Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Best places to stand in North Carolina?

My colleague Mary Newsom has pointed readers to the fun in coming up with a list of best places to stand in Charlotte.

And here's a Web site that invites readers to vote on the 100 best places to stand in the United States.

But I was disappointed to see that only one N.C. attraction -- the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse -- made the list of nominees for the 100 best places.

What would you put on the list of best places in North Carolina to stand?

Here are a few thoughts, in no particular order:

1. On the deck of a 37-foot sailboat at anchor in Silver Lake harbor at Ocracoke Island

2. Ankle deep in the waters of Hatteras' Cape Point -- with the Hatteras Light in the background.

3. On the 50-yard-line at Kenan Stadium late on a fall Saturday afternoon.

4. On the sidewalk in Pinehurst any day between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

5. In the bleachers at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on a summer evening.

6. In Duke Chapel, after a stroll in Duke Gardens, any sunny day.

7. On top of Mt. Mitchell on a snowy day in August. Well, a flurry, anyway.

8. Atop Chimney Rock on a clear day.

9. On the second floor of the state Capitol, listening to a choir singing under the dome.

10. Sitting at a Formica-topped table (okay, standing at a counter) at any of two dozen good N.C. barbecue joints. I'd start in places like Lexington, Kinston, Greenville, Ayden and Goldsboro.

The list goes on. What's on your list?

11 comments:

Vincenzo said...

Well 1st thought would be NOT standing in the proverbial bread line anytime soon.

But really the best place to stand is in front of the bbq grill in the backyard on one of those days that only can be experienced in North Carolina on a crisp fall Sunday afternoon, you know when the leaves crunch under foot, the sun is bright but far enough below what ever parallel brings fall, the breeze is slight yet lets you know it's there with its freshness and the sky is that particular color, shade, hue of blue that only can be called Carolina Blue.

Back in the mid 90's the best place to stand was in line at the Hive.

Anonymous said...

Standing on the corner of Trade & Tryon at 12 noon on a workday.

Anonymous said...

i just wish i could stand, how insensitive of you.....

Jack Betts said...

Here's a list from a longtime friend who grew up in Eastern North Carolina and now lives in Charlotte:

1. Standing in a field of dewy tobacco in July as the sun comes up through the pines on a flat, straight ditch-bank.
2. Standing on the beach in Carteret County when the F-15's F-18's or A10-trainers make their daily runs.
3. Standing on Central Avenue in Charlotte atop the Independence Boulevard overpass when the lights of uptown twinkle into action at dusk. (Best view of the state's most recognized city skyline.) 4. Standing on the pedestrian walk of the Cape Fear River Bridge in Wilmington, looking at the Battleship North Carolina.
5. Standing in Malaprop's books on Haywood Street in Asheville drinking dark, rich coffee and reading the prologue to "Look, Homeward Angel" for the 1,000th time.
6. Standing on the campus of any of N.C.'s 16 public universities at commencement. There is no more hopeful place or moment.
7. Standing at the waterfowl ponds on Pea Island refuge at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in November and listening to the cacophony.
8. Standing in line at Calabash, hungry and sunburned, while the smell of fried seafood engulfs you.
9. Standing just off the Appalachian Trail, on a 6,000-foot bald at Grassy Ridge, and watching the rising sun kiss the profile of Grandfather Mountain.
10. Standing in an August rain under long leaf pines at the picnic area of the amphitheater at the N.C. Museum of Art, eating imported Lexington barbecue washed down with cold beer and watching an engorged summer sun go down in the haze to the west.

Jack Betts said...

And here's another list, email to me by a friend who was reared in Western North Carolina and who now lives in Raleigh:

I let my mind wander as I read your column on the best places to stand in North Carolina. I agree standing on the top of Mt. Mitchell on a snowy day in August would be a treat, probably ranking high on my list. We ... didn’t’ find snow standing next to Dr. Mitchell’s grave three weeks back, but I will tell you it was windy and cloudy. It was a very crisp 76-degrees and still wonder why I had my shorts on! From the gate at the park entrance to the parking lot, we marveled at the wind driven clouds as they came up the mountain side on our left, swirled a bit and then caught the down side to our right and plunged eastward.



Here are some of my favorite spots and activities.



· McRae Meadow at Grandfather for Highland Games or Singing on the Mountain.

· Watching the Eagle Dance at Unto These Hills

· Inhaling the aroma of apple butter, slowly cooking, at The Orchards At Altapass, just off the Parkway.

· Just about anywhere on the Blue Ridge Parkway

· Wiseman’s View at Linville Gorge, watching for the Brown Mountain Lights

· Biltmore House at Christmas.

· The wail of Tweetsie under a full head of steam.!



Yes, my roots and heart are up Interstate-40. As a veteran NC State Trooper told me years ago, “ There are only three good things about Raleigh and that’s Interstate Forty West!

Anonymous said...

How about standing at the Beacon Heights overlook off the Blue Ridge Parkway on a crisp & sunny Autumn Saturday in late October with the lemon yellows, vibrant oranges, and deep reds glowing off all of the colorful trees, hundreds of feet below and continueing in the distance for miles and miles through the Appalachians? Now that is truly a site to behold.

Anonymous said...

Mecklenburg county jail.

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