Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Bobcats arena the best?

Did you hear that according to Pollstar magazine, the Charlotte Bobcats Arena has been nominated as one of the best new concert venues of the year. Winners will be announced in Vegas Feb. 15.

In past blogs, I've written about us being excluded from other national list. We finally got some major recognition from a respected publication, but I have a feeling some Charlotte concert-goers don't think the new Bobcats arena should be so highly regarded.

I saw the Rolling Stones there, and I had a good time, but I've heard from several people who aren't impressed. The biggest complaint is overpriced food, which is expected, and bad acoustics.

Urban Vixen, who saw U2 in Houston, said the sound was muffled at the Charlotte show, and the Edge's guitar wasn't crisp and lacked depth. At the Dolly Parton concert, Urban Vixen said you could barely hear Parton's vocals.

What do you guys think? Have you been to the new arena and do you think it should be considered one of the best in the country?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

No alcohol for New Year's? No way!

I don't know if you heard, but Charlotte Center City Partners announced that vendors will not be selling alcohol on the streets for the big Downtown Countdown. Instead Charlotte Center City Partners wants revelers to go to restaurants, hotels and clubs for their alcohol fix. The keepers of Uptown also asked the news media to remind all the lushes that it is illegal to walk around with an open container of alcohol unless they're on private property or in a closed festival area with an alcohol permit. Apparently, the beer-coozie clutching Panther's and Bobcats fans think they're on Bourbon Street.

Moira Quinn of Charlotte Center City partners says the NYE switch is so that Downtown Countdown doesn't steal alcohol sales from businesses. She assured me that the NYE change doesn't mean alcohol won't be sold at other uptown street events. She also says the open container law is old school.

I'm a little bummed about the alcohol-free countdown, but I'm even more disappointed about the open container law reminder. Walking around with cups of beer or Bloody Mary is part of the ballgame tradition. You tailgate with friends and carry your cocktail or brewski from the asphalt party to the gate. Then you guzzle your drink before you go inside. It's all part of the game-day ritual, like players taping up their ankles. Ball games are special events. It's not like people are drinking beer on the streets uptown every night.

Partiers, am I the only who thinks the city is being a bit too uptight? Post your comments below. (P.S. no cursing, your post will be rejected.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

No Menage? No Forum? We stink -- again

OK, I know some of you doubted the credibility of the Axe deodorant survey showing Charlotte was one of the worst cities to hook up in, but guys we got slighted again.

This time by the respectable Nightclub & Bar trade magazine. They published their Top 100 bars and clubs in the U.S. and guess what - we're not in it. But guess who at least got a shout out -- Raleigh! Their Long Branch Saloon got a mention, but didn't make the top 100 list either.

Click here for the Top 100 Nightclubs and Bars for 2006. The list is in alphabetical order.

Here's a sample:
1. 115 Bourbon Street Pub (Chicago)
2. 32 Degrees Street Pub (Philly)
3. AJ's (Destin, Fla.)
4. Ampersand (New Orleans)
5. Ava Lounge (New York)
6. Aria (Boston)
7. Avala and Spider Club (L.A.)
8. Beach Bar at the W. Hotel (San Diego)
9. B.E.D. (Miami)
10. Billy Bo's Texas (Fort Worth, Texas)

Considering the Coyote Ugly's in New York and Jillians in Dallas made the list, I decided to call Tad Wilkes of Oxford Publishing, which publishes Nightclub & Bar to find out the deal, and if Charlotte sucks.

Wilkes was kind enough to explain that the bars were chosen for their innovativeness, uniqueness to the market and/or revenue. He assured me however that we're a great party town.

"We have not intentionally left Charlotte out," Wilkes said. We definitely don't think Charlottee sucks. I know that there are some good bars there, I can't think of them off the top of my head."

What do you guys think about this latest slight? Are we really lying to ourselves -- does Charlotte's nightlife really stink? If not, what clubs and bars should have made this list? Post your comments below.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Sippin' on some syzzurp

Wow, some of you got downright rowdy last week when I asked about diversity uptown. Some people stayed on topic and seriously tried to address the issue. Others slammed me for race baiting (and other things). To whoever posted that I should ride off into the sunset with my butch wife on my motorcycle, that sounds so romantic. Thanks sweetie. Speaking of which, for some reason a couple of you went on this whole gay tangent. I can see homosexuality being part of the discussion of diversity uptown, but when did you know you were gay conversation threw me. What was that about?
Anyway, as the Community Relations Committee's investigation of Menage continues, I'm sure we will return to the topic of diversity uptown. FYI: any comments that insult or slander a person (other than me) or club by name will be removed as soon as I see it. That's not cool, especially if you don't have the guts to include your name and e-mail address.
Alright, on to this week's topic.
I know people think I have the coolest job ever, but I met a woman who gets paid to drink scotch. For real.
Marcy Ruderhausen is a master of scotch, and last week she conducted a scotch tasting at Morton's to introduce Johnnie Walker Green. Ruderhausen also schooled me on the basics, such as scotch is whiskey made in Scotland (Duh) and how to drink the liquor.
And just because a scotch has an older age date, for example a 12-year Dewars, doesn't mean you'll like it better than a 10-year Talisker. Age ain't nothing but a number.
If you're new to scotch or whiskey, the first thing to figure out is if you like it smoky or not. It's kind of like fruity versus dry wine. When tasting Ruderhausen suggests sampling several different kinds at one sitting, and sampling them neat (straight).
First, sniff the liquor, then sip it. See what flavors you notice and how you like the taste. Using a straw, add a couple of drops of water. Sniff it, and then taste it again. See how the water changes the character of the liquor. Drink some water and then try the next scotch.
Ruderhausen let us try a yummy drink called the Gold Digger (She ain't messin' with no broke, broke...Just kidding). It's a shot of Johnnie Walker Gold and a shot of Godiva chocolate liquor. Oh my goodness.
Okay, enough talk about drinking. Time to party.