Posts Tagged ‘Charlotte’


With all the attention focused on other contests, we missed the election of Anthony Foxx as the youngest mayor in Charlotte, North Carolina history.  He seems like a very positive guy and could be the next step in moving the nation forward city by city…neighborhood by neighborhood.  Some old heads complaint that Obama is not surrounded by as many Black faces as Bill Clinton had and Hillary would have had if she won.  But, the Obama team responds that they look for the right people (that post-racial thing) rather than what could be considered quotas on some level. 

Congressman Sanford Bishop was the only Congressional Black Caucus member seriously considered for the Obama cabinet because his crossover approach to governing in the Georgia General Assembly and later in Congress must have served as a model for the next wave of Black governmental leadership (Obama, Harold Ford Jr., Artur Davis, Devel Patrick.)  The people (Black, White, Red and Brown) currently with and near Obama will be senators and governors in ten years but more importantly they will be corporate and academic leaders with better vision than the “give us” crew of old. Come to think about it, Obama has more Republicans in his cabinet than CBC members. 

Best Wishes to Mayor Foxx of the Queen City.  Charlotte was actually named for a Black woman.  Queen Charlotte was married to George III of England when he lost the American colonies.  The NoDa section of Charlotte is a former warehouse district with cool music spots, art galleries, lofts and a funky vibe; they have a Dog Bar where people chill with their pets.  I wouldn’t walk in that place wearing a Michael Vick jersey.  


Queen Charlotte of England



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I personally like two components in downtown redevelopment in Georgia: funky and mixed use.  The main street programs in Tifton, Moultrie, Americus, Madison and Athens are so cool to me.  Eccentric shops, coffee houses, sports bars, and bookstores might provide an after hour balance to the lunch spots for governmental workers in Albany.  When Albany State plays FVSU in Columbus, we make an annual stop at a place called the Cannon Brew Pub on Broad Street; that area could be the model for downtown Albany with the hip college kids and people who find the mall area lacking in character.  I have not been there but I hear good things about the Broad area of Augusta. 

Yes, it was a rough day when Bo Henry headed west because the second floor of his place had that vibe.  The old Broad Street Bistro had a chef from a local country club who took hook up a peanut entrusted pan-seared trout that was brilliant and all within minutes of my old office.

So let’s operate backwards for a second: while some people are wary of downtown Albany after dark, who are the possible brave souls who might help turn the area around.  I might be wrong but I still like students from the three colleges and obviously brave Marines.  I wish downtown jumped when I was in the dorm at ASU because walking across the bridge to an entertainment zone could have been too cool.  Remember Morehouse College and Spelman College, and pre-Olympics Georgia Tech (Techwood Homes) are/were in some rough areas that make downtown Albany seem like nothing to fear.  It is my understanding that Yale and the University of South California are in rough areas and I know every college student must be careful anywhere in D.C.

With all the concerns, different clienteles are packing them in at the Albany Theater.  If I were a young person, I could get into living in the building that had the crosses on top during Christmas if it was converted into apartments and lofts with ASU upperclassmen in mind.  But what am I thinking, the new dorms at ASU are great.  I am having a hard time thinking of an HBCU that is closer to a hip area and I would like seeing college students living in a town where a car is not a necessity—don’t forget about the Darton and Albany Tech students as well as young working people.  What about college hours at the First Tee? 

Another model for downtown Albany is the cool NoDa area of Charlotte, North Carolina.  They have a bar for people with dogs.  I am tired of people saying that the Albany area is fine in many ways but let’s run to Atlanta every other weekend.  




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