Stories of the City

There’s a lot going on in this issue. We always strive to put together a magazine that contains a mix of pieces that range from grand in scope to laser focused. We look for profiles that tell a story and narratives that explain Charlotte. We try to help where we can. We aim to publish damn fine reads with thrilling design and evocative photographs. If I may be so bold, I think we nailed it this time around.

First of all, the helpful stuff. Senior editor Blake Miller helms a package of stories appropriate for this continuing dreary real estate market. Lots of folks want to put their houses up for sale, but they’re waiting for the market to rebound. And they’re restless. Which means it’s time to renovate. But should you add a sunroom or finish the attic? Update the kitchen or the bathroom? We’ll show you how to make your money back. And we also have an exclusive chart that tells you how values in your neighborhood have held up—or haven’t.

We also have a fun, in-depth look at transportation in this city. The goal is to answer every burning question you might have about buses, trains, and cars, as well as offer some information you didn’t even know you wanted. Associate editor Sarah Crosland and writer Annie Monjar, along with our fantastic interns Samantha Bare and Hollie Nivens, uncover fascinating facts that should make you the star at your next dinner party (or, at the very least, give you the courage to ride the bus). And associate art director Lindsay Emeigh makes it all come to life with her engaging design.

Poem by poem, play by play, friendly hug by friendly hug, he’s doing more for race relations in this city than a hundred angry protesters.

But wait! There’s more! Monjar profiles Quentin Talley, one of this city’s most fascinating artists. A slam poet and founder of a theater company devoted to African American–themed plays, the Rock Hill native operates largely outside the mainstream. But, poem by poem, play by play, friendly hug by friendly hug, he’s doing more for race relations in this city than a hundred angry protesters. Writer Laurie Prince profiles 
Mohammed el-Nawaway, a communications professor at Queens University of Charlotte. The Egyptian native is an 
expert on social media in the Middle East, and he was in Cairo’s Tahrir Square interviewing revolutionaries hours after Mubarak stepped down. I can only imagine the educational experience his students are enjoying this semester.

And finally, The Penguin. Last fall, the dramatic saga of this soulful purveyor of fried pickles dominated Facebook, Twitter, and local blogs. As a story, it has everything: tension, history, and heroes and villains (and which is which will depend on your perspective—this story contains surprises, too). But it’s much more than just a story about a restaurant. It’s a story about Charlotte. And Jeremy Markovich tells it exceedingly well. Go read it.

Categories: Editor’s Note