My relationship with Winston-Salem has always been one of mixed feelings. Driving around town, I don’t feel like I belong there and yet… I do. I am the only member of my family to be born and raised there and yet I’m probably the only one who wouldn’t live there again. Everyone else does or would. I think it has more to do with how I see myself, the younger version of myself anyways, and how I often feel I wasted that time in my life.
Returning to visit Winston (the dash, if you will) still makes me elated. Some of my new friends here are making a trip to Winston this month and I immediately got excited. They’re visiting friends who will clearly guide them through their short time there and yet I was fighting the desire to give them suggestions on where to go, what to eat. They don’t need my help but since my urge is still here, I’ll share my thoughts with you. Aren’t you lucky?
It’s spring time which means this is the best time to be walking around two of my favorite places: Reynolda Gardens and Old Salem. As a child and a teenager, I spent a lot of time walking around Reynolda admiring the roses and imagining how life might have been for the Reynolds family. I vividly remember the first time I went inside the Reynolda House and saw their pool. It shocked me to see such extravagance. As an infant, my parents used to push me in my stroller around Old Salem’s cemetery, God’s Acre and I still find it both peaceful and exciting to walk those grounds. In the early days of spring when all the dogwoods and azaleas are blooming, both of these locations are ideal.
I associate both of these places with eating at Village Tavern, as any afternoon in Reynolda is followed by dinner at the Tavern and Mayberry’s. An ice cream at Mayberry’s was the required treat to accompany a trip to Old Salem. Mayberry’s can’t be found at the colonial town any longer, but I still sort of expect it.
New and Exciting:
I haven’t made it over to the converted tobacco factories (now known as the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter) yet but I read an awesome article about it recently in Our State and now I’m itching to check it out.
Starting Your Day:
Everyone knows about Breakfast Of Course, the new version of Mary’s Of Course. Winston residents are familiar with the long lines necessary to get inside on a weekend and now the establishment is famous with a new group of people, Daily Show viewers. You may have seen the short segment on the show a few months back. I try to go every time I’m back.
I was not a happy camper when Krankie’s moved into the Werehouse/PS211. It meant the place I hung out at night and was secretly smoking was now being frequented by my parents. I was there at night, watching bands and being deeply involved in my high school dramas and my parents were there in the morning getting their freshly roasted coffee. Today you can still see great music and drink beers or start your day there with what I am told is very delicious coffee. (Yuck!)
When I moved home after college, Silver Moon Saloon was one of my regular stops. It’s tiny. Little itty bitty. In my mind it is a dark long hallway. Correct me if I’m wrong. It’s best attributes for me were it’s prices and that outside of the dark hallway is a large patio. Done and done.
Single Brothers is also tiny with a large patio but with a much different drink menu. It shows off fantastic beers and is always the place I stop for a cocktail.
I was not a fan of Foothills Brewing when it first opened. I didn’t like the beer (but then again, Yengling was my favorite beer at the time) and you couldn’t go into the establishment without running into someone that you didn’t like in high school. Now that I’ve moved back to North Carolina I’ve found their IPAS and I am a fan. I’m planning on popping in the next time I’m in town. Their Hoppyum IPA and their monthly IPAS have completely won be over. And if you’re not from the Dash, what do you care if someone from my high school is there?
Also, these are not the best things about Winston. These are just the places to go for a weekend visit. There are many other things that make Winston-Salem a worthwhile home.