NoDa is an arts district in Charlotte. Its name is a blend of "NOrth DAvidson", after the district's main street. Originally a mill village that operated almost independently of Charlotte, it became a haven of poverty and vice in the middle of the 20th Century. In the past 20 years it has been redeveloped as a home of the arts, as well as one of Charlotte's best-preserved historic districts.
Most visitors will arrive in NoDa by means of car or bus. From the central district, take North Davidson street outbound. Generally the district is considered to run along N. Davidson between 30th and 36th. The #3 and #23 city buses stop at Davidson and 36th.
NoDa is recognized as Charlotte's primary arts district. There are numerous art and craft galleries to be found in the district.
Center of the Earth Gallery, 3204 N. Davidson St., 704-375-5756, [www.centeroftheearth.com]. Mondays by appointment only, T-F 11-5, Sa 12-5. Probably Charlotte's best-known gallery, and one of the cornerstones of the arts district. Provides corporate art to numerous major corporations, and represents several dozen artists of significance. Worth a look, though the prices may put off casual buyers.
Green Rice Designs & Studio, 451 E. 36th St., 704-344-0300, [www.green-rice.com]. Features an exceptional collection of various media, likely to appeal to a variety of buyers. Hosts frequent receptions and other social events, which tie in well to the district's gallery crawls. The Green Rice studio is closely affiliated with two other collections -- The Boulevard and the Milkweed Collection -- which operate nearby and specialize in decor and apparel.
Hart Witzen Gallery, 136 E. 36th St., 704-334-1177, . The gallery is rented for use by various artists, giving it a constantly changing clientele. Features a wide variety of exhibitions and performances, and tends to be rather avante-garde in nature.
The ArtHouse Center for Creative Expression, 3103 Cullman Ave, 704-962-9700, [www.NoDaArts.com].
BEET Contemporary Crafts and Function Art, 2302-A N. Davidson St., 704-334-3558, [www.beetonline.com]. Specializes in functional arts and crafts, including pottery and metalwork. Tu-F 11-5, Sa 12-5 and by appointment.
The Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., 704-376-3737, [www.TheEveningMuse.com]. A combination of music venue, cafe, and art gallery, the Evening Muse is not to be missed. Occupying the key corner at Davidson and 36th St., it is one of the best-reputed establishments in the area. A very strong schedule of performances and exhibitions keeps it active throughout the week. W & Th 6pm - 12am, F & Sa 6pm - until.
Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., 704-358-9298, [www.neighborhoodtheatre.com]. Once an adult movie theater, this has become a major player in Charlotte's music scene. With a seating capacity of just under 1,000, it is both intimate and edgy. Hosts an extremely broad variety of acts, from bluegrass to punk and just about everything in between.
Wine Up, 3306-C N. Davidson St. (upstairs from Boudreaux's and Neighborhood Theatre), 704-372-2633, [www.wine-up.com]. Upscale wine bar featuring billiards and live entertainment. Non-smoking, relaxed atomosphere.
By and large, Noda's stores are hip and artsy, making for a great casual shopping scene.
Also, the first and third Friday of each month is reserved for a district-wide gallery crawl (which really has the atmosphere of a pub crawl). Local establishments usually coordinate their events to coincide with these larger crowds.
Fabric Art, 3448 N. Davidson St., 704-423-0336, [www.b3designsolutions.com].
Lyncrist Calligraphy Studio, 3460 N. Davidson St., 704-344-0070, [www.lyncrist.com].
MAMALU Antique and Specialty Shop, 3120 N. Davidson St. Suite 100, 704-332-3686, [www.mamaluantique.com].
The Natural Voice, 3452 N. Davidson St., 704-332-0555, .
Real Eyes Bookstore, 3306-A N. Davidson St, 704-377-8989, [www.realeyesbookstore.com].
Sunshine Daydreams, 3225 N. Davidson St., 704-332-4367, [www.charlottesmusic.com].
Boudreaux's, 501 E. 36th St., 704-331-9898, [www.boudreauxs.com]. Cajun cuisine in a jazzy atomosphere. A very solid beer menu and excellent entrees make Boudreaux's a standout citywide. Also features live music on a regular basis.
Mellow Mushroom, 3228 N. Davidson St., 704-377-2422, [www.mellowmushroom.com]. Atlanta-based pizza restaurant with solid fare and a lively atomosphere. Located in a large Victorian home with art-themed decor.
Cabo Fish Taco, 3201 N. Davidson St., 704-332-8868, . California-style take on coastal Baja fare. Fun and affordable, representing a cuisine that gets little exposure elsewhere in Charlotte.
Addie's Jamaican Cuisine, 3116 N. Davidson St., 704-331-0047. Offers daily lunch specials and a colorful menu of Carribbean fare.
Dog Bar, 3307 N. Davidson St., 704-370-3595, [www.dogbarnoda.com]. The only place in Charlotte where your pet and your nightlife come together. It's exactly what it sounds like: a bar that is friendly to canine "guests". Pet membership costs $10, and the scene is regulated to allow for safety and civility (no kids allowed, for instance). But where else can you have a Corona with your Chihuahua?
The Smelly Cat, 514 E. 36th St., 704-374-9656, [www.smellycatcoffee.com]. One of the city's better coffeehouses and a great perch for people-watching. Open till midnight on weekends to accomodate the after-concert crowds, but also early enough to be a good hangover-busting option.
Strangely, there are no hotels of significance in this district. The nearest hotels of significance are about a mile away off Independence Blvd. Also, visitors staying Uptown are only a few minutes' drive away and generally have no problem locating NoDa.