Merry New Year!

Tonight is a big night for many. Instead of doing a poor job of covering it all, I’ll just point to a few great resources for everything going on tonight:

  • First Night Raleigh

DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE. Hopefully this list will make yours and everyone else’s lives easier:


Also, don’t forget that Winterfest will continue its extended holiday hours thru Monday. Skating sessions will run from 11 am-10 pm with the exception of Monday when the rink will be open from 11 am-9 pm, Saturday from 11 am-11 pm and Sunday will have 2 sessions; noon-5 pm and 7-10 pm.

Happy New Year!


Glenwood Hampton Inn Gets Site Plan

abbeycarpet[1] After about a year and a half of latency, it looks like the Hampton Inn project in Glenwood South is moving forward. A Site Plan (.pdf) for the project, slated for the NW corner of Glenwood and Johnson, has been posted to the city’s site. The shoebox-shaped project will actually face Hi-5 on Johnson Street, and feature 950’ of unrelated retail space on its Glenwood Avenue street-level facade. The City of Raleigh requires 145 parking spaces for the building, but the plan is currently unclear about how those will be offered.

The project once showed 157 rooms planned, but now appears to be 126 units. The hotel will not have any special terracing or setback from the Glenwood Avenue sidewalk, but will only rise 5 stories on that face of the building.

Thanks, Chris!

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2010: Best of the Year

As you may have noticed, the posts here have slowed down quite a bit. It’s a direct reflection on the dull year that was 2010. In retrospect, however, there were plenty of significant events that happened. Here are the Top 40 events of 2010:

  1. N.C. Museum of Art Opens New Building
  2. The Walt Opens
  3. Hopscotch Festival Begins as Huge Success
  4. Moore Square Redesign Approved
  5. Caniac Coach Begins Service
  6. Duke Wins National Championship
  7. Elizabeth Edwards Dies
  8. Ira David Wood IV Fills in for Ailing Father
  9. NHL Announces All-Star Game to Raleigh, Finally!
  10. Hillsborough Street Renovation Complete, with Roundabouts
  11. 90-Degree Heat Record Set
  12. The Container Store Opens
  13. John Wall is Selected First In NBA Draft
  14. NCSU Grad Loses Secret iPhone4
  15. Josh Hamilton Named Major League Baseball’s MVP
  16. North Hills Harris Teeter Opens with Controversial Design
  17. Raleigh Loses Hamid Mohajer of Mo’s Diner
  18. “Hudson Belk” Becomes “Belk”, Gets New Image
  19. William D’Auvray leaves Buku
  20. H&M Opens in Raleigh
  21. Golden Corral Razes, Replaces Home Store
  22. City Council Endorses Western High(er) Speed Rail Route
  23. Mike Krzysewski Becomes #2 Winningest Coach
  24. Broughton Band Selected for Rose Bowl Parade
  25. Penzey’s Spices Opens in Cameron Village
  26. Get Motivated Seminar Brings Top Names in Leadership, Ties Up Traffic
  27. Another Samaratan Falls to Death on Beltline, Prompts New Fencing
  28. Taylor Swift Plays Sold Out RBC Center
  29. Mami Nora’s Opens in Raleigh
  30. Winterfest Returns to Downtown
  31. North Face Store opens in Crabtree
  32. Brind’Amour Retires, Staal Named Captain
  33. D.H. Hill Relights Art Wall
  34. Catapano Retires from Sanderson
  35. Varsity Mens Wear Moves from Crabtree to North Hills
  36. Sparians, Zoe’s Kitchen, Piola, and Brueggers Open in North Hills
  37. R-Line Food Tour Comes to Downtown Raleigh
  38. TWC Remaps Channels
  39. Evan Rachael Wood Engaged to Marilyn Manson, Splits
  40. Meat House Opens

We got a few new retailers and restaurants about which we’ll be excited for many years to come. Some others were lost and might be missed one day:

  • Buckhead Saloon
  • Ten Ten Chinese Buffet
  • Yoho Asian Bistro
  • Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe
  • Bear Rock locations
  • Uno’s Grill
  • Space Savers
  • Ruby Tuesday
  • Ted’s Montana Grill
  • Duck and Dumpling

While we didn’t make a lot of big news, there was plenty of entertainment. I’ve always told people from bigger cities that there is more to do in the Triangle than I have the money and/or time for. Perhaps you got to spend an evening being entertained by some of these fine artists:

read more…


Subscribe To The Complete Bowl Calendar

football The 35-game bowl season has begun. Don’t miss another game by subscribing to the Gogoraleigh Complete Bowl Game Calendar. Though only 1 of these games really matters, it is still nice to know who is going to be on TV (ie. ESPN) each night through the New Year. Events include 15-minute reminders for each bowl game, the site of the bowl, and the network covering the game.

You can subscribe to the Google Calendar, the ICS feed, or the iCal feeds by going to the Gogoraleigh Calendars page and clicking the appropriate link in the College Football schedule.


DVR Alert: Valvano Episode of Cosby Airing Monday

V&V A local favorite episode of The Cosby Show will rerun on Monday afternoon. “The Getaway”, which features Jim Valvano and Dick Vitale as motivated furniture movers will by shown on Centric (TWC Channel 458) on Monday (12/20) at 2:30pm.


Sparians Now Open

sparians[1] Sparians, North Hills’ boutique bowling operation, opened its doors today. The facility features 18 bowling lanes with some contained in private lounges. In addition to the bowling action, there is a full-service restaurant serving lanes and lounge(pdf), Bistro (dinner, pdf), and the very-much-needed late-night (pdf) fares. The menus looks like what we see in today’s upscale sports bars (like that of Tobacco Road on Glenwood).

The bowling is said to be expensive, ranging from $8-$14 depending on the time, compared to other bowling allies in Raleigh. However it should be noted that this price does include shoe rental.

Sparians will be closed this coming Thursday afternoon, but has normal operating hours of:

  • Mon-Sat: 10am – 2am
  • Sunday: 11am – 2am

“A Christmas Carol” Keeps Delivering

2010-12-09_21-34-59_978 Filling a legend’s shoes is never easy, especially when it is done on short notice. That’s why this year’s Theatre In The Park production of “A Christmas Carol” is such a phenomenal story.

With just a month before the the company’s 36th production was to hit the stage, Theatre In The Park director and show star Ira Davd Wood, III (IDW3) received a bombshell; he had to have bypass surgery and would not be able to perform the role of Scrooge this season. Wood turned to his son, Ira David Wood, IV (IDW4), to play the part. He also turned to his daughter, Evan Rachael Wood, to co-direct the production. The result? A fantastic evening of entertainment as it always has been.

IDW3’s Theatre In The Park is one of the most stable local theater houses in the country, and the longevity and camaraderie of the board and the Christmas Carol cast is a testament Wood’s creativity, leadership, and reliability. The news from early November would have been devastating news to many theaters. However this cast and supporters has done what it takes to snap in a new star of the show this season.

Scrooge, as Raleigh residents know him, is the creation of IDW3. True to the story, Scrooge is materialistic and greedy and finds the value of relationships through his encounters with ghosts during a long-night’s sleep. However this Scrooge is hilarious, turning current events, local celebrities, and stuffy characters into jokes that have the house rolling. If you haven’t seen this production before it is a must-see that no national comedians have come close to touching. If you have seen the production, this year’s version is a fascinating experience.

Stepping into a legend’s role has to be difficult, even more so when you are that legend’s son. With only one month of rehearsal, IDW4 smartly played it safe, putting only a few of his own touches on the role. While he doesn’t quite sell the role’s humor or heavy drama scenes as well as his veteran father, he is more agile, has a stronger voice, and seems a little more in touch with popular culture. IDW4 did an admirable job in making Scrooge come to life in a way Raleigh residents expect.

The company is extremely similar to last year’s, including the fantastic David Henderson (Jacob Marley), David Moore (Bob Cratchit), Mike Raab (Ghost of Christmas Future), John Shearer (Ghost of Christmas Present), and more. Most scenes are identical to last season’s production, however the Ghost of Christmas Future scene has been reworked with a Tim Burton feel and sets up a great TSA joke. One wonders if the goth interests of Evan had an impact here.

There were some other great new jokes, including IDW4’s references to his father and his relative youth. The best new joke, though, was delivered by a fever-laden David Henderson, and it regards a second opinion on buying an iPhone (spoilers withheld).

Some that I didn’t remember from the past were also good, such as Grace Goetz (Ghost of Christmas Past) whose enunciation was superb. I also enjoyed “Wilma” (?Blaire Callaghan?, the wife of nephew Fred) who has a voice I could listen to for a full-length production.

There were a couple of weaknesses, as to be expected. We had a difficult time in the first act understanding some of Scrooge’s jokes. It was difficult to discern whether it was due to acoustics at our side seats, the general acoustics in the room, or problems with diction from the stage. Worse, however, was the Marlettes, a Rockettes styled dance troop whose tap routine was an utter mess. Their performance was the first time I’ve ever seen a tap routine that was not met with obligatory applause from the crowd.

The entire production is outstanding, though. The 3-hour journey has much visual variety, excellent musical range, and good pacing. While the Raleigh version has a big emphasis on humor, it admirably delivers the heavy message Dickens intended. As Scrooge realizes the value of his relationships, there is part of every viewer that will kind of miss the old, hilarious Scrooge. However the entire company’s stirring rendition of “The First Noel” is a tear jerker to many, and leaves the crowd appreciating the delivery of a full production that works on many levels to many people.

A Christmas Carol runs through December 15 at Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium. Tickets are available thru Ticketmaster.


Rush Coming to Greensboro

rush-caravan-460-100-460-70 On Friday, April 1 Rush will bring their Time Machine tour to the Greensboro Coliseum. Tickets go on sale Saturday (12/10) at 10am.

I got a last minute invitation to see the band that I once loved (back in my high school says) at Walnut Creek two years ago and was blown away. It was hands down one of the best 5 concerts I have ever seen.


Retail Score

IMG_4650 Winning the Stanley Cup is one thing to prove you’ve made it. However the true (haha) measure of success for a sports team is their presence in the retail marketplace. The Carolina Hurricanes have come a long way since the green acres of empty seats 90 miles west of here. The latest proof? This holiday season Samsung features a hockey player wearing the jersey of Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal on the box for 27” TV. The jersey, of course, doesn’t carry the Hurricanes’ primary logo and features photoshopped font and name, but that’s only to avoid legal processes.


Tar Heel HOOPla

thh I thought I’d spend a few moments shameless cross/self-promoting. If you are interested in UNC basketball (one way or another), you might be interested in my original blog, Tar Heel HOOPla. The site started 14 years ago as the exclusive home of the UNC Possession Analysis. The PA contains the Points-Per-Possession and Loss of Ball stats for every game since the 1996 season began, as well as some from the 1970s. These stats are simply the best way to standardize the team’s performance and measure their strengths and weaknesses. (For example this current team’s biggest problem is not really turnovers, and it is not 3-point shooting. Don’t listen to the coaches or their mouthpieces on this one!)

The site evolved into a blog which I’ve admittedly only given spotty attention. This season’s team is so surprisingly awful, however, that I have given much attention to their play thus far. It is a fascinating web of problems which I have dissected objectively.

In addition to team analysis I’ve posted my plans for possible Dean Dome renovations, traffic/transit solutions, chronicled the success of Triangle teams in the tournament, and more (there is, after all, 14 years of material there.) I hope you enjoy it!



Today’s Groupon Deal: Cantina 18

Cantina-18 Cantina 18, in the heart of Cameron Village, is today’s Groupon deal. They offer $7 for $15 of food at the southwestern restaurant.

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