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hauntedheadnc

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hauntedheadnc last won the day on June 6 2015

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About hauntedheadnc

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  1. Honestly though... It's really not a good selling point when a place advertises itself as being "just two hours from everywhere you'd rather be!"
  2. I wonder if perhaps Charlotte should take a page out of Columbia's playbook and make light of its worst aspect. Columbia is well known for having the same climate as the devil's dirty wet asshole, and its slogan is "Columbia: Famously Hot". Charlotte -- I hate to say this, but it's true -- is known by outsiders looking in for being boring. So, rather than try to say that a city which seems to consist entirely of parking decks, unadorned beige boxes, and blue glass is something it isn't, why not make fun of what it is? Show people there's more to the city than a bunch of suits running around denying loans and signing foreclosures on your dead mother's house. Laugh at yourself. Run commercials with interracial groups of attractive millennials having the time of their lives and talking about how boring Charlotte is while they're doing whatever it is that millennials do for fun in Charlotte. If there are any murals or any public art that is not of the corporate plaza variety, whose primary artistic message is "Look! Here's some art!", have the attractive millennials file past it while talking about how boring Charlotte is. Have the millennials pop in to one of the five or so buildings in the city that predates the 1970's while talking about how boring it is that Charlotte has no history. If there's any building for the millennials to go that isn't a plain beige EIFS box or plain glass box have them discuss how boring the city's architecture is there. "Charlotte: It's boring!"
  3. "Come for the beige boxes, stay for the blue glass..."
  4. Problem is, Seattle is a poor example. Seattle has a very large stock of historic buildings, and also has a long-established history of incorporating the facades of historic buildings into new development. The example that most readily comes to mind is the facade of the 1920's Seattle Natatorium, preserved and seamlessly incorporated into a highrise condo building.
  5. And... here's another suggestion for fostering some Charlotte culture. As places like Wing Haven and the McGill Rose Garden demonstrate, Charlotte is a good place to garden. The city is known for its trees, but big whoop -- every city east of the Mississippi has trees. If you're a good place to garden, do it and do it well until you're mentioned in the same breath as Charleston, Savannah, or anywhere else that people flock to look at the landscaping.
  6. It's not a matter of using a technique that some other city has already used, but rather a matter of producing unique content. As it stands, Charlotte has a serious image problem, because its image is that it is boring. Downtown/Uptown/All Around does not help that situation because most of what could have made central Charlotte interesting was bulldozed and no one is particularly interested in saving even what small scraps remain. I've lurked here for years and I've seen that in you all. The thinking seems to be that because Charlotte was never a city of historic architectural jewels, it's no big loss that its history is gone now, nor is it a loss when yet another historic building -- gem-quality or not -- like that state office building is on the chopping block. That's the larger part of why Charlotte feels placeless and soulless, at least in my opinion as an outsider looking in. To me, in all the times I've been there, Charlotte has always reminded me of a unit in a suburban apartment complex: colorless so as not to clash with anything. Uptown, which is supposed to be the soul of the city, does not help that impression because it's basically a gray and beige maze. Murals would add color and at this point considering how much of the history of Charlotte has been erased, it's your best chance to actually show people that interesting people lived here, worked hard and did interesting things, and lived interesting lives. There is no indication of that now. There are, however, art-by-committee hokey spindles outside the arena that supposedly harken back to a textile industrial past, and there is a plethora of meaningless gewgaws disconnected to anything that might have to do with Charlotte cluttering up all those needless corporate plazas. For an example of the latter, there's one bank plaza whose fountain has statues of children playing in the water. What does that have to do with anything? And especially, what does it have to do with anything when you'd bring down the wrath of God knows how many rent-a-cops if you tried splashing around in that fountain? Art has to mean something, and it has to connect to something in order to make a viewer feel anything. The closest you come now are the artworks that have something to do with Queen Charlotte, those statues at Trade and Tryon, and all those plaques in the sidewalk that depict whatever historic building used to stand where this parking deck is now. Bottom line, you need help because people think you're boring. They think you're boring because you have almost none of your history still standing and your modern architecture is nowhere near daring enough to adequately replace what was lost. To the outside world you appear to be a city of sterile glass boxes. You tore down your soul and it shows. So. You have a choice in attempting to foster a unique Charlotte culture. You could redeem yourself of the sin of historic obliteration by becoming the world's new hotbed of avant-garde experimental architecture... or you can cover your beige and gray walls with color and you can strew your streets with sculptures that aren't as dopey as the arena spindles. Either one will work, but I suspect the latter would be easier and would foster the culture that would help to remedy all the other ills of Uptown, chief among them the fact that the retail scene in Uptown is pathetic. Granted, all of that is my opinion, so your mileage may vary.
  7. Art. Lots of it. And I'm not talking about that annoyingly meaningless corporate plaza stuff whose only message to the viewer is "Look! Here's some art!" Charlotte needs murals. It needs color. It is, and it may well forever remain, a vanilla city, but that's why God invented sprinkles, and as an Ashevillian looking in from the outside, if ever there was a city that needed some colorful sprinkles it's Charlotte. Take some cues from the Asheville Mural Project: http://liveasart.com/?page_id=279 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Asheville-Mural-Project-AMP/248930645163201
  8. There's no elevations, of course, but the new design seems classier at first glance.
  9. Garfield's Restaurant and Sbarro's have both closed. One of the managers of Sbarro was quoted in the paper as saying that Biltmore Square feels like a cemetery and I couldn't agree more. The place is hanging on by its fingertips. I really won't be surprised to see it close down altogether. And won't that be special? God only knows how much land was destroyed for that entire smear of sprawl and now it's "Whoops, sorry about that folks... We should have added to the destruction a few miles down the road? Apologies for this big ol' pile of feces, old chum."
  10. Well, not to name names, but one developer was up to the challenge and did offer a spectacular project that included numerous concessions to Asheville's art, history, character, and soul, but his project was turned down because it was "too big." Which is to say, it was too urban, and the city council was upset with this developer because he refused to play along with their delusion that Asheville is just the quaintest lil ol' thing to mince down the pike since Lake Wobegon. Thus, they did not approve the project. However, place before them a godawful eyesore like this hotel and if it's short and can perpetuate the illusion that Asheville is far too small and quaint to justify a skyscraper's construction, they'll rubberstamp it so fast your head will spin. I think it's partly that, and partly the fact that new construction downtown must meet strict requirements for mediocrity and gentrification before the city council will approve it. This building far exceeds the requirement for mediocre architecture. It's right up there with the Indigo Hotel, 12 S. Lexington, and 21 Battery Park Avenue. I'm sure that they were really just kidding about that workforce housing they wanted to add to this project -- because they're always just kidding about that kind of thing -- so what we're doing here is providing another staging area for uppity tourists looking for second homes. So, we're helping the gentrification along quite nicely as well. Add all that up and how could the city council possibly refuse?
  11. I love the way the city council will approve any short building, not matter how hideous, before it would dare approve a well-designed tall building.
  12. Well, it is soulless. But name me a piece of modern architecture in Asheville that isn't. We stopping building anything worth giving a crap about sometime in the late 1940's, and nearly everything since then has been ghastly. However, I do think it's stupid that a business owner would be upset about a crowded street. That is kind of what we're aiming for here after all. I wonder if she gets upset at Christmas too, because of the extra people.
  13. Thanks for the information.
  14. This is Asheville we're talking about here -- it probably really is enchanted. Is it open during the day? Whenever things are going wrong, I like to spend time in churches until I feel some peace again. Going to St. Lawrence or the cathedral usually makes me feel much better, but if there's yet another place I could go and meditate and pray, I'd love to know about it. Unfortunately, most of the churches here are locked during the day.
  15. I have to admit that this new look is kind of growing on me. It's nothing I'd want to see big numbers of, but a few are fine.
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