Tuesday, February 28, 2012

CIAA Week is underway in Charlotte and if you've been checking for parties on the Googles over the last few weeks, you've likely come across the list I've compiled again this year for Charlotte magazine's website. I updated it today and there are now more than 150 parties and events listed, all taking place between now and Sunday, March 4. In addition to the parties list (organized by day), I also give you the dos and don'ts of partying (a must-read); a list of all the celebrity names I came across on party flyers and event info that are scheduled to be here (including Chris Brown, Common, Diddy, Fabolous, Floyd Mayweather, Idris Elba, Maxwell, Nas, R. Kelly, Rick Ross, T.I., and dozens more--and just announced today First Lady Michelle Obama is bringing her Let's Move! campaign); the CIAA Tournament pairings, if you actually plan on attending a basketball game (you should); and much more. We'll also add photos from some of these events, taken by Jon Strayhorn of Media Arts Collective.

You can find it all here: charlottemagazine.com/ciaa.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

It seems as if I see more and more guys wearing bow ties these days. I've always felt that only certain dudes could pull it off, sort of like with scarves, ascots, suspenders, or even fedoras (don't wear all of those at once please). Those stylish items have to fit your personality or befit your character, so to speak. But I think I'm beginning to warm up to bow ties, thanks to a Charlotte-based company.

High Cotton Ties launched two years ago by mother-son team Judy Hill and James Hill, and their brand of 100 percent cotton, handmade bow ties have grown rapidly in popularity. The ties are now sold in nearly 100 clothing stores and boutiques in more than a dozen states, primarily throughout the South but as far north as Maine and as far west as Texas. High Cotton's tagline is "A True Southern Accent," and bow ties, to me, evoke imagery of sitting on large front porches in rocking chairs sipping sweet tea. I can dig that. I am a South Carolina native, after all.

A High Cotton madras bow tie on the gentleman and a matching headband on the lady.

I've been loving the photos of the ties--and the lifestyle scenes captured in them--that High Cotton has been posting on its Facebook page. And the reason, in particular, I'm now considering giving this style a shot is because I like the bow ties in its spring 2012 collection. The colors are so vibrant and make you want to dress up for a steeplechase or outdoor Sunday brunch, both of which I hope to do this spring.

Wearing a bow tie would be a stretch for my wardrobe stylings of the past, though. But what the heck, you gotta change up things sometimes. And I think chicks dig 'em, which is another plus.

Visit highcottonties.com for all the details.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

If you weren't quite convinced of Cam Newton's star power during his record-breaking rookie season with the Carolina Panthers, this new commercial by Under Armour should finally make you a believer. It's becoming clear that the sportswear and apparel company plans on making the NFL Rookie of the Year the face of its brand. Why wouldn't you, with a 22-year-old, who's built like he was created in a video game, has Hollywood looks, and, most importantly, became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 4,000 yards (4,051 to be exact) and rush for at least 500 yards (706) in a single season.

The title of the 60-second spot is "Cam's Night Out." It was filmed at Bank of America Stadium--see, when you're a star, the camera and production crews come to you--as you can tell by the Panther-blue stadium seats. Starring in the commercial with Cam is crazy producer/live beat-maker AraabMuzik. Why? Because the football field/stadium is Cam's club, and Araab is his DJ. It's a creative concept they have going in the commercial. But who knows, it could be truer than you think. Cam is hardly ever spotted at nightclubs in Charlotte, unlike many of the city's other young, rich, professional athletes. It's nothing wrong with popping mad bottles at the likes of Butter and Suite when you make more in a week than most of us make in a year.

But staying out of the nightclub and staying in the weight room and on the field seems to be working pretty well so far for Cam. And it's got him starring in one of the coolest athlete commercials I've seen in awhile, which, reportedly, is the first time Under Armour has created a campaign centered on a single athlete.

You see Cam perform some ridiculously athletic moves. It trips me out how he dribbles a football like it's a basketball, which you've probably seen him do on occasion. He ends the commercial with his signature touchdown celebration move--the Superman pose, which we hope we see a lot of next fall.

Kiplinger, a leading publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice, which in recent years has become best known for the annual city rankings it publishes, has placed two North Carolina cities on a couple of its recent lists. Durham is No. 9 on the list of 10 Best Cities for Singles, while Asheville is No. 8 on the list of 10 Worst Cities for Singles. It's interesting how Kiplinger describes its methodologies. At the heart of it, it doesn't seem to be much about heart at all, but rather about money.

Here's how the Best were determined:

"Finding the best cities for singles goes beyond simply identifying the places with the highest percentage of bachelors and bachelorettes. Financial factors count, too. After all, you’ll want to meet someone who can afford to date, right? To put together our list of best cities for singles, we took into account income and living costs. The cities that made the final cut boast household income levels well above the Census Bureau average of $49,536. The cost-of-living score -- derived from Council for Community and Economic Research data -- indicates essential costs, including rent. A high score is acceptable as long as it’s offset by attractive incomes and a strong dating pool..."

You weren't with me shooting in the gym. [Image source]

And how the Worst were determined:

"Landing on our list of worst cities for singles doesn’t necessarily make a city a bad place to live. Far from it. Many of these cities are great for couples, families or retirees, and many offer enviable amenities, from warm weather to low living costs. What these cities don’t offer are deep pools of financially attractive singles. Like it or not, when it comes to dating, money matters -- at least to a degree. So while love might ultimately conquer all, a steady paycheck conquers the here and now -- the tab for dinner and the like."

This all reminds me of a memorable line from I Think I Love My Wife: "You can lose lots of money chasing women, but you will never lose women chasing money."

Topping the list of best cities for singles, strangely enough, is Ann Arbor, Michigan. Notables on the list are Los Angeles at No. 5 and New York at No. 8. Topping the worst is Yuma, Arizona. Notably, all of the worst cities for singles are either in the South or Midwest. Interesting.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Whitney Houston, sadly, will be laid to rest Saturday. While her funeral at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey is invitation-only, it's scheduled to be broadcast live on TV and the Internet at noon.

This morning on FOX News Rising, the FOX Charlotte show decided to dedicate this week's Friday Dance Party to Whitney. The crew--from anchors and reporters to production and the newsroom--danced to the music legend's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody." Watch the FNR video below.

Monday, February 13, 2012

You might recall, back in December, me telling you about a new, local news roundup television show called 282 that was coming to WTVI, that I'd become a part of. At that time, we were in pilot/beta mode and over the course of a month and a half we taped four online-only episodes. On January 30, the first broadcast episode of 282 aired and the show began its weekly run, so you can now watch new episodes each Monday, 6:30 p.m. on WTVI (channel 42 on broadcast television, DirecTV, Dish Network, and AT&T U-verse; channel 5 on Time Warner Cable).

Set your DVRs to record 282 so you can watch each week as host Carlton Hargro moderates a panel of guests who discuss topics important to and prevalent in Charlotte. I have a role similar to that of Tony Reali on Pardon the Interruption, in that I moderate conversation of the show's topics in the social media world (follow @282tv on Twitter; tweet your comments using #282tv), and I chime in with (hopefully) beneficial facts and stats corresponding to what the panel is discussing.

During the first topic, when we discussed the role the Internet and social media are playing in news today, I flexed my old-school journalist muscle by rocking a trench coat and fedora--the hat was used to hold my press badge. My wardrobe--the button-down shirt, blazer, trench coat, and fedora--were provided by Revolve Upscale Men's Consignment in Dilworth, www.revolvecharlotte.com.

On this week's show, which aired this evening, the topics discussed are: the overload of news content these days thanks to websites, blogs, and social media but does that mean people are being more informed; accessing achievement and dropout rates at Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools and whether the district gets an unfairly bad rap; and the effects of people staying single longer/getting married later in life (special nod to Valentine's Day).

Adding substance and perspective to those topics are this week's guests: Bill Anderson, MeckEd executive director; Shameika R., a Charlotte-based blogger and writer; and the venerable Mark Washburn, columnist for The Charlotte Observer. You can watch the full episode below.

282 is a partnership between CLT Blog and WTVI, and you can watch a live stream of the show while it is being produced each Monday at noon at www.cltblog.com/live; then the finished product airs that evening at 6:30 p.m. on WTVI (repeats at 11 p.m.). We hope you'll interact with us on Twitter because we read some tweets/comments on the show. And if you have suggestions for topics you'd like us to cover or local people you'd like to see appear on the show, tweet those suggestions to @282tv or email to info@cltblog.com with 282 in the subject line.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Foundation For The Carolinas is holding an Open House this Saturday, February 11, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., welcoming the community to tour its new home. FFTC moved into the Luski-Gorelick Center for Philanthropy, located at 220 North Tryon St., last fall. It's the new name for the building that formerly housed the Mint Museum of Craft + Design. The Mint, as you probably know, moved into a new building at the Levine Center for the Arts in 2010. Bank of America, which owned the former building, donated it to FFTC, and the building then underwent an $8.7 million renovation. I happened to attend a meeting Wednesday evening at the Luski-Gorelick Center and I was amazed by how stunning it is--one of the most beautiful spaces in Uptown, and that says a lot considering all of the fancy buildings and cultural arts facilities there are.

What immediately grabs your attention is the Sonia & Isaac Luski Gallery in the first floor lobby of the four-story building. The gallery is filled with an expensive art collection the Luskis built over decades. The gallery is actually open to the public to tour for free, weekdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. But during this Saturday's Open House, you'll get to see the entire building. There are magnificent spaces such as Legacy Hall, which features bronze medallions honoring major philanthropists from the Charlotte area (think last names like Belk, Blumenthal, and Levine), a pavilion, two rooftop terraces, and a vertical garden on the fourth floor that's made up of nearly 1,500 plants. Perhaps what's most impressive, however, is that there are 17 board and conference rooms throughout the building in which nonprofit organizations are eligible to hold meetings free of charge.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Madonna 2012 World Tour was announced yesterday by Live Nation, just one day after the legendary singer performed at halftime of Super Bowl XLVI, in front of the largest television audience in American history. My personal opinions about the NFL's selection of halftime performers over the past decade aside, I'm happy that Madonna is bringing her tour to Charlotte on November 15, to Time Warner Cable Arena. Major tours such as this have a habit of skipping over Charlotte. It should be noted, however, that Charlotte is one of only two Southeastern U.S. stops of the 26 North American cities on this tour--the other being Atlanta two days later, which is when the tour concludes (though it's common for these tours to add dates and cities midway).

Credit: madonna.com

The 2012 World Tour kicks off May 29 in Tel Aviv, Israel (there are 26 European cities on the tour as well) before beginning its North American run in late August. The tickets for the Charlotte stop go on sale to the general public March 5 through Ticketmaster.com. If you're a member of Madonna's Icon fan club or are interested in VIP packages, you can buy tickets nearly a week earlier beginning February 28.

Click here to read the official tour press release. The Material Girl will release her new album, MDNA, on March 26. You can pre-order it now on iTunes.

Does anyone know when's the last time Madonna performed in Charlotte? Or is this her first concert here?

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 2/05/2012 No comments
My apologies for not blogging here on Grown People Talking last week. It was an extremely busy week for me--professionally and personally. I didn't completely leave you hanging in the blogosphere, though, since I managed to post a couple of times each on my other two blogs: Dusk Till Dawn (Charlotte nightlife) and The DNC In The CLT (2012 Democratic National Convention).

I plan to get back to blogging on GPT this week, but through all of the ripping and running I do, it's important that I pause from time to time. So I'd like to remind you to do that as well. And when you pause, perhaps you'll reflect on something or someone in your life, see a different perspective, or gain a new appreciation.

Within a week's time, two people I know who are close to my age passed away. The first was Megan Zachary, 30, a student advocate for A Child's Place here in Charlotte, whom I got to know through the mentoring program I volunteer in. The second was my cousin and friend Chris Young, 33, from my hometown, Rembert, SC. He'd had a heart transplant a few years ago and dealt with complications ever since.

Both of them were very positive people and pleasures to be around. Both of them loved children--Megan, the ones she worked with; Chris, his own. Their short-lived lives is a reminder to me on how precious our time is and that we should make the most of what we have. But that doesn't mean allowing yourself to be consumed with so many things that you don't actually get to enjoy what you have.

So, pause.

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