Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's Old is New Again





Driving along Union Street in downtown Concord, NC, I couldn’t help but notice the large Coca-Cola mural on the side of a building as I crossed the intersection with Cabarrus Avenue.  I did a double-take and, before I could make a quick right turn, drove through the intersection.


I looped around the block and got out of my car. And I waited. It was late in the afternoon and I wanted to capture someone in front of the mural.


And I waited.


I felt like I was a paparrazo stalking a brick wall when a child and a woman pushing a stroller appeared. They must have been reading my mind as they strolled right in front of the mural. It couldn’t have worked out better.


Of course, it wasn’t until I got back to my hotel that I learned the story behind the mural.


I just happened to be thumbing through a local magazine when I came across a small blurb about the mural. Turns out it lay hidden from view since the 1960’s, covered by aluminum siding. Only when the building was being renovated in 2009 was it rediscovered. Donations were raised to restore the mural to its former glory. The process was completed in 2011.


It’s amazing what you’ll find when you’re not really looking for anything in particular. I’ve just got to work on my reflexes better or just start riding in the passenger seat.


After all, this is how wrecks happen.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Trust Me, Eat Here


If it weren’t for the picnic table perched atop the large brick and stone oven, I never would have noticed Scratch. It made be do a double take. Unfortunately, it was my last day in Johnson City, TN, and it would take me another year to get back. But the wait was well worth it.

Scratch Brick Oven is not your typical pizza joint. The jukebox is a turntable sitting next to a stack of vinyl and it’s totally self serve. It was also the first time I’ve ever seen my pizza weighed after its been cooked. I was told they do it for “inventory” purposes. Not sure I’d ever want to know the outcome.

You can get your pizza three ways: Trust, Limited Trust, or Make Your Own. With the trust, the pizza maker chooses the toppings for you and they can be a very eclectic mix, from homemade sausage to mandarin oranges and Granny Smith apples. Limited trust is crossing out what you don’t want on your pizza. And make your own is just that.

Either way, Trust, Limited Trust, or Make Your Own, you can’t go wrong.

Just don’t order a whole pizza by yourself. If you do, you’ll be eating pizza for the next several days out of the mini fridge in your hotel. Not that there is anything wrong with eating cold leftover pizza.

Trust me, I speak from experience.