Last year, I took a series of photographs of abandoned spaces in East Charlotte. As those photos show, it’s no secret that several of the east side’s major economic anchors of the past have been long dead, perhaps never to be revived. But numerous local businesses dotting this corridor continue to flourish, making East Charlotte arguably one of the most interesting and distinct areas of our city. This photo essay series captures segments from this vibrant and richly diverse community.

Originally from South Korea, Young Il Kim owns and operates the Lucky Oriental Market located along North Sharon Amity Road.
A pile of aloe rests in the produce section of the Compare Foods on North Sharon Amity Road.
Dragon fruit awaits purchase at Compare Foods.
Sancha Lama Tameung (left), 27, walks home from a trip to Compare Foods. She is pictured here with her mother and four children.
Chicken shawarma browns on the spit at La Shish Kabob.
Izzat Freitekh established his La Shish Kabob restaurant 32 years ago in Jersualem. This Charlotte location has been open for roughly 10 years.
A serving tray sits vacant on a table at Nile Ethiopian Restaurant & Grocery in Sheffield Park.
Tsige Meshesha opened the Nile Grocery with her husband, Zerabruk Abay, just over 11 years ago.
From 5 p.m. onward on any given day of the week, you can buy roses, individual stems or full bouquets, at the corner of Central Avenue and North Sharon Amity Road.