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Checking out life on 7th Street 

The Bobcats first-ever home playoff game was such a momentous occasion it warranted my parents coming to town from Virginia for it.

Meanwhile, Charlotteans started tailgating at 10:30 a.m. for the 2 p.m. game. That's the first time I've ever seen tailgating for an NBA game. Now that's what I call team spirit, Charlotte.

That night, my parents asked me to take them to the best bar in Charlotte. But just like my mother didn't do with her four daughters, I can't pick a favorite between the vast and various Queen City bars. So, I took them to the bar readers voted as the best bar in CL's Bar Madness -- Philosopher's Stone.

There, the band One Big Love was rocking out while Charlie -- a real-life kangaroo brought in by Lazy Five Ranch -- was straight chillin'. This hipster hang-out is definitely hip to hang out at between their Wii bowling, ping-pong, cornhole, live music ... and live animals.

And this neighborhood bar neighbors Jackalope Jack's and the new second location of Ed's Tavern. 7th Street is up there with Montford Drive and College Street as avenues of entertainment. Elizabeth's nightlife is both lively and neighborly.

And yet from the best bar we get the worst pick-up line. Or whatever the hell the following conversation was ...

A dude in a pink polo and seersucker pants, whom I presume was straight off the bus from Queens Cup, abruptly approached me.

Dude: "I've heard of you. I heard you're mean."

Me: "Now THAT is mean ... I'd rather be called fat."

Dude: "Well, speaking of ... have you ever met a treadmill? I mean, just five minutes a day will do you some good."

Me: "What are you going to tell me next -- that my dimples are just cellulite on my face because my cheeks are so chubby?"

My mom and I got a good laugh out of this, so thanks, dude. She reminded me how boys used to do that to me in elementary school. And just like that, the adult playground that is a bar felt like 3rd grade recess.

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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