Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Signs of The Times?

Our first trip to Roanoke, Virginia was for
Parents Weekend during my step-daughter's junior year.
We had a free couple of hours while she was busy so
we decided to go downtown to a place we'd read about:
Roanoke Marketplace. We explored the area and liked it so well
that this trip, we wanted to spend more time there.

It's a lively section of town, comprised of boutiques, shops, farmers'
market and indoor food court/mall.
The farmers' market lines both sides of a city block, and behind
the stalls are some very unique and interesting shops.

The main building, the Marketplace, holds the food court and a
few shops on two levels.
(Forgive the blur of the overhead lights in the pic below. I'm still learning
about the camera as you can tell.)
This shot is from the upper level looking the length of the building.
We were up there because that's where the ladies' room is-no further
explanation will be necessary, I'm sure, when I tell you I've had four kids.
(stop snickering, I'm serious- I know the location of every restroom
in every major department store chain).

When I say unique and interesting, I mean that you can buy fresh vegetables, recycled glassware, organic soaps, wines local and imported,
choose from an impressive selection of hot sauces, or grab some
BBQ all within a couple of hundred square feet.
We bought a red and yellow rooster marionette (who will be making his
debut in this blog very soon-stay tuned).

My camera skills are developing slowly (no pun meant, but it is brilliant, isn't it?)
like an elderly Polaroid, but when I look over the pictures I took this past weekend,
I can actually see a difference. Who knew learning about the different lens
settings could make your pictures better?!

I didn't start out to make an 'unusual signs' theme of our trip downtown,
but it evolved as I spotted more and more of them.

Arthur's is a restaurant, no less.

I loved these shop signs and it wasn't until I was reading a brochure
about the Marketplace that I discovered that Chocolate Paper is actually
a chocolate boutique.
It horrifies me to admit I never even went in. I was so enthralled
with discovering the rest of the place...I can't believe it even now. Heaven
only knows what cocao heaven I missed. I can't dwell on it or nausea sets in
and I get depressed...

Another gourmet food sign.
I'm pretty sure the word is 'king' but the 'k' is a little hinky.

I have no explanation of this one at all.
But it struck us as funny.

This cow was the first unusual sign we saw. Not only do we
have a soft spot for blues joints and BBQ, but the cow was so compelling!

These last two pictures are ones found 'way up high on some
street near the Marketplace area.
Did you know how Dr. Pepperfied they are down there?
I just assumed that Coca Cola reigned supreme by
virtue of being a Southern state like Georgia, where it was born.
Every restaurant, every bar, may or may not have cola of some
description (Coke or that other swill--see? I'm trying to invite spirited debate
--feel free to join in, but no death threats please-I know
how loyal cola fans can be) but by golly, they'll have Dr. Pepper. Which is fine
by me as I consider it a good second choice.

Anyway, I thought the sign was cool.

I loved this coffee sign. It starts out dark, then different parts of it light
up, one at a time, until coffee comes out of the pour spout and dribbles into
the cup. It doesn't take much to amuse me.


Anonymous said...

I live in Roanoke & if you ever come back to visit you should stop by Pop's Soda Fountain in the Grandin Village, 1916 Memorial Ave SW Roanoke, VA 24015.


It's like a real old Soda fountain with ice cream from the local diary. The owner will even step outside to play his bagpipes.

nath said...

Hi... it's my first visit here...
nice to be here... great blog :)

foodbin said...

i can see that this is a place for "all kinds of everythings."