My first General Assembly was in Charlotte, as it is this year -- and I went hungry. The city was less developed then -- so the weekday lunch places were closed, the remaining restaurants were out of reach (and packed, with attendees) and there weren't any grocery stores. I subsisted on Coca-Cola, from vending machines.
Times have changed -- I'd be sick if I tried that again -- and Charlotte has a grocery store. But don't call it downtown; it's the uptown location of Harris Teeter. Â I love Harris Teeter: a North Carolina chain that's made it to D.C. Higher-end. Not as precious as Whole Foods and not at capacious as a Publix. But the right place to get a tub of pimento cheese and some nectarines. And there's probably an olive bar. Pop Tarts, too, if you like.
Because going hungry at General Assembly is miserable, and (I suspect) a bit too common . . . .