by Brian Clarey

On Friday night we met with the roller girls outside M’Coul’s, Eric Ginsburg and me, then waded into the First Friday mass that had gathered along Elm Street well before the sun dipped below the horizon.

The first temperate gallery hop of the season always draws a fine crowd in Greensboro, and we moved a few hundred newspapers before I ducked into Crop Salon to see Amelia’s Mechanics, fronted by the earnest countenance of Molly McGinn, reunited for an intimate set.

From there I bounced to the 24-hour poetry reading at Scuppernong Books, took down a scoop of salted caramel ice cream at the Creamery and scouted the wares at the indie market before calling it a night just as the fireworks exploded over NewBridge Bank Park to celebrate the Greensboro Grasshopper’s home opener (see Jeff Laughlin’s take on page 27).

In Winston-Salem, the RiverRun Film Festival kicked off Friday afternoon, as did Phuzz Phest, both neatly coinciding with the monthly art crawl. I hate to use the word “synergy,” but there it is.

On Saturday night the lights along 4th Street looked like light sabers hanging in the trees and the traffic slid past at a respectable pace to accommodate all the walkers. They moved along the sidewalks like they were on parade, ducking into restaurants and bars, gathering in open spaces, contributing a steady chatter to the energy already suffusing the entire district.

To be in Winston-Salem on a night like this is to see just what this city is capable of.

I spent the late afternoon screening Joe at the UNC School of the Arts, which I wrote about last week, and caught a great compilation of shorts later at A/perture (see Screen on page 26). In between I mingled in the coffee shops and bars with friends I haven’t seen in months, managing to catch a few Phuzz Phest sets at the Garage before jumping on Business 40 to get back home.

It’s a quick trip, maybe half an hour, and every time I make it I wonder why so many other people around here seem unwilling to. When you’re a citizen of the Triad, a little time on the road is always worth it.

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