I spent most of yesterday driving from DC to Charlotte, NC, which is where I am now, staying with my friend Oniz and his dad and step-mom. His dad has a degree in chemistry, same as me, and has all sorts of nerdy gadgets all over the house, that I love. His step-mom speaks less English than I do Spanish, but she is really sweet and hospitable.
Charlotte seems to be quite the double-edged sword of a city. When I first got off the high way and stopped for gas there were homeless people begging outside of the gas station. Inside, the cashiers stood behind bullet-proof glass. There was also a minivan getting gas, a dent covering every inch of its surface that wasn’t plastered with computer print-outs of President Obama. There were flags hanging off the roof and coolers hanging out the back. I drove less than I mile from there and I’m staying at Oniz’s, in the ‘burbs, trees all around, in a single family house.
Tonight we went to Uptown Charlotte where all of the restaurants, and museums, etc. are. We walked around looked at all of the shops and Christmas lights. Then we met a man, who was probably a drug dealer, who smoked us up and basically gave us a tour of Uptown Charlotte. He recommended a place called The Common Market, which was a cross between a deli, a bar, and a convenience store. It was really cool, they played indy music, had tables to sit and eat at, and Oniz and I drank $2 forties and had deli sandwiches. It was definitely a place worth seeing, especially, if you’re trying to see Charlotte on a budget.