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First Friday

July 2, 2011

We arrived downtown last night about 7:30 and parked on Greene Street in front of the parking deck. We made our way over to Elm and the Wife dropped by Mechelle’s to say hi, while I hit the Center City Bar and Grille for a cold one. The Wife joined me a few minutes later and we enjoyed some appetizers and split a burger with killer sweet potato fries.

We hit the street at 9:00 and headed south into Design Archives, where a dumbass was torturing songs with a guitar. I suppressed the desire to run him off and we made our way into the Handmade Emporium. This was our third visit in as many months and you could see the result of some artists leaving and others arriving.

We continued south, perusing the shops, where the Wife made frequent acquaintance with customers of her stores. Eventually, we came upon the Elsewhere Collaborative and made our way to the back, where, sans A/C, a puppet show was being performed, featuring a doll dressed in S&M garb with a penis adorned with a chain holding a block of wood. It was too crowded with the be hip or die set, so I didn’t get a good look, but just as well, because it went right over my head. We made our way around a giant paper balloon in the next room, where kids were being read a story, apparently not concerned with the more adult fare nearby.

Around 10:30, we crossed the street and began heading back north, wandered through a couple of antique stores, where we lamented the passing of Lewis Street Antiques after the recent death of its owner. We made it to the railroad tracks as two very long trains were crossing, with corn syrup headed north and coal headed south.

We passed by Nattie’s, where the menu board was emblazoned with “Sold Out”, past Cheesecakes by Alex, which was mobbed with folks seeking the blueberry variety, and into the Green Bean to relieve ourselves and get a final beer.

Afterward, we bellied up to the bar, only to find there was no service, even though I could almost reach out and touch the taps. Rather than stand in line with the coffee drinkers, we made our way back out onto the street and toward City Center Park. At Friendly, we were nearly run over by four GTA buses. Finding nothing going on at the park, we walked back to the car and drove home. Except for a crowd at Kickback Jack’s on Battleground and a full Irving Park Plaza, Greensboro was sound asleep at 11:00.

I think we’ll find something else to do next month, or maybe just stay home. And we won’t be coming downtown for the Fun Fourth Festival.

15:45: BTW, almost eerily, each First Friday on Elm Street, we’ve run into Bill Hamilton of 99 Blocks. He used to be editor of Triad Style when the Wife worked there, so they go way back. Each time, I suggest he submit his RSS feed to GSO101. Last night, he indicated he’s received professional advice that it might not be a good idea. Flummoxed, I acceded to his opinion and bid him adieu. I can only guess whom at the N&R he’s been talking to.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. michele permalink
    July 2, 2011 10:50 am

    “We hit the street at 9:00 and headed south into Design Archives, where a dumbass was torturing songs with a guitar.”

    Lines like this are why you’re my favorite writer. You’ve missed your calling. You should be writing for a living. (Yes, I’m going to keep saying that until you do it…)

    Re: The Elsewhere S&M puppet show. I was wondering how Ed defined “good weirdness.” ( This was not quite what I expected.

    • July 2, 2011 10:59 am

      I really appreciate your faith in me. The line you liked was a throw off, so I obviously have no idea what people like. As to a career in writing, my immediate goal has been to generate a more conventional income. Fortunately, that appears about to happen. Once I’m again gainfully employed, I promise to take my writing more seriously.

      As to Elsewhere, I don’t get it, but I keep trying.

      BTW, I twice submitted my Third Shift posts to YES! Weekly, without so much as a reply. And I thought we were friends.

  2. July 2, 2011 11:10 am

    “…so I obviously have no idea what people like.”

    Tell me about it. I painstakingly write what I think is my greatest work and nobody gives a damn– 3 readers in a month, I throw together some piece of shit prose or poetry, post it to my blog and 2000 people read it in 24 hours– 20,000 in the next month.

    Sadly, neither earns enough to pay for my time.

    I’ll never figure out what people want.

    • July 2, 2011 11:15 am

      Your experience has been a valuable object lesson.

  3. michele permalink
    July 2, 2011 11:14 am

    Good writing is a gift and it comes naturally. Like good comedy. Sometimes, you get both. And it’s brilliant.

    • July 2, 2011 11:23 am

      Again, I thank you. However, my writing, like all the pursuits I’ve mastered, is the result of years of practice. If it has any strengths, they are the result of attempts to be economically precise with prose. After so much time, there appears to be a high integration with what I am thinking and my ability to express it. I submit this is no accident.

      As to gifts, I’ve been blessed and try not to waste them. But, I contend that focusing on local matters has both given me the opp to practice and the ability to contribute something. Whether those activities translate into something bigger remains to be seen.

  4. July 2, 2011 12:32 pm

    We did about the same last night… ended up at Buffalos on Battleground… was very, very upset when I found out my 10:15 plans to obtain a 5 Guys burger was thwarted by their early bed-time and closing hours.

    • July 2, 2011 1:02 pm

      I know how it is when you really want something and can’t get it. Sadly, there appear to be no alternatives to 5 Guys.

  5. July 2, 2011 4:55 pm

    I don’t understand much or most of the art at Elsewhere, but I don’t let it discourage me.

    • July 2, 2011 5:02 pm

      I have this inkling that it’s much more important than I understand, and they seem harmless enough. Also, I must admit to an underappreciation of all art, so I try not to be overly critical. It simply goes right over my head, like cubanos and single malt.

      As a conservative, the challenge is to tolerate the things I cannot appreciate, such as the androgynous barista at the Green Bean in the ragged cut offs with the gaping hole in the inner upper thigh. If the point was to shock and awe, then mission accomplished.

  6. Roch101 permalink
    July 3, 2011 11:07 am

    Does 99 Blocks have an RSS feed? I cannot find it.

    • July 3, 2011 11:09 am

      It do. I specifically looked for the stupid little orange logo and found it on the left sidebar, down the page.

  7. Roch101 permalink
    July 3, 2011 11:21 am

    Thanks! I’m not the least bit interested in what “professional” advice Mr. Hamilton received advising him to avoid local exposure for his local website, but he can add his feed to Greensboro 101 here: should he come to his own different opinion.

    • July 3, 2011 11:37 am

      Roch, Bill doesn’t even read the local blogs. It’s just sad that he remains so insular to the detriment of his livelihood, and that of those he purports to promote.

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