Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I'm back in NC after a brief adventure in my native Texas--my madre, my brown, hot homeland. I return to Raleigh by the in the light of the August harvest moon and I am shocked, astonished, really, by the green fecundity of my town between the mountains and the sea.

I am home. Home to Bluegrass and Brunswick Stew, the last of the tobacco farms and first peppering of tiendas and taquerías that kept me in breakfast tacos and homemade tortillas until I got used to vinegar barbeque and red-eye gravy. Home to the Biltmore Estate and the Shangri-La Trailer Park, Scuppernong wine (which is terrible) and the best sweet tea on seven continents.

Carolina. (Not to be confused with the Southern variant. WE ARE THE ONLY ONE. SC, STOP LEECHING OFF OF US AND GET YOUR OWN NAME!)

I missed you, kudzu and Bojangles, Tarheels and Appalachians, Chapel Hill hippies and Johnston County rednecks, RTP Geeks and ITB chics. I missed you, silly beltline with you innie and your outtie and your crazy Nascar driver wannabes. I missed you, basketball crazies and southern fried hockey fans.

(Yes, the restaurant in the picture is named Whitey's. But I've seen lots of black people eat there. There's also a furniture store here called The Red House, "Where Black People and White People Buy Furniture." Don't believe me? Here's the link to the commercial:

It's good to be home.

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