Stina's picksA point in the right direction
A few weeks ago, I ran a half marathon — a slow, hilly 13.1 miles. For more than two hours and 45 minutes, I huffed and puffed along the banks of the New River near Todd, slinging back cups of strong, orange-flavored Gatorade and chatting with another slow runner as I went. The whole thing was difficult and painful but also invigorating in that strange, special way running can be. There is something beautiful about being left alone for that long, with nothing really to distract you from your body and its breathing and aching. When I finally padded across that finish line more awake than I had expected to be, I felt complete. It wasn’t until the drive back that I began to ask myself that question I inevitably always do after tackling some great, juicy risk.
Well, I have no answers for that one yet, but I do have some ideas about what to do for the coming days. Here — for me and you — are a few options.
‘Marvelous’ musical memories
I would like to believe that most people have fond memories of being introduced to the great girl groups of the 1950s and ’60s. And if you don’t, I think it’s time to make some. “The Marvelous Wonderettes,” which opens at this Friday at HART, is a celebration of those lovely songs and harmonies that encapsulated a time people like to believe was gentler than our own. I don’t know about that last part, but I do know that whenever I hear one of those oh-so-familiar tunes, I get happy. After this, maybe you will, too. For tickets to the show — which runs at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sundays through June 10 — call 456-6322 or visit www.harttheatre.com.
When it comes to visual art shows, I know the drill. Art exhibits are like foreign films for many of us, in that we tell ourselves we want to go and we should go, but ultimately, we often forget to go. Don’t let that happen this week, especially when there are such talented photographers being featured at Gallery 86. “Through the Lens: WNC Photographers,” which includes work from four Western North Carolina photogs, is still open through Monday, May 28. For more information, call the Haywood County Arts Council at 452-0593 or visit www.haywoodarts.org.
Kid-friendly block party
If you’ve always wanted to take your little kiddos to a Downtown Waynesville Block Party, but were afraid of keeping them up late, lament no more. The Saturday night soiree is starting earlier than ever, with you in mind. Though the full menu of music, dancing, food and late-night shopping will start at 7 p.m. like normal, a special children’s time will kick off at 6 p.m. During this early hour, little ones will get to enjoy activities, freebies and food/drink specials at 15 stores in downtown. From cookie decorating at the Olde Brick House to grape juice “tasting” at the Classic Wine Seller and much more, it honestly sounds pretty fun. Hopefully, your youngsters will feel the same. For more information, call Buffy Phillips at 456-3517 or call Denise Teague at 226-0102.
It’s hard to believe, but little Waynesville is now officially home to two microbreweries. You can help welcome the new kid on the block, Headwaters Brewing Company, this Saturday from 1 to 9 p.m. at 130 Frazier St., right by Sagebrush. This full-day fiesta will supply many of the ingredients helpful in making a good weekend — namely music, friends, hot dogs and plenty of tasty brews. Call 246-0602 to find out more.
Contra for all
When it comes to contra dancing, I must sound like a broken record. But I don’t care, just like most who proselytize anything don't. Forget your preconceptions, as contra is beyond cool. It’s inviting and earnest and not even that difficult. It always has a live band and caller but most importantly it has an air of innocence to it, regardless of whether you’re contra-ing in California or Canton. (Well, there isn’t one in in Canton yet, but we can only hope.) The next Waynesville Contra Dance will be from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at The Gateway Club, 37 Church St., in Waynesville. Out of the Woodwork will play. For more information, call 454-5514.