Let the Party Begin…

Although the CIAA tournament began Monday, today marks the official start of CI-Weekend. Day and night, there will be parties all over town.

Some celebrities have already started arriving in the Qcity.

Today we caught up with recording artist Donell Jones. After wrapping up his sound check on the main stage at the CIAA Fan Experience at the Charlotte Convention Center, the R&B crooner sat down for a few moments to chat.

Jones, who lives in Atlanta, comes to Charlotte often. He said he thinks the city is beautiful and definitely up and coming.

There will be no partying for Jones this evening. He plans to take it easy and rest up for his Friday night performance. He said he may do a little shopping at the mall, but that’s about it.

He defines his style as a combination of upscale mixed with street.

“I love PRPS Jeans. I love all Armani’s stuff,” he said. “That’s pretty much it. I’m more of a down-to-earth kind of guy.”

Jones said he is currently promoting his new album “Lyrics,” which is in stores now and working with a few new artists under his record label Candy Man Music.

“We just grinding,” he said.

He said fans can be on the lookout for another album from him soon.

“We’ll just continue to make music because that’s where my heart is. That’s what I’ve been doing for about 15 years, so I’m going to continue to do that,” he said.

Jones said he finds inspiration for his music from his life experiences. “If I’m going through it, then I know other people in the world are going through it, too. So, that’s what I tend to write and where most of my music comes from.”

Jones said he appreciates all the love his fans have shown through the years and encourages them to hit him up on Twitter @DonellJones96. And no, he doesn’t have someone else tweet for him. “It’s definitely me,” he said. (By Michaela Duckett)


Men of style… Oh, so debonair

George Bennett, right, of Washington, MD, said keeping his shoes looking great is a must. He stopped by Bill Kirkpatrick’s Above the Sole booth while attending the CIAA tournament. (Photo: Qcitymetro.com)

It’s been said that you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes. So, what do George Bennett’s brown suede boots say about him?

According to Bill Kirkpatrick, who considers himself a shoe connoisseur, they say Bennett is a gentleman with style and great taste.

Kirkpatrick, who is operating a shoe-shine stand at Time Warner Cable Arena this week, said Bennett’s thin socks and round laces are signs of sophistication. “It shows that he is more upscale than casual,” he said. “If his socks were too thick or if his laces were flat, they would be strictly, strictly casual.”

He then breaks down Bennett’s footwear. “They are what we would refer to as dessert boots. It’s a three-quarter boot that got its name from people walking in the dessert,” he said. “We look at movies and see everybody walking in sandals, but everybody walking in the dessert didn’t wear sandals.”

Kirkpatrick talks about shoes with the same fervor a man would use to describe the most gorgeous woman ever met.

His business, Above the Sole, specializes in the care of leather shoes and accessories of all types from suede to exotic.

Kirkpatrick said styles have changed since his days as a young man.

“That was one of the things that men took pride in, keeping their shoes looking well and being a well dressed man,” he said. “Now men dress more casual in sneakers, jogging suits and jeans. I don’t have a problem with it, but it’s just not something that I would do everyday.”

Over the past 30 years, Bennett said he has traveled to various cities to attend the CIAA tournament. In his opinion, Charlotte is the best host city so far.

Kirkpatrick was right. This man does have good taste! (By Michaela Duckett)


Can You Hang?

From left to right: Senetra Price, 15; Jalisa Squire, 15; Raikija Allen, 15; Alexis Banks, 15; Keswanna Mitchell, 16 (Photo: Qcitymetro.com)

If you were uptown Wednesday, you may have noticed an abundance of teens hanging out while most of their peers were in school.

Many were in town for the CIAA’s College Day.

Students from North Hampton West High School in Gaston, NC, said they boarded a charter bus to journey to the Qcity promptly at 3:30 a.m., only to be delayed for nearly an hour when one of their classmates forgot to get money for the trip from her mother.

We caught up with a group of girls from the school’s cheerleading squad who said they spent the morning learning about colleges, taking in the sights of uptown Charlotte, hanging with their friends and being chased by boys. Still, they had enough energy to participate in the Marine Corp’s Pull-Up Challenge.

In an effort to bring awareness about the Marine Corps, a booth was set up to challenge ladies to see how long they could hang and, for guys, to see how many consecutive pull-ups they could do.

Capt. Patrick McDonough, the Marine’s selections officer for the Charlotte office, said physical fitness is important to being a marine. A perfect score in the challenge would be 70 seconds for women and 20 consecutive pull-ups for men.

With a time of 33 seconds, Jalisa Squire, 15, (pictured above) had the highest time for the group of cheerleaders. That record was beat moments later when another female lasted 50 seconds.

McDonough said participating in the CIAA is part of a national effort to increase diversity in the Marine Corps. The goal is for their ratio of males, females, blacks and Hispanics to mirror their respective percentages in the nation’s population. (By Michaela Duckett)

Got news to share with Qcity readers? Email us at editor@qcitymetro.com.
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