Thursday, May 27, 2010

USA Today has a great article in today's paper about Jeff Gordon ("Despite slump, Jeff Gordon stays driven as family grows"). The reporter followed the NASCAR driver for two days last week as he scattered about his life between New York and Charlotte. I've been a fan of Gordon since I was a kid—before I knew much about NASCAR (my parents worked for DuPont, which has been Gordon's primary sponsor for years). I didn't really begin following the sport until I moved to Charlotte, and subsequently began covering it. And having met Gordon a couple of times and being around the racing world, I came to see that No. 24 truly is the nice guy he's portrayed to be. And as this USA Today article shows, he's a family man as well.


But I couldn't read it without thinking about Tiger Woods. Here are two guys who have excelled in their sports for years, amassed huge fortunes, become the faces of numerous large companies through endorsements, married models, and now have small children. But we, of course, now know there's more to Woods' story. Let's just hope there's not more to Gordon's. I really have no reasons to think so, but Tiger Woods has changed everything...ruined everything. The same way you can't look at a baseball player who's hitting 50-plus home runs every year the same anymore. Maybe one day we can have faith in our sports heroes again. Don't let us down, Jeff.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

'A Day in the Life of Charlotte'

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/26/2010 1 comment
One minute and 40 seconds is all it takes to show what that the Charlotte area has to offer. But there's a lot.

Visit Charlotte and its marketing division, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), have created a new video for its "Charlotte's got a lot" campaign. Titled "Welcome to Charlotte," this is one of the best visual portrayals of the city I've ever seen. If you've never visited Charlotte, it'll make you want to plan a trip ASAP. If you live here, it should remind you how lucky you are.


While the video starts off with an alarm clock going off at 7 a.m.--something we all dread--it rapidly takes you through dozens of passing scenes of attractions in Charlotte and the surrounding area: the airport, NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte Convention Center, light rail, restaurants, several theaters and museums, Billy Graham Library, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Lake Norman, Carowinds, U.S. National Whitewater Center, The Golf Club at Ballantyne, Carolina Panthers fans inside Bank of America Stadium, and nightlife at both the EpiCentre and NC Music Factory. Plus, there are formal greetings from Winston Kelley (NASCAR Hall), Mayor Anthony Foxx, Tim Newman (CRVA), Richard Childress, and Michael Jordan.

See the video below.


For more, visit www.charlottesgotalot.com.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Smirnoff, Yes Inc., and The Sol Kitchen are presenting a free event tonight at The Forum (300 N. College St.). King of the QC is a DJ competition that will also feature celebrity guests, a performance by Special Ed, and an after-party. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is free, but you're asked to register at www.smirnoffvip.com.

Friday, May 21, 2010

That question itself is the product of one of the latest (and most unlikely) rumors surrounding LeBron James' upcoming decision as to where he'll play basketball next season. But not only is it not confirmed as to whether or not Michael Jordan was helping James house hunt, Charlotteans need not get excited because the rumor places the scene in Chicago's ritzy Highland Park suburb. Which means the rumor was probably started by some Chicago Bulls fan.

A couple of Chicago Tribune reporters looked into the rumor and in the process they report on an interesting actual fact: former Carolina Panther Julius Pepper, who now plays for the Chicago Bears, recently purchased B.J. Armstrong's Highland Park home. Click here to read more.


Not much has been reported over the years as to what kind of relationship Jordan and James actually have, though the younger 23 has made it clear the respect he has for the legend and how much he idolized him growing up. If you'll recall, James announced at the beginning of this season that he would be switching his jersey number from 23 to 6 out of respect for how much Jordan means to the NBA and how he revolutionized the way people play--and the way we view--the game of basketball.

Since NBA free agency doesn't open until July 1, we can expect several more rumors, speculation, and "sightings" of LeBron James in the coming weeks. Charles Barkley said on TV the other day that he's sick of all the LeBron talk. I think it's fun. There hasn't been a potential player move this big since Babe Ruth was "sold" from the Red Sox to the Yankees. I was at a social event last night and some friends and I were joking about what it would take to lure James to Charlotte to play for the Bobcats. Such comments made were: "They would have to pay him more than the NBA would allow." "Jordan would have to give him future ownership stake in the team." "He'd have to at least give him ownership stake in Nike." Last week, a friend of mine even started a Facebook page called "Why LeBron Should Play For Charlotte!" And let's not forget, last month New York Times columnist William Rhoden wrote a column titled "Want to Make an Impact? Join Jordan," in which he surprisingly stated his case for James to play for the Bobcats.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Events for the Week: May 20-23

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/20/2010 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. Use contact/website info listed to verify event details.

Thursday, May 20

Business After Hours
The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce presents this event each month at a different venue around Charlotte. Mix, mingle, and network with other professionals--bring your business cards. Complimentary food and drinks will be served. 5:30-7:30 p.m. $15 (free for Chamber members). Drury Inn and Suites, 6920 Northlake Mall Drive. www.charlottechamber.com.

Cufflinks and Cocktails
This monthly after-work event brings out plenty of well-dressed, professional people. Presented by the Charlotte Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. 6-10 p.m. Free. M5, 4310 Sharon Road. www.cufflinksandcocktails.com/cc/May2010.htm.

Strike and the City
Each Thursday, enjoy half-price martinis, specialty “skinny” menu items, free shoe rental, and “increased level of attention and pampering” at this trendy bowling alley. This week, media darlings Brittney Cason, Jacinda Garabito, and Dianne Gallagher will be giving away designer shoes and four VIP passes to the upcoming Sex and the City 2 screening. 8 p.m. Free. StrikeCity, inside the EpiCentre, 210 E. Trade St. www.strikeandthecity.com.

Friday, May 21

Fridays at the Factory
It’s a new Friday event that sees the NC Music Factory transformed into a tropical escape. Enjoy entry into Black Bear Saloon, Butter NC, Halo, and Wet Willie’s. Cabanas and day beds available by reservation. Drinks served at multiple cash bars around the plaza. Sushi by Nikko served 7-9 p.m. Come dressed comfortably—shorts, bikini tops, and flip-flops allowed. Featuring a DJ and live bands. 5-11 p.m. Free. NC Music Factory, 1000 Seaboard St. www.ncmusicfactory.com.

Gauntlet Slam
This edition of SlamCharlotte’s monthly slam will be a great evening of poetry, improv, and comedy. 8 p.m. $10. McGlohon Theatre, at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St. www.slamcharlotte.com or www.blumenthalcenter.org.

PlayDate Charlotte
Bring out the kid in you. Play card games, checkers, dominoes, Connect Four, Twister, Monopoly, old-school video games, and more while enjoying music, food, and drinks. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $10 in advance; $15 at the door. Tyvola Marriott, 5700 Westpark Dr. www.playdatecharlotte.com.

Customer Appreciation Night
Hang out at one of Charlotte’s most popular lounges and enjoy the beautiful outdoor patio. $5 Gentleman Jack specials. Music by DJ C-Rob. 10 p.m. Free all night. Kiss Lounge, 204 W. Woodlawn Rd. www.kisscharlotte.com.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Charlotte a Top Divorce City

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/18/2010 No comments
We love hard in Charlotte. But we also love to split up, according to Men's Health. In its June issue, the magazine ranks 100 U.S. cities by prevalence of divorce. The higher a city is ranked on the list, the more common divorce is there. Cheyenne, Wyoming (where?) is the divorce capital, landing in first place. Rounding out the top five are Las Vegas (not surprised); Billings, Montana; Reno, Nevada (so that's two in the top five for the state where prostitution is legal); and Little Rock, Arkansas. Charlotte is ranked sixth.


The city ranking last on the list (100), which means married couples tend to stay together, is San Jose. And, surprisingly, next on the list where divorces are least likely to occur is Columbia, South Carolina (99).

Men’s Health used several factors in its study: frequency of divorces, stringency of divorce laws, percentage of the population who’s broken up, and the number of licensed marriage and family therapists.

Chris Henry Remembered

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/18/2010 No comments
Family and friends got together in Charlotte yesterday in honor of Chris Henry's birthday. Henry, a wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, died tragically last December after falling off the back of a pickup truck on a northwest Charlotte road during a domestic dispute with his fiancĂ©e, Loleini Tonga. Tonga and their three children live here, so Henry's family came to visit to remember their loved one who died at just 26 years old. He was also remembered last night by former teammate and good friend Chad Ochocinco, who sent out a special tweet before competing on Dancing With the Stars: “Showtime in 8 minutes, going HAM tonight in memory of Chris Slim Henry R.I.P. #15 happy birthday bruh, smile on me 2night 85 15=100ways.”


Read more about Henry's family getting together for his birthday in this article on Bengals.com.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

GPT Video: Lotus Fashion Show at Butter

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/15/2010 No comments
I attended the Lotus in Wonderland Spring Fashion Show Thursday night at Butter NC. About 30 ladies modeled Alice in Wonderland-inspired clothing, hair, and makeup in front of a large crowd. The show was put on by Lotus, the Charlotte boutique that has four locations around the city. Below is a five-minute video I captured of the scene.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Events for the Weekend: May 14-16

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/14/2010 No comments
There are some great events going on in Charlotte this weekend. Rather than posting them here, I've been posting events throughout the week on Grown People Talking's new Facebook page, facebook.com/GrownPeopleTalking. I encourage you to "Like" it. Next week, I'll be posting the events both on this site and on Facebook. And as always, it's only the select events GPT recommends.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Charlotte Singer On '106 & Park' Today

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/12/2010 No comments
Charlotte singer D. Blake is appearing on BET's 106 & Park this evening, competing in the "Wild-Out Wednesday" competition. The show airs at 6 p.m. and throughout the episode viewers will be asked to vote via text message for their favorite performer. See the YouTube video below of D. Blake introducing himself, talking about the upcoming 106 & Park appearance, and singing "My First Love."

'Grown People Talking' On Facebook

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/12/2010 No comments
Yesterday, I created a Facebook page for Grown People Talking: facebook.com/GrownPeopleTalking. My plan is to use it to connect with people more/better, since many of us spend an unbelievable amount of time on Facebook (even though Betty White joked that it's a complete waste of time). The FB page will allow me to post info more frequently, particularly links to other sites and events, and make better use of some of the beneficial info I receive often in press releases. And in keeping with the Grown People theme, I hope it will be a place where you'll find that the content is befitting of your maturity and intelligence. For example, when it comes to events, I'll post stuff about networking opportunities, art exhibit openings, fundraisers, fashion shows, dining events, and primarily places to meet young professionals. Will you "like" me?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Charlotte has a new drive-in movie theater...well, at least for one weekend it did. According to an online news story by the Charlotte Business Journal, Afshin Ghazi, owner and developer of the wildly popular EpiCentre entertainment complex in Uptown, opened a drive-in movie theater last weekend on property he owns at the corner of Tyvola Road and South Tryon Street. The city says that property isn't zoned for a movie theater and issued Ghazi a citation.

Apparently, Ghazi had been running radio ads promoting the new theater. There's also a website set up for it, charlottesdrivein.com, that touts: "Welcome to Charlotte’s Drive-in! Come out and experience Charlotte’s only drive-in in over 25 years. Enjoy watching first run films on state of the art equipment and listen to the movie on your car stereo. Be sure to stop by the concession stand for marvelous food and drinks." Ghazi already operates the upscale EpiCentre Theaters.


Hopefully, the zoning/permit issues will be worked out because it would be cool if Charlotte had a drive-in movie theater, especially now that summer is around the corner. The only other drive-in in the area is Bill's Belmont Drive-In Theatre in Belmont, which has been operating for more than 50 years.

Click here to read the Charlotte Business Journal article.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Brooklyn Decker No. 2 on Maxim's Hot 100

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/10/2010 No comments
Charlotte/Matthews native Brooklyn Decker has placed second on Maxim's just-released Hot 100 list. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover beauty was edged out by Katy Perry, who takes the number one spot. Rounding out the top five are Avatar actress Zoe Saldana, Gossip Girl star Blake Lively, and actress/sex symbol Megan Fox.

This is just the latest of achievements for Decker, who's currently filming a new movie called Just Go With It, which also stars Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler, and Nicole Kidman. Decker's character is caught up in a love triangle with Sandler and Aniston's characters.

Decker on the set of Just Go With It.

Click here for the full Maxim 2010 Hot 100 list.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Roll with the Mayor to Work

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/06/2010 1 comment
I received this info this afternoon in an email from Moira Quinn of Charlotte Center City Partners. Tomorrow morning (Friday), CCCP and the City are holding the Mayor's Ride and Bike to Breakfast. See info below.

This is an important way to show support for cycling in Charlotte and support for making Charlotte a greener, healthier city. The main leg of the bike ride will be from the Dowd YMCA in Dilworth to the Wachovia Atrium in Uptown. And there will be two park and rides for those who want to get a longer ride in before meeting at the Y. Be sure to bring your helmet.

Find Your Center Mayor’s Ride and Bike to Breakfast with Ruth’s Chris
Start location: Dowd YMCA (400 E. Morehead St.) in the parking lot behind the YMCA
End location: Wachovia Atrium (Tryon St.)
Time: 7:30 a.m.
Cost: Free


Panthers in the Park

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/06/2010 No comments
A couple of days after wrapping up mini camp, the Carolina Panthers hosted "Panthers in the Park" Tuesday to greet the public. About 4,500 fans turned out to Freedom Park for the free afternoon of activities as Panther players signed autographs, posed for photos, and led contests. Members of the TopCats cheerleading squad and team mascot Sir Purr were on hand as well. See video below (courtesy of Panthers.com).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Events for the Week: May 5-9

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/04/2010 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. Use contact/website info listed to verify event details.

Wednesday, May 5

Cinco de Mayo!

Find Your Center Jazz Series
It’s the kickoff of this new monthly, lunchtime jazz series (taking place the first Wednesday of the month until August). Bring your lunch or pay $5 for a great box lunch (catered by McCormick and Schmick’s), and enjoy music by John Alexander’s Band: Big Octave. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Free. Fifth floor terrace, 201 South Tryon. www.findyourcenter.com.

Cinco de Mayo Party at La Paz
It’s Charlotte’s largest and longest-running Cinco de Mayo celebration. Several drink specials ranging from $1 tequila shots to $4 margaritas, and music by a Red Bull DJ. All day and night. Free. La Paz, 1910 South Blvd. www.lapazcharlotte.com.

Cinco de Mayo at The Bear
Charlotte’s newest bar is looking to create a holiday tradition. Drink specials include $2 Coronas and $3 tequila shots. All to give you the liquor courage for karaoke beginning at 9:30 p.m. 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Free. Black Bear Saloon, at NC Music Factory, 900 Seaboard St. www.blackbearcharlotte.com.

Pop Life – Cinco de Mayo Edition
It’s still the city’s most popular Wednesday night event. Starts after work but runs late. Complimentary food 7-9 p.m. from Sadie’s. Music by DJ DR. 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Free. Luna Lounge, 521 N. College St. www.lunacharlotte.com or www.thesolkitchen.com.

Primary Responsibility

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/04/2010 No comments
North Carolina primaries are taking place today and the polls are open until 7:30 p.m. If you're at work, perhaps you should go during your lunch break, or go after work. You should be in and out in 10-15 minutes because the lines won't be long--turnout during primaries is usually very light. That's the reason I'm posting this important reminder. We focus so much on the November elections, but guess what? It's the primaries that determine who the choices of candidates are in November, so if you don't participate in the process in May, come November your candidate may not even be on the ballot.


Today, you'll be voting on candidates for U.S. Senate and House, N.C. Senate and House, County Commissioners, Mecklenburg County Sheriff, and a few judges. You can find your voting location by visiting the North Carolina State Board of Elections website, www.sboe.state.nc.us, and clicking on "My Polling Place."

Monday, May 3, 2010

Joslyn James Jilted by Charlotte Hotel?

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/03/2010 No comments
TMZ.com is reporting today that Tiger Woods and former mistress/current stripper Joslyn James may have nearly stayed in the same hotel while in Charlotte over the weekend. Gloria Allred, the publicity hound of an attorney who represents James, emailed a letter dated for today to the general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte seeking an answer as to why her client's hotel reservation was cancelled. Allred speculates that it could be because Woods was staying there.

This kind of thing was bound to happen with James traveling to the cities to perform in strip clubs where Woods is playing golf tournaments. She was at Uptown Cabaret Friday and Saturday, and she ended up having a longer weekend than Woods, who missed the cut and didn't play after Friday's round of the Quail Hollow Championship.

Click on the image below to read the letter sent by Allred.

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