Wednesday, February 4, 2009

{ my place or yours: welcome diana from please sir }

Goodness you don't know how happy I am to {finally} be here with you all today. I'm on travel and have been trying to log on and post since yesterday, but have had a heck of a time finding reliable online access. After some trial and error and a little tech support...I am here. Whew!


I am especially excited on this gorgeous Friday morning because today marks the first 2009 "My Place or Yours" feature-- and joining us is the ever-so-savvy Diana of Please Sir fame. She graciously agreed to share her home town, Raleigh, North Carolina with us. 


Please Sir has become part of my daily ritual--I know I'll always find a huge dose of design inspiration or a thought provoking, lively discussion when visiting. Her drool worthy vintage finds always leave me swooning and lucky for us, Diana lets us in on a few of her secret vintage sources. So without further delay...let's welcome Diana and see what she has to share with us today.

I would like to give a big thanks to Suzanne for giving me the opportunity to re-discover Raleigh, North Carolina and to share it with all of you. I'm originally from New York, but when I was young my family and I moved to North Carolina. I like being a little bit Yankee and a little bit Southern (hopefully the best of both!). I consider Raleigh my home, even though I currently live outside the city. I moved to Raleigh several years ago to attend North Carolina State University for degrees in textile and design. I currently work as a textile designer and write for my eclectic design site, Please Sir. Raleigh is a great city for inspiration from the growing art scene to the natural landscape. Fond memories, good friends and fun times will always give Raleigh a special place in my heart.

2. Three words that best describe Raleigh, North Carolina
Evolving, Welcoming and Intellectual

downtown Raleigh

3. Your favorite time of day and why:
My favorite time of day is early evening especially during spring when the weather is gorgeous. It's the perfect time to eat and people watch outside
Lilly's Pizza or grab a drink at Hibernian Irish Pub. Hibernian is also the spot where my boyfriend, Dave, and I had our first date. I still tease him about the unfashionable leather jacket he wore!

4. Currently on your radar?
I've been obsessing over
Dos Taquitos, a Mexican restaurant in downtown Raleigh. The food is amazing and I love the crazy atmosphere. If you go, check out the bathrooms…you'll see.

5. Favorite discovery
It's a tie between
The Cupcake Shoppe and La Farm Bakery. Both are sinfully good. Cupcakes and croissants …what more do you need?


la farm bakery

6. Where do you go to escape?
When I'm stressed and looking for a place to relax I get a cup of Chai tea at
Third Place and head to the JC Raulston Arboretum  or Lake Johnson Park.

The arboretum continuously rotates plants so it's always interesting to explore. 


The lake is also a nice, quiet place to hike and paddle boat. Luckily North Carolina weather is great for lake activities. I cherish the spring and fall weather here…it is truly amazing.

7. What are your favorite local shops?
Father & Son Antiques – The best local store to furnish your place. You never know what to expect from retro and modern furnishings to vintage fashions.

Askew-Taylor Paints & Art Supplies  – When I was in college I practically lived in this store as I searched for art supplies. Reactive dyes? Pigment paints? Colored pencils? Check!

Peace Camera – During a photography class this was the place I went for all my photo needs. When it comes to photography, they are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. I still love to wander in there and pretend to know what I'm looking at!

NOFO – Located in an old Piggly Wiggly Grocery store in the Five Points section of Raleigh, this store offers a little bit of everything. They have a delightful café, a quirky gift shop and a food market. The bar was even created from Piggly Wiggly food cans!

Fab'rik  – Found in Cameron Village, one of the oldest shopping centers in Raleigh, this fashion boutique delivers high style without the attitude or sticker shock. I believe everything in the store is under $150 and they have a selection of beers and drinks for your shopping pleasure.

8. Best kept local secret
The best kept local secret is the
Roast Grill a.k.a. Hot Wieners, a small eatery with limited options and no menu. You get a drink, a hot dog with your degree of burn and choice of toppings from homemade chili, yellow mustard, onions and hand chopped slaw. No ketchup, no chips and no credit cards. They are serious about hot dogs, but they are seriously worth it.

9. An ideal spot to linger over lunch
I have two spots that I enjoy for lingering lunches:

Seaboard Café inside the Logan Trading Co. – After you get done eating the tuna, swiss and cranberries sandwich (my fav!) you can browse the garden center filled with plant necessities and garden décor.

Rockford – You can easily miss Rockford due to the hidden location and 320 ½ address. Nonetheless you shouldn't pass it by. An eclectic atmosphere with a great view of Raleigh and I highly recommend to order the ABC sandwich (apple, bacon, cheddar).

10. When visiting Raleigh, don't miss
Fairground Fleamarket and State Fair – The fairground always has an event going on whether it's the wonderful fleamarket every Saturday and Sunday or the annual State Fair in October. A must visit if you are in search of vintage finds.

Artspace – Every first Friday of the month downtown Raleigh art galleries buzz with art patrons and free wine. A great place to start is Artspace, a visual art center with quality exhibitions and educational programs within an open studio environment.

North Carolina Museum of Art – Another inspiring spot to visit with permanent art collections and intriguing exhibits. The outdoor sculptures and collections are also worth a look.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Science – Two words: butterfly garden. You stand in a sealed room while butterflies fly around you. How neat is that?! Plus, it's fun to look at the crazy taxidermy animals and real insects.

Marbles Kids Museum– A great place to visit if you bring along kids or you're just a big kid at heart! Be sure to get tickets to the IMAX theatre– talk about surround sound and picture.

Big Boss Brew Tour – Beer tours are becoming a popular activity to taste new beers and meet people. If you happen to be in Raleigh on the second Saturday of the month then go to the Big Boss Brew Tour. Extremely fun and only a buck a beer!

11. If you had an opportunity to live anywhere else in the world, where would we find you?
Ideally I would be most content to travel the world and have a fabulous place in Raleigh to come home to and store all my vintage finds. But, I would also love a quaint house with a sheep farm in Ireland or a sunny villa in Cinque Terre, Italy. As long as I can bring along friends, family and my laptop!


12. What's your motto?
"Please Sir" of course! I kid...although my friends and I do say "please sir" quite often. "Everything happens for a reason" is a phrase I tend to repeat in my head. It may be a cliché type of motto, but I believe things happen in our lives to make us stronger and smarter. Plus, it's a little reminder to get through the hard times and to remember to celebrate the good times.

Thank you so much Diana... for the few of you who haven't yet discovered Diana's blog, please sir, be sure to stop by--it's delightful.

Note: I will be on travel and offline for most of next week. However, I have invited some lovely and uber talented blogging friends to stop by and share a bit of their week with you all--including a very special guest for the official launch of Makeover Monday--don't miss it!  Have a wonderful weekend everyone...thanks so much for your visits and thoughtful comments-they mean so much to me!


Katie Runnels said...

Oh me! GOtta get to
Raleigh soon-Father and Son's looks like a ton of fun! Thanks for this! xo

Anonymous said...

These are awesome photos and a really nice peek into a city I'd love to visit. Great job, Diana!

Melissa de la Fuente said...

What a delight Diana is and so very lovely! I now want to visit all of these wonderful places and am dying for one of those delicious hot dogs! I adore this series and am so happy it is back!

please sir said...

Thanks so much for the wonderful interview - I had such a great time!!

Cindy said...

i love diana and her tour of raleigh! beautiful pics and the vintage finds are great. i agree, no ketchup on hot dogs! safe travels.

Ann Marie said...

Great interview! I'd love to visit Raleigh sometime. It sounds wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm convinced---let's all go to Raleigh! I've heard such wonderful things about the city and Diana has confirmed its awesomeness. Plus anything Diana thinks is cool is pretty wonderful in my book!

Thanks for a great interview!

Victoria said...

It's been a good 25+ years since I have been to Raleigh and I think it's time to visit there again! A most enjoyable read from a most enjoyable person!

annechovie said...

Very cool! Great to see a photo of the beautiful person behind Please Sir and read about your hometown - thank you!

carolina bleu said...

what a great article. i miss n.c. dearly and i am a huge fan of please sir. thanks for sharing.

Michelle {lovely little things} said...

Never been there, but it looks beautiful and very different from the West coast, time to explore!

Enjoying your blog!

Vana said...

Lovely interview Suzanne! Please Sit is the top of my morning reads:)

hmstrjam said...

i love please sir, great profile of raleigh NC!

Mrs.French said...

This is a perfect example of why I love her so much...lovely interview...xo t

Michelle Engel Bencsko said...

I totally want to visit Raleigh now. Thanks Diana!

blue moss said...

fun interview.....
i need one of those cupcakes!

littlebyrd said...

I want to go! I loved seeing pictures of this beautiful and interesting city and reading a great interview. Thank you both!

please sir said...

Awww love all your comments!!

karey m. said...

love her love her love her...and please! one of the most beautiful things about raleigh?

diana. for sure.

such a great piece of writing and inspiration


Bonbon Oiseau said...

love her! such a cutie and what a great series!!! need to get to raleigh NOW!

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