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Showing posts from April, 2018

ALONG THE BLUE LINE - Finding the 8th Best Hamburger in the US

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I rode the new Blue Line Rail extension just opened in Charlotte. It travels through the not yet fully tamed East side and carries, on its shoulders, the hope of the City’s dense living plan. Here the remnants of industrial sites and forgotten areas of the City stretch before you. The goal is to bring together transportation, living, shopping and work.All tied together by the light rail.
Like all rides on light rail, you pass things that grab your attention. Three stations cut through a long strip of land where rail yards, graffiti art, construction remains and power lines come together. It called out to be photographed.
A few days later, armed with my trusty GPS and maps of the Blue Line, I found my way back to this place with camera in hand. It can be found on the north side of the Blue Line under a rail overpass. No one was there, freeing me to wonder, hear the sounds of the passing trains and to take in views of the City in the distance. The whole area along the Blue Line is being g…

THE MALL

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The Mall, Tall on my mind.
I went to spend, But in the end.
The same Mall, Blanks down the hall.
The same, In a City of Same.
The Mall, Not tall on my mind.

A JAZZ NOTE

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The South is woven with small towns. Each with history, good stories and a couple of mysteries. I find myself drawn to these places because of my roots in a small town. One that I left to find my life in the larger world.
I recently traveled to Hamlet NC with my niece Michelle Murphy who knew of it’s history. The town is perhaps best know for the infamous plant fire that killed 25 workers in 1991. Michelle had met some of the survivors when they toured the North East seeking safety reforms for plants. She wanted to see the actual site of the fire, now only marked by a small monument. 
Hamlet looked like a town just barely hanging on, with faded buildings and empty storefronts. The most notable feature was the train tracks running north and south. We were both surprised to learn it was the birthplace for the great jazz saxophonist John Coltrane (nicknamed TRANE). I wondered about how much this small place influenced his music and life. At an early age, he took the train north first to Hic…

BEHIND YOU

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“When you take a photo, always look behind you. The best photo is often there…”  Francis Zera, Photographer
The same can be said for city wandering. The 7th Street stop on the Blue Line in Charlotte is where the public market is. It draws you in and is a gateway to walk the city core. 
One day I turned the other direction, seeing an iconic building in the distance. Small city gifts awaited the exploring of this place “Behind You.” 
As I walked toward the building, a lovely park stretched before me, 1st Ward Park. Expansive and new, it provided a frame for the building I saw in the distance. A modern building with floors jutting out in different directions and an iconic silence about it.
I found it was the UNC graduate building. Perhaps the architect thought of great ideas springing in every direction from the quiet studies there. In the lobby, the Projection Gallery displayed work from the art students at UNC. The sun flowed into the windowed building, warming me from my chilly walk. Ther…