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Old 04-13-2007, 10:55 AM
46 posts, read 180,558 times
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There is a Unitarian Church in South Charlotte on Sharon-Amity Road. I have lots of friends who are members of this church. The church frequently sponsors vegetarian dinners. This area is known as Cotswold. There are new homes being built in the area, including one new development called Whitby Pond which is right down the road - within walking distance in fact. These are craftsman-style homes that are in the $450k range. If you don't have to have new construction, there are many nice, quality built homes from the '50's and '60's which have been remodeled that are in your price range. With these hoomes, you will get a much better yard. These areas are not designed communities, but you can join a local swim and tennis club. In fact, Charlotte Swim & Racquet Club is a mile away from Whitby Pond
and they have tennis courts and a large pool, swim teams, lessons, etc. There is an initiation fee (probably between $1500-$2000) to join and then an annual fee of a few hundred dollars. We belonged until our children stopped going. Other neighborhood swim clubs within a reasonable distance are Foxcroft East, Sardis Swim and Racquet and Old Foxcroft (the latter being the most expensive to join).

Within walking distance of Whitby Pond is Cotswold Elementary and Randolph Middle School. The Middle school is an IB/Padaeia magnet school. The area is zoned for Myers Park high, which is ranked one of the top high schools in the county.

This area is appx 5-6 miles from downtown Charlotte and a 15-20 minute commute. You have Cotswold Village Shopping Center for groceries, drugstores, book stores and a Marshalls and Stein Mart as well as Starbucks, etc. A new Earthfare will be opening in the Southpark area (3 miles away) sometime this year, and we are supposed to get a Whole Foods Market in 2008, but we've been waiting for 2 years already and I don't think they are coming!

For fresh produce, your best best is the Matthews Farmer's Market which operates seasonally on Saturday mornings. It is about an 8 mile (15-20 minute) drive. This market features organic, local produce. There is also the King's Market near downtown, but this is not organic and much is trucked in. The biggest market is the Regional Farmer's Market which is open almost year-round on Tues-Sat - about 8 miles and 20 minutes away. There is a mix of organic/traditionally farmed produce, some local stuff and much truck in. Other "health food" stores in the area are Talley's (5 miles) and The Home Economist (also appx 5 miles)

I have lived in Charlotte for 15 years, and from what I know about Unitarians (my aunt was one) and your beliefs/positions, the inner ring of Charlotte would be the best area for you in terms of finding people who share your beliefs. Most of the folks I know who belong to the church live within 5 miles of it. Many send their kids to Piedmont Open Midle (an IB/Open Tradition Magnet) and then Northwest school of the Arts, but there are also kids who go to the more traditional schools.

Also, if you are interested and have heard of it, there is a Slow Food USA group in Charlotte (I am a member). This group encourages conscientious agriculture, consumptions of local goods, etc. Check out the Slow Foods USA website for more info if you've never heard of it. Some of the local members are also Unitarians.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by hazardnc; 04-13-2007 at 11:00 AM.. Reason: errors
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Old 04-13-2007, 11:27 AM
46 posts, read 180,558 times
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Sadly, Greenville, SC or Winston-Salem, NC as of now! It is shocking we don't have one yet, but after you see Earthfare, you probably won't mind too much. Our local grocery stores are stocking more and more organic and health food products in order to compete with Earthfare and the threat of Whole Foods.

If and when Whole Foods finally arrives (I have been told it is a definite) it will be in the Elizabeth area, which is about 3 miles closer to downtown than Cotswold and a straight shot up Randolph Road.

I forgot to mention - as far as vegetarian restaurants, there are few (the Woodlands for all vegetarian Indian food) the Peaceful Dragon and Talleys (not a restaurant, but a cafe in the store). But you can find some decent vegetarian options nearby. A new sushi place opened on Sharon-Amity if you allow yourself to eat fish. In the Plaza-Midwood area, the Penguin and Dish feature vegetarian options. Vegan restaurant choices are truly limited - I think Peaceful Dragon is your best bet there. But that is a drive from here (probably 10 miles) and not really a restaurant either. The place teaches martial/Asian arts, meditation, etc and has a cafe. I have heard it's good, though.
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Old 04-13-2007, 11:35 AM
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I guess so - when I went to the UUA website, I didn't see any other congregations within the greater Charlotte area. The next closest I think was in Hickory which is quite a drive. I should say, depending on where yo ulive in Union County, the Sharon-Amity location wouldn't be horrible. We are about 13 miles from Waxhaw I think. Huntersville - forget it!
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Old 04-13-2007, 11:38 AM
Location: Downtown Raleigh
1,577 posts, read 2,705,884 times
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Default Thanks!

Thank you so much, hazardnc. That was great information. I appreciate your help!
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Old 04-13-2007, 12:17 PM
46 posts, read 180,558 times
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Originally Posted by new2it View Post
Yowza! 700 or somethin churches and one unitarian? Dang.

Is there anything we should assume about how unitarians are regarded then? If it isn't popular enough or all these other denominations have more money?

Sorry to OP for the derail!!
I can't really say why the congregation is so small. I could guess that part of this is that we are in the South, and so you will find more Methodists and Baptists here than any other group. I don't think they are "shunned" in any way.

Thinking about this made me remember an incident that occurred with may daughter over 10 years ago at her birthday party. We had several kids, some who were Jewish, some Christian and one who is Unitarian. The Unitarian invited my daughter to go to services with her one weekend. The mother of the Jewish kid pulled me aside, obviously freaked out, and wanted to make sure I knew what was going on. I think many people have no idea what Unitarians believe in!

My family is not religious. In fact, we have never been to a church service in Charlotte. All of our friends and neighbors know this. While some might secretly feel sorry for us (I know one neighbor who worries) no one avoids us or our kids.

Truly, the friends I know who belong to the Unitarian church here are truly wonderful, caring, socially conscious people (and socially liberal - though not rabid) and if that's they way you are, you will have plenty of friends.
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