Mailbag: Top 40 feedback letters on the rich, crab, alcohol, peeping, Olive Garden, ghosts and Northerners

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In response to: Let’s not grab a drink sometime. 13 alcohol-optional happy hour social activities in Charlotte

“Thank you. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to not frame my social experience around drinking, and this helps a lot. I’m heading to the Mint tonight with a friend.” – E

“I am a sixty something grandma living here in Charlotte. I appreciate your article today. There have been countless times I have thought that everything to do involves alcohol. Thank you for finding events that don’t, and keep looking. Booze destroys too many lives.” – C

“I have recently stopped because my drinking became a problem (higher alcohol content in brewery beers put me over the edge). Seems lately there is so much emphasis on drinking in Charlotte.” – M


In response to: Cash Confessional: A week of spending in Charlotte on a $37,000 salary

“Before people start complaining about how she has no student loans or a car payment…can we give this girl a huge shout-out? On a $37K salary she has an excellent savings plan…WHILE STILL tithing to her church, buying friends wedding gifts, and donating regularly to multiple non-profits. And having a social life. And is a regular patron of local Charlotte restaurants and businesses. This is by far the most well-balanced cash confessional I’ve read in the Agenda. My financial spirit animal. Way to go girl, way to go.” – M


In response to Ted’s newsletter closing where he mentioned Olive Garden

“It’s not weird at all. Great local restaurants are a wonderful thing, but sometimes you just want the simple familiarity of a chain (without having to go to Ballantyne of course).” – A

“TED! Usually, I feel like people’s comments to you are mean and unnecessary but OLIVE GARDEN? No. We already have a Carrabba’s is that not enough? Ugh. If a chain is coming to Southend it better be a Zaxby’s. Or a Dean & Deluca.” – A

“South End needs an Olive Garden??? Ted, I used to think you were just an epic doofus, but now I’m sure you’re a robot troll trying to approximate what a human doofus would say. Because no human wants an Olive Garden in South End.” – E


In response to: Skip work today and drive to the Linn Cove Viaduct


In response to: This guy is making beautiful, custom furniture in Plaza Midwood and it only costs $495 – $1,295

“PLEASE spare my eyes in having to see another ‘country rustic DIY’ pieces of furniture. Please, tell all of the Agenda readers that for the love of God please stop using Annie chalk paint and keep the original finish of the treasures you may find in your local goodwill/salvation army/ estate sale. Maybe I’m biased because I live in a mid century modern ranch built in 1958 or that my family runs owns a successful mid century store in Greenville, SC but I think you will be very surprised to see the huge following of mcm enthusiasts in Charlotte instead of a painted turquoise dresser fit for their beach home in myrtle beach.” – T

“Have you covered McSwain’s Furniture? This is 3-generation furniture maker is authentic old Charlotte. They even have a wood carver. A story on this company will give your readers an advantage (Pottery Barn catalog be gone!). Real deal craftsmen.” – A


In response to: Papi Queso is taking over the kitchen at Sycamore for the next six months starting tomorrow

“So, if Sycamore now has a legit kitchen are dogs still allowed in the tap room? Ted, maybe let someone else field this one, dog hater.” – D


In response to: Park Road Shopping Center and Atherton Mill give rich people what they want, not what they need

“The Agenda is the only place where I can read about the membership dues at all of the Charlotte country clubs one week and get shamed about shopping at J.Crew the next.” – A

“Highly offensive. I respectfully ask you to stop promoting class warfare. Money has never grown on trees. It comes from sacrifice, getting paid for doing a day’s work, and taking individual responsibility for your actions. You have truly lost focus on the ideals and history of how and why the most unique country in the history of civilization was founded.” – A

“Nice job tying national trends right back to us in Charlotte. The Fortress scenario predicted over 15 years ago is coming and largely has vibe true. I’m just as guilty as the next person. Telling the truth is the start of the conversation.” – T

“Ted realizes that every article he publishes on these new restaurants with expensive drinks and meals flies right in the face of everything he said in that article. Me and my wife are absolutely not in the 20% like he writes about and we enjoy going to both of those places. If you are going to write about how awful it is that these niche shops are popping up, then stop writing about how great the restaurant scene is. It is so ridiculously hypocritical and I think we can all do without your terrible opinion on things, Ted.” – D

“Maybe I am in the minority, but I don’t see the need for a Coin Laundry on 7th Street? The changes that you describe are what happens in an evolving market. There are plenty of places that are not fortunate to have these changes.” – C

“The Agenda spends so much of their time celebrating the Warby Parkers and Rocksalts of Charlotte, so it seems to be talking out of both sides of your mouth when it’s suddenly time to hand-wring about the clientele these places attract. Atherton Mill and Park Road Shopping Center are retail centers — So, by definition, they exist to give people what they want. This article is featured in a newsletter that, on the very same day, is celebrating a wine bar at the Ritz, a rooftop bar uptown, and a new Starbucks.” – F

“Rubbish! I do not consider myself a ‘rich person’ but I love Atherton Market. I found the most amazing farmer there who had the most delicious strawberries I had ever had in my entire life. I also shop at Park Road at Blackhawk Hardware. Eat in some of the restaurants. If you can’t find what you are looking for and Blackhawk doesn’t have it, it probably doesn’t exist.” – M

“Park Road Shopping Center isn’t for the rich. You’ve got cheap movies, inexpensive shopping (Julie’s), a great local bookstore. Inexpensive dining. Monkey Joe’s took over a reasonable priced restaurant. I’m glad it’s gone. Are you familiar with Warby Parker? Super inexpensive amazing frames and they donate a pair to people in need for every purchase made. CO isn’t expensive either. I get wings or dumplings for less than 10 bucks. A fabulous bakery, cheap pizza, Charlotte cafe and soda shoppe aren’t expensive. Stop complaining.” – C


In response to: Charlotte gets the corporate community behind working on economic equality after protests

“Focus should be on equality of opportunity and not equality of outcome. We need investment of people’s time in repairing relationships more than we need money. Money will only be a bank aid with no ‘return on investment’ unless we have people working directly together to repair relationships (church, community, school, civic).” – P


In response to: What do Northern transplants really think about Charlotte? 23 unedited responses

“I can’t count the number of time I’ve heard ‘Charlotte bulldozes everything!’. That’s not untrue but why is that a bad thing? No, the house where the last meeting of the Confederate cabinet was held no longer stands on N. Tryon St.; in the 1940’s it was replaced by a Sears. In the 1940’s having a Sears was the future. If people want to enjoy Charlotte by sipping on a craft beer in SouthEnd surrounded by new beige apartment buildings with the light rail zipping by I’m all for that. But don’t tell me Charlotte doesn’t have an identity. We’ve been Buzz City since 1780.” – A

“Poppy’s bagels DEFINITELY tastes as good as, or better than, bagels up north. I’m a bagel connisseur and I’m from New York…I know!” – S


In response to: Long lines, disorganization at CrabToberFest anger customers. Carolina Food Market issues defensive apology, but no refunds.

“I am in shock by the comments made by Jim Seidel, basically putting the blame for the chaos on the patrons. Yes, this is a hard crowd to please when you have no clue how to run a crab feast, but that should have been sorted out well before the day, particularly when you knew 600 people were attending. I wish they would have taken the help from the company that actually plans crab feasts.” – N

“Yes, grammatically-speaking, the plural of crab is crabs. But anyone who knows anything about crabbing or eating crab knows the plural of crab is crab. Crabs is what you get when you have a one-night stand with a person you picked up at an all-you-can-eat crab festival. Life tip: don’t buy tickets to a crab festival being run by someone who says he’s selling crabs.” – J

“Below is what was served. I immediately asked for the the person in charge. I was promised a refund and I’ll get it one way or the other!” – S

crabtoberfest-charlotte

“I can confirm that the Crabtoberfest was a unplanned disaster. They were offering refunds to those who didn’t want to wait in line. How can they retract their statements and now say they won’t be giving us any refunds. Something needs to happen with this as I am sure I’m not the only one upset about this. I purchased 4 tickets and that’s a total of $160 that is going in their pocket.” – S


In response to: What will replace Nan & Byron’s? I’d love to see a Brazwell’s, but I’m hearing raw bar

“The Bottle Cap Group. Ugh, these guys again? The same brain trust that opened 3 nearly identical bars (Slate, Oakroom, AAP) next to each other. While this is actually a pretty accurate reflection of Charlotte’s weak grasp on the concept of diversity, I sure hope these guys do something different with the N&B space. Ever notice no one goes in to Slate and Oak Room (are they even separate places?) when it’s not game day? How about on a weeknight? It’s a ghost town. Here’s a hint fellas, South End doesn’t need or want a faux upscale clubby vibe. Stop it. Stop” – A


In response to: 8 off-radar Charlotte restaurants for when you’re burned out on trendy new stuff

“I would add Pio Pio Dilworth, Fenwicks, Diamond, Lupie’s, Nick’s Cafe Southpark to your list where you can eat decent food, get a quality beer, and still afford to pay your rent/mortgage. Right on with the cost of cocktails – I am almost at the point where we have a cocktail or good quality glass of wine at home before and after dinner, and have water while out. Cannot go out very often when drinks are $14 plus tax and tip!” – A

“You write, ‘I don’t want pricey renovations and media previews and marketing buzzwords’. – Wasn’t a big deal when you were losing your minds over CO, Kid Cashew, Babalu, Comida…” – A

“One would be remiss to not mention Nile Ethiopian Food and their cozy cafe off of Sharon Amity; the food, which is cooked with abundant love, will make you cry tears of joy.” – J

“Have you tried Pasta & Provisions on Park?->>> Great grub, very affordable, 5 local craft brew choices or vino by the glass and a beautiful and cozy patio to enjoy all of the above! – D


In response to: Let’s fact check some of Charlotte’s best ghost stories

“The one about Founders Hall is really about Davidson College. Chambers was the main academic building and dorm from 1860 until it burned in 1921. The North Carolina Medical College held some classes there from the 1880s until 1907 when it moved to Charlotte. There were rumors of bodies buried in the massive, hollow columns of Old Chambers. In 1914 (if memory serves) a couple of students swore themselves to secrecy and, during a football game, used ropes to lower themselves down each one. They found the skeletal remains of an arm. I another column they found a skull that had been sawn across the cranium, as one might do to remove the brain. The skull was on display in their fraternity house for decades, and is now in the college archives. Why were these remains were dumped in the columns? Were they procured illicitly from a pauper’s grave? Or did a lazy student or custodian tasked with cleanup dispose of them improperly? Who knows. But at least two, and maybe more, authors used this story as the basis for fanciful ghost stories, like the one you read about “Louise.” More about the bones here and here’s another ghost story from The Davidsonian, on page 11.


In response to: Elizabeth neighbors made a pumpkin wall that’s 60 feet long

“Highland Creek neighborhood street with 100 carved pumpkins. Fairmeadows drive. I can send some pictures. We love the Elizabeth pumpkin wall but Charlotte is big enough for two.” – P


In response to: 70% of Charlotteans don’t license their pets. Are you one of them?

“Pet licensing is stupid, even more so because I contacted city council (a few years ago) and they did not realize that the code said they could seize your pets. Yes, city council did not realize it. It is just another tax. If you spay/neuter your pet and get a rabies shot, the license should be free.” – P


In response to: The Agenda guide to every race in the 2016 election

“Kudos to the Agenda team (namely Andrew) for your Voting Guide. This was a great summary and starting point to researching local candidates and issues on this year’s ballot. Thank you for the (mostly) un-biased coverage – I felt informed during my early voting and was relieved to recognize most of the names on the ballot from having read your piece.” – P

“Good overview of the candidates without getting too political. I’d imagine CA skews left with a younger demographic but based on some of the mailbag responses there’s a variety of views.” – C

“I was really looking forward to reading through and doing my election research (that I’ve been putting off) so I can be an informed voter. However, as a registered Libertarian here in Mecklenburg County, I was severely disappointed that you left off the 3 Libertarian candidates (you mentioned Gary Johnson in the intro paragraphs and I respect that you’re not going into the presidential race as I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard enough out of that one) running for Senate, Governor, and Lieutenant Governor. You sold this article as something apolitical to inform voters, yet you pointedly left off these candidates who are in fact on the ballot.” – A


In response to: We asked 19,000 people about the Charlotte dating scene. Here’s what they said.

“We met on Match.com in Charlotte on May 11, 2014 and got married in Charlotte on April 30th, 2016. Link to our Style Me Pretty wedding feature. Hi Charlotte Agenda people! For whatever it’s worth, I noticed that it seemed like your feedback on the ‘Dating in Charlotte’ article was all negative so I decided to shoot you guys a message saying that my husband and I found each other here!!! We had both been on dating websites on and off for probably 5 years. When we met, he was 28 and I was 29. He was living and working in Huntersville at an insurance agency and I was living and working Uptown at a law firm as a paralegal. There is no way on earth our paths would have crossed if it weren’t for online dating. (I moved here from New York and he moved here from Chicago) Yeah, dating in Charlotte royally sucks until you push through it and find the one. But I think dating anywhere sucks in general. One of my best girlfriends from college is currently online dating in Boston and she is going through the same exact things I was going through in Charlotte. (Sounds great on text/ don’t click in person etc.) The problem is you have to keep meeting and going on dates with people you aren’t right for over and over and it’s exhausting. And you can get bitter. However, it really is magical when you finally meet your match (pun intended, we met on match.com). We knew almost instantly (okay within 2 weeks) that we were seriously considering marriage. We got engaged 7 months after our first date, and married 2 weeks before our 2 year anniversary. I moved into his house in Huntersville when my lease was over Uptown, and my two cats moved in with his two cats (that’s correct, we have 4 cats). Two months before our wedding, Eric, my husband, opened up his own business – a State Farm agency in Northlake – and I still work as a Paralegal and commute Uptown. Everyone who meets us is shocked to learn we met online, (I guess because we appear so compatible) they all assume that we met in College. My advice to people dating in Charlotte is keep going, keep your head high and keep your first date expectations low, and remember that it’s a numbers game. The more dates you go on the more likely it is you will meet someone right for you. It does happen. And that’s not just Charlotte. It’s anywhere.” – J


In response to Ted’s newsletter intro on October 21

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"It's good. I promise." - Ted   Ted Williams
Ted Williams
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Publisher, golfer, dad and magician (seriously).