The wonderful thing about being a small-town girl is that my appreciation for larger cities is probably the equivalent of someone using a cell phone instead of a land line for the first time — overwhelmed, yet intrigued. Granted, my transition was eased by the fact I lived in Durham for six years prior to moving to the Queen City. But anyone from North Carolina knows that the comparison between the two is significant. I would argue Charlotte has the eclecticism and diversity of Durham, but with way more people and traffic.
This time last year, I was writing about the beginning of my quarter-life crisis brought on by my 25th birthday. As I glance back at that article, “The big 2-5 looms,”
and revisit the signs of being in a quarter-life crisis, little has changed. Resolutions from the past few years remain unchecked, I’m still reminiscing of college days past. While I’m now in a relationship, I still experience social media envy when someone posts a pic of their engagement ring or babies.
Nevertheless, as we prepare to enter 2016, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on the past year in my new found home of Charlotte. While my journal entries are lacking, I have managed to share quite a bit of my adventures with readers and friends of Creative Loafing
. I went through those articles to do my own version of Facebook’s “Year in Review” to highlight some of my fave experiences this year.
“Crafted and crocked in the Q.C.”:
Here’s to the nights I don’t remember with people I’ll never forget. What’s a reflection on my year without mentioning the amazing drinks I’ve had the opportunity to taste? I started out my year tasting a seasonal cocktail at Soul Gastrolounge and graduated to sharing too many cocktails with the Q.C.’s fave mixologist, Bob Peters, at the Ritz. Whether I was looking for a local beer, a growler or a drink made just for me, the possibilities were endless and most were within walking distance.
Food with a side of food:
2015 was definitely the year of gluttony. Usually with the “excuse” of exploring a new angle for an article, I ate my way through Charlotte. Being a foodie is definitely a side-effect of coming from Durham, dubbed one of the South’s tastiest towns. I quickly completely sabotaged any resolution to “lose weight or get in shape.” From small plates at Tiki Hideaway — recently closed, I’m even more appreciative of the fact that I got a chance to taste their island creations — to Asian cuisine galore in Ballantyne. Hate on the curves if you want to in 2016, but every bite was worth it.
Trying new things with new friends:
So many of my articles this year were riddled with new friends, co-workers and spending the night (no, not in bed) with strangers. These people took me outside of my shell experiencing life as a kid again (with alcohol) at the Discovery Place, a burlesque show at the Chop Shop and a ghost tour around Fourth Ward. I even had the opportunity to get tipsy and survive my first festival with my previous editor at Creative Loafing
’s inaugural Moo and Brew Fest. Not to mention, “roadtripping” to see Dave Matthews Band — who I’d never heard of before — on a party bus for eight hours of nonstop drinking was interesting, to say the least. Needless to say, these people made playing 10 fingers, flip cup and walks of shame worth every hangover.
New additions to nightlife:
Drinks and food aside, the Q.C. has seen a lot of growth in nightlife. If you’re familiar to the scene, you know that venues come and go — their names anyways. Craft Tasting Room and Growler Shop, The Local and Piedmont Social House were a few of the places I highlighted in my articles. Those trips were marked with either a hangover or drunken babble — a huge thank you to those who still made sure I had a good time, even after I opened my mouth.
No matter how much I embarrassed myself, or others, and no matter how many resolutions I didn’t accomplish, once again, 2015 was one for the books. Despite some setbacks in the beginning of the year and dreadful hangovers, I laughed, danced and drank with some of Charlotte’s best. And with that being said, looking back, was a great year.
What did you accomplish, or not accomplish, in the QC this year? Share it with the rest of us. Here’s to the New Year!