It feels great to be turning 5!
I will admit that there were plenty of times during the last half-decade in business as Queen City Nerve that I wasn’t so sure that we’d make it, as we flew by the seat of our pants fueled by nothing but a dream.
Now as we celebrate our fifth anniversary this December, we have finally settled into a rhythm, and there’s nothing else I could imagine doing with my life. There is no better way to connect with community than to plug into it daily as a part of my job.
It’s only right that we celebrate five years by celebrating the best this city has to offer with our fifth annual Best in the Nest issue.
In the end, the entire goal of our newspaper is to share the stories of our city that deserve to be told, and Best in the Nest is the perfect opportunity to look back on the previous year to highlight the beautiful culture that our city’s residents have cultivated.
I am hugely inspired by putting this issue together each year; it helps put things into perspective as we head into the new year.
As We Rock Charlotte founder Krystle Baller recently told me, “Best in the Nest is such a great way to see what the year has brought us in Charlotte and who is out there making moves.”
Baller added, “I love this city. If someone says ‘BuT CHaRLoTTe HaZ No CuLtUreee,’ I throw a QC Nerve at them.”
And that’s really what the Best in the Nest boils down to. To say that there’s nothing to do in Charlotte is to admit that you’re not trying to find anything to do. Pick up a Queen City Nerve on any given week and you’ll find a plethora of awesome opportunities for a good time. We’re here to share those with you to do with as you wish, but don’t pretend they don’t exist.
That brings me to an important point I try to make in this Editor’s Note every year, which is that the Best in the Nest is not about gatekeeping. Because I get it: Who the hell are we to tell you what is better than something else?
That’s why I think of this issue as more of a year-end guide to everything that we thought was awesome about 2023 as a team of journalists who make it our mission to spend all year seeking out such things.
We also brought on three new staffers this year, including staff writer Annie Keough and digital manager Rayne Antrim, both of whom have made my life incredibly easier. Now we are looking forward to growing further in the new year, telling more stories and connecting with more of our readers out there.
It’s been nothing but a privilege to do this job over the last five years, and I can’t wait to get back at it in 2024, telling Charlotte’s stories — the good, the bad and the ugly.
So here’s a huge shout out to all the folks who make Best in the Nest possible — those who contributed, those who did the reporting that contributors pulled from, those who provided the visuals, and most of all, those who shared their stories with us in 2023. Thank you.
Best in the Nest Contributors: Pat Moran, Annie Keough, Rayne Antrim, Dezanii Lewis, Timothy DePeugh, Aerin Spruill, Sam Spencer, Kallie Cox, Larken Egleston, and Liz Logan.
Plus reporting from: Tyler Bunzey, Heather Mims, Liz Bertrand, Matt Cosper, Darrell Horwitz, Perry Tannenbaum, Jasiatic Anderson, Katie Grant, Hailey Knutsen and Jonathan Golian.
And photos from: Grant Baldwin, Toby Shearer, Peter Zay, Karie Simmons, Jake Yount, Rico Marcelo, Lora Denton, Steven Pilker, Darian Carlos, Jake Rothwell, Kat Osygus, Alvin C. Jacobs Jr., Connor Schlosser, Herman Nicholson, Camille Weiss, Juan Ricardo Yilo, Jonathan Golian, Joel Tracey, Tyler Bunzey, Julia Fay, Peter Taylor, Ashley Frisk, Sam Spencer, Timothy DePeugh, Huck Broley, Taylor McKenzie Gerlach, Aerin Spruill, Kenty Chung, Jim Dukes, Lydia Bittner-Baird, Hector Cruz, Dionna Bright, Laurence Logan, Tom Topinka, Perry Tannenbaum, Hailey Knutsen, Josh Taggart, Paul C Rivera, Samantha Council, Gloria Zavaleta, Quincy Woodard, Jon Megna, Sarah Devoti, Andrew Kingsley, Claudio Ortiz, Jess the Rookie, Enowen Studio, Jenn Mott Redd, Puck Byrne, Daniel Coston, Amber Kelly, Tommy Cary, Lou Vacquie, Dylan Wachman, Genevieve Moore and Taylor Montalto.
There are many more folks who have contributed to our publication and helped us out over the past year and I’m appreciative to each and every one of them. Here’s to a kick-ass 2024.
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