Discover Something New at Home in Charlotte

Posted Dec 17th 2013 11:00 AMUpdated Dec 20th 2013 10:52 AM

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Charlotte may always be known for big banks and NASCAR but, as celebrities like Claire Danes and Damian Lewis have discovered while filming the Showtime drama Homeland around town, there is more to this Carolina city than cash and cars.

Countless new shops, restaurants and condos have opened up, the UNCC debuted its new football stadium this spring and BB&T Ballpark in Uptown is starting to take shape (the Charlotte Knights will take the field in 2014).

A bit of bad news: The Penguin has filed for Chapter 11 so order fried pickles and PBR while you can!

New Restaurant: Baku

Baku is one of the toughest reservations in town. Japanese dishes like pork belly skewers and tea-brined duck breasts are prepared on open charcoal grills using a traditional cooking technique called robata. Although the cooking style comes from Japan, the ingredients are grown in North Carolina thanks to a partnership between chefs and local farmers.

Place to Bring a Little "Home" Home with You: The Boulevard at South End

The Boulevard at South End stocks a curated collection of clothing, accessories and keepsakes made by local artists. A few favorites: handmade soaps from Southern Soap Company, vintage post office boxes turned into gorgeous coin banks and colorful typeset maps of Charlotte.

Word on the Street

The city is buzzing about the return of the Charlotte Hornets. Locals hope reclaiming the original name for the existing NBA franchise will reinvigorate fans when the team starts shooting hoops at Time Warner Cable Arena in the 2014-2015 season. It might be the first time since the Bobcats took the court a decade ago that b-ball is a hot ticket in the Queen City.

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Jodi Helmer grows vegetables, fosters rescue dogs and works in her pajamas in a little house near a big-box retailer. When she's not writing for magazines and websites, Jodi can be found sipping chai at Smelly Cat, scouting for vintage accessories at Sleepy Poet and watching live performances at the Actor's Theatre of Charlotte.

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