I am a carnivore. I’m not proud of it. But I do love a good burger. And while Summertime is the right time to burn some ground beef on the George Foreman, I still prefer seeking out my burgers somewhere on-the-road in the Carolinas. Here are my 5 picks:
In Charlotte and Raleigh, I am a fan of Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar. Their Classic Southern Burger, topped with chili, American cheese, relish, mustard, and slaw, is a winner … but be sure to ask for plenty of napkins. I also enjoy the basic (and I mean basic) cheeseburger at O’Malley’s Pub in Raleigh. Basic…cheddar cheese…lettuce, tomato, pickle, mustard (no mayo) … and a side of onion rings. Oh, and a pint of Guinness. Perfection.
We all grew up with those words resonating out in the backyard. As grownups in the Sunbelt, especially the Piedmont Crescent Corridor, which is I-85 from the Triangle, Triad, Charlotte, and Upstate South Carolina regions, we all better be ready.
What I’m talking about is that we’d better be readying our sustainability plans when it comes to water, air, transportation, sewage and trash.
According to the US Census, Charlotte’s population grew by 19,600 from mid-2010 to mid-2011, ranking ninth in the country for gains. Both the Triangle Region and the Charlotte Region grew through all past recessions. Why? Cost of living being 93 percent of the national average is a huge plus. Cary, N.C. grew by 3.24 percent, Raleigh by 3.1 percent and Charlotte by 2.7 percent in one year. The incoming migration to the Carolinas is very diverse and bodes well for our future.
As usual, it has started off as a great season for concerts goers. My husband and I started our concert season with Van Halen at Time Warner Arena on April 25 – loud and awesome as usual. We were lucky to see them since the rest of their tour has been cancelled. That same week, we attended the Sugarland concert at Verizon Amphitheater and especially enjoyed the audience interaction. On May 17, we were back at Verizon withStyx, REO Speedwagon and Ted Nugent, and bought Jimmy Buffet tickets while we were there.
The Carolinas have many great venues for concerts, with both indoor and outdoor. And there is certainly no shortage of North Carolina artists.
Albemarle native Kellie Pickler played Charlotte on April 20. The former American Idol contestant was raised by her grandparents and cites her grandfather as a major influence in her life. Her sixth place finish was a springboard for her career, which included her biggest hit “Best Days of Your Life,” which she co-wrote with Taylor Swift and reached No. 9 on the Billboard Charts. When I saw Kellie perform in Erie, Pa. about four years ago with Sugarland (yes, I’ve seen Sugarland four times), she was a very sincere and enjoyable performer.
Twelve years ago, a good friend of mine met me in Charlotte to show me one of the city’s “secrets”. He asked me to meet him at a parking lot on North Davidson Street. Now, 12 years ago, there wasn’t much to do in uptown Charlotte, and there certainly wasn’t much to do in NoDa (North Davidson), so I was excited to see what he had planned.
I traveled down Trade, hooked a left onto North Davidson, kept going through First Ward, and then under the Brookshire to what is now known as NoDa. Twelve years ago, this area was just beginning to show signs of life, so my curiosity was really up.
He was waiting for me in the parking lot, and together we walked over to my “surprise”. We walked in to a small house, nothing special really, and came out into the McGill Rose Garden full of breathtaking beauty!
I’m proud about the company I keep myself, and especially proud of the company that the Allen Tate Companies keep.
Recently, two national ranking reports for real estate were released for 2011 – Real Trends 500 and RIS Media. On both reports, Allen Tate is ranked in the Top 10 in closed transaction sides among privately owned, non-franchised real estate companies and in the Top 20 among all real estate companies. The honorees on these two lists represent some of the best real estate companies across the nation. We’re honored to be among them, especially those (like us) who have a tradition of focusing on the individual homeownership experience vs. transaction numbers.
Where is that you ask? For our South Carolina and Charlotte areas, it’s right here in your back door! Just down the street in Lancaster, South Carolina is the picturesque, history enriched, beautiful Andrew Jackson State Park.
Yes, you may already know that Lancaster, SC claims fame to Andrew Jackson, the 7th president of the United States. South Carolina has honored him by instituting this state park just over the North Carolina line on Hwy 521 South. As a school aged youngster, I enjoyed taking field trips to this park during my history classes, family outings, and I recently visited some family members that were camping here. This last time I really took time to take in the beauty of the park.
With so many gods and goddesses with specific areas of expertise, I wonder when I’ll learn the name of the goddess of N.C. barbeque. Perhaps I’ll be introduced to goddess “Barbie” at the Hog Happenin’ in Lincolnton June 1-2. I can only hope.
Then there are the gods of beer…Yeastus and Hops. North Carolinians have been brewing beer since the 18th century, and N.C. is now the top craft beer brewing state in the South. I’m very proud of that distinction. One Raleigh brewery, Roth Brewing Company, will be hosting its 2nd Anniversary Party on June 2 and featuring their plum honey hefeweizen (a wheat beer), two bands, three food trucks and casked ales. All hail Yeastus and Hops!
I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina a year ago, and can tell you that I have been very pleased with all the shopping this area has to offer. Among all of this, there is a surplus of grocery stores. (I don’t think there is enough room on this blog for all the other great shopping types!)
Whether you are looking for standard, organic or fun, we have it all. Below are just a few grocery stores that Charlotte has to offer, and believe me there are many more to choose from with their own uniqueness. I would like to advise you that each one has a website worth exploring. You will discover special deals for each store; from coupons, coffee clubs, senior clubs, discounts on games, personal shoppers….the list goes on, so check it out.
Interest rates are very vital in the recovery of this economy. YES – housing needs to recover if the economy is going to rebound and; YES – a home is usually the largest purchase one makes, so affordability is directly tied to interest rates.
While interest rates reached an all time low of 3.84 percent, according to Freddie Mac, the number of individuals that can take advantage is mind boggling if they have good credit. Every 0.5 percent increase in the interest rate makes it impossible for a certain percentage of potential homeowners to participate in homeownership.