Mailbag: Top 25 feedback letters on aloneness, pint glasses, small business, South End and more

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share by Email
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share by Email

This is part of an ongoing series titled Mailbag, items readers submit via email or our feedback form. 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: Why is it so scary to do things alone in Charlotte?

“When you are in a place that you don’t really know anyone it stinks. You want to go out, you want to have dinner or go to the movies but you don’t want to do it alone. I can tell you the exact meal I had the first time I ate dinner alone. If you have to do something alone in the CLT, I would highly recommend these three options and here’s why: (1) STAX—You think the workout is intimidating? Imagine trying to find a group when you are a single! However, in the end it was the best thing ever! When you are consistently a single person and you have to find a group you’ll notice the similar groups will add you to their team. BAM, new workout friends. Trust me, I think I joined the same group multiple times. (2) Luna’s—Sit at the communal table. You can do it alone with just a book or talk to the other people. It’s a communal table, they should expect it. I once met the friendliest older couple at it and they even paid for the meal. (3) White Water Center—it’s super easy to join a rafting session last minute and you get to meet new people from different places! I would also argue that paddle boarding alone is pretty peaceful and relaxing, like mindfulness on water.” – A

“I’m relieved that I am not the only one who’s friend base in Charlotte is lacking. I moved back to Charlotte after graduating college and while my family is close, I have had a really hard time making meaningful connections with women or men in the area. After going at it alone for almost 3 years I too finally said ‘forget it’ and started doing things on my own because if I waited around for someone to come along and invite me to go somewhere, I would never leave home. BUT I am only comfortable alone in certain familiar situations: seeing a movie, eating at a restaurant, and going to the Lucky Dog Bark and Brew with my pup. I felt really confident that I was capable of doing things alone, but let’s be real I’ve only taken a baby step. I wish there were more networking events or mixers in Charlotte that all of us loners could show up alone and come together to casually enjoy a night with new people or even to make meaningful connections!” – D

As many young professionals as there are in Charlotte, if you’re single (an maybe all of your friends are married) you’re left to branch out and maybe meet more single friends – and it’s HARD. God forbid a guy actually tries to talk to a girl in public. No no- he wants to try and find her on social media first, low key stalk and then maybe, just maybe, a conversation will strike up. I hope we can all reach out and not be scared to include someone or talk to someone out in public. What’s the the worst that can happen? We may make some new friends and guys- you may even get a number from a girl (GASP).” – A

“Forget the table for 1, Kylie. Head to a restaurant and sit at the bar. Perfect place to sit and read with dinner, but also not unlikely that you meet another single or small group and accidentally wind up talking. I’m a married introvert, and the times where I’m alone at the bar is just about the only time in my life when I find myself talking with strangers in Charlotte.” – P

“A few words of advice if you’re still having problems going out/dining out alone. Firstly, eating out alone is not such a bad thing as you’ve already concluded. In European and Asian metropolitan areas, a lot of people go out alone because cooking at their shoebox apartments is simply ridiculous. States-side, you can find people in NYC and SF bay area dining alone all the time too. As someone who went to school in SF, but lived off campus, dining alone is almost a given on most nights, and it’s not usually fast food. It was intimidating at first, especially when I ate on student hours (before 5pm or after 9pm) and often find myself alone in a restaurant with three bored waiters waiting on me. The key is to dine alone somewhere close to your most familiar spots, i.e where you live and where you work. The second key (I guess single people get to have a set of keys) is to find the smallest restaurants or bar in those familiar spots so that even if you’re there alone, you’re never truly ignored or alone. My favorite spot back in SF was a sushi place downstairs from my apartment. The chef, who owned his restaurant, grew up in Japan right on the bay facing Disneyland-Japan. He got a free fireworks show every night. The stories he told were amazing, and often I would eat with just the two of us in the restaurant. Some of the best sushi and dining experience I’ve ever had, and pretty much I learned all the rules of sushi years before the Jiro’s Dream of Sushi documentary went viral. But really, I recommend everyone to try dining alone sometime, even if you’re not single. Let your significant other go on his/her boys’/girls’ night, and treat yourself to some of the small poorly trafficked spots in Charlotte’s restaurant and bar scene. You might make a few new friends with the owners and find some hidden gems that would have went under or simply ignored because they’re too small or too generic looking. Best of luck, and hope my (set of) keys help!” -R

I’ve had girlfriends in the past who would see a person eating alone and say “awwwww, they look soooo lonely.” Personally, whenever I see somebody sitting alone in a bar or restaurant, I assume he or she is there by conscious choice/preference and would not be there otherwise. I tend to assume that person is confident and content with himself or herself and generally kicks ass.” – A

“If you show up somewhere by yourself, no one has any idea why it’s just you, and their only cues are going to be whether you’re enjoying yourself. I go out of town for work a couple times a year and almost always by myself. When I go to dinner or to a (quiet) bar, I bring a book and enjoy myself, and people seem to have a lot of respect for that. I have a friend in his 50s who has always lived alone and spends lots of his Saturday afternoons at a restaurant taking a slow lunch and reading The Economist. I happened to see him doing this on a busy day at Mac’s Speed Shop, and even though everyone there was having a good time, you could tell a lot of people were looking at him like “damn, I wish I had the kind of life where I could spend my Saturday afternoon just reading a magazine in a busy as hell restaurant.” – T

In response to: A replacement for Uptown’s Main Library is in the works

“Call me crazy, but I actually like the character of the Main Library…” – N

In response to: Forget the rankings. Charlotte is not that friendly to small business

“I’m glad Twisted Eatz had to move. It doesn’t seem fair that every other business has to pay for real estate while they get to have their business permanently parked in a public parking spot. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal if the food truck comes and goes, but they left it there 24/7. It was essentially a private business built on public land. Furthermore where they parked made that intersection a dangerous blind turn for anyone turning off Winnifred onto Summit. The tall square trailer blocks you from seeing ANY oncoming traffic without putting yourself half way in the lane. They were clearly associated with Wooden Robot, the kitchen should have been inside to begin with instead of taking up valuable parking and making that part of Summit a nightmare. – K

“Thank you. I am in the middle of a long startup process, mostly related to permitting, for my own business and it’s comforting to hear that others have similar struggles. It makes me feel as though a certain percentage of my delays were going to happen regardless of my approach. I’ve had every city office tell me I need to speak to every other city office. My business partner and I got so frustrated trying to make sense of it all that we finally just started moving forward and discovering requirements when they became roadblocks. I’ve had different officials/representatives tell me conflicting things about building and fire code. It goes on and on. Certainly some of my issues have been ‘first rodeo’ problems. I expect to have those. But I didn’t expect to spend ~30% of my total install/buildout cost on drawings, engineers, and permitting while adding more than half a year to the process.” – B

“I love you in a big sister non creepy way. Owning an art business has been harder than giving birth to all three of my babies (possibly at once). This business has been ‘all mine’ and I’ve every penny of my hard earned heard and should into in. No investors, no trust funds, no husband money. My husband keeps telling me to stop the business, and he knows that’s like adding that cheap fire starter stuff to a charcoal grill. Because… well, you don’t tell me to stop… that pushes me more. Just because I own an art business, it looks like I’ve got my feet propped up behind my desk counting wads of cash, but far from it. Sometimes I think I should just be chill and one of those ladies enjoying my bible study, playing tennis and doing yoga all day picking my kids up in line listening to Ted talks and greeting them with fresh brownies. But instead, I’m choosing to work 50 hours a week, flying by the seat of my pants most days, and teaching our children to have big dreams and to just go for it.” – A

“I have worked in real estate in this city for 20 years and so glad that you are bringing attention to this. Agreed, we cannot have unregulated construction but the average citizen has no idea how cumbersome the City of Charlotte has become and how it affects economic growth and the cost of goods and services. I work throughout Southeast and Charlotte not the worst but planners and code enforcement have so much influence and they have little accountability.” – D

In response to: Cash Confessional: A week of spending in Charlotte on a combined $103,475 salary

“$70/month for someone else to pickup your dogs’ poop for you, because it improves your quality of life? This is the most ridiculous and lazy thing I’ve read from all of the cash confessionals, and that includes the girl who makes a combined $200k/year and steals light rail rides. You literally can’t get your own sh*t together, but you can afford to pay someone else to pickup dog poop for you? I dare to say that paying off your debts (by an additional $70/month or so) would improve your quality of life a little more than doing your own poop scooping.” – D

In response to: Quit stealing beer mugs. Pilfered pint glasses add up to thousands in costs at Charlotte breweries

“Last week, you had an article about an upper class millennial who doesn’t feel any obligation to pay for light rail tickets and today you have uncovered that brewery’s are losing thousands due to petty theft which let’s face it, is mostly patronized by millennials. I think you’ve uncovered a societal story – is it millennial entitlement or a loss of moral code that is fueling millennials thinking that stealing from public services is okay?” – L

“I hate going to a brewery when they change over to plastic cups. Was there this weekend and that is what I was served in. This is more offensive in my opinion.” – D

“What kind of person is okay with splurging on craft beer yet thinks he’s entitled to keep the glassware for free?” – A

“Any well run business would not only expect this (and pass the cost on to the consumer, which they do) but also consider it effective advertising.” – R

“Or do it like in Germany, add an additional 2 dollars (or how much the glass is worth) on the beer price, which you would get back once you return your glass.” – S

“Divide $15,000 by the total # of pints served add that to the current cost of a pint and walaaaa customer paid advertising.” – J

“Going into an establishment and walking out with glassware in your purse/pocket? Keep it classy Charlotte…” – L

“I’ve thought about how breweries can prevent pint glass pilfering in the future and I’ve created a simple solution – just write objectively horrible things on the pint glasses. Do you think anyone would steal a pint glass that reads ‘Trump’s immigration policies are sensible’? NO. Nobody would steal that pint glass. I created an example of a pint glass with a horribly untrue and offensive statement on it that is guaranteed to never be stolen. Please distribute this design to local Charlotte breweries so they can stop the thievery immediately. ” – M


In response to: 13 small, but unforgettable restaurant freebies

“You missed the best restaurant freebie!!! Azteca (who also has the best fajitas in Charlotte) on Woodlawn gives away free little amazingly delicious homemade churro things? It’s like homemade fried tortilla with strawberry sauce and whipped cream.” – S

In response to: A huge chunk of valuable South End land is going to be … a railyard

“South End Railyard? Can you say oxymoron? What was the city thinking? Or not thinking, more likely. So many other industrial locations that could have gone. Shame shame.” – L

“To the NCDOT I say build that railyard! They own the land and since they’ve gone through the proper procedures to develop it, they can do with it what they wish. This is infrastructure improvement, and while it’s a messy process to watch, it’s a good thing that this is happening in Charlotte.” – F

“South End is getting the new Norfolk Southern maintenance facility, to be close to the Gateway project. The old Norfolk Southern rail yard is becoming the new North Yard maintenance and storage facility for Lynx. Not everything can become upscale mixed use residential and retail. If you allow gentrification to push out all existing businesses because their noise or aesthetics don’t compliment the new residential/retail building boom, then you push those businesses and their jobs out beyond the city center and nullify the basic premise for dense urbanization.” – B

In response to: Single? 13 things to do this Valentine’s Day, based on how you feel about it

“I’m a newly retired military officer here who is navigating an unknown Charlotte (to me anyway). Your keen insight and humor help tremendously. I must admit being a single 55 year old widower in a new city is daunting even with 35 years of nomadic military experience. Your research really makes a difference. So, what caught my attention today? The nice single Valentine’s Day activity list. Love it. What you might consider is sneaking in age considerations. Maybe comments like. Good venue for an over-40 crowd. Or highlight it being a younger vibe/crowd. I struggle trying to decide what would be good activities for finding my age peers at times.” – M

In response to: MUD facial bar opens February 20 in SouthPark

“As a nurse/human being, I am totally weirded out by the idea of using a stranger’s breast milk on my face. This is someone else’s bodily fluid. Would you put a stranger’s blood or urine on your face? You know, around your eyes, mouth, and nose? Sounds like a great idea. BUT she eats an organic diet, so I guess there’s nothing to worry about.??? A big WTF to that.” – D

In response to: What to know on your first trip to Inner Peaks, the indoor climbing wall in South End

Inner Peaks gives you a free climb with full rental gear and day pass on your birthday. I did it a couple months ago and you just walk in and let them know and they’re super happy to help you.” – M

Story Views:
Join the 34,992 smart Charlotteans that receive our daily newsletter.
"It's good. I promise." - Ted   Ted Williams
Ted Williams
Publisher, golfer, dad and magician (seriously).