Monday, July 10, 2006

New Charlotte, Old Charlotte

This past weekend was a great time to learn about both new Charlotte and old Charlotte.

Saturday was the meeting of the Ballantyne Breakfast Club, a forum that meets in the south Charlotte community every two months. I went to meet newcomers – and there were plenty of great ones in attendance. I also got the opportunity to hear a lot of south Charlotte parents vent their frustration to new Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent Peter Gorman about school overcrowding and assignment issues.

Sunday, historian Tom Hanchett of the Levine Museum of the New South gave a presentation on the history of Myers Park to a packed room of more than 75 people in the Duke Mansion – a gratifying turnout on a summer weekend afternoon. “Who says that history is dead in Charlotte?” said organizer Pat Martin.

There, attendees highlighted the tension between the careful planning that made Myers Park the beautiful tree-lined neighborhood it is today and the infill housing that threatens to disrupt it.

Both events raised issues that newcomers can influence and play a role in solving.

I’d like to get outside Mecklenburg more often to hear about newcomers’ impact on, or impressions of, surrounding communities. Know of an event I should visit? Please e-mail me.


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