Jun 17, 2016 - Things to Do

Mailbag: Top 20 letters on Avocado Toast, incubators, doorstep deliver, etc



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.

In response to: Is Charlotte cool enough for avocado toast?

“I swear there’s going to be a special edition if you ever see anyone poach an egg. It’s avocados on toast, and they’re not even doing it right. Pros use a squirt of lime juice. Experts top with pumpkin seeds. This doesn’t make me hip. It makes me a functioning human being with $2 and a toaster.” – A

“Uptown Y has been doing it for a few months, they add a egg. Very good.” – J

“I live in Ballantyne. I wear dry fit probably 80% of the time. I have two kids and the closest I’ve been to a club in the last 5 years is the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I make avocado toast at least once a week. Trust me, it ain’t that hip. It’s avocados on heated bread.”

“Is Charlotte cool enough for avocado toast? uuggh…don’t be dumb. Next week on the Axios Charlotte – ‘Does Charlotte have the stones for Kale: A 4 part investigation'”

“Breaking News: Right on the heals of the great Poppy’s Bagel expose, we’ve learned that anyone with the motor skills to buckle a seat belt can make avocado toast! And for 75% cheaper than at Not Just Coffee! It’s toast and avocado. Honestly. Pancakes are harder to make. Sigh.” – D

“Good Lord, it’s avocados on friggin’ toast! It’s not hard. You’re like Elaine starring at the spinning tires and clapping.” – A

In response to: Mecklenburg County just took a huge step forward on restoring Brooklyn Village

“A very good idea… but why in five years… the banking rates are now at an all time low. Why not lock in the money now and negotiate the details later? Also a lock on the price to prevent the budget overruns are did for the Light Rail.” – A

In response to: These 166 businesses around Charlotte will reward you just for riding your bike

“This is so awesome! Who new that this even existed? Perhaps these businesses should hang a plaque or something to promote awareness. I work with someone who has a second job at one of the businesses listed, and he didn’t know that they offered any specials.” – R

In response to: A ranking of restaurant to doorstep delivery services in Charlotte

“Nice shill piece, clearly didn’t do your homework. One of the biggest pros with Foodie Call is beer & wine delivery (with or without ordering from one of their restaurant partners). Considering a large percentage of your articles are about drinking options completely lame for Axios Charlotte to not mention this.” – M

“You didn’t mention most of Foodie Call’s biggest pros:

  • They are Charlotte’s only LOCAL delivery service. Most of the rest of the ones you listed are national, funded (many millions of dollars) companies. They have no local presence and in most cases have never met their restaurant partners or their drivers. Foodie Call also employs LOCAL employees and we want to help the CHARLOTTE economy. We pay taxes to NC! All the rest have dispatch/customer service in some other city and pay their taxes to some other state. Seeing that the name of your site is CHARLOTTE Agenda, I would hope this is important to you.
  • Foodie Call delivers beer and wine, which is unique among most delivery services across the country.
  • Foodie Call has true partnerships with it’s restaurant partners. Several of these other services routinely put restaurants on their sites without the restaurant’s permission. This has caused lawsuits against some of these companies because they are insinuating a partnership when there isn’t one.
  • Foodie Call never marks up restaurant food prices. Most or all of these other services do this with at least some of their restaurants by 10%+, so even if their delivery fee looks like it matches Foodie Call’s, they may be getting extra income by menu markups.
  • Foodie Call is the longest running delivery service in Charlotte. Foodie Call has been operating since 2010. It was started in Charlotte and only serves Charlotte. All of these other services have come to Charlotte from somewhere else within the past couple of months to 2-3 years.” – A

In response to: A newcomer’s guide to Charlotte’s most recommended black hair salons

“People give me grief because I travel to Columbia, SC to see my stylist (for 12 years now)! I have been so scared to try anyone new here in Charlotte (I moved here 5 years ago and lived in Birmingham prior to that and still traveled to her). I will definitely look more into the suggestions you have on here in case I do need someone local!” – A

In response to: Charlotte incubators need to think outside the box on who controls startup culture

“I appreciate that you continue to highlight some of the growing pains that we are continuing to see with the blossoming entrepreneurial ecosystem in Charlotte, however I think that your recent article is a little quick to point the finger at incubators as the ultimate goal for entrepreneurs. I think if you asked any successful entrepreneur from Dan Roselli, to Ric Elias to even Mark Zuckerberg, they would all say that incubators are not for everyone. Your article starts off by incorrectly assuming what the goal of an incubator is. While it would be great for their metrics to be designed around creating inclusive economic opportunities for all, they frankly are not. If you look at the website for any incubator it would hint at the fact that they are designed around taking ideas and business plans to scale and ultimately increasing profitability for the startups involved. There is no doubt that those who have been, and continue to be disenfranchised in the US are some of the most entrepreneurial people in our communities, and truly embody the “hustle” you mentioned, however, I do not necessarily think that any of the many incubators in Packard Place or across Charlotte would have added much to the examples you referenced. I understand what you are trying to get at, but I think your article places too much blame on incubators, for a role that they don’t even take on. Finally, you could have used your article as a great platform to raise up some of Charlotte’s finest community members who share your concerns and have started to do something about it. Take Henry Rock for example and the amazing work he has pioneered with City Startup Labs. I completely agree that it would make everyone a little better off if incubators, coworking spaces and the entrepreneurial community was a little more diverse, and frankly I think it is getting there but I think you were a little quick to falsely assign blame.” – E

“This article is poorly written, completely incorrect and extremely racist. Yes, it is possible for a black person to be a racist. In fact, explaining that someone should look to the “lower 25%” and then giving 3 examples of how black people were treated poorly is the definition of racist. I can assure you the “lower 25%” of Charlotte is not one with a makeup of 100% black. Guess what, student loan debt doesn’t only attack less fortunate. I get that is this an opinion piece, but it is written as though it is fact.” – A

In response to: Glory Days Apparel puts Charlotte nostalgia on a t-shirt

“It’s great to see a local company go the extra mile to deliver an excellent customer experience. The handwritten note is a great idea and adds that personal touch! However, the ‘extras’ (baseball & Saved by the Bell card packs) sent in each order is not a new concept. JD (who’s from Ohio) must have got that idea from Homage, an apparel company based out of Columbus, OH. They’ve been sending out card packs for years with their orders.” – F

In response to: Here’s why local TV should be scared of what’s happening at Earl’s on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

“As a member of the advertising sales community, I found your article not only absolutely ridiculous and biased, but also offensive and unwarranted. I do not see why a streaming video of a bartender is threatening our local news stations. News stations not only employ thousands of hardworking people, (who you just told should be afraid of their futures), but are also multi-million dollar businesses and long standing advocates for our community. The snide remark that they should consider looking at your job board is insulting and childish.” – A

In response to: How the YMCA is making Charlotte kids safer around the water

“The article about Safety Around Water is AWESOME! Thank you! Something that is important to note is that the Y goes into these apartment complexes and teaches lessons regardless of if these children have a bathing suit or just shorts and a t-shirt to wear. If they show up, they get a lesson! There are opportunities to donate bathing suits, goggles, or money to help fund the program. Here’s our link to swimming necessities and to our donation page (you can select whatever branch you’d like). Thanks again for the shout out! – Holly Makla (Johnston YMCA)

In response to: Things I confirmed in the first 24 hours after adopting a puppy

“I’m a pitbull owner- and my neighbor was the woman who was attacked at Frazier Park. I just recently stumbled upon Katie’s interview on that attack I’m glad to hear someone sticking up for the breed. I think it’s completely unfortunate that Rita’s attack has caused her to discriminate against the entire breed but I get that what she went through was traumatic and scary. This being said, I think it would be cool and relevant to do a piece on the positive aspects of the breed.” – C

In response to: I almost got scammed by a “roommate” on Charlotte Craigslist

“Thank you so much for publishing the story about Audrey Cooper the Craigslist Scammer. I almost got scammed by her too, but thanks to this article, it didn’t. THANKS AGAIN!” – T

In response to: LoSo: The death of neighborhood names in Charlotte and In defense of LoSo

“I’ve been very entertained by the whole ‘LoSo’ and ‘Queen(s) Park (QP)’ debate, and honestly am somewhat torn to what I think is best. Oh, and I was going to include Wells on this, but didn’t see a link to his e-mail. So, for the record I intended to include him too.

I’ve grown up here in Charlotte (34 of 36 years), getting my haircut as a kid right across the street from QP (Crossland Development when it was new). In fact my very first ‘parent-less’ movie was seen at the QP movie theater. I watched The Crow. Later in life I would remain in the area, buying my first (town) home in Cotswold, then in Madison Park, Dilworth, Myers Park, and recently settling down to start my family in Ashbrook (albeit technically Madison Park), where I started.

I have seen the name debate in other forms, and honestly blame mostly real estate (investment) and rapid home value increases for causing lines to be blurred. For instance, “Home for sale in Madison Park”, when its actually in Montclaire. Why does it matter?…well, value and investment is usually shoring up the answer somewhere when it comes to real estate alone.

As I read the input of others in regards to what this area should be called, and those who feel that there is ‘history that needs to remain’, I cannot help but to feel torn, mildly aggravated, and somewhat offended too. I think my offense comes from the feeling that most of the input is coming from people that don’t have any ‘real’ Charlotte history, but instead they’ve come into the picture during a time when South Boulevard started becoming somewhat ‘pretty’ and there was still this puzzling QP sign left alone. Like a generational ‘snapshot’ that believes 10 years ago is historical. Sure it ‘is’ I guess.

Let me digress for a second, I think (author) Wells made a decent case that QP really was present for a small period of time. As a kid, I had some great memories at QP, I still don’t connect the name with ‘warm fuzzy feelings’. Why is that you may ask?

Well, the only thing I can come up with is that QP existed before Southend was named “Southend”, and Dilworth was a nice cute bungalow neighborhood that everyone wanted to live in (which it wasn’t). In fact all surrounding neighborhoods insulating Queen Park were not what they are today. In that, Queen Park represents one thing: a place that really seems to have originated because of mainly one business that screened movies to the public. So, if it had been Regal Cinemas, would we be contemplating “Regal” as a name for the area?

Now, I’m not totally against QP. But let me let you all in on a little more history here. In 1979 City Council adopted a map showing neighborhood boundaries, as part of the U.S. Census Bureau Neighborhood Statistics Program (sorry to go nerdy on you)…I am the holder of an original copy.


Has a new one been adopted since…maybe, likely..I dunno, but stick with me here. The main take-away from this point is, in 1979 I would think that QP was fresh, active…in its prime, or headed that way. Why at that time did the city itself not put QP on the map when it was likely the only epicenter to its closest neighborhoods? No one knows, and likely will never know; however, the fact is that QP wasn’t a neighborhood…MAYBE a small business district within a neighborhood if we were to make an argument.

When you look at the map you’ll start to notice that there is not a Southend or NoDa, of course. Noda was still North Charlotte, and Southend was actually part of an unassigned area that ran all the way to Clanton Road (south) and extended up towards what was called Downtown. Side note: I’ve been told that Uptown is actually Uptown because it’s up-hill to the Center City Square (Trade and Tryon) from all sides if you stand in the middle (fact), which is the original center city of Charlotte where settlers used to say, “let’s go uptown to get…”.

Later NoDa would branch off from ‘North Davidson’ and SouthEnd would form from what I feel is a mixture of events and history that included a brewery that was a pioneer in the area also calling itself “Southend” and then the actually Southern Rail Line that extended through the area serving to the old gold mining era, then Cotton Mill era, then artsy eccentric Dilworth spill-over…you get my point.

So, If we really wanted to get historic on everyone, instead of QP, we’d really be reverting back towards “York Road”, which was the original neighborhood boundary designation, at least leading up to 1979.

The main point is QP, LoSo, Southend, and NoDa all kind of start to seem arbitrary from a naming stand point if you really look at historic boundaries and where the areas have evolved from. Maybe we should be pushing for “YoRo”…which actually seems fun, right? Like “Your Row”…of Breweries. Not that I am advocating for that, but hey if it catches, I’ll take credit.

My “gut feeling” is that LoSo will likely be what sticks, and for a variety of reasons:
(1) Its already being carved into stone by businesses through their ‘event listings, websites, forums, etc.’,
(2) It steps on the coat tails of Southend’s success and carries on,
(3) because of reason #2 developers, restaurants, and businesses alike will (want to) capitalize on this; therefore they’ll likely push it,
(4) QP was just a sign to most, a mysterious sign that really seemed more like an abstract piece of art than a neighborhood/business district,
and finally 5) The sign is gone, out of sight, out of mind…like most other historic things in Charlotte, it will (unfortunately but likely) be forgotten about, and only talked about in news articles, heh.

I will say that the line of work that I am in requires that I research Neighborhood Boundaries and find Community Leader relatively often. This is paired with growing up in Charlotte, really knowing it, and buying my first home at a very young age (19) in an area that I wanted to invest and grow in/with. I have yet to get a college degree, but I’ve found my way up the ‘neighborhood food chain’ by buying and selling smart…living in areas I love.

SO, whether it be QP, or LoSo I don’t care. I’ll love it the same. It’s been my home for years, and I know most other people really don’t remember it for what it really was. It’s even funny to say this, but I don’t remember the young girls name I went with to that first ‘parent-less’ movie, but I still remember that grand QP sign.

Feel free to write back. Or don’t. All I can hope for is that you were mildly entertained.” – J


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