This is part of an ongoing series titled Mailbag, items readers submit via email or our feedback form (not social media, everybody already sees that). We get a ton of feedback — this is not close to everything (it’s about 5%), but it’s a good sample.
“This is Ryan, aka the “depressed taco guy.” The video was really funny, it had my entire office laughing. If my legacy/ 15 minutes involves my love for tacos and Salsaritas, that’s ok with me. I work in the Duke Energy Building, so the Tryon St. Salsaritas was a block away. I’d go there every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to order the two taco combo (they knew my order by heart). It was great because it was easy to access on Tryon, I didn’t have to deal with the crowds at the Overstreet Mall, and it was one of the best lunch deals on Tryon ($7.35 a day). Now I have a cheap taco void I need to fill. It’s not everyday thousands of people see you go through the five stages of grief over two tacos (with a side of salsa).” – R
In response to: 12 places to volunteer with animals in Charlotte
Just read the story on volunteering with Animals. You mentioned fostering for Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control which is open to the public but you can do much more than that if you become an actual volunteer, things like offsite adoptions, spay neuter clinics, and taking dogs out of the kennel for interaction and exercise at the shelter. There is also a Dogs on the Run program where you can take dogs out for exercise and showcasing while you go for your daily jog.
“I’ve only lived one place in the downtown area (Alpha Mill) since moving to Charlotte and we had a wristband policy last summer with two guests allowed per resident. This summer there are no wristbands but I believe the two guest policy still stands. Like someone stated in the article, I see both sides of the argument. On the one side, I pay a lot of money in rent to be able to enjoy these amenities and because of that, I want to be able to enjoy them with my guests when they’re visiting but I also want to be able to enjoy them whenever I want and not be crowded out by other people’s guests. Unless you’re in a small community where the management staff knows everyone pretty well, I’m not sure how this would be enforced other than wristbands, but I think a nice compromise would be to allow extra guests at the discretion of management on a first come/first serve basis. The person making the point that if her family comes to visit, the 5 of them can’t go to the pool together, I’ve had that same dilemma! If I know I have 3 friends coming to visit for the weekend and we may want to go to the pool, I’m most likely going to know beforehand and can go request the extra guest pass for the day I want. If all the extra passes are booked up then I’ll know that we can plan to do something else! A lot of places around town have this same policy with guest parking, issuing an extra pass on request, I’m not sure why it wouldn’t work with the pool as well.” – A
In response to: How much house does $1 million get you in Myers Park?
“Who cares about million dollar houses in Myers Park, other than the three people who can afford them? How about looking at what a normal person can get for the $$ in several different neighborhoods. We recently bought in a Midwood-adjacent neighborhood and have friends with nearly a identical budget who bought in Matthews (holy square footage!). We have another friend who’s looking at Southend condos at the same price point (around 225). It’s kinda cool to see the trade-offs for each style. And thanks for the article about where to volunteer – keep those coming! 🙂 Love you guys.”
“THANK GOD. I am a lady and the other day I accidentally walked into the men’s changing room (if you frequent the Dowd, you know how easy this is if you’re not paying attention). I began advocating for some private stalls for the boys immediately after that harrowing experience.” – K
“THANK GOD! ITS A DUNGEON OF D**** DOWN THERE. Don’t get me started on the C*** Gauntlet one must walk through to get to the pool”
“Midwood* already welcomed a great new homemade ice cream place this summer – it’s called La Margarita, and they’re located on Lyon, just off Central. SUPER cute family run place with fresh made ice cream and pops. It seems like a lot of people have been checking them out (based on the time we stopped by and also the hoppin Nextdoor thread) but I bet an Agenda bump would really help them out! Just sayin… Maybe next time do a Midwood ice cream showdown! *Ok, technically that’s Commonwealth/Morningside, but that one in your article will probably actually be in Belmont, right?” – L
In response to: Why Roots sold off its food trucks and pivoted
“I love you guys…I really do. But as a concerned citizen, I’ve got to speak up on an issue that threatens our very survival as a species. Please please please never use the word “pivot” unless you’re talking about this…” – H
“I agree complaining about a lack of capital is a waste of time. Early stage capital will find the best ideas / companies. I definitely appreciate your attempting to change the conversation, it needs to be done. But let’s not pretend less than $3m a year for the last 5 years invested in Charlotte based startups is anything to cheer about. That is an incredibly small number. Take 2015. There was $58.8B in venture / early stage funding invested in the US in 2015. Based on the numbers the Angel Fund provided Charlotte’s percentage of that was .0000406. There is some momentum and we will get there, just not sure I’d be hanging my hat on those numbers from the Angel Fund.” – T
In response to: An insider’s view on how to fix the Charlotte startup ecosystem
I feel like CA puts a lot of emphasis on the issues facing start-ups but fails to shed light on the major source of problems – the start-up itself. Its easy to blame customers, investors, the marketplace, etc., but maybe the start-up is the problem. If you don’t have customers, maybe your product is flawed. If you don’t have talent on your team, maybe your projections and future benefits are weak. If you don’t have investors, maybe your team doesn’t understand finance and proposals. Maybe its time for the start-ups to take a step back and look within their own team and business model to assess why they’re facing such difficulties. This article highlights the entitlement that many start-ups seem to have these days. Additionally, most wealthy bankers did not get to where they are because they are risk-averse, so that argument is flawed.
“Publix offers $10 off $50 gas cards when you spend $50 in groceries. All you need is the coupon out of the weekly ad. So much easier! Plus the Lake Wylie location had a huge selection of gas station brands.” – D
“(1) This is a very nice program for HT to offer its customers. Quit complaining that you have to play by their rules… It really isn’t that difficult, I’ve been doing it for years. (2) If you know you have a large purchase, HT cashiers have no problem breaking up your purchase to hit $50 in more than one separate transaction so you can get extra points at one time! (3) Like I said earlier, I’ve been using this program for years; it is not new (like you said in the title). :)” – F
In response to: The 10 best restaurant patios for people with pups
“Love the article about restaurant patios for pups! 2 thoughts: (1) To reiterate a comment I see frequently, what about beyond uptown/plaza midwood? I live closer to Steele Creek, and I’d love to see some options down my way. (Salsa’s & Piedmont Social House in the Arysley area are pretty dang legit, & there’s a Mac’s on our side of town that is so much easier to park at than the one on South.) (2) If you’re sticking around uptown, check out the patio at Big Ben’s Pub, too. Right off the Lynx, & shaded most of the day thanks to the condos next door!”
“Thanks for the article and I hope you’re right about their staying power. I’ve worked about a block away since graduating college and I can pretty much count the number of restaurants that have been there by how many years I’ve worked here.” – E
“We are glorifying the restoration of this area when in return we are losing the only professional theatre in Charlotte that is not for children. Kicking out a company that has been here for nearly 30 years in order to have high rise apartments – great move, Charlotte.” – R
“I’ve attached the link to a podcast discussing how suburbia was born and the return to urban, walkable living spaces. We left Huntersville 2 years ago and now reside in 4th Ward and love getting rid of a car and being able to walk to the grocery store, CVS, my physician, and the YMCA. We are living the dream!!” – G
“So only one lake access for half a million mecklenburg residents? I recommend reserve access. An application in advance to entering the park. An online submission which prints a pass for your dash. When the online volume is full the applications close. No vehicles allowed to enter the area without a pass displayed. Same with the off site visitors and walkers. They can be issued just like bus pass tickets.. no ticky no laundry.” – H
In response to Andrew’s newsletter intro on June 21
“Gosh I hope Charlotte does not become a bbq town. The whole world is waking up to the fact that pigs are smarter than dogs and capable of all of the same feelings and behaviors as dogs. If you wouldn’t eat your family dog, you shouldn’t eat a pig. Pigs are too sweet to eat!” – K
“I think while Charlotte and the surrounding area has a number of amazing BBQ restaurants and traditions, without inventing its own style, it can’t make a name for itself to stand out. There’s Memphis BBQ, Kansas City, Lexington… but there isn’t Charlotte BBQ – it’s either Western Carolina BBQ or Eastern Carolina BBQ. It’s a regional thing, not a city thing. I disagree that it’s not part of the culture though. Just because our name isn’t on it doesn’t mean we don’t revel in, own it, love it. It’s a big part of life here. I mean I graduated from North Meck HS, we have our own BBQ smoking pits on campus because of the annual BBQ fundraiser the school’s held for 25+ years. Cornelius-Lemley Fire Department does the best chicken BBQ I’ve ever had, and half the churches in the area hold BBQ fundraisers too. Even Cook-out, our semi-local fast-food chain does decent BBQ. (By the way, for those of you not from the area, here, BBQ refers to pulled pork, unless it’s specifically stated as something else, like “BBQ chicken”. A cookout is what you do when you’re grilling up burgers and hotdogs.) Spoon’s is a perfect, classic example of this area’s BBQ style. If you went to a local family reunion that had a pig pickin’, it would be a lot like eating at Spoon’s, banana pudding, checkered tablecloths and all. Lancaster’s BBQ off Beatty’s Ford is also amazing (original location in Mooresville). If you wait till October, you can even get great BBQ from my alma mater, North Meck! I’m a little sad that I can’t think of many great BBQ restaurants in the area but I guess that’s also because from a local perspective, you don’t really go out to a restaurant that much to eat BBQ. It’s smoking a whole pig for hours, then picking the pig, and seasoning, and like 3 days from start to finish, it’s a big deal! It’s a huge part of the culture but it’s a special event, not an every day thing. There aren’t many restaurants where you can get a traditional Thanksgiving dinner but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a big part of American culture. Anyway, I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that there aren’t many places you can go in the Charlotte area any day of the year and get great BBQ. But I do know that it is a part of us here whether we show it off or keep it to ourselves.” – P
In response to our Fireside Chat with Sarah Taylor Brigham of Sycamore Brewing
“The fireside chat with Sycamore Brewery was great, me and my fiancé’ love a great startup/entrepreneurial story and really enjoyed it. Can’t wait to see who y’all host next! Andrew was super nice and handled my spitfire questions about CA very well. Can’t believe CA hasn’t even been around as long as I thought. I moved here in 2013 and thought for sure you guys had been sending out newsletters for like a decade prior to that.” – T