Mailbag: Top 30 feedback letters on paid parking, Topgolf, Blackberry Farm, taco windows, Botox and more

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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: Topgolf opens June 9 in south Charlotte. Here’s a sneak peek and what to expect

“If it’s anything like the grand opening that happened in Tampa when I lived there, expect incredibly long waits and make reservations for bays weeks in advance. It’s busy for a reason. About the most fun way to drink and blow $200 I can think of.” – T

“Can’t wait and I don’t even golf.” – J

“Topgolf is the best. We went all the time in Chicago.” – L


In response to: Charlotte sports parents can get out of control

“I will say though, that the worst sports ‘dads’ I’ve seen have actually been moms.” – A

“$18 a game? Do they at least get a soda on the house?” – B


In response to: The Music Factory is now charging $5 to enter its parking deck. Here’s how to avoid the fee

“So these people are complaining that they’re going to an event with a lot of people who are all leaving at the same time, and somehow that’s the parking deck’s fault??? Basic logic. It’s going to be packed. And who tf complains about $5 parking? Good lord.” – T

“Do you remember when the music factory was fun, there was a huge open parking lot and Mattie’s Diner? Pepperidge Farms remembers…” – J

“Glad to hear they are charging. News flash parking is never ‘free’ and the owner can and should charge for it. You don’t have to pay it. You have other ways of getting there besides driving. Read this Economist story: Parkageddon – How not to create traffic jams, pollution and urban sprawl.”  – M


In response to: Is the economic shadow over Charlotte finally gone?

“It’s hard not to roll my eyes… HB2 passed in March of 2016, thus kicking off said ‘economic shadow’. Oddly enough, per the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce’s Year End 2016 Charlotte-Mecklenburg New and Expanded Businesses report, that ‘economic shadow’ looked like 10,990 new jobs (beating 2015 by over 1,500 new jobs), 11million sf of business expansion (beating 2015 by over 6million sf) and an investment by new and expanding businesses of $1.177billion (beating 2015 by over $350million). Is it just me, or did the economic reality in Charlotte not exactly conform to the narrative this and so many other organizations and media outlets portrayed? One can only hope 2017 is as shadowy as 2016!” – A


In response to: Here’s your first look at the menu at Wu’s Cajun Seafood, opening next month in South End

“I’m struggling to wrap my head around this concept. It’s weird, but intriguing.” – P

“Hope the beignets are as good as Cafe Du Monde. We’ll have to put it up to the Lousiana girl taste test.” – B


In response to: Need a weekend getaway? Top 10 luxury hotels within driving distance of Charlotte

“I recently stayed at Blackberry Farm and I have to tell you that it is worth every penny. The website doesn’t make it clear but all of your food is included with the price of the room. This includes your meals at the The Barn at Blackberry Farm which I believe has won at least one James Beard award. I also just wanted to say that your recommendations of the Umstead and Palmetto Bluff are spot on as well. I’ve stayed at the Umstead and loved it and I grew up right down the river from Palmetto Bluff and worked there when I was in high school and they were still clearing land for the second phase of the development.” – F


In response to: Take a look at Southbound, the gorgeous, airy, SoCal-inspired taco bar coming to South End

“I hope they invested in a decent sized parking lot! Parking is crazy around Macs!” – A

“I’m from SoCal, so I really hope it lives up to its name! I’ll be the judge.” – C

“You had me at ‘Walk-up taco window.'” – B


In response to: A new craft beer and wine bar is coming to South End and it’s 100% self serve

“Been saying it for years (every time I have to wait in a big crowd to get noticed by a bartender). This is the future.” – R

“Guys, I unplugged the router, quick, pour as much beer as you can!” – A

“Wow, Hoppin is awfully close to my townhouse directly across the street. Live music, huge deck, food trucks… sounds like its time to do some research on noise ordinance and food truck rules.” – S


In response to: The heart of Historic West End is getting its own name and brand

“5 Points at Historic West End is too long. It sounds like one of those haughty apartment complex names that don’t mean much like ‘The Reserve at Kenton Place’ and ‘The Apartments at Birkdale Village.’ I like the idea of calling it ‘5 Points West.’ Easy to abbreviate (5PW), easy to say in conversation and easy to write without wondering which words get capitalized.” – A

“When I hear 5 points, I think of Columbia, South Carolina.” – B

“So random outsiders are renaming city neighborhoods that have existing names?” – J


In response to: Cash Confessional: A week of spending in Charlotte on a $35,000 salary

“All I hear is how her parents still take care of her expenses and she gets to save her money. I understand she is a young person but I thought the point of these articles was to demonstrate how far a dollar can be spent in our fair city. The reality of $35,000 in Charlotte is much different when you actually have bills and responsibilities. Having this same salary I was looking forward to how another individual spent and saved. How could we have fun off a small income. This was not accurate, helpful or even entertaining. I read the life of a girl who is learning to spend her money while her parents are still a safety net. She has no credit, nothing is in her name and this is supposed to be an article others would like to read?” – J

“Contributing post-tax to a 401k isn’t the most sound financial decision, if you’re contributing post-tax you should consider another investment vehicle like a Roth IRA or another managed portfolio (something like Betterment or Wealthfront). Betterment’s product is similar to a 401k except the fees are lower than a 401k. And if you contribute $100/month they only charge you the small quarterly fee that is covered by the dividends on the fund.” – A


In response to: Why do suburban Charlotte newcomers so fiercely fight development?

“Once they start their commute to work, their kids go to school, etc they start to notice how this whole area has horribly handled growth. You don’t spend days sitting in endless traffic until you’re moved in. You don’t watch the news and see the horrible decisions made by our local leaders and how it affects things. It makes perfect sense for people to move in and then fight development… they come from other places where development is done right and assume it would be that way here too, but its not. Then quickly learn otherwise. You can’t expect them to know everything or not move here, but it is normal to have a little bit of adjustment shock.” – T

“Infrastructure severely lags growth. Increased growth strains already overcrowded roads and schools. It’s not that growth is bad but that the lack of planning for that unchecked growth has led to pretty bad growing pains for the area.” – R

“It’s not about the development as much as it is about the lack of infrastructure. Adding that many new residents, vehicles, etc. without any means to move those people around is a major burden. The only north-south options are NC115 and I77, you may or may not be aware that I77 is constantly backed up, thus Main Street (115) in Davidson is essentially a parking lot. Try coming up for lunch someday when I77 SB is backed up (most days). Progress is one thing, but progress with no plan in place to move vehicles effectively, is just not as progressive as it may seem.” – G


In response to: I made an interactive map with the cost of 52 Uptown parking options, color-coded by price

“How is nobody concerned with the lack of competition with LAZ Parking and Preferred Parking in Uptown? Parking in Charlotte is far more expensive than most cities not named NYC or Chicago.” – T

“I just switched to right outside of the 277 loop – $90 a month!” – K


In response to: Grab the tent and pack the cooler: 10 places to camp within 100 miles of Charlotte

“The Anne Springs Close Greenway has some amazing lakeside, field, and horse camping too!” – C


In response to: Chances are, you know more than one 20-something in Charlotte who’s had Botox

“No, it isn’t normal and shouldn’t be. Let’s think a little more deeply about why a 25 year old woman is so worried about normal aging.” – M

“In Charlotte, why is it cooler to be seen drinking than it is to be volunteering? In other cities, millennials are fighting for tickets to the next charity event, trying endlessly to go to the next gala, and working to connect with business leaders at summits. Most events are equally split with young professionals and more established leaders. Here, I am lucky if I see another 20-something in the room. In Charlotte, we have created a culture that the who’s who are the ones out all night drinking, spending the day in the sun, or getting botox.” – R


In response to: When do Charlotteans actually start to feel like adults?

I’d say the dividing line is when you can go more than 6 months without losing, drowning, or cracking the screen of your $600 phone because you start treating like something that costs $600 instead of something that’s “only $25 a month.” – W

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