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lptk

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About lptk

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  1. I heartily agree. My main preference is United, but to Europe I fly Lufthansa when possible - for their service and the efficiency of connections (United adds a stop). There are other carriers with more luxury, but I'll take consistency and efficiency any day. If only each recent experience on US Airways wasn't so dreadful I would choose them and get fewer stops. As it is I have gone as far as changing planned vacation schedules and paying more for a Lufhansa seat, or adding a connection in ORD or even IAD (not a very nice connection airport) to avoid US. Oh, and Munich's airport is great. Much nicer than Frankfurt, if with a few less connection choices.
  2. They're not right on the line, but you could also recommend one of the cluster of hotels on Arrowwood just east of I77. The Arrowwood bus connects to the blue line. The negative is the connection, but on the positive side they're probably about the same price as the ones on Woodlawn, but are much newer and nicer.
  3. Very reasonable. It's the kind of place that changes its menu periodically, but will make dishes from the previous menu for a semi-regular as long as they have ingredients on hand. The place is great. Be sure to try the pastas made in-house. They have been in business here for ~2 years now I think. I was recently in Italy, and from my experience it's the closest to true regional Italian cooking that one can get in Charlotte.
  4. Surprising, yes. Not only height <=1.5 stories, but also home size (>700 sq ft, IIRC), and racially discriminitory restrictions on who can reside in these houses (non-white permitted only as dosmestic employee!). I was pretty shocked to read that when I moved to the area. I'm happy to say tha my home is within the deed restrictions in size (>700ft, <=1.5 stories), but we flagrantly violate by being a beige family.
  5. We're already there. Pennies have been made from copper plated zinc for 20 years or so.
  6. Agreed on Ru San. Fine, but their fish is not excellent. Just ok. My current favorite fish is at 'i' on East. Their sashimi plate is outstanding.
  7. Based on some video footage I just saw, this is a single section of one of the new decks by Nordstrom. Report indicated one injury.
  8. Totally agreed on that. I took some out of town folks on and they got turned around at two different stations. And on the ticketing issues. I'm torn about the passes. I'd like to have hop on/off ease and support the system at the same time, but the monthly pass just isn't justified. I'd like to have a multi-ride bus+train option for convenience, even if it's at full-fare cost.
  9. And that only goes so far for me. In my observations as an average joe business & leisure traveler (read: not dividend miles preferred, but a regular traveller), I get MUCH better service on United than US Airways. In most cases I would rather fly through ORD or even to stay on United than take a nonstop on US Airways. The last round trip I took didn't give me a choice due to the destination, so I took US. Two nastydirty planes (this was not over the holidays, just a normal weekday flight), and the best service we experienced was "curt" and "dismissive". Example: Gate agent here in CLT spending 12 minutes (timed) humoring US crew, on that flight who wanted to shift passengers around so that they could get better seats, before helping us with a simple request - gate check tag for a stroller. While we're waiting there holding a child. There wasn't a line at the counter, just us and the crew. Make the paying passengers wait for that? For 12 minutes? Not good service in my opinion. Then we board a dirty plane. Great. Return flight was more of the same. I have no doubt that preferred passengers are happier with their service. That's where employees place most of their emphasis, and I can understand the need to keep those passengers loyal. But in the case above (just one of many similar stories I could tell from the last few years), the gate agent had no idea whether we were preferred or not. So that's the kind of experience that makes willing to make connections to avoid US. I fly on US only about once every quarter and there is enough each time to remind me. Not that UA is problem free, of course. There are issues everywhere. But I'm rarely disgruntled with service on UA. Frequently on US. I hope it can turn around.
  10. I think they do - perhaps not this week, but eventually. They have printed timetables available, and provide schedules on the web site with the same level of detail as are provided for the bus. In fact, for the rail/bus integration to work as intended, the bus and train must be somewhat synchronized (designed to reduce wait time for intermodal connections).
  11. Here's my report - We boarded at East/West headed south just after 10 am, expecting the northbound trains to be full and southbound light. Wrong. Southbound was standing-room only and remained so through 485. All the park and ride lots we passed on the way south were wide open. Few cars. At the 485 station we could see pulling in that the parking deck was full and there looked to be a line of people waiting to board. The platform was a bit confused. Most of the people weren't going to 485 as a destination today, so most wanted to just immediately re-board. Because the platform isn't designed for this kind of crowd control (keeping people from crossing to the northbound train to board), most southbound passengers were hopping back onto a northbound train. We were going to just walk over to catch bus 12 to skip the wait when, at the end of the platform the next northbound train was about to close its doors. There was un-filled room in the doorway so we jumped on. There was at least one vehicle stopped and some kind of maintenance work going on to the mechanism over one door (panel was down and someone was working). This added to the platform confusion as that train was mostly boarded when people started shifting to the next northbound train (leaving from the southbound side platform). Oh, and just as the doors closed, the re-opened again and Mayor Pat boarded. He sat with the driver for the northbound ride. It wasn't as crowded as a Tokyo train, but it was more full than any Charlotte bus I've ever seen. The ride back north stopped at each station. And by now, all the park and ride lots were full or filling. Most platforms had people waiting to board but, again, few were getting off. We planned to go to 7th street, but realized there wasn't much chance of catching another southbound train as the crowd was just going to be up north. So we hopped back off at East/West. We were 2 of perhaps 8 total people who got off, so most of those waiting at the platform remained waiting. We recommended to a couple of people that they consider the bus. Based on the number of people waiting at each of the northbound platforms to the south (and I mean waiting at every single station), there was not much chance of an open seat for a while. Overall I am very impressed with a few things: 1. The vehicles are very nice. high ceilings made the packed conditions easier to deal with. 2. The convivial attitude of riders. Most were taking it in stride, making the best of things. 3. The platforms are nice. Not sure about inclement weather under the shelters, but the signage is good. 4. Views from the elevated sections down south give nice context over the area. I already have several businesses picked out that I will never drive to again (Manifest, Pollo Royale, Bill Spoon's, Steak n Shake, Compare Foods). And things that need to be unkinked: 1. Capacity was a problem, but this was to be expected if there were large crowds. 2. Not sure how well stations will queue under crowded conditions, such as before or after big events. This might be something that can be learned from this free day. I plan to ride again tomorrow to head north.
  12. ^Yes, Red Star and then Patou. Both of those really had other problems, but the dynamics of that space weren't helping, that's for sure. Parking is not obvious for people familiar only with flat, open parking lots, and there hasn't been enough going on in the immediate vicinity for there to be a general draw. Low foot traffic, large restaurant to fill. All of that spelled trouble for the location. What I've heard about 310 Main makes it sound like it could be a good fit for the neighborhood in general, but if their patrons get confused about parking they'll be in trouble. At least until this is a mostly pedestrian oriented business. There are lots of good restaurants in town. It's not suprising to me when one with a strikes against it from the start fails.
  13. Not to mention all of the jobs Met Midtown is bringing. And it would be great to have it on one of the major corridors in the plan, but at least workers and shoppers can choose between three bus lines and a greenway to get there.
  14. ^ I think you'll be pleased with their stuff. In my experience Target and EQ3 (and Ikea) quality are about the same. By Design stuff is perhaps a bit better (some of it much better, but that's their very pricey stuff). West Elm merch I've purchased has been very good quality - much nicer than Target/EQ3. Perhaps not quite as nice as Crate and Barrel, but less expensive.
  15. I would recommend Situl too. It is better than Maharani on Kings in my opinion. They have very good dal makhani, and their biryani is more interesting than other places in my opinion. I have never been disappointed with Situl. Agreed on Copper - definitely worth a trip, but it's more fusion than pure Indian.
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