Reaching Out to Neighbors
It's kind of like Southern hospitality, but it's not necessarily all Southern. People are from all over. But you still have that sense of community and hospitality. Kind of like the New South.
- Mark Guthrie
On historic Dartmouth Place in Charlotte's Myers Park neighborhood, "Red Flag" parties give folks a place to talk and build community.
Dartmouth Place has attracted newcomers from all over the U.S. in recent years. It was hard to get to know everyone. When one couple mentioned the neighborhood cocktail parties they held back home in Iowa, Mary Thomsen thought it was a great idea.
Thomsen made a red flag that sported a cocktail glass. Every couple of weeks, a different home hangs the flag, signaling a Friday evening party to which all neighbors are invited.
"We had no idea who half the people were who showed up the first time," Thomsen says. "Now we know each other so well, we keep a very close eye on each other."