has a partner restaurant, too. Chris Healy, formerly of the Gin Mill and Davidson Street Public House restaurant, is managing partner of the adjacent concept, The Public House. Clayton Sanders, a former chef at the Davidson small-plates restaurant who also sharpened his skills at Aria and Halcyon, has created tapas-style foods that are easily shareable, not-toomessy and, of course, quiet. “The number one priority in the space is the sound,” Healy says. “You won’t be able to hear that fork.” Chef-driven highlights include pastrami-style meatballs, chef’s pimento cheese, chicken skewers with peanut sauce, smoked wings and bacon-apple brie. Dips and spreads, salads, and meats and cheeses are also on the menu. Former WBTV sports anchor Delano Little partners with Healy on The Public House. “This is a local project,” Little says. “We know the community, and we know what people like.” Little points to another local, Honey Butter Bakery founder Brandi Jones, who adds her popular desserts to the menu. According to Healy, selections will change often. For every show, the restaurant will offer a small-plates menu plus a full bar with craft cocktails and table service. Performances run Thursday through Sunday, with one evening performance on Thursdays, two evening performances on Fridays and Saturdays, a Sunday morning brunch performance and local blues artists on Sunday evenings. Single-ticket sales are available, and a membership option offers perks such as discounted prices and early admission. “We want to support the local jazz folks in this area,” Farber says. “Our success will be Charlotte’s success.” SP middlecjazz.com, 300 South Brevard St.


|blvd.

TO-DO

LIST

NOVEMBER

THIS MONTH’S FIVE ESSENTIAL DATES

11/6

11/7

11/7-10

11/14-24

11/16

Catch legendary pop star Elton John when he performs at Spectrum Center as part of his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour. The singer/songwriter says he’s retiring after five decades of performing — this could be your last chance to see him live. Tickets prices vary. ticketmaster.com.

Gather your book club buddies, friends or family members for an evening of food, wine and laughter at the 6th annual Verse & Vino. It’s the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s signature fundraising event and features an impressive slate of New York Times bestselling authors. This year’s lineup includes nonfiction author Karen Abbott, poet Ross Gay, novelist Alica Hoffman and novelist Kevin Wilson. Join the waitlist for this soldout event. foundation. cmlibrary.org

Opera Carolina opens the 2019-20 season with Macbeth, one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies adapted by Italian composer Verdi. Tickets for the performance at Belk Theater start at $22. operacarolina.org

The largest holiday show in North America returns when the 52nd annual Southern Christmas Show takes over The Park Expo and Conference Center. Expect more than 450 vendors featuring holiday décor, gifts and gourmet treats at this year’s woodland-themed event. A special preview on Nov. 13 will benefit the Jeff Gordon Foundation for pediatric cancer research. Tickets at the door are $15 ($24 for preview night); discounted tickets will be available at participating Harris Teeter stores.

The annual Novant Health Charlotte Marathon (previously the Thunder Road Marathon) includes events for all fitness levels: Choose from a relay, a kids 1-mile run, a 5K race, half marathon or marathon. The main event finishes uptown at Romare Bearden Park. runcharlotte.com

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|simple life

Above it all THE REWARDS OF LIFE’S UPWARD CLIMB

N

BY JIM DODSON

ever lose the opportunity to see anything beautiful, British clergyman Charles Kingsley once advised, for beauty is God’s handwriting, a wayside sacrament. Because I rise well before dawn wherever I happen to be, on a recent trip I stepped outside to see what I could see from 4,000 feet. A fog bank was rolling silently down the side of the mountain like a curtain opening on the sleepy world, revealing 50 miles of forested hills in the light of a chilly quarter moon. The only other lights I saw were a few remaining stars flung somewhere over East Tennessee. The only sound I heard was the wind sighing over the western flank of Beech Mountain. An owl hooted on a distant ridge, saying goodbye to summer. In a world where it is almost impossible to get lost or find genuine silence and solitude, this moment was a rare thing of beauty. I stood there for probably half an hour, savoring the chill, an over-scheduled man of Earth watching the moon vanish and a pleated sky grow lighter by degrees, drinking in the mountain air like a tonic from the gods, savoring a silence that yielded only to the awakening of nature and the first stirrings of birdsong. After an endless summer that wilted both garden and spirit down in the flatlands, a golf trip with three buddies to Beech Mountain, the highest mountain town in the eastern United States, was exactly what I needed. A door opened behind me on the deck. My oldest friend, Patrick, stepped out, a cup of tea in hand, giving a faint shiver. “Beautiful, isn’t it? “ he said. “Hard to believe we’re not the only ones up here.” Such is the power of a mountain. The lovely house belonged to our friends Robert and Melanie, and though there were hundreds of houses tucked into the mountain slopes all around us, from this particular vantage point none was visible

or even apparent, providing the illusion of intimacy— a world unmarked by man. “So what does this make you think about?” My perceptive friend asked after we both stood for several silent minutes taking in the splendor of a chilly mountain dawn. I admitted that, for a few precious moments, I felt as if I were standing on the deck of the post-and-beam house I built for my family on a hilltop of beech, birch and hemlock near the coast of Maine, our family home for two decades, surrounded by miles of protected forest. The skies, the views, even the smell of the forest were nearly identical. Sometimes I missed that place more than I cared to admit. “I remember — it was quite on a hill,” said Patrick with a smile. “The highest in our town. It felt like the top of the world. My sacred retreat for a transcendental Buddho-Episcopalian who has a keen fondness for good Methodist covered-dish suppers.” Patrick laughed. He knew exactly what I meant. Old friends do. We’ve talked philosophy and gods and everything else sacred and profane for more than half a century. In every spiritual tradition, mountains are places where Heaven and Earth meet, symbolic of transcendence and a human need to elevate mind, body and spirit. As long as our types have walked the Earth, hilltops and mountains have provided a powerful means of escape and spiritual retreat, a way to literally rise above the demands and hustle of everyday life. Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, which translates to mean “The Mount of God.” In Greek lore, it was believed that to spend a night on Mount Olympus would result in either madness or direct communication with the gods. Japan’s Mount Fuji is one of that nation’s three sacred mountains and a World Heritage site that has inspired artists and pilgrimages for centuries. “Being up here,” I added, “reminds me of an experience Jack had that I would like to have.” Jack is my only son, a documentary filmmaker and journalsouthparkmagazine.com | 57


|simple life ist living and working in the Middle East. He and his sister, Maggie, grew up with Patrick’s daughter, Emily. The three of them are all adults now, birds that have successfully flown the nest. We are proud papas. In January of 2011, though, as part of Elon University’s outstanding Periclean Scholars program, Jack and a few of his chums joined thousands of spiritual pilgrims for the five-hour night climb up Sri Pada — also known as Adam’s Peak — to see the sunrise from an ancient temple on Sri Lanka’s most holy mountain, a pilgrimage of 5,000 steps traveled annually by thousands of Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and Muslims for some 1,700 years. Jack had been asked by his adviser to go to Sri Lanka and make a film about the service work of the Periclean class ahead of his own class’ project with a rural health organization in India. The resulting 45-minute film, The Elephant in the Room, examined the environmental issues of Sri Lanka using the fate of the nation’s endangered elephants to tell a broader story about how the world’s natural systems are under severe stress. Jack wrote, filmed, edited and narrated most of the film in partnership with two of his Periclean colleagues. As he reminded me the other day during one of our weekly phone conversations from Israel, his unexpected pilgrimage to the mountaintop came at a critical moment of his junior year when he had burned out from too much work and not enough rest. In addition to his studies, he was burning the candle at

both ends, teaching himself to make films and working as an editor on the school newspaper. “When I look back, I realize I was getting pretty discouraged about both school and journalism at that moment,” he explained. “But the trip to Sri Lanka came at a good moment because it was the first time I got to make a film my own way about the things that struck me as important, just using my instincts about things we were seeing in our travels. It was a moment of real clarity and freedom.” The climb up Sri Pada in the pre-dawn winter darkness was one of the highlights of his Sri Lankan film odyssey, a surprisingly challenging climb even for a fit, outdoor-loving kid from Maine who grew up climbing mighty Mount Katahdin with his mates. Jack and his fellow Pericleans paused on the ancient steps several times to catch their breath before pushing on to the summit. On the way up, they passed — or were passed by — the young and old, the healthy and feeble, men and women of all ages, shapes and sizes, rich and poor, trudging ever upward. He told me he saw young men carrying their grandmothers on their backs, others carrying torches, bundles and food — couples, families, pilgrims from the Earth’s four major faiths all seeking a common holy mountain top. “We arrived about 10 minutes after the sunrise,” he remembers. “But the whole mountaintop was bathed in this beautiful golden light. We stood in the courtyard of that temple, sweaty and tired but also incredibly happy and at

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|simple life peace. It was very moving. I caught some of it on film. The view was incredible,” he recalled. “We were so glad we made the climb. It was just what I needed.” Though he’s gone on to make more than a dozen timely films about everything from debtor’s prison in Mississippi to the opioid crisis across America, my son’s earnest and charming little film about the fate of elephants in Sri Lanka — his first full-length effort — is probably his old man’s favorite to date, full of simple images that reveal his budding talents. It is filled with poignant fleeting encounters with ordinary people and moments that have become familiar hallmarks of Jack’s homegrown filmmaking style. A year after he made The Elephant in the Room, his more ambitious and technically refined film about a pioneering rural health care organization in India was shown at a World Health Organization gathering in Paris. His sophomore achievement ultimately landed him a job at one of the top documentary houses before he went on to graduate school at Columbia, met his wife and began a promising career as an independent filmmaker. I saw a nice change in my son after he came down from that sacred mountain: a fresh resolve, a clearer mind. “When I got back to Elon, I started to learn about meditation and developed a different attitude about what I was doing,” he said. “I still think about that climb from time to time. It was an experience that stays with you.”

We also talked about the last really challenging hike we took together, a grueling hike up Mount Katahdin with his Scout troop. I was 50 at the time. Jack was 13. Truthfully, I’d convinced myself that I was in excellent shape for a 50-year-old Eagle Scout. But I never made it to the top. My dodgy knees gave out a thousand feet below the summit, prompting me to rest my weary legs at the ranger station beside Chimney Pond while Jack and his teenage buddies scampered up Cathedral Trail to the summit. As I contentedly waited, a passage from James Salter’s beautiful novel Light Years came to mind. “Children are our crop, our fields, our earth. They are birds let loose into darkness. They are errors renewed. Still, they are the only source from which may be drawn a life more successful, more knowing than our own. Somehow they will do one thing, take one step further, they will see the summit. We believe in it, the radiance that streams from the future, from days we will not see.” Above it all, as we watched the chilly sunrise from the top of Beech Mountain, my old friend Patrick simply smiled and nodded when I mentioned this. SP Contact Editor Jim Dodson at jim@thepilot.com. You can see Jack’s work at JackDodson.net and The Elephant in the Room at vimeo.com/30460629.

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|bookshelf

November books

COMPILED BY SALLY BREWSTER

The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, The Starless Sea is a timeless love story set in a secret underground world — a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars and ships that sail upon a starless sea. When graduate student Zachary Ezra Rawlins discovers a mysterious book in the library, he is shocked to find a story from his own childhood amongst the pages. Propelled by the mystery, Zachary travels to New York where he finds a doorway to an ancient library hidden below the surface of the earth. What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians — it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose — in both the mysterious book and in his own life. The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness, by Susannah Cahalan For centuries, doctors have struggled to define mental illness — how do you diagnose it, how do you treat it, how do you even know what it is? In search of an answer, in the 1970s a Stanford psychologist named David Rosenhan and seven other people — sane, well-adjusted members of society — went undercover into asylums around America to test the legitimacy of psychiatry’s labels. Forced to remain inside until they’d “proven” themselves sane, all eight emerged with alarming diagnoses and even more troubling stories of their treatment. Rosenhan’s watershed study broke open the field of psychiatry, closing down institutions and changing mental health diagnosis forever. But, as Cahalan’s

explosive new research shows, very little in this saga is exactly as it seems. What really happened behind those closed asylum doors, and what does it mean for our understanding of mental illness today? Nothing to See Here, by Kevin Wilson Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. After Lillian had to leave school unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal, the two lost touch, until Lillian receives a letter from Madison pleading for her help. Madison’s twin stepchildren are moving in with her family and she needs a caretaker. However, there’s a catch: The twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a startling but beautiful way. Lillian is convinced Madison is pulling her leg, but it’s the truth. Over the course of one humid, demanding summer, Lillian and the twins learn to trust each other — and stay cool — while also staying out of the way of Madison’s buttoned-up politician husband. Surprised by her own ingenuity yet unused to the intense feelings of protectiveness she feels for them, Lillian ultimately begins to accept that she needs these strange children as much as they need her — urgently and fiercely. Could this be the start of the amazing life she’d always hoped for? The Revisioners, by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton In 1925, Josephine is the proud owner of a thriving farm. As a child, she channeled otherworldly power to free herself from slavery. Her new neighbor, a white woman named Charlotte, forges an uneasy friendship between them that ultimately jeopardizes Josephine’s family when her ties to the Ku Klux Klan are revealed. Nearly one hundred years later, Josephine’s descendant, Ava, is a single mother who has just lost her job. She moves in with her white grandmother, Martha, a wealthy but lonely woman. But Martha’s behavior southparkmagazine.com | 63


|bookshelf soon becomes erratic, then threatening, and Ava must escape before her story and Josephine’s converge. The Revisioners explores the depths of women’s relationships — powerful and marginalized women, healers and survivors. It is a novel about the bonds between a mother and a child, the dangers that upend those bonds. At its core, The Revisioners ponders generational legacies, the endurance of hope and the undying promise of freedom. Nothing More Dangerous, by Allen Eskens Boady Sanden is 15 and ready to move on from his town in the Ozark hills. He dreams of glass towers and cityscapes, driven by his desire to be anywhere other than Jessup, Mo. Then Thomas Elgin moves in across the road, and Boady’s life begins to twist and turn. Coming to know the Elgins — a black family settling into a community where notions of “us” and “them” carry the weight of history — forces Boady to rethink his understanding of the world he’s taken for granted. Secrets hidden in plain sight begin to unfold, but the biggest secret of all is the disappearance of Lida Poe, the African American woman who keeps the books at the local plastics factory. Word has it that Ms. Poe left town, along with a hundred thousand dollars of company money. Although Boady has never met the missing woman, he discovers that the threads of her life are woven into the deepest fabric of his world. As the mystery of her fate plays out, Boady begins to

see the stark lines of race and class that both bind and divide this small town — and he will be forced to choose sides. Andromeda Evolution, by Michael Crichton and Daniel H. Wilson Fifty years after the release of The Andromeda Strain comes this gripping sequel, a terrifyingly realistic and resonant technothriller. In 1967, an extraterrestrial microbe came crashing down to Earth and nearly ended the human race. Accidental exposure to the particle — designated The Andromeda Strain — killed almost every resident of the town of Piedmont, Ariz. Over the next five days, a team of top scientists assigned to Project Wildfire worked valiantly to save the world from an epidemic of unimaginable proportions. In the moments before a catastrophic nuclear detonation, they succeeded. In the ensuing decades, research on the microparticle continued, and the world thought it was safe … With the shocking discovery of a bizarre anomaly of otherworldly matter in the middle of the jungle, and, worse yet, the telltale chemical signature of the deadly microparticle, the next-generation Project Wildfire is activated, and a diverse team of experts hailing from all over the world is dispatched to investigate the potentially apocalyptic threat. SP Sally Brewster is the proprietor of Park Road Books, located at 4139 Park Road. parkroadbooks.com

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|omnivorous reader

The transformation of a university TWO PRESIDENTS ELEVATE AN INSTITUTION.

L

BY D.G. MARTIN

ooking back 100 years to the situation at the University of North Carolina at the end of World War I might give a little comfort to current-day supporters of its successors, the UNC System and the campus at UNC Chapel Hill. The system is looking for a new president to replace former President Margaret Spellings, who left March 1, and for the acting president, Bill Roper, who plans to step down no later than the middle of next year. Meanwhile, UNC Chapel Hill is searching for a new chancellor to replace Carol Folt, who departed Jan. 15. Both Spellings and Folt had been unable to work out a good relationship with the university system’s board of governors and the legislature. In 1919, the university’s situation was, arguably, even more severe. It was reeling from the recent death of its young and inspirational president, Edward Kidder Graham, and facing the challenges of dealing with an inadequate and worn-out set of campus buildings, along with a post-war explosion of enrollees. Meeting those challenges became the responsibility of Graham’s successor, Harry Woodburn Chase. Graham had been UNC’s president from 1913, when he was named acting president, until his death in 1918, a victim of the flu epidemic that scorched the nation at the end of World War I. The Coates University Leadership Series published by UNC Libraries recently released Fire and Stone: The Making of the University of North Carolina under Presidents Edward Kidder Graham and Harry Woodburn Chase. The book’s author, Greensboro’s Howard Covington, explains how the “fire” of Graham and the “stone” of his successor, Chase, transformed UNC from a quiet liberal-arts institution into a respected university equipped to provide an academic experience that prepared students to participate in a growing commercial, industrial, and agricultural New South. At the time Graham became president, approximately 1,000 students were enrolled. The campus consisted primarily of a few buildings gathered around the South Building and the Old Well. Classrooms and living quarters were crowded and in bad condition. In his brief time as president, the youthful and charismatic

Graham pushed the university to reach out across the state. Speaking at churches, alumni gatherings, farmers’ groups and wherever a place was open to him, he preached that universities should help identify the state’s problems and opportunities, and then devote its resources to respond to them. Graham’s ambitious plans to transform the university were interrupted by World War I when the campus and its programs were at first disrupted and then commandeered by the military. His death shortly after the war ended left the university without a magnetic and motivational figure to carry out his plans and vision. That task fell upon Henry Chase, a native of Massachusetts, who had gained Graham’s trust as a teacher and talented academic leader. Although he did not have Graham’s charisma, Chase had something else that made him an appropriate successor to the visionary Graham. He had an academic background, and a talent for recruiting faculty members who supported Graham’s and Chase’s vision for a university equipped to serve the state and gain recognition as a leading institution. Chase had the plans, but lacked sufficient resources from the state. However, he had an energetic organizer in the form of Frank Porter Graham, a cousin of Ed Graham and a junior faculty member. In 1921, Frank Graham helped mobilize the university’s friends that Ed Graham had inspired. Covington writes, “The campaign had been flawless. The state had never seen such an uprising of average citizens who had come together so quickly behind a common cause. Earlier rallies around education had been directed from the top down, with a political figure in the lead. This time, the people were ahead of their political leaders, who eventually came on board.” Chase took advantage of the public pressure on the legislature to secure the resources to expand the campus. He organized and found support for university programs that included the graduate and professional training needed to serve the public throughout the state, as Ed Graham had hoped.  By 1930, when Chase left UNC to lead the University of Illinois, the UNC campus had more than doubled in size, and the student body approached 3,000, including 200 graduate students. His successor was Frank Graham.  Chase’s ride to success had been a bumpy one. For southparkmagazine.com | 67


|omnivorous reader instance, in 1925, about the time of the Scopes-evolution trial in Tennessee, Chase faced a similar uprising in North Carolina from religious leaders who attacked the university because some science instructors were teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. The state legislature considered and came close to passing a law to prohibit teaching of evolution. During the hearings on the proposal, one such professor, Collier Cobb, planned to attend to explain and defend Darwin’s theories. Covington writes that Chase told Cobb to stay in Chapel Hill because “it would be better for me to be the ‘Goat,’ if one is necessary on that occasion than for a man who is known to be teaching evolution to be put into a position where he might have to defend himself.” Chase respectfully told the committee that he was not a scientist. Rather, he was an educator and he could speak on the importance of the freedom of the mind. He also countered the proposal by emphasizing the point that Christianity was at the university’s core. His strong defense of freedom of speech gained him admiration of the faculty and many people throughout the state. But his defense of freedom was not absolute. He could be practical. When Cobb wrote a book about evolution and the newly organized UNC Press planned to publish it, Chase vetoed the idea. He explained that the book “would be regarded by our enemies as a challenge thrown down and by our friends as an unnecessary addition to their burdens.”

Chase explained, “The purposes for which we must contend are so large, and the importance of victory so great, that I think we can well afford for the moment to refrain from doing anything, when no matter of principles is involved, that tends to raise the issue in any concrete form, or which might add to the perplexities of those who will have to be on the firing line for the university during these next few months.” Chase’s pragmatic handling of a delicate situation showed how academic leaders — perhaps all leaders — sometimes have to temper their principles in the interest of achieving their goals. Chase “took the flame that Graham had ignited and used it to build a university and move it into the mainstream of American higher education,” Covington writes. Without Ed Graham’s fire and Chase’s stone, UNC would not have become what it is today — one of the most admired universities in the country.  Robert Anthony, curator of the North Carolina Collection at UNC Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library, asserts there is a wider lesson. He writes, “In this thoughtful, skillfully written examination of the university and its two leaders during the earliest decades of the 20th century, Howard Covington reminds us that individuals with vision and determination can make a difference.” SP D.G. Martin hosts North Carolina Bookwatch Sunday at 11 a.m. and Tuesday at 5 p.m. on UNC-TV. The program also airs on the North Carolina Channel Tuesday at 8 p.m.

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|southpark stories

Sharing our stories IN OPENING UP TO OTHERS, WE OFTEN FIND WE’RE MORE ALIKE THAN DIFFERENT.

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BY KEN GARFIELD

verywhere I go, I sense a yearning to tell our stories, an urgency to articulate who we are and what we’ve done with our lives before time robs us of that opportunity. At a workshop I led on storytelling at Sharon Towers, 30 residents jumped at the chance to write their biographies, or at least the most pivotal part. The first to share her story with the group was a woman who took us back 80 years. She suffered from dyslexia as a child. The taunts of her classmates, she wrote, still echo. She became a reading teacher. At Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, folks in the home office off Carmel Road launched a magazine to preserve the stories of caregivers and those they comforted until the end. I had the privilege of writing about Holly, who was 14 years old when she lost her little sister to brain cancer in 2001 at age 8. Holly found refuge at a Hospice grief camp for kids, a place where people really listened to her. Today she’s a doctor, making sure to carve out time for her patients to talk. A few months ago, I helped a business executive write his obituary. He’s in good health, but this is why he’s successful: He plans ahead. Beyond all his achievements, he wanted to make sure I included that he learned to put his family first — that he left the office on time so he could make his child’s soccer game. That’s the part of his story he wanted people to understand. Elsewhere in this issue (Page 40), I share the story of evangelist Leighton Ford and his son, Kevin, coming together in ministry, and the poignant opportunity it offers: Leighton lost one son, Sandy, during surgery to correct a heart problem. He was 21. Thirty-eight years later, Leighton is joining his other son to offer the hope and comfort of faith.

The most meaningful thing I’ve done this year is join a men’s group — five guys in their 60s, drinking coffee and talking about mortality, faith, health, kids and grandkids. Upstairs at Whole Foods, we tell our stories. One “assignment” was to share the moment in our lives that changed everything. When I decided to move south from upstate New York in 1976, I told the guys, I accepted a job offer from The Gaston Gazette. At the last second, The Morganton News Herald called with an offer. Not knowing either city, I all but flipped a coin and settled on Morganton — where I met Sharon, my wife of 40 years. Love found, and a life defined by a random decision that took 30 seconds to make. We all have our moments. We all have embarked on fascinating journeys. We all can learn from each other’s joys and sorrows, wisdom and foolishness. Telling our stories, listening to other people tell theirs, we begin to appreciate that we are more alike than different. That afternoon at Sharon Towers, I encouraged my new friends to sit down at the keyboard or pull out pen and paper and start writing. Dig out that box of old photos, and put together your life story in pictures and words. Get one of your children to help. Recruit one of your grandkids to turn on the video recorder (or cell phone) and start asking questions. Grandpa, how did you meet Grandma? What was your passion? How do you want to be remembered? Was it a good life? Tell your story before it’s lost forever. Ken Garfield is a freelance writer focusing on charitable causes. A former religion editor at The Charlotte Observer, he also writes obituaries and will be telling stories from time to time in SouthPark magazine. Reach him at garfieldken3129@gmail.com. southparkmagazine.com | 71


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Setting her sights

MISS USA CHESLIE KRYST IS BUSTING PAGEANT STEREOTYPES — AND SHOWING THAT WOMEN REALLY CAN DO WHATEVER THEY SET THEIR MINDS TO. BY CATHY MARTIN PRODUCTION + WARDROBE: WHITLEY ADKINS HAMLIN | THE QUEEN CITY STYLE PHOTOGRAPHER: RICHARD ISRAEL MAKEUP: JOSIAH REED • ASSISTANTS: KILEY COPPS AND SAVANNAH HARRIS

O

n a late-summer morning, Cheslie Kryst breezes in ready for make-up, dressed like a typical 20-something — sneakers, ripped jeans, black tank top and a satin bomber jacket, her distinctive curls trailing behind her. But as this daylong photoshoot — which includes a few of Cheslie’s former Charlotte hangouts — gets underway, it becomes clear there’s nothing typical about this 28-year-old pageant queen. Cheslie, who was born in Jackson, Mich., but moved to Charlotte when she was 4, wowed both viewers and judges back in May when she was crowned Miss USA in Reno, Nev., the third woman from North Carolina and the oldest ever to win the title. Her interview responses about the importance of fostering inclusivity and diversity resonated with the audience. Since then, her life has been a whirlwind of travel, photoshoots, interviews and public appearances. The word “overachiever” often comes to mind while listening to Cheslie talk about her accomplishments and current projects. An associate at Poyner Spruill LLP practicing complex civil litigation (she’s currently on leave to fulfill her duties as Miss USA), Cheslie somehow finds time to write a weekly fashion blog, prepare for the launch of her own fashion line for working women, and volunteer with Dress for Success, a national nonprofit that provides support and professional attire to help women secure jobs and achieve economic independence. As SouthPark was making the final edits to the November issue, Cheslie added a new bullet to her resume: In early October, she joined ExtraTV as a correspondent in New York City, where she currently lives. 74

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Already, she’s aired segments alongside superstars Lizzo, Terrence Howard, Millie Bobby Brown and Zendaya.

P

ageants are in her blood, so to speak: Her mother, April Simpkins, was crowned Mrs. North Carolina U.S. in 2002. “I just remember thinking, she was a superstar, she was a celebrity — she was my hero,” Cheslie recalls. “I remember her having a voice, and I remember people listening to her, and I wanted that kind of influence.” Growing up, though, winning pageants wasn’t the only thing on Cheslie’s mind. After attending elementary and middle school in Charlotte, she moved to Rock Hill, S.C., with her mom and five siblings after her parents got divorced and her mom remarried. About a year later, the family moved again to Fort Mill, where she graduated from Fort Mill High School. From there, Cheslie enrolled at the University of South Carolina, where she was in the Honors College and a Division 1 athlete as a member of the varsity track and field team. Graduating with a business degree, she came back to North Carolina, earning MBA and law degrees from Wake Forest University. She joined Poyner Spruill in 2017. Through it all, Cheslie competed in pageants, including two attempts at Miss 76

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North Carolina in the Miss America organization (finishing once in the top 10, the other time as first runner-up). Switching to the Miss Universe organization, she competed three times for Miss North Carolina USA, eventually winning the title in October 2018. “I just knew the answer was always going to be no if I didn’t try,” Cheslie says about her repeated attempts at earning a crown. “The year that I competed as Miss North Carolina USA was my last year of eligibility. And I thought, I don’t want to get to the age of 40 and look back and think, if I could have competed, I wonder what would have happened?” she says. “I didn’t want that feeling of regret. I’ve had that feeling because I didn’t try or didn’t work hard enough or just didn’t give myself a chance. And I just didn’t want to feel that ever again.” Until 2017, Miss Universe contestants were required to be under 26 years old to compete. That year, the organization increased the age limit to 28. (Cheslie was 27 when she won the Miss North Carolina USA title last year.) In fact, competing as an older contestant with a little more education and work experience under her belt behind her might have given Cheslie an advantage. While both the Miss USA and Miss America pageants originated as swimsuit competitions, priorities have changed, Cheslie says. “Nowadays it’s very different — the focus is not just on what you look like but can you be a good role model and representative for other people,” she says “And there’s no reason why a woman who’s older than 24 shouldn’t be able to do that.” Given the origins of beauty pageants, it’s not surprising many people still write them off as superficial. While Cheslie has received overwhelming support from her fans — she has 125,000 followers on Instagram alone — there are also critics. “Some are people saying, ‘Why are we still doing pageants, I don’t understand? Aren’t we objectifying women?’ I think it’s because many of those people haven’t watched and don’t really understand the platform that being in a competition like Miss USA gives you,” she says. “Every single woman from the top 10 of Miss USA this year had a minute-long video, where we just talked about anything we wanted to. How many people have that platform? You’ve got a chance to be on television in front of millions of people.” With her new exposure, Cheslie has two particular goals. The first is bringing more attention to Dress for Success, a program about which she is passionate. Second, she wants to continue speaking to audiences about criminal-justice reform. “I worked for pro bono clients who have received excessive sentences, typically for low-level drug crimes, and I think that’s wrong, I think that’s unjust, and I think it needs to change,” she says. “That and other issues need to be reformed, and I hope to continue to shed light on that.” Being in the spotlight has led to other professional opportunities as well. Earlier this year, she was invited to attend the annual conference of the Council of Chief Justices at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, where she gave a fireside chat along with Cheri Beasley, chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Among the topics they discussed were understanding generational differences in the workplace.

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ut with the celebrity also comes responsibility. At a fundraising event at SouthPark mall back in June, Cheslie posted a photo of herself with a young fan on her Instagram page. The caption read: “The smallest little eyes watch you more closely than any others. The responsibility to be a positive role model for precious little girls like this one is a constant source of motivation for me. I hope she grows up believing the possibilities for her future are limited only by the depth of her own imagination.” What exactly is her message to young girls who might be watching? “I want to tell them to be brave and be bold. Because nowadays, I think more than ever, there are people who want to give guidance to people, but they’re not always open-minded. There are a lot of people who have a one-track mind about what a woman can do.” 78

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She cites an example of how people subconsciously associate certain roles with males or females. “I remember there was a time when I was talking to somebody about a judge who made a ruling on a motion I had. They said, ‘What did he say after that?’ Well actually, the judge was a woman. “I want young girls to understand that regardless of the tunnel vision that many people have in thinking women can’t have professional careers or can’t advance into leadership roles — regardless of those perceptions and thoughts — women actually can do what we put our minds to, and we can — if we push hard enough — achieve really whatever we want.”

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ack in Charlotte, Cheslie gets a little nostalgic visiting Amelie’s, where her go-to order is a chai tea latte and cotton-candy macarons, and the Dowd YMCA, where she reflects on her old routine of taking 5 a.m. fitness classes on the rooftop deck overlooking the city. “I do love New York. It’s fast-paced — I feel like that matches my personality — but I think [I just miss] the familiar places I used to go in Charlotte,” like Nikko’s in South End where she and her mom enjoyed sushi. Much of her family lives in the area too, including her parents, her grandmother and most of her siblings. Next month, Cheslie will contend for the title of Miss Universe, competing against more than 90 candidates from across the globe. Sometime after that, she plans to return to her law office at Poyner Spruill in downtown Charlotte. When I ask her about family — after all, she comes from a large one — she says she’s keeping things open. “I think that growing up, society places so many undue expectations on people — not just on women, but [on] men and women. … People always think that life is supposed to go in a straightforward progression, but I disagree,” she says. “I’m just kind of going with the flow, and waiting to see what comes up.” SP

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DRESSING THE PART STYLIST WHITLEY ADKINS HAMLIN ASKED CHESLIE KRYST TO DESCRIBE HER PERSONAL STYLE. COMMENTS WERE EDITED FOR BREVITY.

How has your personal style evolved over time?

My style is classic but with a modern twist. I think there were times I thought I needed to keep up with today’s trends, but then I sort of came into my own. There is still an element of modernity in the way I dress now, but for the most part I would describe my style as very, very classic.

What is your outfit of choice?

I think as an attorney I have just grown accustomed to wearing suits. We are experiencing the resurgence of the suit, and there is truly a suit for every occasion — whether I’m going into the courtroom or to a fashion show or brunch. I have a suit that I love that is shorts instead of pants. It is something you can wear to a more casual event, but it is still classic and modern. How have pageant styles changed since your mom was Mrs. North Carolina U.S. in 2002?

I think we’ve lost a lot of shoulder pads. What’s interesting is that I wore a lot of my mom’s gowns. She has a very classic black velvet gown that has a beaded neckline with dangling crystals that I wore when I won my first competition. Some of the designs were very timeless and classic. Whose personal style do you admire and why?

Olivia Pope, [the character played by Kerry Washington] on the television show Scandal. She would always wear feminine pieces, but she didn’t sacrifice power. Her style on that show is a mix of femininity and power all in one.

What is the mission of your fashion blog, White Collar Glam?

I started my blog because I had a tough time finding professional clothing that I could afford and that was appropriate for my work. I wanted to share the answers to so many of my own questions I knew other people also had.

Have you always loved fashion?

Not necessarily, but I always liked being able to design my own look. When I was younger, I shopped at Goodwill. My grandmother gave me a sewing machine, and I would change and alter the clothes to have my own look. I have always enjoyed the creative side of fashion. What advice would you give to young girls about what to wear?

You don’t have to wear something just because everyone else is wearing it. There are a lot of trends, but you don’t have to adopt them just because others are. I think what’s most important is for girls to find their own sense of style and be true to that. Wear what you feel like speaks your own personality, what speaks to your own self, and what you want to share with others. SP

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New Traditions

WHEN HOSTING A CROWD, LOOK BEYOND THE HOLIDAY STAPLES FOR A MEAL THAT’S BOTH FARM-FRESH AND FESTIVE. BY CATHY MARTIN • PHOTOS BY TIM ROBISON

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f you’re turkey-tired (read: tired of turkey) — there are plenty of other options for hosting a festive gathering at home this holiday season. For a few party-planning tips and menu ideas beyond the tried-and-true, SouthPark turned to the team at Roots Catering, which provides catering services for weddings, corporate and social events from 10 to 3,000. “We really specialize and thrive on creating nontraditional menus for people, things we haven’t tried before, and that [customers] have never seen before,” says Craig Barbour, a former food-truck entrepreneur who launched the business in 2015 after catering orders began outpacing his truck business. Barbour, a Johnson & Wales University grad whose resume includes stints at Carmel Country Club and Barrington’s, also owns Roots Café, a counter-service lunch and breakfast spot in South End that emphasizes locally sourced ingredients. “When creating a menu for a large group of people, I always have two pieces of advice,” Barbour says. “The first one is to make sure you want to do it yourself,” he says. If you’re busy keeping up with everything in the kitchen, you could miss the most memorable parts of the party, such as playing games till midnight and catching up with friends and family. If you do decide you want to tackle the meal prep yourself, Barbour offers this guidance: “Make sure the majority of the menu can be done the day before: Crock-Pot and one-pot dishes and casseroles, and cold things that can be made and put on a platter and put in the fridge.”

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THE APPETIZERS

THE COCKTAILS

Carolina bison cocktail meatballs with bourbon-cherry glaze “These you can prepare ahead of time,” Barbour says. “You could very easily make the meatballs, put in a slow cooker and put the sauce over it,” freeing up time to socialize or tend to other menu items.

A balanced bar is important, according to Kellyn Stamey, Roots Catering’s vice president of sales and development. “Keep the bar stocked with a sweeter, lighter cocktail and a warmer, dryer option. Avoid cocktails that are too spirit forward — most of your guests will be driving and should still be able to indulge in a drink or two,” she says. “Stick with flavor profiles that match the season, and add a fun garnish to round out the perfect holiday bar menu.”

Pumpkin toast with local goat cheese and sunflower seeds “For the pumpkin toast, you can make the crostinis [in advance] and have them toasted and ready to go. The same with the pumpkin puree.” The result is a quick, attractive appetizer.

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Warm Spice Old Fashioned 2 tsp. spiced simple syrup 2 dashes orange bitters 2 oz. rye whiskey 2-inch orange peel cinnamon stick maraschino cherry For the spiced simple syrup: In a small sauce pot, combine 1 cup sugar and ¾ cup water, ¼ tsp. Saigon cinnamon (found at your local spice shop), 2 whole cloves and 1/8 tsp. nutmeg. Stirring frequently, dissolve the sugar and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once it reaches a simmer and the sugar has all dissolved, remove from the heat, place a lid on it and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain through a coffee filter while the mixture is still hot. Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to one month. For the cocktail: Add the simple syrup, bitters and whiskey to the glass. Stir to combine. Add in ice cubes: It is important to try and use the largest ice cubes possible so the drink does not water down too quickly. Stir for at least 15 seconds. Add the cherry and cinnamon stick. Twist the orange peel over the glass and place into the cocktail.


THE ENTREES Roasted carved pork tenderloin with lemongrass and local honey “The key to get flavor out of lemongrass is to crack the back of it … it will start to leech a little bit of liquid, then lay it on the pan and place the pork tenderloin on top.” Barbour prefers his pork tenderloin on the medium side, or until the inside temperature reaches about 145 degrees. “As soon as it comes out of the oven, brush with honey, and the meat will continue to carmelize. Then pour a little stock in the bottom of pan to make a sauce.”

Cornish game hens with Provencal herbs and garlic fingerling potatoes “This is a one-pot family dish ... It’s better to prepare this in the morning, and you can pop it in the oven as soon as guests start to arrive,” Barbour says, adding that Cornish hens take less time to bake than whole roaster chickens — about 45 minutes to an hour. For the potatoes, mix the herbs de Provence a in bowl with some garlic and salt and pepper, and stream in oil until it starts to become a paste. Cut the larger fingerlings in half. Toss the potatoes in the oil and garlic mixture, place on a pan with the game hens on top, and bake at 375 degrees. “You want game hens to cook, the potatoes to roast, and the fat from the game hens to drip down over the potatoes,” Barbour says.

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THE SIDES Cauliflower au gratin with salted cream and clove This “super-easy” side is similar to au gratin potatoes, Barbour says, and can be partially pre-baked. “One tip to make it easier is you can make it in individual ramekins,” he says. Fill the ramekins three-fourths of the way with cream, top with sea salt, cheese and perhaps a little garlic, and bake on low. “The result is crispy cheese on top with a creamy base.” Roasted rainbow beets with yuzu and Thai chili “This recipe is great because you can roast everything the day before, place it on an oven-safe dish or platter, and then just heat it gently uncovered the following day,” Barbour says. The addition of carrots and radish increases the dish’s appeal to guests “who still have not turned the corner on beets,” he says. “You can also cool [the vegetables] down after roasting and serve them over greens for a hearty salad and pair with a vinaigrette that is creamy or heavy on the lemon or black pepper.”

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THE DESSERT Clementine cheesecake with dark chocolate glass “Winter is citrus season, that’s when you start seeing clementines, blood oranges in stores,” Barbour says. For this classic New York cheesecake recipe, Roots’ pastry chef Courtney Satterfield makes a curd with clementine juice and whips it into the cake batter. After baking, it’s important to allow the cheesecakes to cool completely and chill before adding the chocolate glass (similar to a ganache), Barbour says. “The key is making sure the cheesecake is ice cold, and the chocolate is not boiling hot before pouring over the top.” For a garnish, Satterfield adds easyto-make candied clementine slices. For these little gems, slice a few unpeeled clementines, place on a roasting rack with a little cooking spray, sprinkle sugar on top and bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool completely for a crispy, crunchy garnish.

MORE TIPS & TRICKS from Roots Catering’s Kellyn Stamey Let them graze “We’ve seen it a dozen times — no one wants to be the first person to hit the food table. It sits untouched for the first 45 minutes of the party. But once the first person bellies up and makes a plate, it gets hit HARD until the end of the party! We recommend staging a grazing table that guests can pick over all night long. Avoid dishes that need to be served fresh right out of the oven (read: cold and mushy by the time they’re eaten) and opt for room-temperature small bites; cheese and charcuterie; warm dips that can be kept hot in a chafing dish or CrockPot; chilled seafood; and mid-rare beef tenderloin. Choose items that are easy to pick up and eat in one or two bites — your guests will likely have a drink in hand and not want to find a place to sit and eat with a fork and knife.” Hearty vs. healthy “While recognizing the importance of eating healthy, keep in mind that in colder months your guests will lean towards heartier options. Make sure to have a couple of vegetarian

and gluten-free options, and feel free to substitute veggies in wherever you can, but plan for your guests to eat less of the crudites and more of the stick-to-your ribs fare. The holidays are often a time when people indulge, but that doesn’t mean indulgence can’t come with a dose of farm fresh produce.” Quick and easy “If you are planning to entertain several times over the holidays, or are attending a variety of put-luck style parties, cheese-and-charcuterie is your best quick-and-easy friend. Cured meats and gourmet cheeses can be purchased in bulk and used in small portions over the course of the holidays, so if you’re staring down the barrel of five or six functions, rest easy knowing that your spread is already prepped in the fridge. No matter what else is served, everyone loves to indulge on a cheese board, so you won’t be stuck trying to pawn off leftovers to the host or your guests at the end of the party. For an appetizer, we recommend 2 ounces of cheese per person and 1 ounce of meat. Don’t skimp on the crackers and bread — you’ll need at least four pieces per person. Dress up the board with some fresh rosemary sprigs for a festive touch!” SP southparkmagazine.com | 89


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DeeDee Dalrymple and Sonja Nichols SOUTHPARK


Coming to the table DEEDEE DALRYMPLE LITERALLY WROTE THE BOOK ON ENTERTAINING. IN THE PROCESS, A REVELATION LED TO A NEW FRIENDSHIP — AND A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON DIVERSITY. BY CATHY MARTIN • PHOTOGRAPHS BY ASHLEY SELLNER

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s guests trickle in to this midweek dinner party, they greet each other like old friends. Hugs, laughter and lively conversation — How’s so-and-so doing? How are the kids? — fill the room. DeeDee, the hostess, somehow manages to greet most, if not all, of her 32 guests personally while her husband, Ed, makes sure everyone has a drink in their hand as soon as they step through the door — he stays loyal to this task throughout the evening, topping off wine glasses as he moves among the crowd. Despite the familial atmosphere, many members of this good-natured group met for the first time less than a year ago. That was about a year after DeeDee Dalrymple launched Effortless Entertaining, a startup centered around a nearly 400-page guide to hosting that’s jam-packed with tips, recipes, menus and more, at the urging of close friend and local entrepreneur Bill Whitley. The guide, actually a useful binder, is full of practical advice, including extensive recommendations for cookware and tabletop essentials, plus where to buy them. It also answers questions related to etiquette, like whether it’s acceptable to ask guests to BYOB (the answer is yes!) and how to handle awkward silences and uninvited guests. Along with these pragmatic instructions, the book includes inspirational chapters such as “Dinner is not a performance. It’s a gift of friendship.” For the author, hosting big groups comes naturally. “I come from a background where entertaining is truly about gathering,

not ‘putting on the dog,’” says DeeDee, a Fayetteville native whose parents were both first-generation Americans. “My mother’s family is from Lebanon, my father’s from Russia — an unlikely union. I grew up surrounded by my mother’s family — the Lebanese version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. A lot of big meals with extended family and everyone talking at once.” But for many people, the idea of having guests over for dinner — whether formal or informal — generates great anxiety. “I think people get caught up in ‘performing’ and ‘conforming’ to what they think others’ expectations are,” DeeDee says. “When the focus is on ourselves — the impression we will make ... we create stress for ourselves.” Since Effortless Entertaining was published in late 2017, DeeDee has traveled from Maryland to Texas giving presentations to book clubs, garden clubs, civic organizations and other groups, teaching and inspiring others to create gatherings that are enjoyable, not stressful. By the end of this year, she will have spoken to more than 2,000 people, mostly women. Her weekly e-newsletters provide additional recipes and tips. But back in early 2017, when DeeDee was putting the finishing touches on the guide, her editors approached her with a concern. The book, which DeeDee spent two years carefully writing and producing, was filled with photos of beautiful tablescapes and dishes, many in the context of intimate gatherings of DeeDee’s close family and friends. Yet in the entire southparkmagazine.com | 91


guide, there wasn’t a single photo of a person of color. “I told [my editors] that I had already realized what they were saying, and that it pointed to something that was lacking in our lives,” DeeDee says. All her life, she had experienced diversity in her community life, from her post-college career working in sales and human resources at JeffersonPilot Communications through years of volunteer work at Communities in Schools and other educational, civic and religious organizations. “Despite this, [Ed and I] had not experienced that same diversity around our table,” she says. Nevertheless, DeeDee thought it would be disingenuous to “manufacture” a dinner party that could be photographed to make the book more diverse. So she published the guide without making any changes. But that uneasy feeling didn’t go away. A year or so later, DeeDee was attending a women’s dinner at Christ Episcopal Church, where Sonja Nichols was the guest speaker. Nichols is the founder of Nicholant Enterprises, a security-services firm staffed by veterans and an active civic leader, including serving as president of the annual Good Friends Charlotte fundraising luncheon. “The thread of her talk was the Ruth and Naomi story from the Old Testament,” DeeDee recalls. In the story, Naomi declares devotion to Ruth, her mother-in-law, choosing to stay by her side instead of going back to her own mother following the death of her husband. At one point during her speech, Sonja, a black woman, posed a question to the all-white crowd. “At the end of her talk, she asked if anyone had a Ruth and Naomi story of their own,” DeeDee says. Sonja grins as she tells her account of that evening. “I gave 92

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the speech,” Sonja says, “and I asked the group: What is it about your god that makes me want to follow you? The next thing I know — there are over 300 women in this room — and I see this little hand go up,” she says. “In that moment, I had a very strong sense of the Holy Spirit prompting me to tell my story,” DeeDee says. “I was reluctant, but the prompting was certain. So, I raised my hand.” When Sonja acknowledged her, DeeDee explained the awareness that had occurred in writing her book. “And I asked her if she would help me write a new story of friendship,” she says. “[Sonja] was incredible in that moment. She, in her own very sassy way, smiled a big smile and said, ‘So, you want me to be your black friend?’ When I said something like, ‘That’s pretty much it,’ she threw her arms around me in a big hug.” At first, they met over coffee. “We, of course, discovered so much common ground — faith, family, devotion to community,” DeeDee says. Coffees led to lunches, until one day DeeDee suggested they should plan a dinner together. Each would invite a group of their own friends to gather for a meal at DeeDee’s SouthPark home. “The number of people that showed up, we were just pleasantly surprised,” Sonja says of that first gathering, adding that, for her, being the only black woman in a roomful of white women is not an unfamiliar experience. “But this was different than when you go to the gala, the sitdown fundraiser. That one, you just go — the company bought the table — and then you leave. Whereas this was intentional.” Since that first dinner of about 40 guests, the group — which is half-black, half-white — now convenes for a meal


Clockwise from top left: DeeDee Dalrymple and Bill Whitley; flowers and greenery from the Blossom Shop; Sonja Nichols and Molly Shaw; Kitty Garner, Nina Jackson and Christie Long; Sonja Nichols and Tommy Norman; Richard Nichols

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Richard and Sonja Nichols and DeeDee and Ed Dalrymple every three to four months. “I love to entertain,” Sonja says. “But I’m not on DeeDee’s level. … When you come over [to my house], you can sit everywhere, and you can eat on anything. I want you to have the freedom to go anywhere in my house. “You don’t have to do what DeeDee does,” she says. “Just open up your home.” At a recent dinner, Sonja served a simple meal of gumbo, with bread pudding and banana pudding for dessert. “This is down home,” she told her guests. “This is how the sisters do it.” Hosting a party doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all, DeeDee agrees, and that’s a point she emphasizes in her book and presentations. “There are ways to get around anything you don’t like to do,” she says. Don’t like to cook? Order in, or have the meal catered. If arranging flowers isn’t your thing, place an interesting piece of art on the coffee table instead. Look for your “sweet spot” to entertain in a way that reflects your personal style.

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n this night, the menu is a simple-but-delicious oneplate meal of short ribs over polenta with a green salad and fresh-baked sour cream muffins. Guests pitch in to help serve and clear dishes at tables that are set with a mix of $3 plates from Pier One Imports and $300 plates

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from John Dabbs Ltd. “And everything in-between,” DeeDee says. After all, “Who’s around the table is more important than what’s on the table,” she says. Near the end of the meal, Molly Shaw, president and CEO of Communities in Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, stands to address the group, which ranges from 30-somethings to a few in their 80s. Late this afternoon, the CLT 2019 Unity Letter had been posted online. Molly was among the initial organizers of the letter, which was crafted in response to a spate of racist hate mail that was sent to local black leaders. In just a few short hours, hundreds had signed on, denouncing racism and bigotry. Shaw is optimistic that many more will sign it. [As of mid-October, more than 5,000 had.] Many of the guests here tonight are among the initial signers. Another member of this group is working on a research-based social justice project, Sonja tells me. Several guests here have branched off to help with that effort. But while some members of this group are involved in community efforts to improve race relations, the main focus of these get-togethers is simpler. “We recognize that we are diverse in our community work, our boards, our schools, and for some, our churches,” DeeDee says. “But we have not been diverse around our tables and in our homes. That’s where friends come togeth-


er and where friendships deepen. I can see that happening for our group. Our conversations have a different and deeper quality than when we started. “We want the people in our group doing what friends do — i.e. meeting for Tuesday night half-price steak burgers at Reid’s,” DeeDee says. “We also hope that others, upon hearing what we’re doing, will form groups like this to have dinners in their own homes.”

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onight, despite the formal table setting, the vibe is relaxed, reminiscent of a large family get-together, probably not unlike the ones DeeDee experienced growing up in eastern North Carolina. “Friends are honored when invited to our homes for dinner. They are not coming to judge our homes or culinary skills. They are excited to be together,” she says. “As I say when I speak, we are not staging a Broadway musical — we are inviting friends for dinner. It’s so wonderful to gather in our homes, and we can each do that in a way that suits us best.” SP

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|travel

Burke perks

HIKE, BIKE OR SIP WINE WITH A VIEW: ADVENTURE AWAITS IN THE NORTH CAROLINA FOOTHILLS. BY VANESSA INFANZON

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ystery and nature surround Burke County, situated in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. A short 90-minute drive from Charlotte leads to Morganton, the county seat with a charming mix of breweries, restaurants and shops. Backcountry roads reveal trails to waterfalls and overlooks. A centuries-old legend about unexplained lights intrigues locals and attracts visitors. For an easy day trip or overnight getaway, pack hiking boots and an open mind to explore the land and people who make Burke County unique. Overmountain Cycles owner Michael Lowther is

Morganton’s expert on bikes and bike trails. A Raleigh native, Lowther decided he couldn’t leave the region after graduating from Appalachian State University in nearby Watauga County. He opened his shop conveniently next to Fonta Flora Brewery on Green Street, the perfect place to wind down after a strenuous — or leisurely — ride. Lowther recommends that beginning and intermediate cyclists head to Fonta Flora State Trail or Lake James State Park. You can bring your own bikes, or rent town cruisers or gravel bikes (with a wider tire) by the hour, day or weekend. Join the southparkmagazine.com | 97


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locals on free Tuesday (intermediate) and Thursday (beginner) rides through downtown Morganton and the surrounding area. The shop also offers bikes equipped to hold gear and bags for off-road weekend touring trips. “For the more experienced cyclists, I would highly recommend they check out Wilson’s Creek,” Lowther says. “It’s the raw stuff that mountain bikers would be [seeking] to challenge themselves. You’ve got rock ledges and drops, roots, tight switchbacks and creek crossings. It’s that wild backcountry experience.” South Mountains State Park’s 50 miles of hiking trails lead to waterfalls and family and group camping sites. There

are more than 24 trails ranging from easy to strenuous. The .3-mile Hemlock Nature Trail follows the Jacob Fork River and is handicap accessible. Hikers seeking a more strenuous workout might want to take a the 2.7-mile loop trail to High Shoals Falls. At the base, cool off from the fall’s spray then continue the loop for a view from the top of the waterfall. “I love that you can hike at South Mountains for hours or even days without seeing any buildings, paved roads or other man-made structures,” says Park Ranger Amanda Lasley. “You can immerse yourself in wild nature — if you are prepared to leave civilization and cell-phone signals far behind when you enter the gate.” An encounter with the extraterrestrial might be your only form of contact in some parts of Burke County’s woods. Joshua P. Warren describes Western North Carolina’s famous Brown Mountain lights in Pisgah National Forest as “… multi-colored balls of light that either flare-up from one location, as a group, through the trees.” In his book, Brown Mountain Lights: A Viewing Guide, Warren suggests looking for them in autumn, during or just after a rain at mile marker 20 on N.C. Highway 181 N. Afterward, you can share stories of the mysterious illuminations with your travel buddies around the campfire. At Thermal Valley Hang Gliding between Morganton and Lenoir, extreme adventurers swap tales with owner Craig Pearson. He makes a tandem hang gliding flight look easy after doing it for 27 years. “We get some of the most vivid and awe-inspiring sunsets anywhere,” Pearson explains. “As we climb to our target altitude, we can see Grandfather Mountain, Table Rock, Hawk’s Bill Mountain. On clear days, we can see the Charlotte skyline to the southeast and into Virginia to the northeast.” southparkmagazine.com | 99


A Bailey Moyes Dragonfly lightweight tug plane carries the glider to a 1,500- or 2,000foot altitude and then releases. Pearson hands over the controls for a few minutes, and his GoPro catches every expression on his client’s face. Safely back on the ground, Silver Fork Vineyard & Winery provides a more relaxing experience. An outdoor patio surrounded by grapevines and rolling hills offers the perfect setting for sipping an award-winning wine. The 32-acre vineyard is named for the two creeks that come together on the property, Silver and White Fork. Jennifer Foulides and her partner, Ed Wisnieski, moved from Manhattan to Morganton in 2011 and bought the vineyard. Having no farming experience, they apprenticed with the previous owner for more than a year. Two years later, Foulides and Wisnieski opened Silver Fork’s tasting room, featuring varietals such as merlot, chambourcin, cabernet franc, and

cabernet sauvignon. The Four Dog Red is a blend of four or five classic Bordeaux varietals with black cherry and raspberry notes. It’s aged in French and Hungarian barrels for hints of smoky cinnamon. “Four Dog Red Blend is our most popular and most awarded wine, because it’s delicious, easy-drinking and pairs with everything,” Foulides says. The winery features live music year-round on Saturdays from 2-5 p.m. Grab a snack from the onsite food truck and listen to local acts play classic rock, reggae or bluegrass. Celebrate Halloween with Sip & Spook, an adult-only event with a costume party, DJ and, of course, wine. “Coming from Manhattan, we were a little nervous that there wouldn’t be a lot to do,” Foulides says, “but when we got into the community, we were welcomed with open arms from businesses and neighbors. You cannot find nicer people than the people in our county.” SP

Give the gift of adventure this holiday season. Park Road Shopping Center 4275 Park Road • (704) 523-1089

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PARK ROAD SHOPPING CENTER CHARLOTTE 980.237.6111

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Retail remedy ANYONE WHO THINKS BRICK-AND-MORTAR RETAIL IS DYING HASN’T SPENT MUCH TIME AT PARK ROAD SHOPPING CENTER. BY ADDING NEW TENANTS AND TURNING AN UNUSED BACKLOT INTO AN ENTERTAINMENT HOT SPOT, CHARLOTTE’S OLDEST SHOPPING CENTER IS THRIVING. BY MICHELLE BOUDIN

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PHOTOGRAPHS PROVIDED BY EDENS, BLACKHAWK HARDWARE

A

ndy Wilkerson started working at Blackhawk Hardware in Park Road Shopping Center when he was just 7 years old. “I worked here as a kid. I worked as a bagger and ran the cash register.” Now 35, he admits working for the family-owned business hasn’t changed all that much — his mother, father and uncle all still work at Blackhawk. But everything around it has. “Over the last five years, it’s really been revitalized. We’ve had a lot of new tenants that have really livened things up,” Wilkerson says of the additions to the booming south Charlotte shopping center that primarily serves the Myers Park, Dilworth, Madison Park and Sedgefield neighborhoods. In fact, almost 30 new tenants have moved in since 2011 when Edens took over as the new owner of the 63-year-old center. Since then, the Columbia, S.C.-based developer has freshened up the look of the center and literally turned what was the back parking lot into a thriving shopping and dining destination of its own. “It really needed to be rejuvenated,” Wilkerson says. “It was looking a little dingy, and Edens came in and made it midcentury modern, with enough nostalgia so that it doesn’t feel old. It really is the perfect mix of old and new.” While a handful of tenants have moved out over the last few years — recent exits include Details Home Boutique and Hallmark, which has shuttered several Charlotte locations over the last year — much of the growth has come from the buildout of the backlot. Since Sir Edmund Halley’s opened behind the center in 1996, there wasn’t much commercial activity there until just a few years ago. “When we started to entertain the idea of buying the shopping center, we identified the backlot as somewhat of a hidden jewel to the center with its different architecture, proximity to the Sugar Creek Greenway and Blackhawk Gardens,” says Edens Managing Director Lyle Darnall. “It offered up a way for us to do something a little bit different with food and other retail offerings, creating a bit of a different vibe, but always remaining a part of the overall shopping center. “ Stefan Huebner is co-owner of the backlot speakeasy Dot Dot Dot. The popular nightspot recently celebrated its two-year anniversary, though Huebner signed the lease almost three years ago. Dot Dot Dot was one of the first new tenants in the back of the center. “We knew going in the new owners had a plan. They were going to redo the center, take out the outdated stuff, go for more current. What’s great about it is having a lot of like-minded tenants that’s created a

Top: Andy Wilkerson came back to work for his family’s business, Blackhawk Hardware, in 2009 after a career in industrial design. Bottom: A staple since the late ’60s, the movie theater at Park Road abruptly closed its doors at the end of 2017. AMC bought the sixscreen venue and gave it a multimillion-dollar upgrade, replacing the stadium seating with recliners and quietly reopening this spring. southparkmagazine.com | 103


good energy, and it’s been a great success,” he says. “Renovating the center was a long, thoughtful process,” Darnall says. “The local community is very passionate about the center, and so we took our time to study it and understand the history. Gradually, we developed a plan where we improved the parking lot, painted the center to its original white color, made it more pedestrian-friendly and enhanced the landscaping and what we call the ‘jewelry,’ which is comfortable seating and lighting. The iconic Park Road sign was very important for us to preserve and restore — it’s a monument dedicated to the history of the center.”

T

hat history dates to 1956, when Park Road Shopping Center opened with 32 stores. The first ever open-air shopping center in Charlotte — and the largest on the East Coast for many years — it quickly became a gathering place for neighbors. Charlotte lawyer Porter Byrum owned the center from 1967 until he literally gave it away in 2011, splitting his gift between Wake Forest, Queens and Wingate Universities. While he owned lots of land around the region, Byrum’s life was centered around the Park Road center, whose original tenants included a J.C. Penney department store and a Colonial grocery store. He kept an office in the back of the site, and he lived within 2 miles, near SouthPark 104

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mall. Annoyed with Mecklenburg County’s valuation of the shopping center, he moved it into his foundation with the intention of donating it to the three universities, according to Jeff Siegel, a business associate of Byrum who runs the annual Carolina Renaissance Festival in Huntersville. “His intent was to earn every penny and give it all to charitable causes,” Siegel told Business North Carolina magazine in 2017. The three schools reportedly made more than $80 million when they sold the center. The shopping center is now both bustling — and some would say bursting — at the seams. With new additions including beauty retailers Bluemercury and Polished Nail Bar and restaurants such as Burtons Grill & Bar and CO, parking can be scarce during busy times. Local artist Heidi Kirshner says she’s been a regular at Park Road for the last five years, visiting at least five times a week. While she praises the center’s recent facelift, she admits she often struggles to find a place to leave her car. “I like that they kept the original sign. I think the fresh paint job helped a lot, and it’s kind of cool now that it has a retro feeling. … The parking is pretty bad though.” While customers might have trouble finding a parking spot, not surprisingly, business owners don’t mind the increased traffic. “The parking is tough,” says Dot Dot Dot’s Huebner. “But that’s a better problem to have than us having too


PHOTOGRAPH BY JUSTIN DRISCOLL

much parking. The majority of our crowd is Ubering here anyway,” he says. “Friday and Saturday night, it looks more like an elementary school drop off than anything else,” Huebner jokes. “Cars are just lined up dropping people off.” For some shoppers, though, the center’s convenience and diverse tenant mix far outweigh any parking concerns. Alyson Kuroski-Mazzei is the CEO and chief medical officer of HopeWay Foundation. As a busy working mom, she says she is grateful for a shopping center that literally has everything she needs in one place. “I am here all the time, and I can get in and out quickly. It’s one-stop shopping. And I love that they added Amelie’s to the back. I think the revitalization really brought it to a whole new level.”

Amelie’s has been a big draw to the backlot since opening its fourth Charlotte location there in summer 2017. The coffee shop that originated in NoDa quickly became a regular meeting spot. (*insider tip: The mezzanine has work stations with power for those working remotely and is usually quieter since most “meetings” take place on the main floor.) Other backlot additions include a yoga shop, an art gallery and two restaurants from chefs with other successful Charlotte locations — Midwood Smokehouse and Flour Shop. The new restaurants have brought new customers to some of the old places like Michaels and Blackhawk. “I’ll ask customers what brought them in, and they’ll say, “We were having dinner and we saw you,’” Wilkerson says.

Dot Dot Dot’s Stefan Huebner

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“People are going to Amelie’s, and they see our garden center or they come to grab a drink at Dot Dot Dot. They can’t always find it, but they often find us!” And more changes are on the way. Osteria LuCa, an Italian concept from the owners of TRUE Crafted Pizza, will open in early 2020 in the spot previously occupied by The Charlotte Cafe. “Our business has gone up every year for the last five years,” Blackhawk’s Wilkerson says. In fact, the hardware store recently announced an expansion that will add 12,000 square feet of space by March. Wilkerson credits the new owners, whose other Charlotte properties include South 106

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End’s Atherton Mill and Dilworth’s Kenilworth Commons, with bringing in a lot of fresh faces. “The demographics are starting to trend a little younger, and they’ve done a good job of bringing in businesses that naturally support each other. They have a very clear vision with the client mix, and they’re willing to leave a space empty until they find the right fit. They’ve been very diligent and purposeful in everything they’ve done,” he says. Dot Dot Dot’s owner agrees. “The new owners really catered to the new demographics of the neighborhood, and it’s meant that we’re all having a very successful go at it.” SP


The Blackhawk way BY DAVID MILDENBERG

B

lackhawk Hardware is a Charlotte institution, having operated at Park Road Shopping Center since 1977. The Ace Hardware Corp. franchise is adding 12,000 square feet of sales space by March, despite retail’s overall shrinkage. The expansion will allow certain departments to expand their products, while others will move to a renovated basement space. In addition to a new entrance and three new checkout counters on the lower level, Blackhawk is adding a red spiral slide for customers of all ages to travel from the main floor to the basement. Andy Wilkerson, who returned to his family business in 2009 after several years working in industrial design, talked about the expansion and how independent retailers compete against big-box rivals and e-commerce giants. Why grow bigger? Expanding our sales floor to include the basement level allows us to give our customers more of what they want. We have been physically limited by our space, and we haven’t been able to offer additional products in our departments. We’ve had many requests for specific items, like body lotions and soaps, but we haven’t had the space. Soon we will.

east Charlotte a few years ago are now in their mid- to late 20s and are starting families and transitioning to the next stage of life. They are now starting to buy property and build houses, which is where we come in. With many people purchasing fixer-uppers, we see a larger demand for kitchen and bath hardware. Blackhawk doesn’t offer much in the way of nightlife, but we do offer some exciting and hip kitchen gadgets and grilling tools. Can adults take the slide, or is that just for kiddies? Anyone can! We are very excited about the expansion plans for our current location and really want to continue providing a unique shopping experience to our guests. This is just another way we can add a little more fun to their shopping experience at Blackhawk Hardware. SP

When is the last time Blackhawk expanded? In 1991, we closed our original Blackhawk Hardware store and moved across the shopping center into the former J.C. Penney space, with 30,000 square feet of sales floor in addition to a basement warehouse and upstairs offices. In 2003, we expanded even more by opening the outdoor lawn and garden area, The Gardens at Blackhawk. Then in 2008, Blackhawk further expanded the garden center into the adjacent shop basement, adding another 4,000 square feet. When did you decide to come back to work for the family business? It was in 2009, [amid] the recession and the [weakening] economy. Work at my current job started to shift, and I was fortunate enough to be able to come in-house at my family’s store. Blackhawk was in need of someone to help refine some of their systems, and I realized this would give me the opportunity to design more than where I currently was working. I realized I was really good at problem solving, systems, processes and ideas rather than designing a product. Southeast Charlotte is undergoing an unprecedented housing boom. Is Blackhawk benefiting? Yes, we are just starting to. A majority of our clientele are homeowners. People that moved into inner-city south

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Chef’s Best 2019 presented by Harris Teeter a benefit for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina Aug. 9, Charlotte Convention Center Crown Ballroom The 30th annual Chef’s Best event brought celebrity chef Robert Irvine back to Charlotte for a night of food and conversation. Maureen O’Boyle of WBTV and Jon Wilson emceed the event. The benefit filled the room to capacity, proving that good food and great causes are never off the menu.

Tim Akeson, Kristen Thomas, Jason Crump, Todd and Nelvia Bullock

Morgan Diamont and Jette Welch

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON

Robert Irvine, left, starts the show

Maureen O’Boyle and Jon Wilson

Laurie Dugan and Alissa Alpaugh

Sarah Carson and Larry Fendrick

John and Barbara Falkenbury

Dana Obervy, Gabby Carlino, Jennifer and Clare Steigerwalt southparkmagazine.com | 109


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Myers Park High School Class of 1969 50th reunion Oct. 11-13

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON

Chip Hope, Cyndy Clapp, Becky Ranson, Mary Hayes, Baxter Hayes, and Tricia and Buddy Horn

The Myers Park High School class of 1969 celebrated its 50th high-school reunion with a fundraiser that brought in nearly $125,000 for the school’s foundation. The Myers Park High School Foundation helps students who live below poverty level, including more than 100 who are homeless. Members gathered at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery on Friday night and at the MPHS campus for a barbecue lunch on Saturday. The official reunion was held at Myers Park Country Club on Saturday night, where more than 250 people enjoyed the music of the Catalinas and the Novas, a band formed by friends in the class of 1969 during their high-school years at Myers Park. The weekend concluded with Sunday brunch at Legion Brewing SouthPark.

Julie Blythe, Vickie Hawes, Becky Ranson, Jane Galvin, Betsy Baker and Jackie Peeler

The Novas: Larry Farber, Tommy Jordan, Larry Prince, Fred Phillips and Charlie Wallace

Missing an Issue? 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

CO N TAC T S COT T L E O N A R D scott@southparkmagazine 704.996.6426

1300 Baxter St, Suite 114 • Charlotte, NC 28204 8001 N Tryon St • Charlotte, NC 28262 (University Area) 70 Lake Concord Rd NE • Concord, NC 28025 16507 Northcross Dr, Suite B • Huntersville, NC 28078 southparkmagazine.com | 111


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Joedance Film Festival Aug. 1-3, The Charlotte Ballet Center for Dance Now in its 10th year, Joedance has grown from a small homegrown festival to a three-day celebration of film and hope. This year’s festival broke records for attendance and money raised for pediatric cancer research at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital. Joedance continues to expand, with further events planned throughout the coming year.

The Joedance board

Kelly Elliott and Tim Quarterfield

Betty Burns

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON

Diane and Michael Restaino

Scott Newkirk and Sarah Wrenn

Brad Hord, Chip White and Mike Restaino

Post-film discussion with filmmakers

Kyle Bridges and Jenna Luck

Courtney Stutts and Jonathan Liles southparkmagazine.com | 113


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tuscaroracc.com See our videos

Michael Amiri, MD Matthew McConnell, MD Kelly Xiong, DNP, FNP-C John G. Rancy, FNP Betty Mays, NP-C

1300 Baxter St, Suite 114 • Charlotte, NC 28204 8001 N Tryon St • Charlotte, NC 28262 (University Area) 70 Lake Concord Rd NE • Concord, NC 28025 16507 Northcross Dr, Suite B • Huntersville, NC 28078


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The Great Gatsby Gala A benefit for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society - Greater Carolinas Chapter Aug. 24, Hilton Charlotte Center City

Event emcee Brigida Mack

Ryan Shell of The Home T

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON

Anne Marie and Jeff Lax, Tom Corbett and Nicole Taylor

Toni Tupponce of A Sign of the Times

Ellen and Doug Rivlin

Shay McRedmond, April Wolford and Annette Tonks

Liz and Grady Pitts and Kirby Gaherty

Nate Wardwell and Jared Misner

The 2019 Great Gatsby Gala took patrons back to the 1920s, with vintage suits and flapper dresses and live jazz by A Sign Of The Times of the Carolinas. Guests danced and enjoyed appetizers and desserts from local restaurants at the 31st annual Gatsby Gala, which raises funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Brooke Wurzburger and Ben Cottingham

Dancers from GottaSwing Charlotte

Ellen Carraro and Megan Donnelly


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Carolina Panthers Kickoff Lunch Sponsored by the Bronko Nagurski Charlotte Touchdown Club Aug. 30, Sheraton Charlotte Hotel Fall brings many things — including the return of Carolina Panthers football. This year’s annual Kickoff Lunch featured head coach Ron Rivera and players Mario Addison, James Bradberry and Kawann Short previewing the 2019 season. The event also served as the fall kickoff for the Charlotte Touchdown Club, a nonprofit group that promotes high-school, collegiate and professional football in the city.

Hannah Chandarana and David Edwards

Sandy Solomon, Angeline Rudnick, Rod Smith and Leonard Wheeler

Jaylyn Hargett-Boyce and Shawna Hargett

Mike Bordenberg and Lisa Robinson

Mario Addison and Kawann Short are interviewed by WFNZ

Mick Mixon and Jim Szoke

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Carolina Panthers TopCats

Donnell Woolford, Ed Black and Al Wallace

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON

Mike Rapp and Jonathan English


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A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

2019 Charlotte French Festival July 14, Nevin Community Park Charlotteans filled Nevin Park to celebrate Bastille Day at the 3rd annual Charlotte French Festival. Guests enjoyed French food, pastries and wine, live music and dance at this dog-friendly community celebration.

Lynne Smith and Brent Wallace

McKayla Harper and Victoria Wilson

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON

Laura Tate

Sam McCabe and Amanda Lutzow

Fabiana Chiochetta and Milena Sikya

Andrew, Charlotte Grace, Amelia Claire and Loren Murray

Jeanette Watts, Bob Wilusz and Michael Watts

Erin Williams and Rachel Carr Lutzow

Laura Jean and Daisy southparkmagazine.com | 117


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A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas

2019 IT List Party Sept. 26, 8 The Salon Some of Charlotte’s most stylish men and women came out to celebrate with SouthPark Magazine and the Queen City Style at the inaugural IT List gathering. Look for more photos online at southparkmagazine.com.

Taylor Wanbaugh, Patrick Boyle, Mila Korobkina and Harrison Miller

Mary Margaret Beaver and Liz Hilliard

Kim Putney and Bean Ervin

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Carrie Fisher and Mary Holland

David Mamane, Noelle Munoz and Ryan Jor El

Jeff and Meredith Tomascak, Brandon Lanier and Amanda Moran Lanier

Grazia Walker

Nikki Takemura, Noah Williams, Chad Whittington, Matthew Means

PHOTOGRAPHS BY LONGLEY PHTOTOGRAPHY

Blair Farris and Whitley Adkins Hamlin


thanks THE QUEEN CITY STYLE AND 8 THE SALON FOR A FABULOUS NIGHT CELEBRATING SOME OF CHARLOTTE’S MOST STYLISH INDIVIDUALS. AND A SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS:


SNAPSHOT

A new view

THE MINT MUSEUM’S NEW CHIEF CURATOR AIMS TO EXPAND THE MUSEUM’S REACH — AND CHALLENGES VISITORS TO LOOK FOR THE STORIES BEHIND THE ART.

J

en Sudul Edwards wants museums to be a place for tough conversations. The chief curator and curator of contemporary art at The Mint Museum believes museums have a responsibility to connect our history to the present. The Mint’s exhibits and programs provide the Charlotte community with informed content and a historical context, says Sudul Edwards, who moved to Charlotte from Los Angeles in 2015 to work at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. She started her new job at the Mint on July 1. “Our teams make sure that no matter what we do, we are always thinking about how to continue these conversations,” she explains. “What is the history of Charlotte and the nation? How does that reflect with where we are now?” Her interest in visual and cultural literacy — the way we view artwork — drives how she approaches her work. Sudul Edwards encourages visitors to find the story behind the work by considering what the artist was trying to do or show with the piece — to think about the composition and the sociopolitical and economic context. “Visual literacy is being self-conscious when you look at something, and to be critical about what you’re seeing,” Sudul Edwards says. Since joining the Mint, Sudul Edwards has helped launch a new program called Live at the Mint. On Wednesday nights at Mint Museum Uptown, the museum offers a lineup of performance art, gallery tours, artist talks, films and more. in addition to her work at the Mint, Sudul Edwards curated W|ALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine, a photo exhibit in Los Angeles that runs through Dec. 29. Comments were edited for brevity and clarity. What attracted you to this position? I’m particularly excited because the museum has fine art, and it also has craft, design and fashion. My interest in art is pluralistic — that’s why I’m in this. I like that you can use all these different materials to create. This is one of the few museums that has an emphasis on all of those different ways of making. It wipes out that hierarchy of “painting and sculpture 120

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is way more significant than a dress or a clay object.” In fact, this museum puts them all at the same level, and that’s the kind of mind frame I want to be in. Describe the spontaneous spaces you hope to bring to the Mint. I really want us to be able to have smaller gallery spaces where we can show video or photography or these tight little focus shows that have a topical connotation. Earth Day’s 50th anniversary is in April. I would love to do something about global climate change since that’s such an issue. The 19th Amendment centennial is in August, and I’d love to do some take on how the last 100 years of women being able to vote has somehow changed our perceptions. What’s the Live at the Mint program all about? We’re bringing in people from outside to do interesting things throughout the museum — performance, dance, film, music or lecture. It highlights the amazing and dedicated organizations such as the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Youth Orchestras of Charlotte, Charlotte Ballet, Charlotte Storytellers — we have a list of so many others with whom we want to partner. We’re also bringing in talented individuals — [singer-songwriter] Mercury Carter and [professor] Eric Mullis from Queens University of Charlotte, to name a few. Describe your project, W|ALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine. It’s an exhibition of photographs and videos examining the historic use and artistic treatments of walls throughout time and the world. The earliest work is 1897. It’s intense. We wanted a range of walls, and we wanted all continents covered. We didn’t want the show to just be about U.S. - Mexico; we wanted it to be about this obsessive need that human beings have to put up walls and barriers even though they don’t protect us. They just isolate and give us a false sense of security instead of addressing the actual problem. SP Live at the Mint takes place Wednesdays through Dec. 11 at Mint Museum Uptown. Admission is free from 5-9 p.m.; programs begin at 6 p.m.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF THE MINT MUSEUM

BY VANESSA INFANZON


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SouthPark November 2019  

The Art & Soul of Charlotte

SouthPark November 2019  

The Art & Soul of Charlotte

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