There's a little town called Waxhaw, about 25 miles south of the city center. It's been hit hard by the recession, and many of it's stores, restaurants and pubs have closed down. I went to Waxhaw's First Friday and the locals were giving it their all, but I was in and out in less than 2 hours.
The band was pretty good--playing rock 'n roll covers.
When the sun went down, a movie was projected on the side wall of "The Furry Godmother" pet store. It's such a cool idea and if they showed a classic film it would have been a perfect setting on a really nice night. Grab a blanket or a chair and settle in with some vino and snacks. But, they played an animated Pixar flick, and it wasn't well attended. Skipped that!
There's a guy named Mark who started making brooms about 15 yrs ago, using a wooden, pedal driven 'Kick 'n Stitch' machine from the 1880's. The shop was small, and it's set up like a museum. It smelled like fresh cut hay and Mark was there making brooms and whisks. It takes an hour to finish each one, including handsewing and wrapping the top in leather.
I bought one, with leather woven through the straw, for $34. I appreciate the artistry, and it's something that I'll definitely use. Mark's tag line is "Han Dun."
The website is partially under construction, but you can call him to order this little piece of history. http://www.handuntrades.com/
I'll go back to Waxhaw on a weekend day, to check out the other shops and to try Rippington's Cafe. It's important to support the local economy!