Today as I watch from a storefront window on North Street, I find myself people gazing as the afternoon has slowed down.
“Kinston is rough.” This is one of the more polite phrases that were used when I discussed moving to Kinston with friends and family. As I watch people in green preparing for St. Patrick’s Day festivities, I’m genuinely curious what they mean by rough.
“Kinston is dangerous.” Tell that to the 50 or so people I’ve watched mosey from shop to shop as they partake in the abundance of small businesses that make up Kinston’s shopping district. They didn’t appear to be at all threatened by the big bad city.
“Kinston has gangs.” Please tell me a city in the US that doesn’t have gangs. You know what gangs have in them? People. You know who shops in Kinston? People. For such a dangerous place, I can’t tell you how many wonderful people I’ve met in the month I’ve been here. The diversity is beautiful. I don’t just mean ethnicity or race, I mean diversity of life.
Outside my window is a vegetable garden that is photographed by different people every day. There are blue lights that sparkle when the sun goes down laminates the path of people walking from the Brewery to the Boiler room. It’s pretty awesome to see. As they walk from dawn till dusk, I cannot imagine fear plays any factor at all in their decision to spend their money where they want to.
And they want to spend it in Kinston.
This week alone I’ve met folks from Raleigh, South Carolina, California, Rhode Island, and one of the M states. I honestly can’t remember which one. Anyway, they all came to Kinston because they heard about a great restaurant or store.
Yet, I’m from a town 45 minutes away, and was frequently warned about the catastrophic nature of where I moved to.
I live beside a park that has a ball field, a playground for kids, and a community center. Oh, and a pool. I drive past another community park/pool place on my 6 minute drive to the apothecary. It’s very hard to not see a community park in any direction you go in Kinston.
Let me tell you my favorite part. So I’m cheap. Like SUPER cheap. I’d rather buy something used than new, I’d rather shop thrift stores than Walmart. I love marked down sales. I’m a glutton for off brand items.
Kinston is like my dream town. There is a Roses, a Dollar Tree, a Family Dollar, and a Piggly Wiggly in the same shopping plaza. There’s also a Dollar General at the end of that street. It’s the Kinston Plaza. You can’t hear them, but in my head, every time I say Kinston Plaza, a chorus of angels sing. I never have to go to Walmart again. (The angels are singing again.)
I’m so excited for our first Discover Kinston adventure. It’s tomorrow. I thought it would just be me and Hunter, but it’s turning into a social event. I made friends ya’ll. (I’d say all on my own, but Gail knew them both first, so Im pretty sure she helped me make friends lol)
So – come to Kinston. Discover it with me. You absolutely won’t regret it. PS. Parking is free in everywhere I’ve seen so far. What city can boast free parking?
Haters will hate, but meanwhile, I’m going to enjoy Kinston.