Bible belt plus
When an outsider thinks of Charlotte, they think of NASCAR, American football, basketball, barbecue, and being part of the Bible belt. (Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker ran their PTL club from a Charlotte suburb in South Carolina.) Protestant churches still dominate, but with the growth of the banking industry, the community has become more diverse (as witnessed in the restaurant tips). With that comes religious diversity as well. From top to bottom, I took a picture of a Catholic church, the Greek Orthodox church across the street is in the middle, and a synagogue not far from Mark's house. Click to enlarge the photo to get everything in.
Cotswold Village Shops
Cotswold Village Shops, commonly called simply Cotswold Mall, is Mark's friendly neighbourhood shopping centre. It is a strip mall with some familiar national and regional chains. Others are more upscale. For example you have Blockbuster Video, Eckerd Drug store (where I developped the first 100 exposures), Old Navy, the Atlanta Bread Company, Stein Mart, Harris-Teeter supermarket and others. Videos, pharmaceuticals, photo development, clothing, food and drink.
Vinnie's. Incredible seafood...
Vinnie's. Incredible seafood -- probably the best steamed shrimp in any city that far from the ocean.
The seafoody-grungy quality of Vinnie's during the day turns into a meat-market fiesta of blond (and newly blond) ex-sorority girls and the frat boys who love them. Good for a giggle, in other words.
When I first moved to Charlotte in 1993, the choices available for an authentic ethnic dining experience were limited, but in the past decade that has all changed. No ethnic group has come on stronger in terms of restaurant offerings than the Mexican community. Muchas gracias!!!!
The menu is bilingual as are most of the servers, but the clientele is mostly Latino, which is a good sign. I go to the Central Avenue location, but there is also a newer location on Eastway near Tryon. Pork Tacos are awesome here.
Discovery Place is a science museum for kids and adults. This place has two main floors, and an Omnimax Theatre. The theatre also serves as a planetarium. Also, there is a tropical rainforest, an ocean pool, and exhibits on such things as biology, geology, chemistry, physics, and a lot of hands on stuff too.
There is now a toddler hands on section, for children 6 years old and YOUNGER only. Parents have to accompany their children, and the section is filled with hands on water activities, toys, and games. Your child could spend hours in here and not get bored!!! :-)