Last Sunday, Jamie and I had plans to go peruse the new shops along Burke St – Gusto and Re-Tale. However, our plans were a diverted when we got there and realized both were closed on Sundays. Girl Scouts that we are, neither of us thought to look online or call ahead for hours. We scrapped our shopping plans, and decided instead to go chill at BrewNerds and catch up over some coffee.
As we zig-zagged our way from Burke St over to Fourth St, a little thought popped into my head: I love this city.
I’m surprised to say this, but I think I’ve fallen in love with Winston. I was not very excited to leave DC in 2006 to move down here and had there not been a handsome, funny and lovely medical student residing here, it’s safe to say I would not have relocated to the Dash. I didn’t have the fondest memories of the city from time at WFU, but then again I rarely left the “Bubble” except the rare venture to Daytona’s (now gone) and Burke St. Not exactly Winston’s finest.
And, in my defense, many of the things that I love today about Winston didn’t exist, or are even still “in the works.” I adore 6th and Vine and Noma – both of which are new additions since I’ve moved back here. I’m excited about a/perture, and Barnhills (wine + bookstore, opening soon on Burke St) and the gorgeous baseball stadium that will have opening day in just a few weeks. I love that tonight’s agenda includes a for-charity fashion show (at Level 23), a Prosecco tasting (at Cafe Pradda) and boutique shopping (at Gusto and Re-tale). Excuse me, fashion shows and Prosecco? This isn’t the Burke St Pizza and Rose’s Deli Winston I remember from college.
(Although, to be fair, I still love Rose’s. Give me those seasoned fries and a chicken fajita wrap on a sunny Saturday morning on the deck anytime.)
I love the small-town feel in a city with, arguably, many things that bit cities have – arts, sports, awesome restaurants. (My only major complaint: incredibly poor cab services and bus services. Leaves no choice but to pick a DD every weekend, and often means we’re more likely to convene at a friends’ house than try to coordinate multiple cars going downtown.)
I love that after 8 years of driving and running here, I finally get how downtown, West End and Ardmore all connect.
I love the white office that’s been restored on the corner of Reynolda and Northwest Blvd.
I love the Krankies airstream coffee place, Reynolda Farm Market and Mostly Local Market. I love that the slow food movement is gaining speed in Winston.
I love the plans for The Olio.
I love that half the people I follow on Twitter are local Winston-Salem businesses – and when I mention that I’m visiting them, they respond like a good friend would. I love that Southern hospitality can be found anywhere you look.
I love that every time I drive by Corpening Plaza I remember pulling up there in a big limo and seeing a huge white tent, my smiling groom and all my favorite people in front of the waterfall backdrop. I love that we decided to get married in “our” town.
I love that the gorgeous modern looking ISP building is diagonally across the street from my creaky floor, exposed pipes ceiling yoga studio.
I love that where tobacco once thrived, now vineyards flourish.
I love that I live “out in the country” but it still only takes me 25 minutes to get downtown – with bad traffic.
I love running through Buena Vista, and seeing the variety of architectural styles, time periods and new construction built to look like old. I love that it has sidewalks, and big trees, and dogs being walked every hour of the day.
I love coming back from the Greensboro airport on business 40, and seeing the most infamous building of the Winston-Salem skyline. It’s always at that moment I think “I’m home.”
It’s a good place to call home.
(Photo by Ryan Bumgarner, my wedding photog.)