Lines and Curves

There’s a brand new roller coaster at Carowinds in Charlotte, NC.  I’m not a roller coaster kind of girl, but as a writer and avid reader, I can enjoy the ups and downs and twists and turns of a good plot.  As a photographer, I have an appreciation of antiques and originals as a reminder of our past – capturing a moment in time that may be gone tomorrow – preserving a memory.  This is the older roller coaster at Carowinds.  I am not sure if it will still be active now that the new one is in place, but you can see these tracks from the street and the lines and curves just caught my eye.

Click any of the photos below to enlarge them.

roller coaster

Roller Coast at Carowinds

Carowinds 3Carowinds 2


Uptown Charlotte, NC

I’ve been a bit of a workhorse lately.  Funny because the only thing I seem to be accomplishing are things other people need/want me to do (maybe that’s because they’re paying me?).  That’s something I’ll have to work on this week because I’ve got stuff that I want to get done.  Still man or woman cannot live on work alone, and getting outside yesterday was just what the doctor ordered.

Sometimes it’s nice when you can plan a day to spend with friends, which is what I did yesterday.  And even though we had a plan, we wound up doing something totally unexpected – and I love those moments, they really wind up being the best of times.

So, I thought I’d share a little corner of our neighboring Charlotte, NC with you.  If I had known that this one little corner of Charlotte, this courtyard really, would have so many interesting aspects, I might have brought my DSLR with me – sadly, these were all iPhone shots and some were taken through a backseat van window (gasp!).  But seriously, it all started out when I was meeting a friend at the oil change place down the road.  We never got the oil done, but we drove a good 15 minutes and had some awesome Greek food and talked to some really nice people and we learned how to make a Long Island Iced Tea with cucumbers and without soda.  I couldn’t drink because I had to work later, but I did taste it and it was awesome.

Welcome to the outdoor courtyard – old architecture in sharp contrast to the pulse of the newer parts of Charlotte.  I love older buildings with their workmanship and charm.  This is a bit of the old with a serious splash of the new.

Courtyard 3 Courtyard 2 Courtyard 1

Have a Cupcake Brow

Oui, Oui

Have a Cupcake Brow

Have a Cupcake Brow

You’ll find plenty to do here in this small courtyard.  There’s a hair salon, an eyebrow salon, a cupcake store, a tattoo parlor, an espresso bar, a yoga studio, an Irish Pub (several bars in fact), plenty of food choices – Greek, French, Turkish, American – and this is just some of the outside features.  Wait until you see the inside.


Charming Doorway

I think the thing I love about this place so much is not just that it’s quaint, but I just love the old brick and the woodwork.  Most of the doorways or storefronts also have upper windows to take advantage of the brief bits of sunlight captured in this alleyway, would-be courtyard.

Portraits a Specialty

Portraits a Specialty

Indigo Photography 2

Love the Window. It’s easier to read in person.

A Hookah Lounge Too!??

A Hookah Lounge Too!??

Tattoo, Yoga, Espresso.

Tattoo, Yoga, Espresso, Anyone?

Fueling Station

Fueling Station

Tattooed Lady

Tattooed Lady

Let’s take a peek inside.  Yes, there’s more.  This courtyard runs from one street to another.

Enter the Arcade

Enter the Arcade

Okay, not a great shot, but I wanted to capture not only the name of the place, but the fabulous stained glass windows above.

Arcade Barber Shop

Arcade Barber Shop

Flashback.  This barber shop brought me right back to the 1970s.  Speaking of flashbacks …

How About a Shoe Shine?

How About a Shoe Shine?

This shoe shine stand transported me right back to Grand Central Station in the ’80s, although I’m quite sure that they were around way before that.  This is classic.  I can almost smell the polish.  Oh wait, I can smell the polish, it’s still a working stand.  Awesome.


Mail’s In – Cast Iron

The inside of the arcade is also filled with stores, but this vintage stuff was what really appealed to me.

Let’s go back outside and see where we ate.  Nefelie’s Greek American Kitchen and Bar.  It was the best chicken souvlaki with tzatsiki sauce I’ve had since I left the North.  (No food pics sorry – we were hungry.)

Nefelie's - I'll be back.

Nefelie’s – I’ll be back.

Dining Sign

Dining Room?


Don’t Shoot.


Red Baron?

Despite having a dartboard over our heads (as well as small toy plane flying across the ceiling), we enjoyed sitting at the bar in our own little corner.  It was not crowded at all – it was midday on a Saturday.  At night and during the week, it’s a different story – we had the place to ourselves.  Now, about the sign.  I’m not making fun of anyone, but you can’t have a writer and former legal secretary (me) and a former court reporter (my friend) read something without noticing if there are some … um … mistakes.  In fact, my friend often points out my mistakes and typos – but it’s all in fun. (In fact, I just updated my post before she caught a few mistakes I’ve made – I’m sure there are more.)

Mistake one, obviously the spelling of the word “dining.”  The other mistake, which may not be clear from this photo … the arrow is pointing towards the outside of the building, not to the stairs that lead you to the dining room.

Turns out this was not the only unusual sign we would see yesterday.

Lost AlligatorAll-in-all it was a great day.

Since I don’t get to the “Queen City” that often, even though it’s so close, I had no idea where we were other than Uptown.  I do know however that we were just two blocks over from the Bank of American Stadium.  So if you’re in the area, and you’re hungry or you’d like to experience some real southern hospitality, find this place.  Here’s a landmark that I just loved.

packard place

The Packard Place Building

Maybe the street was named Packard Place, but don’t quote me on that.  I just loved this exterior paint job.  It’s even more awe inspiring in person.  If you’re facing this, the courtyard is right on your right side.

Valhalla and City View

Valhalla and City View


Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC