Inspired by writer John Grooms' column this week, let me share with you what I'm thankful for this year.
Aside from the usual — family, friends, salted caramel brownies and macarons within walking distance from my front door — I'm thankful Creative Loafing has readers who aren't boring.
No, you're definitely not boring. When you read something within CL's pages that you disagree with, you send us an email or comment online to call us out on it.
Betty Pride and her daughter Bridget Wall-Lennon are two readers who recently felt passionate enough to reach out to us. Here, you'll find letters they sent us separately, without knowing each other had plans to do so, in response to the cover story we ran in our Nov. 14 issue. As longtime Hidden Valley residents, Pride and Wall-Lennon took offense to the image we ran on our cover. In the story, "The Heart of Hidden Valley," we strived to paint a portrait of a longtime Charlotte neighborhood, its gang-related troubles and how this community has changed since police and residents started working to shed a bad reputation. The fact that these two women, among others, chastised us for a cover that boasted a headline including the words "most dangerous place in Charlotte" reiterates the pride these residents have for their neighborhood.
Their responses? Definitely not boring.
When not upset with us, our readers also love to get involved. A few weeks ago, we launched Filtered, CL's first photo contest. The theme "Old Charlotte versus New Charlotte" definitely inspired you folks. We've narrowed the 50 or so entries we received down to 20 finalists and have posted these images on our website for you to cast your vote for Readers' Choice. The deadline to vote is Dec. 1, 11 p.m. Our Photography Issue, featuring the grand prize winner, readers' pick and select finalists, hits stands Dec. 12.
If Creative Loafing was the type of publication that didn't garner such a fascinating crowd of people who cared about their communities and felt compelled to contribute to the conversation — whether that be creatively or via commentary — I'm not sure my job would be half as interesting. And for that, I'm thankful.
P.S. Stay tuned for our Music Issue — ha, see what I did there? — coming out next week. We're taking it to another level.