Empty Parking Lots, Bare Shelves and an Abundance of Creativity
Visions of the Not Normal from Will Jenkins
The Biscuit and The Charlotte Ledger (an online business publication established by seasoned journalist Tony Mecia) have partnered up to present our new photo series, “Visions of the Not Normal” — offering views of neighborhoods and communities across the city through the eyes (and lenses) of local photographers.
This week, photographer Will Jenkins, AKA @simplisticphobia, one of the founders of BLKMRKTCLT, shares a few glimpses of what he’s seen as he traveled through Charlotte in April 2020.
About the photo above, Will said, “In my neighborhood is the historic Shuffletown Diner. While they are still open the parking lot is usually packed.” We think this photo says it all about the impact COVID-19 has made on the restaurant industry, community gathering places, and our need to be together. Click the button below for more of Will’s photography.
City of Charlotte Invests $160,000 in 10 Placemaking Projects
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the City of Charlotte’s Planning, Design and Development department posted an open call for communities and artists to submit for creative placemaking grants. They recently announced ten placemaking grants and one technical assistance grant in neighborhoods across the city. According to associate planner, Charlotte Lamb, these funds were awarded to community members “to work on projects that transform underutilized public space into vibrant places for people.”
Darian Fleming Strikes Gold in the New York Times
The last six weeks have seen a flurry of new murals popping up all over Charlotte. According to muralists OWL and Sharon Dowell, businesses are making the most of the lack of tenants or customers, by hiring mural artists to paint their walls now, preparing for the resumption of business. Among these new works, “Pure’ll Gold,” by Darien Fleming (AKA @daflemingo) has emerged as a favorite across social media.
We’ve covered this work before in The Biscuit, but Darien’s work was recognized by The New York Times’ Instagram account Saturday, using a photo of the piece taken by @unclejut and that deserves praise. Congratulations, guys! Thanks for making the Queen City proud.
Biscuit Blitz: A Tale of Two Erins
With our Biscuit Blitz video series, we’ve asked dynamic Charlotteans to spend five minutes (sometimes a tad more) with us to share how they are managing during a time where so many of the rules have changed. Today, we present a tale of two Erins — Erin Santos and Erin Breeden.
Erin Santos is the founder and executive director of the Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF), a locally-based nonprofit that raises money for treatment and research of rare forms of pediatric cancer. Her organization was scheduled to make 1/3 of its annual budget in March … and COVID-19 put all that on hold in just one day. Thanks to the resilience of her team and a $250,000 donation from the JEM Project, ISF is still working hard on its mission. Watch Erin’s interview with Tim Miner here.
Erin Breeden is a mermaid. As such, she’s used to finding herself in strange waters and swimming upstream. As owner of Blue Tide Creative, she is used to shifting focus and strategy. COVID-19 hasn’t been a picnic, but, as Erin says in today’s 5-minute chat with Tim Miner, there are so many beautiful, original and creative stories to tell right now. Watch Erin’s interview here.
The local media community is working incredibly hard to provide accurate, uplifting and actionable information to assist with the new realities we face. Here are some stories from this week we think are worth your time.
WFAE shares the new ways Charlotte Muslims are adapting to adhere to social distancing guidelines while celebrating Ramadan this month.
QCityMetro speaks with small business owners who didn’t receive stimulus funding about how they are pivoting to keep their doors open.
The Charlotte Ledger created a “COVID-19 Data Room” to keep everyone informed on the numbers we are seeing in NC and Mecklenburg County.
WBTV reports that Charlotte historians are asking Charlotteans to journal about their experience during the coronavirus pandemic.
Hola News reports on the nearly 600,000 meals that CMS has delivered to students over the past month.
Charlotte on the Cheap compiled a list of virtual events to keep your kids entertained at home.
We’re collecting links to creative events and resources happening all over the Queen City. If you’re ready to press “pause” on Netflix, check out our calendar of creative online events. Here’s one we’re really excited about.
Chad Lawson Performs on WFAE’s Songversations
May 5 and May 7 at Noon
Part performance, part conversation, the new Songversations broadcast from WFAE presents live music from Queen City musicians accompanied by a chat between the artist and Joni Deutch. This Tuesday, composer of the popular LORE podcast, pianist Chad Lawson, will perform. Opera singer Melinda Whittington will perform on the May 7 edition of the show. Click here to listen to previous Songversations.
In addition, WFAE has announced it will continue offering Podcasting 101 classes in May. More than 300 people registered for the April offerings of this series. More information available here.
Where the Sidewalk Doesn’t End
Like many in Charlotte, @CLT.remedy Instagrammer (and pharmacist), Kriska Woods, has had to get clever to keep her son occupied under stay-at-home orders. Drawing inspiration from other online posts, she created a long, colorful sidewalk pathway to keep him moving and add a little whimsy to his (and her neighborhood’s) walks. Click here to watch a video of the entire chalk pathway.
THE BISCUIT NEWS CRUMBS!
Think You Know NC’s Three Phases? Think Again.
You know the three-phased approach Governor Roy Cooper has identified to reopen North Carolina. But our mole deep in the Governor’s Mansion has uncovered a revised three-phase plan. The new phases have been updated to promote psychological preparation for the NC populace that has grown used to life at home … in PJs … with their pets.
It’s COVID-19 … Do You Know Where Your “Corn Teen” Is
At first glance, this sign posted on the @Copy_Wronged Instagram feed looks like a typo. But then, we started wondering, exactly what is a “Corn Teen?” After a little research, we think we got it …
The Eqyptian Statue by Blackhawk Garden Center
As we’ve shared on “Where Are We in CLT?,” Blackhawk Hardware in Park Road Shopping Center isn’t afraid to embrace a little silliness and kitsch. The best evidence of that is their long-running tagline: “Blackhawk Hardware has been Charlotte’s favorite locally owned (and mismanaged) ACE hardware store since 1977.”
But, our favorite gem — by far — is the Egyptian Statue leaning against the brick wall in the outside alley leading down to the garden center. According to Andy Wilkerson, owner, gentleman and scholar at Blackhawk, the statue was built by a Charlottean for the New York premiere of the 1963 Elizabeth Taylor movie, Cleopatra. Andy says Blackhawk has become a repository of strange, donated or discarded items over the years … and this huge statue is one of them.
Directions: 4225 Park Rd, Charlotte, NC 28209
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