Downtown: The Return, September 24, 2016

It was good to get back to the walking grind after being out of commission for over a month. In my last post, a few weeks back, I talked about missing because of a doctor-imposed hiatus due to an ingrown toenail. Admittedly, I was kind of dreading walking because I got out of routine, out of shape (not that I was in shape) and have been battling an allergy/sinus problem. So, to combat that, we decided to go a little easier on our walk the first time out, just to get back into it. Stephanie and I got a later start than normal on this Saturday and luckily, it wasn’t too hot.

We decided to something familiar to do our “easing back.” That ended up being downtown, of course. We parked in the lot around our “carbinator,” Mary’s Gourmet Diner and walked Trade Street, south to Seventh Street. We walked Seventh, east, all the way to Patterson. We passed the Goler AME Zion Church on the corner of Patterson and Seventh. The church was built in the very early 1900s and was very instrumental in the African American community, especially in the era of the tobacco boom of the early 20th Century. It has been on the National Registry of Historic Places since 1998. 14448986_10154375875875490_8078112746879906056_n

Speaking of the tobacco history of this town, Patterson Avenue is the location of the new Innovation Quarter that is a lot of Wake Forest University, a lot of other technological and innovative companies, incubators and research facilities all combining forces to make the world a better place. These are all either demolished, refurbished or completely reimagined tobacco warehouses. You can stand on the corner of Patterson and Sixth Street and see one of the most spectacular views of the city (see the picture) .

We walked south on Patterson, by the beautiful Bailey Park to the developing area of Third Street, right behind Krankie’s. We turned, west, up the hill at Third and walked that past the oldest “skyscraper” in the city. In fact, it’s older than the city itself. The towns of Winston and Salem merged in 1913. The building of 8 W. Third was completed (mostly) in 1911, two years before the city was established. It was built as the headquarters of Wachovia Band and Trust and served in that role until what is now Winston Tower was completed in 1966, basically, right across the street. It was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1984 as “Wachovia Bank and Trust Company Building.” That’s history!

Also in that area? The old Forsyth County Courthouse. It sits, officially at 50 W Fourth Street (though the National Registry of Historic Places lists it as 11 W Third), directly across the street from 8 W Third. It was the third courthouse to sit on that spot, completed in 1926 and updated in 1960. It continued to be used for county services even after the Hall of Justice (I always think of the Superfriends when I say or hear that) was implemented in 1974. It made the Historic Places list in 2013. There’s a lot of the town’s history in that one little block.

We went north on Liberty, so named because a former resident of Salem moved out and felt “liberated” to be free of the rules of the Moravian theocracy. We made a stop by the new Crafted: Art of the Taco, which I can assure you will be covered on The Man Who Ate the Town, very soon. Again, we knew we’d be taking a lighter load for the day to ease back and I was working on about 3 hours of sleep, so we made our way to Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and turned west. We took that past what will be Wise Man Brewing and the old Ziggy’s. I can’t wait to tour the new brewery to see how much of this large building they will actually be using. It seems a bit large for what they’re doing, but that’s not a bad thing.

2016-09-25-19-15-13We walked MLK until we hit Trade again. We walked south and stopped our journey back at Mary’s. After having our breakfast there, we made our way down Trade to our official “caffeinator,” Atelier on Trade. Right before we made it to the store front, we hit 5,000 steps. So, half our normal steps at a later time of the day. We still felt good that we got out and was moving about. We finished our walking Saturday at our “liquid reward,” Hoots Roller Bar and Beer Company. Counting our minor walking about to get a prescription filled and to dinner, we ended up with 6,751 steps, 3.35 miles and burned 3094 calories. This according to my Vivofit, courtesy of Omega Sports.

It was a decent reentry into the walking world. I appreciate those who have voiced concern over why we hadn’t been posting and walking. It was a temporary setback and we’re back to it. I don’t know, yet, if we’ll hit the 10k by 10a next week but we’ll try. I’d like to get at least 7,500. We’ll see. But, thank you, again, to Omega Sports, Mary’s Gourmet Diner, Atelier on Trade and Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Company for believing in us and what we do! Until next time…

Get to steppin’!!

Buena Vista, July 16, 2016

Stephanie and I were up early this day, knowing that there were other things we’d be doing in the day and that it was going to be very hot later that afternoon. So we had decided that our “10k by 10a” quest would be Buena Vista this day. Yes, we’ve been to that area a couple of times and we’ll continue to go there. There’s a large neighborhood back in those side streets and plenty that we haven’t explored.

We started our journey (with GoPro from Omega Sports strapped on) at Five-Points on North Stratford and we headed north. We observed some wonderfully rich architecture and I’m not just talking about the folk or houses that made up the neighborhood. I mean the 2016-07-16 08.39.41the way the houses were constructed and the history in this neighborhood is quite rich and deep. We walked all the way to Spring Garden Road and turned west onto Spring Garden. We walked that until we got to Sylvan Road. We turned south on Sylvan and walked until Greenbrier Road. We walked Greenbrier southeast to Roslyn Road and turned south.

We walked Roslyn to Buena Vista Road where we turned northwest until we reached Dartmouth Road. Stephanie had attended Whitaker Elementary for a time and wanted to show me where it was. I say was because it had been torn down and a new one built on top of the old place. So there were stories about boys that picked on her to be told. We walked Dartmouth south to Forest Drive where we turned east. We walked Forest until we returned to Roslyn. We walked south all the way to Warwick Road, which we took east, crossing back over Stratford and to Runnymede Road where we turned southwest and back to Five Points. We needed to get a few more steps so we walked back up Stratford until Warwick and crossed the street to come back to Five Points, and crossed Country Club Road and onto S. Stratford and around the BB&T building’s parking lot to reach our car. Just as my watch chimed 10,000 steps it also showed that it was 10am on the dot.

We went downtown to Mary’s Gourmet Diner to have our after-walk nourishment from our official “Carb Loader” and then down to Atelier on Trade to our official “Caffeinator.” Afterwards, it was time for our “liquid reward” at Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Company.

But, our day wasn’t done. We then went to RayLen Vineyards to perform with the Vagabond Saints Society and then after that, we went back to downtown WSNC to perform 2016-07-24 19.22.07with Clay Howard at Finnigan’s Wake. All-in-all for that day, we ended up with 17,410 steps. That equaled to 8.47 miles and I burned 3546 calories. Not a bad day of walking, I’d say.

Many thanks to our sponsor Omega Sports without whom I’d be on old tattered shoes and bad socks, and have to resort to checking my phone instead of my Garmin Vivofit 3. They make the walks possible.

While N Stratford is a bit noisy (it’s a pretty busy street), the neighborhood streets to the west of it are very quiet, serene and beautiful. There are plenty of wonderful houses, buildings and structures to gaze upon as well as magnificently manicured lawns and landscapes to enjoy. It’s one of the more upscale neighborhoods in town and it shows. But, they seem very inviting to others who may be wandering about their community. We thank them for their welcome hospitality. Look for this to be a video soon (at least that’s my plan).

Where would you like to see or read of me exploring in this town? Do you want to walk with us? Hit me up here by leaving a comment, or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or send me an email. I’d love to hear from you. Until next time…

Get to steppin’!

Downtown WSNC and Beyond, July 9, 2016

I know we’ve walked downtown WSNC a good bit and the reason we did it this week was more about race against time that it was exploring, although, we still did some of that.

I’m going to back up just a hair. Chad Nance, of Camel City Dispatch (also a filmmaker) and I worked on the video intro for the upcoming web series on Friday and we started walking at 6am to get the best light and it was cooler but you could tell it was going to get thick as the day went on. I’m not going to tell you where we did that as I want you to have extra incentive to watch; to see if you can figure out where I was in it. But, anyway, by 8am that morning I had already walked 7000 steps. By 2:30pm that day, I had my 10,000.

The last 1800 steps were a doozie because it was really, really hot and I almost lost it in that. After that, I walked as little as possible, I’d say because I ended up with 12, 019 steps, walking 6.01 miles and burning 3388 through midnight. I also drank 96oz of water. I’ve upped my water intake, too. I’ve got to get rid of some weight.

Now, all that being said, I realized it was pretty easy to get all those steps earlier in the day. It was cooler and the humidity, while there wasn’t as bad. So, Stephanie and I agreed we were going to walk before we ate and try to be through all of our steps and seated at Mary’s Gourmet Diner by 10am. So, we set off on out trek.

We decided it was a matter of beating the heat today and an experiment so we were less about taking new scenic routes and stuck with what we knew. We knew we were coming back to Mary’s and Atelier on Trade afterwards, so we parked in Mary’s lot at 6:45am which was before any of the other places in town were open. So, there was no search for a parking space. Mary’s lot is at 723 North Trade Street and we started there and headed south on Trade passing by Finnigan’s Wake, which was being attended to by two firetrucks. We were afraid something had gone wrong but it seems everything was okay, and that’s good; it’s where Stephanie and I met.2016-07-09 23.24.37

We followed Trade until Fifth Street where we turned east and walked until Main Street where we turned south. We walked Main Street all the way down into Old Salem and west on, well, West Street, where we met up a friend or two at the Cobblestone Farmers’ Market. When we were done talking, we walked south on Salt Street until we came to Walnut. We turned east on Walnut back to Main and went into the traffic turnaround at the end of Old Salem’s Main Street (WSNC’s Main Street picks back up past the roundabout at Salem Avenue) where we exited out of Old Salem and headed west until we hit The Strollway. We walked The Strollway from it’s southern most point on Salem Ave, northward to its northernmost point at Town Run Lane. There are some hills on that bad boy and we walked fairly briskly so we were winded. We had to stop along the way not once but twice. It wasn’t over hard but again, we were winded.

When we got to Town Run Lane and Second Street (again, where The Strollway ends) we walked Town Run north until we crossed Third Street and along the private drive (I believe formerly the connector to Fourth Street) and turned east on Fourth. We then went north on Trade until Seventh Street. We realized we were going to come up a bit short if we walked straight to Mary’s so we turned east on Seventh and then north on Liberty Street until we reached Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. We walked west on MLK until we again reached Trade. We turned south and decided that even though we were 430-ish steps shy of 10k we were going to go ahead and stop and eat. We were both famished at the point.

So, we ate at Mary’s, our “official carb loader,” and then continued south on Trade until we got to Atelier on Trade, our “caffeinator.” About 10 yards away from Atelier’s we hit our 10,000 step goal, according to the Garmin Vivofit 3 (thanks to the sponsorship of Omega Sports)! That was exciting. And had we not stayed an extra 5 minutes talking at Mary’s we would have made 10,000 by 10am; we were about four minutes past. That got me to thinking. I felt better eating after the walk, we missed the heat and humidity and we had the rest of the day to do whatever after we ate and had coffee. Because we did this by 10am (not counting the 3 minutes), I set a new goal for us. We’re going to do what I’m calling “10k before 10a” which means 10,000 steps before 10am. Well, we had to walk back to our car that was sitting at Mary’s and that gained us a few more steps.

I am an organizer of a street festival in downtown Winston-Salem, that happens every second Sunday of the month from May until October, called Second Sundays on Fourth or SSO4, for short. I had to do the voice overs for Sunday’s event so we parked on the corner of Spruce Street and Fourth. We walked to The Less Desirables Studios so I could do that. Getting there, in the building, to the studio, incidental walking and walking the two blocks back to the car, added to the step count.

Then, my sister and brother-in-law met up with us at our house and we went back downtown, back to Mary’s parking lot and walked around with them. We followed Trade, south, all the way to Fourth (making a stop at Artivity on the Green on Liberty Street) and around Marshall Street to the north, east on Fifth and back to Trade turning north and back to the car. We at dinner at another local restaurant and afterwards in the parking lot, I realized I was almost at 17, 000 steps so while we were talking I walked in big circles to get steps in. I hit 17k and then some.

At home, I realized that I was close to 18,000 but I didn’t want to go back out. Even though it was dark, I just didn’t feel like going outside. So, since I have a fairly open floor plan in my house, I made laps in the kitchen/living room until I hit 18k steps. Then after syncing with my phone/Garmin app, I realized I was not far, say .75 miles, from 9 miles on the day. Stephanie reminded me that 9.33 miles is the equivalent to a 15k (if they even have those) and I said, well what the heck? and continued on until that. Then I realized that got up to almost 20,000 steps. You guessed it, I went on. When I reached 20,000, my app said I was but. 05 miles away from 10 miles. So, of course, I had to do that.

So, all-in-all, yesterday, I ended up with 20,139 steps, walked 10.01 miles and burned 3782 calories. That is the most I’ve ever known me to walk in one day, although as a younger man, I probably did that, plus all the time I spent in Walt Disney World, but for sure since I’ve gotten old and fat, this is the most. My Vivofit even showed that I had gotten my goal… TWICE! I was 2016-07-09 23.26.18proud of myself. Plus, I drank 144oz of water throughout the day. That’s an overall fantastic day. Well, we’re not done, just yet, and I apologize for this being so long.

Sunday was SSO4 and it was a long day; lots of walking back and forth, checking on the bands, checking on the vendors, checking on the guests, it was a lot of walking. I drank 112oz of water and ended up with 6810 steps, walking 3.29 miles and burning 2874 calories. The weekend total was 38,968 steps, 19.31 miles (wish I could have hit 20) and 10,044 calories. Thank you, again, to Omega for supplying me with the Garmin Vivofit 3 to keep track of all of this.

We didn’t get to our “liquid reward” at Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Company on Saturday because we were under a time restraint but I did have 2 ESBs from Hoots at dinner on Friday night. And, I appreciate that they’re there for Stephanie and me and support what we do. All my sponsors are awesome and so is this town. Let’s say that I’m tired and a bit sore, but I hope to keep up a minimum daily step count (of 2500-5000) and water intake (64oz) to keep my road to wellness in focus. Sorry, we didn’t talk about many landmarks or points of interest, like I said, this was more an experiment than practical exploration. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more about the web series.

Where did you walk to? Get to steppin’!

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.

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’!