It’s the Little Things

Written by Liz Eagle

"It's the Little Things"
By : Liz Eagle

One thing I’m slowly noticing- and loving- about Charlotte is the small town feel it has. I know, I know- Charlotteans often get a lot of flack about this not being a “real city” and I’m often asked by visitors “Is that all of your uptown? Like, that’s it?” Frankly, I find that appealing.

Our downtown/uptown- who knows, right?- though small in comparison to some cities, is largely surrounded and supported by smaller neighborhoods on every side. What has been in the works for a while is the renewal and growth of these small neighborhoods, bringing big differences and cultivating unique community culture.

charlotteOne of those areas in which I see consistent growth is Villa Heights (perimetered by North Davidson, Parkwood Ave, The Plaza and Matheson Ave.). It has been so amazing over the past 2 years to merge into the community and see it change from the inside out. What’s unique about this neighborhood, though, is that it’s not your typical gentrification scenario. When we think of “urban renewal”, we often think of higher property values, leading to higher taxes, leading to the displacement of area natives. Though some may dispute it, this is not the case in Villa Heights. Neighbors are working together to keep long standing home-owners in their homes by holding forums and working with the City of Charlotte to make sure everyone’s rights are exercised.

What’s happening is that the indigenous culture is being embraced and respected by newcomers, and in most every nook and cranny of the neighborhood, you see people rallying together for the greater good, building community across socio-economic lines that would typically divide. Neighbors are meeting together monthly to discuss positive change. Some meet nightly for dinners, open for all. Local businesses are coming together to support and take pride in the small community their a part of.

Amelie’s Bakery, located at N. Davidson and 28th, offers space free of charge for monthly meetings. Noda Brewery, located at N. Davidson and 26th (and technically in Optimist Park), host monthly Neighborhood Night Out, and often donate up to $100 at a time to the otherwise-stagnant neighborhood budget.

From an upcoming Community Garden to a neighborhood art project with local artist, Will Puckett, I look forward to seeing all the good brewing in this section of town and how it will undoubtedly spread to other similar areas across our small-town city.


Liz Eagle   Liz Eagle

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