Friend: I feel like your life is such an adventure do you blog?
Me: Ha, I don't :-/
Friend: You should!!!
Me: I appreciate the encouragement, and I'll consider it. Honestly.
An hour later, armed with only my iPhone, I was in my car, quite literally on my way to create my first post. Instead of relegating my passion for exploring cities to the disappearing mediums of Snapchat and Instagram Stories, perhaps it is time for me to make a more permanent record of those experiences.
To no surprise to those who know me, my mission began with coffee. Whenever I visit Charlotte, Not Just Coffee is a must. Before heading out, I checked their Instagram for any notable news, and found out they were doing free pour-overs at a pop-up gallery. Art, and coffee? It was a no-brainer as to which location I would be visiting.
Upon arrival, I realized that I had completely underestimated what I was walking into.
I ended up chatting with the Barista about how I drove 30+ minutes just for their coffee. That Barista turned out to be James, the Founder of the joint. It was inspiring to see such a humble Founder willing to serve his customers directly.
After coffee, I headed into Tabor, a pop-up menswear shop. Thinking that I was just going to browse anonymously, I was greated by Eric. He and I spoke fountain pens and journals (both of which I purchased), leather boots, selvedge denim, and Charlottesville (VA). We even found out that we have a friend in common in Charlotte.
Next was the Soco Gallery; a standing gallery with rotating exhibits and occasional pop-ups. This week, they had high-fashion portraits, along with a pop-up that sold bike frames. I left with a coffee table book about the fashion of cyclists.
This was legitimately one of the coolest experiences I've had in Charlotte. Great coffee, great art, and great conversations. Having such a full morning left me wanting to find a (free) place to sit and process what I had just experienced. So, I headed to the central public library.
After spending some time thinking and writing, it was time for more coffee. I wanted to try a new shop, but also wanted to visit Not Just Coffee's Packard Place location. I grabbed some beans from NJC, then spent some time reading "Till We Have Faces" at Coco and the Director.
Aside from having a super cool name, Coco and the Director had an incredible vibe. It's a craft coffee joint for the masses, done well, and made accessible. It doubles as a creative workspace (you can reserve tables in the back), and sells local artisan goods (that are exceptionally well curated).
As if that wasn't enough, the best part of my day arrived in the form of a text message from my brother, asking if I could take my 10-year old nephew shopping for clothes for his new school. We spent 3 hours going from shop to shop in the mall, and ended our time with a "home cooked" (cooked at home) BBQ Chicken pizza from the freezer section of Publix.
Cheers to my friend for asking me the right question at the right time. And cheers to the Queen City, who earned her crown.