Welcoming a New Sponsor Part 2

This past week, in addition to my awesome sponsor, Omega Sports, I had the great honor of having three new sponsors sign up to help me on my way in this whole “walking the town” experience. I’m going to talk about them, but because I believe that they each deserve their own recognition, I’m going to write three different posts about them individually. I just think that’s fair. And, I’m going to write them in order that I’ll actually “use” their sponsorship.A6A81723-4F4C-438D-8564-4530C132C626.full

When we start our walking days, it’s to Mary’s Gourmet Diner, but once we’re loaded with carbs, we need to load up with caffeine and where do we go for that? Why, we walk south to 533 North Trade Street, to Atelier on Trade.

Atelier on Trade is the brainchild of Pablo del Valle, a local-man-done-good. Pablo, who used to own an all-ages night club downtown in the exact same spot he now has his bakery, decided he wanted to go to culinary school a few years back. But, he didn’t just go to any old culinary school, either. He received his Grand Diplôme from Le Cordon Bleu Paris as a full-on culinary artist. In just about everything, he’s a chef. But, his love is pastries and desserts. He says that’s where the “fun” is. Not just him making them but for the patrons eating them. Food is fun for me all the time, but if you really think about it, the dessert is always the treat. It’s always the part people look to in a dining experience.

It’s not just sweet, sugary things that he serves, either. Some of our favorite pastries are the savory ones. Some meat and provolone, bacon and mozzarella, you never know what you’re going to find. Well, that’s not exactly true. You can follow them on Instagram. They pretty much tell you what you’re going to find that day. But, while there are some standards that are there every day, many of them change every day. And, I am going to put this out there and I’d be happy to debate it with anyone, Pablo makes the absolute best cheesecake I have ever, ever had.

But, it’s not all dessert. Well, it is, but it’s not. What goes best with sweet (or savory) pastries? Coffee. Hot coffee, cold coffee, lattes, mochas, cafe au lait, anything. I prefer my coffee iced as I’m not a fan of many hot drinks, but Stephanie loves coffee of any kind. They use top-notch coffee in their drinks and they also carry a large line of hot teas, as well.

And, ambiance is something because I’ve been to Paris, twice and it really does remind you of a French boulangerie (French for bakery). And, just the word Atelier means studio or workshop. Pablo doesn’t think of his wares as food so much as works of art and this is the studio in which he produces his edible art. We are so proud to have him signed on as our “Caffeinator.”

You can find Atelier on Trade, again, at 533 N. Trade Street and on the web HERE. I promise you, you will not be disappointed in anything you have there. And… and this is a fairly big “and,” Pablo has one of the most righteous beards ever!  Thank you Pablo, for supporting our cause.

Welcoming a New Sponsor Part 1

This past week, in addition to my awesome sponsor, Omega Sports, I had the great honor of having three new sponsors sign up to help me on my way in this whole “walking the town” experience. I’m going to talk about them, but because I believe that they each deserve their own recognition, I’m going to write three different posts about them Printindividually. I just think that’s fair. And, I’m going to write them in order that I’ll actually “use” their sponsorship.

Mary Haglund opened Mary’s Of Course in 2000 off Brookstown Ave. and Marshall St. (currently the home of DiLisio’s Italian Restaurant). She grew with a quirky and fantastic reputation as “the breakfast place” in Winston-Salem. Remember, this was before the real revitalization of downtown happened and this area, what we now call “South of Business 40,” was just outside the city center enough that people didn’t mind going there. It helped that the food was fantastic.

It was breakfast, of course (pun – more on that…), but it wasn’t just plain breakfast and it didn’t taste like anywhere else and it wasn’t what you made at home. Mary had the opportunity to expand in 2010 into a new location in the now revitalized downtown area, on North Trade Street. It was called Breakfast Of Course, Mary’s Too. For whatever reason, that is not mine to speculate, the original location closed and Breakfast Of Course eventually became Mary’s Gourmet Diner.

If we put the food aside for a minute (and really why would you want to?), and concentrate on Mary and her family, you’ll find a lot of care and love for her employees, her community, her fellow man. That isn’t meant to be cheesy, it’s just the way that it is. She’s the main-most-woman behind Mary’s Mavens, a group of women business owners that band together for community, empowerment and just because those women are awesome for this city and what it’s culturally becoming: all-encompassing and all-inclusive.

Mary believes in supporting local businesses and local personalities that strive to and actually do good work for this city and what it stands for. It would be conceited of me to say that I’m either of those, but I’m glad she thinks enough of me for those reasons. She would give you the shirt off her back if you really needed it and she does just that, metaphorically, of course, most every day. She was instrumental in the “Mike’s Week” that was done for Skippy’s Hot Dog’s owner, Mike Rothman in April.

Stephanie and I have found ourselves starting our walking days at Mary’s Gourmet Diner because we know that we’re going to get great food and it is so filling that we will get through our long walking day with plenty of fuel. So, instead of our official breakfast place, we’re going to call her our “Official Carb Loader” because that is exactly how we need to get our bodies nourished and on the trek.

And, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least note that Mary’s Gourmet Diner (when it was still Breakfast of Course) was instrumental in Stephanie’s and my relationship. It did play a big part in my winning her heart.

We thank you so much Mary Haglund for being there for us and the community. You can find Mary’s Gourmet Diner at 723 North Trade Street in Winston-Salem and you can visit their website HERE.

Town and Country, June 18, 2016

Saturday was a special day. One that I have been waiting on for a while. We were going to hit up Stephanie’s old neighborhood, where she grew up, where was partially responsible for her becoming the woman she is; the one I love. I know this isn’t the place to put all that mushiness but it was important to get there. 13432356_10154107585165490_6278630132308534909_n

We started at Mt. Tabor High School, home of the Spartans, Stephanie’s Alma Mater. She gave me a tour of what the school looked like when she attended, the new auditorium, etc. We walked from the school to Petree Rd. where we walked south to Polo Rd. and we turned east. We walked to Carter Circle, the eastern entrance. Then, I suddenly wasn’t feeling well, so we walked back to our car at Mt. Tabor. Even that little bit was quite hilly and difficult to traverse, but I did it. The reason we were going to walk this path was it was what she walked home almost every day when she was in high school.

I was feeling better and we decided to drive closer to where she grew up. So we ended up parking at College Park Baptist Church at the intersection (fork) of Ransom Rd and Polo. 13445791_10154107697515490_5691037388195433038_nFrom there we walked west on Ransom until we got to Belwick Dr., where we turned north. We followed Belwick to Oakland. Stephanie grew up in the house on the corner of Belwick and Oakland Dr. We stopped as she told me about growing up there, where her room was, the improvements and enhancements to the property. That was fun to hear about. That’s part of what this blog and eventual web series will be about. Stories and/or history of the neighborhoods.

We went west on Oakland to Loch Dr. where we turned North to visit a private “lake” (or loch in Scottish) that the street crosses over. Stephanie talked about spending time as a young girl walking there just to enjoy the view and nature, itself. We came back south on Loch, noticing that this area is named heavily from Scottish reference. Belwick, Loch, Loch Lomond and so on. That’s cool because I have history with the country and its heritage. We took that all the way back to Ransom where we went west back to our car. 2016-06-19 10.54.17

Including walking around my house, from our car to Mary’s Gourmet Diner, south on Trade to Atelier on Trade and walking around Mt. Tabor, my Omega Sports sponsored Vivofit 3 registered 10,000 steps. Our post-walk celebratory beer happened at Hoots Roller Bar and Beer Company added a few steps, too. Then we came home and showered, went out to have drinks with friend and dinner. All said, at the end of the day, I ended up with 12,800 steps, a walking distance of 6.37 miles and 3412 calories burned. Not a bad day, at all.

Many thanks to Omega Sports for their sponsorship and support of my efforts to be healthier and more active. Omega Sports is a locally owned company that puts their support behind the ‘everyday active’ while still being there for the die-hard runners, athletes and most active. Omega Sports is the sporting good store of choice for The Man Who Walked the Town.

Get to steppin’!

Downtown WSNC June 11, 2016

Stephanie and I had hair appointments on Saturday morning and since we get the ‘dos did over on Burke Street, we decided that was “base” for this day’s walk. After the cut, we walked from the corner of Burke and Brookstown Avenue, north to Fourth Street and east until Trade Street. North on Trade to Mary’s Gourmet Diner between Seventh and 2016-06-11 13.13.14Eighth Streets to fuel up for our walk. From there we traveled back south to Atelier on Trade to have a little coffee to get us started back on our journey.

We traveled on south to Fifth Street where we walked west to Brookstown, in the West End. We turned northwest on Brookstown and up to Carolina Avenue where we turned northeast. We took Carolina to Summit Avenue, south and back to Fourth Street. Checking my Vivofit 3 I noticed I needed around 2500 more steps to reach my goal (10,000). So, instead of walking back to our car, we decided to continue on to get what we needed.

We walked east on Fourth until we got to Broad, where we turned north. We’d both always been curious about what was going on in the clandestinely plain buildings on 4 1/2 Street so we turned west down that way. It was really nothing to see but more nondescript buildings belonging, presumably, to Wells Fargo. When we reached Summit, we continued down until we came, again to Brookstown. We went to Burke Street and turned southwest, walked about 60 yards and turned back northeast, thus completing the 10,000 steps needed.

Along our walk through the middle and west side of WSNC, we stopped to observe the architecture, culture and history of our beautiful city. We looked at the various styles of the homes, many built around the 1920s, some older. We stopped in front of churches and 2016-06-14 12.07.21observed their majesty. We saw memorial gardens that honored the lives of those lost. This small area has so much history.

We ended up with over 11,000 steps walked. That was just shy of 6 miles. I burned over 3000 calories that day.

It was my first walking day wearing the new Brooks‘ shoes, Thorlo’s socks and sunglasses that Omega Sports sponsored me with, I was tired and sore but they were comfortable and I wasn’t overly fatigued. The Garmin Vivofit3 that they sponsored me with is how I registered my miles, steps and calories. I am thankful to Omega Sports for believing in me and what I have envisioned for the blog and future web series. If you’re going to be participating in any walking, running, team sports or just wanting to work out, Omega Sports is the place to get the equipment and implements of these activities.

Get to steppin’!

Big Things Afoot

There has been a lot of working behind the scenes here at “Man About Town” Central. I told you that things have started to take off and I can now give a little more insight as to what that is.

What I can tell you is that I have a sponsor that has signed on to help me on my quest. I am proud to announce a partnership with Omega Sports. You may have noticed the Omega 2016-05-17 16.48.14Sports logo, to the right here, that has been there since I made the blog a few months back. I’ve known that we were going to have talks and it’s now official. Omega Sports believes in the vision I have for this project which is also a lifestyle move. They have agreed to sponsor the blog, the web series and eventual podcast, should I choose to pull that off. They’ll also be re-posting some of the progress, timeline and life blogs that come from The Man Who Walked the Town.

Omega Sports has been a leader in local sports equipment, sporting needs and active wear since 1978. They’re a local company that services the “every day” athlete while also serving the “every person” active lifestyles. From football to basketball, tennis to walking, running to aerobics, Omega Sports is where you go for your sporting needs.

So what we have going on is this: They are providing me with a GoPro Hero4 Silver camera to film the walking journeys that I, my wife and anyone else that goes along with me, take, to turn into the vlog/web series. Because proper footwear is essential to any walker, I have a brand new pair of Brooks Transcend 3 walking/running shoes. To enhance the shoes and to protect my feet, two pairs of Thorlo’s foot protection socks. I’ve been using my Samsung phone to keep track of my steps, vitals, distance and time spent walking. They’ve done me one better and have provided me with a Garmin Vïvofit3 to do all that work for me. Throw in an Omega Sports NC t-shirt and a new pair of sunglasses and we have a complete sponsorship package. What I had negotiated and they felt was also necessary to get me started on this healthy and informative journey.

As I said, they believe in what I’m doing and since it promotes a healthy lifestyle, they’re all about that. I’ll be throwing their logo all over everything that The Man Who Walked the Town does and you’ll probably be seeing it on my other blogs (Useless Things Need Love Too, The Man Who Ate the Town) as well as the websites for The Less Desirables (and the podcast) and The Beer Dads. That last one especially, because this blog is under the Such-N-Such Media/Such-N-Such Limited, Inc. umbrella and Jon and Paul are partners of mine in all of this. I am incredibly proud to say we have this partnership with Omega Sports and I am excited with the possibilities.

When you’re thinking of a new pair of running shoes, soccer shoes, basketball shoes, footballs, baseballs, handball or tennis (basically anything athletic), don’t run to the big chains. Go to Omega and support locally owned, family companies.

Keep watching here and on the Facebook and Twitter pages, for more details.

Buena Vista Plus May 14, 2016

On Saturday, May 14, 2016, Stephanie and I decided to forego the Highland Games to get some long distance walking, instead. We’ve spent time in Buena Vista before, which you can read about here. We parked, again, at the BB&T at Five Points and started our march. This time, we picked the eastern side of the street and walked, as we did the last time, north to Reynolda Rd. However, we didn’t stop and turn around this time. Instead, we crossed the somewhat-treacherous Reynolda and onto the ritzy East Kent Road. 13233156_10154028999185490_3276917889221737787_n

Immediately, the lack of any sidewalks gives off the vibe that interlopers such as ourselves may not be welcome to walk freely among the elite residences along the road. Now, I am not saying that the residents of this area are actually like that. I am only saying the vibe is as such. There are beautiful homes there, to be sure. We continued down into and then up from the valley that is home to the eight or so homes that call the short segment, well, home.

From that we walked to Arbor Road. Kent all the way to Arbor is a canopied stretch of trees and shade. On Arbor it’s like you’re emerging out of the shadows (you are) and immediately into the friendly, warm arms of Helios, himself. Then, you realize that there are no trees and Helios’ cordiality is more like a friend that starts to grate on your nerves that you just don’t want to talk to for a while. However, we were out on a beautiful and mild day so while the sun was beaming down, it wasn’t harsh and was, truly, enveloping. We stopped along the way and sat on a bench that was out in the open, on the sidewalk, and chatted a bit. Our legs were screaming for a break and we acquiesced. We then continued northeast on Arbor which at Pilgrim Ct. turns into 25th Street. We continued until we came to 24th and decided that we should turn back. At this point, we were already over the 7500 step mark. Instead of going back down Kent when we arrived, we continued southwest on Arbor back 2016-05-15 12.46.52to and across Reynolda.

Across Reynolda, Arbor makes a southern turn heading due south. We walked this same stretch of road in our last trip to Buena Vista. We thought about making a detour around to one of the other streets in the neighborhood, but the reality of it was, we were already a few hours in and we hadn’t had any water or bathroom breaks. Walking downtown gives a few places that we can stop into along the way to fix that problem, but you can’t just stop and ask a resident if we can use their restrooms or if they can spot us a glass of water. Perhaps 30-40 years ago, but not today. So, because we knew that Arbor ran all the way back to Country Club Rd., and therefore directly back to a spoke of Five Points where we parked the car.

So, let’s sum up that walk. From Country Club Road and North Stratford Road to East Kent Road to Arbor Road to 25th Street back to Arbor all the way back to Country Club is 4.8 miles. Combined with other walking, such as walking around Walmart to get a few items and the car dealership lot while getting my car inspected, combined with incidental walking and the fact that we were out after midnight from the night before; all-in-all I walked a total of 14910 steps and 7.37 miles. I also burned 1092 calories. That’s my second best step total since I started tracking my progress using my phone.

It was worth celebrating and we did so by having lots of water and a frothy beer from Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Company. It was a very productive and active day. We’ll be back with another walking adventure, soon. I’m also working on a few news items about the blog and the ideas I have for it. Thank you for reading!!

Get to steppin’!

National Walking Day part 2: The Downtown Edition

So, I swore to get my 30 minutes in and that I did.

I started at Fourth Street (where the production studio for The Less Desirables Podcast 27bdf2bb-5813-4bf7-a7c8-ceb4e339d7a4Network, my “day job,” is) and walked east, stopping to say hi to Will Kingery, owner of King’s Crab Shack and Oyster Bar, Willow’s Bistro and Silo Bistro & Bar, who was standing in front of King’s. I started my 30 minutes from there.

I walked east to Main Street and then turned south walking all the way to the northern end of Old Salem. I then turned west on Brookstown Ave. and took that to Cherry Street. Then I took Cherry all the way back to Fourth and that took right around 32 minutes. I wasn’t thinking when I started that way but coming back, no matter which street was going to be an uphill battle, literally. I persevered and trod along and I’ll admit I had to stop a couple of times along the way, just for a second, to catch my breath. But I made it. 3793 steps (2778 at a healthy pace). I walked 1.85 miles. I burned 287 calories. How did your walk go?

Get to steppin’!

April 4, 2016: National Walking Day 2016

While I’m still trying to get this whole walking endeavor in its own routine, I want to let you know, if you didn’t already know, that today is National Walking Day, promoted by the American Heart Association.

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Let’s review why this is important to me. One, I’m doing this walking blog, right? I need to set an example and if it’s a “national observance” that has to do with the subject of my blog, then I need to observe.

Two, I’m a large guy. I hover around 300 lbs, even crossing that number for the first time a couple of months ago at the doctor’s office and that bothers me. Anyone who knew me as a kid knew I was a very skinny and small, but tall, kid. I let go, I guess (I have theories on that). I’m not a body builder so that weight isn’t good for me.

Three, I had (coming up on the anniversary) triple bypass heart surgery at the age of 41. I never had an actual heart attack, somehow. But, gave myself a few opportunities, in of all places, my favorite place on earth, Walt Disney World, and on my wife’s birthday and the weekend of my (better late than never) college graduation. 99% blockage (probably 100%) in one artery, the “widow maker” was 95% blocked and a third was 75% blocked. I don’t know how I didn’t have a heart attack, but I didn’t. My heart actually passes the squeeze test pretty well.

So for these reasons, I’m participating in National Walking Day. Wednesdays are my busiest day of the week so I will only get to do the 30 minute recommendation, but I believe that’s the point of the observation: we’re sitting more, becoming more sedentary, and using the excuse of being “busy.” Well, your heart doesn’t care how “busy” you are, it needs to be busy and that’s only going to happen by being more active. I hate the word “exercise” because I envision doing tae bo or long sessions on an elliptical machine (which I really don’t mind) or the people who I see on the street corners running in place waiting for the light to change and with the most horrible grimaces on their faces because I know that all that running, to me, would be very uncomfortable (and awful). I have never liked, or understood the appeal of, running. I know I get enthralled in my work (all aspects of them) and it’s important for me to get out and keep myself alive.

I hope that you get out there and do at least 30 minutes of walking today. If you can only fit it in 10 minutes at a time, then do yourself a favor and do it. Your heart is what keeps you going, so, keep it going! Load up that mp3 player and enjoy your walk!

Get to steppin’!

Saturday, April 2: Buena Vista

Yesterday was a good and long walk day. It was the Buena Vista (North Stratford Road) neighborhood today. Stephanie and I parked at the BB&T at Five-Points and headed north on Stratford. We walked all the way up to Reynolda Rd, which was 1.2 miles, itself. 2016-04-02 22.30.02

From there we went back down Stratford back to Robinhood Rd and two streets west to Arbor Rd. We took Arbor south to Warwick Rd. Then west on Warwick to Roslyn Rd. North on Roslyn to Reynolds Dr. West on Reynolds where we stopped and had lemonade from two cute kids selling them for about $.25 per ounce. We purchased $.75 worth. We continued on Reynolds until we got to South Westview Dr. South on Westview to Country Club then east on Country Club all the way back to the BB&T.

That whole stretch was 4.3 miles. The beauty of that neighborhood is that there is so much to walk that we can return over and over and see a whole different side of it each time.

We then drove to the Harris Teeter on Stratford where we walked the whole store gather

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groceries for dinner. Then to Walmart off of Peters Creek Parkway for more groceries and more walking.

All in all yesterday, we walked 13,022 steps. The distance total was 6.41. I burned 976 calories today. A good day. Here’s to more just like it.

Get to steppin’.

Not Quite Ready for Prime Time

So, I’m just setting up the site, making it look cool and all that. We’re not ready to start talking about the town, how much I’ve walked of it and all that grooviness; again, not yetTim 5k. But, keep an eye out, I’ll let you know when we’re ready. Will you be?

You can find me on Twitter and Facebook right now, with more social media outlets to follow.

As of right now, anything you see is subject to change including potential sponsors, etc. I really have them up as a place holder. But, you’ll have fun. I’ll have fun. We’ll all have fun. Keep watching.