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Dear Readers

by Michael Carson

May 3,2004

If you have read this magazine over the past months, you have undoubtedly grown accustomed to reading spirited and engaging articles on a variety of topics concerning life in Charlotte. I apologize because this column may let you down.

Let me explain. This will be last column for Charlotte ViewPoint (at least for a while). I am leaving the City to embark on a new journey. So instead of tackling a pressing community issue or detailing a positive new trend, I will reflect on what I will miss most about Charlotte and what I would like the City to have become by the time I return.

What will I miss? Let me see. I’ll miss glasses of wine at Cuvee, dinner at Town, and Sunday brunch at Bistro 100, which I love to follow with a show at the Blumenthal. While I’m discussing food, let me tell you that I will definitely miss the vegetarian burgers on Texas toast at Alexander Michael’s – they are simply outstanding!

What I’ll miss most, though, is Charlotte’s confident swagger, her intelligence, her youthful exuberance and the stories she tells. At times, Charlotte is a lot like the little kid who insists on racing against the big kids. Like that little kid, this city isn’t afraid to stand up, put down her foot, and say to others, “here I am.” At other times, the City is like that grandparent who sits on the porch telling stories about how things used to be. History is important to Charlotte. We are lucky to have numerous people in the City who dedicate their free time to ensuring that history is preserved.

This city is growing and, fortunately, it is filled with intelligent persons who are willing to guide it through the growing process. The wonderful thing about Charlotte is that it’s young enough to still be impressionable. The City offers a concerned person plenty of opportunities to influence the direction of the City’s growth.

When I return, I hope the City still has its youthful spirit and charm, and is still willing to listen to, and accept, thoughtful opinions and criticism. I hope the City still has a story to tell. In fact, I hope that the story is better – future growth must embrace diversity and the preservation of history. Charlotte cannot grow in a vacuum. It must strive to create a better mix of cultures and beliefs in all areas of the City, and, likewise, it must maintain a good mix of old and new.

I believe Charlotte will remain strong and driven, and five years from now will be an even better place to live than it is today. I’ve grown in this city and, therefore, I hope that we cross paths again in the very near future. For now, though, to everyone, I need to say goodbye and good luck.

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