Archive for the ‘events’ tag
I got back to town a bit late this year, and missed out on some of my State Fair usuals because the buildings closed early the final day, so no art, flowers, sand sculpture or baby ducks this year. I was able to have my annual Italian sausage sandwich, Fiske fries and ride the skyway, swings and bumper cars. Most of the regular rides were there, along with a couple of new, or at least re-painted wacky-house type walk-throughs. Apparently the rocket is no longer the "Time-Warner Rocket" and is just back to "The Rocket", though it does have a few new sponsorship plaques at the base. I still miss the Steel Building: That corner just does not feel right without it.
I made my annual trip to the Charlotte Heroes Convention Saturday. I got there kind of late, and it took me all of my time just to walk the floor (and I'm fairly sure I missed a few things), so I didn't take in any panels this year.
As always, there were lots of costumers in attendance. If there was one trend I notiecd this year, it was Harley Quinn, there were lots of Harleys in attendance. I'm not sure if her visibility is high because of the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, or it is just her time. (Her actual comics have been quite funny lately, if you like gonzo adventures).
I'm pretty sure this event venue has been mentioned in Have Your Say at some point, but I can't find the reference now. It may be another piece of information lost in this summer's crash.
At any rate, this place is on Saint Andrews Road just North of Seven Oaks Shopping Center and apparently closed in 2014. The real estate writeup says it's still turnkey ready and parks 50. This small image from an old Lake Murray Country promo shows that it lights up well at night too.
UPDATE 18 March 2016: Commenter Andrew notes that Kendall's Catering was co-located here, so I have added it to the post title.
If this picture strikes you as hilarious, you would have been at the right place. If it doesn't mean anything to you, probably not:
4 December this year was one of the warmer iterations of Brookgreen Gardens Nights of 1000 Candles, and by that, I mean that I could feel the buttons on my camera without my hands going numb.
As usual, the Gardens were beautifully lit, and there were entertainment tents with jazz, vocal ensembles and rock sounds of the season and wandering bagpipers. My impression is that they are getting a little bolder in color choices for the lights though of course the hundreds of candles, floading candles and luminaries remain.
The festival runs for two more weekends, on 10-12 December and 17-20 December and if you have a chance, I highly reccommend you go.
Hopefully I can add some commentary tomorrow, but for now I just want to get these pictures out there.
UPDATE 16 October 2015: Ok, I was under the weather for a few days, but let me add a little text here now.
First, I am happy to say that even as these pictures were taken, on Sunday 11 October 2015, recovery work was in full stride. All the flooded and gutted buildings on Forest Drive had evidence that of ongoing work and cleanup, and I noticed today (15 October 2015) that the Garden Center in Forest Lake Shopping Center was once again stocked and open for business.
Coming off of I-77 and heading downtown on Saturday gave a really stunning view of Charlotte's downtown. The sky was dotted with puffy clouds and the skyscrapers were laid out almost artistically. I really wish I could have pulled over and gotten a shot.
I was headed to the Convention Center for this years iteration of Charlotte's Heroes Convention which I have been checking out out over the years as often as I could since the days when it was a few meeting rooms at the old Holiday Inn on Woodlawn.
This year, I didn't attend any of the panels as it took all of my time just to completely canvas the main show floor. My impression is that Guardians Of The Galaxy is a new hit with costumers, though there was no single theme for the majority of costumes. I think I did notice a bit of fall-off in the Frozen costumes since Amelia Con. Stan Lee was there for photo-shoots, but the line was so long that I didn't attempt to see him. There were plenty of other creators there as well, and I bought a number of indie books for myself and my nieces, more than I've scanned below.
Anyway, it's not a bad drive (I-77 seemed a little less pot-holed this time) and there's a reasonable nearby lot, so if you get the chance next year, I recommend you check it out.
Falling, falling, falling..
It may seem strange to the under 50 crowd at this remove, but it's pretty much impossible to overstate what an incredible influence Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album had when I was in the last years of high school. Almost every track was on the radio at one time or another, and everybody had a copy. I would have had one, but I was dead broke at the time, so I somehow convinced my sister to spring for it. I taped her copy to cassette and it was in constant rotation with my Beach Boys albums in my jury rigged car player (which would reverse the tape and start playing the other "side" every time we hit a bump).
Rumours was the followup to the also very successful eponymous album Fleetwood Mac which established the band's "classic lineup". It was also the lead-in to the rather experimental Tusk which no doubt confused their legions of fans.
Over the years the band went through a lot of acrimony and romantic imbroglioes, with the fact that it was coed giving even more scope for feuding than even the Beach Boys "enjoyed".
Still, after all the dust settled, and after a sixteen year absence for Christine McVie, the classic lineup is back together and making music again.
I took the opportunity to see them in Charlotte, and everybody was in fine form, and looking and sounding pretty good for a bunch of 60 and 70 year olds. They played everything you would expect, and added a few new songs that, if not instant classics, were pretty good. As you can tell from the video and pix, I was *way* up in the nosebleed section, something I did not appreciate in the least while inching towards my seat like an action movie hero sidling along a window ledge over a twenty story drop. It was somewhat better once I actually had a seat, though as you can hear in the video, I fell in with a bunch of Chatty Cathys..
Anyway, it was a great show, and you should definitely catch them if you can.
As just a few random observations: It's amazing how bad a shape I-77 is in. It seemed like I was dodging huge ruts all the way to Charlotte. I don't remember that from my last trip in June, but it can't have gotten that bad that quick. Also, the parking garage at EpiCenter is the worst I've ever been in, like the old text based computer game "You are in a maze of twisty little passage all alike": It was amazingly hard to find the level changes rather than just driving by the same packed spaces again and again. Maybe I was "Over My Head"...
I got to Brookgreen a bit later than I had planned this year, and so did not hit all the spots I usually hit, but it was still a very nice evening out in the cold and lights. Actually, the weather was relatively moderate compared to some prior years -- I was able to hold my camera and adjust the controls without my fingers going numb. There is still an official ban on tripods, and I decided this year I wouldn't go for much in the way of "set the camera on something and do a time exposure" shots, so I cranked the ISO way up and took what I got, so I have to admit I've gotten better shots in previous years. I did play around with the in-camera HDR setting, and that's where some of the freaky green-lit exposures come from. Sometimes it did quite a good job of capturing both the lights and normal objects, and sometimes it didn't (I haven't used those spoiled shots here, obviously).
Getting in was a little quicker this year as they did not bring back the suboptimal secondary dirt road route they tried last year, although there was still quite a jam on US-17 (where I witnessed a fender-bender just as I finally got waved through). You still have three more chances to catch the lights this year on 18 December, 19 December and 20 December, and you really should if you are anywhere near the area.