Mailbag: Top 25 feedback letters ranging from Stay Woke signage to BYOA

Mailbag: Top 25 feedback letters ranging from Stay Woke signage to BYOA
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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.


General

“Hello, I will like to place a pet ad in your newspaper for online and on print, see my ad copy below: ‘Two English Bulldog Free to good home, AKC registered, vet checked, contact me at mxxxxxxxxx2@gmail.com. I will want the ad to run for 5 days, let me know the cost if you can’t run the ad for free, I will be making the payment with my credit card. So get back to me with the cost so that I can send you my FULL NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER so that I can set up an account for the advert.” Thanks. – M

Ted: Uhh, think you got the wrong address.


In response to: Meet the Charlotte Agenda 30 Under 30 — young people making an impact on our city

“Everyone from friends to my dental hygienist to total strangers (yep) have congratulated me on making your 30 under 30 list. You guys have a heckuva reach! Keep up the good work.” – H


In response to: Why Not Just Coffee took down its “Stay Woke” sign 

“Have you ever noticed during political or social controversies, it’s often not the event itself, but someone’s reaction to it that really grinds your gears? Ashley Williams’ position on the Stay Woke ‘controversy’ fits that model for me. Williams says that ‘our community really needs for white folks to refrain from using African American vernacular English.’ Like so many half-baked Donald Trump positions, this policy seems to me both impossible to enforce and troubling in spirit. To begin with, Williams recommendation, if followed, would render a large segment of the city nearly mute (many would consider this a noble goal, so if this was her intent, I apologize). In the South especially, how we talk has been defined more by African American English than any other cultural isolate. Staples like ‘ain’t,’ ‘yo,’ and many others have been so assimilated as to make their mention almost unnecessary. ‘Stay Woke’ originated with the Black Lives Matter movement, yes, but even it has come to be used broader and more lighthearted contexts as a result of its cooption and spread through social media. While there are certainly some instances where the flippant or parodic use of culturally identified language can be insensitive or offensive, it should also not be ignored that language is as much a product of time, place and socioeconomic status as race. I grew up on blacktops and as a member of travel basketball teams. It’ll surprise few that many of my peers at those places were black. Over the years, my speech, especially in those contexts, mirrored theirs more and more. This didn’t happen artificially, it happened because these were my friends and that’s how we talked to each other. In retrospect, I see that my taking on these characteristics of speech and their embrace of it played a role in deepening our relationships: literally, we spoke the same language. The osmosis of cultural norms from one group to another should signal our coming together, not our moving further apart. American culture, to whatever degree it may be isolated as such, is built on appropriation. The diverse, dynamic society that we are today is a direct result of interaction of distinct cultures and ethnicities in language, food, religion and outlook. Language especially is a living organism- its evolution a product of individual, cross-generational and cultural commingling that produces radical changes over time. To cordon off a portion of a language, to suspend this alchemy, is to deprive that language of the oxygen it needs to breathe and stifle the depth at which its speakers communicate. The negative impact of that deprivation is exacerbated in cases like Not Just Coffee’s, where the speakers were not cultural tourists, but real supporters of the movement whose speech they coopted. Be sensitive in what you say, yes—but don’t impose more limits on how we talk to each other at a time when starting a dialogue is becoming more difficult by the day.” – A

“I wasn’t aware the statement ‘Stay Woke’ was a call for consciousness/awareness within the African American community, so I understand the need to change the sign. However, I can’t seem to shake Ashley William’s quote ‘our community really needs for white folks to refrain from using African American vernacular English’ and ‘I also want folks to ask themselves what being a “supporter of black lives matter” looks like.’ My hope is that these statements were somehow taken out of context. If they were not, I would argue that Ashley may not be the best voice for the movement. Perhaps her email further/better articulates what ‘a supporter of black lives matter looks like’? Regardless, I think it far more important to know what a black lives matter supporter lives like or even sounds like. Focusing on what someone looks like is precisely how we ended up here to begin with…and two wrongs don’t make a right.” – D


In response to: $8 Thursday Baked Chicken Special at French Quarter Tavern causes long line out the door

“You should look into the best kept secret on Thursday at the French Quarter… substituting the baked chicken for a london broil steak! Only the truly loyal French Quarter patrons will know about this fantastic substitution option, but it is seriously the best lunch option EVER in Charlotte. It’s truly an unreal option man and no one even knows about it.” – B


In response to: Taco Bell is testing “Walking Nachos” only in Charlotte. I don’t think they will catch on

“It looks like Taco Bell is copying a recipe that’s been around for a while – ‘Taco in a bag,’ which uses Fritos or Doritos. I hadn’t heard of it until a few years ago when I was home in West Virginia and went to a high school football game. It was the most expensive item at the concession stand at $3. Use a fork and eat like a taco salad. It was delicious! I wish it had been around when I was in high school. I even made a few for myself. It’s a quick meal without a lot of clean up.” – R


In response to: Anybody else noticed that guacamole at Charlotte Mexican restaurants now costs $9? Ugh

“What if restaurants offered BYOA (bring your own avocado?) And then you could pay a few bucks to have them add the other ingredients and mix it up for you on the spot.. wonder if they would go for it? I know I would totally bring my own!” – D


In response to our Cash Confessional series

“I love Cash Confessional. That is all.” – D

“Please remember that not all your readers are childless. While I love reading how DINKs spend all their money, showcasing a couple with young child/ren in childcare and seeing how they budget that and other child-raising expenses would be super relatable to many of your readers” – L


In response to: Cash Confessional: A week of spending in Charlotte on a combined $132,000 salary

“Sirius/XM Pro Move: Tell the kid to call up and “cancel”. Keep saying no to their reduced deals until they offer 5 months for $25. Works like a charm every time. The key here though is to put the expiration of the deal price on your calendar. Then, rinse and repeat. If you don’t call, they’ll charge card at the regular price after 5 months.” – T


In response to: Charlotte coworking moves south: alt.biz now open near Matthews

“I mean, yeah, I guess ‘not sexy’ would definitely describe it. There seems to be 2 sides to Charlotte that don’t need to be opposing, but are. On the one hand, it’s the most family friendly place I’ve been. On the other hand, if you aren’t a millennial, good luck getting anything other than blah. Compare that to Hyyge, Advent, C3… and the difference is palpable. We suburbanites aren’t dead, and we appreciate cool stuff too… Don’t we? Or am I just waxing poetic about ‘the good ole days’?” – N


In response to: The Charlotte falafel superlatives

“I am CRAZY about falafel too so know that we are out here. Ever try it in Jerusalem? YUM! I appreciate your coverage of vegetarian options in Charlotte. I’m also gluten-free and I find that I always have to call ahead to make sure a restaurant has gluten-free pizza crust or pasta or bread.” – S

“I majorly relate to Katie’s sentiments – with Middle Eastern roots, falafel is my home-cooking comfort food and my fiancée teases me about how picky I am about good falafel. Now that I have a comprehensive list, I can’t wait to check out those I haven’t visited yet. I no longer have to fal-awful…”  – J


In response to: 5 franchises we’d actually like to see in Charlotte

“Cava Grill is missing from the list! It’s based out of the DC area and is amazing, quick service Greek food (different from CA darling Yafo). The Crazy Feta and the pillowy pitas are reason enough for Cava Grill to expand to Charlotte. Feta + jalapenos + lemon + onion = HEAVEN. So. Good. At the very least…how do we get Whole Foods in Charlotte to start carrying the Cava dips/sauces? I’d probably buy enough Crazy Feta and Harissa to meet the inventory requirements.” – L

“Can we just make a master list of the ‘I moved and I miss _______ restaurant’ places? I’ll happily start the list with Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Store (Oklahoma/Kansas/Missouri). It’s like it Dairy Queen had better ice cream and burgers and added a mini grocery store. My fiancé says that all we need is a Tim Hortons. The post-move-to-Charlotte cravings are real.” – K

“PRAISE for Sweetgreen! I lived in DC for 5 years and only ate at Chopt once, it just didn’t compare to the deliciousness of Sweetgreen. I moved to Charlotte last June and live less than a mile from Chopt and only go there because there are no better options out there. I still work out of DC and when I go up there for a week every six weeks, I eat lunch at Sweetgreen every day of my trip, yes Monday-Friday, Sweetgreen for lunch. I seriously binge on Sweetgreen while I am in DC because I know I will have to wait 6 weeks to get it again and in the meantime suffer through Chopt and their crazy lines. Don’t worry, every time I go into Sweetgreen, I tell them they are missing a huge market in Charlotte and I tell them about Chopt’s success. As well as for the other options on your list, my husband would love for Shake Shack to come, but I am crossing my fingers and praying for Sweetgreen!” – C

“If you’ve never heard of or experienced Snap Kitchen I highly encourage looking into it. What I wouldn’t give to have one of those here. Pricey? Somewhat – but no more than any other ‘healthy’ lunch option here in Charlotte, plus there’s options for all budgets. I’ve already written them telling them to come to Charlotte.” – S

“So we have too many (make your own) pizza places in Charlotte – and incidentally, you didn’t mention Pie Five – but it’s okay to get more burgers? Okay, we’ll let that slide. While there is the non-GMO, hormone-free, blah, blah appeal that was mentioned, you included Culvers? What about Freddy’s? Or even saying something about Smashburger – good options if you want out of the fast food rut, and likely better than Five Guys. Or perhaps bringing up Wahlburger’s again (which you have already touched on), as they have lots of options other than just burgers?” – Y


In response to: The Beer Growler in South End is closing

“Their downfall IMHO was the lack of marketing and differentiated offering. Yes, you could fill up a growler with some good beer, but they didn’t consistently have anything beyond what you could find at Craft or Good Bottle Co, both of which are much nicer places to hang out (where you could also get a pint and some food). Perhaps this is a sign that the Charlotte market is creeping closer to saturation. Gone are the days when you were guaranteed success just because you serve beer; watering holes are going to need to step up their game a little. Prediction: World of Beers (right across the street from the Growler) will be the next victim.” – M


In response to: Eastover’s curb appeal is just ridiculous. Look at these 13 photos 

“Alson Court is an awesome location in the heart of Eastover – reasonably priced condos for young professionals!” – B


In response to Kylie’s newsletter intro on August 6

“I totally agree with Kylie’s point about the speed limits. I live off of Carmel Road and while my chronic lateness appreciates the 45 mph speed limit, it seems way too fast for a road with as many curves and as many neighborhoods as Carmel (especially keeping in mind people’s tendency to go 10 over…55 mph is fast on that road!). BUT, as a numbers guy, the tendency to end every speed limit in 5 is what gets to me. It might be because the town I grew up in, outside of the standard 25 in neighborhoods, had speed limits almost universally ending in 0s. I’m sure there are more, but in south Charlotte, the only roads I can think of with a speed limit ending in 0 are Quail Hollow Road (40 mph) and I-485 (70 mph). I’ve wondered if there is some odd philosophical opposition to multiples of ten, because a bunch of roads would make a lot more sense with a 40 mph speed limit (Park Road south of Tyvola, Carmel Road’s entire 45 mph section, and most of South Boulevard would be good examples). Finally, I’m relieved I’m not the only person in this city who thinks too much about numbers everybody ignores.” – C

“I’m sorry to find out that you are one of the people who speeds by the three large Myers Park churches with large preschools, rec centers and playgrounds, Providence Road residences, a retirement community and local shopping areas. I live in Eastover and my 2 and 4 year old and soon to be infant enjoy walking to preschool at Christ Church Kindergarten. We have to cross Providence Road at the Colville light just like at least 20 other families do on school mornings. I can’t tell you how frightening it is to get a stroller and a 4 year old on a bike across that light because of the people flying down that street and running the light (why does yellow and the beginning of red mean speed up in Charlotte?). I have seen many accidents there and the preschool warns parents every year how dangerous that intersection is. I’m scared to stroll down Providence to cross over to visit friends in Myers Park, to get to the Booty Loop or Harris Teeter, to stop at Providence Sundries and Pasta and Provisions. This is a walking neighborhood, not Independence Boulevard, with many young families who like to stroll and ride bikes and scooter. But with motorists flying through from Uptown to south Charlotte you make us get in our cars and drive the quarter-mile. So yes, you are crazy and the speed limit should definitely not be over 35. And please watch out when you’re driving there for my children and the 500 other children starting preschool on that road in September.” – A


In response to Kylie’s newsletter intro on August 13

“I am a huge dog lover and appreciate Kylie’s perspective when it comes to both adopting dogs and cringing when she sees dogs that have been abandoned by their former families because a dog ‘wasn’t really their thing’. However, I do ask that she (and everyone who sees those types of posts) keeps an open mind. Three years ago my husband I rescued two dogs, littermates, from an abusive situation in which violence was directed both at the dogs and the humans in the household. These two dogs were our whole world… fast forward two years when we moved from a house to an apartment, I got pregnant, and the dogs started to get extremely protective over me. We enrolled in training, which was fantastic, and helped correct many other obedience issues. We prepped for the baby, practiced walking with the stroller before the baby was born, used all the toys that had noise and motion so they would be used to it by the time our son arrived. We invested time and money into doing everything right so they would feel comfortable. Fast forward again to the baby being born, and my dogs started biting anyone who tried to come near us. It was to the point where we could not leave our apartment without looking around to make sure no one was outside and we had to crate them anytime someone came over. They were just so protective over us. We had to make the heart-wrenching decision to return them to the rescue. It was excruciating and we felt like we were giving up our human child. Despite the perception that I’m sure everyone has, we did not give up our dogs because we had a baby. We had to make the best decision for THEM. They did not deserve a life so confined and wrought with anxiety (Katie, since you have a dog, I’m sure you know that our anxiety was rubbing off on them, despite our best efforts, and making it even worse). One of the dogs has been adopted into a new family and the other is still in foster care. I still think about them every day and rack my brain for what we could have done differently and if we even made the right decision. If you’re still reading this, thank you. My point is not to criticize you, Kylie, but just to remember to keep an open mind when it comes to these situations. We could have kept our dogs to ‘look good’ but we chose to give them up because that was truly what was best for them. While there are people who jump in too quickly to getting a dog, please keep in mind that sometimes when a person’s situation changes, they have to put their dog’s needs above their own.” – H

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