Dec 11, 2015 - News

Mailbag: Highlighting 31 electronic feedback letters

charlotte-agenda-mailbag

charlotte-agenda-mailbag

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.

General

“Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to identify restaurants serving Christmas Day brunch. The only two I know of are at Ballantyne Resort and the Westin Hotel.”

Ted: Accepted.

“I just found your website today and I haven’t gotten off of it for hours. I am a huge fan and now totally addicted! You guys rock!”

“You guys make Charlotte a better place.”

“Thank you for always providing relevant and informative content.”

“‘Hit us up bro.’ This bugs me every time I see it. It reads like it was written by a guy who had male readers in mind. Not in a sexist way, but in a didn’t-even-think-about-it way. It’s especially weird to see this same tired footer at the bottom when one of the ladies has written that day’s email. Seriously, find a way to sound cool and approachable without seeming to forget that probably half of your readers are women. Just my two cents, from someone who has read the CA faithfully since we were told about it after moving here earlier this year, and has even recommended it to others.”

Ted: You nailed it. You’re right. We’ll mix it up soon.

“Sorry to send you down a rabbit hole, but I couldn’t help but chuckle at your comment in the mailbag that ‘If a sushi restaurant makes it in an old Pizza Hut building, it means they have really good sushi.’ Thanks to the podcast 99% Invisible, I learned recently that finding places that used to be a Pizza Hut is A Thing. Also, here’s a summary of the 99% Invisible episode. Anyways.”

Ted: You just sent me down a rabbit hole. 14 minutes of my life, gone.

“As a newbie to the city of Charlotte, your ‘Things to do’ section is the best I’ve seen anywhere – lost of good stuff targeted to the young professional crowd. Keep the good stuff coming!”

Ted: Thank you. We just added little miniature faces to our event listings. Katie’s looks weird because her hair is large.

“Your ‘How I work’ interviews were awesome! Stumbled across the first one & had to keep reading throughout the day until there were no more. (Please post more….they are very interesting) Specifically enjoyed your interview questions: To Do List Manager and Social Media Habits.”

“This is my first newsletter and it’s awesome! Keep it up!”

“I’ve been reading a lot of the development in Charlotte stories. I started to notice a theme about these barren, boring, plazas scattered uptown. My question: How do we activate these spaces? Can we have live music, pop up shops, dance-a-thons, fundraisers, etc?! Can you guys find out what the policies are? Encourage someone to start things in these boring plazas? How do we activate the cityscapes we already have? I have questions and no idea where to start looking for answers.”

“Hey CA! Do u guys ever have gatherings? Ya know, like CA events/parties/etc. I looked,and omg 24k IG followers!?-awesome! I get you’d need a big space,but it’d be so fun!! I’m just wondering if u guys ever thought of something like that. I’m a nanny,love my job,but so hard meeting people! I want to meet friends,potential “normal” men and have a good time. I want to find girls to hang out with and not make them think I’m hitting on them. (I support equality 100% btw). So please let me know. Or if u have any ideas,I’m open to them. Obsessed with your IG. I’ve been so many new places. Love. Also,I’ve been at work for over an hour. Excuse typos and things that don’t make sense. Again,u guys are awesome. STUFF YO FACES OFF FOR TURKEY DAY!”

Ted: Yes, soon. Yes, I did stuff my face.

“I started reading to Axios Charlotte a month ago and I was hooked from day one! It the first thing I read in the morning. Thank you for this awesome window in to all things Charlotte. I now know where to good in Charlotte for the best food, drinks and fun. I also know what’s happening in Charlotte. :-)”

“I really really really enjoy reading your site. Keep up the good work. Kylie Moore and Katie Levans articles in particular are both insightful and entertaining. I work in online advertising and think the hyper local model you have for advertising is really smart. I’d like to see more advertisers on the site who should realize that this is the progressive approach and their advertising will really cut through here.”

Ted: Will you come with us on sales pitches?

In response to: After 13 years, Situl Indian Restaurant gets shown the door

“Situl restaurant ‘with its large and passionate following’? You’re out of your mind. I have lived very nearby the PRSC back court for ten years and driven, biked, or walked past Situl a thousand times. I have never seen more than 5-6 cars in front of the restuarant at a time, and maybe just twice have I seen a family actually entering the front door; it seems sketchier than it seems friendly or inviting. I hate to see mom-n-pop places close their door, but I’m eager to see something else take that venue.”

“I think today’s Situl article went for the easy narrative and unfairly portrayed Edens as the villain. Yes, we should be concerned that Edens may bring in too many national retailers at the expense of mom ‘n pops. It’s a legitimate fear. But I don’t think Situl is the best case study on which to pin the argument. Part of what Edens has to do is refresh the mix of offerings – and retain and attract tenants that invest in their spaces for the good of the overall center. Let’s be honest, in recent years, parts of the center were growing stale and not contributing significantly. New investment, such as a bar/restaurant, could energize the Backlot and make it possible for surrounding shop owners to be more successful. The key is to maintain a healthy balance between national, regional and local merchants. It needs to be a careful, deliberate evolution. But not every business needs to be part of the evolution.”

“[Letter written to Edens] Hi. I am part of the community that loves and supports PRSC on an almost daily basis. What is going on there?!? Your company is coming in and degrading it down to a place that is void of the charm that makes it one of the most special places in Charlotte. It’s been really sad to see the small businesses go, it’s even worse to hear how they have been treated. Then, to read the most recent article published about Situl being forced out and how Edens would not comment is unfortunate and only perpetuates the reputation the company is earning. Why not comment? Your company site states you are building communities and all of this other jargon that reads well but seems incongruent with your actions. If you are coming in and impacting our community and you state you are part of it, then speak, answer our questions and be present in a more caring and productive way that supports your company’s stated mission. Please keep in mind that you are smack dab in the center of several neighborhoods who value roots, not flash-in-the-pan hot spots. Most of us are in the top 5% of earners and are building families and contributing to the community on multiple levels. We don’t need banks, bars and trendy establishments riddling our local shopping center. I’m all for upgrades and facelifts, but what is going on seems very superficial and not community oriented at all.”

In response to: First Ward Park is open. Here’s what’s next for the neighborhood

“Hello, the opening of the First Ward Park is awesome! I hope brand name retail and restaurants will help surround the park and Uptown. Uptown is beautiful. The only thing that is missing is retail. The Gap, Lane Bryant, Nike House of Hoops, Zara, M.A.C., Zales, Victoria’s Secret, Shake Shack, Bubba Gump Shrimp, BB Kings Bar & Grille, Sprinkles Cupcakes & Ice Cream, and a Hersey Theme store would be good draws for the area.”

Ted: Wow, that store list is incredible.

In response to the newsletter intro on Monday, December 7

“I unsubscribed from your newsletter this morning. At first I enjoyed learning about new restaurants & places in Charlotte. Then I started noticing political views & bias in your writings. Today’s “Hello Monday” written by Andrew really struck a nerve with me. The thought of forcing diversity in neighborhoods might make him feel all warm & fuzzy inside but it won’t solve a damn thing with our broken school system. The problems ultimately come down to CMS bureaucracy and lack of parenting. Every mother and father (not just the ‘privileged white’) has an equal opportunity to be a good parent. However, far too many parents have lost the desire to be ambitious, self-reliant, and be involved with their offspring. They expect the government and school system to look after all their needs. Confidence, pride, and success occurs when we know we are able to survive on our own achievements. Farewell”

Andrew: You could write a book about this issue, but here’s my short response: I think solely blaming the parents is too simplistic. I’ve spent a lot of time in underachieving schools and the problems there are myriad and complicated. In general, I find parents who love their children and try to do what’s best for them. Poverty, teacher turnover and lack of resources are real obstacles. I’m sorry that you decided to unsubscribe. One of the great things about Agenda is that we all have our opinions and world-views challenged from time to time — even mine. I hope you’ll come back.

In response to: 20 things everybody wants to say about the EpiCentre but won’t

“Going through Epi is the most direct route for me to get to work. I like grabbing lunch at many of the spots there, and I’ve enjoyed a few movies at SMG. What I’m not a fan of is stepping over the puddles of puke every morning or navigating the folks who’ve turned Epi into an unofficial designated smoking area. Also, for all of Epi’s covered areas, there’s no way to traverse from light rail to Overstreet Mall without getting drenched in the rain. And, don’t defend the steps. Something about them is off-dimension and it murders the knees. The escalators are never on in the morning, but at least their steps are human scale (when they’re not blocked).”

In response to: In defense of the EpiCentre

“Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for the BRILLIANT defense of the Epicenter! I couldn’t have said it better. As a 25 year resident of CLT I can assure you Uptown is 200% better with the Epicenter than without it… Chain restaurants? Sure. Is it noisy? Heck yeah! And that sure beats the snot outta the tumble weeds that once blew down College after 5pm (You think I’m kidding, right? I’m not). Only thing I would add… If you don’t like the parking garage, you can always try the light rail which drops you off RIGHT THERE. I used to tell people ‘Charlotte is a great place to live, but you wouldn’t wanna visit…’ Places like the Epicenter are changing that… And it’s about time!”

In response to: Goodwill’s holiday concept shop GW looks like something straight out of Anthropologie (minus the huge rip off)

“A friend re-posted your article about Goodwill on Facebook today, and I felt the need to address it, in the hopes of shining a light on the not-so-charitable Goodwill. Not to be ‘one of those people on Facebook’, but I want to spread the word that Goodwill is a total fraudulent charity. AKA, it’s not really a charity at all. A guy named his store ‘Goodwill’, gets his inventory absolutely free, then sells it for almost full price. So the business (yes, business, not charity) makes 100% profit on everything it sells, and about 0.0001% of it does any real good in the world. It’s a great business model, if you can somehow game the system to get your inventory for free. I’m sure every retailer in the world would like that same set-up. The CEO congratulates himself yearly, not by donating to foundations or charities, feeding the homeless, rebuilding homes in disaster areas, etc., but by paying himself millions every year (reportedly $2.3M/year plus expenses). A quick Google search will tell you all you need to know. 60 Minutes tried to blow the doors off of this ‘charity’ a few years ago, but it looks like it made little-to-no impact, sadly. Here’s one quick piece that shows how much ‘good’ Goodwill is doing in the world. Long story short, if you’re ever planning on writing another article about Goodwill, please tell people they are doing ZERO good in the world by shopping there or donating to the business. It’s a total scam!”

In response to: Dive bars of the southern outer Charlotte metro area

“Thank him for giving some love to those of us who work in Uptown, commute up/down Providence every day, and wished we lived in Plaza Midwood or South End. I was young in Charlotte 25 years too late apparently. Also, those of us stuck in suburbia love Vintner Wine Market in Arboretum. Not a dive bar (too much good craft beer and wine), but a true neighborhood feel with a great staff and a so-so bathroom.”

In response to: Plaza Midwood will be getting its first ABC store

“SORRY TO SAY BUT THIS ARTICLE IS WRONG.THERE WAS AN ABC STORE IN PLAZA MIDWOOD IN THE 70’S. IT WAS IN SAME PARKING LOT IN THE BUILDING WHERE ELIZABETH BILLIARDS IS/WAS. IT WAS CONSIDERED A NUISANCE TO THE COMMUNITY AND CLOSED…”

In response to: A breakdown of the weekday Starbucks stereotypes

“The weekday Starbucks article is genius.”

Ted: Agreed.

In response to: 10 top fashion players in Charlotte you should know

“Laura Vinroot Poole IS the Charlotte fashion scene. Can’t believe she wasn’t #1, nevermind not being on the list.”

In response to: Over-testing: Charlotte 8th graders sit through more than 3,000 minutes of mandated exams per year

“Loved the testing piece! I remember having to take an absurd amount of tests in 8th grade and eventually I just would bubble random things in and read a book at my desk because that was much better than any of those awful testing packets. Granted, I was (un)lucky that those were all the practice tests that set up the test the students take today.”

In response to: Overstreet Mall: A guide to everything in Uptown Charlotte’s skywalk network

“Happy Tuesday! I had to send out a thank you for the article you did about the skyways in uptown Charlotte. I started working uptown five days ago, and I’ve used that article for everything from finding a parking garage (Hearst Tower) to where to eat lunch (Founders Hall and everywhere else). Definitely helpful. Thank you again!”

In response to: Shop local and socialize this season at 7 holiday gift markets

“I loved your write up of local places to do your holiday shopping. I’m afraid if we don’t keep promoting local Charlotte will become a land of chain stores! There’s a store in Plaza Midwood called City Supply that can always use a mention. They sell NC made furniture, candles, cards, rugs, home goods and local art. I don’t own the store but am friends with the owner.”

In response to: 8 worthy food stops on Independence Boulevard

“Pho Hong Que – Vietnamese restaurant in the same complex as Super G mart! Build your own pho is among our favorite dishes in Charlotte, my wife and I found this place years ago and I firmly believe I have put one or two of their kids through college! The chicken pho is amazing, they offer options to build your own, and also serve other Vietnamese dishes. Must try the ‘Shaking beef’ – amazing.”

“The Hibachi Grill that’s in an old pizza hut! They have cheap lunch specials, generous portions, tasty sushi (from what I’m told…that’s also cheap by the way), and the food delish! It’s family owned and they are pretty nice 😀. It is easy to miss and I never would’ve gone if a coworker hadn’t have taken me. A group of us at work are addicted now!”

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