Charlotte, NC

12 September, 2015

We are going to The Great Smoky Mountains this weekend. The husband has booked a log cabin and I am really excited about cabin camping. We abandon our original plan of driving down and instead fly to Charlotte, NC.

Queen Charlotte

Queen Charlotte

At the airport, the airline is overbooked so they are offering one to two volunteers $600 (each) and a ticket on a longer and less convenient flight. It would mean losing the money paid for one night at the log cabin and miss seeing Charlotte, but we would still be $1000 in profit. Sadly, the offer has an “if we need” clause, that doesn’t bear fruit.

DSC_0325

Yeh mera India! I love my India!

We’ve booked a car rental, but after a short series of unfortunate events we end up hiring a car  from a different agency. We (I) pick a popular ‘soul food’ restaurant for lunch. It turns out to be terrible. We want to take a segway tour but are unable to find the place in time so we ditch it and decide to explore the place on foot. Bang in centre of The Square at Trade and Tryon, with the four historical statues representing  commerce, transportation, industry and the future, each standing about 25 feet tall, peering down at it, is an Indian festival; stalls, food, dancing – the works.

Are we at the right Charlotte?

Are we at the right Charlotte?

We walk around Charlotte for a bit; past the Wells Fargo Plaza and through The Green. The statues of children playing in the cascading fountain at the Wells Fargo Plaza captures and celebrates the exuberance of childhood. The Green is dotted with a number of fun sculptures too. My favourites are the giant books at the entrance and the the signpost pointing the mileage and direction to Charlottes throughout the world. We see the First Presbyterian Church, the Romare Bearden Park and the BB&T Ballpark next to it; we read the quotes on the walls of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and even walk around the historic  Fourth Ward Neighborhood where restored 100-plus year-old Victorian homes rub shoulders with luxury condominiums. Yet we find ourselves constantly drawn back to the festival at the square.

CharlotteAt the festival a troupe is beating dhols and doing  lezhim. The air is filled with chants of “*Jai Shivaji! Jai Bhavani!” Entertainment! Entertainment!Entertainment!

*Jai Shivaji! Jai Bhavani! – Victory to (King) Shivaji! Victory to (Goddess) Bhavani!

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