Tuesday, December 30, 2008

NYE and CMPD

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/30/2008 No comments
The police, cops, po-po, 5-0, the man, the law, the people, the fuzz--whatever you call them, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police will be in full force in uptown on New Year's Eve. The city expects about 25,000 people to be attending the First Night celebration and about another 25,000 to be hopping at bars, clubs, and restaurants in uptown, and the police plan to keep the streets orderly. If you're going out there, you should feel safe. But you should also be careful and don't get behind the wheel if you've been drinking. We don't want to see you in next week's edition of The Slammer. See news video below.

Panthers Playoff Tickets On Sale Thursday

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/30/2008 No comments
The Carolina Panthers have a first-round bye in the playoffs this week so they'll play their first game at home on January 10. Tickets for the game go on sale this Thursday at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster, and only about 7,000 will be available. Prices range from $62 to $400. Click here for more info.

I'm sure there will be a lot of scalping going on for these tickets. Just check out Craigslist. And I bet it'll be even worse on eBay.

Events for the Week: Dec. 29-Jan. 4

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/30/2008 No comments

Your best weekly list for parties, nightlife, social, and cultural events in Charlotte, including some of the many New Year’s Eve parties going on. If I learn of more events, I’ll update this post throughout the week.

Tuesday, December 30

A Peace of Jazz (weekly event)
Radio personality Jaye Delai and his wife Monica present this weekly jazz series. In celebration of the New Year, this week features The Company Band with Buff Dillard along with a buffet from La’Wan’s Soul Food Restaurant. 6-11 p.m. $10. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.jayeandmonica.com.

Wednesday, December 31

New Year’s Eve!

First Night Charlotte
The city's uptown New Year's Eve celebration that was wildly popular in the 1980s and '90s returns after a 12-year absence. Event includes activities for kids (3-7 p.m.), music, dance, a parade (7-8 p.m.), and the Countdown Finale (11 p.m.) that features the raising of the lighted Queen Charlotte crown. It's alcohol-free and fun for the whole family. 3 p.m.-12 a.m. $10 (children 12 and under free with adults). Various locations in uptown. www.firstnightcharlotte.com.

Kuumba Night Kwanzaa Celebration
Come enjoy inspirational dances from South Africa, Brasilian Samba, Capoeria, and West Africa, along with storytelling and performances by other artists. 7 p.m. Free. New Hampton Presbyterian Church, 201 Hampton Church Rd.

A Night of Sin and Debauchery
The creators of Pop Life are bringing you this event. Admission includes complimentary appetizers, a dessert bar, and a champagne toast. Presented by The Sol Kitchen. $25. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. (South End). www.apostrophelounge.com.

Fifth Annual NYE Celebration
One of the city’s most popular New Year’s Eve parties is bigger this year as the DNG has recently renovated and expanded. There will be five bars open, along with buffets upstairs and downstairs, and a champagne toast at midnight. 9 p.m. $69. Dilworth Neighborhood Grille, 911 E. Morehead St. www.neighborhoodgrille.com.

Best of Both Worlds New Year’s Eve Extravaganza
It’s V101.9’s annual party and it’s being held at a new nightclub this year. Hosted by several of the Charlotte Bobcats and Carolina Panthers. 9 p.m. $30 in advance. Club 935, 935 South Summit Ave. www.club935.com.

New Year’s Eve Extravagance
The party at this upscale lounge features a champagne toast and cash balloon drop. Music by DJ Nova. 9 p.m. $30 in advance. Suite, at EpiCentre, 210 E. Trade St. www.suitecharlotte.com.

Everything at Hom
The three-levels—Liv, Feast, and Play—at this club will be hopping with great food and three DJs, including Fred Everything. 9 p.m.-4 a.m. $15-$75. Hom, 116 W. Fifth St. www.myhom.com.

New Year’s Eve Voyage to Monte Carlo
This promises to be a classy and well-attended affair held at a beautiful lodge. Features a complimentary buffet. Music by DJ Paradime. Presented by Inner Circle Events. 9 p.m. Cost varies. Le Chateau De Lodge of the Ballantyne Resort, 13015 Ballantyne Corporate Place. www.innercircleevents.com.

The Art of Celebration with Biz Markie
The incomparable MC and DJ will be leading this party. 10 p.m. $30-$60. Stir Nightclub, 3500 E. Independence Blvd. www.stirnc.com.

Thursday, January 1

Happy New Year!

Touch One Thursdays (weekly event)
Come and enjoy a live band and spoken word by Charlotte’s slam poets. An after-party follows. Presented by Touch One Productions. 9 p.m. $10. Wine Up, 3306 N. Davidson St. www.wine-up.com.

Friday, January 2

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous (weekly event)
Even if you have today off, you'd still enjoy going to this after-work networking event, held at a different venue each week. Enjoy live music and drink and appetizer specials. Presented by Talk of the Town Entertainment. 6-10 p.m. Free. Utopia Restaurant and Lounge, 12010 Berkeley Place Dr. www.utopianc.com.

I Am Music Tour
Starring Lil Wayne, T-Pain, Keyshia Cole, Gym Class Heroes, and Keri Hilson. 7 p.m. $39.75-$125.75. Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 E. Trade St. www.timewarnercablearena.com.

First Fridays
It’s the first “First Friday” of the year and the party’s happening at NoDa’s newest nightclub. 10 p.m. Cost varies. Alive, 2909 N. Davidson St. www.1stfridayscharlotte.com.

Saturday, January 3

Nelly's 2009 Kickoff Party LOCATION CHANGE!
The St. Louis rapper and entertainment mogul is celebrating in Charlotte. (Chances are you'll see him courtside at the Bobcats game earlier in the night.) 10 p.m. Cost varies. Club 935, 935 S. Summit Ave. www.club935.com.

Sunday, January 4

Sunday Seductive (weekly event)
It's a party strictly for the 30-and-older crowd. Hosted by Q92.7's Stacey Blackman. 9 p.m. Free. The Cafe Room, 1250 S. Lucky Penny Dr. www.carolina30.com.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Barack Obama's Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) has created a website to post all of the financial contributions over $200 it's receiving. And the dough is rolling in.

I spent a few minutes perusing the site, which lists each donor's name, employer, city, state, zip code, and dollar amount given. I found four Charlotteans on the list. Three of them gave contributions of $250, $500, and $1,000. And the fourth, Robert Perkowitz, who is employed by Paradigm Management, Inc., gave $25,000. Also on the list is Mary Wheeler of Cornelius, who gave $50,000--the maximum amount allowed. There are 17 North Carolinians on the list so far.

Also on the list, which I'm sure will continue to grow leading up to the inauguration, are several big businessmen, oil and pharmaceutical company executives, married couples who contributed separately--usually the maximum amount--and celebrities. Finding celebrities is the most interesting. Those on the list include Halle Berry (she lists her employer as Bumper Inc.--I wonder if this has anything to do with her hit-and-run from a few years ago...that was a cheap shot, I know, but I love Halle!), Jamie Foxx, and Earvin "Magic" Johnson (that's how he listed his name). Each of them gave $50,000.

It doesn't appear that the recession is hurting Obama too much. But you have to give him credit for this level of transparency. You can check out the list at www.pic2009.org/page/content/donors.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What Chicago Says About Us All

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/27/2008 No comments
The Chicago Tribune is publishing a three-part series titled "Separate Chicagos" and part one is "Chicago, America's most segregated big city." It's a very introspective look into the racial make-up of one of our country's largest cities, forty years after the end of the Civil Rights Movement and on the eve of the inauguration of our first black president. Some of the info in the article is surprising, but then again it's not. As the article surmises, discriminatory practices and prejudice once spawned segregation, but now that's replaced by personal preferences and economics.

I've had this exact conversation with friends recently about how voluntarily segregated our society seems to increasingly be, and I was speaking particularly about Charlotte since this is where I live. I pinpointed how when I go to events, they're usually nearly all-white or all-black in attendance, and these are events that aren't targeting any particular race. The reasons, again, are personal preferences and economics.

I think that was certainly the case as to why there seemed to be fewer than 20 blacks out of about 700 people at the Power Breakfast I attended last month. This popular annual business event, put on by the Charlotte Business Journal, was open to the public. Tickets cost $65, which is where the economic factor comes in. But I believe personal preference trumped that because, albeit a much smaller event, about 75 blacks attended the State of the African-American Business Breakfast held a couple of weeks later. This event was put on by Black Pages.

I could talk a lot here about the intertwining of race, economics, politics, and all the things that contribute to our social patterns, but I'll defer to the experts, which is why I suggest you read the Tribune article. Part one of the series talks mostly about the segregation of neighborhoods, which is where most segregation is sprung. Where you live influences where you shop, hang out, eat dinner, who your neighbors and potentially friends are, and where your kids go to school.

Here are a few interesting excerpts from the article that show how diverse and racially complex Chicago is:
  • Blacks make up about 35 percent of Chicago's population of nearly 3 million and are largely concentrated on the South and West Sides. Whites make up nearly 28 percent, largely located to the north and in slivers of the South Side, while Hispanics, about 30 percent of the population, are scattered to the Northwest and Southwest Sides of the city center.
  • To truly integrate Chicago, 84 percent of the black or white population would need to change neighborhoods, the data show.
  • The calculations paint a starkly different picture from the ones broadcast across the nation during Barack Obama's Election Night rally last month, when his hometown looked like one unified, harmonious city.

And the article briefly references Charlotte: "Another factor that separates Chicago from other places is its age. Older cities in the Midwest and Northeast were established before restrictive housing policies were outlawed. Experts say more newly developed cities—such as Austin, Texas; San Jose, Calif.; and Charlotte, N.C.—are likely to see higher levels of integration."

And in case you were curious, this is Charlotte's population breakdown according to the 2007 American Community Survey performed by the U.S. Census:

  • 50.3% White
  • 34.9% Black
  • 10.6% Hispanic or Latino
  • 4.4% Asian
Now ask yourself, where do you go that you see these numbers reflected in you every day life--neighborhood, work, church, school, social events?

Click here to read part one: "Chicago, America's most segregated big city."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Random Notes From the Barbershop

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/24/2008 No comments
I was in the barbershop this afternoon getting my hair cut when I was reminded that the most interesting sights and sounds take place at black barbershops. Here's what I observed:

  • Man, why did I wait until Christmas Eve to get my hair cut? There are a lot of people ahead of me.
  • There's a lot of debate as to who's going to go far in the NFL playoffs. The Dallas Cowboys are the team people love to hate. Not everyone is convinced the Carolina Panthers have what it takes.
  • A guy walks in selling Barack Obama calendars. On my way to the barbershop, I passed a street vendor on Beatties Ford Road with a tent set up selling Obama T-shirts and stuff. As I've said before, Obama is the most bootlegged man in America.
  • Some kid, who must've anticipated the wait at the shop, brought his Playstation 2. He hooked it up to one of the TVs and him and the other kids started playing Madden.
  • The Charlotte Bobcats can't catch a break. There was plenty of negative talk about the team and their recent trade (Personally, I think the trade was a good move).
  • One guy struck up the conversation of the day. Some of the guys were complaining about the economy, as we all do nowadays, when one of them said he was going to apply to the government for a bailout. He was serious. He said he's going to write the government (I'm not sure who he would address it to) and send them a list of all his bills and debts and ask them for a bailout. You would've thought he'd just concocted a brilliant plan the way others began chiming in. I think they're going to start some kind of movement or petition or something. Good luck to 'em, is what I have to say about that. I'm just thankful the cost of haircuts haven't gone up.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Events for the Week: December 22-28

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/23/2008 No comments

Your best weekly list for parties, nightlife, social, and cultural events in Charlotte. If I learn of more events, I’ll update this post throughout the week.

Tuesday, December 23

A Peace of Jazz (weekly event)
Radio personality Jaye Delai and his wife Monica are presenting this new weekly jazz series. 7 p.m. $10. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.jayeandmonica.com.

Wednesday, December 24

Pop Life (weekly event)
It’s the most popular social networking event on a Wednesday night. Starts after work but ends late. Music by select DJs. Presented by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. (South End). www.thesolkitchen.com.

Thursday, December 25

Merry Christmas!

Sunshine Anderson Christmas Party
The R&B singer and Charlotte native hosts this party. 10 p.m. Cost varies; members free until midnight. Visit website for membership. Club 935, 935 South Summit Ave. www.club935.com.

Friday, December 26

Happy Kwanzaa!

Neo Soul Friday
Featuring a live performance by Neo Soul songstress Trish Andrews. 8 p.m. Free. Utopia Restaurant and Lounge, 10210 Berkeley Place Dr. www.utopianc.com.

A Return to the Classics
Experience the best in old-school hip-hop for a night. 10 p.m. $10 and up. Presented by Old School Carolinas. Alive, 2909 N. Davidson St. www.oldschoolcarolinas.com.

NBA Celebrity Party
The New Jersey Nets are coming to town and three of its players—Vince Carter, Jarvis Hayes, and Bobby Simmons—are hosting this party. 10 p.m. Cost varies; members free. Visit website for membership. Club 935, 935 South Summit Ave. www.club935.com.

Saturday, December 27

Charlotte ComiCon
Comic book geeks unite at this annual convention. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $3. Crowne Plaza Hotel, 201 S. McDowell St. www.charlottecomicon.com.

Queen City Hollywood Vol. 1
It’s being billed as “the ultimate party experience” and features appearances by singers Ryan Leslie and Bobby Valentino, and NFL players Wali Rainer, Aaron Brooks, and Terrance Wilkins. Free hors d’oeuvres. Presented by Dream Team Entertainment. 10 p.m. $35 in advance. The Blake Hotel, 555 S. McDowell St. www.experiencedreamteam.com.

Sunday, December 28

Ssshh: Sensual Seduction Sundays at Happy Hour (weekly event)
Enjoy an infusion of open-mic poetry and jazz over candlelight. Hosted by poet Bluz. After-party and dancing follows. Presented by Pink Diamond. 9 p.m. $10. Happy Hour Bar and Lounge, 3603 S. Tryon St. www.pinkdiamondpromo.com.

Sunday Seductive (weekly event)
It's a party strictly for the 30-and-older crowd. Hosted by Q92.7's Stacey Blackman. 9 p.m. Free. The Cafe Room, 1250 S. Lucky Penny Dr. www.carolina30.com.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'm A Panthers Fan, Honest

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/21/2008 No comments
My brother and I went to Fox and Hound, the one near Northlake Mall, tonight to watch the Carolina Panthers play the New York Giants. (Thanks to the new stretch of I-485 we got there in exactly 10 minutes.) The place was crowded. We arrived shortly after the game started and got the last available table.


It didn't take me long to realize that I'm not much of a go-to-the-sports-bar-and-watch-the-big-game kind of person. I've always preferred to watch it at home or with a group of friends at someone's house. Sports bar fans are nuts, all dressed in Panthers jerseys and cheering loudly as if every big play is a touchdown. I'm a Panthers fan, but I'm more laid back. Some Panthers fanatics might hate me because I'm likely to say something they don't like, like I don't think Delhomme is that good or the Panthers are getting run all over tonight. I'm loyal but I'm honest.


It was a great game. Too bad we didn't win, though. But in the end, it was great to get out for a night and see people have something to celebrate and talk about without the mention of job layoffs or the recession. Even if all of that cheering and high-fiving sort of annoyed me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

UNCC Students 'Rave' Over End of Finals

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/18/2008 1 comment
UNC Charlotte students celebrated the end of final exams Tuesday with a flash rave. I've never heard of this concept, but apparently it involves young people organizing a rave online, in which they all plan to descend upon one place at the same time. Some also call it a flash mob. Whatever these kids call it, hundreds of them took over Atkins Library.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Anthony Hamilton: In Stores and On TV

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/16/2008 No comments
As the all-important fourth quarter for the music industry nears end, several albums from notable artists were released today. And there's one in particular you should be sure to get: The Point Of It All, by Anthony Hamilton. Support your fellow Charlottean.


And you have a couple of opportunities to see Hamilton perform this week. He's on The Ellen DeGeneres Show today (5 p.m., FOX) and on Good Morning America Thursday (7 a.m., ABC).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Events for the Week: December 15-21

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/15/2008 No comments

Your best weekly list for parties, nightlife, social, and cultural events in Charlotte. If I learn of more events, I’ll update this post throughout the week.

Monday, December 15

Cornel West
The Princeton University professor and renowned speaker and author headlines this fundraiser for the 2009 Charlotte Literary Festival. Also featuring live jazz. 6 p.m. $15. Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. www.neighborhoodtheatre.com.

The Future of American Foreign Policy
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will lead this live video conference and discussion. Presented by GenerationEngage and the Charlotte Law Diversity Alliance. 7 p.m. Free. Charlotte School of Law, 2145 Suttle Ave. www.generationengage.org/state/chltt.

Tuesday, December 16

A Peace of Jazz (weekly event)
Radio personality Jaye Delai and his wife Monica are presenting this new weekly jazz series. It promises to be a classy event. 7 p.m. $10. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.jayeandmonica.com.

Wednesday, December 17

Pop Life (weekly event)
It’s the most popular social networking event on a Wednesday night. Starts after work but ends late. Music by select DJs. Presented by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. (South End). www.thesolkitchen.com.

Thursday, December 18

Third Thursdays: Live Jazz (monthly event)
Enjoy live jazz, light refreshments, and great art during special late hours at the museum. This month’s featured musician is Bill Averbach. Sponsored by V101.9 FM. Mint Museum of Craft + Design, 220 N. Tryon St. Free. 5-8 p.m. (music 6:30-7:30 p.m.) www.mintmuseum.org.

Kickin' It On the Northside
This new weekly happy hour event features great food and drink specials and live jazz. Music by Joe Lindsay and Mandel Evans. Presented by Digital Divas, and it's taking place at the University area's newest restaurant and bar. Free. 5-9 p.m. Utopia Restaurant, 10210 Berkeley Place Dr. www.utopianc.com.

Drinks @ Kiss
This party takes place every third Thursday. Enjoy drink specials and this Thursday will also feature stocking stuffer giveaways. Hip-hop, R&B, and reggae by DJ Daddy D. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Crisis Assistance Ministry. Presented by Mingleberry.com. 8 p.m. Free before 10 p.m. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.mingleberry.com/drinks.

Touch One Thursdays (weekly event)
Come and enjoy a live band and spoken word by Charlotte’s slam poets. An after-party follows. Presented by Touch One Productions. 9 p.m. $10. Wine Up, 3306 N. Davidson St. www.wine-up.com.

Friday, December 19

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous (weekly event)
End your workweek on a high note at this networking event, held at a different venue each week. Enjoy live music and drink and appetizer specials. Presented by Talk of the Town. 6-10:30 p.m. (time extended this week). Free. Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, 139 S. Tryon St. www.chimasteakhouse.com.

Colbie Caillat
See the California girl perform live, with opening act John McLaughlin. 8:30 p.m. $25. Amos’ Southend, 1423 S. Tryon St. www.amossouthend.com.
GPT says: "Take time to realiiize...that I'm always on your siiide." I love that song!

The Gathering
This fundraising party will be collecting toys, canned goods, ladies handbags. Hosted by radio personality Consuella and columnist Brittney Cason. Presented by The Sol Kitchen and friends. 10 p.m. $10. Alive in NoDa, 2909 N. Davidson St. www.thesolkithchen.com.

Saturday, December 20

The Blue Santa Benefit Party
Party in style at this benefit for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. Live music by The Presley Group. $3 draft and $6 martini specials. 9: 30 p.m. $5 cover or free admission with a canned food donation. Blue Restaurant & Bar, 214 N. Tryon St. (corner of 5th and College streets). www.bluecharlotte.com.

The Black Affair 2008
Come dressed in all black. 25 and older preferred. Music by DJ Buttafingaz. Presented by Executive Entertainment. 9 p.m. $20 in advance, ladies free before 10:30 p.m. Grand Central, 1000 Central Ave. www.executiveent.com.

Sunday, December 21

Ssshh: Sensual Seduction Sundays at Happy Hour (weekly event)
Enjoy an infusion of open-mic poetry and jazz over candlelight. After-party and dancing follows. Presented by Pink Diamond. 9 p.m. $10. Happy Hour Bar and Lounge, 3603 S. Tryon St. www.pinkdiamondpromo.com.

Sunday Seductive (weekly event)
It's a party strictly for the 30-and-older crowd. Hosted by Q92.7's Stacey Blackman. 9 p.m. Free. The Cafe Room, 1250 S. Lucky Penny Dr. www.carolina30.com.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Trading Players, But How About Houses Too?

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/13/2008 No comments
As I'm watching the pre-game coverage of the Charlotte Bobcats-Detroit Pistons game, a thought occurred to me: It must suck to get traded during the season. As you may know, the Bobcats shook up their lineup this week with a five-player trade with the Phoenix Suns. The Bobcats sent Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley; the Suns sent Boris Diaw, Raja Bell, and Sean Singletary. And the Bobcats also signed Juwan Howard, who wasn't playing in the league at the time.

With all these players being moved around, I can only imagine the toll it takes on their personal lives. Sure, they get paid big money and some of them may be happy to go to a new team, but they--and their families if they have one--are uprooted overnight. It's easier when a player is traded during the offseason because he has time to move and get to know his new city. But when it happens a month and a half into the season like this, they have a lot of games to play and don't get much downtime playing three or four NBA games a week, with half of those being on the road.

If I was one of the players in the Bobcats-Suns trade, I'd see if one of the players I'm replacing is willing to trade houses with me, assuming I liked his. Most of these players have big, expensive homes, and in this economy it may be difficult selling the houses they're leaving.

Take Jason Richardson, for instance. He was traded to the Bobcats in June 2007. With a long-term contract in place, he did what most would do and bought a house in Charlotte. But now, a year and a half later, he probably has no use for it. I doubt if he settled in enough in Charlotte to want to keep a permanent home here. But he may have to for a while. Not only would it probably be difficult to sell the $2 million house quickly, but the value of it has probably dropped, as have most houses this year, which means he would lose money on it. J-Rich could probably easily take the loss, though, but the house will likely be tough to sell regardless of the price. (I wish my nickname was J-Rich. And since my last name is Holliday and not Richardson, that would mean I'm wealthy.)

Jason Richardson will likely be selling his $2 million, 6,000-square-foot, SouthPark area home soon. Any takers?

So J-Rich, here's some advice: Holler at Boris Diaw or Raja Bell and see if you can check out the houses they left in Phoenix. Let them tour yours and you just might strike a deal.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Will Smith's In Town Thursday

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/09/2008 No comments
We don't usually have superstar actors holding movie premieres here, but Will Smith is appearing in Charlotte Thursday for a special premiere of his new movie, Seven Pounds. More importantly, the event is serving as a food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank. Smith will be donating 300 turkeys, and if you want the chance to see the movie all you have to do is bring a non-perishable food item (and be one of the first 1,000 people to do so).

You'll be able to trade your food item for a movie pass beginning at 2 p.m. The screening begins at 7 p.m. (Smith will do a brief introduction). And before that, at 6 p.m., there will be a red-carpet presentation with Carolina Panthers Steve Smith and Julius Peppers, NASCAR legend Richard Petty and 18-year-old hot shot driver Joey Logano, Mayor Pat McCrory, and other local celebrities. The red carpet event is open to everyone.

This all goes down at Regal Stonecrest Cinemas 22, 7824 Rea Road. Seven Pounds opens in theaters December 19, so if you get in Thursday you'll be able to see it a week before everyone else. And don't tell the movie--it's supposed to be suspenseful.

Charlotte is certainly an interesting choice of cities to not only hold this premiere but also for Smith to make an appearance. In September, it was announced that his wife Jada will be taping a pilot for a new TNT series called Time Heals. It was reported that the show will be based in Charlotte (I blogged about it then, but no new info has been released since). Whatever the reason for their new affinity for Charlotte, I like it.

Events for the Week: December 8-14

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/09/2008 No comments
Your best list for parties, nightlife, social, and cultural events in Charlotte. If I learn of more events, I’ll update this post throughout the week.

Tuesday, December 9

A Peace of Jazz (weekly event)
Radio personality Jaye Delai and his wife Monica are presenting this new weekly jazz series. It promises to be a classy event. 7 p.m. $10. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.jayeandmonica.com.

Wednesday, December 10

A Warm Winter Mingle
The Charlotte Chamber's Black Professionals Network (BPN) is presenting this annual evening of networking and fun. Free hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served along with entertainment by Buff Dillard and Uniq'blend. Guests are asked to bring new or gently used winter coats to be donated to Crisis Assistance Ministry. 6-8:30 p.m. $10 to $15. Hilton Charlotte University Place, 8629 JM Keynes Dr. Click here to buy tickets in advance.

Pop Life (weekly event)
It’s the most popular social networking event on a Wednesday night. Starts after work but ends late. Music by select DJs. Presented by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. (South End). www.thesolkitchen.com.

Thursday, December 11

VAULT Assault Street Racing Challenge
Here’s your chance to race your vehicle on a professional track. It’s like a real-life 2 Fast 2 Furious. No race tires, nitrous bottles, or convertibles will be allowed. Registration 3 p.m., racing begins 5 p.m. $25 to enter your vehicle; admission for spectators is $5 or free with five canned food items. zMAX Dragway, Concord. www.zmaxdragway.com.

Cufflinks and Cocktails (monthly event)
Presented by Charlotte’s Kappas, this event is held at a different bar each month. And this month’s at the bar of the city’s newest upscale restaurant. Come mingle with a group of well-dressed professionals, from 20- to 40-somethings. Drink specials and free appetizers will be served. Free. 6 p.m. Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, 139 S. Tryon St. www.cltkappas.com/cufflinks-cocktails.

Palate to Palette
Offering a twist on the popular wine and food pairing, the Contemporaries will lead guests on a visual and tasting journey of wine and art. 6:30-9 p.m. $20. McColl Center for Visual Art, 721 N. Tryon St. www.mccollcenter.org.

Friday, December 12

EpiCentre Theaters Grand Opening
Be one of the first to experience movies returning to uptown. And this new theater is said to be offering a complete nightlife experience (bars that serve alcohol, VIP). The adjoining restaurant, Mez, is opening too. Visit website for details. EpiCentre Theaters, 210 E. Trade St. www.epicentretheaters.com.

Evolver World Tour
It’s John Legend and Raphael Saadiq. Enough said. 8 p.m. $61. Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd. www.ovensauditorium.com.

John Legend Concert After-Party
Club 935, which opened last week, is keeping with its slogan that this is "Where the Stars Party." John Legend will be hosting this party after his concert. This is also a birthday celebration for Richard Marshall of the Carolina Panthers. 10 p.m. Cost varies; everybody free before 11 p.m. with membership. Visit website for membership. Club 935, 935 South Summit Ave. www.club935.com.

Sexy Southern Model Search and Celebrity Extravaganza
The editors from KING magazine, along with celebrity guests, will be in town searching for models to grace their pages. 10 p.m. Cost varies. Stir, 3500 E. Independence Blvd. www.stirnc.com.

Saturday, December 13

Urban Street Soccer Fest
Celebrate the “world’s game” at this day of community, culture, and creative expression. The event will feature a soccer clinic, street soccer four-on-four matches, freestyle exhibitions, live art, music, and prizes. Presented by Concrete2Green and Street Soccer USA. 11 a.m. Free. Eastland Mall, 5471 Central Ave. www.concrete2green.com.

EPMD
The legendary rap duo of Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith (Smith now lives in Charlotte) will perform some of their greatest hits. 10 p.m. $10. Alive in NoDa, 2909 N. Davidson St. www.myspace.com/alivenoda

Red and Black Affair
It'll be one of the most stylish holiday parties of the season. Hosted by Power 98’s Tone-X and IfĂ© Moore. Presented by Six Figure Entertainment and CharlotteVibe. 10 p.m. $15 in advance. Mimosa Grill, 327 S. Tryon St. www.sixfigureentertainment.com.

Sunday, December 14

Sunday Seductive (weekly event)
It's a party strictly for the 30-and-older crowd. Hosted by Q92.7's Stacey Blackman. 9 p.m. Free. The Cafe Room, 1250 S. Lucky Penny Dr. www.carolina30.com.

Ssshh: Sensual Seduction Sundays at Happy Hour (weekly event)
Enjoy an infusion of open-mic poetry and jazz over candlelight. After-party and dancing follows. Presented by Pink Diamond. 9 p.m. $10. Happy Hour Bar and Lounge, 3603 S. Tryon St. www.pinkdiamondpromo.com.

Dwyane Wade Dunks On Emeka Okafor

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/09/2008 No comments
Since most Charlotte sports fans were likely watching the Carolina Panthers run all over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (literally) in the Monday Night Football game, you probably didn't see the Charlotte Bobcats play the Miami Heat. The Bobcats lost a close one, 100-96. It continues to be nearly exact this season that when the Bobcats score more than 100 points they win and when they score fewer than 100 points they lose. Dwyane Wade lit it up for 41 points, but two in particular will be talked about and replayed for a long time to come (look for it to live in YouTube infamy).

After grabbing a rebound, Wade drove the length of the court, suddenly accelerated and dunked on Emeka Okafor in a manner that is sure to end up on a poster (Okafor got posterized!) or on a basketball card next year.




And here it is on candid camera.


No disrespect, Okafor. You're a great player and a great guy who does a lot for the community (especially your AIDS initiative). But we sports fans love to see dunks like this. Even if it is on players we like.

Monday, December 8, 2008

MNF In the CLT

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/08/2008 No comments
Charlotte is getting ready for the Monday Night Football match-up tonight between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. MNF is one indicator that this sport is more than a game and it's the one game of the week when you know the whole country is watching your team.

The city is embracing the national spotlight. The Bank of America Corporate Center and the Carillon Building will turn on their Panther blue lights to illuminate their rooftops. Several other uptown buildings will turn on their lights and open their window shades to light up the skyline tonight. The Charlotte Shout Band will lead a pep rally of sorts at the Square, starting at 5 p.m. Then the celebration will head to the stadium where there will surely be thousands of tailgaters. This blistering cold won't deter the Panther faithful.

The Bank of America Corporate Center will light its rooftop Panther blue, as seen in this photo, for tonight's game.

Monday Night Football airs each week on ESPN, but tonight's game will also be broadcast on local NBC affiliate WCNC 36. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. and the game starts at 8:30. Below is video of ESPN analysts talking about how the Panthers and Bucs match up.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

In this video interview with Ebony Jet, Anthony Hamilton talks about his new album, The Point of It All. The oft-delayed album is finally coming out December 16--you can believe this release date because the record label is marketing it and Hamilton has been on tour promoting it for the past few weeks. Also, this week the Charlotte native received a Grammy nomination for his collaboration with Al Green on “You've Got the Love I Need.”

Watch interview below or click here.

Friday, December 5, 2008

NASCAR's Most Beautiful People

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/05/2008 No comments
Sports fans or anyone wanting to learn more about NASCAR, here's a publication you should pick up: NASCAR's 60 Most Beautiful People. Published by Sporting News, which is based in Charlotte and is well-known for these types of "yearbooks," this is the inaugural edition and it offers an interesting look into the sport. The issue profiles the drivers, pit-crew guys, mechanics, media personalities, and wives who live the fast-track life.

If you read this blog often, you know what part I'm most interested in: the chicks. Man Law. You ladies might be interested in Kasey Kahne, who tops the list, or Dale Earnhardt Jr., but NASCAR drivers have some of the hottest wives of all professional athletes. It's almost unfair.

Those lovely ladies making the list, many who live in Charlotte and particularly the Lake Norman area, include Chandra Johnson (Jimmie Johnson), Krissie Newman (Ryan Newman), and Ingrid VandeBosch (Jeff Gordon).

But the list isn't all about vanity. Several people made the list because they're "beautiful on the inside," highlighted because of their work in the community. You can pick up a copy on most major newsstands or by visiting www.sportingnews.com and clicking on "Yearbook" at the top of the page.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Club 935 Opening This Weekend

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/04/2008 No comments

UPDATE: Click here to read my review of Club 935.

There's a new nightclub opening in Charlotte this weekend and even though several clubs have opened around the city this year (thankfully!), I'm really excited about this one. Club 935 is holding a two-night grand opening and the club is being billed as an "upscale hip-hop and R&B club." There aren't many places in Charlotte that currently fit that description.

I don't know much about Club 935, but they're holding an impressive opening. DJ Kid Capri is there Friday night and Nia Long is there Saturday. The club is located at 935 South Summit Ave., which I think is considered part of the Wesley Heights area. Either way, it's near uptown and several of the condos, townhouses, and renovated bungalows that have redefined our urban living. You can learn more about the grand opening by visiting my Events for the Week.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Brooklyn Decker to 'Chuck' It

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/03/2008 No comments
Swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker is scheduled to appear in an episode of the NBC series Chuck. The episode will likely air in late January or early February. Decker, who is from Charlotte (Matthews actually, but she claims us so of course we'll claim her), has become a staple in Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit edition, appearing in the coveted issue the last three years. She's also appeared in ad campaigns for Gap and Victoria Secret, and she's currently featured in holiday ads for Danskin. But she mostly makes headlines nowadays as Andy Roddick's fiance. She's set to marry the tennis star in the spring.

I had the privilege of meeting and interviewing Decker in the spring of 2007. She told me then that she aspired to become an actress, which seems to be a goal for most models. She has a lot of personality, in addition to the great looks, so it may pan out. And she's only 21 so her future is bright. But if she can't break into acting, she can always become an anchor on FOX News. Most of the women on their shows look like models (except for Greta Van Susteren).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Seth Curry Is a 'Diaper Dandy'

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/02/2008 No comments
It's got to be tough to be Stephen Curry's little brother. Especially considering Seth Curry is just two years younger and plays the same sport and same position. While Stephen has been amazing the college basketball world for more than two years now at Davidson, Seth is quickly having his coming out party as a freshman at Liberty.


Seth is Dick Vitale's "Diaper Dandy of the Week." Here's what the legendary basketball analyst writes on ESPN.com: "The 6-3 freshman from Charlotte, whose brother is Davidson star Stephen Curry, helped Ritchie McKay's [Liberty] Flames win three games during the week. Curry had 26 points in a huge upset at Virginia. He had 22 points and eight rebounds against Coker, followed by 21 points in 50 minutes during a double-overtime thriller over William and Mary."

Seth is one of seven freshmen on the Liberty men's basketball team. They're off to a 5-1 start and even though they're in the Big South conference (which includes local favorite Winthrop), this could be the making of a great basketball story. Think about it--seven freshmen. But I won't put that kind of pressure on them. It's enough weight on the shoulders being Stephen Curry's little brother.

Liberty plays Clemson on Sunday.

Events for the Week: December 1-7

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/02/2008 No comments
Your best list for parties, nightlife, social, and cultural events in Charlotte. If I learn of more events, I’ll update this post throughout the week.

Tuesday, December 2

A Cinematic Christmas
These movies will get you into the holiday spirit. Two short films will be shown, then Miracle on 34th Street. Complimentary hot cocoa and popcorn will be served. Presented by Christ Central Church. 6 p.m. Free. Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. www.neighborhoodtheatre.com.

A Peace of Jazz
Radio personality Jaye Delai and his wife Monica are presenting this new weekly jazz series. It promises to be a classy event. 7 p.m. $10. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.jayeandmonica.com.

Second String Santa
It’s the 20th anniversary of this annual fundraiser that has grown to become one of the biggest holiday parties of the year. Attendees are asked to bring an unwrapped children’s toy, to be donated to charity. Performance by Rhythm Nation. 7-11 p.m. $20 with an unwrapped gift, $40 without. Time Warner Cable Arena. 333 E. Trade St. www.secondstringsanta.org.

Wednesday, December 3

Pop Life (weekly event)
It’s the most popular social networking event on a Wednesday night. Starts after work but ends late. Music by select DJs. Presented by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. (South End). www.thesolkitchen.com.

Martinis and Heels
It’s a holiday shopping party that will feature more than 50 vendors, from Beijo Bags to Pampered Chef. Enjoy martinis while you shop. Presented by Streamers Events and Promotions. 6 p.m. $20. Mercedes Benz of South Charlotte, 950 N. Polk St., Pineville. www.martinisandheels.com.

Thursday, December 4

Christian Siriano Fashion Show and Brunch
Meet the winner of Project Runway season four and enjoy a fashion show over brunch by Dean & DeLuca. Proceeds to benefit Dress for Success Charlotte. 9:30-11:30 a.m. $100. Coplon's Ladies Fine Clothing, 6800 Phillips Place Ct. www.dressforsuccess.org/charlotte.


Touch One Thursdays (weekly event)
Come and enjoy a live band and spoken word by Charlotte’s slam poets. An after-party follows. Presented by Touch One Productions. 9 p.m. $10. Wine Up, 3306 N. Davidson St. www.wine-up.com.

Friday, December 5

NoDa Gallery Crawl
Visit art galleries and shops, watch street performers, and duck in and out of bars for drinks and live music during the popular crawl in Charlotte’s art district. 6-9:30 p.m. Free. Area around corner of N. Davidson and E. 36th streets. www.noda.org.

South End Gallery Crawl
Tour eight art galleries throughout historic South End during this monthly gallery crawl. 6-9 p.m. Free. Charlotte Art League, 1517 Camden Road. www.historicsouthend.com.

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous (weekly event)
End your workweek on a high note at this networking event, held at a different venue each week. Enjoy live music and drink and appetizer specials. Presented by Talk of the Town. To learn this week’s location, text “rendezvous” to 38714. 6-9 p.m. Free.

Free Fridays @ KISS
The first Friday of the month is free admission at this trendy Miami-esque lounge. It's guaranteed to be a full house so get there early. 10 p.m. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.kisscharlotte.com.

Club 935 Grand Opening Part 1
This new, upscale hip-hop and R&B club is holding a two-night grand opening. Friday night features DJ Kid Capri, a birthday party for promoter Adolph Shiver, and is hosted by several Carolina Panthers. 10 p.m. Visit website for more details including cost. Club 935, 935 South Summit Ave. www.club935.com.

First Fridays Hosted By Lebron James
It’s Kingdom Come Part 2, as the Cleveland Cavaliers star hosts this party for the second straight year. 10 p.m. Cost varies; ladies free before 10:30 p.m. Purchasing advanced tickets online is recommended (www.ticketannex.com). NV Nightclub & Lounge, 20924 Torrence Chapel Rd. www.1stfridayscharlotte.com.


Saturday, December 6

Dove Real Beauty Workshop
Girl Talk Foundation Inc. and UNCC's Women's Studies have partnered with Dove to present this self-esteem building workshop for girls and their female mentors. There will be educational and interactive sessions along with yoga, free snacks, and workbooks. Visit website to register. 12-3 p.m. Free. University of Phoenix, 10925 David Taylor Drive, Room 105. www.girltalkfoundationinc.com.

Holiday in the Hood
Enjoy music, wine, art, and a taste of holiday celebrations from around the world during this eclectic art crawl. Presented by Creative Loafing. 6-11 p.m. Free. Plaza Midwood, Central Avenue at The Plaza. www.thekrawl.org.

Club 935 Grand Opening Part 2
This new, upscale hip-hop and R&B club is holding a two-night grand opening. Saturday night is hosted by actress Nia Long, and will be an after-party for the Bobcats-Cavaliers game. 10 p.m. Visit website for more details including cost. Club 935, 935 South Summit Ave. www.club935.com.


Sunday, December 7

Sunday Seductive
It's a party strictly for the 30-and-older crowd. Hosted by Q92.7's Stacey Blackman. 9 p.m. Free. The Cafe Room, 1250 S. Lucky Penny Dr. www.carolina30.com.

Ssshh: Sensual Seduction Sundays at Happy Hour (weekly event)
Enjoy an infusion of open-mic poetry and jazz over candlelight. Since this is the first Sunday, it's "Ladies First" and ladies will receive a free gift and music will be by an all-female band featuring Tanya Ross. Presented by Pink Diamond. 9 p.m. Ladies $5, men $10. Happy Hour Bar and Lounge, 3603 S. Tryon St. www.pinkdiamondpromo.com.

Crazy Dunk In UNC Charlotte Game

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/02/2008 No comments
When you dunk like this, it's called posterizing. Because dunks like this often make it onto posters. Every basketball fan has had at least one on his wall as a kid. But you don't want to be on the end that Charlotte 49er's Lamont Mack is on. He got dunked on by Cal State Fullerton's Gerard Anderson in a game Sunday during the final round of ESPN's 76 Classic. Mack shouldn't feel bad; every player gets dunked on at one point or another. And this scene won't likely make it onto a poster. But there's YouTube.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Staggering Fact About HIV

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/01/2008 No comments
I was watching CNN one night about a week ago, and I usually can't take my eyes off the scroll at the bottom of the screen. It always has the most interesting headlines. Then there was a fact that scrolled by that startled me: More than one million Americans are living with HIV and more than 200,000 of those don't know it. Those numbers were based on new results released by the Centers for Disease Control. I don't know what's scarier--the fact that this many people have the fatal sexually transmitted disease or that 20 percent of them are unaware of it.


Today is World AIDS Day. It's not the kind of observance any of us care to have during the holiday season. But the numbers are getting worse. Learn more by visiting the CDC's World AIDS Day page.

Charlotte Bobcats forward Emeka Okafor has been leading the One Million African Lives Initiative (OMALI) for the last couple of years. The goal of the initiative is to save one million lives in Africa by 2011 by working in remote areas, providing blood testing kits and clinical training. In recognition of World AIDS Day, today Okafor launched a mobile texting campaign to raise money for OMALI. If you text the word HIV to 90999, a $5 donation will be made to the initiative (the one-time charge will be posted to your phone bill). Click here to learn more about OMALI.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Events for the Week: November 24-30

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/26/2008 No comments
Note: If I learn of more events, I’ll update this post throughout the week.

Wednesday, November 26

Pop Life (weekly event)
It’s the most popular social networking event on a Wednesday night. Starts after work but ends late. Music by select DJs. Presented by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. (South End). www.thesolkitchen.com.

Thursday, November 27

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tone X Turkey Roast
Hosted by the comedian and Power 98 personality. 9 p.m. $10. NV Nightclub & Lounge, 20924 Torrence Chapel Road. www.nvlounge.net.

Touch One Thursdays (weekly event)
Come and enjoy a live band and spoken word by Charlotte’s slam poets. An after-party follows. Presented by Touch One Productions. 9 p.m. $10. Wine Up, 3306 N. Davidson St. www.wine-up.com.

Thanksgiving Night 08
Six Figure Entertainment gets the party going after you’ve broken bread for the day. Guaranteed to be lots of beautiful people. 10 p.m. $10 in advance. Loft 1523, 1523 Elizabeth Ave. www.sixfigureentertainment.com.

Friday, November 28

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous (weekly event)
End your workweek on a high note at this networking event, held at a different venue each week. Enjoy live music and drink and appetizer specials. Presented by Talk of the Town. To learn this week’s location, text “rendezvous” to 38714. 6-9 p.m. Free.

The Remix
For the second year in a row, Digital Divas is hosting a party the day after Thanksgiving at South End’s trendiest club. It’ll be filled with Charlotte’s movers and shakers. 10 p.m. $10 before 11 p.m. Sunset Club, 1820 South Blvd. www.digitaldivasevents.com.

Saturday, November 29

Epicentre Tree Lighting
The popular entertainment complex (home to Suite, Whiskey River, Howl at the Moon, PJ’s Coffee Lounge, and more) is holding its inaugural tree lighting ceremony. There will be holiday festivities and Santa himself will be on hand. 6 p.m. Free. Epicentre, 210 E. Trade St.

2K Sports Bounce Tour
Q-Tip will be performing with a live band. Opening act is the Cool Kids. 8 p.m. $27.50 and up. Amos’ Southend, 1423 S. Tryon St. www.2ksports.com/bouncetour or www.amossouthend.com.

Sunday, November 30

Ssshh: Sensual Seduction Sundays at Happy Hour (weekly event)
Enjoy an infusion of open-mic poetry and jazz over candlelight. After-party and dancing follows. Presented by Pink Diamond. 9 p.m. $10. Happy Hour Bar and Lounge, 3603 S. Tryon St. www.pinkdiamondpromo.com.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I blogged a couple of weeks ago, giving Michael Jordan props for being more visible in Charlotte for the start of the Bobcats' season. I'm still willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt on what seems to be his renewed commitment to the team. USA Today isn't so easy on him, though, in a story posted on its website last night, which I think is in this weekend's edition of the paper.

The writer interviewed head coach Larry Brown and team majority owner Bob Johnson for the story, titled "Where Jordan: Bobcats waiting for pieces to be assembled," and takes shots at Jordan for going to the big celebrity-filled grand opening party for the new resort in Dubai (pictures are all over the 'net of Dubai's over-the-top celebration).

Brown and Johnson talk openly about their desires and requests for Jordan to be more visible with the franchise. They almost sound desperate, begging even. But Brown makes a good point as to what Jordan means to his young team: "I just want Michael really, really, really involved. One, the players need to see him because of what he's about, what he accomplished."

The story goes on to chronicle the Bobcats' struggles on the court and with attendance at games. It also talks about possible player moves. Several media outlets have reported this week about the Bobcats actively pursuing trades, saying it might happen any day now if the Bobcats can strike the right deal with another team. Everyone from Matt Carroll to Adam Morrison to Gerald Wallace are rumored to be on the trading block.

"You know, there are six guys who might not be on our team in two, three weeks," Brown says in the story.

Click here to read the full story in USA Today.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A New 'Uptown' for Charlotte

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/20/2008 No comments
Last night I attended the launch party for the Charlotte edition of Uptown Magazine, held at Bentley's on 27. If you aren't familiar with Uptown, it's a lifestyle magazine that targets affluent African-Americans ages 25 to 44. It was founded in New York in 2004 and this year it launched editions in Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, and Chicago. Charlotte will become its fifth city in February.

From what I understand from talking to the editor-in-chief last night and from looking at the copy of the issue I picked up, the cover (Beyonce's on the cover of the new issue and Diddy was on the previous one) and feature stories are the same for the issue in each city, but it also includes local editorial content and advertisements about the people and places in each city edition (the city's name is printed vertically next to the Uptown mast on the cover). It's a fairly common practice for publications to print local editions of a national magazine as a way to compete both nationally and locally for subscriptions and ad sales. An example of this you may be familiar with is Skirt!, a monthly women's magazine that started in Charleston in 1994, but over the last five years has grown to about 20 cities including Charlotte, Atlanta, Boston, Jacksonville, and Houston (I used to work for Skirt!'s parent company and I actually assisted in the launch of Skirt! Charlotte a few years ago).

So, this new Charlotte edition of Uptown Magazine could find success. There isn't a lifestyle publication here that's adequately serving the African-American market. As someone who is passionate about media, and magazines in particular, I always say when there's a void someone will try to fill it. The founders of Uptown spoke last night about why they chose Charlotte as their next city to do business. They, like many people around the country, recognize that Charlotte is a city that's flourishing with progressive African-Americans and is continuing to grow. The founder said they're planning to take Uptown from four to six issues a year (from quarterly to bi-monthly) and increase its circulation to 200,000.

I look forward to the day when we don't have to have publications that specifically cater to certain ethnic groups, but as long as we, African-Americans, are flipping through pages of mainstream publications and not seeing enough of our faces, it's going to be necessary. One-third of Charlotte's population is African-American, but you wouldn't know it if you picked up some of our local magazines. I'm not pointing fingers in any direction; I'm just telling it like it is.

So now, the new Uptown's biggest challenge: there's already an Uptown Magazine in Charlotte. It's a monthly magazine that's been here for more than three years and is most known for its stories on uptown real estate and its annual "Sexiest" list. I'm sure there will be some confusion among readers and there will be some branding issues. What I hope doesn't happen is people distinguishing the two magazines by race. "Have you picked up the new issue of Uptown Magazine?," man asks. "Which one? The white one or the black one?" woman replies. The Uptown we're accustomed to here has very little coverage of African-Americans. The "Sexiest" issue not only didn't include any African-Americans in its feature on the city's sexiest people, but there also aren't any black faces on the contributors page (writers and photographers).

I'm not a black journalist who harps on race. I only write about it when it's an issue. Now we'll have two Uptown Magazines. And you'll have two issues to choose from.

Click on the links below for more on the two Uptowns:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Anthony Hamilton's 'Playin It Cool' On Tour

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/19/2008 No comments
Anthony Hamilton's Playin' It Cool Tour kicked off earlier this month. The Charlotte native is visiting 25 cities performing his hits along with new songs from his upcoming album, The Point of It All, now set to be released December 16. He'll be performing at Amos' Southend on Sunday, so you'll have the opportunity to see him live. And thanks to his new tour blog, you can follow him from city to city.

The blog features behind-the-scenes footage of Hamilton performing at different tour stops as well as him making guest appearances, doing interviews, shopping, cracking jokes, getting his haircut, and everything else you don't see on stage. Follow Hamilton by visiting www.playinitcooltour.blogspot.com. And if you'd like to receive text-message updates from him, call 704-746-9873.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How Not to Celebrate Your 21st Birthday

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/18/2008 No comments
Bizarre details emerged Monday in a robbery and kidnapping trial when UNC-Chapel Hill football players testified about how they were victimized last December. Three UNC players got together to celebrate one of the players' 21st birthday. They admitted to drinking a lot that day and night, but you won't believe what they say happened to them.

Here are a few selected paragraphs from the article in The News & Observer (Raleigh) that will have you going WTF?

  • The three linemen, by their count, downed dozens of beers before leaving the Chapel Ridge Apartments in northern Chapel Hill shortly before midnight to continue the party downtown.
  • First, the players, who all approach 300 pounds, went to Top of the Hill, a restaurant and bar, for at least one beer each and liquor shots.
  • An hour later, according to their testimony, they went to the East End Martini Bar, where one player drifted away from the other two. That player met two women in the bar and persuaded them and a male friend of theirs to give him a ride home. The player testified that he blacked out during the ride.
  • When he regained consciousness, he said, he was in a chair in his room with his arms bound and one of the women straddling him.
  • The other player went down the hall to look for the teammate who preceded them. What he found was Lewis, naked, standing outside a bedroom with a kitchen paring knife in his hand.
  • Police found two of the Tar Heel football players in their boxer shorts, bound with belts, shoelaces and sound system wires shortly before 4 a.m. on Dec. 17.
Click here to read the full account of what happened.

Finally! A Big Hip-Hop Concert In Charlotte

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/18/2008 No comments
Lil Wayne is bringing his I Am Music Tour to Charlotte on January 2 at Time Warner Cable Arena. His opening acts include T-Pain, Keyshia Cole, Gym Class Heroes, and Keri Hilson. Tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. Click here for more info.


I've blogged before about the need for Charlotte to have big hip-hop concerts. Well, we're kicking off the New Year with a show that will feature the hottest rapper in the game (Lil Wayne), the artist who is on the radio more than anybody else (T-Pain), and a singer who is one of best voices of my generation (Keyshia Cole). Now, we need to make sure we support it.

Charlotte is notorious for not supporting hip-hop concerts. That's why we usually get one-act shows that play at smaller venues like Neighborhood Theatre or Amos' Southend. It's too much of a risk for promoters to put up high dollars to bring in several big-name artists to the city's largest venue. People have complained about the lack of hip-hop concerts at Time Warner Cable Arena (formerly Charlotte Bobcats Arena), but I can assure you it's not because the arena wants to keep hip-hop out. While the arena does decide who they let in, it's the individual promoters who book most of the shows. And too many promoters have been burned by poor turnout in Charlotte.

Earlier this year I went to see my favorite rapper, Jay-Z, in Greensboro. If big-name hip-hop concerts come to this state, they usually go there. Greensboro turns out--the Jay-Z/Mary J. Blige concert sold out.

I moved to Charlotte a couple of months before the uptown arena opened in 2005 and the only big hip-hop concert I can think of that's come there is Kanye West's Glow in the Dark Tour in May. And even that was far from a sellout ("We're Building It, So They Should Come"). Hopefully we'll get 2009 off to a good start with a sellout at Lil Wayne's show (if you want to make promoters happy, buy tickets in advance and not the day of) and that will lead to a great year of concerts in Charlotte.

Events for the Week: November 17-23

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/18/2008 No comments

Note: If I learn of more events, I’ll update this post throughout the week.

Tuesday, November 18

Tone X and Friends (weekly event)
Enjoy a night of stand-up comedy, live skits, improv, and music, along with a performance by the Hunnie Dipz Dancers. 8 p.m. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Skandalos, 5317 E. Independence Blvd. 704-890-0771. www.myspace.com/tonexandfriends.

Wednesday, November 19

Pop Life (weekly event)
It’s the most popular social networking event on a Wednesday night. It starts after work but runs late. Music by select DJs. Presented by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. (South End). www.thesolkitchen.com.

A Westside Story
Enjoy music, drinks, and a complimentary soul food buffet at this networking event held at a historic African-American club. Presented by Digital Divas. 6-10 p.m. $5. Excelsior Club, 921 Beatties Ford Road. www.digitaldivasevents.com.

Thursday, November 20

Third Thursdays: Live Jazz (monthly event)
Enjoy live jazz, light refreshments, and great art during special late hours at the museum. This month’s featured musician is Bill Averbach. Sponsored by V101.9. Mint Museum of Craft + Design, 220 N. Tryon St. Free. 5-8 p.m. (music 6:30-7:30 p.m.) www.mintmuseum.org.

EQ3’s Anniversary Party and Jordanos Fashion Preview
It’s a two-for-one for great design. Enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while previewing clothing lines from Jordanos and checking out the swanky furniture at EQ3. Live DJ. 5-9 p.m., fashion show 8 p.m. Free. EQ3, 2137 South Blvd.

Cufflinks and Cocktails (monthly event)
Presented by Charlotte’s Kappas, this event is held at a different bar each month. Come mingle with a group of well-dressed professionals, from 20- to 40-somethings. Free. 6-10 p.m. Bar 10, inside The Westin Charlotte, 601 S. College St. www.cltkappas.com/cufflinks-cocktails.

Can We Talk to Each Other After the Election?
This dialogue is the third offering in the “What’s In The Ground?” Community Conversation Series sponsored by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee, Community Building Initiative, and Mecklenburg Ministries. Panelists include Anthony Foxx, John Lassiter, Dan Ramirez, and Jennifer Roberts. Moderated by Claude Alexander and Moira Quinn. 7-8:30 p.m. Free. Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1000 E. Morehead St. RSVP at rthompson@ci.charlotte.nc.us.

Touch One Thursdays (weekly event)
Come and enjoy a live band and spoken word by Charlotte’s slam poets. An after-party follows. Presented by Touch One Productions. 9 p.m. $10. Wine Up, 3306 N. Davidson St. www.wine-up.com.

Friday, November 21

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous (weekly event)
End your workweek on a high note at this networking event, held at a different venue each week. Enjoy live music and drink and appetizer specials. Presented by Talk of the Town. 6-9 p.m. Free. Del Frisco's, 4725 Piedmont Row Dr. in SouthPark.

Raise the Bar: Exceed the Standard
Party with a purpose at this fundraising event. Organizers ask that you bring an unwrapped toy to be donated to Toys for Tots. There will also be live music and free giveaways. Presented by The It Factor. 6-10 p.m. Free. Side Bar, inside Crowne Plaza Hotel Charlotte, 201 S. McDowell St. www.itfactormedia.com.

Fashion Friday: Hollywood Rockstar
It’s your turn to walk the red carpet. See fashions by select area boutiques and independent designers while enjoying music, performances, a runway show, and giveaways. Labels include Ed Hardy, Christian Audigier, Smet, Affliction, Sinful, Tarina Tarantino, Do Denim, Dirtee Hollywood, Alpha, Nation Ltd., and more. Hosted by LA East. Doors open 9 p.m., show begins 10:30. $10 and up. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.kisscharlotte.com.

Saturday, November 22

LL Cool J
The G.O.A.T. is coming. See him perform his hits ranging from “Mama Said Knock You Out” to “Luv U Better” to “Headsprung.” Presented by Black Ice Entertainment and Thomas Washington. 10 p.m. Cost varies, ladies free before 11 p.m. NV Nightclub & Lounge, 20924 Torrence Chapel Road. www.ticketannex.com.

Venetian Suites: A Lock and Key Affair
Each woman will receive a lock and each man will receive a key. Then they’ll have to find their fit. This icebreaker will make it easy for you to mingle and meet new people. Complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served in addition to the cash bar. Dress code is upscale. Presented by Blue Goose. 10:30 p.m. $15 and up. Mimosa Grill, 327 S. Tryon St. www.lockandkeync.com.

Sunday, November 23

Miles & Coltrane: Blue
This work tells the story of Miles Davis and John Coltrane through acting, dance, poetry, music, and visual art. Features production by Concrete Generation (Q, Bluz, CP Maze, Norris Guest, Filmore, Mekkah, Tavis Brunson, Carlos Robeson, and Ocean), God City, The Stephen Gordon Quintet, Jhe Russell, and Randolph Ward. Two shows: 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. $10-$15. Booth Playhouse, 130 N. Tryon St. www.blumenthalcenter.org.

CAABJ Year-End/Pre-Holiday Mixer
The Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists is celebrating the end of a momentous year in news and media. Enjoy free hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, music, billiards, and networking. 5-8 p.m. $5 (free admission for CAABJ members and their guests). Wine Up, 3306 N. Davidson St. in NoDa. www.caabj.com.

Anthony Hamilton
Hamilton’s Playin It Cool Tour stops in his hometown. See him perform his hits as well as songs from his upcoming album, The Point of It All. Doors open 7:30 p.m. $30 in advance. Amos’ Southend, 1423 S. Tryon St. www.amossouthend.com.

Ssshh: Sensual Seduction Sundays at Happy Hour (weekly event)
Enjoy an infusion of open-mic poetry and jazz over candlelight. After-party and dancing follows. Presented by Pink Diamond. 9 p.m. $10. Happy Hour Bar and Lounge, 3603 S. Tryon St. www.pinkdiamondpromo.com.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

'iChatted' With Alexis Herman

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/15/2008 No comments
Last evening I attended GenerationEngage's iChat with former Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman. The event was held at RealEyes Bookstore in NoDa and it was GenerationEngage's first event since the election. See folks, the work doesn't stop and the need for political involvement isn't over.

RealEyes feels like a bookstore you would find in Boston or Chicago and it was a great backdrop for the event. Since it was an iChat, Herman was being broadcast to us live from a college campus in Miami. And a group from San Jose was also in on it, so the three cities were split on a huge Mac monitor in RealEyes.

I like going to stuff like this, which is why I blog about it and why I post events like this in my "Events for the Week." I could've been doing a number of things on a Friday evening but I chose to go to a bookstore and sit with a group of young, intelligent adults and engage in a conversation with a woman who shared insight on what our country and generation needs to do to tackle these economic problems we're facing.

Herman, who served in the Clinton Administration and was the first African-American Secretary of Labor, was very smart and down to earth in her conversation. She talked about being a child and receiving $1 a week for allowance and when she turned 10 years old her parents increased it to $2 a week. Her father then took her to the bank to open a savings account and that instilled in her many of the principles she lives by today. She also talked about growing up in the deep South in the 1950s and '60s and how her father, a civil rights activist, was harassed and beaten by the Ku Klux Klan. She didn't dwell on that stuff, but it served as a great reminder of how far we've come as a nation, especially to an audience who only reads about this stuff in history books. Herman answered questions from the audiences in the three cities and the questions mostly pertained to what can be done to save jobs and stimulate the economy. To sum up her responses, we're going to have to work hard to dig out of the hole this country is in.

After the event I was talking to Rod Garvin, one of GenerationEngage Charlotte's community directors, and he echoed Herman's sentiments. Young people were inspired and turned out in great numbers to vote in the election. Many of them voted for Barack Obama and were voting for change. Well, as Obama said, we're going to need all hands on deck.

Just like many of you were so in tuned with the election and considered yourselves to be politically and civically engaged because you voted, your active participation will be needed even more now. Now that the campaign signs have come down and the "BaRack The Vote" T-shirts have been folded away, what are you going to do to address the problems facing our communities--crime, inadequate education, job loss, lack of funding for programs? I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I went to a GenerationEngage event last night. That's a start.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

First off, Man Law.

I usually don't pay much attention to web ads until I just saw one for Great Glam, which led me to visit the website. It's an online shopping destination that sells trendy clothing for women. But it's a site that we men can also, um, enjoy.

Now I don't know much about women's fashions--I don't call shirts tops and I only recently learned what A-line means--but I know I like Great Glam. Even though it's a website that features thousands of items like dresses, skirts, shoes, accessories, etc., it's like the site was designed with the man also in mind--it's full of eye candy. Every item of clothing is worn by beautiful, sexy young ladies. It's like watching a motionless hip-hop music video. I'm no pervert; I'm just calling it like I see it.

And further more reasons I have to believe this site is intended to appeal to men are: 1) Each item (model) gives you the option to "click here to see the back of this item" and 2) the pictures primarily show their bodies with their heads cut off.

On GreatGlam.com, this shirt is called Buddy System because you can "share this spicy top with a friend." I kid you not.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Charlotte Has the 'NBA's Least Loyal Fans'

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/12/2008 No comments
Charlotte often ranks highly on "best" and "most" list for cities, reflecting our great quality of life here. But we're terrible NBA fans, according to a new list by Forbes.com.

New York Knicks fans top Forbes' list of the NBA's Most Loyal Fans. "Over the past five years, the inept team--owner of a 0.368 winning percentage and one playoff appearance--has played to 99 percent capacity at Madison Square Garden," the article states.

At the end of the article, Forbes takes a swipe at us.

"The least loyal NBA fans? They can be found in Charlotte, N.C., where the Bobcats have ranked last in attendance over the past four years despite offering the fourth most affordable tickets."

Click here to read the full article.

Bojangles' Commercial Is Not Racist

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/12/2008 No comments
There's a new Bojangles' television commercial airing that's causing a little bit of controversy. I say it's much ado about nothing. The commercial in question shows Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith celebrating a touchdown by jumping into the stands and eating a piece of fried chicken from a fan. Some critics, including this opinion piece in the News & Observer, are saying that the commercial plays into racial stereotypes because Smith is black. I say those critics should find something better to do with their time.



For several years now, Smith and quarterback Jake Delhomme have done funny TV commercials for Bojangles'--together and separately. This one should be viewed no differently. It's meant to be funny and has nothing to do with race. If anyone has a right to complain it should be Delhomme. Most of his commercials make him look like he's not the brightest bulb in the pack. But I'm sure Delhomme has a great sense of humor and doesn't take himself so seriously. I hope others will follow suit.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Events for the Week: November 10-16

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/11/2008 No comments
Note: If I learn of more events, I’ll update this post throughout the week.

Wednesday, November 12

Pop Life (weekly event)
It’s the most popular social networking event on a Wednesday night. It starts after work but runs late. Music by select DJs. Presented by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St. (South End). www.thesolkitchen.com.

So You Think You Can Dance Tour
See your favorite top ten dancers from the 2008 season of the popular television show competition. 7:30 p.m. $35-$54.50. Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 E. Trade St. www.timewarnercablearena.com.

Thursday, November 13

Gold Carpet Happy Hour
Mingle after work and enjoy complimentary appetizers and drink specials. Presented by Sigma Gamma Rho of Charlotte. 6-10 p.m. Brevard Court Sundries, 145 Brevard Ct. www.charlottesgrho.org.

Indulge Thursdays
Enjoy a relaxed evening with music and food and drink specials at Charlotte’s newest coffeehouse. Presented by JSW Media Group. 6:30-9 p.m. Free. PJ’s Coffeehouse and Lounge, 210 E. Trade St., (first floor of the Epicentre). www.jswmediagroup.com.

An Evening with Sonia Sanchez
The legendary poet and author will read excerpts from her work and provide commentary during the final event of the 2008 fall Distinguished Speakers Forum. A reception will follow the presentation. 7 p.m. Free. UNC Charlotte’s Cone Center, McKnight Hall, 9201 University City Blvd. leadership.uncc.edu/DSF.

Touch One Thursdays (weekly event)
Come and enjoy a live band and spoken word by Charlotte’s slam poets. An after-party follows. 9 p.m. $10. Wine Up, 3306 N. Davidson St. www.wine-up.com.

Friday, November 14

iChat with Alexis Herman
GenerationEngage is presenting this opportunity to join in a Q&A with the former Secretary of Labor who will answer questions you have on the current economy, employment, retirement, health care, and why America's economic future should matter to you. Refreshments will be served. 5:30-8 p.m. Free. RealEyez Bookstore, 3306 N. Davidson St. (NoDa). www.generationengage.org/state/chltt/indexnew.php.

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous (weekly event)
End your workweek on a high note at this networking event, held at a different venue each week. Enjoy live music and drink and appetizer specials. Presented by Talk of the Town. 6-9 p.m. Free. House of Jazz, 8630 University Executive Park Dr.

Scorpio Birthday Bash
The Dymetime models are celebrating their CEO Iris’s birthday and all the other Scorpios. Special invited guest Raymond Felton. 10 p.m. $10. The Sunset Club, 1820 South Blvd. www.sunsetclubcharlotte.com.

Saturday, November 15

Carolina Renaissance Festival (final weekend)
Travel back centuries and enjoy outdoor theater, circus entertainment, an arts and crafts marketplace, a jousting tournament, and a feast fit for royalty. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. $17 for adults, $6 for kids ages 5-12. 16445 Poplar Tent Rd., Huntersville (go to website for directions instead of using Mapquest or Google Maps). www.royalfaires.com/carolina.

Hom’s One-Year Anniversary
The three-level club that gave Charlotte’s nightlife a big adrenaline boost is celebrating its one-year anniversary. Play, Liv, and Feast will all be rocking. 9 p.m. Cost varies. Hom, 116 W. Fifth St. www.myhom.com.

Oh So Sexy
It’s a hairstylist and barber appreciation party. Hosted by Power 98’s Janine “JD” Davis, Consuella, and Artie the One Woman Party. Music DJ Tab Dbiassi. 9 p.m. $35. The Big Chill, 911 E. Morehead St. www.jzanderllc.com.

Soul Bowl Lounge
The popular bowling and social networking event is held in a dozen cities including Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York. In addition to knocking down pins, enjoy live music, food, and card games. $25. 10 p.m. AMF Carolina Lanes, 11210 Brigman Rd., Matthews. www.soulbowllounge.com.

Sunday, November 16

Carolina Renaissance Festival (final weekend)
Travel back centuries and enjoy outdoor theater, circus entertainment, an arts and crafts marketplace, a jousting tournament, and a feast fit for royalty. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. $17 for adults, $6 for kids ages 5-12. 16445 Poplar Tent Rd., Huntersville (go to website for directions instead of using Mapquest or Google Maps). www.royalfaires.com/carolina.

Ssshh! Sensual Seduction Sundays (weekly event)
Enjoy an infusion of open-mic poetry and jazz over candlelight. After-party and dancing follows. Presented by Pink Diamond. 9 p.m. $10. Happy Hour Bar and Lounge, 3603 S. Tryon St. www.pinkdiamondpromo.com.
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