The end of the revelry.

One more day of the DNC to tell you about.

After the late-night gallivanting on Wednesday, I went back to work on Thursday morning. Because of the speech, I was going to leave at lunchtime and make my way uptown. But when it was canceled, I scrapped those plans. The more I thought about it, though, I changed my mind. I wanted to witness and be in the midst of the action. Plus, I found out that my friend Missy — who I’ve known since the Rent days when I was in college and she was in high school — was in town for the convention. I haven’t seen her in at least 7 or 8 years, when I was in New York and she was in D.C. Now I’m in Charlotte and she’s in San Diego — how times have changed. So I made plans to meet her in the afternoon before she had to go to the convention arena. (Even though the festivities didn’t really kick off until evening, capacity at the arena was a problem nearly every night, and the fire marshal ended up turning people away when the arena was too full. To guarantee entry, everyone had to start trying to get in about 3 p.m. Sheesh.)

I left work, drove pretty easily uptown and parked in the same lot as the night before. Again, the mood on the streets was electrifying. Tons of people were out and walking around, bands were playing in the middle of Tryon Street, an angry street preacher was shouting his hate from his homemade pulpit, police lazily dangled their feet over cement barricades, and dozens of sidewalk vendors hocked everything from t-shirts to buttons to hats and posters.

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On a whim.

As I was telling you, the Democratic National Convention was in town last week. I think I’m still recovering.

Delegates and tourists started to pour into the city over Labor Day weekend … while many residents of Charlotte fled. I went to dinner on Saturday night at a restaurant that is usually the place to ‘see and be seen’ any night of the week, and there were empty tables. Eerie.

The convention kicked off on Tuesday, but us regular folk had to go back to work. My commute has never been so easy — outside of the city center, Charlotte really felt like a ghost town. On Tuesday night I met a friend for dinner near uptown and just coasted through streets and lights the whole way there. We had figured it would be really busy or just totally deserted, but I wasn’t expecting that level of desertion. Luckily the restaurant did fill up, confirming that there were actually other people still in town. On the way home, I was terrified to be trapped in some sort of convention traffic but I made it without incident. That’s why watching the First Lady’s speech on tv that night was especially surreal — I knew the convention had taken over town, that all the revelry onscreen was happening right down the street. I just hadn’t seen much evidence myself yet. Continue reading

Once in a lifetime.

The story begins a couple of weeks ago. I’d had a hard week. Not at work, really … more like overbooking for social events and staying out late every night. So by Thursday I was beat. I daydreamed about sleeping in on Saturday morning, waking when I felt like it, taking Oliver on a leisurely walk and enjoying a cup of coffee on my couch.

Then Natasha emailed me. Continue reading