ricky_davis_fan_21

Ideas for Creating Culture, Temporary and Permanent, in Charlotte

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Charlotte is well known for having what some might call a very vanilla culture. 

 

In this thread I want people to put their heads together and think of ways we can insert culture into the lives of Charlotteans, utilizing the assets that we already have in place. 

 

As many of you know, I've lived, worked and played in NYC for the past 7 years. I've seen and experienced dozens of ideas and events take shape. Many of these ideas and events I feel could be easily replicated uptown. 

 

The first idea I'd like to present is to replicate UrbanSpaceNYC with a Charlotte Flavor.

http://urbanspacenyc.com

 

My idea would be to close down MLK along Bearden for 3-6 weeks in the spring and early summer. Give bids out to Restaurants outside of the uptown area to Rent spaces for however much per day would cover the cities expenses for providing shell spaces to restaurants. Maybe you could get Boxman Studios to sponsor these events, and provide space. 

I think with 90k+ people working uptown everyday having something like this would engage the workers uptown and provide exposure for restaurants outside of uptown that might not be frequented by the workers uptown. It would be an instant lunch time success.

 

 

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Please show your support for this idea on Find Your Centers Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10100996029361367&set=o.94416881870&type=1&theater&notif_t=like

 

Please use this space for sharing your ideas for Creating and Inserting culture into Banktown USA

Edited by ricky_davis_fan_21
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As a fellow North Carolinian living in New York, I second the idea of UrbanSpace.  I have worked with them extensively in the past year, and the ambience and attitude created by their works is incredible.  Seriously, they are great. It would be a great way to let the city celebrate homegrown talent.  UrbanSpace does a lot of markets, like the Broadway Bites Market in the Herald Sq area, and the Christmas Market in Union Sq.  

 

I would love to see that in Charlotte, or any NC city. 

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I think one place the city can start is to ease up on things that stifle culture and therefore creativity in the neighborhoods. Our restrictive noise ordinance is just one example. Every so often it seems like the city doesn't want it's residents to venture out and mix it up. It's hard to develop a local or native culture when the people that are needed to do just that aren't encouraged to mingle, share ideas, and inspire each other.

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Love the idea, Charlotte really needs to be known for something other than NASCAR and the Panthers.

 

one cultural element which we already have, but many are reluctant to admit to, is valuing progressive planning. (I am not saying that Charlotte is good at executing a planning strategy, just that many outsiders see Charlotte as an example of 'good' planning). 

 

One way to enhance that is to have monthly / quarterly / annual car free days. Basically pick a Sunday to shut down South / Caldwell / N Davidson from Scaleybark to Sugar Creek and Central from Davidson to Eastway. The street space could be used for biking, walking, cafe / food trucks etc. Doing this regularly would encourage more active transportation and eventually bring in folks from the region to participate.

Edited by kermit
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another element of Charlotte culture that really needs improvement is its arts scene. Its devolved into some high-end galleries of fairly mainstream stuff in Southend and a very small and dispersed (since everyone got priced out of NoDa 15 years ago) number of edgier artists. IMO the city (or CCCP or a Foundation or ...) could create some subsidized studio space (Brevard st around 25th? Arrowood? Lower Wilmore / Toomey? Empty big box space on the east side? Bryant Park / Freedom?) to seed a new cluster plus offer a well advertised micro-loan program for artists from throughout the South to set up studio-space and produce and show in the QC, Acceptance of a loan might require the artists to participate in branded Charlotte arts activities.

 

It would take very little investment, it might bring us out of the arts cellar and it might create an interesting new neighborhood.

Edited by kermit
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We need to step up our restaruant game too.  Charleston and Asheville are one thing, but i'm seriously sick of Raleigh consistently having top 100, beard nominated, and michelin rated restaraunts.  

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We need to step up our restaruant game too.  Charleston and Asheville are one thing, but i'm seriously sick of Raleigh consistently having top 100, beard nominated, and michelin rated restaraunts.  

I honestly think there are 7 restaurants in Charlotte that are worthy of these lists, and I don't understand why they get snubbed so badly. I've been to many beard nominated, and beard winning, as well as michelin star restaurants and I can think of a number of Charlotte restaurants that are just as good and innovative. 

 

• Fig Tree

• The Summit Room

• Barringtons

• Halcyon

• Heirloom

• Passion 8

• Asbury

 

I also am close with the Exec. Chef of Roosters and when ever I'm in town he fixes my wife and I some of the most incredible "preview/idea" dishes, that are better than anything I've ever tasted outside of NYC/Napa/San Fran.

Edited by ricky_davis_fan_21

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I honestly think there are 7 restaurants in Charlotte that are worthy of these lists, and I don't understand why they get snubbed so badly. I've been to many beard nominated, and beard winning, as well as michelin star restaurants and I can think of a number of Charlotte restaurants that are just as good and innovative. 

 

• Fig Tree

• The Summit Room

• Barringtons

• Halcyon

• Heirloom

• Passion 8

• Asbury

 

I also am close with the Exec. Chef of Roosters and when ever I'm in town he fixes my wife and I some of the most incredible "preview/idea" dishes, that are better than anything I've ever tasted outside of NYC/Napa/San Fran.

 

But did they put it on the menu?  Charlotte of 2015 might actually like it.  

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High school. Not a fancy looking modern high school. And condos & townehomes that arent modern.

Less modern, less bulky, less manufactured lowrises.

Gateway village feels more authentic than new developments.

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Concert series in Bearden Park

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But did they put it on the menu? Charlotte of 2015 might actually like it.

Every once in a while I think they land on the menu. I think the ever traditionalist Jim Noble might hold the trump card with the menu.

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Charlotte's music scene could be better.  I don't really know how you would improve it though... it seems terrestrial radio is dying, but maybe having some sort of college radio station that plays local artists and smaller bands that are coming to Charlotte.  Maybe more concert venues?
Edited by Higgs Boson
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Every once in a while I think they land on the menu. I think the ever traditionalist Jim Noble might hold the trump card with the menu.

 

I have hope for Kindred in Davidson.

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Our culture will grow in strength naturally as investment returns to the city. I'm looking forward to the old theatre being renovated and our symphony coming back from financial troubles. We need more people to move in downtown and start scaling back our buildings before we grow a sense of community though. As of now, I see a broken landscape of parking, big buildings, and pedestrian unfriendly roads downtown.

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Our culture will grow in strength naturally as investment returns to the city. I'm looking forward to the old theatre being renovated and our symphony coming back from financial troubles. We need more people to move in downtown and start scaling back our buildings before we grow a sense of community though. As of now, I see a broken landscape of parking, big buildings, and pedestrian unfriendly roads downtown.

 

What do you mean by 'scaling back our buildings' ?

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I agree that uptown feels pretty sterile, especially as you get away from the park/ballpark.  Honestly, I'd leave 3rd ward alone. I think it's growing pretty well on it's own and it's the one place on weekends where people already congregate.

 

Following up on the idea though, I wish the city would branch out taste of Charlotte a bit. I'd like to see the city block off one lane  along tryon or college and let food trucks serve there.  People go to uptown for a number of reasons, but people generally don't simply hang out there. Usually they go for work or play (bars, food, etc). It's a destination for certain specific things, but not in general. Letting food trucks operate would hopefully bring in more foot traffic, which might then prompt more retail to spring up.  Food Truck Friday in South End has a crazy amount of people (and traffic!), but everyone just mingles about in that lot. Having something like that in Uptown on Saturdays, I think you'd see people moving around a bit more.  I also like the idea of creating more public space. Less empty plazas, more seating/tables, etc.

 

The other thing I'd push for is getting people to visit different parts of uptown. Maybe a public, outdoor art crawl along Trade in Gateway or down Graham. They could offer a big farmer's market in 1st ward spanning a couple of Levineland parking lots.

Edited by birky

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I'd say relocate Capital Grill into the triangle of the tower and remove their current location entirely. At a minimum, removing the two planters with waterfalls and creating plaza space would improve the flow of it immensely.

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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

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You know, I've thought about this for a while, the whole "Charlotte culture" deal.  Can you really manufacture culture though?  Even the suggestion above, the murals, seems fabricated to me.  Don't get me wrong, it's really cool and looks great.  But honestly, what city in the US or Canada or really anywhere can you go to that doesn't have murals?  Is it really all that unique?  Or provide some sort of cultural impression on people where they say "oh yeah, look at that mural.  Wow, I really am in Asheville or Biloxi or Tacoma.  I can really feel the sense of community/culture here".

 

Personally I'm okay with us letting whatever the hell Charlotte is or is going to become, evolve on its own.  There are creative people in the city.  There are weird people in the city.  There are also bland people in the city.  I think we will eventually develop something.  

 

But it's also a city of transients that adds more and more to that figure every year.  Transients that, at least for this generation, aren't from Charlotte.  They are from Syracuse.  Or Toledo.  Or Minneapolis, ect.  I think it'll maybe take a generation or two of people being born and raised in Charlotte again to develop a sense of community and pride for this city.  And at least in my opinion, "culture" whatever the hell that is to you, stems from community and pride for the place you live.

 

Right now I think a lot of people who live in Charlotte think of it as a layover in some random airport.  

 

"There are a couple places to eat and have some drinks, there's even some shopping, but I won't be here too long.  It's not my final destination."  Hopefully as the city matures, that will change.  I think it already is shifting.

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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

 

I would really love to see painting/murals on the parking decks visible from Bearden.

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This seems apropos. From P-M Facebook today:

 

11401317_10207329525740596_6239636416742

 

 

The whole El  Barto thing going on in P Midwood right now is fantastic.  And just the kind of weird, organic stuff I'm referring to.

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