Yesterday Kristin and I spent most of the day driving all over her city, visiting thrift stores, antique stores:
consignment stores, and the one comic store that Kristin knew of:
We started our day downtown with a nice breakfast at The Scullery:
We met our mutual friend Aaron there, and I had a bagel and cream cheese (the verdict on North Carolina bagels is "not bad; better than Tennessee") and split an order of sausage balls with Kristin. For those unfamiliar with sausage balls, they are a Southern delicacy made of bulk sausage, cheese, and flour or (more often, but it depends on the recipe) Bisquik. They are delicious, but you probably shouldn't eat too many. I've been known to make them for tailgating:
After breakfast we walked around for a while, and saw the cute little downtown area:
Greenville is a cute little town in the same way that Cortland, where I went to school for my undergrad, is cute. It's an older little town where the college is the biggest thing, so they love their local sports team:
and they have stores and restaurants and places to go, but a limited number of them. There's a definite difference between living in a place like this and a place like Knoxville, which is a small city, but that doesn't make it a bad place. I found their empty streets:
and Civil War Memorial:
charming. I found their still-living Confederates:
I've heard all the arguments about, "That flag is my heritage!" and "That's our history and culture!" and I don't consider any of them to have merit. It is a history, culture, and heritage built on oppression, slavery, and racism. You cannot subtract one from the other. You can't say, "I love our heritage except for the slavery part" because the slavery part is entwined. The genteel Southern plantation culture collapsed for a reason: it was not sustainable without a slave workforce. If you continue to resist this idea, and still proudly display your Confederate flag, then you are a racist whether you admit it or not. There's no argument.
I still thought the rest of the city was really cute, though.