Early Morning in Charlotte

The neighborhood Wal-Mart Supercenter is strangely pleasant at 5:30 in the morning. Employees outnumber customers about two to one, there are no lines, and everyone is really friendly and says “hello” when you walk by. Actually, this being the south, they all say “hey”…

I drowned my sorrows after dropping Mark off at the airport (he’s spending another month working in San Francisco) by picking up some of those great cinammon buns that are only $1.44 for a four-pack. I also discovered that Antichrist Inc. sells its own brand of (passably good) English toasting bread…

I love roaming around town at odd hours when there’s no one else on the streets. Maybe it’s my antisocial nature, but it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, even though this particular morning was the coldest one of the year so far…

Mmmm. Hard freeze…

Onward Christian Sausages

I stumbled into this band’s website sort of by accident, but I think I love them:

Q: Is Girl for Samson a Christian band?

A: No, although, many of Girl for Samson’s songs deal with the process of creating, destroying and recycling human sausages.

Marketing

By way of clarification, I’d generally rather shop at Target as well. They have nicer stores and the whole shopping experience is generally more pleasant than at Wal-Mart. But my point — and the theme of the article cited — is that I don’t equate Target’s enhanced shopping experience nor their elevated sense of style and fashion with some false notion of moral or ethical superiority…

Ultimately, Target and Wal-Mart are two very competent retailers who do everything they can to maximize profits. The only siginificant differences are aesthetics and demographics. The fact that Target attracts stylish middle-class urbanites rather than fat, boring low-income rural and ethnic shoppers does not by definition make it more “socially conscious”. It’s all marketing. Period…

Armstrong Cork

Mark sent me sad news today. One of my favorite buidings anywhere is about to be converted into lofts. I’ve been obsessed with the Armstrong Cork Factory since my first visit to Pittsburgh eight years ago. I’m sorry to see it go…

While the capitalist in me is happy to see such a potentially valuable piece of property no longer going to waste, the urban aesthetician (is that even a word?) in me is terribly depressed to know this amazing building is about to be cleaned and sanitized to make cute little hipster condos which will strip away every bit of its character and context…

Oh well. I guess it couldn’t stand forever in that magnificent state of neglect and decay…

Wal-Mart vs. Target

Interesting article from the Boston Globe on why Wal-Mart is perceived as pure evil while Target is seen as pure virtue by so many urban sophisticates snobs, even though both companies have similar business practices…

The Landmark

I love the Landmark. I never ate there much when I lived in Charlotte before, perhaps because it was too much the “upscale” version of a diner, where everything was (gasp) about a dollar more than it was at Athens or San Remo…

This time around, though, I’m a definite convert, and I’ve decided that it’s only partially about the food, although the food is quite good. What I really like is the fact that, even though this is pretty much nothing more than a high volume diner, the service is remarkably professional. They make you feel rather special while you’re eating your eight dollar meal, more so than many places make you feel even when you’re chowing down on a twenty or thirty dollar meal. I like that a lot…

There are a lot more things I like about Charlotte. Almost enough, you might think, to start a whole different website…