Especially on cold winter days (we Southerners don't do so well in the cold), you'll find the locals at these popular spots:
Grab your morning joe at Amelie's French Bakery (2424 N. Davidson St.; "petite" location uptown at 330 S. Tryon St.). While there, take note of the mouthwatering quiches for a later trip, when you have more time. But for today, order a warm breakfast treat. Double-baked almont croissant, anyone?
Get lost perusing some seriously cool home goods, discount North Carolina furniture and other interesting wares at the city's three enormous, and we mean huge, Blacklion stores (Dilworth, Park Rd., Huntersville).
Most months, you can also find antiques and collectibles at the International Collectibles & Antiques' Metrolina Expo Marketplace and, every day of the week, you can hit up the Sleepy Poet Antique Mall for a little bit of everything.
Head over to Rooster's Wood Fired Kitchen's uptown location (the original restaurant is in SouthPark), for some warm, wood-fired chicken or Carolina BBQ pork shoulder and inventive sides. Parking $2 for two hours in 1 Bank of America Center.