uptownliving

NoDa (N Davidson St Arts District) Projects

2005 posts in this topic

Well said. Fat City, Kelly's and Cabo Fish Taco where a few of my favorite places to hang out when I lived there. No airs and all were welcome.

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^^Do you feel that way now? I'll admit, I'm on the inside looking out, so I'm just wondering.

Do you feel like the places and people in NoDa now are less inclusive and friendly?

I can say, for me, I know all the bartenders, the new young residents, condo owners, mill house families, musicians, old-school NoDa artists, restaurant owners, staff, the active neighbors, yoga teachers, we all know each other and each other's dogs names, we know who lives in what house, babies names, the neighborhood softball team. I can't walk anywhere without talking to about six different people, just for a second. Does it not seem that way to people who live outside the neighborhood? There are some people I don't know very well, and a couple whom I don't think are so cool, but I still recognize them from around and they probably recognize me.

edit: I'm really wondering now...because the other day someone said that people in NoDa think "their S doesn't stink." Now I'm wondering how we are seen....

Edited by The Escapists

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^I hung out in North Davidson then and I hang out in NoDa now...it isn't very different except your car is less likely to get broken into if you park on a side street to go to a gallery crawl. For as great and fun as it used to be, there still were downsides as there are to everything.

Edit: When they changed the name to NoDa a lot of people disliked it, including me, but looking back it really didn't change much other than what people called the place. Many of us lament the end of Fat City and Pat's Time For One More...but time never stands still and I now love Salvadore Deli, the still existing and thriving N'hood Theatre, Smelly Cat, Lark & Key, Center of the Earth, Solstice...

Edited by Charlotte_native

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.....

edit: I'm really wondering now...because the other day someone said that people in NoDa think "their S doesn't stink." Now I'm wondering how we are seen....

Compared to what was, this is probably an accurate assessment. You probably are not going to see many almost naked men dancing on old oil barrels these days, nor will you see blue collar people going there to get a beer like what used to go to the old bar in the abandoned gasoline station. The public housing at the Mill is gone and with it the people, there are no more bead shops and beatniks, etc. I could go on but I don't want to say more than I should. In comparison I don't really see much difference between NoDa and Dillworth these days. Imagine the outcry if they re-opened the Gay porno and novelty shop or the place that really sold bongs and associated devices. LOL. Buffy and Buzz would not approve.

Everything that Fat City was, "Noda" isn't.

The name "NoDa" is made up, the real name of the neighborhood is North Charlotte and from that you can get an idea what is wrong here. The place has become and is becoming generic in an attempt to create a made up place, much like the name. It now exists in a bubble with no ties to the surrounding neighborhoods, the people there for example would not even thing about walking down to The Plaza to shop. People are now more concerned about their property values (i.e. investment) and when it gets to that, it's already gone. There still might be hope for NoDa given the collapse of the economy and the end to the irrational investments in real estate, so we shall see. Unfortunately a lot of damage has already been done.

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^ I think a lot of people would have a completely different opinion. Have you spent much time, especially at night on the weekends in NoDa? Do you know anyone that lives there. All of this is just a matter of opinion, but this one seems to have a lot of stereotyping in it and quite a bit of assumptions.

there are no more bead shops and beatniks, etc.

Check out Beet sometime -- that is exactly what it is. Also the new art complex at the Newco Fibres plant.

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^ I think a lot of people would have a completely different opinion. ....
That is their right. I offered up my opinion and you offered up yours and I didn't attempt to challenge you on it. I also explained why I felt this way, which you promptly ignored, and instead attempted to discredit my post by implying that I am unfamiliar with the place. I think that speaks well enough as to the accuracy of what I have posted.

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Even if NoDa is changing to become more commercial or less "special", then another area should be created. The hipsters (hate that name) tend to migrate together. Case in point: Bucktown/Wicker Park in Chicago is nothing like it used to be and now Ukrainian Village is becoming the new hotspot. Funny because, like Monsoon said, the migration has slowed down in Chicago b/c of the economy, so maybe NoDa will hold on for a while too.

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Even if NoDa is changing to become more commercial or less "special", then another area should be created. The hipsters (hate that name) tend to migrate together. Case in point: Bucktown/Wicker Park in Chicago is nothing like it used to be and now Ukrainian Village is becoming the new hotspot. Funny because, like Monsoon said, the migration has slowed down in Chicago b/c of the economy, so maybe NoDa will hold on for a while too.

Yeah. At first Southend was my favorite place to be. With all the new residential (which I think is a wonderful thing) it is becoming more young professional. NoDa is now top of my list. The new DuggDugg gallery, on any given weekend, has the most interesting, creative, and eccentric group of hipsters in the city. Plaza-Midwood has always been lurking around #3 on my list. NoDa has started migrating south towards uptown. Perhaps in a couple of years NoDa will be all young professional like Southend, and the artists and hipsters will all have moved down to Optimist Park, and towards Plaza-Midwood into the Belmont neighborhood.

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The term "NoDa" actually started as a joke. My friend worked in an architecture firm which located there satellite office there in the late 80's. He was from New York, hence SoHo, and he thought for the scale of the district NoDa seemed appropriate. After an interview on the area, the term stuck. See the definition in Wikipedia for more. The late 80's and early 90's where good times there, but that was just one snapshot. Ask some of the "blue collar guys" what they thought of it while they sipped PBR at Pat's and most would have said they didn't think much of it. "To much change, it ain't like the 70's!". Now we romanticise for the early 90's.

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Yeah. At first Southend was my favorite place to be. ....
"Southend" is another made-up nonsensical juvenile name that had no bearing on the actual location. Aside from it being used to describe the neighborhood in Charlotte it was commonly used, even here, to describe a mule's asshole. Hmmm..... maybe I should take back the first sentence.

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I just thought I would chime in on one thing: the naming issue.

The City of Charlotte recognizes three separate places

1. "North Charlotte" stretching from Matheson (including Clemson) to the Plaza, The Plaza to Eastway Drive, and Eastway Drive from the railroad tracks back to Matheson (at the overpass). This is the area you will find for census numbers.

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2. "Historic North Charlotte" stretching from Charles Ave to Herrin Ave, from the RR tracks to the Plaza. This is the area that will be listed with Historic Organizations and has an adopted land use plan with the city.

HNC.jpg

3. And "NoDa" stretching from Matheson to Sugar Creek, from Tryon to the Plaza. And since the moniker "NoDa" is an evolving district, it allows places like 28th St. to use the name. When your talking about things like LEED for Neighborhood Design, you can register your boundaries whereever you want your neighborhood to end. So NoDa can have an evolving boundary according to public opinion or relevance.

So yes, "NoDa" is a branding tool, but it is also a recognized place. In the same way that "Uptown" is a branding tool, and also a recognized place. All you need is for someone to recognize it.

Edited by The Escapists

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.....

So yes, "NoDa" is a branding tool, but it is also a recognized place. In the same way that "Uptown" is a branding tool, .....

You just answered you own question (maybe without realizing it) that you asked earlier. The neighborhood once didn't need or was interested in getting a brand name like a pair of designer jeans. The people who once frequented and live there would have laughed at this idea.

For the record, I lived in this "branding area" in 1979 & 1980.

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You just answered you own question (maybe without realizing it) that you asked earlier. The neighborhood once didn't need or was interested in getting a brand name like a pair of designer jeans. The people who once frequented and live there would have laughed at this idea.

For the record, I lived in this "branding area" in 1979 & 1980.

Sometimes it is very useful in describing a location. If I said North Charlotte, some people would think I'm taking about Statesville Road, others would think of Northlake. If you've heard of NoDa, then you know what area we're talking about when somebody says NoDa. Also, instead of saying Southend you could say "the area comprised of several blocks on either side of the light rail line on the border between Dilworth and Wilmore" but isn't "Southend" a whole lot easier to get your point across?

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Sometimes it is very useful in describing a location. If I said North Charlotte, some people would think I'm taking about Statesville Road, others would think of Northlake. If you've heard of NoDa, then you know what area we're talking about when somebody says NoDa. Also, instead of saying Southend you could say "the area comprised of several blocks on either side of the light rail line on the border between Dilworth and Wilmore" but isn't "Southend" a whole lot easier to get your point across?

I agree, I used 'NoDa' to describe the area the other day. Had I said North Charlotte it would have appeared as if I were talking about an area closer to Huntersville instead. Much faster to use NoDa and Southend, regardless if one thinks the area needs the attribute or not.

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You just answered you own question (maybe without realizing it) that you asked earlier. The neighborhood once didn't need or was interested in getting a brand name like a pair of designer jeans. The people who once frequented and live there would have laughed at this idea.

For the record, I lived in this "branding area" in 1979 & 1980.

Everything that has the potential to become a commodity, eventually becomes just that. That's how the world works now, especially in Charlotte. Did North Charlotte become a commodity when someone started calling it "NoDa" or was it when it when Fat City and Kellys started offering a product? You can't fight what it is now. Luckily, in my opinion, NoDa became a commodity organically - with local owners and ideas. Is there some condo/apt developments that are glomming on to the neighborhood to perpetuate the commodity? Sure. But it's a free market, you can't fight that, but you can maintain a community atmosphere that goes beyond the commodity, and the greed, and speculative investment, and builds on the organic spirit. At least thats my hope.

I'm really not trying to argue here, but I am genuinely interested in how the neighborhood is perceived. So please keep it coming, I'm learning!!

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^ Exactly. Nor do I feel that a place has any more "realism" attached to it at any particular time. As I've said before if you want to live in a place that never changes Charlotte isn't it. There are plenty of dried up little towns all over the country that stay the same decade after decade, go for it if that's what you want.

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I see NoDa / North Charlotte much like it was 10 years ago and through the heyday of Fat City. Like stated before, there was good with bad but hindsight often glosses over it. The crazy parties at Fat City are some of my best memories, but friends getting mugged on 35th Street are memories too. There are still all locally owned, non-chain businesses, galleries, and restaurants here. There are old buildings with beautiful reuses that weren't gutted and totally redone but have tons of their original character. There is a huge artist population, gay and lesbian population, white and black population, and *gasp* banker population all living happily together. There are still houses in the area for under $150,000 and others as high as half a mil. The area, including Fat City, was known for having a big mix of people of all races and sexual identies, people with tats and people in suits -- that hasn't changed.

It is a fun place to go at night with lots of on the street action, drum circles, fire dancers, and other outdoor activities complimenting the bars and restaurants. There just happens to be a lot more of it than there used to be.

Lest anyone forget, KC didn't get forced out of Fat City, he and his 3 partners chose to walk away with a good bit of money after putting the word out that they wanted to sell. KC was also starting to get some bad local (in the n'hood) press regarding drugs, guns, and the suicide of an 18 year old KC's truck with KC's gun...I certainly don't miss that vibe...

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^I hung out in North Davidson then and I hang out in NoDa now...it isn't very different except your car is less likely to get broken into if you park on a side street to go to a gallery crawl. For as great and fun as it used to be, there still were downsides as there are to everything.

Edit: When they changed the name to NoDa a lot of people disliked it, including me, but looking back it really didn't change much other than what people called the place. Many of us lament the end of Fat City and Pat's Time For One More...but time never stands still and I now love Salvadore Deli, the still existing and thriving N'hood Theatre, Smelly Cat, Lark & Key, Center of the Earth, Solstice...

So just for clarification, even back then you called it North Davidson, rather than North Charlotte?

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I tend to like neighborhoods with more local flavor and have mumble grumbled about change but as has been pointed out, nothing stays the same. By and large the new developments have been respectful of the NoDa's scale and character. Owners of retail along the main drag go out of their way to turn down chains in order to keep the businesses locally owned and interesting. The residents association is very grass roots and is always coming up with new green friendly collaborative projects and festivals.

The housing stock in NoDa does

seems to lack many of the quads and old apt buildings that have enabled people like me to rent affordably in Dilworth, Plaza Midwood, and Elizabeth. The recently constructed Davy Apts is a good move in that regard.

A linchpin was the mill revitalization. It's a shame that the Tuscan rehab is comatose. I think their plan to integrate affordable housing and artist space would be great for preserving the area's heritage.

It's inevitable that some of the grittiness will be lost along the way. And it's equally true that as Charlotte Native pointed out, there is a lot about the "good ole days" that were not so good.

Edited by voyager12

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....If I said North Charlotte, some people would think I'm taking about Statesville Road, others would think of Northlake. ....
And that is whose problem because they choose to be ignorant? Let them learn a little of the history of the city so they can understand why it is named as such. By cooking up NoDa, the section has been completely divorced from it's history and turned into the same thing as any subdivision. It's a historic neighborhood, you don't change the name. LOL They generally don't do this in other cities where the names can be mystifying unless one knows the history.

I stand by what I said. If the people choose to dumb down the city with grammar school names then so be it. They won't be happy until they turn North Charlotte into Birkdale Village and the name was just the start of that. I am attempting to answer the question that was posed above. I really didn't expect that anyone posting here would want to hear the answers but I give them none the less.

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So just for clarification, even back then you called it North Davidson, rather than North Charlotte?

Yes, as did everyone I knew that hung out there.

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The housing stock in NoDa does

seems to lack many of the quads and old apt buildings that have enabled people like me to rent affordably in Dilworth, Plaza Midwood, and Elizabeth.

It definitely does, but that is a factor of it's history. Most of the houses in the area were built as homes for the workers in the mills so apartments weren't needed -- there was plenty of company owned land and families came with the workers so they built houses. All the same and very easy and cheap to build. They didn't even have bathrooms when they were built -- you can still find 100 year old homes on some of the corners that are/were originally much larger than the others -- these were the bathhouses for everyone's use.

Most of the quads built in the city were built in the 20's and 30's when there was a big building boom of multi-family properties. Over 100 of them built in a 5 year span in the late 20's as well as larger apartment buildings like The Frederick, Tryon House, and others which haven't survived.

The few duplexes and quads you will find in the area were built in or after the 50's.

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And that is whose problem because they choose to be ignorant? Let them learn a little of the history of the city so they can understand why it is named as such. By cooking up NoDa, the section has been completely divorced from it's history and turned into the same thing as any subdivision. It's a historic neighborhood, you don't change the name. LOL They generally don't do this in other cities where the names can be mystifying unless one knows the history.

You know, I agree with you in principle. This neighborhood's name is yet another example of how Charlotte in general has little regard for history. Though I also see the point that Charlotte has a history of renaming things to better suit the times. The way I'm seeing it explained, what used to be North Charlotte has evolved into several smaller neighborhoods. I don't think of anything north of Sugar Creek Rd or east of The Plaza as being part of NoDa.

Plenty of cities have neighborhood names similar to North Charlotte, and it IS confusing if you don't understand the context. For example, there is a West Greenville within Greenville, SC that is strikingly similar to NoDa, but because it's off of the beaten path you wouldn't know it is there, so most of the time when people talk about West Greenville people assume that it means 'western' Greenville as a larger swath of land as opposed to a neighborhood center. Of course, to that end, Charlotte is such a large city geographically that people refer to South Charlotte, East Charlotte, and West Charlotte as larger regions... it's only natural that North Charlotte would get lumped into that same category.

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"Southend" is another made-up nonsensical juvenile name that had no bearing on the actual location. Aside from it being used to describe the neighborhood in Charlotte it was commonly used, even here, to describe a mule's asshole. Hmmm..... maybe I should take back the first sentence.

There is always the West Side up W. Trade. Wonder what that nickname would become?

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Hey! How about the best of both worlds - NoDa AND North Charlotte?

You miss KC and Fat City and North Charlotte and the 70's? (look very closely for the KC/Fat City connection)

NoDa resident, Jeff Lowery heard you!

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