Listicle: 13 things I learned about on my Winston route

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by Eric Ginsburg

1. Amazing street names

Every week I drive a semicircle loop around the south, east and north sides of Winston-Salem delivering copies of this paper. If you’re reading this in print in those parts of town, I probably touched your paper. One of the first things I noticed as I learned the route, possibly making a few illegal U-turns as I missed my corners, were some unusual street names. My two favorite so far: Goldfloss Street and Today’s Woman Avenue.

2. A tree fort

There’s a pretty sweet tree fort, complete with a porch and plastic lawn chairs, in a yard near Reynolds Park Golf Course. And the property has a trampoline to boot! But it isn’t set up to allow a bouncy descent from the elevated deck. Yet.

3. Sweet graffiti

The best piece I’ve seen may be on the broadside of a building on Greenway Avenue, but there are a few other eye-catching colorful pieces nearby. There’s also some terrible graffiti too, especially gang chicken scratch over a mural of MLK, Malcolm X and Harriet Tubman by Paul Cloud Field on Waterworks Road (see this week’s feature photo on page 7).SONY DSC

4. Old buildings

Winston-Salem and the rest of the Triad contain so many beautiful old buildings that sit like rotting, hollowed-out pumpkins. There are several near the Black Phillips-Smith Government Center and dotted elsewhere along my route. And there are some great vintage signs too, including a banner painted alongside Salvage Building Materials.

5. A beautiful church

There is plenty of impressive architecture in the Camel City, but my favorite building I pass is Goler Metropolitan AME Zion Church on the eastside Winston-Salem. Go look at the stained-glass windows for yourself, or find a picture I took on TCB’s Instagram.

6. History

The Black Panther Party historical marker, honoring the work of local Panthers in Winston-Salem, is still down at the corner of 5th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. My affection for radical history led me to attend the unveiling, and I’m always disappointed to see it’s still not back up after being hit by a truck late last year.

7. Restaurants

The smell of fish envelopes me every time I drop off papers at Forsyth Seafood, and I’m tempted to sit down and order when I bring copies to North Point Grill. I also pass by intriguing places, including two Salvadoran restaurants on opposite sides of downtown and Dat’s Good Food on the east side.

8. What’s happening

There’s a gigantic hole smashed into a glass window inside the Carl Russell Community Center that looks like someone fired a candlepin bowling ball through it with a cannon. As I stood marveling at it, an employee told me someone punched through the glass because he was furious about a foul in a basketball game in the adjacent gym.

9. People

It’s inevitable that you meet a lot of people while driving a distribution route, though I haven’t introduced myself to all of the regulars I see each Wednesday. One woman working at a YMCA is particularly kind and excited to see the paper, and I’m pretty sure a guy who works at another stop is eyeing me. He’s pretty handsome and is always smiling, but it ain’t gonna happen. Sorry dude.

10. House envy

There’s a porch I noticed last week near SECCA where I’d love to be invited to pass the early evening hours. My favorite house along my path may be a blue one on Patterson Avenue, but I’m pretty sure I saw a sign nearby reminding people that drugs and prostitution are illegal. Good to know.

11. Colleges

My distribution route includes three Forsyth Tech stops, two at Wake Forest and one at Winston-Salem State, but the most popular appears to be my drop at UNC School of the Arts. If I had to do school over again I would want to be there, just to be around so many talented people with the hope that their skill would inform and inspire me.

12. Natural beauty

That said, Wake Forest has the prettiest campus in town, if you can ignore some of the monstrous buildings. The flowering trees rival nearby Reynolda House (another one of my stops). I pass by a lot of parks that beckon me to take a break to traipse through them, but so far I haven’t succumbed to the pressure.

13. Manmade beauty

Sure there are grand, old structures and great skyline views I pass along the way, but there’s other picturesque unnatural beauty on my route, too. My current favorite: I can look down a hill from the parking lot at Anderson Community Center into a glistening, white, empty pool. Has anyone tried skating this yet?