The Bestway

I hope I didn’t totally ruin my image tonight.  I went to the Bestway grocery store in  old, baggy khaki shorts and a Bernie Sanders for President T-Shirt.  I did wear real shoes….

There is something about the Bestway that brings out both the best and the worst in me…

It’s just so comfortable and convenient….

I’ve even gone there a couple of times in my bedroom shoes in the winter when I forgot to change….

I feel like I can let the image slip while I dash in for a quick purchase….

It may be because I am in there almost everyday.

In case you haven’t figured this out by now, I can be an uptight white boy.  I did go to Washington and Lee University…

But I love our funky, eclectic neighborhood and being within walking distance to the bars and restaurants on “The Corner” at Walker Avenue near our house.  Home is a multi-block radius where I can let may short gray hair down a bit…

I’ve lived in Greensboro for more than 25 years and I’ve stumbled into the Bestway, in various conditions, over most of that time.

The Bestway is a little neighborhood grocery store.  When I first moved here, it was a place to go for cigarettes and cheap beer late at night.  It was a glorified Quick Mart.  God forbid you bought food there as most of what was there was stuff that had been there for ages or was manufactured to be inedible.  It wasn’t very attractive, but it was close to where I lived and you could stop by late at night on your way home.

Now, gentrification has set in, but in a good way….

It’s still funky, but you can find almost all the food and cooking items you need as long as you don’t want to buy meat .  It has the best selection of beer and cheap wine in Greensboro….The new owners have done a wonderful job of upgrading the stock and atmosphere without losing the charm.

The kids who work there are great.  They are young and covered in tattoos and just about the nicest kids you could hope to meet.  Friendly and open.  Really sweet kids.

It’s one of the central focus points for our neighborhood.  It’s like our “Rick’s Bar” in “Casablanca.”  Sooner or later, everyone ended up at Rick’s and, sooner or later,  everyone in our neighborhood ends up at the Bestway.

It’s always fun to go to the Bestway.  You see such an eclectic group of people.  Everyone has a good attitude and is a little laid back.  It’s a comfort zone place for everyone.  I’ve been there late at night when “YMCA” was playing on the Muzak and people were dancing in the isles….

It’s one of the unique things I value most about our neighborhood.  Funky, convenient and offering almost everything the residents of our little world could want.  It perfectly reflects the balance between being unpretentious, but a little bit upscale and a little bit downtown and a little bit funky and artsy that makes our neighborhood so unique.

We may still need to make our occasional pilgrimages to Trader Joe’s, Costco, Deep Roots or, god forbid, Harris Teeter. for some items, but not too often if you plan right.  And one of my major goals in life is to avoid the big, pretentious Harris Teeter with horrible parking.   The Bestway makes that possible for weeks.  It’s lovely to have a neighborhood market that fulfills 90% of our grocery needs.  Especially in a neighborhood where good, cheap wine and a massive beer selection are of paramount importance….

A place you can walk to if you’ve had a little too much to drink and need a couple of things to have an impromptu dinner party for your friends who have done the same and the restaurants on “The Corner” are so packed you just have to eat at home…

And it’s nice to have a place an uptight white boy can wander into in his Brooks Brothers work clothes or beat up khaki shorts and a left-wing t-shirt and feel equally at home.

But that’s our neighborhood and the Bestway is both an integral part of and a reflection of it all….

A little bit upscale and a little bit artsy and funky….

I just hope it the neighborhood and the Bestway continue to stay in sync….

And we can keep this balance in the ‘hood.

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