Wednesday, January 06, 2010

What are our great places?

Skaters at The Green, where the ice rink is open through Saturday.


Contest alert: If there's a spot you think is a Great Place in America, you can vote from now until Feb. 25 at the American Planning Association's "Great Places in America" contest. Click on this link. I note that the Main Street in Greenville, S.C., is among the 2009 Great Streets.

I think we should go for it. Pick a few great spots in Charlotte, or maybe in nearby towns, and start voting.

- What about The Green uptown? It is a wonderful public space. (5:05 p.m.: A reader notes it's privately owned, not true "public" space.)
- What about East Kingston Avenue in Dilworth? It is a beautiful public street.
- What about the NoDa neighborhood, or Plaza-Midwood?
- Downtown Shelby, downtown Salisbury, downtown Concord.

Have at it.

33 comments:

steve said...

I hate to blow up the spot but its so serene I have to call it a great place. Lake Park hidden in downtown Pineville is so nice.

Anonymous said...

Why not Ballantyne for new stuff and Myers Park/Eastover for old stuff? I think a great place should coincide with great demand.

Matthew said...

NoDa's Art Crawl on a warm summer night.

Anonymous said...

Downtown Wilmington, Blowing Rock if they count.

What about Stowe Gardens?

Anonymous said...

There's nothing like sitting on the wall on Phifer Avenue on a crisp October day, enjoying a cup of hot soup in the company of friends while listening to the gospel.

Or the grand view from Moosehead's rooftop deck at twilight, of Woodlawn Road, the empty back parking lot of Park Road Shopping Center, and a dry cleaning store. Simply turn around to enjoy the splendor of a bowling alley, a gently-shuttered video store - and a dry cleaner.

Or just soaking in the upwardly-mobile diversity of SouthPark Mall, from a bench outside Foot Locker, with a steaming cup of Carolina-brewed Starbucks coffee.

Great places in America.

Anonymous said...

What is special about ballantyne. That is the type of suburban sprawl found throughout the country in every state. So Anon 2:53 ballantyne is nothing special and in fact the city of Charlotte is lucky that it is located so far from the center of town.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:37-

Define great. Maybe a place that is new, in great demand and growing? It could be an old place also, but the key is demand and growth in my mind.

Anonymous said...

Trade and Tryon St intersection, Memorial Stadium on a summer night with the skyline in the back, East Blvd. restaurants, some of the clubs off South Blvd, The Penguin, Noda, Area 15... pretty much central Charlotte. Ballentyne has no culture. I went up there a few days ago and stepped into a Target and nobody looks you in the eye or says hello. Colder than this 20 degree weather we're having.

JAT said...

Where do I vote for the American Planning Assoc. to form a circular firing squad?

Might've voted for Elizabeth Ave. until CDOT and CLT planners destroyed it.

As it stands, Thomas Ave. and Montford Dr. are about our only organic entertainment blocks, although Freedom Park-East Blvd. remains a nice stretch.

NoDa Public Gallery said...

I'd love to represent my hood NoDa, but I think the greatest spot in Charlotte is now the South Tryon Museum Campus - especially when standing on the terra cotta pavers at the front door of the Betchler - the pavers feel warm even in the winter, the layers and setbacks of the buildings seem to embrace you even as far as the HOF tower to the East and and BOA to the North- and if you look out over The Green, you can see a great little park, and maybe the LYNX passing through the glass windows of the convention center.

Bill W said...

I especially like the Sugar Creek Greenway, all the way from Morehead Street to Park Road. The stretch of sidewalk which runs right next to the creek starting from the hospital and rising to the entrance of Freedom Park is outstanding. So is the stretch which parallels Westfield all the way to Brandywine. And Freedom Park is a perfect place to picnic, walk dogs, bicycle or just walk around.

Mary Newsom said...

To anon 3:37, who wants someone to "define great" - there are several links on the APA page (linked to in my post) that give their guidelines for "great" as applied to places, neighborhoods, and streets.

Anonymous said...

Just curious as to why people who dislike the suburbs feel it's okay to bash anyone who feels differently than they do. I didn't notice the Ballantyne supporter criticizing uptown (he/she even suggested Myers Park was a great place as well). Yet several posters had to criticize the choice of Ballantyne. Why is that? Surely the denigrating of the suburbs hasn't been encouraged on this blog, has it?

Rebecca said...

The Greenway, lake, nature museum and Bandshell all at Freedom Park, the Laurel Market, The Manor Theatre, the little library in Myers Park, Harris Teeter, Central Avenue, the houses on and around Belvedere and of course Queens Road West in all it ostentatious glory... the Visulite, BJs junk store (now closed,alas)on South Blvd... Uptown Ivey's and Montaldos, True Value Hardware before they closed. OOPS - seems alot of my favorite places are gone.

Anonymous said...

That is because developments like ballantyne are what's wrong; the developments are poorly planned,car centric, cheaply built that is why others and I bash ballantyne.

Anonymous said...

The corner of Central and Thomas streets...lots of cool people, stores, music/bars, places to eat...a mix of ages and cultures.

Anonymous said...

I would have to say Commonwealth Ave is a great place to park your car and take a walk. And if you are in the mood, hit Thomas Ave for a bite eat or a grat cold beer. Thomas Street Tavern has great beer on tap.

Anonymous said...

S. Tryon and Camden in Southend. Common Market and Phat Burrito among other places in the area. Central and Thomas is a close 2nd. And don't forget Manifest Discs on South Blvd.

Anonymous said...

Lazy5 Ranch.

I've traveled the world, been to places you can't even go to anymore. This is one of the world's most fun places, especially to take out-of-towners...don't tell them what's going on into the water buffalo sticks its head in your car window and steals your feed bucket. :)

Jessica Eiden Smedley said...

As a relative newbie to Charlotte, I have nothing to offer by way of "great places" recommendations, but I wanted to thank everyone for listing these items out for me to explore.

Anonymous said...

The sand bar on LKN in the summer. If you haven't been there on one occassion. Oh my..

Algernon said...

We have some great greenways.

Don't know how many times I ran the loop at McAlpine and had a herd of deer stop me in mid stride and ask for directions. Uh yeah I was..

All the same it is just cool to be in the middle of the city and be accompanied by deer, rabbits, hawks...

For concrete settings I like downtown Matthews, for about 100 yards on Trade street it feels old time enough...like you'd expect to see a big clock and a DeLorean sporting a shiny new flux capacitor.

Anonymous said...

7th Street Philosophers Stone. That is a great little gem of an area.

Anonymous said...

Selwyn Pub.

JDC said...

I vote for Selwyn Pub, too.

And why not the Whitewater Park? It is unique nationally. Too bad it wasn't built in center city as originally proposed, where it could draw large crowds year-round.

But my favorite is Symphony Park at SouthPark. Ten thousand people attend each of those Pop concerts. Not only is there great music, but it's an ideal place to watch people trying to outdo one another in their clothing and their spread: Linen, crystal, candles, china, silverware, fine wines, cheeses, etc.

Oops! I forgot. SouthPark is not recognized as part of Charlotte by CCCP and the Observer.

Mary Newsom said...

Dear JDC,
Re your odd contention that SouthPark is not considered part of Charlotte by the Charlotte Observer, how do you explain the entire South Park Magazine, published by the Observer for and about the SouthPark area?

I submit, though not necessarily pointing this out as admirable, that the Observer publishes far more information about SouthPark than about, say, Northlake Mall or Blakeney.

And Charlotte CENTER CITY Partners (CCCP) is specifically funded through a property tax paid by uptown property owners and is charged with working for uptown. to blame them for not paying much attention to SouthPark is off-base.

Anonymous said...

I think JDC was joking Mary.

Michael said...

"And Charlotte CENTER CITY Partners (CCCP) is specifically funded through a property tax paid by uptown property owners and is charged with working for uptown"


!!!! Finally someone at the Observer printing how those jokers are funded! After years of asking it came in the form of a comment...wow. I thought CCCP and The O had an agreement to keep the little people in the dark. Now if you'll kindly do us the favor of explaining how they came to be, what kind of referedum was held to form them and the votes we cast to elect the members.

Oh wait none of that happened. Remind me why we're paying for Michael and Moira to live the high life?

JDC said...

Mary, you are at least partially correct in that CCCP’s funded purpose is to ignore the rest of this large city, and I apologize.

But when you attempt to justify the Observer’s lack of involvement in the SouthPark area by claiming that the "entire SouthPark Magazine, published by the Observer for and about the SouthPark area" is indicative of the attention you pay to us, you are whistling Dixie.

There is little of substance in SouthPark magazine. Although we have homeless people in this area, traffic problems, pedestrian concerns, and growth and safety issues, the magazine is invariably about our wealthier residents and their recent white-tie only fundraisers. If you want to see some recipes from the area's finest chefs, for which the ingredients and prep utensils cost more than a meal at Del Frisco's, it's the thing to read. The ads are all about, diamonds, antiques, and multi-million dollar houses.

Observer employees are contributors, and of course the Observer is the publisher, and surely your New Ventures Division benefits greatly financially from the ad revenue. (All the ads are for upscale items).

So where in that magazine are the articles of substance about every-day SouthPark problems? Are you telling me that your SouthPark magazine truly informs SouthPark area residents what’s going on in that neighborhood? And don’t make me count the few stories of substance that appear in the “neighbors” section of the Sunday paper.

Anonymous said...

Eddie's Place in Cotswold.

Jumper said...

Zada Jane's

Rebecca said...

And all this time I though SouthPark magazine was "for and about" plastic surgeons.

Anonymous said...

Fairview Grill.