This is almost iconic — the George’s Soda/Sandwich Shop sign downtown. Of course, there’s no restaurant there — it’s been out of business for several years. But I’m told the owner (yes, George) still hangs out and sometimes leaves the door unlocked so you can go in and chat. He’s from a Greek-American restaurant family.
Downtown kinda bustling at about 1:30 on a Friday afternoon. (Laughing Dog; scowling people, btw ;)
Two copies of our local Spanish-language newspaper, Nuevas Raices (published in town), lie on the sidewalk along a strip of Latino shops on Elizabeth Street.
Little Latino shops are hidden all over Harrisonburg … this one on a fairly deserted back street (East Rock). The Burg ranks No. 2 in Virginia in the percentage of its population born in foreign countries. Overall, about 16% of our people are Latino — and I’m guessing it’s more like 20%.
Rocking red on a red-hot day on JMU’s quad. 90 degrees. I think I would have ditched the t-shirt.
I’m always impressed with the quality of graphic design on the posters on the windows at Downtown Books. I like this retro look.
The Corner, a downtown non-tradition, on its final day of existence (Monday). The little so-called New York-style deli died, I assume, because of its highly mediocre food. I never met anyone who said anything but that the food was 1) OK or 2) lousy. Pizza-by-the-slice should work at that location, but The Corner’s slices were universally panned (the owner, coincidentally or not, has the local franchise for a crap pizza delivery chain called Chanello’s). Of course, this isn’t the first restaurant to go out of business in recent years on the corner of Water and Main. After the ultra-successful Dave’s Taverna moved to fancier digs a few doors down the street, a vegetarian dive failed, a pizza dive failed, a Middle Eastern fusion dive failed and another pizza/sandwich dive failed. None was worth saving. The Corner, by the way, lasted just over one year.
As I wandered around the Simms neighborhood today, I was struck at how little-used the sports facilities were on a nice spring afternoon (there was plenty of sun poking through the clouds all day, with temps in the 70s). Baseball — zero. Tennis — some Latino kids playing music and gently dancing. Basketball — just this one kid at about 1:45 p.m.
A Harrisonburg tradition — the Little Grill restaurant on the far northern edge of downtown. You can get anything you want at … well, not quite, but it does evoke “Alice’s Restaurant” in its hippie-esque feel. The food is hit and miss — the portobello sandwich is excellent, the international fare is so-so. Not cheap, but it uses local products, so the pricing is understandable. The Little Grill is employee-owned and it feeds the needy once a week, so it rates way high on the “cool” scale. Not a place to take mom and dad or a date, but a great place to hang out with the chums.