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There's plenty to do in the 'P-M' 

Last Sunday morning, I woke up and felt homesick for N.Y.C. If I was still living there, I'd be joining my girls for brunch at Changos in Union Square where they offer all you can drink Bloody Marys with your Sunday brunch.

So in order to cure my homesickness I drove to Plaza Midwood and parked on Central Avenue. I walked up to Zada Jane's, that before noon had a list like an exclusive party -- even for a single spot at the bar for a freak that eats brunch alone in front of a computer (as in, me). So, I just joined the people outside waiting and playing shuffle board. I walked down to Pura Vida for some coffee with a side of art, then browsed stores with thrift treasures and Bob Marley inspired goods. I went to get a paper from the Penguin, but like most Creative Loafing stands I passed, it was empty. (Thanks PM!) I then walked down to Hong Kong (as in the store). It was a long walk from centralized Central Avenue. There, I found another bar in Charlotte: Tommy's Pub that looked more like Tommy's apartment. Rather than a welcome mat his signage reads: "Beer Only, Cans Only," but apparently he's got the coldest beer in Charlotte -- and Open Mic on Wednesdays. Meanwhile, when I really want that bottomless Bloody Mary for brunch, Snug Harbor has a Bloody Mary bar.

In addition to Tommy's apartment, there are a lot of neighborhood bars in this eclectic neighborhood I love: Thomas Street Tavern, Snug Harbor, Thirsty Beaver, Petra's Piano Bar, The Graduate, Creation, Intermezzo and, opening soon on Central, Soul Gastrolounge.

This past Saturday, I went to a "Japerican" wedding in a backyard in PM with a guest list consisting of a man in a kilt, a woman in an African tunic, hippies, rednecks and a fire-dancing bride. (See pic on qcvibes.com.)

And after that we went to Jackalope Jacks. (OK, so technically the bar-rant is in Elizabeth, but it is moving to the old Steeple building in PM next year -- close enough.) Jacks is divided off into sections: jukebox and karaoke. I played one song on the jukebox and it cost me a dollar ... that would be OK if I got to put it on my iPod. It was crowded, with the post game influx and the crowd you'd see on Media Night at Gin Mill. We spent the entire night playing Wordster and Photo Hunt because these dudes just kept giving us quarters. I wasn't sure if they were flirting, or making sure we'd ignore everyone in the bar by enthralling ourselves into the computer screen. Now that's game.

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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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