I spent most of the day with little Sophie today. School was cancelled so I had the day off. Carly went to a consignment sale. So this afternoon, I thought I would get a couple of hours of downtime, reading the local weekly paper, maybe browsing some gaming materials... Well, that didn't really work. The first place I went to had a bad vibe, it was really crowded and I didn't have any cash.
I drove up a major arterial thinking I would find some kind of bookstore or coffeeshop. I scanned every stripmall along the way. No luck. Finally a coffeeshop. I park and look in, no sign of a paper rack, so I wander the mall for twenty minutes looking for another, no luck. Oh well, I'll just get some coffee I think. I head to the door, it is locked. They were closed.
I keep driving, suddenly I am way in the boonies. No point continuing there. I end up of all places at the big Mall nearby. They have a barnes and ignoble. So I stop there have a cup. I wander around and find that there is nothing of interest to me. The coffee shop is sanitary and sterile.
A call from Carly brought me home. I did manage to do something productive. I bought some dinner, and some cooking supplies. So it wasn't a complete waste.
This is one problem I have with Raleigh. It has almost no neighborhoods, little character, and very few places where one can sit down and relax. I miss that from San Francisco, and even Albuquerque. There were always little independent places. All Raleigh has is the big chain stores and a couple small places near the university. But those are pretty much only open during School hours.
How does one attract and maintain such places? I really don't know, I assume people like that sort of thing. Places with character, famaliar faces: bars, coffee shops, bookstores, game stores, etc.. Where are they all?
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