Thursday, February 10, 2011

Take This Job and Love It

A journal of discovery through the eyes of a real-life resident of Park and Market North Hills

Winter can be tough, and this one has been a real challenge for Midtown with gray days, snow, and cold that won’t end – certainly not our usual Carolina blue skies that warm the coldest of days. Riding the elevator to Park & Market’s in-building Harris Teeter grocery store, I’ve heard many people commenting that they moved here to get away from all this.

Yesterday at lunch time the sun was blazing and I needed vitamins, so I decided to visit GNC here at North Hills. If you haven’t been yet, run don’t walk because you are sure to love your experience.

As I walked up to the store, a woman came out to clean the glass on the door, doing this with such care and attention she didn’t see me waiting, and I was more than happy to watch someone pouring that much love into a simple task until she did.

When I went into the store, I was greeted warmly by owner Laura Dalton, wearing a white coat and an engaging smile. Her obvious knowledge and easy manner made me feel right at home.

And no wonder, turns out this GNC is a family affair, Laura, husband Carter, and Mom – the amazing glass cleaner – all clearly loving what they do, and doing it together. I felt lifted up, still do, and can’t wait to go back!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Finding Inspiration Close to Home

Something about the promise of a new year calls to me like a treasure box filled with possibilities. I CAN be thinner, smarter, more relaxed, get more done, try new things, finish what I started… If you’re like me, somehow the promise seems to slip away, vanishing into the daily routine in which there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

I found fresh inspiration talking with the owners of the newest shops in our Park & Market North Hills neighborhood who reminded me that it’s not about having more hours in a day. We make time for what matters the most to us and when we follow our hearts, we may just be surprised where they take us.

  • Midtown Olive Press, the brainchild of Bethany Perkins’ passion for healthy eating and a ski trip in Utah
  • Hayley Cushman’s early love for fun outfits with a girly touch, now grown up into Hayley’s Boutique, where she personally helps all of us dress like we mean it
  • Pure Barre, the answer to what next for Ami Seier’s rehab therapy practice and a fantastic what’s next for having the body we’ve always dreamed we could have
  • Sparians partners Alan Fluke and Chris Angel, living proof there are no coincidences on the playing fields of life
  • Kristen Anderson’s china rack that followed her home from the mountains when she was a child and stands today in its new home at Quintessentials
  • Stevi Vaughn who knows as much about riding the waves of her heart as riding the surf on the boards she sells at Whalebone Urban Surf

Be sure to stop by next time you’re out and about for more of the story.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Living with Style at Park & Market North Hills

I was reminded today of a rainy night last August when a neighbor asked, Why would anyone want a house, when you could have all this? “All this” is surely what puts the style in life at Park & Market North Hills.

Style can be defined as a distinctive or characteristic way of living, one that is elegant, fashionable, and luxurious, or simply uniquely our own.

These stylish apartment homes come with their own 100-acre walkable urban neighborhood offering every convenience, amenity and indulgence to your doorstep.

Speaking of bringing things right to our doorstep, this year my Christmas tree came from the farm that provided trees for Santa’s Workshop here at North Hills, and was taken away with a smile by our amazing Park & Market maintenance team, a service that was offered free of charge for any resident, with the ability to specify day and time for removal. Wow, talk about exceeding my expectations!

Our community Christmas Party, planned for the clubroom, became the event of the season when neighborSparians offered to host all of us and our guests for a festive pre-opening sneak peek with full red carpet treatment. For a place to meet, greet, eat, or compete, Sparians can’t be beat!

Neighbor Piola has been making a difference in the broader community by partnering with StepUP Ministry to make every pizza and entrée ordered during December an opportunity for their donations and ours. Nice!

As 2011 unfolds, be watching for our exciting new Video Blog where you can join us on first person lifestyle tours such as Out and About, Art Walk, Coffee Corners, Dining In and Dining Out, and Let the Good Times Roll. Here’s to a stylish New Year!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Surfing the Neighborhood

A Journal of Discovery through the eyes of a real-life resident of Park and Market North Hills

Did you know SIX NEW SHOPS have opened at North Hills in the last three weeks?! If it weren’t so much fun, I’d be exhausted from going around meeting all the new owners, seeing what’s in their shops, and sharing their excitement.

In a recent post, I shared the news item with you on all the openings that had been tweeted as Surf North Hills, and promised to follow up on latest from our neighborhood. Let’s dive right in then and introduce you to Whalebone Urban Surf, next-generation venture from the legendary Whalebone Surf Shop at Nags Head. Jim and April Vaughn, known and loved for over thirty years in business, couldn’t be more excited that daughter Stevi is following in their footsteps here in Midtown.

A visit with Stevi Vaughn in her incredible new store (located off Lassiter Mill, next to Gena Chandler) will take you from Whalebone Junction to Buenos Aires to pizza at Piola, and maybe have you leaving with a stand up paddle board tucked under your arm, perfect for area lakes and requires no surfing experience.

Taking a cruise or an adventure trip over the holidays? Now you have a local source for boards and incidentals, coolest sunglasses and gear, luggage, and more.

Not ready to take the plunge? Try a personal balance board to build skills and gain confidence.

For everyone who hasn’t finished Christmas shopping, don’t miss Whalebone Urban Surf’s extensive choice in clothing you won’t find anywhere else in the Triangle, basic surf and everyday casual from fabulous brands like Quiksilver, Billabong, Hurley, and Volcom.

Who knew a landlubber like me would find urban surfing such a breeze!

NH = North Hills + New Home = NeighborHood

A Journal of Discovery through the eyes of a real-life resident of Park and Market North Hills

Seems like this is the season for reflecting on how we’ve spent our time over the year that just flew by. Excited as I was when I moved into Park and Market Apartments last April, when I look back I realize my life has changed in ways I had not imagined.

Convenience, walkability, proximity, first-class amenities, stylish design, nine-foot ceilings, endless views, a kitchen that tempts me to call in sick and stay home to try exotic recipes, a chance to reinvent my living space, a new me in a new place.

Turns out I had missed the most important ingredient of all in picturing my new life, my neighbors! Neighbors in every corner of my life, those I live with, those I work with, those who cut my hair and polish my nails, feed me, help me choose new outfits, new furnishings, or just smile from the heart when I come by for coffee. I am truly thankful for them all.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll introduce you to some of these wonderful people. For today, meet my Park and Market neighbors… These are the folks who asked our manager to please, please, please have an Angel Tree and then made it happen. These are my kind of neighbors.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Got Time-Outs?

A Journal of Discovery through the eyes of a real-life resident of Park and Market North Hills

When I heard the news there were not one, but three wrecks scattered across the evening commute terrain, stalling cars in every direction, my mind couldn’t help but compare how I’d spent my time going from work to home in the new 5:00-ish dusk that we are all still trying on for size.

On my way to cross Six Forks at the protected pedestrian crossing (just push the button), I ran into two of my neighbors and as we chatted amiably, we made plans for dinner next week, compared notes on our holiday plans and agreed to meet up for the Tree Lighting Celebration… oh my gosh, a week from Saturday, talk about needing a time-out!

As I entered my 6th floor apartment, the commanding sweep of purple and pink sky, punctuated by the sparkling lights of downtown and red-topped sugar maple trees made all my cares of the day simply disappear.

Next, I made a simple but adventurous dinner with something I’d bought at the Midtown Farmers’ Market, an asian green called Tot Soi that is quite versatile but perhaps at its best when stir fried gently and served with grains. I paired it with Red Quinoa, the new super food and felt healthy and happy as I sampled the dish.

When I made the move to Park and Market Apartments at North Hills, I traded my daily commute from Cary for a short walk across the street, a time-out from the pressures that seem to multiply behind the wheel of a car. Time-outs, they’re not just for your kids, they’re for all of us. Hope you find yours today!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Surf's Up at North Hills

A Journal of Discovery through the eyes of a real-life resident of Park and Market North Hills

What did we ever do before social media? Having the latest and greatest information on everything from friends to favorites makes my day. Today, I noticed a tweet from Raleighing titled Surf North Hills! That got my attention, and so did the news item attached, North Hills unveils a slew of new shops.

The new shops coming to North Hills, one right after another, are amazing! That really says something about our local economy, doesn’t it?

Where else could you work up a sweat doing the latest ballet barre dance exercise, cool down with a guilt-free frozen yogurt, add a massage for good measure, pick up a wedding gift for your sister, meet with her real estate agent, buy a new surfboard, create your own blend of oil and vinegar and have it bottled just for you, find the perfect necklace, then meet the gang for some friendly high-tech bowling… all in one afternoon?

Stay tuned, I’ll definitely be checking out these latest shops and let you know what’s up. Park & Market, you are the home that just keeps surprising me!