Fun walk on a cold night lightens my step


By Cindy Beamon

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sometimes I need a little help stepping out of my comfort zone. This weekend, a few people helped prod me into trying new things.

My sister-in-law from Chesapeake read about how The Happy Taco started out as a food truck and now has a restaurant in Elizabeth City. She is adventurous when it comes to trying new places, so she drove the distance, and I joined her for lunch one day. I ordered the fajitas with homemade flour tortillas, which were yummy. My favorite was their homemade tomatillo sauce with red peppers. Oddly, it took an out-of-towner to help me appreciate a great local restaurant that I had previously overlooked.

The Friday Art Walk added another chance to venture outside my daily routine. I had been bogged down with too many things to think about: work, rehab work at home, news about water damage at our church, sick daughters and other concerns. To my surprise, the walk on a cold night and the new sights were uplifting after a stressful week.

I plan to write a story soon about the historic renovation of the former Friendly Wig Shop on Poindexter St., so I went to see before-and-after slides at the open house. Owners Jeff and Valerie Mitchell had arranged for live music and a festive spread to welcome all the visitors that stopped by to take a peek. I talked to a couple of people who were excited about the project and other initiatives that are adding new life to downtown Elizabeth City.

Our photographer Keri Pampuch was working on a slideshow of the Art Walk, so I joined her for a few more stops. We were both impressed by the fun things happening on a cold night in February.

Music coming from Body Kinect Wellness on Main Street was an instant draw. Before reaching the door, I could hear The Center Players and cast for the upcoming Encore Theatre Company production of "Little Shop of Horrors" performing some songs.

We ducked inside Ghost Harbor Brewing Company to find the place was packed and stopped at Eclectic Jewelry to see artist Isabelle C. Lyons working on some of her organic line art. Eclectic Jewelry owner Maria George said that inviting the A-School student at the Coast Guard base was a good way to draw more talent and more Coast Guard families to the monthly art walks.

At Arts of the Albemarle, I had the chance to meet two artists whose work was on display. One was Dale Corbin of Elizabeth City, who was showing his work in an exhibit for the first time. I especially liked his painting called "Together," depicting two shadowy blue silhouettes, side by side, against a mostly abstract setting. I liked the openness of the misty hues on the giant canvas, contrasted by the closeness of the two figures.

We had fun getting a photo of another featured artist John Tobin of Chesapeake. His works in clay were so detailed, so colorful and so unusual that they instantly drew our attention.

In another corner of Arts of the Albemarle, children were playing a game that involved trying to identify the objects in photo closeups.

We also stopped by Fine Tune Guitar Ship on Poindexter Street where Grayson Cole was playing surprisingly well for a student who had only been taking lessons for six months.

At the end of our walk, my step was a little lighter as I returned to the responsibilities that had weighed me down earlier.

Cindy Beamon is editor of the Albemarle Life section of The Daily Advance.