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Q and A with Anne Tompkins

by Anne Tompkins

November 2,2003

You are our first interviewee. How does it feel?

I’m not worthy.

How did you find your way to the Center City?

I saw friends at a party about 3 years ago who had just committed to buying a home on 9th street. They explained the concept – a mixed income neighborhood with houses, condos, apartments and subsidized housing close to uptown. It sounded like a great mixture of an old-fashioned front-porch neighborhood with new ideas of urban living. Within a week, we were standing in a hot field in the old Earle Village with the freeway on one side and uptown on the other. It was hard to visualize at first, but it has exceeded my expectations – both in how the town homes and houses blend to make a neighborhood, and how wonderful my neighbors are and the true friendships that have developed.

What’s hip and cool about life in the Garden District?

Walking uptown on a Friday night and seeing all the hustle and bustle of a city with a great nightlife; going for a Saturday morning runthrough the Square and feeling like “this is my neighborhood”; impromptu porch parties with adults and the kids safe to be outside running around like when I was a child.

Do you have a Center City hero?

The Hobson family are my Center City heroes. Ross and Trish are raising their children in an environment that shows them how to be open and give to those in need. They have truly embraced the concept of “community.” If we all did a fraction of what the Hobson’s do every day, Charlotte would be a better place. They walk the walk.

If you were Supreme Allied Commander of Charlotte for a day, what one change would you make?

I would have everyone carpool into work. It would cut in half the number of cars coming into the city. People would be forced to make connections with their neighbors. We get that in the Garden District because we spend time on our front porches. It has enriched my life. Having people make connections carpooling might just do the same around the city.

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