Thursday, April 30, 2009

Shop for Charity Saturday at Belk

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/30/2009 No comments
Ladies, you'll have a good excuse to shop this Saturday (fellas can go, too). Belk is holding a Charity Sale at its department stores nationwide to benefit local charities, schools, and nonprofit organizations. For a $5 donation, you'll receive a ticket to the sale from 6-10 a.m. for discounts ranging from 20 percent to 50 percent. You'll also receive $5 off your first purchase.

Participating local charities have been selling the $5 tickets since last Friday and they get to keep the proceeds from each ticket. You can also purchase tickets at Belk and those proceeds will be divided among the groups. Customers can also register to win one of three $1,000 Belk shopping sprees.

The last Belk Charity Sale, which was held in November, raised $4.5 million for nonprofit organizations around the country. The popularity of the event--and I would venture to say the need for a reason to bring shoppers back to the stores during this slowed economy--led to the department store chain holding this event again just six months later.

Belk, which is headquartered in Charlotte, has more than 300 stores in 16 states. There are seven stores in the Charlotte area. Click here for more details on the sale.

Luckett and the 'Life'

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/30/2009 No comments
In case you didn't know, LeToya Luckett was at Pop Life last night. I didn't make it out there. I thought about going, but it would've been just too painful.

See, LeToya is supposed to be my wife by now. Sure, I've never met her, but I had a crush on her that began when I was about 16. Destiny's Child burst onto the scene when I was in high school and at that time, LeToya was my favorite member of the group. Yes, Beyonce was always the leader and frontwoman of the group who did most of the singing, but I always had my eyes on Ms. LL. 

When she dropped out of Destiny's Child in 2000, I thought "Yes, now she can devote more time to us." And even though she was off the scene for a few years, our relationship never materialized. She hit the scene again in 2006 with the release of her debut solo album, and I started to realize then that she wouldn't have time for us. It was good to see her again, though.

Now she's on a promo tour, which is what brought her to Charlotte yesterday, and she has a new album that's scheduled to be released this summer. She was on The Morning Maddhouse on Power 98 yesterday morning (see the video below) and at Pop Life in the evening. 

LeToya Luckett greets a fan at Pop Life. Click here for more.

I tout Pop Life often on this blog because it's the best event going on a Wednesday night in Charlotte, and the organizers, Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen, do a great job of keeping it fresh. There are different forms of entertainment and various organizations involved each week, and recording artists dropping in has become more frequent (J. Holiday was there in March). A weekly event can easily get stale, but this series has been going strong each week at Apostrophe Lounge since September, and not to mention all the months it ran at Loft 1523 last year and at Prevue before that.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Popular Charlotte rock band Simplified has advanced to the top-10 round in the Fender Road Worn competition. The contest began in January with hundreds of bands from around the country entering. Online fan votes have advanced them through four rounds. In this round, fan votes will be paired with the votes from expert judges and five of these 10 remaining bands will advance to the finals. Up for grabs are a new Toyota Tundra, a band's worth of instruments and equipment, and $15,000 cash.

You can vote for Simplified until May 11. Click here to visit their page on the contest website. Below is the video for "Home," the song they entered into the competition.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

No Jada-Charlotte Connection

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/28/2009 No comments
If you've been watching TNT lately, you've likely seen the commercials for Jada Pinkett Smith's new show HawthoRNe, which is set to premiere in June. Yes, this is the same show that when it was initially announced as a pilot last year was titled Time Heals. But that's not the only change.

The plot for the show was originally described as being about "Nancy Hawthorne, a strong but caring director of nursing at Charlotte Mercy Hospital in North Carolina, a single mother who always puts the pain of others first." I was excited (I previously blogged about it here and here) because I thought Charlotte was going to get some shine. I was even corresponding with Smith's publicist early last month about a potential magazine interview. But the show no longer has ties to the Queen City. The setting for the show now "takes place at Richmond Trinity Hospital in Richmond, Va., where the strong-but-caring director of nursing, Christina Hawthorne continuously fights battles she often knows she won’t win, " according to TNT. Booooo! Charlotte, and our real-life Mercy Hospital, would've been a better backdrop.

But I understand that elements of TV shows usually change from the pilot stage to the time they air. And those changes, in the minds of the show's producers and directors and the studio executives, are often for the better. I easily commend Smith, who's executive producing the show, and crew for two things: HawthoRNe is a much better name for the show--I especially like how they emphasize the RN--and Christina is a more fitting name for a character with her beauty.

Events for the Week: April 27-May 3

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/28/2009 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, April 29

Quail Hollow Championship Pro-Am
See the best golfers in the world paired up with some of your favorite celebrities, like Tiger Woods with Peyton Manning, during this Wednesday exhibition before the official tournament starts. First tee time is 7:30 a.m. Ticket sales have ended (go holler at the scalpers). Visit website for parking and shuttle information. Quail Hollow Club, 3700 Gleneagles Rd.

Neo Soul Listening Party (weekly event)
This soulful evening is hosted by V101.9 personality Chirl Girl. Featuring live music by Kobi Keys and Company. 6-10 p.m. Free. Utopia Restaurant, 10210 Berkeley Place Dr.

Pop Life (weekly event)
It’s the most popular social networking event on a Wednesday night and a lot is going on with this week’s edition. It’s being hosted by R&B singer Letoya Luckett and will feature presentations by Flawless Make Up (6-9 p.m.). This event will also serve as a “Buzz Party” for the American Black Film Festival. Music by DJ Technics. Presented by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St.

Thursday, April 30

Quail Hollow Championship
Thursday through Sunday you’ll find the best golfers in the world—Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Vijay Singh, Anthony Kim, Jim Furyk, and more—competing in this annual golf tournament, formerly known as the Wachovia Championship. First tee time is 7 a.m. Ticket sales have ended (go holler at the scalpers). Visit website for parking and shuttle information. Quail Hollow Club, 3700 Gleneagles Rd.

Alive After Five (weekly event)
The newly combined Alive After Five is now at its new home, the EpiCentre. Enjoy live music by this week’s band, Voltage Brothers, and plenty of drinks from cash bars scattered throughout. Wristbands get you into Blackfinn, Whisky River, Suite, and StrikeCity. 5-9:30 p.m. Free. Pavilion at EpiCentre, 210 E. Trade St.

Thirsty Thursday
Watch the Charlotte Knights take on the Syracuse Chiefs while you enjoy $2 beers. 7:15 p.m. $7-$13. Charlotte Knights Stadium, 2280 Deerfield Dr., Fort Mill, SC.

Friday, May 1

South End Gallery Crawl
Tour seven art galleries throughout historic South End during this monthly gallery crawl. Participating galleries are Charlotte Art League, Ciel Gallery, DoMa Gallery, Elder Art Gallery, Hidell Brooks Gallery, McColl Fine Art, and Siskate Gallery. 6-9 p.m. Free. Begin the crawl at Charlotte Art League, 1517 Camden Road.

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous (weekly event)
End your workweek on a high note at this networking party, held at a different venue each Friday. Enjoy drink specials and two-for-one appetizers this week. Music by DJ 06. Presented by Talk of the Town. 6-11 p.m. Free. LaVecchia’s Restaurant, 225 E. Sixth St.

Piedmont Town Center After Five
South Park's newest live music and social event kicks off this Friday evening with a special golf tournament edition. Come mingle with the fans leaving Quail Hollow as well as the South Park socialites. Next week the event begins its weekly Wednesday schedule (5-9:30 p.m.). This Friday is a later version, 7-11 p.m. Free. Piedmont Town Center, intersection of Fairview Road and Piedmont Row Drive, near Brio's, Del Frisco's, and Oceanaire.

1st Fridays Charlotte
It’s touted as the number one urban event and after-party, and it draws a large crowd each month at a different venue. This month it returns to one of Charlotte’s newest nightclubs. Presented by Dee Autry, Troy Veale, and Thomas Washington. Music by DJ Chase. Décor 1202, 1202 Charlottetowne Ave. 10 p.m. $15 in advance. Ladies free before 10:30.

Saturday, May 2

Spring Fling Block Party
Warm weather means it’s time for a block party. Plenty of drink specials and the music will be blasting into the streets around the club. 6 p.m.-until. $5 in advance, $15 at the gate. Music by DJ Boney B. Rustic Martini, 616 N. Tryon St.

Carolina Speed vs. D.C. Armor
Enjoy indoor football and root for the home team. Or come just to watch the Velocity Girls perform on the sidelines and during halftime. 7 p.m. $8-$20. Bojangles’ Coliseum (formerly Cricket Arena), 2700 E. Independence Blvd.

The Royal Treatment
Put on your stylish digs and come ready to party. Presented by Maz Entertainment. 10 p.m. Free before midnight with an email pass—visit website for details. Blue Restaurant and Bar, 214 N. Tryon St. (corner of Fifth and College streets).

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My First Time: Coffee Cup in NoDa

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/25/2009 No comments
The historic Coffee Cup restaurant has a new home after opening in NoDa about a month ago. It's located in the Highland Mill complex in the building that houses two bar/nightclubs, Prevue and Alive. It's actually on the corner in between the two clubs and I never even realized there was space for something to go there because there previously weren't any windows in that spot. Now windows have been cut out, the inside has been remodeled, and it creates a nice diner atmosphere for the Coffee Cup. I met a friend there for lunch yesterday.

If you don't know the Coffee Cup's history, the soul food restaurant originally opened on South Clarkson Street on the outskirts of uptown in 1947. It's credited as the first Charlotte restaurant to integrate. It was a staple on the local restaurant scene for decades, but in 2006 Beazer Homes, which had bought the property the year before, announced plans to force the Coffee Cup's owner to leave so they could tear down the building to build condos. This was when Charlotte's real estate market was developing at a break-neck pace and developers were trying to build on every piece of attractive property in and around uptown.

After a yearlong battle to save the Coffee Cup, including efforts by the Historic Landmarks Commission and a petition from thousands of Charlotteans, owner Gardine Wilson decided to leave and in November 2007 he opened a new Coffee Cup in University City. That location never garnered the following of the old place and closed a year later. At the time, Wilson said he was working on restructuring plans for the restaurant. Then a couple of months later he said it would be closed for good. But all of a sudden the new place opened in NoDa in late March. I believe this will be Wilson's last attempt to make it work. And I think it can work, even though this economy means it's not such a good time for a restaurant to open.

The new Coffee Cup is in a good location. NoDa has a good scene of niche restaurants, bars, shops, and galleries and the Coffee Cup should blend in very well. It has plenty of parking right out front, which is always a plus in my book and is especially important for drawing lunch crowds who are dashing in from work. Inside has a classic diner feel. And most importantly, the food is great.

I had the fried chicken, which comes with two sides and cornbread (or biscuits) so I got the mac-n-cheese and collard greens and I also ordered an extra side of sweet potatoes. The meal arrived less than ten minutes after I ordered it, perfectly seasoned, and piping hot. My drink was lemonade and it's probably the best lemonade I've ever had. The service was good, too. Our waitress was Wonderful Wanda, who told jokes every time she came to check on us. I hope this location thrives because there are not many other places in Charlotte serving up soul food this good. All it needs is for many of the original patrons to return and for the city's newcomers to try it out.

The new Coffee Cup is located at 2909 N. Davidson St. Visit for more details.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Good Luck Stephen. Thanks for the Memories

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/24/2009 1 comment
As you probably know by now, Stephen Curry announced during a press conference yesterday that he plans to skip his senior season at Davidson and enter this year's NBA Draft. There are a lot of opinions out there about whether or not he made the right decision and even more people opining on how well they think he'll do in the NBA. All I have to say about Curry is good luck. You gave us three years of great college basketball, certainly better than Davidson and the Charlotte area as a whole has ever seen.

Many sports writers are saying Curry, who led the NCAA in scoring this past season, could be the next Adam Morrison in the NBA--not good. Lebron James has said Curry could be the next Richard Hamilton--that would be great. The fact of the matter is, no one will know until number 30 puts on an NBA jersey this fall.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Charlotte Is Gaining 'Steam'

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/23/2009 No comments
Score another victory for the CLT over the ATL. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that the Atlanta Steam, a member of the Lingerie Football League (LFL), is leaving Atlanta after not being able to find a permanent stadium to play its home games. Team officials are reportedly planning to announce in coming days the venue in Charlotte that will become their new home.

I have to be honest, I'd never heard of the Steam or the Lingerie Football League. I was aware of the Lingerie Bowl that's been held around the time of the Super Bowl every year for the past five or six years (this year's was cancelled, though), but I thought that was a once a year publicity stunt to attract advertisers and make money on pay-per-view. I didn't know it was an actual league. Well, it is and they have ten teams around the country, from Miami to Seattle.

I'm interested in knowing where the Steam will play here and whether they want an indoor or outdoor facility. They'll join the fold of a couple of other semi-pro football teams we have in Charlotte: the Carolina Speed, which is an arena football team, and the Carolina Queens, a team that plays in the Independent Women's Football League. The Queens might have an issue with the Steam coming here and taking their shine. I attended a Queens practice a couple of years ago and these ladies are no joke. Even though the Steam do get physical, the Queens wear "real" uniforms and pads and hit each other as hard as men do.

One would think that the Queens and Steam would one day scrimmage each other if they're both going to call Charlotte home, but I don't see that happening. They're in two totally different leagues...literally.

Click here for the AJC article.

Click here to visit the Steam's official website.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Counting Down to Tiger...

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/22/2009 No comments
Tiger Woods (and all eligible PGA players, for that matter) has until Friday at 5 p.m. to decide if he'll play in next week's Quail Hollow Championship. He typically makes his decision during this week before the annual Charlotte tournament, formerly known as the Wachovia Championship.

Woods missed this event last year because he had knee surgery just a couple of weeks before it. He won the tournament in 2007. Most people remember that year because of the famous pairing of him and Michael Jordan in the Wednesday Pro-Am.

There are a host of great players already confirmed for this PGA Tour event next week, including Phil Mickelson, Trevor Immelman, Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington, Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk, and the 2008 champion, Anthony Kim.

The Quail Hollow Championship runs April 27-May 3. Tickets are still available. Visit for more details.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Events for the Week: April 20-26

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/21/2009 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, April 22

Neo Soul Listening Party (weekly event)
This soulful evening is hosted by V101.9 personality Chirl Girl. Featuring live music by Kobi Keys and Company. 6-10 p.m. Free. Utopia Restaurant, 10210 Berkeley Place Dr.

Pop Life (weekly event)
It’s the most popular social networking event on a Wednesday night. Starts after work but runs past midnight. This week is the “Eco-Chic Edition” in celebration of Earth Day and guests are asked to wear green. Music by select DJs. Sponsored this week by Sotac-I. Presented by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St.

Thursday, April 23

Alive After Five (weekly event)
The newly combined Alive After Five launches at its new home, the EpiCentre. Enjoy live music by Celebration Club and plenty of drinks from cash bars scattered throughout. This will be Charlotte’s largest weekly outdoor party. Wristbands get you into Blackfinn, Whisky River, Suite, and StrikeCity. 5-9:30 p.m. Free. Pavilion at EpiCentre, 210 E. Trade St.

Friday, April 24

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous (weekly event)
End your workweek on a high note at this networking party, held at a different venue each week. Enjoy drink and appetizer specials and live music by Peace & Love Jazz Soul Band. DJ Daddy D on the turntables. Presented by Talk of the Town. 6-11 p.m. Free. Utopia Restaurant, 10210 Berkeley Place Dr.

Fall Out Boy and 50 Cent
See rock and hip-hop’s finest in one night. Charlotte is one of only a handful of stops on Fall Out Boy’s Believers Never Die Tour where 50 Cent is performing. 7 p.m. $30. Bojangles' Coliseum (formerly Cricket Arena), 2700 E. Independence Blvd.

The Heart of Motown
Join Albert-George Schram, the Charlotte Symphony, and the four-member vocal group Spectrum as they recreate the “Motown Sound.” Spectrum, the country’s leading Motown tribute band, will perform favorites by the Temptations, the Four Tops, the Spinners, and more. Party afterwards at the historic Excelsior Club (921 Beatties Ford Rd.). Sponsored by Opus X. 8 p.m. $35, includes concert ticket and admission to Excelsior. Belk Theater, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, 130 N. Tryon St.

Spring Bliss
It promises to be a “progressive and exclusive crowd” at Charlotte’s newest nightclub. Music by NYC’s DJ Magic and Power 98’s DJ Danny Diaz. Presented by the Sol Kitchen, Simmons Media, and LV Productions. 9 p.m. Cost varies, ladies free before 11 p.m. Décor 1202, 1202 Charlottetowne Ave.

Yin and Yang Part II: The Black and White Party
Come dressed to impress in your best black and white attire. The party is sure to be live from the bar to the patio and look for many of Charlotte’s movers and shakers among the mostly 30-and-older crowd. Music by DJ C-Rob. Presented by Digital Divas. 10 p.m. $10 in advance, more at the door. Sunset Club, 1820 South Blvd.

Saturday, April 25

Foreclosure Prevention Event
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond is partnering with HOPE NOW and NeighborWorks America in sponsoring a public event to address the home foreclosure problem. Homeowners will have the opportunity to meet individually with their mortgage servicer and housing counselors to discuss feasible options to avoid foreclosure. Throughout the day, certified housing counselors will offer educational workshops on foreclosure prevention and credit counseling. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. The Park, 2500 E. Independence Blvd.

Art and Soul of South End
This annual two-day festival showcases the beauty and culture of historic South End. Enjoy artworks from more than 75 of the region and country’s best artists along with live music and dance and great food from vendors. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. A block party follows with performances by Erika Blatnik, Go Go Pilot, Volatile baby, and The Hot House Hefftones. South End, Camden Road from East Boulevard to Tryon Street. Take the light rail.

I.O.U.S.A. Film Screening and Panel Discussion
Join GenerationEngage and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. as they present a screening of I.O.U.S.A., a film that boldly examines the rapidly growing national debt and its consequences for the United States and its citizens. Immediately following the film will be a panel discussion with U.S. Representative Mel Watt; Craig Dipken, associate professor of economics; and Tanya Dial Bethune, Mechanics and Farmers Bank. 4 p.m. Free. Cone Center (room 210), UNC Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd.

Something Green
Part 1 (9-10 p.m.): Get informed through a discussion with local elected officials and experts on opportunities in the Green Economy. Part 2 (10 p.m.-1 a.m.): Party and birthday celebrations for Q92.7’s Ifé Moore, Rod Garvin of GenerationEngage, and Jason Bennett. Music by So So Def’s DJ Avi-X. Arrive early and get a free compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb that uses 75 percent less energy. Presented by Six Figure Entertainment and GenerationEngage. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Cost varies, reduced admission before 9:30, VIP available. Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, 139 S. Tryon St.

Sunday, April 26

Art and Soul of South End
This annual two-day festival showcases the beauty and culture of historic South End. Enjoy artworks from more than 75 of the region and country’s best artists along with live music and dance and great food from vendors. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. South End, Camden Road from East Boulevard to Tryon Street. Take the light rail.

Heaven On Earth: An All White Affair
It’s a party for college students—celebrating the graduating class—and twenty-somethings. Presented by Y.C.F.R. Entertainment. 9 p.m. Free before 10 p.m., $10 and up after. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd.

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.

A Lot At 'Steak'

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/21/2009 No comments
In late November I pitched a story idea to my editor of Charlotte Hospitality News on all the upscale steakhouses that we have in Charlotte, from the ones that have been around for more than ten years to the ones that had opened in the past year. What I wanted to explore was whether or not this city could support that many high-end restaurants, particularly now that we were in a recession. My article was published in January, and since then the steakhouses have taken a hit.

Morton's Steakhouse in SouthPark closed about two weeks after my article came out (the one in uptown is still open) and this past weekend McIntosh's in South End closed. Each of those restaurants were covered in the article, as were Sullivan's and Chima, and I mentioned the host of others: The Palm, Ruth's Chris, Del Frisco's, and Fleming's. I don't know how all of those places are doing, but I do know that Sullivan's recently had some turnover in management. And, coincidentally, I stopped in at Chima Friday night to go to their upstairs bar/lounge and they'd closed it at 10 p.m. I'm pretty sure the reason they closed the lounge early was because there weren't many people in there (the downstairs dining room was still open).

I know this recession has us all being more frugal with our spending, but I'd hate to see us lose too many of our finest restaurants. Charlotte's restaurant scene has become one of the best in the South and most of that progress can be attributed to the last decade, along with most of the city's other growth. So ignore those Chick-fil-A cows and get out and eat more steak. You'll actually find that many of the steakhouses are offering more food and drink specials than ever, some of which is discussed in the article below.

(Click image for larger view and full article.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fantasia's Getting a Reality Show

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/20/2009 No comments
Fantasia Barrino is the latest star to be getting her own reality TV show. VH1 has announced that the show will begin airing in early 2010 on the network, though the title of the show has not yet been released. Fantasia is no stranger to reality TV, of course, since her rise to stardom came as a result of her winning season three of American Idol. This will be a little different, though, since cameras will be following her around everywhere she goes.

I expect that Fantasia, a High Point native who lives in Charlotte, will be one of the few reality TV stars who actually keeps it "real" on her show. I envision it being similar to Keyshia Cole's show in how she's very open about her personal and family life. In fact, Fantasia has hinted that one of the things the show will cover is her working on getting her GED. It's also recently been reported that she'll be resuming her role as Celie in the stage adaptation of The Color Purple, during a three-month run beginning June 30 at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., so we might see some of that in the show as well.

We should see a good bit of Charlotte depicted in the show, too. Fantasia owns two homes here--I'm sure everyone remembers that a few months ago one of them was in jeopardy of being foreclosed on and auctioned off, but she worked that out and was able to save her house. Most of her close family lives here. And she can be found around town from time to time. In fact, she was scheduled to attend a birthday party Saturday at Club 935 for her brother Joe Barrino.

I'm actually looking forward to Fantasia's new show. She has a very interesting life and is an extremely talented young woman. And she's done a great job of overcoming adversity. But reality TV can be tricky--it can either make you or break you. And VH1 has a history of buffoonery when it comes to reality shows. Regardless, be on the lookout for TV cameras soon around Charlotte and you just might be able to make a cameo.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I Was Right About Miss USA

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/19/2009 No comments
In my blog post a couple of hours ago, I predicted that Miss North Carolina, Kristen Dalton, would finish in the top three in the Miss USA 2009 pageant. At that time, the show had just begun and all 51 ladies were still in it. I was right in my prediction. Not only did Dalton finish in the top three, but a few minutes ago she won the whole thing and the Wilmington native is bringing the crown home to NC. I think what help put her over the top is that she did the best job during the question-and-answer portion of the competition.

I'm feeling lucky. I think I'll play the Pick 3 in the lottery tomorrow.
I was taking a nap and had been asleep for about 30 minutes when I was awaken just now by the opening song for the Miss USA 2009 contest that's currently on NBC. I didn't even know the competition was coming on tonight. But it's on as the same time as 60 Minutes--what will I do? I'm going to have deviate from Man Law a little here because I'm a news junkie. So, I'll DVR Miss USA and watch 60 Minutes now since Miss USA is on for two hours, which will allow me to jump back in at 8 p.m. and fast forward through commercials. Great plan!

Also, I'll like to go on record and predict that Kristen Dalton, Miss North Carolina (pictured below), will finish in the top three tonight. I just have a hunch.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Free Workshop Offers Access to the Media

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/17/2009 No comments

There's a great workshop taking place tomorrow, and I'm not just saying this because I helped organize it. “Secrets to Accessing the Media” is a free community workshop being held Saturday, April 18, 1-3 p.m. at the Afro-American Cultural Center (401 N. Myers St.)

The Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists (CAABJ) has assembled an outstanding panel of journalists who will provide insight into how their individual publications and broadcasts are produced and they’ll also give you tips on how you can get your stories told. This is your chance to build contacts so you can learn how to publicize your business, church, charity, fundraiser, special event, nonprofit organization, or even yourself.

The workshop’s panelists are April Bethea, reporter for The Charlotte Observer; Glenn Burkins, publisher and editor of; Janine Davis, producer and co-host of Power 98 FM’s morning show; Kristen Miranda, WBTV/WJZY consumer reporter; Carlton Hargro, editor of Creative Loafing; and Richard Thurmond, editor and associate publisher of Charlotte magazine. This, in effect, covers newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, and Internet.

If you plan to attend you're asked to RSVP at Doors open at 12:30 p.m. and light refreshments will be served.

Below is a video recap from last year's event.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Lot of Tea Bagging Yesterday

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/16/2009 No comments
You couldn't escape the television news coverage yesterday of the hundreds of TEA Parties (Tax Enough Already) organized around the country on Tax Day. Charlotte was a part of the fold as an estimated 2,000 people gathered in front of the old City Hall in uptown to protest government spending. Most of those in attendance are against President Obama's recent budget proposal and government bailouts, some of which began during the Bush Administration.

Yesterday's crowd in uptown mirrored those that could be found in Boston, D.C., New York, Miami, and all across the country--mostly Republican. Even the news coverage yesterday was considered to be divided between liberal and conservative in how the events were described. I think it was all a bunch of B.S. I don't care what side of the aisle your political views fall on, the rallies showed how most Americans continue to be reactive instead of proactive. Where was all of this public outcry when the national deficit was being run up during the last eight years?

It's easy to show up to a public event with your cleverly worded sign, but how involved are you when city council meetings are held weekly? How educated do you become when an election is approaching? You do know Charlotte is having a mayoral election this fall, right?

I'm all for civic engagement, but don't only do it when it's popular or going to be a spectacle. In fact, if you want to get involved with the politics and issues that are affecting our city, you can attend some of the events and programs that are offered throughout the year by nonpartisan group GenerationEngage Charlotte. Or go to a school board meeting once in a while. Hell, start by going to your kids' PTA meeting.

The sad part of this reality that I don't think anyone has talked about is that one reason so many people were able to attend these rallies across the country is because millions of Americans are unemployed. And we didn't get here overnight. Below is video from yesterday's TEA Party in Charlotte.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Events for the Week: April 13-19

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/15/2009 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, April 15

Charlotte Taste of the Nation
Enjoy a gourmet extravaganza featuring signature dishes from more than 20 Charlotte-area restaurants and culinary schools as well as fine wine and beer at this annual fundraising event. There will also be silent and live auctions and live entertainment. Proceeds will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and efforts to end hunger. 6-10 p.m. $60. Wachovia Atrium, 401 S. Tryon St.

Pop Life (weekly event)
It’s the most popular social networking event on a Wednesday night. Starts after work but runs past midnight. This week is the “Erotic Edition” with live poetry (7:30 p.m.) and a book signing by Cheris Hodges. Music by select DJs. Sponsored by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St.

Thursday, April 16

Diversity, College, and Bilingual Professional Career Fair
This free job fair seeks to increase diversity amongst our workforce and it’s at a time when many people are in need of work. Professional dress is required and candidates are advised to bring at least 25 copies of their resume. 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Free. The Park (formerly Charlotte Merchandise Mart), 2500 E. Independence Blvd.

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

Alive After Five
The new season of Charlotte’s largest outdoor, after-work social event kicks off this evening and is being held one last time at the Wachovia Plaza, where it has run spring to fall for the last eight years. Next week it moves to its new home, the Pavilion at EpiCentre. Live music by Liquid Pleasure. And plenty of beer. 5-9 p.m. Free. Wachovia Plaza, corners of Tryon St. and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Jazzay and After-work Social
Enjoy live jazz during happy hour (6-10 p.m.) then hang around late for DJ Daddy D (10 p.m.-2 a.m.) Free. Utopia Restaurant, 10210 Berkeley Place Dr.

Friday, April 17

Robin Thicke and Jennifer Hudson
Come see these two dynamic singers live in concert. 8 p.m. $49-$59.50. Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd.,

SlamCharlotte Poetry Slam
Witness Charlotte’s own two-time defending national championship team of spoken word poets (2007 and 2008) do what they do best at this monthly event. SlamCharlotte’s current Slammaster, Bluz, is the 13th ranked individual poet in the world. Show contains adult language and content. 8 p.m. $10. McGlohon Theatre, 345 North College St.

Spring Couture II and Men Talk ‘09
Before the party there will be a forum. A panel of seven men will discuss such topics as “Why do men cheat?” “What does a man look for in a woman?” and “Where are all the good men?” Ladies are going to want to know the answers to these questions. Presented by Six Figure Entertainment. Forum, 8-10 p.m. Party, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Visit website for cost. Big Chill, 911 E. Morehead St.

Put the Needle on the Record
This old-school hip-hop party will bring the “jams” back from the 1990s. Music by DJ Justice. Presented by Old School Carolinas. 10 p.m. $10 before 11 p.m. and ladies free before 10:30. Alive, 2909 N. Davidson St.

Saturday, April 18

“Secrets to Accessing the Media” Workshop
This fourth annual event connects the community with members of the media—a panel of journalists from newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, and Internet—as they offer tips and advice on how to get your stories told and insight into how newsrooms work. Presented by the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists (CAABJ). 1-3 p.m. Free, but you’re asked to RSVP at Afro-American Cultural Center, 401 North Myers St.

Carolina Queens
Watch Charlotte’s women’s football team (that’s right, these ladies will tackle the s#it out of you) play their first home game of the season against the Cape Fear Thunder. 6 p.m. $10. West Charlotte High School, 2219 Senior Dr.

Terry McMillan
The critically acclaimed author will speak as part of the “Change Is Coming to Charlotte” series, sponsored by RealEyes Bookstore and the Charlotte Literary Festival. McMillan will be interviewed by fellow author Omar Tyree on stage and she will also take questions from the audience. Also featured at this event will be spoken word performances, comedy by Prince Paul, and live jazz from The Queens Collective. 6:30 p.m. $15-$25. McGlohon Theatre, 345 North College St.

PlayDate Charlotte
Charlotte has now joined the network of more than 30 cities that offer this alternative to typical partying and nightclubbing. There's still music and drinks involved but the fun is centered on adults playing card games, checkers, dominoes, Connect Four, Twister, and more. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $10. Big Chill, 911 E. Morehead St.

Sunday, April 19

MatchMaker Tennis Mix and Mingle
Come learn more about this great group that matches up tennis enthusiasts. Appetizers will be served and a cash bar will be available. 4-6 p.m. Free. Outback Steakhouse, 1412 East Blvd.

The Foreign Exchange
Myspace Music presents this concert as part of its “Beyond the Sound” series. The Foreign Exchange is a hip-hop duo consisting of rapper Phonte (from Little Brother) and Dutch producer Nicolay. Special guest DJ Rasta Root. Doors open at 7 p.m. Free. The Double Door Inn, 1218 Charlottetowne Ave. or

Monday, April 13, 2009

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a TopCat?

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/13/2009 No comments
The TopCats, the Carolina Panthers cheerleaders, are holding auditions for their 2009 squad beginning this weekend. Preliminary round one begins Saturday at 9 a.m. at Bank of America Stadium, followed by round two Sunday at 10 a.m. The ladies who advance from there will then begin a week of interviews, meetings and rehearsals, then semifinals the following week, and the final selection will be held in May.

If you think you have what it takes to be a part of the 27-member squad, here's your chance (you've danced in front of your bedroom mirror long enough). To audition you must be at least 21 years old and, of course, have strong dance skills and be physically fit. Click here for more details on the TopCat auditions.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

One Year Later: Still 'Grown People Talking'

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/11/2009 1 comment
I started exactly one year—and 344 blog posts—ago today. Not to toot my own horn here, but I'm proud that I've kept it up (that's what she said) and it's become what I hoped it would be ("Welcome to Grown People Talking"). It's been a great way for me to channel my thoughts and creativity while hopefully providing you with "Insightful and entertaining commentary about life in and around Charlotte, NC." Thank you to those of you who read it on a regular basis.

If you've been following this site then you know that I blog about a variety of things. But what the entries all have in common is that they are about people, places, and events in or related to Charlotte. I enjoy living here and even in my "real" job (I write for magazines) I'm fortunate to be able to write about the Queen City.

It's always interesting to me to see which of the posts garner the most traffic and it's not always the ones I expect. Most people who find this site get here by searching for keywords through Google or other search engines and when I'm lucky I guess I pick a topic that people are really interested in. Below are the blog posts that have received the most page views during the past year:

1. Club 935 Opening This Weekend (December 4, 2008)

3. 2009 CIAA Week Is Getting Near (February 10, 2009)

4. Bank of America's Ridin' Big (June 22, 2008)

If you have time, you should go through some of the posts from the past year (under Blog Archive in the right column of the page). It truly is like reading a recap of what's happened in Charlotte: when celebrities have visited; when big parties and events have happened; when Charlotte natives have appeared on TV; when new clubs, restaurants, and stores have opened (or closed); and sometimes my opinions on what Charlotte needs to do to become an even better place to live.

Thank you for reading and I'm looking forward to another exciting year. As I blow out the candle on this first birthday, "I wish for you a hundred years of success. But it's my time!"

Friday, April 10, 2009

Charlotte was spotlighted last night on national television, but it was the kind of coverage that has to make the city's boosters cringe. Gangland, a riveting series on The History Channel that takes you inside violent gang culture, profiled the Hidden Valley Kings, the gang named after their northeast Charlotte neighborhood. The one-hour episode (45 minutes in the video below without commercials) could make this city look like a scary place to live. As the documentary points out, Charlotte's population has doubled in the last two decades. That kind of growth itself leads to more crime and gang activity is naturally a part of it.

It's interesting--and at the same time disturbing--to see that this kind of coordinated violence and drug activity is happening so close to home. I've followed the Hidden Valley Kings in the news a little since I've lived here and I know that police and federal task forces have arrested most of the gang's leaders. And CMPD has talked a lot about their efforts in recent years to combat gang activity in the streets and schools. Still, the problem with gangs is that they are so easily formed.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Last year, Visit Charlotte, the sales and marketing component of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, kicked off a brilliant marketing campaign called "Charlotte's Got a Lot." You've probably seen the advertisements and billboards around town. And to exemplify all there is to experience here, the group has selected "25 Fun Things to Do in Charlotte," just in time for you to get out and enjoy them during this warm weather. Below are the top ten.

1. Home to Michael Waltrip and David Reutimann, Raceworld USA provides unlimited behind the scenes access to race fans. Feel the rush and join in the timed pit crew challenges or sit in a driver’s seat and watch cars come to life on the fabrication floor.

2. Experience the best of Broadway musicals with the NC Blumenthal Performing Arts Center’s Broadway Lights Series.

3. Check out the nation’s most comprehensive collection of contemporary studio craft with furniture, jewelry, woodworking, glass, and more at the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, located in Center City.

4. The Mint Museum of Art is a rich and diverse resource with noted collections of American and pre-Columbian art, American and European masterpieces, and contemporary works.

5. Join the half-million people from all over the U.S. who visit Discovery Place each year, one of the top hands-on science centers in the nation and home to The Charlotte Observer IMAX Dome Theatre.

6. Catch the excitement as motorsports history is written at over 180 mph each year as Lowe’s Motor Speedway hosts the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Coca-Cola 600 and the Bank of America 500.

7. The Quail Hollow Championship, hosted at Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Club each May, is recognized by the national and international golf community as one of the top events on the PGA Tour.

8. Carowinds offers groups more than 108 action-packed acres featuring over 60 world-class rides, shows, adrenaline-pumping roller coasters, a Boomerang Bay water park, and Nickelodeon Central kids zone.

9. Experience the world's most unique outdoor recreation center with class III-IV manmade whitewater rapids at the U.S. National Whitewater Center.

10. Visit Levine Museum of the New South, an interactive history museum, and experience the most comprehensive interpretation of post-Civil War Southern society.

Visit for the complete list of Charlotte activities as well as other details about attractions, nightlife, shopping, and dining in the Queen City.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A New 'BET' for Bob

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/08/2009 No comments
Will it be BET all over again? Hopefully not, but instead something better. Bob Johnson is seeking to start another nationwide cable channel that targets African-Americans. Right now, his start-up is simply called Urban Television. He's partnering with Ion Media Networks and he's applied to the FCC for approval.

In case you've forgotten, the Charlotte Bobcats owner is a formidable businessman. His story is stuff of legend: how he started Black Entertainment Television in 1980 with a small business loan; less than 20 years later sold it to Viacom for $3 billion; and his stake in the deal made him the first African-American billionaire. That was 10 years ago when Johnson sold BET (though he stayed on as chairman for a few years after). I think he's feeling like one of Jay-Z's lines from "Public Service Announcement" (one of my favorite songs from The Black Album): "I'm ten years removed, still the vibe is in my veins."

Johnson may be yearning to get back into the television business, but it should be noted that this isn't his first attempt to jump back into the industry that made him filthy rich. He launched Carolinas Sports Entertainment Television a.k.a. C-SET in 2004 as a platform to carry his newly formed Bobcats. Even though the network carried other regional sports games, it failed a year later because the Bobcats were too new--and not good enough as a team--to carry a sports channel on their backs. He also launched a movie production company two years ago. The only movie I'm aware of that's come out of that venture was the very disappointing Who's Your Caddy?

Stay tuned to see whether Johnson can give us an option besides BET. If it's done right, we could certainly use it. Especially at a time when the number of sitcoms starring African-Americans is at the lowest it's been in years.

Monday, April 6, 2009

There Are Still Roses Stores Around?

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/06/2009 11 comments
Today I drove farther down Independence Boulevard than I have in a long time. I passed Independence Shopping Center and saw that a Roses store is opening soon. After getting over the surprise of seeing a Roses, I began reminiscing about the store from my childhood.

I remember Roses as being third in the discount store chain hierarchy. At the top was K-Mart, followed by Wal-Mart, and then Roses (this was before Wal-Mart was the monster it is today). In Sumter, South Carolina, the area in which I grew up, there were all three stores. The Roses closed when I was around 10 or 12 years old, but I remember it vividly. I remember the ugly brown shopping carts.

I also remember that Roses was our go-to store for back-to-school supplies because it would have the cheapest sale prices. There would be packs of paper on sale for something like three for a dollar. Three-prong folders, which many teachers required we have, were five for a dollar. And binders, tablets, and pencils were also ridiculously cheap. Because there would be limits on the quantity you could buy, my mom would give each of us money to go through checkout by ourselves. We would literally buy enough supplies to last the entire school year.

At the time the Roses closed in Sumter, many others were closing around the Southeast. The stores could be found mostly in small Southern cities and towns like mine. And when they closed, the long, rectangular buildings often became abandoned eyesores that were hard to fill. The Sumter building went through a couple of incarnations and was finally resurrected as a Beacon 10 Cinemas, giving us a much-needed "big" movie theater (you have to understand my small-town upbringing).

Apparently, all of the Roses didn't go away. While today there are only a third of the number of stores there were when the franchise was at its peak in the early 1990s, there are more than 40 Roses stores in North Carolina, according to its website. I was surprised to learn that because I haven't seen a Roses in probably 15 years. Most of the North Carolina stores are in small towns and this is the first one in Charlotte in a long time.

The new Roses is scheduled to open May 28 and is located in the Independence Shopping Center at 5704 E. Independence Blvd.

Ric and Mick at Wrestlemania 25

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/06/2009 No comments
Mickey Rourke, star of last year's hit movie The Wrestler, took on real-life wrestling star Chris Jericho (as real as wrestling gets, anyway) last night at Wrestlemania 25 in Houston. Our boy and Charlottean Ric Flair got in on the action as well.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Events for the Week: April 6-12

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/05/2009 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 what’s going on, but instead are the events GPT recommends. More events may be added throughout the week.

Monday, April 6

Charlotte Energy Summit
Leading the Charlotte region out of the recession by creating new jobs and economic opportunities in the area’s fast-growing energy sector will be the focus of the first-ever Charlotte Energy Summit. Sponsored by Duke Energy, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, and Charlotte Regional Partnership. 2:30-8 p.m. Hilton Charlotte Center City Hotel, 222 E. Third St.

Tuesday, April 7

Public Forum: Judicial Reform
Learn about the inner-workings of Mecklenburg County’s judicial system and discuss ways to make needed changes. Judicial panelists will discuss their experience running for and serving as a judge and talk about the greatest challenges facing the Mecklenburg criminal justice system. Panelists will also provide a hands-on perspective and discuss ideas on how the public can get more involved to advance needed changes. Presented by GenerationEngage, the Urban League Guild of the Central Carolinas, and Democracy NC. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free, but please RSVP. Urban League of the Central Carolinas, 740 W. Fifth St.

Tone-X and Friends (weekly event)
Come laugh at the jokes and skits by Power 98’s Tone-X, Chris “Funnyman” Robinson, and other comedians. Music by DJ Stacey Blackman. 8 p.m. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Skandalos, 5317 E. Independence Blvd.

Wednesday, April 8

Pop Life (weekly event)
It’s the most popular social networking event on a Wednesday night. Starts after work but runs past midnight. Music by select DJs. Sponsored by Creative Loafing and The Sol Kitchen. 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Free. Apostrophe Lounge, 1440 S. Tryon St.

I Got Status Wednesdays
If you come for nothing else, come for the half-price appetizers and half-price drinks. And mingle with young professionals at the bar and lounge of this beautiful restaurant. Presented by Red Carpet Affairs. 6:30-10:30 p.m. Free. Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, 139 S. Tryon St.

Thursday, April 9

Rythemology and After-work Social
Enjoy live jazz during happy hour then hang around late for DJ Daddy D. 6 p.m. Free. Utopia Restaurant, 10210 Berkeley Place Dr.

Top Notch Thursdays (weekly event)
It’s billed as a party for “local celebrities, young professionals, ordinary people, and superstars.” Sounds like it’s for everyone. Plenty of drink specials. Hip-hop and R&B spun by DJ Elementz. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Free. Tilt, 127 W. Trade St.

Friday, April 10

Friday Afterwork Rendezvous (weekly event)
End your workweek on a high note at this networking event, held at a different venue each week. Enjoy drink and appetizer specials while mingling with young professionals. Presented by Talk of the Town. 6-10 p.m. Free. Ruth's Chris Steak House, 222 S. Tryon St.

Boney James in Concert
See the acclaimed saxophonist perform live. This is the first installment in the Carolina Smooth Jazz Friends concert series. 8 p.m. $35 and up. Dale F. Halton Theater, 1206 Elizabeth Ave. or click here to buy tickets.

Amateur Night at the Soul Café
Enjoy an evening of amateur entertainment and you’ll get to pick the winner. After the competition will be a performance by The Company Band while DJ DR will close out the night on the turntables. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served the first hour. Presented by The Underground Soul Station. 8 p.m. $5. Wine Up, 3306 N. Davidson St.

I Love the QC
Mingle and party with the trendsetters and tastemakers of Charlotte. “I Love the QC” T-shirts will be given away throughout the night. 9 p.m. Free before 10:30 p.m. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd.

Saturday, April 11

Nappy Luv 7.5
It’ll be a night of creative hip-hop and R&B, hosted by MTV2’s Amanda Diva, who will also perform. Additional performances by Median, Jocelyn Ellis, and Quill, plus DJ DR and That Guy Smitty on the turntables. Open bar. 9 p.m. $30 in advance. Hart Witzen Gallery, 136 E. 36th St.

Inner Circle Events Turns Five
The popular planners of “premium professional nightlife” celebrate five years of throwing parties in Charlotte. 10 p.m. $15 in advance, more at the door. Blue Restaurant and Bar, 214 N. Tryon St. (corner of Fifth and College streets). or click here to buy tickets.

Ron Browz CD Release Party
The hitmaker behind "Pop Champagne" and "Jumping Out the Window" hosts this party and will also perform. 10 p.m. $20 in advance, more at the door; members free until 11 p.m. (visit website for membership). Club 935, 935 S. Summit Ave.

Sunday, April 12

Easter Jazz Brunch
Featuring a great brunch menu with everything from shrimp and grits to Utopia Style Sweet Chicken. Hosted by Mellanie Clark of Praise 100.9 and live jazz by the John Dillard Trio. Free admission. 12-3 p.m. Reservations recommended. Utopia Restaurant, 10210 Berkeley Place Dr.

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.

Two Reality Show Casting Calls This Week

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/05/2009 No comments
If you want to be a reality TV show star, you have the opportunity to audition for two shows this week. Both casting calls are being held at Cans Bar and Canteen (500 W. Fifth St.), which has become the go-to place for reality show auditions.

More to Love is a new dating series planned by FOX and being produced by the creator of The Bachelor. The casting crew is looking for plus-size, single men ages 27 to 35. Casting call is today (Sunday) from 5-8 p.m.

A crew from CBS's Big Brother 11 will be here Saturday, April 11 from 5-9 p.m. scouting for housemates for the popular show who'll compete for the $500,000 grand prize. Men and women must be at least 21 years old to audition. Click here for more details.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Jamie Foxx Covers 'Uptown' x3

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/04/2009 No comments
Jamie Foxx appears on the cover of the April/May issue of Uptown Magazine. In fact, he's on three of them. The magazine created three separate covers to coincide with its profile of Foxx as a triple threat--actor, musician, and comedian--and his new movie, The Soloist, that hits theaters this month. This is the second consecutive issue in which Uptown has presented three covers. Its February/March issue depicted President Barack Obama in three artistic designs.

If you aren't familiar with Uptown, it's a bi-monthly, national magazine that publishes stories that highlight the affluent African-American lifestyle. It launched in Harlem, New York in 2004 (hence the Uptown name) and last year began publishing regional editions in Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Chicago. It published its inaugural Charlotte edition in February ("A New 'Uptown' for Charlotte"), in which you may have seen my byline a few times. You can find a couple of articles written by me in the April/May issue as well, including an article on the best places in Charlotte to spot celebrities. Foxx wasn't one of those celebrities, but now you can spot him on a local newsstand.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Allen Iverson a Future Bobcat?

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/03/2009 1 comment
That's the question quietly floating around the NBA. It was announced today by the Detroit Pistons that Allen Iverson will sit out the rest of the season due to his back problems. Many are suspicious because the team seems to play better without him. And since A.I. only has one year left on his contract, it's very doubtful that he would return to the Pistons next year where things aren't going too well. So where would he go? The Charlotte Bobcats have surfaced as a likely match.

This move would reunite Iverson with Larry Brown, the coach with whom he had the most success. It would also give the Bobcats some much-needed star power, as well as an explosive scorer and floor leader. And since there's only one year left on Iverson's contract, it wouldn't cost the Bobcats too much should the move not work out.

While the younger A.I. wouldn't have seemed like much of a fit for the Bobcats, today's 33-year-old Iverson could be. It'll be interesting to see what happens but nothing would transpire until this summer. The Bobcats still have to figure out what they're going to do with current team point guard Raymond Felton, who only has a year left on his contract as well. I envision a situation in which they embark on a three-team deal where they trade Felton and another player to a team, get Iverson from the Pistons, and the Pistons get a player or two from the team where Felton goes.

This is all very possible, but regardless we can expect Larry Brown to continue to shake things up through trades. With him leading the Bobcats to their best season ever this year (and has them in the playoff hunt with the team selling out games), he's shown that he knows how to put together the right pieces. And I think Michael Jordan and Bob Johnson will give him anything he asks for. He just may ask for The Answer.

Weekend Warriors to Battle Like Panthers

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/03/2009 No comments
If some of your coworkers, particularly males, appear to be in pain or moving a little slower on Monday, here's likely the reason why. This weekend the Carolina Panthers are hosting the sixth annual Miller Lite Weekend Warrior Flag Football Tournament at Bank of America Stadium and the Panthers' practice fields.

The tournament takes place Saturday and Sunday for ages 21 and older and features four skill divisions: Weekend Warrior, Couch Potato, 35 and over, and Matt & Ramona Co-Ed. Registrations for this popular event quickly filled up (128 teams) and long ago closed, but you can still come as a spectator. Play begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.

The format is four-on-four with rosters comprised of a maximum of six players (four players plus two substitutes). They'll play on 25-by-60-yard fields. All teams are guaranteed to play a minimum of three games during pool play on Saturday. Half of the teams will advance to Championship Day on Sunday, which will be a single-elimination format.

Division champions will receive championship rings and will be recognized during an on-field presentation at a Panthers preseason home game this season. Oh boy, you can just see the bragging coming around the water cooler.

Great, Live Hip-Hop Coming to Charlotte

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/03/2009 No comments
Myspace Music is bringing another concert to Charlotte. Its "Beyond the Sound" series is presenting The Foreign Exchange for a live performance April 19 at the Double Door Inn. The Foreign Exchange is a hip-hop duo made up of Phonte (from Little Brother) and Dutch producer Nicolay. Special guest for the show will be DJ Rasta Root.

The great thing about these Myspace concerts is that they're free, but admission will be on a first-come basis. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. If you don't make it in, you can watch it live on Myspace. Click here for more information. If you'll recall, Myspace brought Nelly here for a free concert in September at the Neighborhood Theatre ("Random Notes From Nelly's Myspace Concert").

Another hip-hop concert has just been announced for Charlotte, though it's not taking place until this summer. Bacardi B-Live is a global music series that has toured 25 countries. It kicks off a U.S. summer music series in May and will stop here July 2.

The liquor company has lined up a diverse group of hip-hop artists and DJs including: Toronto based duo MSTRKRFT; Kanye West's DJ A-Trak; the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff; the collaboration of Major Lazer featuring Diplo and Switch; Montreal-born DJ and producer Tiga; New York-based dance music producer DJ Steve Porter; L.A.-based producer and DJ Z-Trip; punk/dance duo from Brooklyn, New York, Matt and Kim; renowned hip-hop artist Q-Tip; and the genre-blending artist Santigold. Please note, however, that the exact lineup will be announced as the show date nears, as will the venue. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tell Obama 'Bout My BoBerry Biscuits

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 4/01/2009 2 comments
I wasn't too big of a Bojangles' fan until I moved to Charlotte. I was always more of a KFC guy. I mean, I ate at Bojangles' growing up, but not regularly. But because the "famous chicken-n-biscuits" chain is based here, it's pretty hard to avoid. There seems to be a Bojangles' at every major intersection. So tonight, after attending two networking events I grabbed some Bojangles' on my way home.

Look at all that yummy icing.

I got the usual: a two-piece with biscuit and macaroni, and two BoBerry Biscuits...hmmmm. When I got home, I pulled out my tray table, laid out my late-night dinner, and sat in front of the TV to find that the Bobcats had just lost a tough double-overtime game to the Celtics. When I went to open the trademark yellow-and-red box of chicken, the receipt was taped to the top and I made a startling discovery: the two BoBerry Biscuits had cost me $1.49. You have to understand how upsetting this is. They've been two-for-a-dollar (99 cents actually) for, like, forever.

It's just another sign of how this economic recession is affecting our lives.
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