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2010 NOV / DEC 2010 NOV / DEC


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the seen

pictures: catch light studio george lainis

Nikko on South was host to Miles of Impact, a fashion show and design event that raised funds for Project Go, a humanitarian aid nonprofit. JoAnne of Nikko’s gave trays full of sushi love to all who attended, and the runway was stocked with beautiful people wearing the latest fashions.


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the seen

Charlotte’s political dignitaries and our art communities’ finest attended the opening of the last piece of the Wells Fargo Cultural Campus, The Mint Museum of Craft and Design. Both adults and children enjoyed the affair with larger-than-life play lions plus gymnasts dancing upon fabric hanging from the ceiling. The final jewel in Charlotte’s art crown did not disappoint.

pictures: catch light studio george lainis



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the seen

pictures: catch light studio george lainis

All the ghouls, zombies, Muppets and faux iPods came out to the annual Glitterati party at the Visualite for Halloween. As one of the best chances to get your freak on in Charlotte, everyone in attendance participated with gusto.

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Katie Levans is a Kentucky-born, Illinois-bred, Carolina transplant with a B.A. in Spanish and an obsession with all things food. When she’s not eating, you’ll find her practicing yoga, completing her master’s in nutrition and writing her food and health blog, sweettaterblog. com. Previously, Katie worked as a writer and editor for 10Best Inc. where she also dabbled in marketing until deciding that freelance writing would be a much more lucrative career. She loves sarcasm.



Charlotte native Matt Kokenes didn’t have enough to do with a newborn boy at home, so he is now handling sales for Uptown Magazine and, along with a partner, he has formed Trafk Media, a marketing agency in town. He has also jumped back into the writing world and is writing the ongoing serial fiction short story “Duplicity.” Check it out starting on page 50.

Bryan Reed is a man of simple interests— among them, words, records, movies and adjusting to life as a grownup (whatever that means). Since graduating from UNCChapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Bryan’s been living the dream, working as the assistant editor of Charlotte-based music magazine “Shuffle” and freelancing for several publications, including “Tiny Mix Tapes” and several weekly newspapers across the Carolinas.

Michelle Boudin has spent the last three and a half years falling in love with the Queen City! Born in New York, Michelle grew up in South Florida, but has bounced around the south as an awardwinning local TV news reporter. You can catch her every night on WCNC-TV or find her hanging out with her dog Rocky, (a really intimidating maltipoo from the pound).

A native Charlottean, Jennifer Misenheimer is a hair stylist and artistic creator with a discerning eye for style. When she’s not doing hair at Escape Hair and Skin Studio in Dilworth or styling fashion shoots, Jennifer finds outlet for her creative passion through painting, personal styling and designing one-of-a-kind custom costumes. This month, Jennifer styled our fashion layout.

Benjamin Gelnett contributed this month’s (last minute) cover illustration. He is the Senior Designer at Birdsong Gregory, a full service ad agency located in Uptown Charlotte that specializes in shopper marketing. Ben’s artwork for our 4 year anniversary issue will be featured in Print Magazine’s Regional Design Annual this December. This along with the fact that his wife Kara is expecting twins next spring makes Ben a happy camper.

Peter Reinhart is the Chef on Assignment at Johnson & Wales University, which means he does whatever they ask him to do and goes wherever they send him. He’s written seven books on bread, pizza, food and culture. In partnership with Pierre Bader, he opened Pie Town, an artisan pizzeria on Trade Street. And AS if he weren’t busy enough, Peter is also “Uptown’s” contributing food editor.

A man about town with his camera, George Lainis of Catch Light Studio has been photographing people in his native Charlotte for years. From friends’ weddings and parties to family photos for the holidays, his work is creative and diverse, and he’s always looking to show you in the best light. Check out for more.



* name: Little Shiva species: mutant here for: the smell of ink on paper interests: juxtaposition, transformation, mystery, clarity, the process of becoming, image and design contributions to this issue: table of contents website:



Bryce Lankard has been spotted roaming the streets of his childhood home of Charlotte. He’s been missing for 20-plus years during which time there were sightings in New York and New Orleans. Known to be an instigator and collaborator whenever the words photography, art and creativity merge. Evidence points to his purported founding of both the celebrated Tribe Magazine and the New Orleans Photo Alliance. He is also thought to be active in the fight against gravity.

TJ is one-half of the “Ace & TJ Show,” heard mornings on Charlotte’s Kiss 95.1. From an early age he knew he had a unique gift of understanding women better than anyone he knew. It’s because of this that he’s become known as the omnipotent “love expert” of the radio show. In this issue, TJ offers up advice for your relationship questions…and explains why your problems might not be that your partner is the one with all the issues.

Sherry Thien hails from everywhere -- and nowhere -- having lived from New York to Colorado, hitting just about every Midwest state in between. She comes from a family of journalists -- but don’t hold that against her. It made her independent in thought and spirit, quite nosy and serious and silly all rolled into one. She has been writing, editing and “making things pretty” ... er, designing, that is … for print and online since 1995.

Sumanah Khan started writing poems when she was 9, many of which are far better than her attempts today. Hence, she switched over to screenplays and nonfiction narratives, and has been a published writer ever since. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, she lived in Manhattan for almost a decade, until her travels brought her to Charlotte, where she and her husband co-founded Famous No.Body, a company specializing in film and video production.

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I turned 38 today. I didn’t think I’d ever be 38. Heck, I can remember when I didn’t think I’d ever graduate high school – then that I’d ever leave college, that I’d ever come back to Charlotte or that I’d ever have kids. At 38, I’ve done all those things now, and each one makes me smile. It’s hard not to be a bit introspective today – there are just so many things that are hard to believe. The most recent is my niece Alexa, who has applied to college and will be hearing from them all in just a couple of months. She’s 17, and I will always remember the day she was born. I had spent a summer learning Spanish and traveling by bus through southern Mexico – it was an absolutely magical time in my life, between my junior and senior years at Clemson. I flew back home to Charlotte skinny, with long blond hair and so tan that I could have passed for a local Aztec. My dad picked me up at the airport; we went straight to the hospital, and Alexa was born. Now 17 years later, she might go to Clemson, the school I graduated from in 1994. It’s hard to believe. Growing up, I always thought there was an end or a goal that you were supposed to work toward: Go to school, get decent grades, go to college, then get a job and everything would be good. School was filled with classes like Organizational Management and Calculus for Business, but I never saw any classes that could be directly applied to life, such as “Workplace Advancement 201: Kissing up to your Boss,” “How to Survive your Financial Implosion after Divorce” or “Emotional Healing after a Parent’s Death.” No one told us about what life would really be like. Instead, they filled our heads with the ridiculousness of career plans and five-year goal setting. I, for one, wouldn’t have listened to the truth anyway – I couldn’t see myself outside the confines of Clemson, S.C. But now, after two marriages, one divorce, a dad who’s passed away, financial ruin to recovery, brain surgery, two kids including one with special needs, I have realized just one thing: It’s a glorious journey, there is no goal and I didn’t include any of this stuff in my five-year plan. ~Todd Trimakas Publisher



Publisher Todd Trimakas Advertising Matt Kokenes 704.944.0551 Executive Editor Sherry Thien Contributing Editors Peter Reinhart (Food) Contributors Michelle Boudin Sumanah Khan Matt Kokenes Katie Levans Bryan Reed Little Shiva TJ Photography Bryce Lankard Todd Trimakas George Lainis Cover Art Ben Gelnett Distribution Sean Chesney Office 1600 Fulton Ave., #140 Charlotte, NC 28205 Contact us at Uptown Magazine is a trademark of Uptown Publishing inc., copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Uptown is printed monthly and subscriptions are $15 annually and can be purchased online at


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Two of Every Kind Collabora ivE pairs yiEld surprising rEsulT CollaboraT sul s sulT

The natural order of things seems to favor pairs. There’s no need, at this moment, to veer into political discussions concerning who should — or should not — partner with whom, or how or how not to properly do it. We can see plenty of examples in life and in art in which finding the right partner just makes everything better. Music is littered with examples of established artists combining their efforts with other established artists to create something new from familiar elements. it’s much like the way a good cocktail retains the flavors of its ingredients while also taking on its own distinctive taste. in the best musical pairings, each artist retains the key elements of his or her own aesthetic, while the combination reveals something rarely, if ever, heard before. These can be informal and fleeting collaborations such as duets between Michael Jackson and paul McCartney, or gram parsons and Emmylou Harris. occasionally, they breed wholly new projects, such as The postal service — death Cab For Cutie’s ben gibbard and electronic pop maestro dntel — or gnarls barkley — soul crooner Cee-lo green and hip-hop innovator danger Mouse. Following the singer-meets-producer storyline, dutch producer nicolay rook and phonte Coleman, one of two rappers in the acclaimed hip-hop outfit little brother, met on the internet and began swapping files to create 2004’s “Connected,” the debut album of the newly dubbed Foreign Exchange. The 2008 follow-up, “leave it all behind,” cemented the duo’s permanence and foreshadowed little brother’s official dissolution this year. That record caught a grammy nomination for its subtle, sumptuous r&b built upon nicolay’s brian Eno-meets-boom-bap backing and phonte’s pleading croon. it was effortlessly smooth and quietly romantic, a dark horse winner that might not have taken home a trophy, but that set the stage for the

duo’s latest, ““authenticity.” With this third release, the pair seem more confident and more willing to push bolder, divergent sounds into their arsenal. live drums and synthesizers pulse next to strong bass lines. The title track nods to ’80s pop, with thick drum sounds offering more melodic direction to phonte’s pensive vocal, while reverberating keys and guitars cast an ambient glow. “laughing at your y plans” tips a hat to soft-rock with acoustic strums and gliding piano fills, before “This City ain’t The same Without yyou” opens with postal servicey laptop burbles. but ut mostly, ““authenticity” sticks to the Foreign Exchange’s sophisticated r&b M.o. Even with more pronounced rhythm, as on “don’t Wait,” in which phonte duets with frequent collaborator darien brockington, the Foreign Exchange is living comfortably and assuredly, in the midst of hip-hop informed neo-soul. neil yyoung, though, seems to have taken the opportunity to collaborate with producer daniel lanois to add still more dimension to the veteran rocker’s already adventuresome catalog. “le noise” is the latest entry into the overflowing oeuvre young y has built since his departure from buffalo springfield in the ’60s. Though it’s billed as a neil yyoung album, lanois’ touch is as crucial to the resulting sound as yyoung’s songs. draped in reverb and feedback, what might have been a simple solo record — just yyoung and his electric guitar — dives headlong into the realms of experimental rock, lapping up expansive drone, murky shoegaze and grungy skronk. Much of the reception to “le noise” seems conflicted; this doesn’t sound like what we’ve come to expect from a late-career neil yyoung record. This is precisely why the partnership works. it proves (again) that yyoung hasn’t run out of tricks, or grown stubborn with age.

Two of Every Kind Collabora ivE pairs yiEld surprising rEsulT CollaboraT sul s sulT

distinctive, eloquent and verbose lyrics. He writes songs as a novelist might, creating worlds fraught with characters whose internal struggles become the stuff of epics. darnielle’s acute attention to detail and knack for sardonic quips has helped him amass a sizable collection of songs whose universal appeal springs from their specificity. on the side, darnielle began collaborating at a leisurely pace with Franklin bruno — of ’90s rockers nothing painted blue — as The Extra glenns. This year, the duo altered its name and signed with indie-label kingpin Merge records to release “undercard,” its second album, and the first since 2002’s “Martial arts Weekend.” Those familiar with darnielle’s Mountain goats output probably won’t be shocked to hear the familiar voice and rhetorical aesthetic at play. but together, darnielle and bruno turn The Mountain goat’s usually spare arrangements into a more vibrant and musically attuned outfit. indeed, an easy criticism of The Mountain goats is that darnielle’s lyrics usually overshadow the arrangements. Here, that’s not the case. opener pener ““adultery,” for example, swings for the fences with sharp, ringing electric guitars recalling the snappy reverb-heavy style of billy bragg’s early albums. “How i left The Ministry” boasts twinkling glockenspiel and shocks of distorted, harmonic electric guitar lines. The sonic breadth bruno brings to the table makes this a clearly separate entry from the Mountain goats canon and keeps darnielle’s wordiness from becoming overbearing. as in the preceding examples, the result thrives in the conflict and resolution of different instincts. like any good relationship, each half of these partnerships is forced to compromise and embrace traits of the other. and when it works, we all benefit. U reach bryan at For samples of these songs, go to

words: bryan reed

and lanois, best known for producing records for u2 and peter gabriel, guides that detour with the grace and command of sound of an accomplished experimentalist. The fuzz and grit his work adds to “le noise” helps make it a subtle, but distinct point of departure even for yyoung, whose career has no shortage of stylistic experiments. This touch makes more straightforward songs like “love and War” feel starker for their lack of sonic density. The studio does seem to be a breeding ground for creative collisions. When garage rock legend greg Cartwright — who, in some circles, might as well be John lennon — helmed the production for the mostly nashville-based trio The Ettes, a spark lit between Ettes leader Coco Hames and Cartwright (himself front man for the reigning sound). The two planned to record a 45, just two songs. but two became 15, and The parting gifts found their way to their excellent debut, “strychnine dandelion,” with help from members of The black Keys, The raconteurs and The Ettes. The retro rock buffet the duo serves up on “dandelion” is a smooth blend of already familiar influences. Hames’ whip-smart Wanda Jackson sass counters Cartwright’s lived-in rock-&-soul croon. They dive into sun studios country, blue-eyed soul and early ’60s rockabilly, and shed most of both parties’ lingering punk sneers for a classic-sounding pop album that could succeed on assuredness alone if the songs weren’t so laden with big hooks and casually convicted songwriting. Here, the sound isn’t a great departure for either, but the complementary writing styles are given a real chance to shine. For The Extra lens, one songwriter dominates. John darnielle spends most of his days writing, recording and performing as The Mountain goats, an act that has steadily gained acclaim for darnielle’s





CAn’T WE JuST BE fRiEnDS? i dated someone 17 years older than me for almost three years. i found my spare time dwindling due to a full-time job and going to school full time. i got tired of being guilt-tripped into making time for him when i didn’t have any to spare in the first place. now he wants to remain friends, but when i come around he always tries to come on to me or be intimate with me and i don’t want that whatsoever. if i tell him that, he pitches a fit and then it gets very awkward. How can i explain that i just want to be friends, or is that even possible? ah, the old “let’s stay friends” idea. From what you’ve told me, i don’t see how you can be friends with this man. if he’s trying to be intimate with you, he doesn’t want to be just friends. rarely does a breakup happen when the couple can actually remain friends. The only way to make the friendship work is if neither person has any emotional attraction to the other. My friend ace and i have been best buddies for years, but i’ve never pressured him into getting intimate with me … well, maybe once, but i had just had a huge fight with my wife. i’m guessing you have a lot of friends who are a lot less work. if it were me, i would make a cordial, clean break and be done with it. That way, you don’t have to feel guilty or as though you’re doing something wrong — and he won’t have any opportunity to accuse you of being a tease.

MuLTiPLE PARTnERS is it wrong for me to talk to and go on dates with multiple guys, even though i’m not having sex with any of them? i already have a “friend with benefits” (and no emotional attachment). i have a fear of commitment because i’m divorced and have since had two crappy relationships. Some think i’m awesome; some think i’m a “playa.” i am honest with these guys and i tell them i don’t want a commitment and that i want to be free to do whatever — i’m just not upfront about my special friend. i don’t think it’s their business. What do you think? Am i doing this dating/ talking thing wrong, or am i in the good? if you are honest with the guys you date and tell them upfront that you want to do whatever you want without any possibility of a commitment, i think you’re fine. on the other hand, i hate to hear that a person has just given up 24


on finding that special person with whom to share her life. Just don’t get caught up in the whole “girl power” aspect of what you’re doing. it seems to everyone around you that you are sick of dealing with men and don’t need them, and that you can tell all men like it is because you only need them for one thing and you’ve got that taken care of by having a “friend with benefits.” but if you look at all men in that light, i fear you will regret it someday. let me explain: The whole “friends with benefits” concept is more beneficial to women than it is to men. some women can be manipulated into almost anything if they are told that it is “empowering” and “liberating.” yyou see, it is EMpoWEring for you to tell men that you make the rules and that if they don’t like it, they can keep moving. While doing this gives you power in one respect, it can leave you weak in another. yyou want the closeness of a man and the sexual gratification, so you knock on the door of your “special friend” for a night of emotionless and meaningless casual sex. yyou tell yourself that you aren’t

doing anything wrong because it’s your right as a liberated woman to be like a man and just get sex because you want it. When you start to feel shameful the next morning, you might say to yourself, “i know i just had uncommitted sex with no emotion for the fifth time this week, but it doesn’t make me a slut because i did it with the same guy and i don’t have to add five more names to my list of men i’ve had sex with in my life.” i’m not saying you’re a slut at all — i’m just recommending that you not get too comfortable in this situation because it could leave you powerless and sad later. yyou’ve got to think about what you’re going to do when your “special friend” gets into a committed relationship. Who will you turn to then? i nEED YOu How can i help my husband understand that his activities of golfing, drag racing, horseback riding and hunting are taking too much time away from the family? i think one activity is plenty. i also think a majority of our “free time” (when we aren’t working or running to sports practice or games) should be spent with the kids, not without them. AnD, because i think that, he pretty much knows he can make plans for himself and i will take care of the kids. That seems like too much time away from his family to me. so, how do we fix it? There is a reason why he doesn’t want to be home. Evaluate the situation and find out what it is that makes him want to stay away. does he think you nag him too much? does he not know how to take care of the kids properly? or is he just a selfish child himself? i don’t think it is the last choice or you wouldn’t have married him and built a family. Husbands sometimes start to feel they’re in the way. Wives can become so busy being good moms, sacrificing and running at record speed, that they can forget they are wives as well as mothers. Men often feel as if the only reason their wives want them around is for “the help.” if your lives are torn in that many directions, i think you should absolutely spend some free time WiTHouT the kids. yyour first responsibility of being a great mom and dad is letting the kids see that you are a good husband and wife and that you are in love and you work as a team against whatever life throws at you. yyou should never forget that he is your man and you are his woman. yyou have the power to get the ball rolling on this. remember, you love him and need him to be the man of the house, so talk to him as such (no nagging). let him pick one or two hobbies and you do the same. Take the time to relax and enjoy each other. U

TJ is one-half of the ace & TJ show, heard mornings on Charlotte’s Kiss 95.1. yyou can reach TJ at For more info, go to


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REALITY Charlotte Emily and Scott Barzee were sweating. The next 60 seconds could mean pocketing more than a hundred grand – or, it could mean they were one step closer to a million bucks. It could also mean they were going home with nothing. Standing there on a late June day – dressed in button-down shirts and slacks they got from the costume department – the adorable Huntersville couple could hear the 300-member television studio audience cheering them on. They could hear host Guy Fieri egging them on, and they could hear a robotic woman telling them it was game on. That voice told them they had a “Minute To Win It.”

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Emily, 30, and Scott, 38, were competing in a special office-themed episode of the NBC hit game show that aired in August. Last June, casting agents handpicked the couple from hundreds of Charlotte wannabes to compete on this particular episode because that’s where the two met – in an office – while working at one of Charlotte’s banks. Scott was Emily’s first boss after she got out of college. She had no idea that years later her office romance would land the two on a Hollywood soundstage filled with pencils and paper clips. The two had reached Level 7 of the summer game show in which contestants are asked to do silly things with household objects on a quest to earn cash. Scott was attempting the game “Backflip” – he had one minute to flip a dozen pencils from the back of his hand and catch them in his palm. The couple had already successfully conquered the games Office Maximus (toppling giant reams of paper with an even bigger rubberband ball), Speed Eraser (bouncing pencils into glasses) and Clipper (maneuvering pingpong balls down a slanted table and in between binder clips). If Scott could master the right flip of his hand, more than a hundred grand would be theirs. The Barzees are just the latest in what’s become a long line of reality TV “stars” shaking up the small screen after being plucked from normalcy in the Queen City. A casting director nabbed Jordan Lloyd when she was working at the EpiCentre. She went on to win “Big Brother 11.” Charlotteans have heated up “Hell’s Kitchen” in the show’s finale, and casting calls have drawn huge crowds in recent years for everything from “Rock of Love” to “The Biggest Loser.” Casting directors have figured out what the chamber of commerce has been shouting for a while: “Charlotte’s got a lot!” A lot of different personalities. “We went to Charlotte because we wanted to get a good representation of everyone in the country. Charlotte has that,” said Luke Conklin, “Minute to Win It” casting director. “It’s also a great southern city that’s really thriving and full of great personalities. It’s diverse in the sense that you can get an older person, you can find someone with a thick country accent, or the person who works on a farm. But I also know it’s a young working professional city. When I chose Charlotte, I knew about the banking industry. I’ve enjoyed the nightlife there. It’s just one of those cities where people say what’s on their minds. There’s just a vibe in the city that these types of people are going to be great for a game show,” he said. Conklin had also cast his net here before. The California native actually discovered the Queen City about seven years ago while casting for the Ashton Kutcher reality show, “Beauty and the Geek.” Conklin says he’s always looking for the same thing. “With reality shows in general, you’re looking for more of a character. With game shows, you’re looking for a real person, someone who’s going to let go and be themselves and is willing to go along for the ride. The audience has to want to root for them.” “Minute to Win It” was still relatively new at the time Emily and Scott appeared on the show, and the Charlotte casting was the 28

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first big call for participants outside of Hollywood. “That speaks a lot to Charlotte,” Emily said. “I was kind of surprised they zeroed in on Charlotte, but obviously it worked out for us!” The casting folks say they’re the ones who got lucky. The Barzees immediately stood out from the crowd. And it was a big crowd. Hundreds joined the couple that blazing-hot June day to wait in a four-hour line that snaked out of StrikeCity, wound around the EpiCentre and down Trade Street. “The people in line were of all ages, races … there was such a mix,” Emily said. “I think because of the type of show it is – it wasn’t like ‘The Bachelor,’ so it wasn’t all just 25-year-old girls.” (Though ABC’s “The Bachelor” has come calling in Charlotte, too.) Beth Petty has some insight into why the city has captured such national attention. She heads the Charlotte Regional Film Commission and often works with casting directors who come to the city. “The reason reality shows (and others) come is because Charlotte is a large enough market to garner attention. Plus, they come because of our accessibility … (and because of) our available crew and support services,” she said. Other reality television shows have simply shot here. In 2008, Ty Pennington and the rest of his design team on “Extreme Home Makeover” knocked down an East Charlotte family’s home and day care that was filled with mold. This summer, Dale Earnhardt Jr. raced Shaq at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the premiere episode of “Shaq vs.” And HGTV is trying to find an eager homeowner for an episode of “My First Sale.” Cameras are also regularly spotted at Fantasia’s Piper Glen home, where the second season of her VH-1 show is shooting. It’s clear the nation’s obsession with reality television has brought plenty of opportunities for Charlotteans. Carissa St. Aubin, now the marketing director for Uptown’s Crave Dessert Bar, parlayed her expertise in animal noises to get to L.A. after trying out for “Hell’s Kitchen.” “I walked in and I said, ‘I can squawk like a chicken, bark like a dog, chirp like a cricket or whistle like a bird. Which one do you want to hear?’ I’m actually very good at animal noises!” She must have been – because after five minutes, “They said, ‘that’s it! You’re coming through. We’ll see you tomorrow.’ ” The 27-year-old had spent a strange day at the Pineville Dinner Theatre in line with “an old Italian guy who wouldn’t stop talking about his life-changing eggplant Parmesan, an arrogant woman carrying a watermelon and several hundred other strangers. It was the most bizarre grouping of people I’ve ever seen.” The casting process, she says, is hard to describe. “It is one of the most fun, most confusing and most frightening experiences you can ever go through. I’m so glad I did it. Whenever I have kids, I can say I once tried out for a reality TV show and made it!” Carissa says the tryouts are that chance at fame everyone wants to have. “You want to know someone noticed you,” she said. “It’s very validating to have people say I like you … even if it’s only because you make fun noises.”

11/8/2010 3:09:26 PM

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At the time of the Pineville Dinner Theatre gathering, Carissa was working in construction and had no real direction. Her mother-in-law had persuaded her to attend the “Hell’s Kitchen” audition. “I had always wanted to dip my toe in the culinary pool; instead, I did a cannonball trying out for reality TV.” She ended up as an alternate for the Gordon Ramsey show and later found herself actually cast on Bravo’s lesser-known cooking show, “Chef Academy.” It aired last January, though it was actually taped two years ago. “It really opened my eyes; I realized there’s a world of opportunity out there. If I can make my way on to a TV show, live in L.A. … it made me realize I can do anything I put my mind to,” she said.

carissa st. aubin

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Conklin says that’s his favorite part of the job. He loves seeing people he singled out in an audition actually become successful. He makes it a point to always be on set when one of “his people” makes it to the show. He was there when Emily and Scott Barzee went for the million. They didn’t win the million dollars, but the outcome still had a pretty nice impact on their lives. “It’s nice to know you’ve made the difference,” Conklin says. Conklin says he is always looking for talent. And the outcome is almost always the same: Personality gets you his personal attention every time. “I’ve been doing it so long, most people when they come to a casting call have just 30 seconds to talk ... Tell us something interesting, something that’s gonna stand out from everyone else in line. If you freeze, don’t worry. If someone gets nervous, that’s fine. You have 30 seconds to stand out.” Emily says she didn’t freeze because she really didn’t care that much. She attended the casting call with Scott because he was the one who wanted to be on TV. “He’d even recruited a buddy to stand in line with him all day. I really went along as a third wheel, but after spending so much time in line it would have been idiotic not to at least try out.” Good thing she did. She didn’t know at the time that the folks from L.A. were looking for couples. And the Barzees have the perfect couple story. “I took the easy route. I just told them how we met, that Scott was my boss. He really got them. He told them how we’re trying to have kids and he’d just had to go in for sperm testing.” The sperm story sealed the deal. “They told everyone else ‘thank you’ and let them go. They told us to come back tomorrow with a cheering section.” So the Barzees went home, called a bunch of people and threw a party. They bought a keg and invited friends to practice with them as they ran through two “Minute to Win It” games over and over. All to prepare for the next round of Charlotte auditions. They played Stack Attack (building a pyramid with plastic cups) and Speed Eraser until 3 or 4 in the morning. Casting directors again loved them and told the couple to be ready. Three days later, they got the call, hopped on a plane and headed to L.A. for boot camp. To actually get on the show, they had to practice and master 24 different office-themed games. There was one with a giant ball of rubber bands. Another with binder clips. This was not rocket science or the Super Bowl. But they still won a nice chunk of change. As they stood there during taping, sweating and almost out of “lives,” they knew if they went for the next level they could come home with a quarter-million dollars. If they lost in the attempt, they would home with a lot less. It was a no-brainer. “We’ve been trying to have a baby for a while,” Emily said. “We really want to start a family and the money will help with that. And we’re doing a backyard makeover … with a big deck, a fireplace …” The $125,000 they won turned their dreams into ... well … REALITY. U Reach Michelle at For more info, go to

11/8/2010 3:09:33 PM

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words: sumanah khan pictures: carlisle kellam

to the heart on a Monday in august, my pomeranian, Marley, woke me out of a peaceful slumber at 4:45 a.m. by pouncing on my head. she runs and dreams (a lot) in her sleep, often acting out entire story lines and running 100-yard sprints that are entertaining and exhausting to watch. on this night, she appeared to be jumping over hurdles, one of which happened to be my head, and sprung me out of bed. i was disheveled and aggravated, but what transpired in the minutes after my rude awakening made me more thankful than ever for my dog’s wild imagination.


Medtronic is the world’s largest manufacturer of iCds. The company is the king of the devices and it’s also the reason i was fitted with two (not one, TWo) faulty leads in the last four very long years of my life. The first one, as you know, shocked the crap out of me, and the second … well, the arley’s sudden second was implanted the same day the first outburst led me to take a bathroom break, one was taken out, but no one knew it was which ultimately led me to crawl back into recalled or faulty at the time. bed and respond to forgotten e-mails on my no sooner did the doctors stitch me blackberry. With Fashion’s night out just up and send me home did i receive a fretful around the corner, this was going to be a call from my friend gary. He asked me if i big workweek for me, and i needed to stay had read a recent “new yyork Times” article ahead of the game. as i nestled back under on Medtronic. as he spoke, i looked up the the covers and fought my husband for pillow article online and there it was in bold, black space, i heard a beep – and, as any heart letters: Medtronic sprint Fidelis lead – failure patient with a potentially defective models 6930, 6931, 6948 and 6949 have been device fitted inside her heart would do, i recalled. Wait a minute, i thought … those dropped my ear to my chest to make sure it model numbers sound an awful lot like … wasn’t me. To my dismay, it was. no, they couldn’t be. My mom watched as part 1 of my story appeared in the i leaped off the couch and headed for my october 2008 issue of uptown purse. luckily, i save everything, Magazine and i spoke about a and i had with me both the similar incident in which yet original and the new card mailed another foreign beep caused to me that stated my device’s me to perform the same action model number along with a brief in February 2007, i was waltzing out – but that time it ended up synopsis of my condition. you y of the Christopher street subway station in being the speakers to my ipod. can’t be serious … This time, the beep was coming both leads, the first one new york when i felt my first shock. oh, Jesus, from my heart. that was just taken out a few am i really dying on the stairwell of a subway let’s go back for a bit of weeks back as well as the one platform? history here. in april 2006, i i had newly implanted, were was living in Manhattan, where recalled. i thought only cars and i spent close to a decade of packaged foods got recalled, not my life. i was enjoying my $60,000 devices that rest inside completely unmedicated ambulance ride to jam-packed life as a new yyorker when an your body and are manufactured to save the hospital later, enter the Medtronic rep in unknown virus severely weakened my heart your life – and how on god’s earth did the his crisp, white coat wheeling his handyand ultimately led to congestive heart failure. vendor manage to continue distributing these dandy Medtronic laptop in front of him. i at that time, my heart was quadruple its devices to the most well-reputed hospitals don’t know what those machines are called, normal size and was only pumping 5 percent in new yyork City, and allow the staff to but they look like laptops so that’s what i’m oxygenated blood to the rest of my body, surgically place them inside their patients going to call them. He placed what looked literally prompting all of my organs to shut daily? just like a mouse gently over my device, and down. it’s important for me to point out here “bleep,” it was turned off. by this point, i was several touch-and-go weeks later, i that at no point did i ever, or will i ever, blame hooked up to an external heart monitor so was fitted with an implantable cardioverter my doctors for anything that has happened to there was no need for the device to be on to defibrillator, or an iCd, a small device similar me over the last four years. My doctors and keep inadvertently shocking me. The next to a pacemaker that generally rests just nurses saved my life, and they continue to morning, i underwent my second surgery, under the skin and above the heart. it is be one of the primary reasons for my good which is known as a “lead repair.” They took usually implanted in folks who suffer from health today. in my eyes, they are nothing out the old lead and put in a new one, and arrhythmia (an irregular heart rate). one short of angels. the original lead was sent to Medtronic for or more leads (wires) run from the device so, my surgeon, who happens to be analysis. to my heart, and if my heart short-circuits the best electrophysiologist in new york y and experiences an abnormally fast rhythm (which mine is prone to do), the iCd will first try to pace my heart back to normal; if that doesn’t work, it generates electrical impulses through the lead and provides therapy to the muscle as many times as necessary. basically, if my heart rate goes above 180 beats per minute, the thing shocks the living shit out of me with the same voltage output of electricity as external paddles in emergency rooms and airports. i’ve never been shocked … appropriately, that is. now inappropriately, that’s a whole other story. in February 2007, i was waltzing out of the Christopher street subway station in new yyork when i felt my first shock. oh, Jesus, am i really dying on the stairwell of a subway platform? no, i wasn’t. i didn’t know this at the time, but my lead had fractured, causing my device to malfunction and shock me several times inadvertently. several painful minutes and a



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City, called and asked me to come in for an office visit, but i already knew what he was going to say. although i had a recalled lead inside me, it didn’t necessarily mean that it was defective. To better protect me, he programmed my iCd to set off a series of alarms that would go off at 10:10 a.m., should there be any signs of malfunction. Today, with newer software in place, warning beeps are programmed to go off at any given time of the day and repeat themselves every four hours until addressed. i remember it being a lot to swallow at the time, as it brought me right back to that day in the subway station where i had absolutely no control over what was happening inside my own body. i felt like i was being electrocuted, over and over again, and there was nothing i could do about it. When my doctor demonstrated the beeps for me, i felt a warm, anxious feeling come over me. i was just getting over the initial fear of what had happened, and now i felt as though i had taken 20 steps back in time. The same fear, the same feeling of trauma crept over me and i started to cry in my head. it felt weird hearing a noise coming from inside me, and i just couldn’t wrap my head around how this could happen to me … again. someone cut an incision above my collarbone not once but twice, reached into the pocket of my heart and pulled out a faulty foreign device, only to put another potentially faulty one back in. This time, the device was placed just under my skin as opposed to the first time when it

sumanah today

was fitted under my muscle. it stuck out like worst in my life, but i lived through them a third boob and it made me feel damaged, because i wanted to – i needed to, for them self-conscious and ugly. i took all the mirrors and for myself. but, god forbid i stub my out of my bathroom just so i wouldn’t have toe or my husband leaves his dirty clothes to see myself when i came out of the shower nEXT to the hamper and not in the hamper – because it made me cry. that’s when my blood pressure hits the roof The weeks and months that followed and the pit bull comes out. good to see i have consisted of many sleepless nights and my priorities in order. excruciating amounts of nerve pain; but the since my second surgery three years worst part was the fact that every twitch i ago, i had gotten used to the fact that i had a felt and every beep i heard would send me recalled lead attached to my heart. i put my spiraling into a silent panic that took over bathroom mirrors back up, started working my mind and body for several minutes at a out and have started wearing strapless time. There are so many times i ended up dresses again. i even got used to random back in the emergency room simply from beeping noises. That is, until aug. 30, 2010, a penetrating fear that caused my chest the day that Marley pounced on my head. to hurt and my breath to shorten. at that as i finished writing my last e-mail that day point in my life, i couldn’t tell the difference on my blackberry, i heard a series of beeps between a heart attack and a panic attack, and all that swung through my mind like a revolving door of nightmares it stuck out like a third boob and it were the vibrations made me feel damaged, self-conscious and i remember that ugly. i took all the mirrors out of my bathroom occurred with every just so i wouldn’t have to see myself when i shock. came out of the shower because it made me i will never forget how many cry. inches i flew off the gurney inside the ambulance when the fifth shock hit, and i will never forget coming from my chest and i immediately how many times i cried for them to turn off woke up my husband, James. the device before the company’s rep came “baby, i think my defibrillator alarm is waltzing in. Most of all, i will never, ever going off.” forget the feeling in between each shock – an i have never seen a man spring apprehension so severe that i literally felt so quickly out of bed and into action. He every molecule in my body jump out of my grabbed my phone from me and speedskin as i waited for the next one to hit … if dialed sanger Cardiovascular at CMC. it hit. “uh, yes, hello, my wife’s defibrillator lucky for me (and the rest of the is beeping. Can someone please page her medical world), i am easily distracted, and i doctor immediately?” heal quickly, both physically and emotionally. We were given the choice of waiting i tend to work through the big moments with at home and coming into the pacemaker an inner resolution that evolves from my clinic at sanger for a device check at 10 faith – my father slipping into a coma on my a.m. or getting dressed and coming into 21st birthday for more than a year before the emergency room right then to wait for passing away in 2001; being diagnosed with the Medtronic rep to show up. by this point, congestive heart failure in 2006; and, more James and i were pretty versed in how the recently, losing my baby while six months’ whole thing would go down with Medtronic. pregnant in 2009. These moments were the We knew that there was no point in dragging



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ourselves into the emergency room at 5 in the morning, only to wait for hours until a rep came in and interrogated the device. We opted for option one and did our best to go back to sleep. My husband wrapped his arms and legs around me as i whispered to him that i was feeling a little anxious. The only two things that allowed me to fall back asleep were his protective arms and the fact that my logical mind knew the warning beeps gave me plenty of time to get to the hospital. That and the fact i was exhausted from being on my blackberry for two hours before all this, responding to redundant e-mails about Fashion’s night out. Exactly four hours later, at 8:51 a.m., i was in the bathroom brushing my teeth, getting ready to go to the hospital. i heard

anoTHEr defective lead inside me?! recalled i can understand … well, actually, no, i can’t, but i had come to terms with it … but another actually defective lead that’s about to fracture? What in the hell are the odds of that happening? apparently not that slim. after my doctor gave us the rundown of what was to come, we overcame the initial shock and arrived at a very calm and familiar place. This wasn’t our first rodeo and neither of us was scared – annoyed that we had to change our entire workweek around, but not scared. The game plan was that the device would be turned off to prevent me from getting falsely shocked and i would be hooked up to an external heart monitor, then i would then be admitted into the cardiac ward for observation. The surgery would take place on Friday and i would basically be chilling at the hospital until then. in that week, on the day of the surgery, the only i ate a lot of Jell-o, thing i could remember before going in was caught up on old that i had been there before. The feeling was episodes of “oprah” and met some all too familiar and the fact that i knew what great nurses i now was going to happen next was just more of a consider my friends. reminder that it shouldn’t be happening again. i also missed out on seeing through Fashion’s night out, a monumental event the series of beeps again, and this time i i was spearheading at work and had put my knew without a doubt that my device was blood, sweat and tears into for six weeks. i trying to warn me about a potential problem. also had the pleasure of falling into a fullsomething was definitely wrong, but i was blown panic attack at 11:30 the night before too busy ordering invitations and renting my surgery, when i heard a surprise series runway staging to think about what was of beeps coming from my chest because the going to take place in the next 40 minutes. nurse at the pacemaker clinic had forgotten as soon as we got to the pacemaker to switch off the backup alarm inside the clinic, the nurse rushed me to room 3, device when she switched off everything where i followed my usual routine of nestling else. i had to call my mom in bangladesh myself into the reclining chair by the table and tell her that for the third time in four where the Medtronic laptop sat. The nurse years a doctor was going to have to cut pulled out the mouse and placed it on my me open again to stick his hand inside the device as my husband and i joked about the pocket of my heart and remove yet another prospect of undergoing a third surgery. The faulty foreign body from my chest. nurse looked over her shoulder at me and on the day of the surgery, the only said, “yea, yyea, that’s probably what’s going to thing i could remember before going in was happen. it looks like your lead is about to that i had been there before. The feeling was fracture, honey.” all too familiar and the fact that i knew what are you serious?! really, i have was going to happen next was just more of

a reminder that it shouldn’t be happening again. i shouldn’t have to go through this for a third time, i thought. physically, i’m 5 feet 1 inch and 103 pounds. To be cut open in the same place three times in a row, stretching and pushing through muscle and implanting a wire around which my tissues had settled and formed, to shift an entire device out from under my muscle to under my skin and back to under my muscle is painful and unfair. To be unable to work to my full capacity because of my physical shortcomings since age 26, to be ridden with hospital bills not from ill health but from the terrible mishap of an outside entity, and to walk with an underlying fear of getting shocked each time i recount the past and go back to that place is excessive and unjust. and yet, no matter how many people have validated my anger and encouraged me to take legal action against the manufacturer, i still can’t bring myself to do it because, at the end of the day, the device still rests inside my chest. a few years back, i was approached by a law firm in joining a class action law suit against Medtronic. i did, but as soon as i received a questionnaire asking for information on my doctors, i became a bit weary. i will not involve them, and so for this reason i’m not sure i have much of a case, regardless of whether or not they were looking to negatively depict the hospital or my doctors. The truth is, money would be nice, but it still wouldn’t give me back the time that i’ve lost. What i want is a public admission of fault and for the company to really understand the gravity of the mistake. What i want is for the next young person to never have to go through what i went through, and continue to go through. When something like this happens to you, it is physically and emotionally scarring; it is painful and life altering and completely unnecessary and it should never happen … to anyone. What i want is not a long, drawn-out legal battle that ultimately results in more pain; instead, i want the last four years of my life back, handed to me on a pretty little silver platter with a handwritten note that says, “dear sumanah, we’re so sorry.” U reach sumanah at For more info, go to



gift guide words: katie levans perhaps the funniest scene in Christmas movie history is Clark griswold’s delightfully uncomfortable exchange with a sexy lingerie sales consultant at Marshall Field’s while shopping with his family. Had Clark been parked in front of his computer eating bonbons in his boxers and dropping items in a virtual shopping cart, such an exchange would never have occurred. The point? let’s shop locally! it’s far more entertaining. sure, santa may jet all over the world delivering presents each year, but this doesn’t mean the gifts you buy need to come from the other side of the globe. you can find something for everyone on your list right here in the Queen City. but if you’re dead set on not stepping foot outdoors, don’t get all grinchy. you can find all of these local items online, too.





[1] Edible – Homemade dog treats - Barbara’s Canine Catering Everyone knows the fastest way to an animal lover’s heart is through a pet’s stomach. Butter up your furry friends with peanut butter cream cheese tarts, salmon and cheese bonbons and mini pizzas from Barbara’s Canine Catering. They’re all natural and free of preservatives, dyes and sugars. Sorry, they’re not for humans. $4 to $50

[2] Loveable – A friend for life - Humane Society For a gift that keeps on giving, consider a new four-legged family member from the Humane Society of Charlotte. But remember: Pet ownership is a big-time responsibility and a decision that should not be taken lightly. Not sure your recipient is ready? Make an online donation to the shelter in the person’s name instead. $110 to $150




[3] Every game – Season tickets Treat your favorite sports fan to a gift of endless gamedays … for a season, anyway. Whether it’s Charlotte Knights baseball in the spring and summer or Carolina Panthers football in the fall, a season ticket pass is the perfect gift that keeps on giving. Can’t shell out for a full season? One game will do. Panthers, $400 to $4,000; Knights, $440 to $515 & [4] Pregame – Panthers tailgate table Any true sports fan knows that half the fun of gameday is the tailgate party. Stand out in the parking lot with a custom foldout table (complete with beer pong net) emblazoned with your team’s colors and logo. $135



fOR THE OuTDOORSY TYPE [1] At rest – EnO hammock Eagles Nest Outfitters hammocks are manufactured in nearby Asheville, and you can buy them in town at the Great Outdoor Provision Co. Now all you need are two trees, a thick book and the lazy days of a Carolina summer. $50 to $75



[2] At play – Custom-made cornhole set What’s an outdoor event without a game of cornhole? Add life to any activity with a set made for your special someone with the colors, design and logo of your choice. $150 Best Custom Cornhole Boards (ask for Chris), 704.458.6940





[3] Handy – Hand sanitizer This seems odd, but when I asked my mom (a teacher) what to buy a teacher, she said without hesitation, “Hand sanitizer!” Make it more special with a unique soap dispenser such as the simplehuman sensor pump. $45 Sur La Table at Southpark

[4] Dandy – insulated lunch box If you know any teachers, you know they don’t eat school food. They also get about a 20-minute break, eliminating the option to dine out and ensuring an onslaught of drab sack lunches. Inspire an educator to pack a prettier lunch with a snazzy insulated lunch box. $24.95 Paper Skyscraper

fOR THE EnViROnMEnTALiST [1] unpaper Cup – i am not a paper cup When it comes to being green, organic fair trade coffee makes your morning habit acceptable, but the paper cup it comes in makes it wasteful. Go easy on the planet with a porcelain, doublewalled reusable cup with silicone lid to keep your drink hot and the cup out of the garbage. $14.95 Paper Skyscraper [2] unpaper towel – Reusable paper towels What could be more wasteful than a one-time-use paper towel? Here today, trash tomorrow. Save money and the environment with reusable paper towels handcrafted in Charlotte by a stay-at-home mom. $11 for 12 towels Reusable Paper Towel Co.




[4] Drinking – Vineyard tour and wine tasting Napa Valley is cool and all, but it’s a hike and a half from Charlotte, not to mention expensive. Don’t even bother with airfare. You’ll find vino galore at RayLen Vineyards less than an hour north of the city. And because gifts don’t necessarily have to be something you can open, treat someone special to a tasting from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. $6 for red and white flights RayLen Vineyards

[3] Eating – Cooking classes Foodies like to eat, yes, but food just tastes better when you make it yourself. Plus, cooking class is a great place for an at-home chef to show off in front of a crowd and feel like a professional. Find instructional courses for anything from knife skills to Christmas cookies. $65 per class Cooking uptown




fOR THE MuSiC LOVER [1] Broad Range – Lunchbox Records If you’re buying music for someone cooler than you (come on, you know if they are), do not head to the nearest megamart and buy whatever CD is new or popular. Because everyone knows that cool people who are into music are into bands that no one else has ever heard of or that were popular 30 years ago and are no longer relevant. Not sure where to start? No one is. Head to Lunchbox Records in Plaza Midwood and let an expert hold your hand. $12.99 and up


2 [2] Broadway – Season tickets to Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Music from “Glee” and moves from “Dancing with the Stars” have most of the U.S. population thinking they can sing and dance their way to stardom… at least in the shower. Give your resident bathroom baritone a gentle reminder of how real professionals perform with season tickets to see “Billy Elliott,” “Dreamgirls,” “Shrek the Musical” and more at Blumenthal Center for Performing Arts. Cost varies

fOR THE KiDS [3] Educational – iDig Tyrannosaurus Rex Archeology Kit Keeping up with what kids want these days can be a challenge. And if you’d rather not wait in line for hours trying to get the latest hot gizmo or Tickle-Me-Whatever, consider going against the grain with something that – gasp! – doesn’t have a screen or require batteries. What kids wouldn’t love digging for dinosaur bones and then piecing them together to create their very own model T-Rex? Maybe they’ll even ask you for help and you’ll happily oblige after all those hours they spent teaching you how to use Facebook. $24.99 and up Learning Express Toys





[4] Physical – EzyRoller Your old red Radio Flyer ain’t got nothin’ on this crazy contraption that combines the control and maneuvering of a bicycle with the novelty of a scooter. The toy is intended for children ages 5 to 8, but with the addition of two included extensions, anyone over 5 feet 5 inches can get in on the action. So count Grandma in. And grab the video camera. $99.99 Toys & Co. at Cotswold

Nov 10 to fix.indd 47

11/8/2010 3:09:59 PM

fOR THE COLLEGE STuDEnT [1] Repurposed – Limitededition Charlotte city map print One of the first questions every college freshman will have to answer is, “Where are you from?” What better way to show off your Charlotte roots than with a sleek, monochromatic city map wall hanging? Part abstract art, part hometown pride, these repurposed maps-turned-art are the perfect addition to any dorm, and they’re made right here in the Queen City. $35 Studio KMO


[2] Restored – Vintage chalk board Every dorm room door needs a place where people can leave messages when you’re not around. And let’s face it, white boards are overrated. Let your friends leave notes in style on a shabby chic chalkboard in a restored vintage frame. Or keep it by your desk to keep track of your to-do list. $15 to $50 Posh Pilfer on Etsy


fOR HER/ ER fOR HiM - THAT ER/ WOn’T BREAK THE BAnK [3] fit for a queen – Crown earrings The lady in your life doesn’t have to be a descendant of the royal family to feel like a queen for a day, especially if she’s a resident of the Queen City. Though she shines on her own, you can give her a little more sparkle with these pink jeweled crown earrings. $18.50 Eclectic Orchid





[4] A king’s ransom – Cat’s eye cuff links Polish your partner up with a set of striking cat’s eye cuff links available in pink or blue. These little gems bear a rather remarkable resemblance to a real cat’s eye… a panther, perhaps? How fitting. $60 Bruce Julian Clothiers

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it was 4:30 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon, and dave’s right leg had been bouncing like a neurotic sewing machine for 15 minutes. His eyes darted from the gift-wrapped box that sat between us on the sofa over to the Tv, then to the black drapes drawn tightly across the living room window. He looked like a nervous bouncer waiting in the principal’s office. as he tapped his foot, a small white ashtray on the coffee table bounced in sync. i was on edge myself, and i fidgeted with the new ring on my finger and punished a stick of gum as we continued the waiting game.

words: matt kokenes pictures: todd trimakas

DUPLICITY * duplicity is an ongoing fictional series. any similarity to actual people or events is purely coincidental.


cross the living room, a pile of comforters sat heaped in a beige recliner. A few spikes of inky black hair jutted out from the top of the pile, and every couple of minutes a tiny white wrist with skull tattoo popped up and jabbed a remote control toward the aging flat-panel TV on the wall. It was one of those 42-inch plasmas that went for 12 grand at high-end home-audio stores a decade ago. On the screen, clever paparazzi followed celebrities down L.A. sidewalks. I nudged Dave and nodded toward the corner of a mirror that was protruding from beneath the recliner. He wouldn’t smile.

a blast of smoke toward Rob’s phony Christmas present. Cartoon reindeer choked in a blue cloud. Rob just stood there for a moment, hugging the box like a mother dropping off her kid on the first day of kindergarten. Greg looked over at me with a puzzled look and shook his head. He sat back in a dusty Aeron office chair and took another long drag of the cigarette. A digital scale that hailed from the same era as the flat-panel TV waited patiently behind him on a glass-top desk. “Well, let’s have a look,” Greg said while rubbing his temples. “Whenever you’re ready, of course.” Rob set the box on the floor beside Greg’s chair and we both settled back into a black futon sofa on the opposite side of the room and held our breath. Greg wisely moved to a different house every year. That was actually one of the few rules that he lived by, and it was a smart decision for someone in his business. His houses always looked the same, though. Identical. It was as if he put the same unremarkable three-bedroom, two-bath ranch with yellow appliances and pink-tiled bathrooms on a flatbed truck and dropped it in another charming part of town. For

Greg wisely moved to a different house every year. That was actually one of the few rules that he lived by, and it was a smart decision for someone in his business.

He only shook his head, looked back up at the TV and pulled the box in closer to his side. Two empty bottles of sweet teaflavored vodka beckoned from an end table as he continued his tapping game with the white ashtray. A loud ad for acne medication came on the screen and the remote control abruptly shot back out and changed the channel. Greg finally appeared around the corner and motioned for us to follow him. “Nice to see you’re still rocking the bathrobe, Greg,” I said, patting him on the back as he led us down the hallway. “And this one looks like an upgrade. When did you move up to terry cloth?” “It’s from the Westin,” he said, lighting a cigarette and waving us into the tiny spare bedroom at the back of the house where money changed hands. He pulled the door shut behind him and locked the three of us in the room together. “Rob, you shouldn’t have!” he patronized, exhaling


Nov 10 to fix.indd 52


years, he had bounced from one quaint middle-class Charlotte neighborhood to another, not just flying under the radar, but scraping the treetops. This house sat in the shade of two giant pin oak trees over off Seneca Place. And, like the house, the girl under the comforter was also replaced every year. I had never seen the tiny wrist with the skull tattoo before. “Smells good,” Greg said, nodding to himself as he carefully opened the top with a box cutter. “You want to save the paper, Rob?” he smiled, looking up and offering the neatly folded cartoon reindeer paper and red bow. The corners of Rob’s beard turned up just slightly, and he resumed his foot tapping. “Looks good, too,” Greg continued, pulling a gallon-sized zipped freezer bag from the top of the pile and sliding open the top. Its contents fell out on the desk in a sticky green clump. “AK-47 crossed with bubblegum,” I offered, leaning

11/8/2010 3:10:05 PM

forward and sounding too official, like a tour guide or a salesperson describing the features of a laptop computer. He ignored me and carefully separated the pieces of the pile under his lamp. “Wow. It’s really sticky,” he mumbled under his breath. “A lot of crystals.” “Nice work,” he said, finally coming out of some sort of trance. He leaned back in the chair and tightened his chestnut brown ponytail. “When did you guys start growing again, anyway?” “Gus, I thought you were some kind of hotshot stock broker now,” he continued, reaching for his cigarette. “I have to say I’m a little surprised that you need my services again.” “I’m a futures analyst, actually.” “Or was a futures analyst,” I corrected. “Huh,” he said, squinting and waving a fresh cloud of smoke away from his face. “You’re still swinging a hammer, though, right Rob?” “It’s been slow lately,” Rob replied, tapping his foot. “Either way, I thought you both shut down for good after the whole thing with Jesse.” Jesse had been the only competition Greg had really ever had for the local grower business in Charlotte. Professionals like them could pay cash on the spot for an entire harvest, no questions asked. Jesse had once told me that “until you get up around 80 grand, don’t you worry ’bout a thing, brother. Just bring it on by, and we’ll get you squared away.” About a month after that, a bitter ex-girlfriend led a team of ATF agents clad in body armor to his front door. Jesse wore blue scrubs and canvas shoes in a minimumsecurity boot camp prison in Kentucky for almost four years after that. Jesse and Greg weren’t close friends, but they respected each other. Greg sent a care package up to Kentucky every year around the holidays. “This is our first one,” Rob said quietly. “We’re back.” “Well you did a hell of a job, Robert,” Greg acknowledged and took a theatrical bow as he walked over to the closet. “I can do $3,800 a piece,” he said, methodically turning the dial on his safe. He pulled open the door and turned toward us with a solemn look. “Thirty-eight hundred?” we said, almost in perfect unison. “Greg, you can’t be serious,” I added quickly. “There’s a lot more supply out there now, guys,” he continued, dropping fat green bundles of cash into a five-

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gallon bucket on the floor. “That, combined with flat demand and less disposable income, means it’s worth less.” “Hell, you’re the futures analyst. You should be telling me how this works.” “Man, there’s a hydro store on every corner now, a shitload of stuff on the Web, and 10 times as many kids with big balls churning out weight as there were in the ’90s.” He shut the safe and carried the bucket of cash back over to the desk. “The days of $4,200 pounds are over. Shit, before too long, it’ll be legal here, and we’ll all be working at Starbucks. I know a couple of guys out in California who were put out of business overnight when the medical law passed.” From the futon, Rob and I gazed on as Greg fed pile after pile of bills into a digital money counter like the ones that bank tellers use. Stacks of twenties, fifties and hundreds piled up on his desk like a small city of green skyscrapers, and the tiny pine-paneled room smelled like fresh-cut lawn in June.

Nov 10 to fix.indd 53



11/8/2010 3:10:05 PM


We floated back to the car. Some $22,800 tugged downward on the left side of my jacket and yanked my spirit toward the s ky. Rob looked 15 years younger. We took in big gulps of c risp, delicious fall air and crushed our worries along with t he acorns as we took giant strides down the driveway. The family next door smiled back and waved as they climbed i nto their sleek, silver minivan – the sticker on the van’s back window very accurately depicting a happy mom, dad, big sister and little brother. Rob and I didn’t care that it took more than an hour to work our way through rush hour traffic and back up to the north side of town. The day was ours. A construction crew had cut a chunk the size of a bread truck out of South Boulevard, and a fiery orange sunset that could have been the end of the world sank behind a column of plastic orange barrels as we waited to get past them. A round of tequila

it was dark outside when we finally pulled up in front of the warehouse and shut off the engine. The parking lot was deserted, except for the million tiny stars and one dutiful streetlight watching overhead.

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shots for every guy in a reflector vest, please. It was dark outside when we finally pulled up in front of the warehouse and shut off the engine. The parking lot was deserted, except for the million tiny stars and one dutiful streetlight watching overhead. That familiar gust of steamy greenhouse air greeted us as we slipped inside and bolted the door. A dozen fans hummed in unison as they gently nudged the next generation of tiny seedlings toward our next big payday. It was Rob who found the note. “Oh, fuck,” he said, staring down in disbelief at the unwelcome bit of correspondence. A single sheet of paper from a yellow legal pad had been taped to a Mylar panel, and it flapped like a kite in the artificial breeze. He slowly pulled away the tape, and we read and reread the handwritten note.


uptown_magazine 54


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Nov 10 to fix.indd 63

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dining and nightlife guide aMEriCan Alexander Michael’s – $ 401 W. 9th St. 704.332.6789 BlackFinn – $$ 210 E. Trade St. 704.971.4440 Camilles – $ 1518 E. 3rd St. 704.342.4606 Cedar Street Tavern – $ 120 N. Cedar St. 704.333.3448 Champions – $ 100 W. Trade St. - Marriott Hotel 704.333.9000 Comet Grill – $ 2224 Park Rd. 704.371.4300 Cosmos Cafe – $ 300 N. College St. 704.372.3553 Dressler’s – $$$ The Metropolitan 704.909.6295 East Boulevard Grill – $ 1601 East Blvd. 704.332.2414 Ember Grille – $$$ 601 S. College St. WestinHotel 704.335.2064 Fenwick’s – $ 511 Providence Rd. 704.333.2750 Fox and Hound – $ 330 N. Tryon St. 704.333.4113 French Quarter – $ 321 S. Church St. 704.377.7415 John’s Country Kitchen – $ 1518 Central Ave. 704.333.9551 Lebowski’s Neighborhood Grill - $ 1524 East Blvd. 704.370.1177 Nix – $ 201 N. Tryon St. 704.347.2739 Pike’s Soda Shop – $ 1930 Camden Rd. 704.372.0097 Presto Bar and Grill – $ 445 W. Trade St. 704.334.7088 Providence Café – $ $ 829 Providence R d. 704.376.2008 Providence Road Sundries – $ 1522 Providence Rd. 704.366.4467 Rock Bottom – $ 401 N. Tryon St. 704.334.2739 Selwyn Pub – $ 2801 Selwyn Ave. 704.333.3443 Simmons Fourth Ward Restaurant – $ 516 N. Graham St. 704.334.6640 Something Classic Café – $ 715 Providence Rd. 704.347.3666 South 21 – $ 3101 E. Independence Blvd. 704.377.4509 Stool Pigeons – $ 214 N. Church St. 704.358.3788 The Gin Mill South End – $ 1411 S. Tryon St. 704.373.0782 The Graduate – $ 123 W. Trade St. 704.358.3024 The Penguin – $ 1921 Commonwealth Ave. 704.375.6959 The Philosopher’s Stone – $ 1958 E. Seventh St. 704.350.1331 The Pub – $ 710 West Trade St. 704.333.9818 Thomas Street Tavern – $ 1218 Thomas Ave. 704.376.1622 Tic Toc Coffeeshop – $ 512 N. Tryon St. 704.375.5750 Union Grille – $ 222 E 3rd St. – Hilton Towers 704.331.4360 Vinnie’s Sardine – $ 1714 South Blvd. 704-332-0006 Wild Wings - $ 210 E. Trade St. 704.716.9464 Zack’s Hamburgers – $ 4009 South Blvd. 704.525.1720

aMEriCan ModErn 131 Main – $$ 1315 East Blvd. 300 East – $$ 300 East Blvd.

704.343.0131 704.332.6507

Bentley’s on 27 – $$$ 201 S. College St. Fl. 27 704.343.9201 (Charlotte Plaza Building) BLT Steak – $$$ 201 E. Trade St. 704.547.2244 Bonterra Restaurant – $$$ 1829 Cleveland Ave. 704.333.9463 Carpe Diem – $$$ 1535 Elizabeth Ave. 704.377.7976 Coastal Kitchen & Bar – $$$ 222 E. 3rd St. 704.331.4360 Custom Shop – $$$ 1601 Elizabeth Ave. 704.333.3396 Fig Tree – $$$ 1601 E. Seventh St. 704.332.3322 Lulu – $$ 1911 Central Ave. 704.376.2242 McNinch House – $$$ 511 N. Church St. 704.332.6159 Mimosa Grill – $$ 301 S. Tryon St. 704.343.0700 Monticello – $$ 235 N. Tryon St. – Dunhill Hotel 704.342.1193 Pewter Rose Bistro – $$ 1820 South Blvd. 704.332.8149 Ratcliffe on the Green – $$ 435 S. Tryon St. 704.358.9898 Zink – $$ 201 N. Tryon St. 704.444.9001

asian 88 China Bistro – $ 1620 E. 4th St. 704.335.0288 Basil Thai – $ 210 N. Church St. 704.332.7212 China King – $ 128 Brevard Ct. 704.334-7770 China Queen Buffet – $ 127 N. Tryon St. Ste 3 704.377.1928 China Saute – $ 2214 Park Rd 704.333.1116 Creation – $ 1221-A The Plaza 704.372.2561 Cuisine Malaya – $ 1411 Elizabeth Ave. 704.372.0766 Dim Sum – $ 2920 Central Ave. 704.569.1128 Eggroll King – $ 8907 Steelechase Dr. 704.372.6401 Emperor Chinese – $ 337 S. Kings Dr. 704.333.2688 Fortune Cookie – $ 208 East Independence Blvd. 704.377.1388 Fujiyama – $ 320 S. Tryon St. 704.334.5158 Fuse Box – $ 227 W. Trade St. 704.376.8885 Ginbu 401 – $ 401 Providence Rd. 704.372.2288 Great Wok – $ 718 W Trade St. Ste M 704.333.0080 Hong Kong – $ 1713 Central Ave. 704.376.6818 Indochine Asian Tapas Lounge - $ 210 E. Trade St. 704.688.0078 Koko – $ 6609 Elfreda Rd. 704.338.6869 Monsoon Thai Cuisine – $ 2801 South Blvd. 704.523.6778 Orient Express – $ 3200 N Graham St. 704.332.6255 Pho An Hoa – $ 4832 Central Ave. 704.537.2595 Pho Hoa – $ 3000 Central Ave. 704.536.7110 SOHO Bistro – $ 214 N Tryon St. 704.333.5189 Thai Taste – $ 324 East Blvd. 704.332.0001 Taipei Express – $ 731 Providence Rd. 704.334.2288 Tin Tin Box & Noodles – $ 101 N. Tryon St. 704.377.3223

Zen Asian Fusion – $ 1716 Kenilworth Ave.


baKEry Cloud 9 Confections – $ 201 S. College St. Suite 270 Great Harvest Bread – $ 901 S. Kings Dr. Amelie’s Bakery – $ 2424 N. Davidson St. Nova’s Bakery – $ 1511 Central Ave. Panera Bread – $ 601 Providence Rd.

704.334.7554 704.333.0431 704.376-1781 704.333.5566 704.374.0581

barbECuE Art’s Barbecue – $ 900 E. Morehead St. 704.334.9424 Jolina Tex Mex & BBQ – $ 500 S. College St. 704.375.0994 Mac’s Speed Shop – $ 2511 South Blvd. 704.522.6227 Rib Palace – $ 1300 Central Ave. 704.333.8841

brEaKFasT Art’s Barbecue – $ 900 E. Morehead St. 704.334.9424 Coffee Cup – $ 914 S. Clarkson St. 704.375.8855 Einstein Brothers – $ 201 S. Tryon St. 704.332.4015 Einstein Brothers – $ 1501 South Blvd. 704.333.4370 IHOP – $ 2715 E. Independence Blvd. 704.334.9502 Monticello – $$ 235 N. Tryon St. – Dunhill Hotel 704.342.1193 Owen’s Bagel & Deli – $ 2041 South Blvd. 704.333.5385 Tic Toc Coffeeshop – $ 512 N. Tryon St. 704.375.5750

briTisH Big Ben’s Pub – $ 801 Providence R d.


CaJun & CrEolE Boudreaux’s Louisiana Kitchen – $ 501 E. 36th St. 704.331.9898 Cajun Queen – $$ 1800 E 7th St. 704.377.9017

C a r i b b E a n Anntony’s Caribbean Cafe – $ 2001 E. 7th St. 704.342.0749 Austin’s Caribbean Cuisine – $ 345 S. Kings Dr. 704.331.8778

CHinEsE 88 China Bistro – $ 1620 E. 4th St. 704.335.0288 Vanloi Chinese Barbecue – $ 3101 Central Ave. 704.566.8808 Wok Express – $ 601 S. Kings Dr. 704.375.1122

CoFFEE sHops Caribou Coffee – $ 100 N. Tryon St. 704.372.5507 Dilworth Coffee – $ 1235 East Blvd # B, 704.358.8003 330 S Tryon St, 704.334.4575 Dilworth Playhouse Cafe – $ 1427 South Blvd. 704.632.0336

Einstein Brothers – $ $ - 201 S. Tryon St. 704.332.4015 Einstein Brothers – $ 1501 South Blvd. 704.333.4370 Java Passage – $ 101 W. Worthington 704.277.6558 Jump N Joe’s Java Joint – $ 105 E. Morehead St. 704.372.3217 La Tea Da’s – $ 1942 E. 7th St. 704.372.9599 Nova’s Bakery – $ 1511 Central Ave. 704.333.5566 PJ’s Coffee & Lounge - $ 210 E. Trade St. (Epicentre) 704.688.0366 Port City Java – $ 214 N. Tryon St. (Hearst) 704.335.3335 SK Netcafe – $ 1425 Elizabeth Ave. 704.334.1523 Starbucks – $ 545 Providence Rd. 704.372.1591 Starbucks – $ 101 S. Tryon St. 704.374.9519 Tic Toc Coffee shop – $ 512 N. Tryon St. 704.375.5750

dEli Adams 7th Street Market – $ 401 Hawthorne Ln. 704.334.0001 Art’s Barbecue – $ 900 E. Morehead St. 704.334.9424 Blynk – $ 200 S. Tryon 704.522.3750 Common Market – $ 2007 Commonwealth Ave. 704.334-6209 Dikadee’s Deli – $ 1419 East Blvd. 704.333.3354 Dogwood Cafe – $ 138 Brevard Court 704.376.8353 Fresco Cafe & Deli – $ 3642 Moultrie St. 704.376.5777 Grand Central Deli – $ 101 N. Tryon St. 704.348.7032 Great Harvest Bread Co. – $ 901 S. Kings Dr. 704.333.0431 Groucho’s Deli – $ 201 N. Tryon St. 704.342.0030 Halfpenny’s – $ 30 Two First Union Ctr. 704.342.9697 Jason’s Deli – $ 210 E. Trade (Epicentre) 704.688.1004 Jersey Mike’s Subs – $ 128 S. Tryon St. 704.343.0006 Jersey Mikes Subs – $ 2001 E. 7th St. 704.375.1985 Jump N Joe’s Java Joint – $ 105 E. Morehead St. 704.372.3217 Laurel Market South – $ 1515 South Blvd. 704.334.2185 Leo’s Delicatessen – $ 1421 Elizabeth Ave. 704.375.2400 Li’l Dino – $ 401 S. Tryon St. 704.342.0560 Matt’s Chicago Dog – $ 425 S. Tryon St. 704.333.3650 Owen’s Bagel & Deli – $ 2041 South Blvd. 704.333.5385 Philadelphia Deli – $ 1025 S. Kings Dr. 704.333.4489 Phil’s Tavern – $ 105 E. Fifth St. 704.347.0035 Rainbow Café – $ 400 South Tryon 704.332.8918 Reid’s – $ 225 E. 7th St. 704.377.1312 Ri-Ra Irish Pub – $ 208 N. Tryon St 704.333.5554 Salvador Deli – $ N. Davidson St. 704.334.2344 Sammy’s Deli – $ 1113 Pecan Ave. 704.376.1956

dining and nightlife guide

Crave the Dessert Bar – $ 501 W. 5th St. 704.277.9993 Dairy Queen – $ 1431 Central Ave. 704.377.4294 Dolce Ristorante – $$ 1710 Kenilworth Ave. 704.332.7525 Luce Ristorante – $$ 214 N. Tryon St. – Hearst Plaza 704.344.9222 Monticello – $$ 235 N. Tryon St.– Dunhill Hotel 704.342.1193

Open Kitchen – $ 1318 W. Morehead St. 704.375.7449 Pasta & Provisions – $ 1528 Providence Rd. 704.364.2622 Portofino’s Italian – $$ 3124 Eastway Dr. 704.568.7933 Primo Ristorante – $$ 116 Middleton Dr. 704.334.3346 Cafe Siena – $$ 230 N. College St. 704.602.2750 Salute Ristorante – $$ 613 Providence Rd 704.342.9767 Terra – $$ 545-B Providence Rd. 704.332.1886 Villa Francesca 321 Caldwell St. 704.333.7447 Volare – $$ 1523 Elizabeth Ave. 704.370.0208 Zio Authentic Italian – $$ 116 Middleton Dr. 704.344.0100


l aT i n

The Melting Pot – $$$ 901 S. Kings Dr. Stuite 140-B 704.334.4400 Therapy Cafe – $ 401 N. Tryon St. 704.333.1353 The Fig Tree – $$ 1601 E. 7th St. 704.332.3322

Cuban Pete’s – $ 1308 The Plaza

Sandwich Club – $ 525 N. Tryon St. Sandwich Club – $ 435 S. Tryon St. Substation II - $ 1601 South Blvd 1941 E. 7th St.

704.334.0133 704.344.1975 704-332-3100 704-358-8100


FrEnCH Terra – $$ 545-B Providence Rd.


grEEK Greek Isles – $$ 200 E. Bland St. Little Village Grill – $ 710-G W. Trade St. Showmars – $ 214 N. Tryon St.

M E aT & T Hr E E Dish – $ 1220 Thomas Ave. 704.344.0343 Mert’s Heart & Soul – $ 214 N. College St. 704.342.4222 Blue – $$$ 214 N. Tryon St. 704.927.2583 Intermezzo Pizzeria & Café – $ 1427 E. 10th Street 704.347.2626

MEXiCan 704.444.9000 704.347.2184 704.333.5833

indian Copper – $$ 311 East Blvd. Maharani – $ 901 S. Kings Dr.


704.333.0063 704.370.2824

i Ta l i a n Carrabba’s Italian Grill – $$ 1520 South Blvd. 704.377.2458 Coco Osteria – $$ 214 N. Tryon St.–Hearst Plaza 704.344.8878 Dolce Ristorante – $$ 1710 Kenilworth Ave. 704.332.7525 Fig Tree – $$$ 1601 E. 7th St. 704.332.3322 Hawthorne’s NY Pizza – $ 1701 E. 7th St. 704.358.9339 Intermezzo Pizzeria & Café – $ 1427 E. 10th St. 704.347.2626 Luce Ristorante & Bar – $$$ 214 N. Tryon St. – Hearst Plaza 704.344.9222 Mama Ricotta’s – $$ 601 S. Kings Dr. 704.343.0148

Cabo Fish Taco – $ 3201 N. Davidson St. Johnny Burrito – $ 301 S. Tryon St. La Paz – $$ 1910 South Blvd. Phat Burrito – $ 1537 Camden Rd. Salsarita’s – $ 101 S. Tryon St.

704.332.8868 704.371.4448 704.372.4168 704.332.7428 704.342.0950

MiddlE EasTErn Kabob Grill – $ 1235-B East Blvd. Metropolitan – $ 138 Brevard Ct.

704.371.8984 704.333.5175

ouTdoor dining Big Ben’s Pub – $$ 801 Providence Rd. Cans Bar – $ 500 W. 5th St. East Boulevard Grill – $ 1601 East Blvd. Ember Grille – $$$ 601 S. College St. - Westin Hotel Ri-Ra Irish Pub – $ 208 N. Tryon St

704.334.6338 704.940.0200 704.332.2414 704.335.2064 704.333.5554

Sullivan’s – $$$ 1928 South Blvd. The Corner Pub – $ 335 N. Graham St.

704.335.8228 704.376.2720

piZZa Brixx – $ 225 East 6th St. 704.347.2749 Donato’s Pizza - $ 718-A West Trade St 704.714.4743 Domino’s Pizza – $ 343 S. Kings Dr. 704.331.9847 Fuel Pizza – $ 214 N. Tryon St. 704.350.1680 Fuel Pizza – $ 1501 Central Ave. 704.376.3835 Hawthorne’s NY 1701 E. 7th St. 704.358.9339 Latta Pizza – $ 320 S. Tryon St. 704.333.4015 Papa John’s Pizza – $ 1620 E. 4th St. 704.375.7272 Picasso’s – $ 214 N. Church St. 704.331.0133 Pie Town – $$ 710 W. Trade St. 704.379.7555 Pizza Hut – $ 901 S. Kings Dr. 704.377.7006 Rudino’s Pizza & Grinders – $ 2000 South Blvd. - Atherton Mill 704.333.3124 UNO Chicago Grill – $ 401 S. Tryon St. 704.373.0085 Villa Francesca 321 Caldwell St. 704.333.7447 Zio Authentic Italian – $ 116 Middleton Dr. 704.344.0100

Quiznos Sub – $ 127 N. Tryon St. 704.374.9921 Quizno’s – $ 320 S. Tryon St. – Latta Arcade 704.372.8922 Roly Poly Sandwiches – $ 317 S. Church St. 704.332.6375 Sbarro – $ 101 S. Tryon St. 704.332.5005 Simply Subs – $ 212 S. Tryon St. 704.333.0503 Smoothie King – $ Epicentre - 210 Trade St. 704.979.6911 Smoothie King – $ One Wachovia Center 704.374.0200 Spoons – $ 415 Hawthorne Ln. 704.376.0874 Woody’s Chicago Style – $ 320 S. Tryon St. - Latta Arcade 704.334.0010 Zack’s Hamburgers – $ 4009 South Blvd. 704.525.1720

s E a F o o d Aquavina – $$$ 435 S. Tryon St. 704.377.9911 Cabo Fish Taco – $ 3201 N. Davidson St. 704.332.8868 Capital Grille – $$$ 201 N. Tryon St. 704.348.1400 Fig Tree –$$$ 1601 E. Seventh St. 704.332.3322 LaVecchia’s – $$$ 225 E. 6th St. 704.370.6776 McCormick & Schmick’s – $$$ 200 South Tryon St. 704.377.0201 Outback Steakhouse – $$ 1412 East Blvd. 704.333.0505

QuiCK biTEs

souTHErn & soul

Bojangles’ – $ 310 E Trade St. 704.335.1804 Boston Market – $ 829 Providence Rd. 704.344.0016 Burger King – $ 310 E. Trade St. 704.334.3312 Chick-fil-A – $ 101 S. Tryon St. 704.344.0222 Chicks Restaurant – $ 320 S. Tryon St. – Latta Arcade 704.358.8212 Church’s – $ 1735 W. Trade St. 704.332.2438 Dairy Queen – $ 1431 Central Ave. 704.377.4294 Domino’s Pizza – $ 343 S. Kings Dr. 704.331.9847 Fuel Pizza – $ 214 N. Tryon St. 704.350.1680 Fuel Pizza – $ 1501 Central Ave. 704.376.3835 Green’s Lunch – $ 309 W. 4th St. 704.332.1786 Mr. K’s – $ 2107 South Blvd. 704.375.4318 Papa John’s Pizza – $ 1620 E. 4th St 704.375.7272 Pasta & Provisions – $ 1528 Providence Rd. 704.364.2622 Pita Pit – $ 214 N. Tryon St. 704.333.5856

Lupie’s Cafe – $ 2718 Monroe Rd. 704.374.1232 Mert’s Heart and Soul – $ 214 N. College St 704.342.4222 Price’s Chicken Coop – $ 1614 Camden Rd. 704.333.9866 Savannah Red – $$ 100 W. Trade St. 704.333.9000 Marriott City Center

s p a n i s H Sole Spanish Grille – $$$ 1608 East blvd.. 704.343.9890

s T E a K H o u s E Beef & Bottle – $$$ 4538 South Blvd. 704.523.9977 Capital Grille – $$$ 201 N. Tryon St. 704.348.1400 Chima – $$$ 139 S. Tryon St. 980.225.5000 Flemings - $$$ 210 E. Trade St. 704.333.4266 LaVecchia’s – $$$ 225 E. 6th St. 704.370.6776 Longhorn Steakhouse – $$ 700 E. Morehead St. 704.332.2300

dining and nightlife guide Morton’s – $$$ 227 W.Trade St.- Carillon bldg. 704.333.2602 Outback Steakhouse – $$ 1412 East Blvd. 704.333.2602 Ruth’s Chris – $$$ 222 S. Tryon St. 704.338.9444 Sullivan’s – $$$ 1928 South Blvd. 704.335.8228

s u s H i Enso – $$ 210 E. Trade St. Fujo Uptown Bistro – $$ 301 S. College St KO Sushi – $$ 230 S. Tryon St. Nikko – $$ 1300-F South Blvd. Pisces – $$ 1100 E. Metropolitan Ave. Room 112 – $$ 112 S. Tryon St. Ru-San’s Sushi – $$ 2440 Park Rd.

704.716.3676 704.954.0087 704.372.7757 704.370.0100 704.334.0009 704.335.7112 704.374.0008

T a p a s Arpa Tapas – $$$ 121 W. Trade St. Cosmos Cafe – $$ 300 N. College St.

704.372.7792 704.372.3553

v E g E T a r i a n Blynk – $ 200 S. Tryon 704.522.3750 Dish – $ 1220 Thomas Ave. 704.344.0343 Something Classic Café – $ 715 Providence Rd. 704.347.3666

v i E T n a M E s E Pho An Hoa – $ 4832 Central Ave.


b a r s Amos SouthEnd – $ 1423 S. Tryon St. 704.377.6874 Apostrophe Lounge – $$ 1400 S. Tryon St. 704.371.7079 BAR Charlotte – $ 300 N. College St. 704.342.2557 Big Ben’s Pub – $$ 801 Providence Rd. 704.334.6338 Buckhead Saloon – $ 201 E. 5th St. 704.370.0687 Cans Bar – $ 500 W. 5th St. 704.940.0200 Cedar Street Tavern – $ 120 N. Cedar St. 704.333.3448 Connolly’s on 5th – $ 115 E. 5th St. 704.358.9070 Cosmos – $$ 300 N. College St. 704.375.8765 Coyote Ugly – $ 521 N. College St. 704.347.6869 Crave the Dessert Bar – $ 501 W. 5th St. 704.277.9993 Dilworth Bar & Grille 911 E. Morehead St. 704.377.3808

Dilworth Billiards 300 E. Tremont Ave. 704.333.3021 Dixie’s Tavern 301 E. 7th St. 704.374.1700 DoubleDoor Inn 218 E. Independence Blvd. 704.376.1446 Ed’s Tavern 2200 Park Rd. 704.335.0033 Evening Muse 3227 N. Davidson St. 704.376.3737 Fox and Hound – $ 330 N. Tryon St. 704.333.4113 Hartigans Pub – $ 601 S. Ceder St. 704.347.1841 Hawthorne’s NY Pizza – $ 1701 E. 7th St. 704.358.9339 Howl at the Moon – $ 210 E. Trade St. 704.936.4695 Jillian’s SouthEnd – $ 300 E. Bland Street 704.376.4386 Loft 1523 – $$ 1523 Elizabeth Ave. 704.333.5898 Madison’s – $$ 115 Fifth St. 704.299.0580 Morehead Tavern – $ 300 East Morehead St. 704.334.2655 Mortimers -$ 210 E. Trade St. 704.334.2655 Phil’s Tavern – $ 105 E. Fifth St. 704.347.0035 Picasso’s – $ 214 N. Church St. 704.331.0133 Pravda – $$ 300 N. College St. 704.375.8765 Presto Bar and Grill – $ 445 W. Trade St. 704.334.7088 Ri-Ra Irish Pub – $ 208 N. Tryon St 704.333.5554 Selwyn Pub – $ 704.333.3443 2801 Selwyn Ave. Stool Pigeons – $ 214 N. Church St. 704.358.3788 Suite – $ 210 E. Trade St. 704.999.7934 The Attic – $ 200 N. Tryon St. 704.358.4244 The Corner Pub – $ 335 N. Graham St. 704.376.2720 The Forum – $$ 300 N. College St. 704.375.8765 The Gin Mill – $ 1411 S. Tryon St. 704.373.0782 The Penguin – $ 1921 Commonwealth Ave. 704.375.6959 The Pub – $ 710 West Trade St. 704.333.9818 Thomas Street Tavern – $ 1218 Thomas St. 704.376.1622 Tilt – $$ 127 W. Trade St. 704.347.4870 Town Tavern – $ 200 N. Tryon Tremont Music Hall – $ 400 W Tremont Ave. 704.343.9494 Tutto Mondo – $ 1820 South Blvd. 704.332.8149 Tyber Creek Pub – $ 1933 South Blvd. 704.343.2727 Vinnie’s Sardine – $ 1714 South Blvd. 704.332.0006 Whiskey River – $ 210 E. Trade St. 704.749.1097 Wild Wings - $ 210 E. Trade St. 704.716.9464


All Sushi Rolls Under $10


Drink Specials Nightly


Serving until 2am (Thurs-Saturday) Sunday, 4:30pm-10pm ½ Price Bottles of Wine Every Monday

1100 E Metropolitan Ave.. Suite 120 Charlotte NC 28204

Free Parking 704-334-0009


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1447 S. Tryon St., Suite 301 at Bland St. LYNX Station

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Page 22 - Music - Two of Every Kind Page 24 - Advice - TJ Shares the Love Page 26 - TV - Charlotte Reality Page 34 - First Person - Shock to...

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