When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

08 October 2005

A street named "Ed"

I'm getting ready to fly back to New York City tomorrow morning, having spent the week working from Raleigh and hovering anxiously over my parents.

Mom, bunking temporarily at a Skilled Care Facility (nursing home), is doing well with physical therapy, and may be back home as early as next month; Dad, under Hospice care at home, is resting comfortably for the most part.

As I pack my bags, I thought that I would list, in no particular order, a few things I particularly enjoy about Raleigh, North Carolina:
  • Barbecue. There is just an embarrassment of riches here in Piedmont North Carolina in terms of places to get great pork barbecue. If there's no time to drive to Chapel Hill for Allen and Son's pig, which gets my vote for "best barbecue on the planet," we usually go to Don Murray's or to Clyde Cooper's in Raleigh. On this trip an old friend convinced me to drive all the way to the tiny town of Creedmoor, North Carolina to try a place called Bob's. (The satellite view appears to include a big cloud of hickory smoke.)

    And it was mighty fine.

  • Bumper stickers. In my NYC neighborhood, the bumper stickers have a certain earnest, humorless sameness about them; they say things like "Hate is not a family value," or "Visualize world peace," or "Don't blame me, I voted for [name of most recent Democratic loser]" -- the poor folks in this last group have to change their sticker every four years, I guess.

    Here in Raleigh, I saw several bumper stickers that I wanted to buy immediately, even though I don't own a car. One, a neat riff on the "it's not worth robbing me" genre of signs affixed to pizza delivery vehicles, read: "Warning: Driver carries only $20.00 worth of ammunition." Yet another: "PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals."

    But probably my favorite of the bunch: "Stop repeat offenders: don't re-elect them."

  • Street names. They run the gamut from the ridiculous to the sublime.

    In one of the more pretentious new subdivisions, I actually spotted a street that was not a street, a drive, a circle, or a road... it was, brace yourself, a "Wynd." I shit you not. And it wasn't the only "Wynd" in the vicinity, either. (In case you're wondering, and I had to look it up, a "wynd" is a Scots word for a narrow lane connecting two main roads. Any Scotsman faced with a "Wynd" in a Raleigh McMansion subdivision would undoubtedly piss himself laughing, however.)

    Contrast this with the homely and comfortably named street that I drove past on my way to visit Mom in the nursing home. As I cruised down Blue Ridge Road, I saw the sign, right there...Ed Drive.

    The beauty part is that "Ed Drive" is only a stone's throw from that ridiculous tangle of Wynds.

1 comment:

perry said...

My personal favorite tangle of street names in Raleigh is in what I'll call "Astonomy-ville," located just off Trawick Rd south of #1 & east of the beltline. All within a couple square miles we have no less than the following: Constellation Dr, Apollo Ct, Astro Ct, Mars St, Venus Dr, Neptune Dr, Eck Dr, Planet Dr, Sunlit Ln and Skycrest Dr. Obviously some long-ago street planner had a field day.

The kicker is Eck Dr, and it's probably also a window into whoever named these streets. Ever heard of Eckankar? It's a relatively obscure religion based on the idea of soul travel. The planets represent stations along the path and the "Eck" is the guiding force. Don't laugh. The best composition teacher I ever had was an Eckankar guy, and to hear his music is to know without a doubt that he has been to all these places. =)