Stina's picksA point in the right direction
A few weeks ago, I received the most surprising letter. It contained my drivers license and a friendly note penned by a couple who had found it lying on a street in Asheville. In the hustle and bustle of that week, I hadn’t even noticed it was missing. So, I want to say thanks to David and Megan, who even signed their names with a happy face. So nice.
I also want to say, despite my penchant for losing things wherever I go, how happy I am that we have the opportunity to visit places like Asheville and beyond. For being as far out as we are, we really are kind of close in, with Asheville and its breweries, music venues and decent movies on one side, and the wilds of far Western North Carolina on the other. From Franklin’s Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts to Sylva’s youthful scene, I really do feel like options are everywhere — if you can spare the gas.
Below are my recommendations for things to do this week, not just in Haywood County but all over. Like every week I write this up, however, I know it’s just a tiny taste of what is.
As Paul Viau wrote in his recent column, the gap between Halloween and Christmas seems to be ever-shrinking, with Thanksgiving often getting lost somewhere in the fray. We can all fight it, or we can jump on this giddy bandwagon, starting with this weekend’s Holiday Opening House in downtown Waynesville. Slated from noon to 4 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 18, the afternoon stroll is meant to get everyone into the yuletide mood with festive decorations, art openings — and even a free-range Santa roaming around. Many spots will be participating (some probably even with cider, cookies or nog), but I might start at Gallery 86, where an artist reception will be held for the always-delightful sensory overload of the annual “It’s a Small, Small Work” show. To get the full skinny on the entire event, visit www.downtownwaynesville.com or call 456-3517.
Can’t see your family this Thanksgiving? No problem. Haywood Arts Regional Theatre has brought you a stand-in clan, only with far more insecurities, secrets and deep-held resentments than you’re probably used to. “August: Osage County” is brimming with bad language and dark themes, but has clever enough writing to draw you in and keep you there. It’s not an easy (or short) show, but it can be an addictive one.
Curious yet? Did I mention it stars the likes of Barbara Bates Smith, Allison Stinson, Julie Kinter and Christy Bishop? The show’s final run is this weekend, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday. Call 456-6322 for tickets.
Pokey LaFarge sings (and dresses and plays) in an old-timey way that would seem gimmicky if it wasn’t so absolutely well done. As it is, this ragtime-loving picker has a way of sounding and looking straight out of Prohibition, while still offering up something you’ve never heard before. With a voice like an old-time radio star and a look like one of Norman Rockwell’s skinny, awkward heroes, his presence is too fascinating not to want to know more.
This Thursday, the uninitiated are in luck as LaFarge and his band, the South City Three, will be bringing their not-quite-describable tunes to The Grey Eagle at 8:30 p.m. The Dirt Daubers will open. For tickets and more info, visit www.thegreyeagle.com or call 232-5800. To learn more about Pokey, check out www.pokeylafarge.net.
A night for knitting
For some this might fall on deaf ears, but others will know just what I’m talking about: There’s nothing, just nothing, like knitting with a group of people. Even if you don’t say a word, even if you just listen and count your stitches, it’s like fiber therapy — and in the end, you might even get a few inches done on that scarf or beanie, too.
Located on Franklin’s main drag and owned by a friendly mother-and-daughter pair, Silver Threads and Golden Needles hosts a “Knit Nite” every Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. Does it start kind of early? Yes. Is it kind of impractical for Haywood County folks? Yup. But so? Next time I need a good knit fix, it’s exactly where I’ll be heading. To learn more about the shop, at 41 E. Main St., visit www.silverthreadsyarn.com or call 349-0515.