7 things to be thankful for | QC After Dark

7 things to be thankful for

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Is it just me or has 2015 flown by? This time last year, I was just getting started with Creative Loafing and a new career path. Now, I’m here feeling like a veteran in the game or like Drake, “Started from the bottom now I’m here.”

It’s right around the time for Friendsgiving (Thanksgiving with your friends) celebrations,as well as Friendsgivemas, a term I’m less familiar with. Friendsgivemas fills the gap between Thanksgiving and Christmas when friend-oriented parties occur. Needless to say, this time of year is meant for “the feels” including friends, family and gratitude. Get ready for cultural appropriation, Dirty Santa, eggnog and the dreaded New Year’s resolutions.

Thanksgiving in my household is a three-day event. The night before is spent cooking and taste-testing. The day of is a competition of who can eat the most and how many times. The third day is leftover day, complete with turkey sandwiches. As I prepare for sitting around the dinner table with my family for Thanksgiving, I want to share what I am most thankful for living in the Q.C. *Bow your heads and hold my hand.*

Traffic: When I first moved to Charlotte, being from a small town, I thought traffic was horrendous. Three years and non-stop road construction later, we’re well on our way to being the ATL of N.C. This is the only North Carolina city I’ve lived in where traffic is a challenge in rain or shine and at 7 a.m. or 7 p.m. A constant reminder that we should be thankful we’re alive and able to drive one place to another. *rolls eyes*

Southern food: Another side effect of being from a small town? It’s easy to forget you’re in the South when you have more than just “the Chili’s” and McDonald’s to choose from. Not in Charlotte. One thing that remains consistent, no matter what vibe you’re going for, is Southern cuisine. Fried chicken at Price’s Chicken Coop, chicken and waffle flat bread at Heist Brewery and catfish at Mert’s Heart & Soul. You can get down home cookin’ all over the Queen City.

Small plates: Give me tapas! In addition to Southern food, small plates and apps are also a “thing” in Charlotte. While they can be expensive, small plates are actually my fave. The perfect portion size for leftover-queens like myself and packed with flavor! I recently gave Good Food on Montford Drive a try and I must say the food was good. The reigning champ in my book though? Soul Gastrolounge in Plaza Midwood.

Craft beer: The craft beer scene is exploding in the Q.C. and I love it! Craft beer has become so popular you can even get it at the local Shell gas station. Have I mentioned how much I love sour ale? A Corona with grenadine convert, I’ve stepped up my game. This weekend I tried yet another Anderson Valley Brewing Company flavor: Blood Orange Gose. A satisfying choice.

Craft cocktails: What’s better than beer? Craft cocktails, obviously. Up your alcohol content and flavor by exploring the craft cocktail scene in the Q.C. Whether you’re heading out on Metropolitan Ave. where there’s Pisces Sushi Bar or Uptown you’ll find The Punch Room — no matter what neighborhood you’re in you’ll surely find a good buzz.

Great sports teams: Speaking of buzz, thank goodness we have sports teams we can actually get excited about. Being in a major city, it’s awesome when you have something like sports — or in my case drinking for games — to bring people together. Grab your gear and head Uptown. Whether you have tickets or want to catch the game on TV, there’s plenty of sports bars and tailgating spots to enjoy Sunday funday.

Awesome nightlife: I’ll keep it generic with this one because, as I’m learning, the Queen City has a lot to offer when it comes to nightlife, and it’s steadily growing! From musicals and ballets to “strip clubs and dolla bills” *in my Rihanna voice,* there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Thanksgiving isn’t complete until you’ve shared what you’re most thankful for. There’s food, drink and fun to be had in and around Charlotte. Not to mention, I can’t complain about running into the occasional man bun or hipster #eyecandy. Show your gratitude for this amazing city we call home by sharing what you’re most thankful for in the Q.C.!

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