Day 134

Happy Monday!

I had such a wonderful weekend and hope everyone else did too.

Saturday afternoon, I ventured into the city only to discover that the NC Music Factory is not where I thought it was. For whatever reason, I believed the multi-club venue was located within Epicentre. Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s actually located on the north end of town, near the campus of Johnson & Wales University. I’m not exactly sure why this didn’t register during my numerous visits to Epicentre, but what can ya do? So, I made the long trek north and arrived just in time to catch comedian, Doug Benson. He put on a great performance and it was the perfect way to kick off an amazing evening.

After the show, I ventured back to the apartment and got ready to grab dinner with a hometown friend. I treated her to some grub at Pinky’s and we even decided to share a pitcher of margaritas. If you can believe it, this was my very first time ever drinking a margarita. I have to say, they aren’t bad. After dinner, I headed back into the city and joined a few of my BooneOakley co-workers at Connolly’s on Fifth as we said good-bye to departing creative, Curtis Petraglia. It was great to sit down and chat with everyone outside of the office for a while. The topic of the evening was #TGAA and it was very humbling to hear of everyone's continued interest in the project. It truly was a wonderful time. 

On Sunday, I headed away from “Uptown” toward Charlotte’s Historic South End. I was really excited to check out the area, because the neighborhood website touted their many local shops and boutiques. I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint. From Black Sheep Skate Shop to the Atherton Market, it’s all about local flair in South End. The entire area holds up as an historic district as well. It’s almost unbelievable to find such rustic charm, so close to “Uptown”. Next, I decided to continue even further south—following the Blue Line—and discovered a plethora of new residential developments, shops, bars, restaurants and stores. It’s easy to see that the rail is playing a big role on growth, which is inevitable when you have fast, reliable public transportation nearby. I also found very cool areas such as the Design Center of the Carolinas. All in all, the whole journey was full of unexpected and exciting finds. South End Charlotte is definitely worth a visit and goes to show just how diverse the city’s suburbs are.

On a final and random note, I’ve come to notice that sidewalk advertising is very popular in and around Charlotte. I’m not exactly sure why, as this isn’t a very foot traffic heavy city, yet I come across them all the time (You can see a few in the image above).

Also, how good was the new episode of Mad Men? I loved it.

-Steve-

Day 130

Which way is up?

BooneOakley continues to surprise me with each passing day. Whether it’s the number of friendly dogs roaming around or the casual demeanor of the office, I feel at home here. I guess you’d call it “southern charm,” but I’m not even sure if Charlotte really considers itself a part of the south. Nonetheless, the team here has a much different vibe than those I’ve encountered in my previous four stops.

It all started to hit me on Monday, when my colleagues discovered I had walked to work in the pouring rain. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good stroll in the rain, but I really misjudged the light drizzle, which soon became a full on downpour. As soon as they heard of my journey, nearly everyone in the office volunteered to drive me, if ever faced with a similar situation again. It began to register in my brain that this unsolicited kindness wasn’t a one-time offer. Since I first stepped foot through the doors of BooneOakley, I’ve been met with positive attitudes better suited for Disney World than the ad industry. You can honestly tell the people here love what they do, who they do it for and who they do it with.

The sunny dispositions aren’t regulated to the office either. From the Movie Theater and barbershop to Target and Trader Joe’s, I’ve encountered kindness across the board. I’ll admit it’s a nice change of pace—albeit a bit shocking—after living in New York City for four years. Now before anyone gets up in arms, I’m not saying the people in NYC are bad. In fact, I love them. Life up there moves a lot quicker than it does in Charlotte, so it makes sense that everyone is always in a rush to get somewhere. I’m just saying it’s a different—and refreshing—change of pace to experience it. 

As for the weekend ahead, I plan on checking out NC Music Factory on Saturday to see comedian, Doug Benson. And on Sunday, I’m going to venture away from the city for once and check out Charlotte’s Historic South End. I also discovered that my brother gets into town this weekend. It should be pretty cool, as I haven’t seen him since Christmas. He'll also have a car, so I'm sure he'll be nice enough to drive me a few places. 

Lastly, if anyone has a good taco joint recommendation, I’m still hunting!

-Steve-