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Visit Chatham's cool places

By Dan Cahoon
Posted Wednesday, August 27, 2008

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Moncure, NC - I would like to echo the recent post about PC’s Cool Place. It is a great place for a meal or just ice cream. A good friend took me there recently and we had a great time. My son’s were treated like royalty. Any place that calls me darlin and takes care of my kids is on my list. Next time you are in Siler City, go check out this little gem. It is not that far off the path, just blocks from downtown. Tell them Darlin’ sent you.

Another fabulous cool place is the new City Tap in Downtown PBO. I have had great relaxing fun enjoying a beverage and chatting with friends old and new. The atmosphere is terrific, both inside and out. They are growing and learning how to serve their new “regulars” and new faces. The food is great and just what a place like should have. I think the staff there has an investment in community and an awareness of customer service. Thanks to everyone there (seems like everyone is working there). I think City Tap will be a super spot for all. This has been a long awaited oasis. Drop by for a pint and a snack. Think of it as an investment in community. Plus, you might see me there (what an honor, I know).

Our Neighborhood School is happily providing a cool spot for thinking children and parents alike. Donna serves up a fabulous menu and has created a space where like minded people can meet to help make our garden grow. I heard that there will new areas of scientific discovery developed in conjunction with other organizations and that these areas will no doubt lend new venues both public and private to our curious youth. There are all kinds of child centered activities happening there and I believe there will be even more in the future. I am considering sending at least one of my children there for the best possible education he can get in Chatham County, one centered around life skills, imagination, developmental, and unbound by the worst parts of EOG test prep and the strictures of No Child Left Behind (destroying our schools, have I mentioned that lately?). Our Neighborhood School is shaping up to be a centerpiece for alternative learning and dining in our community.

Thank you Donna for your bravery and investment and dedication. The rest of you, go check out the school on August 16 (or before). I know you will have a great time. If you have your own child that is dissatisfied with the public school system, then you will definitely be interested in this creative alternative. I know I am.

Finally, the heat has abated somewhat and a modicum of moisture is falling from the skies. Unfortunately, the rain has not been substantial enough to make the Haw run the way my kayak likes it (fast and rough) but the trails along the river are calling. The Haw River Assembly will be promoting the care and feeding of the river and surrounding wildness in it’s terrific annual event soon and I know many of you will attend. I hope many others will take some time to walk the trails along the river, just to enjoy the beauty of the area. It is good for you and for the river.

What is not good for you or the river is the trash you will no doubt see as you walk along. No big rains mean no big wash out to push the human debris so heartlessly discarded out to sea (eventually ending up in the gullets of birds, turtles, sea otters etc. what doesn’t may even make it to the island in Hawaii that “collects” tons of plastic debris every year or the raft of bottles and plastic floating in the central pacific) so there should be plenty of bottles, cans, fishing debris, plastic bags etc.

What is good for you is the feeling you get (not the chiggers or possible infection, use gloves) when you take some bags with you and fill them up. You will feel even better when you even take those full, full bags out of the park and recycle them at the county facility. Then wash your hands. You may feel a bit frustrated when you return to find as much if not more discarded plastic trash just days later, but don’t despair. Every bit you take away keeps it out of the debris stream. What is good for the river is good for you.

So here is the plan for you to experience ultimate coolness in Chatham County

1. Go to Chatham Market Place and purchase a decadent meal or selected super nutritional snacks (See, you feel superior already). Remember, coffee first.

2. Take the remainder of your fabulous, virtuous food down to Bynum and walk the trail next to the river. Pick up trash, take back to car (put down a plastic sheet or other more virtuous, yet non porous material). Recycle and give a superior smile of gratitude to the attendant on duty. Wash your hands.

3. Head back to town for lunch at Our Neighborhood School. Watch play about frogs or something. Talk to Donna. Learn things. Wander through the future nature attractions next door and then head off towards…..

4. The City Tap. Have some liquid refreshment or maybe a snack (but let’s face it you are stuffed at this point). Sit in the cool interior or brave the sun outside if you are so inclined. Make sure you drink water as well. Talk to people (especially those who seem to be alone). Gesticulate wildly while you tell people about your river walk and the amazing things happening at Our Neighborhood School.

5. Drift down Hillsborough st., visiting The Unity Bookstore, Fusions. Second Bloom, New Horizons, and of course Beggars and Choosers. Contemplate the Soda Shoppe (maybe next time, before the virtuous snacks, the calzone, the awesome pretzel and various beverages). Make sure you peer into the future Woodwrights Shop in front of the city tap. Try not breathe on the glass as you think of the cool (yet terribly difficult) things that will be done in the new exciting place.

6. Now get wild and run up to Siler City to check out the Arts Incubator. Talk to interesting and talented people. Try not to be envious. Art is hard work too. Have some coffee at the new place and gaze longingly at the beautiful pottery on display.

7. Cruise by the book store, Paperbacks Plus to see if they are open. If they are then go check out their large collection of terrific titles (they have the best science fiction collection in the state). Buy as many books as you can afford.

8. Head down to PC’s Cool Place for a cool drink (ice cream?) and read one of your new (to you) books. Or try to. The waitress will probably check on you often and you will read the same paragraph 5 times. Give up and talk to the family near you (especially the cute kid with ice cream all over his face) about what a great place PC’s is and what they like to get there.

9. Head home for a nap in a hammock, chair, bed or sofa. Awaken groggy yet refreshed. Cleanse for the nightly revels.

10. end it all up with a great show at The General Store (no doubt having a great meal served impeccably by attractive and charming wait staff). Those with great stamina will make one more pass at the City Tap for an after party kind of thing.

Now doesn’t that sound fun? It would probably cost a few hundred dollars and may put on a few pounds to do all of this in a day, especially with anyone else in tow. Better maybe to spread it out over the next few weeks and savor the coolness over time. Visit these places often and enjoy them. They need our money to make their businesses sustainable and we need them to keep things cool. There are many more great places and activities out there as well.

Sing their praises and fill their cash registers.

Remember to wash your hands
Be Safe
Be Kind
Be Prepared

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