Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I guess we should have been drinking mead

Last Friday evening the blog followed its usual custom of sharing a bottle of wine. From Jon's deck we had a perfect view of Jon's hive. It's been in the 90s every day here, and many of the bees were enjoying the hot, lazy evening out on their own deck.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Turn back before it's too late

This barricade signals the end of a portion of Old Vineyard Road. From a Thursday evening walk in Burke Park, just off Stratford Road. This island neighborhood also contains the end of Hawthorne Road, cut off from its parent by Silas Creek Parkway.

This is probably along the lines of what Katherine Reynolds envisioned

Nate (in orange shirt) was a counselor at Nature Camp at Reynolda Gardens this past week. The camp met in the historic boathouse (top photo), which has outlasted the lake.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

When Winston-Salem seeks civic-minded citizens... naturally turns to the residents of Ashley Forest (Susan's neighborhood). We've been selected for a pilot study pairing rolling recycling bins with twice-monthly (instead of weekly) collections. The goal is to save money on fuel and labor by reducing the number of collections. We'll also be reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Here we see Susan's new recycling bin enjoying the morning sun on her driveway.

Walk score of 71

One of the reasons why Maggie Christman's apartment in Town Square Towers in Washington DC is rated as "very walkable": a big modern Safeway in easy walking distance. A deceased resident of Town Square Towers made a bequest to update the signs. Looks very nice!

Birth of a cul de sac

After reading several enticing newspaper articles, the blog was frantic to get to the new Lissara Lake development just outside of Lewisville. It turns out that the blog was likely among the first to visit (see photos). Several comments: first, this development is really, really huge; second, this development is aiming at an elite whose golden age may have already passed (for example, lot sizes of 30 acres and more are available); third, this development will test the marketability of Bob Timberlake. Do people who really, really love his work have this kind of money to spend on real estate? Timberlake, by the way, is lending more than his name to the project, as he is designing the entrance, street signs, and lodge.

This is going to be interesting to watch. The blog feels as if it has a front row seat. The article in the Winston-Salem Journal that first alerted the blog to this development contained some useful data.

"A Forsyth County Housing Report complied by Jud for the Triad MLS showed that 34 homes priced between $300,000 and $499,000 sold in the first quarter of 2010, down from 40 in the fourth quarter of 2009. In the $500,000 and above price range, 12 homes sold in the first quarter of 2010 compared with 16 in the fourth quarter of last year."

Who is Jud? According to the Journal, he is "Don Jud, a professor emeritus in the Bryan School of Business and Economics at UNC Greensboro...he said he hopes that the developers' evaluation of the local economy is correct. He described their plans as courageous."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Is golf dead?

As it strolls through communities built in the 1960s on the outskirts of Winston-Salem, the blog has noted that this type of sign is never true.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Long Creek Village

Just off the Bethania-Rural Hall Road and just next to Wedgwood the blog found the new development of Long Creek Village. This development gets so many things right that it seems almost churlish for the blog to note that its Walk Score is 3 (for comparison, Jon's Walk Score is 40). (Jon, note that the Walk Score for the bungalows on York Road behind the firehouse is 57!) (Jon, also note that some of the townhouses are located on the former Bethania Golf Course.)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sam, the dot man

Last Sunday evening outside of Bethania the blog came across a wonderful example of the practical vernacular art of Sam, the dot man of Winston-Salem. Sam (now in his 80s) has even been mentioned in Smithsonian magazine as an example of a successful self-taught artist. Sam's life motto: If we all hold hands we can't fight.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another contender...

...for the ugly house competition. Jon's photo does not do it justice. From Sunday's walk.

Sunday evening just off the Bethania-Tobaccoville Road

Tobaccoville is a little village just outside of Winston-Salem.

Bethania is "
the oldest municipality in Forsyth Country, and was most recently incorporated in 1995, upon the reactivation of the original 1838/1839 town charter. In 2009, Bethania will celebrate the 250th anniversary of its establishment in 1759.

The first planned Moravia settlement in North Carolina, Bethania exists as the only remaining independent, continuously active Moravian village in the southern United States, and is the only known existing Germanic-type Linear Agricultural village in the South. The 500-acre Bethania National Historic Landmark district is the largest National Landmark in Forsyth County. Bethania and its 18th and 19th century properties are listed on the National and North Carolina State Historic Registers of Places."

This is just an old house.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hanestown Houses

"Neat, small houses surrounded the giant mill on South Stratford road." (From Winston-Salem, A History, by Frank V. Tursi.) The mill is gone, but the houses are still there. Historic photos from the 1930s were downloaded from Digital Forsyth. One interesting aspect of this neighborhood not captured in these photos is that the neighborhood is mixed zoning. This has created a salon district (hair and nail) unlike anything else the blog has ever seen - on some blocks every house has been converted to a salon.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The allure of obelisks

The blog is not the only one who feels their power. Check out this recent post by Paul Krugman:

In the mill town

The blog spent a very interesting Saturday evening wandering around the remnants of Hanestown, the village built in 1910 by P. H. Hanes Knitting Company around its new spinning mill, just outside of town (then) on South Stratford Road. The mill closed in 2009 and the entire site was purchased by a local company, whose plans at the moment are not public. Many of the little mill houses remain wonderfully intact, but the neighborhood has the quietude of a ghost town. More to come on this topic.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The blog is distracted...

...which doesn't mean it's being lazy. Jon is very busy getting a new production ready to open on Thursday. Susan is busy in the bee lab, but finds that her thoughts often turn to baseball. The blog is still enjoying Stephen Strasburg's debut performance with the Nats Tuesday night. Here's a pertinent anecdote:

The Nationals record strikeouts with electronic K's on a scoreboard in center field. Strasburg already has rendered that board obsolete.

“I learned something tonight,” Nats president Stan Kasten said. “Our scoreboard only goes up to 12 strikeouts. Why would I have needed to know that before tonight?”

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Before the Summit dance

Nate (right) and Lawson (left) posed for pictures before the Summit School end-of-year dance last Wednesday night. Isn't childhood supposed to be awkward? Fraught? How can they be so casually self-assured? I guess the answer is two years of cotillion.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The end of an obelisk...

From Thursday evening's walk, which started at Bridal Creek.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Nate demonstrates how easy it is to walk from downtown to the ballpark

Today's Winston-Salem Journal announces that a shuttle will now connect downtown Winston and the new ballpark. Here's what the mayor said: The shuttle is an acknowledgment that the walk from the Downtown Arts District and Fourth Street to the ballpark may be daunting -- particularly as summer approaches -- for some people who would like to go to both places, said Allen Joines, the mayor of Winston-Salem. A shuttle is probably a good idea, but the blog finds it sad that this short walk is described as "daunting."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hope for return of the lake!

The blog's walk down Lakeview Drive in Lake Hills, Bethania on Tuesday night revealed that, sadly, the lake is no more. But here's what Zillow has to say about a very nice house that we saw for sale on Lakeview:

All on ONE LEVEL. Solid Brick Ranch on .7 acre lot. Gorgeous fenced backyard w/screened porch and Large deck. Hardwood floors. New Heat pump & electric service. Updated baths. Spacious eat-in kitchen. Huge den. Supplemental Sheet has all updates. Neighborhood pool. Lake renovation in progress. AHS Warranty.

The triumph of garage-centrism

From our walk on Tuesday, June 2. (Note to Rob and Andrea - yes, this one is sold, but lots are still available.)