Thursday, August 23, 2007

Main Street - Hendersonville, NC

You never know what you will find yourself doing......or where you will be while doing it. I only know that you have to take the time to absorb everything and enjoy it as much as you can. Big moments and events have no difficulty being remembered clearly and enjoyed, but it's the little things......those things that sometimes get lost in the fray.....that make those events even more special. And so there I was.........sitting at the counter inside Mike's On Main Street sandwich shop. A cold Sprite for me and a cup of coffee for Supernurse. We both sat in awe and wonder of our surroundings. We were there waiting for my sisters, my niece, and my mom to meet up with us so that they could show us around Main Street in Hendersonville.

Mike's On Main Street, was at one time, a good old fashioned drug store. My mom remembers going there when she was a kid. Alot of the stuff that was there then, is still there today.......the luncheonette counter..........old bottles of register........even the same stools. Mike's is a very nostalgic place and the atmosphere in this place is unforgettable.

I looked to my right towards the front entrance, and there was this little boy trying to see inside. You could imagine him saying "Mommy, can I get a milkshake?". Perhaps my own mother, as a small child, did the very same thing as the little boy.

I cannot possibly describe all of the details of this vault of nostalgia. There were so many things to look at while you eat or drink. From the old neon to the original luncheonette fixtures.........I could have spent an entire day here just soaking up all of this.

We left Mike's On Main Street and strolled up and down the street, only to return here for some lunch. A place like this is worth a second visit in the same day.

This place is continuously busy and appears to be very popular. I can tell you that all of the waiters, waitresses, "soda jerks", as well as the cashier, offered great service with a smile. There is nothing worse than being at a shop of any kind where the employees act as if they dread being there themselves. At Mike's, you get the sense that the employees are happy to be there. That, for me, is enough to get you to return again and again. These employees are young, speedy, efficient, and polite.........something I rarely encounter at home in Baltimore.

When in North Carolina, you gotta have a barbeque sandwich.......and it was great. This place made me feel so good that they could have served me a pile of dogshit and I wouldn't have minded.

Looking around while eating, you cannot help but be aware of the other people enjoying themselves. Not a nasty looking face anywhere. No arguing. No shouting matches. No shenanigans. Everybody is happy..............Now YOU want to go there, don't you?

Okay....enough about Mike's.............we have other stuff to do.We took off down Main Street to visiting the various shops. The smell of the bakery.......I love it..........lots of benches to sit on. Benches like this wouldn't last five minutes in Baltimore. Some of the shops have some items on display out on the sidewalk in front of the store.

The previous evening when we first arrived in Hendersonville, we had dinner at a restaurant called Flight.
In the photo below is the old bank building that has been converted into this upscale restaurant.

My mom pointed out that the clock on the other bank building is the very same one that was there when she lived here. Isn't it great that some municipalities and storeowners are willing to make a concerted effort to maintain and keep history alive?

It is great to see a main street thriving.

Lots of antique shops and the like. My only complaint would be that there seems to be a trend where high-end, upscale establishments have taken over. I can understand why they are here and I can appreciate that they have taken enough interest to invest in old small town main streets............but...............enough is enough. Surely the majority of the population in these small town areas are lower middle to low income families. The wealthy are few. Not many can afford to shop at most of these establishments. The poorer folk are not here....they are at the strip malls farther away from the main drag. And that is a shame.
More on this issue, at another time.

While everyone looks directly in front of them, across the street, and down at their feet..........I am one of those kind of guys that occasionally takes a gander upward. Aside from interesting architecture, you can find a natural architecture sometimes overlooked by the snooty that pull up in their expensive cars and suv's.
See what I see?
Hmmmmmm.....let's zoom in.....specifically at the "architecture" that is present between and below those two windows.......................
Ahhhhhhhhhh.................who noticed that?
You gotta be thinking....."well, nobody has".............and I would imagine it takes a fairly good length of time to build up piles of birdshit like this. It is obvious that the birds....and I am guessing "pigeons"........only sit in a specific spot each time and never veer off their spot before taking the dump......and that has to be a good thing. I wouldn't want to be looking up if that wasn't the case.
I wonder if these piles were little small piles when my mom was a kid.........hehehe.

No wonder nobody looks up..............there is something here that will catch your eye instead.

Lots of handmade crafts for sale. And just as many paintings. Even if you are not buying.......its all good to look at.

Door art?...........this one shop had this door on display out by the sidewalk. A freestanding door that was hand painted as if it was canvas. I do not know what someone would do with something like this......but I liked it. It caught my eye. The last time I saw anything like this was back in 1971-73 in downtown Baltimore. Back then, there was a proliferation of "head-shops" and "wicca-shops" in and around Saratoga St.. Most of the shops had hand painted windows and signs that were painted by the same "artist" named "Heironymous". Very distinct style........and yes........there were a few doors that looked a bit like this one.

As with all towns and cities, there is a need for a police force. While I am sure that there are instances where actual crimes do occur.......I saw no indication of major problems or reasons for me to feel unsafe. No traffic cameras...that I eyes in the sky police cameras. No nothing.........except this one flagrant disregard for proper parking. Book' em Danno! Call for a back-up! Okay folks........go home....there is nothing to see here! Film at 11.

In Baltimore....we have crab art throughout the city.
Here in Hendersonville......they have bear art.

You gotta love it!
But wait!.....what on earth is this? Yankees? In the South? Huh?
Oh........I get's "Yogi "Bear-a".......hehehe.

A good old-fashioned train station. I wish I could have had more time so that I could have gone inside this place. I hope the folks of Hendersonville keep this station preserved. It's a gem.

Another gem is this building. Why?..........because it is the house where my mother was raised as a child. It is currently being restored, so its a mess right now. It has a historic designation, so I believe it will be around for a long long time. What I found really interesting while looking at the house was that nobody was there.........yet.....all of the equipment and tools were left out in the open. You could never do that in Baltimore. Hendersonville struck me as a very safe place to live.....and maybe one day I could lay claim to a more physical part of it......until then, Hendersonville will continue on in my memory and the Sexton Family history.

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