We moved to Charlotte's NoDa neighborhood in October of '04. It's a funky, slowly gentrifying arts district where the locals gather to bang on drums on streetcorners on Friday nights.

Twice a month there's a neighborhood gallery crawl, and folks use it as an opportunity to take to the streets and have fun with their neighbors.

I recently got a digital camera, so last night (June 17), a gallery crawl night, we walked up the block from our apartment to dip around, hang out, look at art, listen to music and generally just dig the vibes.

Rather than email a bunch of jpegs to folks, we thought a web page commemorating the evening would be more fun.

Welcome to One Night in NoDa!

Some of the crowd waiting for a troupe of belly dancers to start their act. We waited around for awhile because I really wanted to get a couple of shots of the dancers, but nothing seemed to be happening, so we moved on to the Elvis guy we had heard was performing around the corner in front of the Rat's Nest.

The only way to describe The Rat's Nest is to say it's a used clothing store, but it's really more of a neighborhood hangout.
They moved a bunch of couches and chairs outside for folks to watch an Elvis tribute by a short, pudgy Filipino singing to taped music. He was having fun, and the crowd was digging it!

Yes, Elvis is wearing a Spider-Man suit.

The Neighborhood Theatre is a former movie theatre that's now a local concert venue. We haven't been there to a show yet, but we hear it's nice.

Vicki sitting outside the Smelly Cat Coffeehouse where we stopped for a double espresso. Unfortunately I caught her mid-blink. She's not really wasted!

A sculpture in the work room of a local gallery, Empathinc.

Then it was on to the Evening Muse, a really nice little neighborhood place that books some great regional acts.
This is two-thirds of a terrific trio called Taylor Roberts Music, consisting of a violin, acoustic guitar and percussion.
The Evening Muse is where Vicki and I have been holding meetings of the screen writing group we've started.

I tried to get a shot of the percussionist, but in the previous number, while the percussionist moved to guitar for one song, the guitarist was messing around with the drums and broke the drum stand, so the percussionist had to play like this for the second half of their act. He announced that he had to hold up the drum with his "private parts".

It was time to head home, but in the space where the belly dancers had been, there were now some folks milling around an open mike. As we walked by someone started a half-hearted version of "Don't Worry Be Happy".
I would have taken the mike to sing but was not drunk enough.

Alongside the open mike, an artist had set up an easel and was working on a pretty nice painting. He said he does it just so he can be out on the street meeting people.

Web page design by Gerry Mooney Studio

My other community web pages:
By George! cartoonist lunches
NoDa Screenwriters Group