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.
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.
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.
Let’s take a peek inside. Yes, there’s more. This courtyard runs from one street to another.
Okay, not a great shot, but I wanted to capture not only the name of the place, but the fabulous stained glass windows above.
Flashback. This barber shop brought me right back to the 1970s. Speaking of flashbacks …
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.