Maya Packard has lived in Charlotte for 10 years and in that time, she's only lived in one house in the Elizabeth neighborhood. She's on the community board, and — like so many others — she feels a connection to her slice of the Queen City.
How would you describe Elizabeth?
I would say that it is friendly and eclectic. Very community-minded. There is a strong community association that people are really involved in. I think people are really proud to be a part of this neighborhood; it actually means something to be a part of this neighborhood.
What is the most eye-catching landmark in your neighborhood?
There's that big water tower there at Seventh and Pecan [streets]. I mean, Presbyterian Hospital is sort of a landmark. I am looking forward to a time when the Elizabeth Avenue development is our landmark.
What are the top three places to shop in Elizabeth?
Royal Gardens, Cooking Uptown and Heroes Aren't Hard To Find. If you're into comic books, it's like one of the only comic book stores in Charlotte.
Top three places to eat?
Carpe Diem, for sure; Cajun Queen is kind of a classic; and Crisp. There are some other restaurants that are noteworthy: Fig Tree and CustomShop and Nolia.
Top three party spots?
Philosopher's Stone; Loft 1523 is in our neighborhood, and it's a pretty popular bar; NoFo, they have a bar and people hang out there.
What's a little-known fact about Elizabeth?
Unless you live here, you don't realize what a wide variety of people live here. We have a mix of old homes and condos. There are people who have lived here for 40 years and have been in the same place. There are a lot of young families and young singles. It really is a pretty good mix.
Where is the first place in Elizabeth you would take a newcomer?
Probably to ... Independence Park -- both sides of it. Or just walking up and down the street. I love looking at houses in our neighborhood and all the big trees. Also, the friendliness of people. There are always people out and kids out ready to say, "hi."
How has the recession changed your neighborhood?
I think that it is hitting our businesses pretty hard, and we're trying to come back at that by promoting a relationship between the residents and the businesses. We've started an e-mail listserv where Elizabeth businesses can offer discounts to just Elizabeth residents. Like anybody else, our real estate is turning over slower. People are more hesitant to move.
Why should people move to Elizabeth?
I think no matter what type of people they are, they will find a niche here. It's an open and welcoming kind of feel.
Name one downside to living in Elizabeth.
There's a lot of traffic on Seventh Street.
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