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CHARLOTTE PREPARES FOR COLD MOTHER NATURE February 16, 2013

 

SnowDay

 

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Inclement weather are two words that will make a Charlottean gasp with dread. We are spoiled in Charlotte; we don’t usually have any kind of “bad” weather on a daily basis. The mountains usually block the storms traveling from the west, and we are too far inland from the coast to get scary flooding conditions. We are mentally and physically startled by the threats of Mother Nature. People settle in Charlotte for the weather, and then, mock us poor Southerners when we are distraught over the threat of snow and ice. We are distraught with good reason, through no fault of our own we are demoted to student driver level without instructors and bewildered first-time homeowners without competent real estate agents guiding the way. We truly fear winter weather conditions trapping us for days without milk and bread, cable or internet access. We simply do not have the equipment to shovel through, drive on, or melt snow and ice. Mock us all you want, but when there is a threat of bad weather, do not get in the way at the grocery store, or pass us as we drive inch by inch on the snow covered roads; you will soon realize our panic could be justifiably calamitous.

The Queen City inevitable first five steps to suspected, preeminent adverse weather conditions usually proceed like this:

  1. Doubling or tripling the amount of snow or ice predicted…Weather forecaster instruments simply cannot be trusted when it comes to Charlotte weather.
  2. Stocking up on bread and milk at our local Harris Teeter, Food LionWhole Foods and Trader Joe’s.  These are survival staples that will apparently get you through any apocalyptic event.
  3. Salting every inch of your sidewalk and driveway, just in case. Adding some of your neighbor’s kitty litter for good measure. The goal is a thick, granola crunch when you walk.
  4. Talking about the weather …..Incessantly. Like a farmer. Like a farmer who will have to put sweaters on his cows and blankets on his pigs.
  5. When you see what could be a piece of fuzz floating in the air, but could also be the first flake of snow, leave work and get the kids from school. Immediately! Call all your relatives and friends, in state and out of state, to discuss the weather yesterday, today and tomorrow. Where you see one flake of snow, dozens, even trillions could follow.

The national weather service really does do a pretty good job of predicting true inclement weather. Panicking and wiping out the grocery shelves really isn’t necessary. Go to the grocery store only if you don’t have enough food for 1-2 days. Make sure all your flashlights are in working order and your phones are charged. If you have a wood burning fireplace, stock up on firewood. When the snow comes, hunker down and enjoy it. Snow in Charlotte usually stays around for only 1-2 days, which is good, because unlike our Northern neighbors, our snow stays pretty and shiny white, without mud and guck accumulating.

Ice is a much more serious situation for Charlotte and can lead to some harrowing situations.  The Department of Transportation recommends staying home if the roads are icy. If you need to drive, increase the distance between you and other cars, and decrease your speed. Brake gently to avoid skidding. Turn on you cars headlights and be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and shady areas, which will freeze first. Assume everything that looks like water on the roads is black ice. Don’t pass snow plows or sanding trucks, what is in front of them is usually worse than the road behind them. The best and most important advice is stay put and watch the television scroll announcing all the closings with your kids, who are eagerly anticipating a day off of school. Take the day off too! Don’t forget to check on elderly neighbors who could use some help.

Charlotteans know their Southern roots well, and to be a true Southerner you must be prepared to react with grace to any situation. Preparedness is key for any host. Who knows if the neighbors will be out walkingand decide to pop in during the snow? If they do, you will have non- slip sidewalks crunchy with salt, a roaring fire, milk for your tea and bread for your sandwiches. A little bit of cranky Mother Nature does not paralyze the Queen City, it simply redirects the day!

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MARDI GRAS CELEBRATIONS IN THE QUEEN CITY February 9, 2013

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Mardi Gras is back in Charlotte! The Queen City is celebrating New Orleans style with parades, dining, dancing and beads. Lots and lots of shiny beads! Visit one of the restaurants and taverns in Charlotte and put on your dancing shoes!

The Big Easy festivities begin at the Epi Center in Uptown on Friday, February 8th, 7 p.m. -12 a.m.  The Parade of Beads will be a part of the celebration, benefitting Beads for Needs Charity. Beads for Needs is a non-profit raising fund for underprivileged children, including Speedway Children’s Charities. The Epi Center will be filled with parade participants, bands and street performers while party goers can line up on the three levels, ready to catch those coveted beads. BlackFinn has partnered with the Cystic Fibrosis foundation by offering drink specials to those patrons making a $10.00 donation to the foundation!

The Charlotte Art League presents a New Orleans inspired Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouier Gallery exhibition celebrating  Mardi Gras with a “good times” theme on February 1-22 and will have all presentations in the traditional purple, gold and green colors, music and excitement!

Dixie Land Express will have a Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras celebration on February 9th at e2, Emeril Lagasse eatery in Uptown. New Orleans jazz, beads and giveaways will be provided by Louisiana’s Abita Brewing Company. New Orleans dinner specials will be served, in addition to the usual yummy fair.

Georges Brasserie in the Southpark area Piedmont Row will have an upscale Mardi Gras celebration on February 12th. Enjoy featured drinks, a specialized Mardi Gras menu (seafood gumbo and etouffee are favorites). Top off the night with melt in your mouth traditional beignets. A New Orleans jazz band, groove Masters will provide live music while you dine.

Noda’s Mardi Gras bar crawl is 6p.m.-12 a.m. February 16-17. Ten dollars gets you into the event and the five places taking part in the crawl. There will be drink specials at each location, a free bowl of gumbo at Boureaux’s, King Cakes courtesy of Sunflour Bakery, required free beads and a lot of giveaways.

Of course, New Orleans style food and bands are always available at the Queen City’s favorite: Cajun Queen! Located on East Seventh Street, Cajun Queen serves up Cajun and Creole delicacies year-round and their live jazz music will transport straight to the French Quarter.

Laissez les bons temps rouler Queen City! Let the good times roll through Charlotte with beads, balls, food and merriment!

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QUEEN CITY CUPIDS CREATIVELY CELEBRATE VALENTINES DAY February 3, 2013

Happy-Valentines-Day

Charlotte is enveloped in love for Valentine’s Day! Couples, friends and families are seeking unusual, fun and romantic ways to celebrate Heart Day in the Queen City! And our fine city is responding with a heart-felt cornucopia of lovingly creative options that won’t break your heart or your bank account!

For the little ones who have stolen your heart, you can celebrate Valentine Month at the Heart Fairy House Festival on Saturday, Feb 9 10:00a to 4:00p at one of Charlotte’s favorite parks, the Latta Plantation and Nature Preserve. Spend the afternoon discovering the joy and magic of fairy houses. Storytelling, face painting, crafts, activities, pony rides and food will be available. Prizes for best fairy or gnome costume and best fairy houses will be awarded. Learn how to build your own fairy house on one of the nature trails. Enchanting fun for all ages! No registration required. FREE with a special appearance from Tracy Kane – author and illustrator of the award-winning Fairy House Series books.
Red is the color of love and what better way to show your love than ruby red slippers? You and the kids will love the classic MGM film The Wizard of Oz in its entirety on a giant screen with live accompaniment by the Charlotte Symphony performing all your Oz favorites including “Follow the Yellow Brick Road,” “We’re Off to See the Wizard,” “If I Only Had A Brain,” and, of course, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Tickets start at $27.50. February 2, at 2:30 and 8:00p.m.
The little ones always enjoy creating art and making a Valentine will be fun for the entire family at Dish It Out. All sorts of bowls, plates and decorative pieces are available to paint and create at Dish It Out, located in the Stonecrest Shopping Center in South Charlotte. No appointment necessary.

Charlotteans appreciate their friendships and celebrating with those great pals is a fun way to spend Valentine’s! Fashion is a passion and friends will be awed by the And the Bead Goes On presented by Mint Museum on May 26, 2012-February 17, 2013. Beads have been used to enliven fashion designs since ancient times. Originally restricted to the wardrobes of aristocrats and made of precious materials, beads indicated wealth and status in numerous cultures throughout the globe. Sometimes beadwork was employed on garments to convey rank, spiritual significance, or protection of the wearer. Colorful and sparkling beads appeared on articles of clothing, ceremonial dress, ritual masks, aexpand to view more [+]And the Bead Goes On features twentieth and twenty-first century women’s evening gowns, cocktail dresses, and ensembles from the museum’s Fashion Collection, complemented with exciting new works on loan from contemporary designers. Designer names featured in the exhibition include Halston, Bob Mackie, Giorgio Armani, Oscar de la Renta, and Albert Elbaz for Lanvin. To continue your love of art, hop over to Painting With A Twist. On February 14 you can celebrate being single for the night with BYOB and paintbrushes.

Reservations at one of Charlotte’s fine restaurants or ordering flowers is a sure- fire way to assure your sweetheart that you do, indeed, remember it is Valentine’s Day. Reservations at The Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge will include dinner, beautiful room accomodations and flowers.You could also impress with an unexpected adventure! You could wow your loved one by capturing your inner Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore by creating pottery. Position yourselves in front of the potter’s wheel at Muddy Fun Saturday presented by Clayworks, Inc. Clayworks hosts a clay day for adults to come and discover the Muddy Fun of working with clay.

Adoring your Valentine over a delicious meal is not an unusual way to celebrate Valentines, but eating out at Local Flavors of NoDa Food Tour will be a lasting memory! Presented by Feast Food Tours & Culinary Events, Inc. at NoDa (North Davidson) Arts District January 12-January 26. This walking food tour in the popular art district will include meeting the owners and chefs, sample food from locally owned restaurants, bars and artisans and tasting NoDa’s craft beer produced right in the North Davidson neighborhood. Wine tastings paired with delicious food, and admiring local art will have you appreciating Charlotte history as you stroll hand in hand.

Creating your own sumptuous dessert is creative, romantic and not budget crushing. Try the easy and delicious recipes on tarheeltastebud.com. The adorable college student, Katherine Regele, posts recipes that even the least- seasoned chef can create with love.
Gathering ingredients for your culinary masterpiece is easy at Trader Joes and while you are there, choose some flowers for your darling and her heart will melt with your hand picked floral design with her in mind!
The Queen City offers budget- friendly, delightful ways to celebrate your love! Family, friends and all loved ones will happily comply with Cupid in Charlotte on Valentine’s Day by enjoying fantastical adventures, culinary romps and amazing artistic endeavors!

A new Groupon.com came out today with some other great holiday ideas – think outdoor photos for you and your special someone, jewelry, and more great dinner deals!

And if you’re in the market to fall in love with a new home in Charlotte, contact one of our love-ly agents at Bon Maison Properties! 704-541-2500 or send us a note from here!

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