Recently I’ve been in quite the life-slump, unable to shake this nagging feeling that moving back to Northwestern Pennsylvania is stunting my social growth (which it is in the process of doing). The past few years that I lived in Raleigh and, especially, Chapel Hill were quite the memorable ones. I have experienced and witnessed some of the most interesting things that area has to offer. Around Halloween (which after I move away is sadly is on a Saturday this year) ACC basketball season, and March Madness, Franklin Street is a buzz with a few of the most amazing evenings I’ve ever experienced.
The moment that I realized I’d found one of the great social meccas occurred when UNC won their Final Four game in 2006 on their way to a National Championship. Completely overwhelmed by Franklin Street, (see image above) I couldn’t believe my eyes as I walked through the massive crowd. It was like being at a rock concert, only with really hot college-age girls drinking and dancing in the streets, no mullets, and no band there to play music.
Being a simple country boy from Amishville, Pennsylvania, I was utterly enamored with a city as passionate about something as Chapel Hill was about their basketball. That evening it seemed like the entire city was out celebrating on Franklin Street and the buzz was almost palpable. At one point in the eve I found myself leaving Spanky’s bar, and was completely intrigued as I watched a group of students haul a couch down from their apartment and carry it through the crowd of 50,000 people. Eventually they were able to shuffle their way through the mob and cleared a reasonably sized circle around the furniture. They then called to their friend who brought over a little red can and splashed gasoline on the couch before they lit it on fire. As I panned the surrounding area to help put this event into perspective, I noticed a police officer in the middle of the crowd of rowdy Chapel Hillians, standing and staring at this event unfold, very similar as to how I was. At this point in the evening I had a few brews in me, so I was curious as to how the law was going to proceed now that some overzealous UNC fans had started a couch burning in the middle of the street. I approached him with a quizzical look on my face from his seeming indifference and left with an even more perplexed sense than when I’d first seen the officer. The conversation below should help convey the mood of the evening.
“Excuse me, sir. But, uh, there seems to be a couch on fire over there.”
“Oh. Is that dangerous or anything?”
“Nah. That’s a controlled burn.”
I assumed that ‘controlled burn’ meant that there were people around it? I’m still not really sure what that means. Maybe if the fire got out of control they were counting on the civilians who incited the riot to land on top of the flames and extinguish them. Anyways, the point of that story was to highlight how amazing evenings can be if you’re in the right place at the right time. And, to be honest, I can’t tell you the last time I saw a celebratory mob in Cambridge Springs light anything on fire. Unless you count the time the grocery store burnt down.
However, as much fun as I’ve had out in major cities, LA, Sydney, Boston, Raleigh, wherever, nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, has ever looked as fun as Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. ‘What’s so fun about Cardiff?” you ask. Well everything, apparently.
I was going to summarize that article for you, but I feel I can’t do it justice. However, if you are curious, and a bit lazy, and don’t want to read the article, I’ll leave you with said Reveller and hope to hear from anyone interested in going to Cardiff in the near future because it looks simply epic there.
Somewhere she has a dad that’s really proud of her. I bid you good day, governor.