May 27, 2016 - Things to Do

Mailbag: Top 20 notes on water bowls, beach advice, engagement tips, Ballantyne dad love



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 5%), but it’s a good sample.


“I double-dog dare you to have one entire newsletter WITHOUT mentioning craft freakin’ beer! Some of us still just love a good domestic Miller High Life.” – T

“Could you please use your popular, hip, and influential newsletter to ask residents and businesses located on the Rail Trail to place water bowls out for our canine friends? As it gets warmer, it would be ideal if the dogs walking along the trail had a few places to drink (maybe every half mile or so). As we all know, dogs cannot sweat to stay cool. They lose moisture through the cooling effect of evaporation as they pant to control their body temperature. Sure, pet owners can lug around a water bottle and a bowl for them (and we do), but it would sure be nice if a few kind souls could help us out. In many other cool pedestrian and canine friendly towns (like Blowing Rock, Asheville, etc.), water bowls for dogs are a common sight along the sidewalks. Thanks CA…and please keep up all the fabulous and valuable work you do.” – F

In response to Andrew’s newsletter intro on May 24

“People in N.C. should be worrying about much more important things like stemming the hatred, the discrimination, the invictives against people. It’s embarrassing, disgraceful, Unchristian. How can anyone with a conscience be proud of N.C.?” – K

“Really? This is a bill that has effectively opened the door for sweeping discrimination in our state and you’ve boiled it down to concert concerns? I get that your target market can be a bit shallow sometimes, but there’s no need to play down to that. People have lost their jobs and been labeled by the government, grow up and inform. Does the Agenda subscribe to discrimination in the workplace? Would you ever limit the rights of an employee because they’re different? Despite my criticism, I’m pretty sure the answer is no.” – B

In response to: Mockingbirds are terrorizing Second Ward

“The mocking birds also terrorize people and especially dogs in Romare Bearden Park. They’re not as bad yet as they were last year — we think because they don’t have eggs yet. But these birds are particularly mean. If you try to fight back, they will intentionally vomit or deficate on you. 😤 (I do not know this from personal experience.)” – A

In response to: This Italian restaurant has the best takeout pasta in Charlotte

“”I’d give Portofino’s pizza a B- grade’ … Dude, just stop right there. You just lost credibility. Portifino’s is easily in the top five pizza places in town. Much better than a B-.” J

“B minus!??! HOW DARE YOU” – A

In response to: Mecklenburg County’s first public beach opens this weekend

“I saw a report about the new beach on WCNC this morning. I could not help but laugh when I reminded myself that I saw it HERE first! Nice scoop, Ms. Moore!”

“I wanted to add some tips and comments about the swim beach opening this weekend at Ramsey Creek Park. I grew up down the road from the park and my family still lives there so it’s a project that I’ve been following closely since the beginning… Here are a few things that might make your time there more enjoyable.

  • Please be respectful of the people who live down Nantz Rd! They’re very concerned that they’re going to have hoards of people parking in their yards if parking is full at Ramsey Creek or that they’re going to have people turning around in their driveways when they miss the park entrance and that there’s just going to be pandemonium. If you do miss the park entrance, keep going down the road a little ways and there’s a side road on the left where you can turn around easily. Please also be respectful of the people who live across the cove from the swim beach! They’re very nice, normal people and those are their homes/backyards/docks, not public property.
  • There is no traffic light at the intersection of Nantz Rd. and Catawba Ave. and while there will probably be police directing traffic this weekend, I don’t know what it will be like the rest of the summer. Basically, when you’re leaving the park, plan to turn right out of Nantz because if there’s no cop, you’ll have a very hard time turning left most of the time and you can get to the interstate easily going either direction so it’s not a big deal.
  • There is a charge to enter the park for the swim beach however it is by car so if you happen to live in Cornelius, you can walk or bike to the park and get in free! At least that’s what I was told by officials at a town meeting.
  • There is a dog park at Ramsey Creek but no dogs allowed on the beach so just in case you were looking at the park amenities and thinking you can do both, you cannot.
  • Bring your own cooler (no glass, obviously and I think maybe no alcohol) or go enjoy one of our lovely Cornelius restaurants after you enjoy the beach. There aren’t concessions at the park and as far as I know, there aren’t plans for food trucks so be prepared. If you’re still in the lake mood after you leave the park I highly recommend going to Port City Club. It’s less than a mile from the park, it has awesome food, and it’s on the lake! You can even sit outside in their beachy area.”- K

In response to: The 5 most unoriginal Charlotte engagement photo locations

“My fiance and I took our engagement photos at the Whitewater center last fall. It was the perfect place for us, and our photographer had never shot photos there before (and he shoots a lot of Charlotte couples). We are getting our requisite Charlotte skyline shots with our first look photos in First Ward Park on the wedding day (in 11 days!!!) My friend also just did her engagement photos last week and did them on the Greenway in Elizabeth/Metropolitan. They also took some shots on the Matheson bridge – who doesn’t love that view?! I think those are both original in that I haven’t seen any friends on my newsfeed post photos from those places, but I’ll let y’all be the judge.” – K

“I got married 6 years ago when I was pretty darn ‘mature’ (39) so I had seen my fair share of lame engagement photos and swore to my husband that the only way I would agree to an engagement photo shoot was if we photoshopped a bear attacking us in every picture stage left. Fortunately, he felt the same way and instead of engagement photos, we opted to use that session to take pictures in our wedding attire in Uptown 2 weeks after our nuptials (including a snap with the Disco Chicken). Best decision ever! We got to take all kinds of pictures because we were fancy free- no ceremony to head to, no need to worry about messing up my hair or dress and we looked freakin’ fabulous! So I guess my reason for telling you this is perhaps you could explore what people do in lieu of the formal engagement pics. The bear attack would have been pretty awesome though 🙂 – S

“Just because you wouldn’t get your pictures made in front Brevard Court or at Freedom Park, doesn’t mean that these are bad locations for this occasion. Maybe these locations have a personal significance for the couples who take their photos there… If I may be so bold I’d like to offer a suggestion. Instead of forcing in references to drinking/being drunk/late night eating into such a heavy discussion like this on the matter of engagement photo locations, why not allow Mary to do a series of articles chronicling going out on the town? Her constant asides about drinking are genuinely funny and interesting, much moreso than the actual subject of this article. Instead of the usual few paragraphs about the decor and the space of the bar and its amenities or inane rankings and lists, why not let her give actual insight into what its like to be a young person in this town and its social scene from a real perspective? Is not the mission of this site to help make Charlotte the “most human city in the world”? More and more young people move here every day and are changing the culture of this city, and I think Mary could provide a much more nuanced look into what Charlotte life is truly like in this regard. Who knows, she may come back with a Hunter S. Thompson-esque tales of the true nature of Charlotte nightlife that would make for fascinating reading…” – A

“I love this article. As someone who just got her engagement photos done ~2 months ago in CLT, I will say that I avoided all but one of these locations. We did take a few shots by the Charlotte signs in the Green Park, but to be fair, knowing ‘how many miles Michigan is from Charlotte’ is relevant to us, as he is from Michigan. We had hoped to take photos in Romare Bearden Park (where we got engaged), but thanks to a festival and a ton of early-rising yogis, the place was packed. We walked a little further away to Knight Theater & Amelie’s Uptown location, instead, which were more our style and provided a ton of great shots.” – K

In response to: Flight is opening Friday and will bring a beer garden mecca to Uptown

“…I recently visited the new Pour Taproom in Greenville, SC and it was an awesome experience. 70 taps, pay by the ounce, have as much or as little as you want of each beer. Great way of trying new beers. Come to find out Pour also has a location in Asheville and there is a smaller self-pour area at Cloud Brewing in Raleigh. Why does Charlotte not have a place like this? Flight would have been a perfect spot for it. Hoping you can write an article on this subject that will inspire someone out there to give the thirsty citizens of Charlotte this experience.” – G

In response to: A running diary of a random Tuesday in the life of a work-from-home Ballantyne dad with morning kid duty

“Looks like Jason Sudeikis, and equally hilarious? Where have you been hiding, Jake Fehling?” – T

“Jake Fehling is HYSTERICAL, please keep using him for funny parent and non-26-year-old-that-lives-in-NoDa-or-South-End pieces. His story today was emailed around our friend circle and everyone LOVED it! Keep doing your thing, Jake!” – D

“Laughed so hard at Jake Fehling’s article today. Can you please do a segment like this every week? HILARIOUS!” – A

In response to: Moving against gentrification – here are your action items

“This article was half great and half advise on how to be an irresponsible adult…

  • Stop worrying about your property values: Terrible advise, sorry about your property value, don’t borrow more than you can afford, make smart investments. I am tired of this site always allowing content that ignores the chance to give any basic money management advise
  • Send your kids to nearby public schools: Nice concept but not practical, draw the line between education and economic potential and parents would do their children a disservice to not provide the best education they can. Diversity is important, no question however give your kids all the advantages you can. Maybe diversity is the one you want to choose, but thats a personal choice.
  • Save 911 calls for actual crises: Good advise and respectful to our police force.
  • Leave code enforcement out of it: Stupid. Its the code for a reason, hold people accountable. The rational given in the story can be summed up as just be a good neighbor.
  • Know the history: Good advise, be an educated citizen
  • Don’t take over the neighborhood association: Stupid, why would you advocate not being involved in your community association, if you live there its just as much your right as anybody else.
  • Use your front porch: Good advise, always use the porch.
  • Ride the bus: 50/50 if you can make it work with your life then I am all for all forms of public transit.
  • Support neighborhood businesses: Good advise, support your community and everybody benefits
  • Don’t price your neighbors out: Stupid, if you are running a business then you do what you can to make a profit and stay afloat. I am pretty sure the cost of being a Axios Charlotte Member is prorated by income in order to engage a more diverse audience, its priced so you can run a business and shop at Park Rd Shopping Center and start Raleigh Agenda.
  • Fight for affordable housing: 50/50. Affordable housing is always important and we don’t do enough for it, but see the first point. Protect your property value. Check correlations with crime… be an informed citizen.” – K

In response to: Dear Agenda: My significant other & I will be celebrating a big anniversary in June, where should we eat?

“Can’t disagree with any of your picks for anniversary spots (except for O’Charley’s) and I’m definitely a big fan of Barrington’s and Fig Tree. One positive with Barrington’s is that you can hit Foxcroft Wine Co. beforehand and Ben & Jerry’s afterward. But you guys NEVER give any love to Augusto Conte’s restaurants. Toscana is our date night go to place and has been for years, especially when the weather is nice and you can sit on the patio. Luce has a different vibe uptown, but the food is excellent. And if you want a lower price point and have to bring the kids along, Mezzanote is always a good choice, although you might run into John Edwards (pro tip: split the margarita pizza as an app and order it well done). Finally, Malabar is one of the few true tapas spots in town, and has an excellent wine list. I also hear Augusto is opening a new place in the Waverly development, and we’re excited about that because it is so close to home. Anyways.” – S


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