Below Expectations

Last month, O.Henry’s Raleigh-based sister pub, Walter, featured North Carolina artist Amber Share. She’s become a thing on Instagram with her Subpar Parks project — a series of “postcard” illustrations inspired by one-star reviews of National Parks. And now she has a book out: America’s Most Extraordinary National Parks and Their Least Impressed Visitors.  Here’s one for you, Greensboro. Share’s take on Hanging Rock State Park, where, as one underwhelmed visitor complained, the “trees obscure the view.” Find her on Instagram @subparparks


Tacos + Tequila

The most beautiful words in the English language? The great novelist Henry James said, “summer afternoon.” But he’d never been to the Greensboro Taco Festival. On Saturday, August 14, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., try convincing yourself that words like “guac” and “cilantro” weren’t created here in the Gate City, especially after that third margarita. At this sizzling fiesta of area restaurants and mobile kitchens, you’re bound to find the taco of your dreams, whether you like yours with lettuce and tomato, cotija and lime, mango, extra veggies or with salsa so blistering it will make your mouth, nose and eyes water. Speaking of water, you can find that here, too — with or without salt and tequila. Admission: $15; $10/advance. VIP tickets: $35 (include one shirt, two tacos and two margaritas). White Oak Amphitheatre, 1921 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Info:


Belly Dancing

Downtown Greensboro, but with food trucks. Like, lots of them. On Sunday, August 29, from 3–9 p.m., celebrate the flavors of the city at, yep, Greensboro Food Truck Festival. Fifty food trucks plus craft beer, live music, kids’ activities and craft vendors — no ticket required for entry. Just bring your appetite — and maybe some sunscreen — to Greene, Market and Elm Streets, which will smell a bit like street food heaven.


Show Us Your Twist

If you love this magazine, then you likely know a thing or two about our namesake, William Sydney Porter, who famously ended his stories with a twist. And if, like us, you can’t get enough of his writing and whimsy, then you’ll want to be at the Greensboro History Museum on Thursday, September 2, for a conversation about the extraordinary genius of this favorite Greensboro son at 7 p.m. The Life & Works of O. Henry, a co-production of the museum, Greensboro Public Library and Scuppernong Books, features Ben Yagoda — bestselling author and editor of the new Library of America anthology O. Henry: 101 Stories — and Jim Dodson, founding editor of O.Henry magazine. It’s free, smart as the dickens and you’ll leave feeling all the richer. Greensboro History Museum, 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro. Info:   


Supper and a Song

In the blazing heat of summer, blooming in full sun, behold purple aster and Limelight salvia. Alice Walker’s Shug Avery said it best: “I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don’t notice it.” And when a musical adaptation of Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is showing at the Barn Dinner Theatre, you’ll only piss yourself off by not snagging tickets. The Color Purple runs from August 7 through September 25. Boasting an exuberant score — jazz, ragtime, gospel, African music and blues — this story of hope is a testament to the healing power of love. And that’s after you dance through the Southern-style buffet. Seating begins at 6 p.m. Tickets: $51–$56 (adults); $25.50–$30.50 (children under 12). Barn Dinner Theatre, 120 Stage Coach Trail, Greensboro. Reservations/Info: 






We’re baaaaaaaack! After a cold, dark, lonesome, COVID-induced hiatus, the wonderful and necessary world of live music is making a beautiful comeback. And your faithful scribe is ahead of the curve on finding the finest entertainment offerings from around the Triad. Tentative, maybe, but this month marks the first full concert schedule in a year and a half, and to say we’re ready is a huge understatement. Let’s indulge! 

• August 11, White Oak Amphitheatre: I had the privilege of interviewing Train lead singer Pat Monahan a couple of years ago in advance of a show at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. He was as warm and neighborly as the rock band’s signature sound (“Drops of Jupiter,” “Hey, Soul Sister,” et. al.). They’re into their third decade now, and still chugging along.

• August 19, Ramkat (Winston-Salem): Thank goodness my favorite mid-size venue is back in full swing, with several goodies to choose from each month. This time around, it’s Kendell Marvel, one of Nashville’s most in-demand songwriters for years, who has finally stepped from the shadows into the performing limelight. No formulaic pablum here, folks. He’s the real deal.

• August 22, Blind Tiger: Local music aficionados know how lucky we are to have a genuine blues legend like Bob Margolin residing among us. And he performs among us, as well, bringing several of his top-shelf friends with him. The ever-popular BT did a good thing by nabbing him for what promises to be an SRO event.

• August 28, High Point Theatre: OK, I know I’m prejudiced. He’s my neighbor and two of his band members are my cousins (Timmy and Toby Overman). But, believe me, Billy “Crash” Craddock has still got it. He hasn’t lost a step in his long, illustrious career, and puts on a show as entertaining as his days as a young ’70s heartthrob.

• August 29, Tanger Center: Hallelujah! We’ve been waiting a year for this, and our downtown crown jewel is finally open for business. And there’s no better way to get our feet wet than with the Queens of Soul. These three elite vocalists, backed by the complete orchestral treatment, perform everything from royalty like Aretha, Tina Turner, Gladys Knight all the way to current stars such as Adele, Alicia Keys and even Amy Winehouse. This will be an evening that’s good for the soul.

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