Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Chair that Followed Me Home

In my first post, I talked about choosing to reinvent myself in a new way of life, one without a car at the center of things, and how that might change my perceptions of the world around me.

What I couldn’t have predicted was how easily I would begin to let go of things that had occupied space in my home for years. Layer upon layer of family furniture, rooms and closets filled with things that had more or less grown up around me over the years, who knew what I would choose if I could start over? And so I did.

With a little encouragement, I chose the purple accent wall for my new apartment, sent my furniture to a consignment store, and created the space to see who and what might emerge. What art for the wall? What new pieces to make the long room that opens into the sky between here and there come to life?

Last Thursday after a fabulous evening at Piola enjoying free appetizers at the bar, my friend and I went for a stroll around North Hills, when it caught my eye. There in BeyondBlue Interiors a stunning copper wall hanging with riffs of that same steely purple hue, I recognized myself in it instantly. Imagine my surprise when the next day I bought instead the store’s own gently used, phenomenally priced leather barstool that completes my kitchen in a way I could never have imagined. Ironic isn’t it, finding myself in a piece that had been someone else’s first, but after all that’s what makes re-discovering ourselves so much fun.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bringing Art to Life

Walking around North Hills, you may come upon one of the plein air artists, bringing streetscapes to life for the sheer joy of it and the possibility of a Blue Ribbon in the upcoming Plein Air Art Festival. Jean told me her story one day while dabbing her brush intently, how she connected the dots in her life moving from Napa to Raleigh, finding her present group of plein air artists in a magazine on the plane as she traveled here.

Follow your heart and it will take you places. Laura longed to prove the doctors wrong after an accident and taught herself to paint. Now she wows folks every Saturday at the Farmers Market with her combinations of watercolor with pen and ink. Yesterday, I got the chance to show her how North Hills is blooming across the street. Seemed only natural when we arrived at Park and Market to see my new apartment, she was the missing piece that Josie had been looking for on our well-rounded social calendar. Stay tuned for exploring your artistic side, perhaps poolside, soon!

Have you ever noticed how life comes around full circle, connecting people and events in ways our minds could never make up ahead of time? Maybe all it takes is showing up for life, being present, and learning to look around with a painter’s eye.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Who Let the Dogs In?

At Park and Market it’s Who let the dogs in… not out! To be honest, it took me a day or two to remember to stand back when waiting for the elevator because odds are on when the doors open a good-looking dog will be leading mom or dad back home. These are dogs about town, making the most of life at North Hills.

Thursday evening when we all gathered in the VIP tent on the Commons to enjoy the weekly Beach Music concert, who do you think had front row seats? Two adorable little handful-size pups and their mamas, wrapping them in their own shawls as the night grew cool.

Someone asked me recently if I plan to get a dog. Seems like I have plenty right here to adopt, and I’m having fun meeting them all. Leave me a comment about YOUR Park and Market dog. After all, it takes a special breed to know cool city living when you find it!

Park & Market at North Hills

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spinning to the Top

You can’t miss them, and they want it that way. Those engaging sign spinners just seem to have it all – winning smiles, great moves, and the skill to flip and spin their signs in dizzying displays of bravado that make you wonder if they ever drop one.

They’ve been out in front of North Hills in recent weeks, letting everyone know the new Harris Teeter grocery and Bruegger's Cafe and Espresso Bar are open, and they also practice their moves in boot-camp style training on the big lawn across from Park and Market North Hills.

Like so many things lately, this small detail became real life yesterday afternoon with boot camp in session just as a few dozen friends dropped by to see the view from my new 6th floor home. Makes me wonder what I’ll discover out there next!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Neighborhood Farmers' Market

Standing at the main entrance of North Hills Tuesday afternoon, waiting to cross the street with my reusable bag containing strawberries, baby lettuce, rosy radishes and a long golden baguette riding along on top, I felt smart. Not intelligent smart, although I did make a great decision moving into Park and Market North Hills – chic smart, Parisian smart, walking home from our neighborhood Farmers’ Market.

I found myself remembering the first time I reinvented myself, boarding a plane for the south of France to live in a French home and go to school, where my one semester of French left me stuck in the present tense with a vocabulary that most household pets exceed. Soon the rhythms of daily life filled in the gaps, and France became my home.

Didn’t know we have a Tuesday market? Learn more at

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Beginning

The great thing about life is that, if we choose to, we can reinvent ourselves and begin seeing the world around us through a completely different lens. All it takes is a little imagination, a sense of adventure, and a great location.

Last week I chose to stop commuting to North Hills and to begin living life on my feet. Where else would I throw my car keys in the back of the closet and get on with life but Park and Market North Hills Apartments? Imagine waking up with all of Raleigh out the window, cars whizzing by on Six Forks Road, the sun turning Captrust Tower pink and gold, flags and fountains waving good morning, then stepping out on the sidewalk to WALK to work!

Life is truly different when it comes at you from street level. Senses are more alive, people stop to talk, time stretches out before you as do the possibilities.