Mailbag: Top 30 feedback letters on Facebook, Thai, light rail, Phat Burrito and being middle class

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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 4%), but it’s a good sample.


In response to: 2017 Facebook sucks.

“Newsflash – Facebook has sucked for a lot longer than that. If you don’t like it, try disconnecting. Come over to the dark, antisocial side – we actually know how to keep it real.” – P

“Spot on. I’m sending that article straight to my dad, who loves to drop a political match and walk quietly away while everyone fights it out on his page. I have virtually no use for it anymore, and my teenagers have zero interest in having Facebook accounts.” – S

“I deleted my Facebook a few years ago and felt so immensely freed from feeling obligated to “check” it. I remade it about 2 years ago to keep up with college friends, and just deleted it again last month because it was literally making me angry to check it – why do I feel obligated to keep something that just makes me mad?” – A

“I deactivated my account and fasted from the Facebook for many, many months. Funny thing is that out of all of 200-ish ‘friends’ on Facebook, only my immediate family (whom I speak to daily) and my two besties (whom I speak to/hang out with almost daily) noticed I was on Facebook. Being away from Facebook literally changed my life. I became more content, peaceful, and connected with myself and what I want my life to be. Facebook can a dark hole if you allow it.” – S


In response to: How easy is it to get away with not buying a ticket on the Blue Line and what happens if you get caught?

“$50 and a likely dismissed court case – who cares, that’s nothing. Fine should be like $300. That’d discourage people.” – J

“From what I witnessed, if G4S officers find a passenger who hasn’t paid, they don’t ask the person to get off at the next station; they just stay on the train until that person gets to their destination and they give them a warning for a first offense, not a fine. The procedure you described is for repeat offenders.” – D

“I have been taking the blue line every morning since September for my daily commute. Today was the first day that G4S officers border the train and checked for passes… Eerily coincidentally timing with this morning’s article. Glad I had my pass!” – S

“Hey Kylie, thanks for snitching for cheap page views.” – H

“The real question is why they designed the stations such that it is so easy to not buy a ticket and hop on. The purchasing booths are small and blend in. Then, there is no turnstile to cross or person collecting a fare when you get on. If the city is actually concerned with fare evasion they should make it more obvious to a person walking up that you have to buy a ticket.” – J

“I rode the light rail every day, twice a day, for 2 years. I maybe got asked to show my ticket twice. Pay $70+ dollars a month for a monthly ticket, or get caught once or twice and pay $50. I’m a chump and paid monthly, you’re welcome CATS.” – B


In response to: 5 best Thai restaurants in Charlotte – and sexy Pad Thai photos

“I met a botany professor who is from Thailand and lives in Dilworth. I asked her if Thai Taste was her fav and she said no. I couldn’t believe it! She said that she drives all the way to Sila’s in Rock Hill. I ate there and the food and server were amazing! We had chicken pad thai, beef pad kee mow, and mee krob.” – B

“Basil is not even in the same league as Thai Taste.” – P

“Thai orchid has some authentic depth to the dinner menu including different duck recipes and curry dishes that I love. That said the atmosphere is awful – old people in sterile space – we live nearby and often get takeout.” – D

“Someone needs to take Ted off of the food scene stories asap. He is helping to contribute to why the food scene is so poor in Charlotte by including fast casual restaurants such as Potbelly as one of the most anticipated restaurant openings in Charlotte. Or how about YAFO as one of the best new restaurants in Charlotte?! These are fast casual restaurants comparable to Chipotle that are in every town in America these days.”

Ted: I don’t discriminate when it comes to fast casual. Potbelly’s line was out the door and down the street for weeks – that’s the definition of heavily anticipated. And, YAFO’s food tastes better than others. Simple.


In response to: Looking to get a keg for your Charlotte office? You’re not alone

“I’m an HR Consultant and have also seen a trend in companies bringing alcohol more regularly into the workplace. There must be a consideration of the increased liability and risk that comes into play. Before companies do this, they need to be absolutely certain they have strong policies in place that govern when consumption occurs, appropriate professional standards, and of course, safety expectations.” – M


In response to: How much money can you make on Airbnb in Charlotte?

“Kind of tired of the Airbnb hype. The fees are excessive. As stated in the article, Airbnb charges fees for both sides of the transaction. As a homeowner, I still get 90% of my renters through VRBO.com (vacation rentals by owner) where the renter doesn’t have to deal with hidden fees and I have 100% control on what the renter is charged.. VRBO isn’t as ‘cool’ but it gets the job done and leaves me in control.” – R


In response to: Go inside Haberdish at brunch

“Can you ask them to skip the flower and add more vodka?” – M


In response to: Why aren’t we making friends at bars and breweries?

“Are we for real with this average number of drinks consumed by a 25-year-old per week stat?” – A


In response to: Let’s stop blaming development for every small business closing in South End

“As someone who moved to Charlotte from larger cities (Chicago, São Paulo) I welcome the development; and cringe when I hear people complain about parking. I’ve never been impressed with Phat Burrito, but that’s neither here nor there.” – L

“THANK YOU. We are a Mom and Pop small business targeting to open right in Camden Gallery. We have drained our entire life savings into this new venture. My wife and I are truly excited but also terrified of the unknown. Negative perception or articles claiming that South End is dead from other news outlets only perpetuates unwarranted negativity towards the area.” – A

“As an architect and someone who has vested property interest in growth I am TIRED of neighbors bemoaning the loss of their favorite shoddy business or beloved vacant lot. Growth is not evil. My Nextdoor App postings are easily 30-40% of long, bitter threads regarding growth and the seemingly good (old ways, old businesses, status quo) versus evil (investor involvement, tearing down, small businesses who can’t keep up and closing, etc) going on around us. If a business based upon higher demographic and density can’t make it in South End then it has to go.” – R

“As a resident of Southend, I’d kill for a decent Tacqueria or Mexican restaurant in the hood. Phat Burrito was not it.” – R

“If you were to perform the same search for Crisp in Elizabeth on Yelp by sorting reviews from newest to oldest, you would see similar comments and concerns from customers as you did with Phat Burrito. I still don’t believe that Crisp closed it’s doors due to construction/parking issues. I think this was prime example of a restaurant that started to slip in quality and consistency with both it’s food and customer service.” – D


In response to: Cash Confessional: A week of spending in Charlotte on a combined $240,000 salary

“Shout out to the upper class couple making $240,000 a year that can’t spring $88 for a monthly light rail pass. You’re everything that’s wrong with America. Thanks in advance for the next ‘budget shortfall’ fare increase (which I’m guessing you won’t know about).” – T


In response to: The 3 trendiest Charlotte brunch spots right now

“I’m sorry, but littlespoon is a joke as a ‘trendy brunch spot’ – overpriced, not appealing, and lackluster. Just because the inside has lots of wood and metal does not make make it trendy or the food taste better. I think Bojangles should be on the list.” – A


In response to: Shaun Andrews tackles mental health with customized, on demand mental health startup

“With opioid addiction at an all time high I am humbled to see someone taking on the challenge of mental health help access for all.” – E


In response to: How Morgan Griffith moved from corporate PR to baby sleep consulting

“I can already hear the grumbles of extreme liberal millennials claiming that we need to ‘raise our own children’ and ‘shouldn’t have had kids if we wanted to sleep’ – insert eye roll. People spend money on all kinds of education from drinking, cooking, & exercise to arts & photography and no one bats an eye; however, the minute you invest in learning about something that is actually the most valuable part of your life like children or marriage people get super judgey. All that to say, thank you for a non-mom-shaming, pro-parenting article about an amazing sleep consultant :)” – H


In response to Ted’s newsletter intro on Saturday, February 4

“Ted, in your intro today when you mentioned that the Agenda broke the story on Phat Burrito closing and then not-so-subtly pointed out that the Oberver put out a story an hour later (a fact that almost no one cares about but you)… you sounded eerily like Donald Trump. Just FYI. Make the Charlotte Agenda great again!” – G

“Be honest people, you’ve been going to Chipotle instead!” – W


In response to: Are you in the Charlotte middle class?

“My wife and I have two little ones and we live on my $80K per year income. It was interesting to learn that while we are in the similar position as you, just paying the bills every month with just a little left over, we’re well into the middle class tier.” – D

“Stopped me in my tracks. Not long ago, I vehemently defended the reasons that I am ‘not privileged’ and felt insulted that anyone would categorize me that way. Thank you for this perspective adjustment and giving me cause to rethink my ‘class’ position.” – A

“This luxury 2BR coming soon to Tremont Ave, Katie and I will be living here when we can’t afford sh** next year.” – E

boxes-charlotte


In response to: Clark Barlowe is a culinary psycho and Heirloom is well on its way to being our city’s undisputed #1 restaurant

“The fried chicken doesn’t even come close to Carpe Diem’s.” – P


In response to: Charlotte granted the police sweeping powers for the Democratic National Convention. Will they finally give them up?

“So basically, the special events ordinance works and provides police with the authority to protect the city’s citizens, so let’s do away with it. Is it because somebody’s feelings are hurt? If you obey the law, none of this matters.” – M


In response to: Dear city of Charlotte, let’s get serious about parklets

“What we so cutely label ‘parklets’ are all over Europe. Ask Mayor Roberts to remember Amsterdam and Rome. I’ve always been amazed at how Europeans, who are tight on space anyway, stick a floor and 3 sets of cafe tables & chairs out front of cafes and Voila! Extra outdoor seating that is always full.” – L

“One very important point of clarification – our Parklet Program was never intended to be a program whereby the City installs parklets across Charlotte. For one, we don’t have the funds to do that. But also, where is the fun in that? The cities that have a variety of great parklets have encouraged their neighborhoods and businesses to flex their creative muscles and design/build parklets on their own. That’s what our program is intended to do. We want to give folks the freedom and flexibility to claim a little bit of public of ROW for something fun and new. We worked as fast as we could to vet all of the ownership, maintenance, and liablity issues, and put together a Parklet Program that would allow them to do that. So there’s nothing stopping folks from building their own awesome parklets all over the place. I get the criticism in terms of the placement of the parklets by Brevard Court. There are other places that could probably benefit a lot more from some new public space. We selected that location, partially because it helps to make the pedestrian crossing there safer, and partially because it’s a highly visible location for our pilot. The idea was to build one parklet on our own (with the County’s help) in a highly visible location to encourage businesses and neighborhoods to follow suit. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened.” – Scott Curry Pedestrian Program Manager – City of Charlotte

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Ted Williams
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Publisher, golfer, dad and magician (seriously).