Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Reggae Sunsplash in Charlotte

On Sunday, I caught reggae artists Buju Banton at the Metrolina Expo for Carolina Caribbean One Love Festival. For a first time event, I was impressed by the diverse crowd getting irie together. Parents brought children and set up tents near the back of the stage area. Vendors sold the typical goods, hats, flags, bracelets and CDs.

New owners at 7-Ten

Will Carper never rests. At 7-Ten, he was behind the bar filling up glasses, then he was outside cleaning tables. If you think owning a bar or lounge is glamorous, it can be after you’ve made it big.
Carper hasn’t made it big yet, but he’s working on it. You might remember him from City Tavern and Liquid Lounge. Now, he co-owns 7-Ten with partner Michael Mark. The former face of 7-Ten, Whiskey, isn't there anymore. That's al I know on the record, so I'm leaving it at that.
Carper and Mark took over the small lounge in Gateway Village about a week ago, and they’re hoping to pick things up there.
"I’m pretty much sleeping here," he said Saturday, during a brief break.
He wants to draw an upscale crowd (who doesn’t?) at night and make it a neighborhood gathering spot during the day. He plans to have more speciality, invite-only parties and ramp up the kitchen.
Carper works hard and finally has a majority ownership in a place where he’s busting his bosom. Making 7-Ten prosper won’t be easy. The place is tiny so to make any kind of money is going to be tough. It’s a great spot for a chill evening with friends. You can sit outside on the patio or grab a sofa inside. On Saturday, a mix of people in flip-flops and shorts; and designer jeans and leather shoes hung out there.
DJ Levi spun chill house. Carper zipped around refilling glasses, cleaning tables and welcoming customers to his latest venture.
So, party people. What would it take to make 7-Ten work? What kind of theme nights would you like to see there? What kind of music? Post your replies below.

Roaring '20s

No, this blog isn't about reliving my reckless years. I swung by Great Gatsby 2006 in the Wachovia Atrium on Saturday. It was my first time. I decided to attend at the last minute so I wasn’t as GQ as I should’ve been. Don’t get me wrong, I looked good and wore a tight Dobb hat, but next year I’ll be ready.
As the song goes, "I've got to stay flyyyy, till I diee!"
A full band played on stage and couples of all ages twirled, whirled and whipped around the floor. I saw women tossed into the air or slide around partners' legs. Some couples looked like professional dancers, but I was equally impressed by the ones who couldn't swing dance, and got out there anyway.
The Multiple Sclerosis fundraiser drew a diverse crowd, and at least 80 percent of the partiers wore ’20s style outfits. It was good to see Charlotte's button-down professionals let loose.