Note: This is the second installment of our Rockin’ the Suburbs series. Find the first about Sardis Road N and Monroe Road here.
I live near uptown now, but I make the weekly pilgrimage back to south Charlotte to see my parents. I also jump on the chance to get some necessary shopping done and see how the area where I grew up continues to grow up on its own.
Start with my three favorite places at The Piper Glen Shops at the Rea Road/Bevington Place intersection:
6420 Rea Rd.
– When you walk in and inhale, you smell/taste and are intoxicated by this aromatic blend of sweet raisins, fresh bread, cinnamon and cake.
“That’s the cinnamon chip bread,” Ibbie Alexander informed me from behind the counter when I started sniffing. But then there are these Turtle Bars.
– Both bakery items and freshly made sandwiches are available for order at the counter.
– The side wall is lined with specialty items from local vendors in North and South Carolina as well.
– I’m coming back for you, Groovy Granola.
6416 Rea Rd., B-9
– This place throws my gardening dreams into a frenzy even though I can’t make a plant thrive on my balcony to save my life. Wind chimes, bird feeders, gurgling fountains, endless garden decorations.
– While I was gawking at the gadgets and gizmos, owner Carol Buie-Jackson told me that bird seed is actually the biggest seller here. She said it’s to her shoppers what milk and eggs are to grocery shoppers.
– Meanwhile, I dream of these quote boards made of recycled tobacco barn wood in my future zen garden.
– Parking galore! Free activities (like walking)! Flowers!
– Bonus points: There is a navigational tool called a map available. So you don’t get lost.
– Jogging? There are strategically placed mile markers so you can shame yourself into going just a little farther.
– There is bountiful fresh air. Paradise. A portal to an unexpected realm of vitality. Contemplative bridges.
– Mark Ballas Dance and Performing Arts, 6420 Rea Rd., B-5: President Sabrina Berg said that by dancing, “you’re in tune with everything.”
– Olive This! The store, featuring olive oils and balsamic vinegars, is celebrating its three-year anniversary with special deals like $12 twin gift packs of olive oil.
– Run For Your Life, 6416 Rea Rd: There’s so much colorful merchandise bursting inside the windows and on the sidewalk rack I can’t handle it.
– Trader Joe’s, 6418 Rea Rd.: This used to be a Harris Teeter. And unlike the Metropolitan’s panic-attack-inducing parking deck, there is plenty of parking in front of the store and in the back. You can relax now.
Short driving distance:
– Amelie’s Carmel Commons, 7715 Pineville Matthews Rd. Space 34B: Wine, pastries and elegant coffees.
– Riccio’s Pizza Villa, 9213 Baybrook Ln.: I grew up eating this pizza takeout style. Pull out the paper plates and the Parmesan.
I’ll see you in the suburbs.
Katie Toussaint @katietoussaint