Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Guess Who I Saw at the Airport?

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/30/2009 No comments
I was at JFK yesterday getting ready to fly back to CLT when I ran into Tiger Woods. I managed to take a photo with the elusive Tiger.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Another Year for Cracked Crowns

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/23/2009 No comments
One of my favorite year-end lists has been published in the January issue of Charlotte magazine. The 2009 Cracked Crowns recap the year's dumbest and most dubious events in Charlotte. I've had the honor of being one of the contributing writers of the list for the past five years and not only is it fun to write, but it's also intriguing to be reminded of just how much can transpire over the course of a year.

I think my favorite Cracked Crown this year is the one about the two local Domino Pizza workers who videotaped themselves doing disgusting things with food and even more idiotically posted the video on YouTube. If you'll recall, that story made national headlines. Read about that and more by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ric Flair: Not Your Same Old Song and Dance

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/22/2009 No comments
Ric Flair is one of my favorite Charlotteans to blog about. Even though he's now 60 years old and "retired" from wrestling, he's still popular with a generation of fans who weren't born yet when he was in his hey. And for those who are 80s babies like me, memories of Ric Flair represent a golden era. Now he's being immortalized in hip-hop.

There's a song titled "Ric Flair" by rapper Lil Cali and featuring Young Dro. It was actually released over the summer, but is starting to pick up a little speed. It's not the best rap song in the world, but it's sort of catchy (what isn't these days?) and Dro delivers with a witty, punchline-heavy verse as usual. And what I like about the track is that it plays it cool, and isn't overdone like B-Hamp's "Do the Ricky Bobby," which received entirely too much radio and video play a year ago.

"Ric Flair on em" is repeated in the chorus, as is the wrestler's signature "wooooooo." And there's a dance that goes along with it, but it's pretty simple--just rocking side to side in a sort of two-step with your hands out to the side.

Listen to "Ric Flair" below.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Stephen Jackson Does Good

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/17/2009 No comments
Stephen Jackson was traded to the Charlotte Bobcats exactly one month ago yesterday and he's already helped make them a better team as they've reached 10 wins faster than at any point in team history. And Jackson is showing he wants to help make his new community a better one as well.

The 6'8" forward came strutting into the Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center around 4 p.m. today to meet and greet young fans at the event he sponsored. His homeboy and rapper Bun B had already been walking around taking photos and chopping it up with fans and Jackson joined in as well (he and Bun B are both from Port Arthur, Texas).

Jackson had purchased dozens of sweater hats and gloves to be given away, while staff from the Bobcats (including mascot Rufus) were on hand to distribute posters, T-shirts, and vouchers for free tickets to Saturday's home game against the Utah Jazz. Jackson spoke briefly about why he feels it's important to give back and that he appreciates how Charlotte has embraced him.

I captured a few photos with my camera phone.

Monday, December 14, 2009

PJ's Coffee and Lounge Is Closing

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/14/2009 No comments
I just got word that PJ's Coffee and Lounge is going out of business soon. I find this surprising, because just about every time I've been there or passed by, it's had a good-sized, if not packed, crowd. But come to think of it, those were always night times. If I had to venture a guess, I would think that PJ's struggled with dayside business. It would open at 6:30 a.m. during the week to capture the breakfast crowd and coffee drinkers en route to work. But while the EpiCentre is a magnet for nightlife, I can't see it drawing many people during the morning and lunchtime hours. With PJ's being open as many as 20 hours a day, they would literally need customers coming in around the clock.

PJ's Coffee and Lounge opened in October 2008, and I wrote about it a few months later in Charlotte magazine ("Night, Joe"). It's a trendy bar that takes on a cool vibe once night strikes, and it became a favorite of mine at the EpiCentre as a good place to stop and hang for about an hour in between bar hopping. But I soon replaced it for that purpose with w xyz bar inside the aloft Hotel, which is also at the EpiCentre.

Even PJ's once-jazzy website is now parked by GoDaddy, and that's never a good sign.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Eat Here Now (and Blog Here Now)

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/12/2009 2 comments
I'm eating at Eat Here Now in Ayrsley Town Center and using my phone to test out the mobile blogging feature through Blogger. My food has just arrived. I ordered the Carolina Classic burger with sweet potato fries, and the sweet tea is really good. This restaurant is sorta cool. It's been open for a couple of years and my waiter said they renovated it back in April. Now it resembles a 1950s era diner, complete with a jukebox (though satellite radio is playing right now). Okay, Andrea is giving me the eye. Time to stop typing and start eating.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Events for the Weekend: December 11-13

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/11/2009 No comments
Your best weekly list for parties, nightlife, social, and cultural events in Charlotte. This isn’t intended to be a complete list of everything that's going on, but instead are the events GPT recommends.

Friday, December 11

Party for NEXTAID
This charity event is in recognition of World Aids Day and all proceeds will go toward the creation of an ecological multipurpose facility for the Kawangware Street Children and Youth Project in Nairobi, Kenya. Sounds by house music DJ Mr. V. 9 p.m. $10 donation suggested. Dharma Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St., Suite 105 (entrance faces W. Summit Ave).

5th Annual Red and Black Affair
Your best red and black attire is requested at this annual holiday party that draws hundreds of young professionals each year. VIP and bottle service will be available. Presented by CharlotteVibe and Six Figure Entertainment. 10 p.m. $10 in advance; more at the door. The Sunset Club, 1820 South Blvd.

Kickin It on the Southside (weekly event)
Digital Divas presents this weekly Friday night event for those who live or want to party in south Charlotte. Enjoy a great crowd, drink specials, and a DJ spinning hip-hop and R&B. 10 p.m. Free. On the Roxx, 14021 Conlan Circle (Ballantyne).

Saturday, December 12

3rd Annual Queen City Awards
This year’s ceremony will present 26 awards in a variety of music and entertainment categories including: R&B group/band of the year, rock group/band of the year, country group/band of the year, and even a Poetry in Motion award. Hosted by Big Pat and Melinda Medina. QCA will also honor the life of the late Nate Quick, and will donate a portion of proceeds to Amped 4-A-Cure. Doors open 5:30 p.m.; show starts 6:30 p.m. Cost varies. Skandolos, 5317 Independence Blvd.

One Love Fest: Unity of Art and Music
This event will feature a performance by reggae act Middle Passage X, as well as spoken word via open mike, arts and crafts, and art on display by local and visiting artists. A portion of the proceeds will go to Toys for Tots and domestic violence victims. Presented by The Art House; sponsored by Pynk Chocolate Events, JazzUndaground, and The W.E. Foundation, Inc. 8 p.m.-12 a.m. $15-$20. The Art House, 3103 Cullman Ave.

Talk of the Town is promising a stylish night out, featuring live music by Uptown Swagga, DJ Shogun on the turntables, and a 2010 fashion preview with styles by Frederick LaMont. The attire is swanky. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to 25 Dreams Foundation, a suicide prevention organization. 9:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. $15. Grand Central, 1000 Central Avenue.

Holiday Nouveau
It’s a party at Ballantyne’s posh movie theater. Complimentary wine and champagne served in VIP. Music by DJ Paradime. Suggested dress code is “cosmopolitan.” Presented by The A List. 10 p.m.-3 a.m. $15 and up. Ballantyne Village Theater, 14825 Ballantyne Village Way.

Sunday, December 13

Special Blend (weekly event)
Special Blend presents genres of artistry, music, visual, and humor. Experience it while relaxing in a trendy lounge. Music by DJ Justice. 7 p.m.-12 a.m. Free. PJ’s Coffee & Lounge, 210 E. Trade St. (inside the EpiCentre).

8-Track Flash Back 70s Party
Celebrate this phenomenal era with music and themes from yesteryear. Come dressed in your best 70s ensembles and get down with the get down. 9:30 p.m. $10. Allure Lounge, 1508 S. Mint St.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Peas Are Coming

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/10/2009 No comments
I received an email this afternoon announcing that tickets to the Black Eyed Peas' February 20 concert in Charlotte go on sale this weekend. BEP are bringing their The E.N.D. World Tour to Time Warner Cable Arena, with special guests LMFAO.

Tickets go on presale tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Go to Ticketmaster and enter the password BEPEND. They go on sale to the general public Saturday at noon.

I somehow became a Black Eyed Peas fan a few years ago, and while it doesn't help my street cred to admit this, I think "I Gotta Feeling" is one of the best songs of 2009. is one of the most talented artists in all of music, and Fergie is dope (don't you chickens be jackin' her style, now). And here's a little known BEP trivia. Did you know that Nicole Scherzinger was originally tapped to fill the position in the group that Fergie holds? I wonder how much different the group would've been.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tiger, Don't Come to SC; More Bad Timing

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/07/2009 2 comments
I'm beginning to think that I'm spending too much time following the Tiger Woods saga. It's kind of hard to avoid with it dominating most of the cable news cycles and celebrity and sports websites. Plus, I'm a huge Tiger Woods fan. He's the reason I began following golf and why I've spent many a Sunday afternoon stretched out on the couch watching the last round of a PGA tournament. In 2002, after I graduated college, I was hired by a magazine publisher in Augusta, Georgia. We published the annual Masters Tournament guide, so I learned more about golf--and Tiger--than I ever thought I'd care to know. But we've all come to realize that we didn't really know Tiger.

I'm not here to cast aspersions on Tiger Woods (though I've cracked a joke or two on Facebook), but I'm here to warn Tiger not to come to South Carolina this weekend. Several gossip websites, led by TMZ, are reporting that Tiger's best friend Bryon Bell is getting married this weekend in SC and Tiger is the best man. Obviously, these wedding plans were set into motion long before Tiger's sex scandal broke and a new alleged mistress started appearing every 1.5 days. In normal circumstances, I would've been all gung ho about the greatest golfer ever and most famous athlete on the planet visiting my home state.

But these aren't normal circumstances. And I seriously doubt that Tiger will keep his commitment to serve as best man. I mean really, what kind of toast would he give to the bride and groom? Besides, Bell might not want him there since he himself has been linked to the scandal as emails have surfaced of him making travel arrangements for one of Tiger's alleged mistresses. And it doesn't look good if a guy who's scheduled to be married is serving as the wing man for a married man to cheat.

This wedding is not good timing for Tiger because he's not ready to show his face (literally). Also bad timing is the January 2010 issue of Golf Digest. The leading golf mag has Tiger Woods on the cover with President Barack Obama, with the headline: "10 Tips Obama Can Take From Tiger." I bet Michelle Obama picked up a copy and was like "Oh hell no!"

Except this magazine issue had gone to press before Tiger crashed his car into a tree (and a bunch of ladies fell out). I write for magazines so I know how monthly mags have ridiculously long lead times (I've often said that if this print medium plans to survive it must find a way to shorten it), and this is one of the most unfortunate examples I've seen. Though the issue could turn out to be a big seller.

Better yet, what if Tiger did come to South Carolina this weekend? He could take that opportunity to meet with Governor Mark Sanford.

Friday, December 4, 2009

This Isn't CLT, but Happy Birthday Jay-Z!

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/04/2009 No comments
The Greatest Rapper of All Time, King of New York, Young Hov, Lucky Lefty, Jigga, Jay-Z, Shawn Carter turns 40 today. And hopefully now the rest of hip-hop will grow up. put together this great slideshow from the legendary-still-hottest-rapper-in-the-game's career. (Can you tell I'm a fan?)

I could recite any number of Jay-Z's lyrics, but the one that comes to mind is: "Being broke is childish and I'm quite grown." That's a 1997 throwback, evidence to how long he's been at the top of his game.

Now the owner of the 40/40 nightclubs is 40 himself. And he's got Beyonce to sing happy birthday to him. Makes getting old something to look forward to.

Help Bi-Lo Find a SpokesMILF

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/04/2009 No comments
Bi-Lo is holding a casting call for a "Spokesmom" in the North Carolina/South Carolina area to be the face and voice of its advertising. The grocery store chain is seeking a lady who is "a great mom, able to juggle finances, busy schedules and meals; has a fun, outgoing personality; and would enjoy sharing her family life with shoppers."

It's a paying gig that might be just right for that former model who gave up a life of photoshoots and runways to settle down with a family. Or that attractive, do-it-all, Rachel Ray-esque mom you know of in your neighborhood--maybe she's even your wife.

I think Bi-Lo should've been a little more direct in what it's looking for. Put a call out there for a SpokesMILF! Now that'll get shoppers' attention and help the chain increase its market share on the Harris Teeters, Food Lions, and Publixs.

Bi-Lo gave me my first job, near my small hometown in SC. They hired me as a bagger and I soon worked my way up to cashier (I've always been a ladder climber, you see). I actually got hired at the age of 15, even though I fudged on the application that I was 16 (my birthday was five months away). I was in the 10th grade and because I now had a job, my parents allowed me to get my driver's license. Those were the young and carefree days.

I still have a sense of loyalty to Bi-Lo, which is why I was happy that the neighborhood I moved to a couple of years ago has one nearby. So pass on the word that my favorite grocery store is looking for a SpokesMILF!

Visit for details.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Charlotte's Kendra James Is a 'Bad Girl'

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 12/02/2009 7 comments
UPDATE: "Kendra James Isn't So 'Bad'"

Season four of the Bad Girls Club premiered last night on Oxygen. It appears that it's going to be another hot mess, and the train that's bound to wreck is carrying a young lady from Charlotte, Kendra James.

Kendra doesn't seem to be the worst of the pack--so far that trophy goes to Natalie--but because she made the show, I'm sure she's going to show some ugly sides this season. I can't understand why a person would go on a "reality" show that has the sole purpose of putting together a group of hot-tempered, egotistical women with bad attitudes, keep them liquored up and watch them try to fight.

But we have someone on there representing Charlotte. Hopefully she does us proud!

Click here for Kendra's bio on the Bad Girls Club's website (where it's revealed that she has a twin sister who is supposedly the opposite of her). You'll also want to read her Q&A, which pretty much only asks her questions about sex.

If you missed last night's premiere, you can watch it when it re-airs tonight at 8 p.m. New episodes premiere Tuesdays at 10 p.m.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ric Flair Makes Losing Your Money Fun

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/29/2009 No comments
I saw this commercial for the first time last night. But apparently the Ric Flair-endorsed "Wooooooo!" instant scratch-off tickets have been offered by the North Carolina Education Lottery for a couple of months now. A ticket costs $5 and the top prize is $100,000. Whoever came up with the idea to make Flair the lottery's new pitchman and to give him his own lotto ticket should be applauded. Flair has the kind of energy that will keep people excited about buying lottery tickets, even though most of them are throwing their money away.

I only play the lottery about once a year, when the Power Ball reaches some ridiculous amount. Other than that, I don't really keep up with it, which is probably why I'm late to the party about Flair's new involvement. Click here for more info on the Wooooooo! instant scratch-off. See a video of the commercial below.

In other Ric Flair news, he got married a couple of weeks ago in Charlotte. It's his fourth marriage. The 60-year-old wrestler is currently on the Hulkamania tour.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Events for the Weekend: November 27-29

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/27/2009 No comments
Your best weekly list for parties, nightlife, social, and cultural events in Charlotte. This isn’t intended to be a complete list of everything that's going on, but instead are the events GPT recommends.

Friday, November 27

Talk of the Town, the group that brought you the long-running, popular Friday Afterwork Rendezvous, has a new event it hosts on the second and fourth Friday of the month. Mingle with young professionals while enjoying great music by DJ DR. And this week features a performance by the all-female band Blac Catt. 8 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St.

Kickin It on the Southside
Digital Divas presents this new weekly Friday night event for those who live or want to party in south Charlotte. Enjoy drink specials and a DJ spinning hip-hop and R&B. 10 p.m. Free. On the Roxx, 14021 Conlan Circle (Ballantyne).

One Night Stand
It’s billed as a grown and sexy crunk party, which is an interesting combination. Featuring $5 Crown Royal, cosmos, and martinis. 10 p.m. Free till midnight; wear all black and get in free all night. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd.

Black Friday - Homecoming Edition
The popular trio of party promoters have gotten together for an event that’s sure to draw a large crowd. Presented by The A-List, BlueGoose, and Sol Kitchen. 10 p.m. $10 and up. Blue Restaurant and Bar, 214 N. Tryon St. (corner of Fifth and College streets). or

Soul Night
It’s a night out at one of Charlotte’s most exclusive nightclubs. Music by 92.7’s Stacey Blackman. 10 p.m. Cost varies. Sunset Club, 1820 South Blvd.

Saturday, November 28

Beards BeCAUSE
Drink for a good cause, and enjoy specials all night like $4 Skyy Vodka. Proceeds will benefit United Family Services, a shelter for battered women. 8 p.m. Donations appreciated. Town Tavern, 200 N. Tryon St.

PlayDate Charlotte
Bring out the kid in you. Enjoy music and drinks while playing card games, checkers, dominoes, Connect Four, Twister, Monopoly, old-school video games, and more. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $10. Tyvola Marriott, 5700 Westpark Dr.

Marquee Saturdays (weekly event)
It’s Charlotte’s hottest Saturday night party. Enjoy the large dance floor, plentiful seating, and outdoor patio. 9 p.m. Cost varies. Halo, inside the N.C. Music Factory, 820 Hamilton St.

Sunday, November 29

Special Blend (weekly event)
This group presents genres of artistry, music, and humor. Experience it while relaxing in a trendy lounge. Music by DJ Justice. 7-11 p.m. Free. PJ’s Coffee & Lounge, 210 E. Trade St. (inside the EpiCentre).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

King James and Shaq Party in the Carolinas

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/25/2009 No comments
The Charlotte Bobcats play the Cleveland Cavaliers at home Friday. A Friday night game against a visiting team with superstars is one of the few times a year the Bobcats potentially have a sellout. For every fan that will be at the game to cheer on the Bobcats Friday, there will be at least one who came to see LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal.

Speaking of the King and the Diesel, the two of them are coming to town the night before to celebrate Thanksgiving night with us Southerners. LeBron is hosting a party Thursday night at Club 935. This is nothing new for King James, though. The Cavs play in Charlotte twice a year, and almost every time you'll find LeBron's name as top billing on some club flyer (last December he hosted First Fridays at NV Nightclub and Lounge, which has since been renamed Synergy). He always shows up, too.

Well King James must have told his new sidekick that hosting parties is a lot of fun because Shaq is getting in on it tomorrow night as well. But apparently Charlotte isn't big enough for the two of them to host a party here on the same night. So Shaq is taking over Columbia, S.C. He's going to be the man of the night at Tabu Asian Ultra Lounge (click here for party details).

Yeah girl, there's going to be some ballers at the club.

Monday, November 23, 2009

10 Things Sarah Palin Said to Billy Graham

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/23/2009 1 comment
Sarah Palin made a stop in Montreat yesterday to have dinner with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son, Franklin Graham. Franklin invited Palin when he realized she would be in the area. She's visiting Fort Bragg in Fayetteville today during a stop on her book signing tour for Going Rogue.

An article on today describes the two-and-a-half hour meeting between Palin and the Grahams, which included dinner with several of Palin's family members. Numerous media outlets are reporting on the meeting, and of course the blogosphere is adding its two cents. No commentary would be complete without mentioning that Billy Graham has counseled and/or befriended every U.S. president in recent memory--President Obama called him earlier this month and the two plan to meet in the near future. So the buzz is on whether Palin's visit to the home of the 91-year-old Charlotte-born evangelist is her checking off another prerequisite toward a 2012 run for presidency.

I say nah, don't read that much into it. It made perfect sense for the two to meet yesterday, with Palin being so close by. But the reasons for meeting aside, what I would like to offer here is my (fictional) account of "Ten Things Sarah Palin Said to Billy Graham" during their meeting.

  • Can I call you Billy?

  • Don't worry; they said John McCain was too old also.

  • No, I'm not the governor anymore.

  • I'm signing books at Fort Bragg because we should support our troops.

  • Are you on Facebook?

  • I love it here in the lower 48.

  • Also, too.

  • How come it's called North Carolina when this is the South?

  • What was Ronald Reagan like in person?

  • Yes, I pray every night. I pray that God helps us take back our country.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 posted an exclusive article yesterday about music producer 9th Wonder being tapped to lead a music program at Barber-Scotia College in Concord. The North Carolina native, who's produced songs for a wide range of artists including Jay-Z, De La Soul, Erykah Badu, and his former group Little Brother, will develop the 9th Wonder Center for Music and Entrepreneurial Studies. He says he'll be in charge of developing programs and courses of study as well as selecting faculty.

Barber-Scotia began as a female seminary in 1867 and became a college in 1916. But the future of the now co-ed HBCU is in jeopardy since it lost its accreditation in 2004. By losing its accreditation, students were no longer eligible for federal financial aid, causing enrollment to drop from 600 in 2004 to fewer than 100 the following school year. Today, there are just 20 full-time students enrolled.

The college has begun the process for re-accreditation and hopes to be approved in the spring. 9th Wonder has a big challenge ahead of him, but I think it will be an exciting opportunity for both him and future students. He was one of the first people I interviewed for Grown People Talking when I launched this site ("GPT Interviews 9th Wonder"). If you've ever read or seen any of his interviews then you know he's a very intelligent musician who is passionate about preserving and progressing hip-hop culture.

Click here to read the article on

And 9th Wonder won't be alone in his efforts to help revive Barber Scotia. Singer Monica signed on last spring as honorary chairperson to help raise funds for the Faithful Promise campaign. Click here if you would like to contribute. And below is a video message from Monica asking the public to get involved.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Video from Flash Mob in Huntersville

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/16/2009 1 comment
There was a flash mob held at Birkdale Village in Huntersville on Saturday. It was organized by Terry Vaughan of High Intensity Teambuilding, and choreographer Ian Burke. An estimated 2,000 people showed up to dance to the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling." Vaughan had posted a video of the dance routine on YouTube a few weeks prior, so most of the crowd knew the moves. It was sort of cool. They mobbed, but didn't really flash--they didn't disperse right after.

See the video below of Saturday's flash mob.

UNC Charlotte students held a cool flash rave last December to celebrate the end of final exams. It was less organized and more chaotic, but that's what made it so entertaining. Click here for "UNCC Students 'Rave' Over End of Finals."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gamecocks Support Troops Against Gators

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/14/2009 No comments
Today when my South Carolina Gamecocks host the No. 1 ranked Florida Gators in Columbia, our proud Garnet and Black will be accentuated with camouflage and other special touches to honor military veterans and promote the Wounded Warrior Project.

The black with tan camouflage uniforms, designed by Under Armour, will have a Wounded Warrior logo on them. And instead of players' names, the backs of the jerseys will have words such as courage, loyalty, integrity, and service. The players will also wear camouflage cleats.

The Wounded Warrior Project acts as an advocate for injured service men and women and provides services and programs for them. It's only fitting that USC would support this cause since its campus is only 15 miles from Fort Jackson, the Army's largest training base.

The Maryland Terrapins are also participating in the Wounded Warrior Project and will wear special uniforms today in their game against the Virginia Tech Hokies.

Some jerseys will be auctioned off after the games on the university websites, with all of the money being donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. You can also purchase specially designed T-shirts and polos.

For more details, visit, and click here to shop for apparel on the Under Armour website.

Click here for the Gamecocks athletics website. And be sure to tune in to CBS at 3:30 p.m. to watch the nationally televised game. I'm pulling for an upset, and you should too--support our troops! ;)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Events for the Weekend: November 13-15

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/13/2009 No comments
Your best weekly list for parties, nightlife, social, and cultural events in Charlotte. This isn’t intended to be a complete list of everything that's going on, but instead are the events GPT recommends.

Friday, November 13

Prowl Pep Rally
Come out and celebrate with other Carolina Panthers fans in preparation for Sunday’s home game against the Atlanta Falcons. Enjoy free appetizers, happy hour drink specials, and there will be chances to win tickets to the game. 5-9 p.m. Free. BlackFinn (inside the EpiCentre), 210 E. Trade St.

Loïs Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color
Get this "First Look" of this exhibit before it opens tomorrow. The exhibit features a collection of paintings, textiles, and sketches that span the nearly 75 year career of this pioneering African-American artist, Ms. Jones. The evening will feature a jazz trio and performances by the Queens University Chamber Singers and Johnson C. Smith University Choir. There will also be a brief lecture by Barry Gaither. 6-9 p.m. $10 (free for Mint members). Mint Museum of Art, 2730 Randolph Rd.

Talk of the Town, the group that brought you the long-running, popular Friday Afterwork Rendezvous, has a new event it’s hosting on the second and fourth Friday of the month. Mingle with young professionals while enjoying great music by DJ DR. 8 p.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St.

Kickin It on the Southside
Digital Divas presents this new weekly Friday night event for those who live or want to party in south Charlotte. Enjoy drink specials and a DJ spinning hip-hop and R&B. 10 p.m. Free. On the Roxx, 14021 Conlan Circle (Ballantyne).

Black Friday
For Friday the 13th it’s all black everything: black clothes, black shoes, black cards, 1800 Black tequila, and even black carpet leading to the club. Black attire preferred. 10 p.m. Free before 11:30 p.m.; cost varies after. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd.

Saturday, November 14

Fashion with a Conscience
Joseph’s House of Threads and Amped-4-A-Cure invite you to an evening of fashion, including a reception and silent auction. Proceeds will benefit Amped-4-A-Cure and the American Cancer Society. 6-11 p.m. RSVP at 800-890-5563 or Mint Museum of Art, 2730 Randolph Rd.

Fight Party: Pacquiao vs. Cotto
Watch the fight at this intimate lounge. Plenty of drink specials, including $2 Bud Light, $3 Heineken, and $6 martinis. Sound for the fight will be on, and a DJ will play after. 7 p.m. $5 before 9 p.m.; $10 after. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St.

Robbie Hardkiss
If you like house music, you’ll love this night with the legendary DJ. And it’s being held at one of Charlotte’s newest and trendiest lounges. 9 p.m. $5. Dharma Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St., Suite 105 (facing Summit Avenue).

Sunday, November 15

Special Blend (weekly event)
Special Blend presents genres of artistry, music, visual, and humor in the spirit of good times and good people. Experience it while relaxing in a posh lounge. Music by DJ Justice. 7-11 p.m. Free. PJ’s Coffee & Lounge, 210 E. Trade St. (inside the EpiCentre).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Sex Toy Charlotte Is Offering the World

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/12/2009 1 comment
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November 16, 2009 marks 10 years since Rae Carruth had his pregnant girlfriend Cherica Adams shot during a planned drive-by shooting as the two left a south Charlotte movie theater. Carruth was just 25 years old and was a promising wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers. Adams was 24, and even though she was riddled with bullets she managed to tell police that she believed her boyfriend had arranged the shooting, and she gave birth to a son, born 10 weeks premature. Adams died four weeks later.

You can relive what took place that night in 1999, along with what followed a year later when the infamous "Rae Carruth Trial" got underway, and what has evolved over the past decade. In the cover story of this week's issue of Creative Loafing (Nov. 11-17), I chronicle Carruth's life behind bars, how he and Adam's son Chancellor is about to be 10 years old and is being raised by Adam's mother, and how so many lives were forever changed by such a senseless murder. The issue of Creative Loafing is on newsstands now, or you can read the article online, "Remembering Infamy: The life and crimes of Rae Carruth — 10 years later."

I was in college at USC in Columbia when the murder and subsequent trial took place. I remember watching the trial play out on CourtTV. The cable network would re-air the day's testimony at night. At times, it was more entertaining, suspenseful, and drama-filled than anything you might see fictionalized on Law and Order. Charlotte had become home to a media circus.

But when I was researching and doing interviews for this article, I took on a whole new perspective of the events. I was reminded of the harsh realities that a young woman lost her life. That a young man lost his professional football career and freedom. That a child suffers from cerebral palsy from having been delivered too soon and now doesn't know either of his parents.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Charlotte (and the nation) is showing love to our military service men and women in honor of Veterans Day. Even though the holiday is this Wednesday, November 11, there are specials going on throughout the week. Here are a few that GPT has learned of, and I got the idea to put this list together after talking to an old friend.

One of my childhood friends from South Carolina visited Charlotte today and he paid me a visit while in town. We were chilling at the crib when he mentioned that after he left my house he was going to the Charlotte Bobcats box office because they're giving away two tickets to tomorrow's (Tuesday) home game against the Orlando Magic. I told Caleb, who served in the Army for a few years after high school, that I hadn't heard anything about the ticket giveaway. But sure enough, at about 5:30 p.m. he was calling me as he was leaving the box office at Time Warner Cable arena saying he'd picked up his two free tickets. And he said "they're pretty good seats."

If you're a veteran or active duty, you can pick up your tickets by showing proof of service (military ID card, DD214 form, military orders, etc.). The box office opens at 10 a.m. Tuesday and will be open through the start of the game, which begins at 7 p.m. Call the box office at 704-688-9000 if you have any questions. I didn't see any info about the giveaway on the Bobcats website,

There are also some sweet food deals for veterans.

Applebee's nationwide is offering a free entree to all veterans and active duty military personnel on Wednesday. There are several ways you can show proof of eligibility to obtain your free meal: U.S. Uniform Services ID card, current leave and earnings statement (LES), veterans organization card (i.e., American Legion and VFW), photograph in uniform, wearing uniform, DD214, citation, or commendation.

There are 12 Applebee's locations in the Charlotte area, including Concord, Matthews, Pineville, Gastonia, and Rock Hill. Click here for more information on the Veterans Day special.

Also on Wednesday:

Wolfman Pizza, a Charlotte-based, California-Style pizza restaurant with four area locations, is offering 50 percent off your meal if you're a veteran or active duty. If you like 'em hot and sweet, Krispy Kreme is giving a free donut to our brave men and women (click here). Veterans and active duty personnel can get a free Bloomin’ Onion and a drink at Outback Steakhouse. Click here for more details.

The food love is even spilling into next week. On Monday, November 16, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Golden Corral is holding its Military Appreciation Monday Dinner. Get your free meal, and visit for more details.

The big-box stores are getting into the spirit as well.

Mooresville-based Lowe's Home Improvement is honoring Veterans Day at its more than 1,600 stores nationwide. Through Saturday, people from the active duty ranks, reservists, honorably discharged, and retired military men and women with valid identification or proof of service are eligible to receive a special 10 percent discount on in-store and special order purchases up to $5,000.

On Veterans Day only, Sam’s Club locations nationwide will be giving away 25,000 Hugo canes free of charge to military veterans in need of mobility assistance. Limited quantities per location and available only while supplies last. You don't have to be a Sam’s Club member, but proof of military service is required. Visit

If you know of any special offer that I've missed, feel free to post it in the comments section. And if you go get one of these freebies, come back and post your experience in the comments as well.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Maybe BofA Should Use TheLadders

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 11/03/2009 1 comment
Over the past 24 hours, and particularly this morning, news of Bank of America's search for a CEO to replace the retiring Ken Lewis has been dominating business news websites and the blogosphere. Apparently the job isn't very appealing to some of the top-notch executives who BofA is going after. Maybe they should use TheLadders for their job search ("$100k+ jobs for $100k+ people"). Ranging from speculation to confirmed reports, the latest news suggests that when BofA announces its new CEO, which is expected to come next week, that man (wouldn't you be surprised if it was a woman?) likely won't already be living here in Charlotte and probably won't be required to move here. That in itself has opened the door to a whole new realm of speculation.

I've selected a few news and blog links below.

Bank of America’s Next Chief May Be Based in New York. Bloomberg

BofA CEO may be based outside Charlotte. Reuters

Bank of America's next chief could be based in the Big Apple. Daily Finance (AOL)

Nobody Wants To Lead Bank Of America. DealBreaker

The Dowager City: Next BofA Chief May Quit Charlotte. DealBreaker

BNY Mellon CEO Kelly Tells BofA: No, Thanks. The Wall Street Journal

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tuesday is an important election for local government. Decide who's going to be Charlotte's next mayor, who's going to be on your city council, and who's going to run you kids' school board.

The polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Visit for everything you need to know about candidates and voting locations.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Read About It: Luna Lounge

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 10/26/2009 2 comments
Luna Lounge opened in August and is quickly becoming one of Charlotte's hotspots. Thursday and Friday nights draw good crowds, and now with the immensely popular weekly Pop Life event having moved there last week (after spending the past year at Apostrophe Lounge), look for Wednesdays to now be a great night to lounge at Luna.

Photo by Peter Taylor for Charlotte magazine.

You can read my review of Luna in the November issue of Charlotte magazine, on newsstands now. Click here to read it online. And while you're at it, peruse Charlotte magazine's newly redesigned website. It's rather dapper.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

This Day In History: Jim Bakker Sentenced

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 10/24/2009 No comments
On October 24, 1989, twenty years ago today, television evangelist Jim Bakker was sentenced by a judge in Charlotte to 45 years in prison for fraud and conspiracy. The sentence was later reduced to eight years; then further reduced to four years for good behavior. Before he came crashing down, Jim and then-wife Tammy Faye had built a massive spiritual network in Charlotte and Fort Mill.

Wikipedia chronicles Jim Bakker's rise and fall--in Charlotte--well. See excerpt below.

Teaming with their former youth pastors Paul and Jan Crouch, the Bakkers created the "Praise the Lord" show for the Crouches' new Trinity Broadcasting Network in California. While that relationship lasted only about a year, this time the Bakkers retained the rights to use the initials PTL and traveled east to Charlotte, North Carolina, to begin their own show, The PTL Club. Their show grew quickly until it was carried by close to a hundred stations, with average viewers numbering over twelve million, and the Bakkers had established their own network, The PTL Television Network (also known as PTL-The Inspirational Network). They attributed much of their success to decisions early on to accept all denominations and to refuse no one regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, or criminal record.

By the early 1980s the Bakkers had built Heritage USA in Fort Mill, South Carolina, (south of Charlotte), then the third most successful theme park in the U.S., and a satellite system to distribute their network 24 hours a day across the country. Contributions requested from viewers were estimated to exceed $1 million a week, with proceeds to go to expanding the theme park and mission of PTL. In justifying his use of the mass media, Bakker responded to inquiries by likening his use of television to Jesus's use of the amphitheater of the time. "I believe that if Jesus were alive today he would be on TV," Bakker said.

PTL's fund raising activities between 1984–1987 underwent scrutiny by The Charlotte Observer newspaper, eventually leading to criminal charges against Jim Bakker. From 1984 to 1987, Bakker and his PTL associates sold $1,000 "lifetime memberships", which entitled buyers to a three-night stay annually at a luxury hotel at Heritage USA. According to the prosecution at Bakker's later fraud trial, tens of thousands of memberships had been sold, but only one 500-room hotel was ever completed. Bakker "sold" more "exclusive partnerships" than could be accommodated, while raising more than twice the money needed to build the actual hotel. A good deal of the money went into Heritage USA's operating expenses, and Bakker kept $3.4 million in bonuses for himself.

Bakker, who apparently made all of the financial decisions for the PTL organization, allegedly kept two sets of books to conceal the accounting irregularities. Reporters from The Charlotte Observer, led by Charles Shepard, investigated and published a series of articles regarding the PTL organization's finances.

On March 19, 1987, following the revelation of a payoff to Jessica Hahn, whom Heritage's chief builder had paid $279,000 from his own funds to keep secret her allegation that he had raped her, Bakker resigned from PTL. Bakker acknowledges he met Hahn at a hotel room in Clearwater Beach, Florida, but denies raping her. Following Bakker's resignation as PTL head, he was succeeded in late March, 1987, by Jerry Falwell. Later that summer, as donations sharply declined in the wake of Bakker's resignation and the end of the Bakkers' popular PTL Club TV show, Falwell raised $20 million to help keep the Heritage USA Theme Park solvent, including a well-publicized waterslide plunge there. Falwell called Bakker a liar, an embezzler, a sexual deviant, and "the greatest scab and cancer on the face of Christianity in 2,000 years of church history." In 1988, Falwell said that the Bakker scandal had "strengthened broadcast evangelism and made Christianity stronger, more mature and more committed."

Following a 16-month Federal grand jury probe, Bakker was indicted in 1988 on eight counts of mail fraud, 15 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy. In 1989, after a brief five week trial which began on August 28 in Charlotte, the jury found him guilty on all 24 counts, and Judge Robert Potter sentenced him to 45 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Events for the Week: October 19-25

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 10/21/2009 No comments
Your best weekly list for parties, nightlife, social, and cultural events in Charlotte. This isn’t intended to be a complete list of everything that's going on, but instead are the events GPT recommends.

Wednesday, October 21

Meet and Greet Anthony Foxx
Here’s your chance to mix and mingle with the Democratic Charlotte mayoral candidate. Live music by 5th and York band and singer Calvin Richardson, along with DJ 06 on the turntables. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and drink specials will be served. 6-10 p.m. Free, but campaign donations are appreciated. Utopia SoundStage, 10210 Berkeley Place Dr.

Meet and Greet John Lassiter
Here’s your chance to mix and mingle with the Republican Charlotte mayoral candidate. 6-7:30 p.m. Free. Sports Page Restaurant, 8400-H Belhaven Blvd.

Pop Life—New Location
It’s the most popular social networking event on a Wednesday night and it’s moved to a new location, Luna Lounge, beginning this week. The promoters are promising “new venue, new season, same attitude.” Starts after work but runs past midnight. Music by DJ DR. 6 p.m.-until. Free. Luna Lounge, 521 N. College St. or

Thursday, October 22

Think Pink After Work Social
Enjoy an evening with young professionals, with proceeds benefitting the Susan G. Komen “For the Cure” National Fund. Drink specials will be served, including the Pink-tini. Networking until 8 p.m. (music down low); DJ comes on after. Presented by My Nail Spa and NexxLevel Marketing. 6-11 p.m. Free. Club Urban Affair (formerly Rustic Martini), 616 N Tryon St.

Friday, October 23

Prowl Pep Rally
Come out and celebrate with other Carolina Panthers fans in preparation for Sunday’s home game against the Buffalo Bills. Enjoy free appetizers, happy hour drink specials, and there will be chances to win tickets to the game and a replica team jersey. 5-9 p.m. Free. BlackFinn (inside the EpiCentre), 210 E. Trade St.

The Open House Experience
Charlotte’s most diverse house music night has returned, with resident DJ Rsenal and special guest DJ Jason Brooks. Kick back at this eclectic lounge and enjoy some of the best bar food in town. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Free. Soul Gastrolounge, 1500 Central Ave.,

Saturday, October 24

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture Grand Opening
The new center opens as part of the Wells Fargo Cultural Campus in Uptown. Enjoy a day full of free activities, beginning with events for the whole family and ending with a celebration for adults. 9:50 a.m dance ensemble; 10 a.m. ribbon cutting; guided tours every hour from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; artists speaking, a book signing, and plenty more throughout the day; and concluding with a band and dancing till 2 a.m. Gantt Center, 551 S. Tryon St.

Palate to Palette 2009
This classy affair unites wine and art enthusiasts. Each guest will be lead on a visual and tasting journey of art and wine alongside the center’s past, present, and guest artists. Located in various studios throughout the building, each artist will be paired with a complementary wine, creating a unique relationship that builds upon a central theme. 7-10 p.m. $50-$75. McColl Center for Visual Art, 721 N. Tryon St.

The Floacist of Floetry Live
See Natalie Stewart of Floetry perform. Hosted by JC the Poet and music by DJ Boney B. 8:30 p.m. Cost varies. House ff Jazz, 8630 University Executive Park Dr. or

Marquee Saturdays: The DJ AM Tribute
Charlotte’s hottest Saturday night party pays tribute to the fallen DJ with music by DJ Frenzy and Blue the Drummer, including a live drum show. Enjoy the large dance floor, plentiful seating, and large outdoor patio. Ten tickets will be given away to Halo’s upcoming Halloween party. 9 p.m. Halo, inside the N.C. Music Factory, 820 Hamilton St.

Sunday, October 25

Special Blend (weekly event)
Special Blend presents genres of artistry, music, visual, and humor in the spirit of good times and good people. Experience it while relaxing in a trendy lounge. Music by DJ Justice. 7-11 p.m. Free. PJ’s Coffee & Lounge, 210 E. Trade St. (inside the EpiCentre).

Super Fresh Sundays
This party for those who know how to get “fresh”—and want to party on a Sunday night. Music by DJ Magic. 10 p.m. Free for first 150 people. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Share Your Vision for Charlotte's Future

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 10/20/2009 No comments
The Center City 2020 Vision Plan team is holding the first of three community workshops to gather input on what Charlotte residents want to see for the future of Center City. Scheduled for Wednesday, October 21, 5:30-9 p.m., at the Charlotte Convention Center, the workshop will include a variety of interactive activities to give residents a chance to share their ideas, including video booths and artists to capture participants’ ideas and visions for the future.

Research for the 2020 plan will consider economic, destination, lifestyle, educational, residential, retail, and infrastructure issues. The plan will be completed in fall 2010 to be considered for adoption by City Council and County Commission.

This project is a collaboration between Charlotte Center City Partners, City of Charlotte, and Mecklenburg County. Click here for more info.

Friday, October 16, 2009

By Andrea L. Simon, guest blogger

Rumors have been buzzing and it has now been confirmed that H&M is set to finally make its debut in the Carolinas. The News & Observer reported yesterday that a deal for a 21,000 square-foot H&M store is slated to be finalized in about a week, with the store opening in the spring in--*cue the sound effects*--errrrrrrrr Raleigh?!

Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against Raleigh. Being the capital of our beautiful state, it frequently tops lists like “Smartest City,” “Best Place to Live,” and “Best Place for Business and Careers.” It will also likely draw a ready-made customer base for the store with several major universities and young professionals easily within driving distance. To be fair, I think Raleigh is a solid choice to host the store. But at the risk of sounding like a two-year-old, throwing a tantrum and stomping my feet when I don’t get my way: What about Charlotte?! We have long since been making a name for ourselves as the new metropolis of the Carolinas, and with H&M, known for being a “big-city” retailer, finally reaching out to our market; one would only assume Charlotte would be first choice.

In about six months, Raleigh will be holding an H&M grand opening like this one. A 21,000 square-foot store is planned for Crabtree Valley Mall.

Sure, Raleigh could argue that we were given the only IKEA in the Carolinas, and maybe it’s only fair that they too are given the opportunity to monopolize a sought-after retailer in the region. But upon hearing rumors that an H&M would finally be coming (clearly I’ve been waiting for this news for quite some time now), surely I’m not the only one who thought SouthPark Mall was a shoe-in! Being that I (like a host of other Charlotte residents) am not a Queen City native, it seems I’m finding new stores, restaurants, and businesses that I was accustomed to in my home state, popping up in Charlotte every day. I have to believe that this is due to a number of businesses taking notice of the ever-increasing population, diversity, and culture that Charlotte is building out of transplants from all over the country; included in this mix, many people who are already familiar with and consumers of their products.

So why, may I ask, didn’t H&M see fit to follow suit? While I’m markedly disheartened that this is not the case, I can only hope that the opening of the Raleigh store will merely be the first in the Carolinas, with announcement of a Charlotte launch not far behind. I guess until then, as one elated Raleigh dweller commented on a recent forum, “Charlotte will finally have to come to Raleigh for something instead of the other way around!”

If you too have an opinion on this, sound off.

To learn more about plans for the new Raleigh H&M store, visit The News & Observer’s article by clicking here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dinner at Fantasia's

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 10/15/2009 No comments
Fantasia Barrino often touts her Southern roots and North Carolina upbringing. But does this Southern belle know her way around the kitchen?

The singer is hosting a dinner party tonight at her Charlotte home as part of Macy’s and Feeding America's “Come Together” campaign. This initiative launched last month and aims to feed 10 million people suffering from hunger. Come Together invites the public to host special dinners in their homes, but ask their guests to pledge a donation to Feeding America and local food banks in lieu of the traditional host gift. In return, Macy’s will match these donations dollar for dollar. In Charlotte, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina will be one of the beneficiaries of this effort.

Fantasia at her Charlotte home during an episode of MTV Cribs.

“When I heard about the Macy's Come Together Campaign, I thought that hosting a dinner party would be a great way to give back to my community,” Fantasia said in a statement. “After gathering information about the campaign I realized and want others to know that hunger is not just something the homeless experience. In these tough times we have to recognize the need to assist our fellow neighbors and community as a whole. That is why I wanted to do something with the campaign and I encourage others to do so as well.”

I doubt if 'Tasia will do any cooking (you never know, though), and she's to be commended for taking part in this great cause. Hopefully this will inspire others to do the same. Maybe next week, dinner at Steve Smith's?

For more info on Come Together, visit Martha Stewart is even there to give you tips on hosting a dinner party.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

NASCAR Announces Hall of Fame Class

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 10/14/2009 No comments
Fresh off the wire (that's old-school journalist talk), below is an excerpt of a press release I received this afternoon announcing the inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame Class. I got three out of five of the selections right--Earnhardt, France Sr., and Petty--from when I blogged about the nominees in August ("NASCAR Hall of Fame: Class and Race").

There was never any doubt that The King and The Intimidator would get in.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Oct. 14, 2009) – The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) announced the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame today that includes: Dale Earnhardt, Bill France Sr., Bill France Jr., Junior Johnson and Richard Petty.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, consisting of members of the Nominating Committee along with 29 others representing NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, major race track ownership groups, retired drivers, owners and crew chiefs along with motorsports media representatives, met in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C. to vote on the induction class of 2010.

The class was determined by the 51 votes cast by the panel and the nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.COM. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.

The Class of 2010 will be officially inducted in a ceremony on May 23, 2010 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.

The results of the voting for the final five chosen in this inaugural class proved competitive. Also receiving votes were David Pearson, Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison.

As part of the inclusive voting process, more than 670,000 NASCAR fans submitted votes online at NASCAR.COM as part of the fan voting process. This remarkable fan feedback once again demonstrates fans’ passion and knowledge of the sport and its heritage. The fans voted Petty, Earnhardt, Bill France Sr., Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison as their top five.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame broke ground in Charlotte on Jan. 25, 2007 and will open May 11, 2010. The facility honors the history and heritage of NASCAR and the many who have contributed to the success of NASCAR.

To read the full press release, which details the five drivers' accomplishments, click here. For more info on the NASCAR Hall of Fame, visit

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

There's a lot of excitement leading up to the opening of the new Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture. As part of the Wells Fargo Cultural Campus in Uptown Charlotte, the new Gantt Center represents a vision that started more than 35 years ago.

The Gantt Center is holding its Community Celebration on Saturday, October 24, which will be an all-day and all-night grand opening event. In this week's issue of Creative Loafing (October 14-20 edition), you can read the article I wrote that chronicle's the significance and potential impact of this new $18 million facility. The building itself, which stands where the historic Brooklyn neighborhood once thrived before being razed in the name of urban renewal, is a work of art. Click here to read the article.

Also, the Gantt Center held Media Day today. Below are a few photos I snapped while I was there.

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