May 2016

Final City Walks this weekend: Retro Uptown and Rail Trail Slow Ride

Tom Hanchett, center, on a 2016 City Walk near Johnson C. Smith University. Photo: Amy Hawn Nelson

NEW: GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR IDEAS YOU COME UP WITH ON A CITY WALK

Get to know your neighbors and discover neighborhood stories by leading or taking part in a City Walk. City Walks are a series of free neighborhood walks—walking conversations—that put people in touch with their community and their neighbors. Do you have an interest in a neighborhood where you live, work or hang out? You can lead a walk, offering a personal take on local culture, social history, and issues. City Walks will take place throughout May 2016.

SCHEDULED WALKS


TIPS FOR LEADING A WALK

  • Think of a place you’d like to tour or share.
  • Plan a route with 6 to 8 stops—a route you can cover in about an hour.
  • Stops can be green spaces, neighborhood landmarks, unusual features, refurbished buildings, sculptures, historic homes, etc.
  • Focus on unique details or stories. Get others involved. Invite neighbors, friends, elected officials or anyone interested in learning about your neighborhood.
  • Contact us if you would like assistance planning and organizing.
  • Final tip: Have fun.

Volunteer to lead a City Walk


TIPS FOR TAKING PART IN A WALK

  • Be curious. Participate.
  • Ask questions, offer insights, share anecdotes.
  • Check the weather and dress appropriately. Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Explore a neighborhood you know well, or explore a neighborhood that’s new to you.
  • Have fun. City Walks are meant to be casual and comfortable.

Click here to RSVP to attend a walk


IS THIS JUST A CHARLOTTE THING?

City Walks are part of a national and global celebration—known as Jane Jacobs Walks or Jane's Walks—of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs, a famous neighborhood champion who lived in New York and later in Toronto. Born on May 4, 1916, 100 years ago this year, Jane Jacobs was a writer, activist and urban thinker who championed a community-based approach to city building, based on what she observed taking place in her neighborhood, Greenwich Village. She saw cities as ecosystems that had their own logic and dynamism which would change over time according to how they were used. She promoted higher density in cities, short blocks, local economies and mixed uses.

Scorned at the time—the 1960s—by many professional planners, architects and city officials, Jacobs’ books and ideas are now routinely taught in planning and architecture schools.

WANT A HAND PLANNING A WALK IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?

Contact us for assistance. We can help with planning, research and publicity, or give you an experienced walk “mentor” to work with you.

Contact:

The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute is organizer for City Walks 2016 in Charlotte, with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

OTHER RESOURCES


SCHEDULED WALKS

Charlotte Neighborhood Walking Tour: Elizabeth

When: Friday, April 22, 6 p.m.

What: Join neighborhood leader Nancy Albert and the Charlotte Museum of History as we highlight some favorite spots in the historic Elizabeth neighborhood. Elizabeth is Charlotte’s second streetcar suburb and the location of the city’s first public park. The neighborhood was home to residents who made a listing impression on the city. We will begin and end the walk at Earl’s Grocery with a reception following. Due to its popularity, this walk is full.

Location: The group will meet at 1609 Elizabeth Avenue.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs, bicycles, and seniors.

Parking: Parking is available along Elizabeth Avenue.


Explore Enderly

When: Saturday, April 30, 2 p.m.

What: Join walk leader Greg Jarrell and community members as we highlight some favorite neighborhood spots in Enderly Park, discuss the markers of history in the neighborhood and look at some great examples of preserved housing from the 1920s through the 1950s. Walk highlights will include the site of the old Lakewood Amusement Park, the S.B. Alexander homesite, the neighborhood commercial center, and QC Family Tree.

Location: The group will meet in the gravel lot at the corner of Tuckaseegee Road and Parkway Avenue.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs, bicycles, seniors, and children.

Parking: Parking is available at the Bette Rae Thomas Center, 2921 Tuckaseegee Road.


Munching Tour No. 1 in East Charlotte

When: Friday, May 6, 4-6 p.m.

What: Visit a Nepali grocery, enjoy an Ethiopian coffee ceremony, eat a Palestinian feast and finish with Syrian pastries— All in a single east Charlotte spot. Hosted by Charlotte Observer “Food From Home” columnist Tom Hanchett. This walk is limited to 15 attendees. An RSVP to Claire Apaliski (capalisk@uncc.edu) is required to reserve your spot. Due to its popularity, this walk is full.

Location: 3113 N. Sharon Amity Road

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs and seniors.

Parking: Parking is available in the shopping center at 3113 N. Sharon Amity Road.


Charlotte Neighborhood Walking Tour of NoDa

When: Saturday, May 7, 10:30 a.m.

What: Join neighborhood leaders Matt and Michele Lemere and the Charlotte Museum of History for a walking tour of the NoDa neighborhood. Learn about the now-eclectic arts district and community that began as a mill village. The tour will begin and end at Heist brewery with a reception following. Due to its popularity, this walk is full.

Location: 2909 N. Davidson St.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs and seniors.

Parking: Parking is available along North Davidson Street and adjacent side streets.


Charlotte Neighborhood Walking Tour of NoDa

When: Saturday, May 7, 11 a.m.

What: Join neighborhoods  leader Eric Hoenes and Erik Schalburg and the Charlotte Museum of History for a walking tour of the NoDa neighborhood. Learn about the now-eclectic arts district and community that began as a mill village. The tour will begin and end at Heist Brewery with a reception following. Due to its popularity, this walk is full.

Location: 2909 N. Davidson St.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs and seniors.

Parking: Parking is available along North Davidson Street and adjacent side streets.


Walking Tour of Johnson C. Smith University and nearby neighborhood

When: Saturday, May 7, 1-3 p.m.

What: Join us for a walking tour of Johnson C. Smith University and the nearby vicinity, with neighborhood resident Ruth Smith McDonald, artist Jamil Steele, and historian Tom Hanchett of Levine Museum of the New South. The walk will view the history mural Jamil Steele helped create. The walk is being held in partnership with the We Walk Together initiative of Mecklenburg Ministries.

Location: The group will meet at First Baptist Church West, 1801 Oaklawn Ave.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to bicycles, seniors, children.

Parking: Parking is available in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church West.


Walking Tour of Hebrew Cemetery and Brightwalk

When: Sunday, May 8, 1-2:30 p.m.

What: One of Charlotte’s oldest, most fascinating burial grounds and one of its newest, most exciting in-city neighborhoods are right next to each other on Statesville Ave. Brian Yesowitch of Temple Beth El will co-lead the walk with Tom Hanchett of Levine Museum Museum of the New South. This walk is being held in partnership with the We Walk Together initiative of Mecklenburg Ministries.

Location:1801 Statesville Ave.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to bicycles, seniors, and children.

Parking: Limited parking is available the cemetery.


The Good the Bad and the Ugly: Urban Design in Charlotte's South End

When: Sunday, May 8, 2-3 p.m.

What: Join David Walters, a professor in urban design, for a walk around Charlotte’s South End neighborhood. This six-block walk demonstrates what's good and bad about the new urban development that is transforming many of Charlotte's close-in neighborhoods, and answers some questions about how and why this happens and how the quality of redevelopment can be improved. The walk will begin at the Common Market courtyard off the north end of Camden Road (or its former site if it's been demolished before the date of the walk). Walk south on Camden and the Rail Trail as far as the Aston apartments. The walk ends on the terrace of Big Ben pub in Atherton Mill. Due to its popularity, this walk is full.

Location: The group will meet in the Common Market courtyard at 1515 S. Tryon St.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs, bicycles, seniors, and children.

Parking: Parking is available in the Common Market parking lot and along Camden Road.


The Stories of Hebrew Cemetery

When: Sunday, May 8, 3-4:30 p.m.

What: Enjoy a walk with Brian Yesowitch offering up stories of notable Charlotteans who rest in Hebrew Cemetery. The cemetery dates back to 1867. You’ll hear about best-selling author and civil rights activist Harry Golden, discover civic leaders and learn about civil war soldier Corp. Louis Leon, author of Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier, who is buried here.

Location:1801 Statesville Ave.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to bicycles, seniors, children.

Parking: Limited parking is available the cemetery.


Plaza Midwood History Stroll

When: Monday, May 9, 6:30-7:45 p.m.

What: Wander through one of Charlotte’s unique neighborhoods, steeped with history – Plaza Midwood, with historian Tom Hanchett. Co-sponsored by the Carolina Room of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Due to its popularity, this walk is full.

Location: The group will meet at the Plaza Midwood public library branch located at 1623 Central Ave.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs, bicycles, seniors, and children.

Parking: Parking is available in the library parking lot.


Charlotte Neighborhood Walking Tour - Dilworth

When: Friday, May 13, 6 p.m.

What: Join us for an hour walking tour of the Dilworth neighborhood, Charlotte's first streetcar suburb. Industrialist Edward Dilworth Latta developed the neighborhood, then outside Charlotte city's limits, during the 1890s. Walk is co-sponsored by the Charlotte Museum of History. Due to its popularity, this walk is full.

Location: Meet outside Big Ben's British Restaurant, 2000 South Blvd. Suite 150

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs, bicycles, seniors, and children.

Parking: Parking is available at 2000 South Blvd.


South End / Dilworth Bike Tour

When: Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m.

What: Join us for a slow paced ride through the South End and Dilworth neighborhoods as we stop to discuss historic homes and structures listed by the Charlotte Historic Landmarks Commission as Designated Historic properties. The ride will include several brief stops and highlights include the 1895 Park Manufacturing Co. building, the 1901 Villalonga-Alexander House, the 1897 Gautier-Gilchrist House, where we will hear from the owners about the long-time ghost residents and efforts to exorcise, and the 1927 Randolph Scott House. Participants are invited to continue the conversations at Pike’s Old Fashioned Soda Shop following the ride.

Location: Meet outside Pike’s Old Fashioned Soda Shop, 1930 Camden Rd.

Accessibility: This tour is for bikes only. Participants must bring their own bike and helmet.

Parking: Parking is available along Camden Rd.

For additional information, please contact Chris Hudson at cahudson@concentric.net or (704) 295-6407 (weekdays).


Charlotte Neighborhood Walking Tour of Elizabeth

When: Saturday, May 14, 11 a.m.

Join neighborhood leader Nancy Albert and others for a walking tour of the historic Elizabeth neighborhood. Elizabeth is Charlotte’s second streetcar suburb and is the location of the city’s first public park. Many residents who have made lasting impressions on the city have called Elizabeth home. Due to its popularity, this walk is full.

Location: The group will meet at Earl’s Grocery, 1609 Elizabeth Ave.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs, bicycles, seniors, and children.Parking: Parking is available along Elizabeth Avenue. The location is accessible via the CityLYNX Gold Line at the Elizabeth Ave & Hawthorne stop.


We Walk Together

When: Sunday, May 15, 8:30 a.m.

We Walk Together, a monthly program in association with Mecklenburg Ministries, gathers diverse folks who walk and chat to learn about each other and their city. Join us at Little Rock AME Zion Church in Center City for 2.28 mile roundtrip walk to St. Paul Baptist, 1401 Allen Street in the Belmont neighborhood.

Location: The group will meet at Little Rock AME Zion Church, 401 N. McDowell Street on the corner of 7th St.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to bicycles, seniors, and children. Please note, it is a fairly brisk paced walk and recommended for those able to keep pace.

Parking: Parking is available along North McDowell Street, East 8th Street and North Myers Street.  Please be courteous to church members and refrain from parking in the church lot.

For additional information, please call.704-942-4346 or email WeWalkTogetherCharlotte@gmail.com


Munching Tour No. 2 in East Charlotte

When: Wednesday, May 18, 4-6 p.m.

What: Visit a Nepali grocery, enjoy an Ethiopian coffee ceremony, eat a Palestinian feast and finish with Syrian pastries—All in a single east Charlotte spot. Hosted by Charlotte Observer “Food From Home” columnist Tom Hanchett. This walk is limited to 15 attendees. An RSVP to Claire Apaliski (capalisk@uncc.edu) or Mary Newsom (mnewsom@uncc.edu) is required to reserve your spot. 

Location: 3113 N. Sharon Amity Road

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs and seniors.

Parking: Parking is available in the shopping center at 3113 N. Sharon Amity Road.


The Transformation of Place: University City and Transit-Oriented Development

When: Saturday, May 21, 10 a.m.

What: As the opening of the LYNX Blue Line Extension (BLE) approaches, University City will be shaped by the new development along the BLE. Join us as we walk from Boardwalk Billy's, in the Shoppes at University Place, and highlight BLE improvements, strategies to modernize the suburban shopping centers adjacent to the J.W. Clay Station and discuss how UNC Charlotte will become more connected to surrounding shops, restaurants and offices.

Location: Meet outside Boardwalk Billy’s, 9005 JM Keynes Drive

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to children and seniors.

Parking: Parking is available in the shopping center, 9005 JM Keynes Drive

For additional information, please contact Tobe Holmes at tholmes@universitycitypartners.org or (843) 345-7709.


Stroll Along Little Sugar Creek Greenway

When: Saturday, May 21, 10-11:30 a.m.

What: Enjoy a short stroll with landscape architect Beth Poovey of LandDesign and Gwen Cook of Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation, who led in the creation and design of this marvelous space. Explore ecology, design and history … and maybe even glimpse a blue heron along the waterway.

Location: The group will meet at the Jane Wilkes statue at 1401 East Morehead St. and Harding Place.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs, bicycles, seniors, and children.

Parking: Limited parking is available along Harding Place (be aware of construction), and Greenwood Cliff Road


A Walk on the West Side: Irwin Creek Greenway at Arbor Glen, Clanton Park and Revolution Park

When: Saturday, May 21, 10-12:00 p.m.

Join Revolution Park community leader John Howard for a walking tour highlighting 3 west side neighborhoods and the contiguous system of public spaces linked by bike routes and a greenway that joins them. Over the years, the system was developed by different groups including Charlotte DOT and Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. The walk will begin at Arbor Glen Recreation Center and end at Revolution Park Sports Academy. It will highlight community landmarks such as a community garden, influential community members, and discuss how the original community was developed from the 1920s through the 1960s.

Location: The group will meet at the Arbor Glen Recreation Center, 1520 Clanton Rd, Charlotte.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs, bicycles, seniors, and children.

Parking: Parking is available at the Arbor Glen Recreation Center.


Uptown Modern

When: Tuesday, May 24, 4:00 p.m.

Join John Boyer, president and CEO of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, for a tour of uptown architecture, with an emphasis on Modern architecture, in connection with with the museum's current exhibit, The House That Modernism Built (#THTMB). After the tour, participants may continue the conversation at an informal gathering at a nearby uptown venue to be determined. Due to its popularity, this walk is full.

Location: Meet in the lobby of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, 420 S. Tryon St.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs and seniors.

Parking: Paid parking is available at the Levine Center for the Arts parking garage, located below the Duke Energy Center, 550 South Tryon Street.  The visitor entrance is accessible via West Stonewall Street.  Additional paid parking is available at many nearby lots and decks. Metered parking is available along South Tryon Street, along West First Street and along other nearby streets. Heed hourly restrictions, as many on-street spots are restricted 4-6 p.m. Meters are free after 6 p.m.

The museum is accessible via the CATS LYNX. From the LYNX Stonewall station, follow East Stonewall Street west and make a right onto South Tryon Street. Multiple buses also serve uptown. Routes available at ridetransit.org.


Retro Uptown Charlotte Walk

When: Saturday, May 28, 1-3 p.m.

What: Walk with Retro Charlotte blogger and Charlotte Observer librarian Maria David, heading west on West Trade Street and return to the starting point. Old photos from the 1920s-1930s will compare then and now at sites such as the federal courthouse, now-demolished hotels, bus stations, with a few memories of the seedier side of the city. Due to its popularity, this walk is full.

Location: The group will meet on the sidewalk in front of First Presbyterian Church, 200 W. Trade St.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs, bicycles, seniors, and children.

Parking: Parking is available along Trade Street. Travel by LYNX Blue Line to the Transportation Center, then head 3 blocks west on Trade Street. Bus routes converge on the Transportation Center.


Sunday Slow Rider’s Bike Tour

When: Sunday, May 29, 2 p.m.

What: Join us for a special edition of the Sunday Slow Ride with bike leaders Pamela Murray and Katie Zager, as the group explores the Blue Line and the Blue Line Extension. We will ride 10-15 miles at an easy pace with several stops to talk about the development that has occurred along the light rail corridor. Participants must bring their own bike and helmet.

Location: The group will meet at Legion Brewing located at 1906 Commonwealth Ave.

Accessibility: This tour is for bikes only. Participants must bring their own bike and helmet.

Parking: Parking is available along Commonwealth Ave.


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IMAGES FROM PREVIOUS CITY WALKS

Sometimes the walks are on bicycle, like this 2015 tour of Plaza Midwood, led by Katie Zater, in pink at read. Photo: John Zager
During a 2015 walk in east Charlotte, participants explored a Middle Eastern restaurant on Sharon Amity Road. Photo: Tom Hanchett
All ages welcome. In 2013, Monica Holmes brought then-baby Laurel. Photo: Mary Newsom
A 2013 walk through South End was capped off with a visit to a nearby pub. Photo: Mary Newsom