by William Needham Finley IV™


William Needham Finley IV @WNFIV

William Needham Finley IV @WNFIV has 162 articles published.

Root Student Confused About Third First Day Of School

in Five Points/Humor by
A student standing in front of a school.

A Five Points couple rejoiced as Mary Waldorf van der Williamson, a Kindergarten student at Root Elementary, was dropped off for her third first day of school on Wednesday. While the return to the classroom was a relief for parents, many students were confused by yet another first day of school. 

“It’s like there’s a new first day of school every other week. Do you realize how many front porch photo shoots I’ve had to do, how many different bows I’ve had to wear?” said van der Williamson, age 5 and 3/4.

To make matters worse, the mid-February start date left parents ill-equipped to stage a first day of school photo. “Mommy was upset that our smocked back to school clothes weren’t appropriate for 30 degree weather. It took forever to get a picture because Little Davis kept whining about how his knee socks and shorts weren’t warm enough. Then his little fingers were too cold to hold the chalkboard sign. It was a nightmare,” van der Williamson said.

The start and stop nature of the school year has also distorted the perception of time for many students. “Am I still in Kindergarten? I have no concept of time. Seriously, I do not know what months are,” confessed van der Williamson.

The addition of students who have recently moved from out of state has added to van der Williamson’s confusion. “I don’t even recognize the kids in my class. Every time we go back to school there’s a handful of new kids who just moved here from New York or some place called the Bay.” 

Even though van der Williamson was excited to return to school in person, she remains apprehensive. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me….I’m not sure what comes after two because we haven’t learned that in school yet.” 

Due to inclement weather, schools will operate on an asynchronous schedule on Thursday, which means students will get the chance to have another first day of school next week.

Now is a great time to donate to Note In The Pocket a great local organization providing clothing to impoverished schoolchildren in Wake County. With your support, donations, volunteer service, and partnership, they impacted 5,069 children and family members in 2020. You can register here for their upcoming Socks & Undie 5k Rundie on Saturday, April 24- 5k at Dorothea Dix Park. Or you can donate here.

Exclusive: The Overlook At Cameron Village

in Development by

Cameron Village is expanding into the great wide open with a new rooftop patio and retail space as part of a redevelopment project. We have recently exclusively learned about The Overlook at Cameron Village, a project that will include 5,158 square feet of retail space and a 4,342 square foot patio overlooking Raleigh.

Designed by the brilliant minds at New City Design, the project will redevelop space that was part of the Bryan building, as well as the street level retail space near Kannon’s and Carolina Lighting & Design.

When finished, there will be two retail spaces on the street level, a retail space on the upper floor (that could be divided into two spaces) and a luxurious patio with a spectacular view overlooking Cameron Village. This is sure to be one of the most Instagrammable spots in Raleigh.

Our minds are racing at the implications of such a project. Sales at Kannon’s are going to skyrocket once people (Paul) can have a few glasses of bourbon at dinner and then walk downstairs to shop. We imagine the patio will be full of moms taking a break in between virtual schooling their kids, running errands at the CV HT, and taking yoga classes. This outdoor area could even be a great pick up/drop off spot for micITBit transactions. There could be a section for professionals who need to get away from their home office and day trade on Robinhood from the patio. Anything is possible.

But what we all really want to know is who will move into the top spot, the Casterly Rock of Cameron Village, the Rodeo Drive of Raleigh. Our friends at York Properties and Regency Centers have exclusively told us that they are looking for a full-service restaurant to occupy the top level space and bring more evening activity to Cameron Village.

We are thrilled to announce that we are working on our own business plan that combines an array of Raleigh classics into one culinary conglomerate. We’re putting a deal together to resurrect Crowley’s, Frazier’s, Porter’s, Bogart’s, and a few other surprises (dinner bowling, perhaps?) under one roof. Let us be Waterford crystal clear, this is NOT a food court. We will be accepting suggestions and feedback through October 31. Once the plan is finalized, we will present a proposal to York and Regency.

Regarding the street level retail opportunities, we could obviously use an Apple store in the 3,043 square foot space.

As for the 3,896 square foot space, we are in talks with a gentleman from California, who uses karate to help teenagers find camaraderie and self-confidence, that is interested in opening a dōjō (tentatively named Cobra KaITB).

One note to Commercial Real Estate Brokers: the upper level could actually be utilized by two tenants. Since we’re providing you with this invaluable information, we require a 5% commission from any deals you make related to this project. By reading this paragraph, you hereby agree to these terms and conditions. We’ve watched all three seasons of Selling Sunset, so we’re pretty confident we understand how this works. Interested parties can contact Lynne Worth (919-863-8083) for leasing information. 

Thanks to Cameron Village for having the vision to deliver more outdoor space to gather (six feet apart while wearing masks). We’re already excited about overlooking Broughton while enjoying a refreshing La Pappy Claw™ spritzer (a new beverage exclusive to our culinary conglomerate). Note: As the exclusive media conglomerate that is breaking this news, we politely request that all other media outlets credit ITB Insider when covering this story. Otherwise, you’ll be hearing from Stacy Miller.

Additional renderings:

Report: Couples Therapy Sessions Skyrocket During Dry January

in Five Points/Humor by

An ITB Insider investigation has uncovered some shocking results related to Dry January, the public health campaign that urges people to abstain from alcohol during the month of January. Dry January participants expect to improve their general health, lose weight, and sleep better as a result of not consuming alcohol. We conducted interviews with one therapist and a Five Points couple during our rigorous month-long investigation. We can now confirm that Dry January is directly responsible for a rise in couples therapy sessions held in Raleigh during January.

For therapists, Dry January is like Black Friday and Cyber Monday had a baby.

Dr. Anna Paige, Therapist

In early January we began receiving reports that lines at the Cameron Village ABC store were non-existent, Sunday Funday sales at Lynnwood had plummeted, and the parking lot at the Cameron Village Harris Teeter was a ghost town.

Dry January was clearly spreading in Raleigh, but could it send our local economy into a hangover from which we would never recover? How would couples handle being around each other, their friends, family, and coworkers, while totally sober?

We spoke with Dr. Anna Paige, a couples therapist specializing in first world problems, to learn more about how this was impacting Raleigh and its residents. “For therapists, Dry January is like Black Friday and Cyber Monday had a baby. It’s our most profitable month of the year. This is the first time many couples have ever had to interact with the world without the aid of alcohol. Our appointments steadily increase over the first few weeks, followed by a spike at the end of January,” said Paige.

ITB Insider spent January embedded with a Five Points couple in their 2-bedroom bungalow off of Whitaker Mill. Mary Anna Fletcher, an influencer, and Hunter Davis Fletcher III, a Senior Vice President at TriCap Properties, were attempting Dry January for the first time. Mary Anna told her husband that they would both be doing Dry January and that she would document their journey on her Instagram account “That Is So Fletch”. 

The last time I had to wait this long to drink was because of a court order.

Hunter Davis Fletcher III

Hunter was not pleased. “I thought this was just one of her influencer things, not something we’d do together. I stood in line for three hours to get this special release triple IPA and now I have to wait a month before I can drink it. The last time I had to wait this long to drink was because of a court order,” said Fletcher III.

Mary Anna began the month by posting “mocktail” recipes to her Instagram account.

Paige explained why Mary Anna felt the need to share the experience publicly on social media. “Similar to being vegan, a major aspect of Dry January is telling others that you are doing Dry January. Many believe that publicly sharing their progress will show the world how close they are as a couple. External validation can help them cope with the fact that they haven’t spoken to each other for three straight days.”

When asked how much his productivity at work had increased, Hunter replied, “I’ve gone to more coffee meetings this month than I have in my entire career. Do you know how hard it is to close a deal when you can’t drink at a client dinner? I legit might lose my job.”

The couple began seeing Dr. Paige on January 4th. By the end of the month Hunter questioned the origins of Dry January. “Since when is this even a thing? All of a sudden everyone is talking about Dry January. We’ve spent $6,400 on 36 therapy sessions. I swear Big Therapy is behind this.”

Paige did not deny the accusation. “Oh absolutely. We spend a lot of money on Dry January lobbyists.”

Mary Anna seemed less concerned with the cost. “The tartan lining in this whole thing is that we became closer as a couple and we’re saving money. My skin is so much better that I can go an extra month between botox sessions. That’s money in the bank.”

Despite feeling healthier and making many breakthroughs during couples therapy, Mary Anna and Hunter resumed drinking alcohol on February 1st.

On a totally unrelated note, Seaboard Wine will be hosting a free wine tasting from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Saturday, February 8th.

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Five Points Family Preps for the Angus Barn Trail

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A Five Points family is preparing for a trek outside the beltline. Davis Knox Craig III and his wife, Mary Anna Dover Craig, have spent the last few weeks carefully planning for their annual holiday visit to the Angus Barn. The 10.3 mile journey from their house in Five Points to the Barn of Angus can be treacherous, especially at this time of the year.

“The beltline was too busy to ford last year. That’s when we lost Little Davis….” Mary Anna said, her voice trailing off as she talked about their only child. Note: Little Davis did not die of dysentery, he just threw a tantrum so unbearable that his father fed him a Go-Gurt laced with Ambien to put him to sleep for the duration of the trip.

A trip of this magnitude requires a lot of planning. The family added AT&T Fiber to their 2018 Yukon from Thompson Buick GMC Cadillac.

“We had to make sure our WiFi would work because cell service can be spotty out there,” said Mary Anna. “I’m bringing my iPad so I can watch The Great British Bake Off on Netflix and do last minute shopping. Little Davis can watch Paw Patrol on his iPad, and Big Davis can just drive in silence.”

With their entertainment planned out, the family still had to prepare for the possibility of being stuck outside the beltline.

Their list of supplies resembled a modern day Oregon Trail inventory:

Extra batteries for charging iPhones, iPads, and MacBook Pros

20 lb bag of grain (non-GMO)

5 lb bag of flour

6 Broughton Tradition Scarves

6 dozen Ladyfingers ham rolls

8 down blankets

4 cases of wine from Seaboard Wine

2 Go-Gurts laced with Ambien

YETI 5-Gallon Bucket

YETI Hopper Two 20

YETI Tundra 75

YETI Tundra 350

4 iPads

3 Bear traps

The father, and party leader, thinks all this planning could have been avoided.

“I’m still a bit upset that White Memorial didn’t let William Needham Finley IV move Angus Barn inside the beltline as part of his summer mission trip in seventh grade,” said Craig III. “But I guess it’s good to use this as a way to teach our kid to appreciate what he has. Sometimes we’ll drive through random strip malls on the way home to remind Little Davis of how good he has it.”

After loading up the Yukon and getting ready to embark, the couple stopped to reflect on the risks associated with such a journey.

“You never know what can go wrong on the trail. But it’s worth it for the Chocolate Chess Pie and cheese and crackers,” said Craig III.

“And for the Instagram,” added Mary Anna.

“And for the…..for….the…” slurred Little Davis from the backseat, as he quietly slipped into a Go-Gurt Ambien induced coma.

Fortunately, Craig III is a doctor, the party is small, and their inventory is well stocked.

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ITB Living: State Fair Edition

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Welcome to the newest edition of ITB Living. Our team of experts spent weeks coming up with the definitive guide to the North Carolina State Fair. We’ve covered everything from foods that won’t ruin your Keto diet to how to get powdered sugar out of your Barbour. Get your exclusive copy today by following @ITBInsider on Instagram and reading this post.

This edition of Raleigh’s premiere digital magazine cover includes:

Fair Foods That Won’t Ruin Your Keto Diet (thanks to the ITBroads for their hard work and research on this one)

Fair Fashion: Matching Flannels For The Fam

Arteries: Do You Really Need Them?

How To Get Powdered Sugar Out Of Your Barbour (Buy A New One)

Red Cross Adds Luxury Suite For “Missing” Dads

Know Before You Go: TSA PreCheck Doesn’t Work On The Ferris Wheel

Avoid An Amber Alert: How To Microchip Your Kids

Cash Is King: Your CCC Member PIN Ain’t No Good Here

Step Right Up! New Fair Game Guesses Your Income Based On ZIP Code

High-Resolution Cover:

About ITB Living

This cutting-edge media property addresses the rapidly growing market of people who don’t have time to read magazines. As a carbon negative media empire, ITB Insider realizes how detrimental magazines are to the environment. We save thousands of trees by not publishing an entire magazine. Each carefully curated edition of ITB Living is posted to the @ITBInsider Instagram account and paired with a blog post on

Previous Editions:

ITB Living Thanksgiving ’18

ITB Living: Halloween ’18

The Debut of ITB Living

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Oxygen Levels Plummet After Raleigh’s Giving Tree Is Murdered In Broad Daylight

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Oxygen levels in Raleigh dropped significantly after a historic oak tree in Nash Square was cut down. City officials were forced to murder the tree, located across the street from the former Sprague Law Office and Berkeley Cafe, after discovering that it had some sort of tree disease.

As the tree trunk was being chainsawed to death, residents lined up around the block to get their hands on a piece of history. “I’m hoping I can salvage some of its oxygen. I didn’t even know this tree was being murdered until the AQI on my Apple Watch shot up to 360,” said Norman Larson, referring to the watch’s Air Quality Index feature, which determines air quality on a scale from 0 to 500. Anything above 301 is “hazardous” and considered an emergency.

Some residents saw the demise of the tree as an opportunity. “I’ve got enough tree here to make a dozen cutting boards, a set of coasters, and a small end table. If they let me get a piece of the base I could easily make a headboard or a dining room table,” said Alex Hutton. He added that he plans to sell those items on a private Facebook group where the users would, “go nuts over this stuff, especially once I offer a monogramming option.”

Tree regulatory officials are now concerned with fraud related to the sale of “authentic” pieces of the Nash Square tree. “It happens more than you think. A historic  tree or building is demolished and people see an opportunity for exploitation,” said Eric Clay, a tree regulator. “We’ve already caught one landscaping company that was offering to spread “authentic Nash Square wood chips” in yards on Marlowe Road. It turned out to be regular wood chips from Logan’s.”

Residents are encouraged to hire a carbon dating expert or an ITB mom from garden club to ensure any Nash Square tree products are authentic. If fraud is suspected, please contact Stacy Miller at the offices of Miller Law Group.

The crowds eventually subsided, as dozens of tree removal specialists continued to clear the area of mangled limbs. One bystander asked, “Why didn’t they use one of those helicopter saws? Seems like that would’ve been a lot easier.”

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Vest Season Delayed, Again

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Vest season has been delayed due to unusually high temperatures in Raleigh. Residents who have been conditioned to wear vests during the usually cool month of October are struggling to adapt. “What the hell am I supposed to wear to a tailgate in October?” said Sutton Nichols III.

Many parents are concerned that it will not be cool enough to wear fall attire while taking pumpkin patch pictures with their children. 

“It’s so hot that I’ll be dressed for picking strawberries but we’ll be surrounded by orange and that’s going to clash. I don’t care what the weather is, I’m wearing my damn Barbour vest,” said Mary Elizabeth Williams.

Temperatures are expected to remain in the 80s for at least another week. Shares of Patagonia and Barbour are trading at all-time lows as a result. 

This isn’t the first time residents have had to deal with these issues. A Five Points couple, and their Cavalier King Charles, once struggled with what Barbour jackets to wear during an unusually hot February in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

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Five Points Dad Teaches Son To Ride Peloton

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A Five Points dad hit a parenting milestone this week, sort of. Sutton Nichols III successfully taught his son, Sutton IV or “Little Sutton,” to ride a Peloton. The popular stationary exercise bike, which offers live and recorded streaming fitness classes led by virtual instructors, has become a staple of homes inside the beltline. 

What is normally a memorable moment between parent and child was somewhat bittersweet, as Nichols wasn’t physically present to teach his son how to ride the Peloton. “Look, I’m a Vice Executive President Associate Partner at a big commercial real estate firm. I don’t have time to teach my kid to ride a Peloton. My wife was on my case about not spending enough time with the kids, so I took care of it,” said Nichols.

Nichols had his assistant contact Peloton with an offer. He would pay the company to digitally insert him into a series of classes as the instructor, an idea he got from spending a significant amount of time watching YouTube.

“Have you seen these deepfake videos? They’re insane. These nerds figured out how to use computers to put a person’s face and voice on someone else. It’s like photoshop but for a video. It’s actually kind of scary,” said Nichols. 

He was referring to the recently popular deepfake videos, which use machine learning to superimpose existing images and videos onto source videos. In the example below, actor Bill Hader appears to be Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise, and Seth Rogen.

When used maliciously, these videos also have the potential to end democracy. So there’s that.

We asked why Nichols had concocted such an elaborate and expensive scheme when he could have just become a Peloton instructor, or taught his son to ride a normal bicycle. “I make way – and I cannot emphasize this enough – too much money to become a real Peloton instructor,” he explained.

Since money did not seem to be an issue for Nichols, we asked why he didn’t buy a second Peloton to take the classes with his son. “And risk losing my dad bod? I worked too hard pounding cases of White Claw and Old Tuffy at the club this summer,” he scoffed.

We spoke to nearby residents and learned that Nichols was not the only one using the Peloton as a teaching tool. “I wish I’d thought of that deepfake idea. I travel all the time for work and figured I’d teach my kid to ride a bike by using the Peloton. It turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes of my life. After six months of classes, my kid started to think that Vince the Peloton instructor was his actual father,” said a neighbor who wished to remain anonymous.

I worked too hard pounding cases of White Claw and Old Tuffy at the club this summer.

Sutton Nichols III

Nichols didn’t just pay Peloton to digitally insert him into their courses. He also had to find a time when the Peloton was not being used by his wife, Mary Eton Nichols. “She’s on that thing constantly. I don’t even know how she has time to tell the housekeeper and the sitter what to do.”

The competition among Peloton riders was one of many reasons why Mary Eaton didn’t want to let Little Sutton become a user. “This is my life. I’m out here every day climbing up the leaderboard. Have you heard about the PED ring in Hayes Barton? They’re all doping to gain an advantage. It’s absurd that Peloton isn’t drug testing,” she said, insinuating that riders are using performance enhancing drugs to become better at riding a stationary exercise bike.

“I thought about contacting Stacy Miller to sue another rider that I KNOW is cheating. Unfortunately, I don’t have impulse control and I just called the person out in our Peloton Facebook group,” she added.

Nichols convinced his wife to let Little Sutton use the Peloton from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, while Mary Eton was attending her daily barre class.

Mary Eton had mixed feelings. “I mean, yeah, it’s great that he taught Little Sutton how to ride a bike that doesn’t move, but how am I supposed to post that on Instagram? It’s almost fall and getting a shot of Big Sutton holding Little Sutton’s seat as he wobbles down White Oak with the leaves changing colors in the background was going to be the PERFECT beginning of fall post. What the hell am I supposed to do now?!” said Mary Eton. 

While there are still some issues to work through, the couple is proud to see the progress Little Sutton has made. “He started dead last on the leaderboard, but he’s working his way up. We’ve scheduled him in classes with a few other kids his age, so he’s also making friends.” 

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ITB Dad in Doghouse After Ruining Back to School Picture

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Family Nearly Torn Apart Over School Photo

A Hayes Barton family was almost torn apart after a disastrous first day of school. Grace Anne Stewart, a mother of two, came close to filing for divorce after her husband, Charles Stewart, failed to follow her simple instructions for taking a back to school photo of their children.

Grace Anne had gone out of town to be with her sister who was giving birth, one of the only reasons a mother would miss a back to school photo shoot of her kids. She laid out specific instructions and sent Charles a reminder text early Monday morning.

Charles woke up, read the text, remembered about half of it, and began his day. He tried putting the kids into the outfits his wife had chosen, but gave up after mild tantrums ensued. He bribed the children with extra iPad time to get them to write their names on the chalkboard and then quickly took the pictures. As the kids got in the car for the .3 mile trek to school, Charles got on a conference call with his commercial real estate colleagues. It was time to analyze their recent Fantasy Football draft. Charles got caught up in discussing who should start at his flex spot and forgot to send the pictures to his wife.

He dropped the kids off at school, assuming he’d won Father of the Year for getting them there on time. By 9:00 am, Grace Anne knew something was wrong. She texted her husband.

Grace Anne: Charles! Where are the pictures?!

Charles: Sorry, got caught up on a work call. It was important.

Grace Anne: It’s 9:05 am. Our picture won’t be seen by as many people if we don’t post it right now. We need at least 100 likes this year.

Charles sent the pictures at 9:06 am, which is the exact moment his marriage nearly came to an end.

Grace Anne: CHARLES!!!!

Charles: Don’t the kids look cute?

Grace Anne: The chalkboard, Charles. The fucking chalkboard.

Charles: I put the chalkboard out!

Grace Anne: Yeah, you did, but those grades are from LAST YEAR. David had a huge growth spurt this summer. He doesn’t look like he’s going into the 4th grade, unless he’s the Hodor of Root. He’s a damn giant.

Charles: It’s not my fault the kids don’t know what grade they’re going into. There are literally 1 million pictures of kids going back to school today on social media. No one actually reads the chalkboards.

Grace Anne: Well three of my group texts noticed immediately. And I told you to put him in seersucker shorts and a Brooks Brothers polo from the ITBack to School Must Haves guide. Why is he wearing a Golden State Warriors t-shirt and basketball shorts?! This isn’t a Jaycee basketball game!!!

Charles: I’ll fix it.

Grace Anne: How?! Now we don’t have a first day of school picture to post next to our last day of school picture at the end of the year! Do you want this to be your second divorce before you’re 35? We are done. DONE!

Charles knew nothing good could come from replying to an all caps “done” text message. Thinking he could salvage the picture, and hoping to avoid another costly divorce, Charles cancelled his scheduled 3 hour coffee meeting at Third Place, hopped in his Yukon, and sped towards Root.

He pulled the kids out of class, did 95 down Glenwood, and arrived at home. He frantically made the kids change clothes and pose for another picture in front of the chalkboard, now updated with the correct grades. He took a dozen pictures and sent them to his wife by 10:00 am.

Grace Anne: These are fine. But if this doesn’t get 100 likes so help me God…

As of 6:00 pm the picture had only received 87 likes.

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Back To School Essentials Remain Unchanged For 8th Straight Decade

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Welcome to the definitive guide to starting another school year with your best boat shoe forward. The last thing you need as a parent is for little Davis III or Mary Anna to come home crying after the first day of school because they wore the wrong article of clothing or had a store brand snack in their lunch.

That’s why we’ve created this handy back to school guide that will ensure your children get off to a great start. From North Face to New Balances, these are the ITBasic items that will meet the approval of your peers.

We’ve taken the time to link all of these products from Amazon so you can shop at home while binge watching Season 2 of Ozark and sipping on our back to school rosé from Seaboard Wine at High Park Village. Click on the product image or the title to purchase these items on Amazon and support the ITB Insider™ media empire, at no extra cost. You’re welcome.

Sperry Top-Siders

Your child may have to attend Cotillion, board a yacht, or go to the beach at a moment’s notice. Always be prepared.

Kid Sperrys

Same as above. Start teaching your children the importance of wearing proper shoes as they navigate the waters of the Pullen Park boats. But not the paddle boats, those require too much work.

Brooks Brothers Polo

A quintessential part of the ITB wardrobe, the Brooks Brothers polo should be worn every day of the week. When not wearing a Brooks Brothers polo, make sure your child is wearing a t-shirt from an acceptable restaurant, such as Sanitary, Beaufort Grocery, Angus Barn, etc.

New Balance 990s

The only shoe you’ll ever need. Your kid is probably begging for some new Under Armour shoe. Remind them that New Balances will never go out of style and will never blow a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.

North Face Backpack

A classic for kids of all ages. Name brand? Check. Solid color that goes with anything? Check. Also, the Borealis is unisex so your child can’t be made fun of for having a backpack designed for the opposite sex.

Anything Lilly Pulitzer

On Wednesdays, the kids wear pink.

Matching Outfits

If you aren’t matching with your child on at least the first day of school then you’re doing it wrong.


Dressing for success is critical for your child’s development, but you can’t stop there. The following items will help your child get through the rest of their school day without getting stuffed into a locker or shunned by the Alpha in their class.

Scout Lunch Bag

The days of bringing your lunch to school in a brown paper bag are over. If your child doesn’t show up to lunch with one of these they might as well eat alone in their locker to avoid the shame you’ve brought upon them.

Lunch Container

You bought the designer lunch bag, but you aren’t going to put your child’s food in a ziplock bag are you? Those things are FULL of BPA, PVC, and phthalates. Save your child’s life by using these lunch containers. The separated compartments are perfect for kids who are predisposed to melting down when their foods touch.

Pirate’s Booty

Pirate’s Booty has rocketed to the top of the snack food charts. Some might say this snack is on the expensive side, but the alternative is sending your kid to school with a bag of Utz cheese balls. Do you really want to be the talk of a thousand group texts before the last SUV has left the after school pick-up line?

Cheddar Bunnies

Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies are basically Goldfish crackers, and you probably can’t go wrong with either. However, Annie’s just seems more ITB because of how much they shove that organic label in your face.

Yeti Tumbler

You can’t send your child to school with a bottle of Deer Park and call it a day anymore. Their drink needs to have ice and that ice needs to stay frozen solid until you pick them up. Fortunately, YETI is the only tumbler with this type of ice preservation technology.

Lilly Planner

We all know you’re going to be the one planning your kid’s schedule, so you might as well look good doing it.

Trapper Keeper

The perfect receptacle for your child’s schoolwork, which you will ultimately be responsible for.

While this guide is far from complete, it should be enough to get you started. Good luck to you and your children on another exciting year of attending ITB schools!

ITB Dad in Doghouse After Ruining Back to School Picture

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NC State Dad Cares More About Old Tuffy Than His Kids

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The Women’s International Champions Cup is bringing four of the best women’s professional clubs from around the world to compete on August 15 and 18 at WakeMed Soccer Park. Get your tickets now!


The wait is finally over for Chris Reynolds Monroe III. The NC State alumnus was thrilled to pick up his first 12-pack of Old Tuffy bright and early on Monday morning. Monroe had been waiting months for this special edition lager made by New Belgium Brewing.

“I know I’m not supposed to say this, but this is better than my kids,” he said, while gently buckling the 12-pack into the backseat of his lifted 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali pickup.

“Usually the only thing that gets me up this early is posting at F3,” he added, referring to a fitness group that meets before sunrise in order to avoid dealing with children in the morning.

Monroe plans to spend the rest of the day taking pictures around NC State landmarks while holding the 12-pack. “I saw some influencers posting about it a few weeks before the release and it just inspired me to be a better person,” he said, as he ignored the notification on his phone reminding him to drop his children off at school.

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Hayes Barton Mom Attempts to Sell Child for Holiday Express Tickets

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ITB Moms Miss Out on Holiday Express…Again

Local authorities were dispatched to the home of Mary Anna Howell after receiving a tip that she had attempted to sell her child on the internet in exchange for tickets to Pullen Park’s sold-out Holiday Express event. The yearly event features a festively lit Pullen Park and a train ride on The Holiday Express, which runs for 10 nights in December.

Howell’s posting was found in micITBit, a private Facebook group where ITB residents buy and sell new or used items, seek out recommendations, and complain about a variety of topics.

“UGH, y’all, I can’t even right now. We just wanted to take our kids to a lit AF Pullen Park but the tickets sold out in MINUTES! I’d be willing to give up our second child for 4 tickets. PM me if you have extras. Thanks!”

Authorities arrived at the Hayes Barton home around 9:00 am and found Howell drinking rosé from an ITBlessed wine glass. They confronted her about the post.

“I wasn’t selling my child, it was just a joke and it wasn’t even my firstborn. Give me a break,” said Howell, who has three children and runs a multi-million dollar monogram store on Etsy that she claims is not a business.

Howell claimed the post was made out of frustration, and pointed to other moms who had expressed their disappointment online. The Facebook comments began as soon as the tickets went on sale.

“I saw William Needham Finley IV’s post about trying to save Christmas, but I just couldn’t wait any longer,” said Howell. Finley IV had reached out to the Raleigh Parks Department in an attempt to rent out the entire park.

“If I can’t get tickets I’m definitely buying one of his photoshop packages,” said Howell, referring to Finley IV’s offer to photoshop pictures of families on the Holiday Express for a small fee.

Development Beat: Seaboard Wine at High Park Opens, Work Begins On Apartments Replacing NC State Tailgate Lots

“He also said he was going to set up a class action lawsuit that Stacy Miller would help us on, so we may join that,” added Howell.

To prevent people from buying a large quantity of tickets for the purpose of reselling them, the City capped the number of tickets one could buy at 10 per transaction. However, that doesn’t stop people from opening up multiple browser windows and buying 10 at a time.

“Raleigh Parks employees apparently had a betting pool on how fast the tickets would sell out. I’m pretty sure betting is illegal. Someone should look into that,” snapped Howell, as an agent looked through her monogramming drawer.

“It makes no sense that the City holds this for 10 days. Hell, start it with “Christmas in July” and run it for 6 months if you have to. And are we really just letting anyone buy tickets to this? It’s a CITY park. They should be verifying ZIP codes before allowing people to buy tickets,” Howell continued to rant, opening a second bottle of rosé.

Authorities determined that pretending to sell your child online in exchange for tickets to an event was not actually a crime, but have placed Howell on a watch list. As they left the Hayes Barton home they could hear Howell on the phone with her husband yelling, “Do they know who I am? I mean, do they know it’s Christmas time at all?”

Five Points Residents File Fireworks Class Action Suit

in Five Points/Humor/ITBNN by

Residents of Five Points are taking matters into their own hands after a disastrous 4th of July. To celebrate the birth of our great nation, many neighborhood residents gathered near the railroad tracks at the end of Bickett Boulevard to view the fireworks display being put on in downtown Raleigh. Then disaster struck. As the fireworks were starting, a Norfolk Southern train showed up and ruined everything.

“The train showed up right as the fireworks started and came to a complete stop. It would pull forward about ten feet then back up again, all while the train crossing signal kept ringing,” said Stahler McKinney, who notified me of this tragedy on Twitter.

Neighbors became more irate as they stared at a large train blocking their view of the fireworks.

“We have rights. It’s in the Declaration of Rights,” said Liza Jane Wambles. “Who the hell is Norfolk Southern? Isn’t that in Brier Creek? I’ve been drinking rosé all day, hashtag rosé allll dayyy!!!!” she slurred, before being cut off by her husband, Banks Wambles.

“Please don’t say “hashtag” in public. We’ve been over this,” he said quietly, pulling the bottle of rosé away. “But yes, this is definitely a problem. Now we’ve got to deal with three kids under 5 asking where the fireworks are. We can only distract them with Pirate’s Booty for so long,” he added.

Children could be heard crying “I can’t see! Moooooom, I can’t see!” while many parents wept silently, knowing there would be no end to the whining.

“This was basically our Vietnam. Explosions going off, the train crossing signal blaring, and little Charlie Jr. here torturing me with constant questions about why the train won’t move. I pushed my kids all the way out here in our UPPAbaby stroller that my wife got on micITBit. We were expecting to see fireworks.” said Charles Jarvis, a Five Points resident.

Emotions ran high as two dads fought over the last craft beer in the YETI Hopper. “My dad and Mr. Caldwell were wrestling in the street. Then Mr. Caldwell took a nap on the ground and the ambulance bagged and tagged him, so we went inside to play Mario Kart 8,” said one child, clearly desensitized to the ITB dad on ITB dad violence.

“now that Mr. Caldwell’s been bagged and tagged you wanna go play Mario Kart?”

“Yeah, the dad on dad crime isn’t a good look, but it happens. If word gets out that we can’t even see the fireworks from our neighborhood, our property values are going to plummet,” said Wambles.

The residents plan to sue Norfolk Southern for negligence, obstruction of independence, obstruction of freedom, potential decrease in property values, and “being annoying AF” as Liza Jane Wambles put it.  While the residents have yet to select a firm to handle the class action suit, they are expected to go with Stacy Miller and Miller Law Group.

How To Repurpose Your NC State Apparel Now That The Hurricanes Are In The Playoffs

in Humor by

It’s been 10 years since the North Carolina Hurricanes have been in the NHL playoffs. There’s a good chance you no longer fit into the Hurricanes apparel you proudly purchased after the team won the Stanley Cup in 2006. We’re here to help.



  1. Purchase a Hurricanes decal or patch.
  2. Apply Hurricanes decal/patch to your NC State jersey. Refer to the jersey as a “sweater” or you’ll be shunned by hockey fans.
  3. Repeat the above steps for other apparel, but only refer to the jersey as a “sweater.” A hat is still a hat, a t-shirt is still a t-shirt, etc.

If you own an NC State Tradition Scarf, you may be able to strategically wrap it around your body so that it resembles a Hurricanes scarf. Alternatively, their Red & White Chevron Infinity Scarf could pass as Hurricanes apparel.

Tips For Watching the Games

If you’re reading this, you probably haven’t watched hockey in a decade. The good news is that not much has changed. The players will still be attempting to score goals by hitting the puck (a small black disk that’s roughly the size of a Skoal can) into a net (similar to a large bass fishing net) guarded by a goalkeeper (a player who is roughly the size of an offensive tackle wearing full pads).


Each team will send out five players, in addition to their goalie (offensive tackle). In most cases, three of these players will be forwards (similar to a wide receiver, running back, tight end, etc.) and two will be defensemen (similar to a free safety, cornerback, or middle linebacker). Those players will then skate around the ice rink (think football field) while holding sticks (similar to the first down marker and chain set, but without the padding and chain) that are used to control the puck (Skoal can).

Those players will jump in and out of their bench (sideline) a lot during the game, so don’t bother trying to keep up with who is on the field. Also, these games have two half times and they serve beer, so pace yourself.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Development Beat: Live Backstage at Red Hat Amphitheater, CAVA Opens in Cameron Village

in Development by

Brought to you by York Properties

Live Backstage At Red Hat Amphitheater

CAVA Opens In Cameron Village

Seaboard Wine Turns 22

Tearing Down Caswell Square

Ashe Avenue Apartments Underway

Apartments Planned Near Lake Johnson

To be featured in the Development Beat, contact


Live Backstage At Red Hat Amphitheater

Raleigh residents could potentially live backstage at Red Hat Amphitheater. No, this isn’t a Fyre Festivalesque offer of exclusive backstage access from Willy McFinley. A developer has announced plans to build housing on the property located directly behind Red Hat Amphitheater.

Taft Development Group recently spent over $5 million on 301 W. Cabarrus, the former home of the Owens Roofing Company building, with plans to build either condos or apartments.

According to the Triangle Business Journal, early plans call for 184 residential units and “more than 10,000 square feet of retail or adaptive reuse of the existing warehouse with more than 22,000 square feet of retail, office, and collaborative work space.”

We think this is a great use of the property. However, living so close to a concert venue has its pros and cons. We highly recommend these Bose noise canceling headphones for any future buyers.


CAVA Opens In Cameron Village

The grand opening for CAVA Cameron Village was held on Monday. Located in the former home of Blockbuster Music, the new restaurant is now offering delicious Greek and Meditteranean food right in the heart of Cameron Village.

CAVA is located at 403 Daniels Street. Their menu features everything from salads and pitas to protein choices that include lamb, beef, and chicken.

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✨ BIG NEWS ✨ see you Monday @cava #cvtrendreport

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Seaboard Wine Turns 22

Our favorite wine shop turned 22 over the weekend. Seaboard Wine celebrated their 22nd anniversary with a sale and a special guest (no, it wasn’t ITBlake the intern).

Sergio Sabater from Bodegas Luzon in Jumilla, Spain made his famous Paella, which paired perfectly with his Monastrell based wines.

Here’s to another 22 years!


Tearing Down Caswell Square

Caswell Square will soon look drastically different. Caswell Square was one of five original public squares in downtown Raleigh. Today, it consists of parking lots and buildings, some of which will soon be demolished.

The State approved the teardowns in a recent Council of State meeting, according to the News & Observer. Set for demolition are a building once used as a broom and mattress factory, the old film library building, and the Oral Hygiene building. The News & Observer has a thorough article on this topic, and also explains the naming behind the Oral Hygiene building: “The odd name stems from the building’s original use: Headquarters for a dental hygiene education program that launched in the 1940s. School children visited the building’s dental health museum, known as “Little Jack’s House” because of the star of a puppet show performed there.” We’re unsure of who covered future therapy bills for the children that had to experience this.

In 2016, talks were underway for the site to be redeveloped, although this eventually fell through. Leo Suarez at the Raleigh Connoisseur did a great writeup on Caswell Square at the time and included his thoughts on what the future should hold for the site. There are currently no plans for the site that we know of.

Ashe Avenue Apartments Underway

Sitework appears to be wrapping up for the new 104 Ashe Avenue Apartments, a 16-unit complex near the old IHOP on Hillsborough Street.

According to plans filed in 2017, 104 Ashe Avenue will be a five-story, 17,665 square foot apartment building that will sit on a .24 acre lot. It will have 5 one-bedroom, 7 two-bedroom, and 4 three-bedroom units.

104 Ashe sits behind the recently completed 109 Park Apartments off Hillsborough Street. Both complexes are being developed by FMW Realty, a Charlotte-based firm. Both complexes were designed by Studio Fusion architects.

Apartments Planned Near Lake Johnson

Site plans were filed earlier this month for Vintage Jones Franklin, a new multifamily housing development near Lake Johnson.

According to the plans, Vintage will include 276 residential units spread across a series of three and four story buildings. The massive development will take up a whopping 352,648 square feet of space, and, at its tallest, stand about 60′ high.

The majority of the units – 175 of them – will be one-bedrooms, with 94 two-bedrooms, and seven three-bedrooms. 440 parking spaces will be provided, which sounds like it should be enough.

The apartments are being developed by Greystar Real Estate Partners under the “Vintage” brand, which has locations in Tennessee and Florida. The Raleigh version is being designed by JDavis Architects, and we expect construction will kick off by the end of the year.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

ITBirdwatch 2019

in ITBirdwatch by

ITBirdwatch 2019

It’s back! Welcome to ITBirdwatch 2019, the exclusive source of the baby owl livestream. Last March, some good friends of mine told me about the huge following of their live birdwatching camera. ITB Insider acquired exclusive broadcast rights in a deal involving pallets of La Croix and ITBitcoin, and the rest is history.

We currently have one egg in the nest. We aren’t exactly sure when the egg was laid, but we noticed the owls had returned to the bird box around the last week of February.


Last year, we all watched as baby owl hatched and grew from a little fuzzball into a majestic owl that we never got around to naming. We wanted to name it “Crowley” but the News & Observer wouldn’t let us put a birth announcement in the newspaper.


This year, we’ll have baby owl naming contests (corporate sponsors should contact, a baby owl Insta account, baby owl merch, watch parties, and more.

About the Owls
According to my friend’s children, the female owl’s name is “Scoop Ups” and the male owl’s name is “Drop Offs.” I’m not sure if this has anything to do with owl carpool pickup, but we’ll go with it. If you like birds, consider supporting Audubon NC with a donation.

Previously, on ITBirdwatch

We’ll keep this section updated with highlights. Here’s a look at ITBirdwatch 2018.

March 14th – ITBirdwatch 2018 debuts on ITB Insider.

March 15th – ITBirdwatch passes 2,000 pageviews. My friend and I start to get concerned that the egg has not hatched.

March 25th – Baby Owl is born. All is right in the world. We aren’t sure how much it weighs or how long it is. The mother and father are doing well. Our ITBirth announcement post has more details.

4.24.18 – Highlights from April.

4.6.18 – 7:21 PM – Baby Owl surprised by Mom.

4.2.18 – 8:30 PM – Baby Owl eats its first snake. They grow up so fast.


3.25.18 – 8:15 PM – Our first look at the baby owl

Highlights from February and March 2018 

Caution: it’s a bird eat bird world. And also frogs and mice.

2.2.18 – 10:14 PM – Owls talking

Here’s a heartwarming recap of the 2017 owls to get you emotionally attached to this live stream:

Trouble ITBirdwatching?

The camera will have technical difficulties from time to time. The camera can lose connectivity when:

  1. My friend is mowing his grass. He has to move the extension cords so he doesn’t mow over them.
  2. It rains really hard.
  3. My friend’s kids unplug the camera while he’s at work. We’re looking in to having ITBlake the intern babysit the kids to prevent this from happening.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Five Points Couple Struggles with Barbour Choices Amidst Record-Breaking Weather

in Five Points/ITBNN by

Five Points resident Vance Craig VI, a 31-year-old Senior Vice Super Duper Executive Broker at a boutique commercial real estate firm, has not been pleased with the current weather. “Do I wear my Classic Barbour jacket, or my quilted Barbour Vest? It’s February, so my body thinks it should be wearing the Classic jacket, but it’s 80 damn degrees out. I’d look like an idiot sitting outside at Nickelpoint drinking a Scotch Wee Heavy wearing a full on jacket when the weather feels like it’s June.”

His wife Mary Cameron Knoll Craig, who runs an Instagram account featuring images of the best Wine and Design paintings in Raleigh, seemed more prepared to deal with the current climate, but still voiced concerns. “I mean, obvi my Barbour vest goes perfect over my chambray button-down but it still pisses me off that I can’t get the full wear of my quilted Barbour jacket this winter. Sometimes I’ll get ready, we’ll go to Churchill’s, and the temperature drops 30 degrees by the time we’ve taken 15 Jell-O shots. The walk from the front door of Churchill’s to the Uber that’s 10 feet away can be unbearable. How do you even dress for that?”

The hassle of being at the mercy of the changing weather is hard enough for the couple, but has proved to be an even bigger problem for another member of their family.


“We’ve had to increase the Xanax prescription for our dog, Mabel, because she has no idea what season it is. One day her Barbour coat is on, the next day it’s off. Her anxiety is through the roof.”

Mabel, net worth of $3.2 million, has no idea what season it is.

“The ice in her LaCroix filled dog bowl melts before she can even take it out and chase it all around the kitchen. Sure it’s less of a mess for the housekeeper to clean up, but that’s Mabel’s favorite part of the day. The ice in dog bowls is melting, y’all. And that’s sad,” lamented Mary Cameron.

Refusing to let the weather control their lives, the couple will spend the next two months island-hopping between the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas.

“We’re going to where we know the weather will be constant and we won’t have to wake up every day faced with these decisions. If I could sue the weather I totally would, and I’d get Stacy Miller at Miller Law Group to handle it,” said Craig VI, unaware that one cannot sue the atmosphere.

“I can see why they call it “climate change” now that I have to change my entire wardrobe multiple times on a daily basis. This is a fashion nightmare,” added Mary Cameron.

Special thanks to Dale Moody at Cornerstone Properties for selling this lovely couple their home in Five Points.

If you’re struggling with what to wear during these difficult times, download the new app from Glenwood South Tailors that we covered previously.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Lord of the Fyres: Tales from a Surfyrevor

in Fyre Festival/ITBNN by

Update: 2/5/19

The website and teaser episode for the Dumpster Fyre Podcast are now live. Read the Welcome to the Dumpster Fyre Podcast blog post for more info. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Watch our first commercial that aired during the Super Bowl below:

Update: 1/18/19

If you’ve seen the Netflix documentary by now, you’ve seen the story of Maryann Rolle. She is a resident of Great Exuma who lost her life savings after working with Fyre Festival. Here is a link to her GoFundMe:

Update: 1/15/19

We attended the New York screening of FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. Director Chris Smith does a great job of laying out the entire story. We’ll cover the screening and the film in more detail on the Dumpster Fyre Podcast.

The film comes out on January 18th on Netflix.

Update: 12/10/18

FYRE, a new documentary from Library Films, Jerry Media, and VICE Studios is coming to Netflix on January 18. It’s gonna be lit.

Update: 10/11/18

Billy McFarland was sentenced to six years in prison.

BREAKING: Fyre Festival scammer Billy McFarland sentenced to 6 years in prison – Vice News

Fyre Festival Organizer Sentenced to Six Years in Federal Prison – The New York Times

Update: 6/28/18

Stacy Miller wins a $5 million judgment against Billy McFarland. We’re still trying to collect.

Trial of the Millennials: Stacy Miller Wins $5 Million Verdict Against Fyre Festival Founder

Update: 4/26/18

A lot has happened in the last year. A fellow Fyre Festival™ attendee and I filed a lawsuit against the festival organizers. I can’t talk about that here, but Stacy Miller is the best attorney on the planet.

In other news, I’ve filed an application for the Fyre Festival™ trademark. While doing research for my upcoming podcast, I discovered that the trademark for Fyre Festival™ was set to expire in April 2018. I’m somewhat of a business expert, having gone to college, and I had a feeling this mark was not going to be renewed.

See, when a company goes bankrupt, or when people involved with it are facing prison time, they sometimes forget to renew their trademarks. I had a copyright attorney file an application as soon as it expired. Hopefully, I will soon “own” Fyre Festival™.

This means that I have to actually put on a music festival in order to use the mark in commerce. While I have no idea how to put on a music festival, I definitely know what NOT to do. My goal here is to see if I can throw a festival, have a good time, and give back to a good cause or charity.

I know there are some people in Exuma who are still owed quite a bit of money after not being paid by festival organizers. I also have some friends who just opened the first and only special-needs home and therapy center for orphans in Panama. I’m sure they’d be glad to take donations.

That all leads to the Dumpster Fyre Podcast, a docu-style series that explores how the first festival became the biggest dumpster fire ever, and also follows along as we try to plan another one. Stay tuned for more updates on the podcast and Fyre Festival™ II. It’s gonna be lit.

To celebrate the one year anniversary, I now present “Twas the night before Fyre Festival™”

Twas the night before Fyre Festival™, and one year had gone by,
Not an influencer was stirring, and we all knew why.

The disaster relief tents were gone, and the stage was not there,
In hopes that all would forget and that no one would care.

The millennials were nestled all snug on their phones,
Watching Kanye on Twitter, definitely in one of his zones,

And Billy awaited sentencing, probably in his home,
Eating a cheese sandwich, unable to roam.

When out on Twitter there arose such a clatter,
People refreshed their timelines to see what was the matter,

When what to their wondering eyes should appear,
A major announcement, not a joke, but sincere.

From a Fyre Festival™ survivor, who covered it best,
Came news that he hoped would top all the rest.

I went to Fyre Festival™ to relax and satirize
I could not make up what happened, it was quite a surprise

A lot went wrong on that island, it was far from fine.
So I’ve filed a trademark to make Fyre Festival™ mine.

It’s time to make things right for all who were there,
Not just the millennials, but the people of Exuma who weren’t treated fair.

And what better way than to throw Fyre Festival™ II.
To promote the Dumpster Fyre Podcast, and also entertain all of you.

Originally published on May 10, 2017 by William Needham Finley IV

Lord of the Fyres: Tales from a Surfyrevor

I survived the first Fyre Festival. The now infamous festival was supposed to be an event in the Bahamas unlike anything else. Entrepreneur Billy McFarland and Rapper/Actor Ja Rule (The Fast and The Furious) co-founded the festival in late 2016. They began promoting it in December with the help of famous influencers.

Along with this video, the festival’s website promoted a $1 million treasure hunt, luxury accommodations on a private island once owned by Pablo Escobar, exquisite cuisine, exclusive experiences like swimming with island pigs, and a music festival with soon to be announced big-name acts. This was clearly the trip of a lifetime. Three friends and I bought tickets during the first week they were on sale. We upgraded to VIP and one friend and I also bought an “Artist Pass” which included your food, drinks, backstage passes, 4 nights on the island, and “exclusive” experiences.

This was my chance to finally become BFFs with all the influencers and celebrities that would be there. I’d played the scenario out a million times in my head leading up to the trip. Emily Ratajkowski, Hailey Baldwin, The Rock, and I would be hanging out backstage looking at pictures of Dogs of ITB.

We would start chatting about how I run a media empire in Raleigh, and they’d all start following me for all my fire #content. The Rock would say, “I loved that story you wrote about how I’d be playing football for NC State next year. Will you be in Fast and Fur9ious? We need someone that drives a Tahoe.”

“Thanks, The Rock. I’d love to, if I can fit it in my schedule,” I’d say, trying to play it cool.

“Are you the guy that created the hottest buy/sell Facebook group for moms in Raleigh?”

“It’s not just for moms, Hailey Baldwin. micITBit is for everyone. It’s a closed group but I could probably approve you,” I’d say, negging her slightly.

We’d spend the rest of the weekend swimming with the pigs and Instagramming until we got carpal tunnel. “My ITBFF Justin Miller has a pig named Theodore. Don’t worry, you’ll meet him when you move to Raleigh,” I’d say, while telling them about inside the beltline. I’d influence them into buying luxury condos at The Wade. We’d all live there together and launch a reality show on Facebook Live produced by Walk West, since TV networks will be dead in 5 years. It was going to be perfect. And then, we got to the island.

As you can see, all of my dreams were crushed when Fyre Festival turned out to be a mashup of Lord of the Flies meets Outbreak meets Locked Up Abroad. My media empire instincts kicked in and I started documenting the event like I was the Samuel Pepys of Fyre Festival. My coverage was used in pretty much every story about the event and my Tweets were included in the $100M class action lawsuit.

You’re probably thinking, “This is great for you. You gained thousands of followers and a ton of exposure!” To be clear, I didn’t want 15 minutes of global fame. I didn’t want over 50 million impressions on Twitter in April. I didn’t want to spend weeks doing interviews with the LA Times, People, CNN, the Washington Post, TMZ Live, Time, BBC, NPR, Inside Edition, and dozens of other outlets. Sure, all of those things were great for my #brand, but all I wanted from Fyre Festival was a relaxing vacation and new famous friends.

To show you what we went through, I’ve provided an in-depth account of exactly what happened. If you enjoy watching train wrecks, you’re going to love this.

Thursday, April 27th

12:000 pm – My friends and I had lunch outside of Boynton Beach. It would be our last meal not served in a styrofoam container for the next 24 hours. We left for the Miami airport and arrived with plenty of time for our 4:35 pm flight to Great Exuma. We boarded the plane and sat on the runway for about half an hour. Someone tried to open their window and this happened, which we should have taken as a sign.

Still, we continued on. We arrived on the island, boarded shuttle buses and rode for about 15 minutes. That’s when we saw this.

7:51 PM – We realized organization isn’t their strong suit.

At this point, co-founder Billy McFarland tells people with a Lodge to “go find a tent”. That went well.

Here’s the first tent that we claimed.

We returned to where we had been dropped off and asked where our tent was, again.

8:26 pm – Night had fallen. We had no luggage, but managed to find another tent.

“A disaster relief tent is where the heart is.” – Martha Stewart #fyre #fyrefest #fyrefestival

A post shared by William Needham Finley IV (@wnfiv) on

8:56 pm – Two of us without luggage split up to hunt for our belongings while our other friends stayed back to guard the tent.

The “white glove concierge luggage service” required you to use your phone flashlight and dig through hundreds of bags to find your own. Maybe this was the treasure hunt they had advertised. I started to help unload a pickup truck full of luggage and just happened to grab my bag. A true Fyre Festival miracle. I dropped my luggage off at our temporary tent and then went to cover what was going on.

I believe this is when we found THE NOTEBOOK. We could devote an entire Dumpster Fyre Podcast episode to this. “Chips?” kills me every time I look at this picture.

The number one thing on the to-do list dated April 14th (13 days before the festival) was “Complete our corporate application to HOPEFULLY start order”. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

I’ll give credit where credit is due. They did have a stage set up. I don’t think there was a DJ at this point. I assume Billy just grabbed the aux cord and started playing his “Lit AF Beach Jams” Spotify playlist on his phone.

I took some food back to our tent, which we were then kicked out of. We walked over to the main area where we had been dropped off and saw that people were getting on buses to leave. My friend went inside the main house and somehow convinced them to put us on a flight out that night.

The quaint General Store.

We rode to the airport with about 100 others who were desperate to get off the island.

Friday, April 28th

12:15 am – We were told the plane was on the way and that our flight would be at 1:30 am.

3:47 am – We had been sitting on the plane for over two hours while the crew tried to resolve an issue with the manifest not matching up to the headcount of people on the plane.

4:34 am – The crew asks us to get off the plane so they can check us in one by one.

7:08 am – Locked up abroad. I later learned that locking the doors was standard protocol. Still odd that they use a chain and padlock though.

Note: While reliving Fyre Festival™ on the one year anniversary I found this video that I had yet to post.

7:15 am – A girl loudly asks everyone in the airport “who is William Needham?”. (See the video below.) They were on to me. I remained silent. She continued, “No really. He’s in this room right now. Who is William Finley? He’s fucking hilarious.” Realizing that they weren’t going to sacrifice me to the island, I raised my hand. One girl asked, “Are you always this funny?” I just replied, “I try.”

If you recall, I had tweeted at my lawyer Stacy Miller as we boarded the plane (the first time) to leave the island at 1:47 am. He called me at about 7:30 am.

Stacy: Hey man are you ok? What is going on?

Me: I dunno, I haven’t slept in over 24 hours. I don’t really know how to make sentences.

Stacy: Are you still in the Bahamas?!

Me: I mean, I’m locked in an airport and they say a plane is coming soon, but yeah.

Stacy: Ok, well call me as soon as you land.

If you’re exhausted after reading all of that just imagine living through it. I don’t ever want to go back to Fyre Festival. I don’t ever want to go outside the beltline again. Final verdict: Fyre Festival gets 0 out of 5 beltlines.

Note: Fyre Festival organizers have allowed us to “apply” for a refund. During the application process they asked if we wanted to forgo our refund in exchange for double the number of VIP tickets to next year’s event. We all politely declined.

We still have not heard anything back after filling the forms out last week.

It’s The Best 12 Days of Giveaways

in Humor/Sponsored by

It’s The Best 12 Days of Giveaways on @ITBInsider’s Instagram! Our inaugural giveaway features 12 of the finest businesses in Raleigh. The best part is that we’re able to give away prizes from each of them to our loyal Instagram followers. We’re basically the Oprah’s Favorite Things and Ellen’s 12 Days of Giveaways, but for Raleigh and without the TV show.

As a special holiday treat, we brought in ITBlake the intern to deliver the gifts each day on our Instagram story.

Bailey’s Fine Jewelry

Bailey’s is proud to be your one-stop-shop for everything from engagement rings to designer and custom jewelry to giftware and more. With many top brands to choose from, you’re sure to find something perfect for your special someone, or yourself. They’ve been family owned and operated for 70 years. Every woman wants a Bailey Box Under the Tree!


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Follow them on Instagram: @baileysfinejewelry

Davis & Pyle Plastic Surgery

Davis & Pyle and Skin Raleigh exist to help people have more confidence than ever before. They offer natural looking skin, breast, and body enhancement with an award-winning team of experts to guide you through the process.


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Follow them on Instagram: @davisandpyleplasticsurgery


For nearly 30 years, Ladyfingers has catered and collaborated with clients on an array of special events. Their Shaved Country Ham Rolls are a staple at brunches, graduations, parties, and holidays. North Carolina country ham is cured to perfection, hand-shaved, drizzled with a secret brown sugar butter glaze, and stuffed into a soft and delicious yeast roll. They also offer catering services so you can sit back and take credit for preparing award-winning meals.


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Follow them on Instagram: @ladyfingersnc.

Wine & Design

Wine & Design Raleigh has been a go-to group activity for years. Their success even led them to a “Shark Tank” appearance where they struck a deal with Mr. Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary.

Bring your friend, your partner, your crush or your mom and enjoy a glass of wine in an uplifting environment. You pick the painting of your choice, and a Wine & Design artist guides you through it step by step in a fun, no-pressure class. Each paint and sip class take two hours and you’ll leave with a painting and a smile.


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Follow them on Instagram: @wndraleigh.


NOFO @ the Pig is located in the historic Five Points Business District near downtown and just north of Glenwood South. Housed in a restored Piggly Wiggly grocery store building, the combination cafe, food market, and gift shop is the perfect spot to do your holiday shopping. They offer everything from customizable gift baskets to unique locally sourced products.


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Follow them on Instagram: @nofo_at_the_pig.

New Belgium

Founded in 1991, the 100% employee-owned craft brewery puts out some of the best beers year after year. They’re also known for their incredible beer dinners. Stop by Tasty to get New Belgium’s Brut IPA – the perfect beer for New Years. If you’re venturing to Asheville over the holidays, be sure to check out the New Belgium brewery tour.


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Follow them on Instagram: @newbelgium_rdu.

Seaboard Wine

Our favorite wine store in Raleigh, Seaboard Wine has served the Triangle for over 20 years. Their new location in High Park Village includes a tasting bar and a huge selection of wine. Their expert staff will help you find the right selection for any occasion.


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Follow them on Instagram: @seaboard_wine.


Featuring creative, seasonal New American small plates and entrees, as well as craft cocktails, Stanbury is the best restaurant in Raleigh. Who else has plates featuring Jeremiah Johnson?


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Follow them on Instagram: @stanburyraleigh.

Burn Bootcamp West Raleigh and Garner

ITBlake introduced the world to Burn Bootcamp West Raleigh in 2018 and the world was never the same. They’ve recently opened Burn Bootcamp Garner, which offers the same great daily exercise challenges, recipes and how-to cooking videos, a ‘Drop your sugar’ challenge, complimentary child watch, one-on-one personalized nutrition meetings, and personalized training in a group setting, all in a supportive community.


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Follow them on Instagram: @burnbootcampwestraleigh and @burnbootcampgarner.

Watch ITBlake survive a workout:

Midtown Plumbing

Midtown Plumbing is the best locally owned and operated full-service, residential plumbing company. From minor repairs to major upgrades, they’ll take care of all of your plumbing needs. We couldn’t do a holiday giveaway and not pay homage to Cousin Eddie’s “shitter was full” moment from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.


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Follow them on Instagram: @midtownplumbingraleigh.

Downtown Dental

Downtown Dental opened in the summer of 2012 in downtown Raleigh to serve the needs of a growing and revitalized community. They offer only the highest quality of care ranging from routine cleanings to more advanced procedures like dental implants and cosmetics, all in a comfortable setting. As long-time residents and natives of Raleigh, Drs. Moore and Wells are excited to be part of the bustling downtown community and look forward to meeting you. They also have a La Croix fridge that ITBlake the intern keeps full at all times.


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Follow them on Instagram: @smilesbydtd.

Hayes Barton Mom Wins James Beard Award For Thanksgiving Dinner

in Humor by

Mary Allison Marlowe has finally been recognized for her culinary skills after preparing a Thanksgiving dinner unlike any other. The James Beard Foundation presented Marlowe with the “Outstanding Thanksgiving Dinner (12 Seats and Under)” award on Thursday evening.

Marlowe’s award-winning meal featured the following dishes and wines:
Country Ham Rolls
Bacon and Scallion Cheese Biscuits
Deviled Eggs
Butter Whipped Mashed Potatoes
Three Cheese Mac & Cheese
Green Bean Casserole W/ Fried Onions
10 LB. Bone-In Smoked Turkey Breast
Pecan Pie
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Pie
Fritz Müller ‘Perlwine’ Müller-Thurgau Trocken 2017 (4 bottles)
Franck Besson ‘Rose Granit’ Sparkling Rosé (4 bottles)
Bodegas Chacra “Barda”- Pinot Noir 2017 (4 bottles)

Judges overlooked the fact that the entire meal was ordered from the Ladyfingers Thanksgiving Menu, and that all of the wine was selected by experts from Seaboard Wine.

“We know she bought the whole meal from Ladyfingers, and we don’t care. We’re just tired of getting Facebook DMs, texts, and calls from her every year for the last sixteen years. We gave her this award so she’d leave us alone,” said an award representative, who asked not to be named.

After composing a lengthy caption for her Instagram post about how thankful she is for the award, Mary Allison Marlowe sat back to enjoy a bottle of rosé as she waited for the likes to roll in.

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The latest issue of ITB Living is out! Our team of experts came up with the definitive guide to having the best Thanksgiving ever. Get your copy today by simply reading this post! This edition of Raleigh's premiere digital magazine cover includes: The Kids' Table: Rite Of Passage Or Blatant Ageism? • From Side Piece To Side Dish: Introducing Bae To The Fam • Ladyfingers Ham Rolls: The Rolls-Royce Of Rolls • Tip: DON'T Put The Platinum Rimmed China In The Microwave • 12 Steps For Dealing With Drunk Uncles • How To Survive The Drive To Angus Barn Just To Get Cheese And Crackers And Chocolate Chess Pie • The Real Cause Of Your Turkey Coma (It's Liquor) • Seaboard Wine's Picks That Pair Well With Your In-Laws @seaboard_wine Loud Chewers: Why It's Ok To Stab Them With Your Butter Knife • Quiz! Should You Go To Crowley's Even Though It's Closed? (Duh) • Full story on

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ITB Living: Thanksgiving ’18 Edition

in Humor/ITB Living by

Welcome to the third issue of ITB Living. After publishing two groundbreaking digital magazine covers, we’re back with more tips on how to navigate the world of inside the beltline.

In this issue, our team of experts came up with the definitive guide to having the best Thanksgiving ever. Get your copy today by simply following @ITBInsider on Instagram and reading this post!

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The latest issue of ITB Living is out! Our team of experts came up with the definitive guide to having the best Thanksgiving ever. Get your copy today by simply reading this post! This edition of Raleigh's premiere digital magazine cover includes: The Kids' Table: Rite Of Passage Or Blatant Ageism? • From Side Piece To Side Dish: Introducing Bae To The Fam • Ladyfingers Ham Rolls: The Rolls-Royce Of Rolls • Tip: DON'T Put The Platinum Rimmed China In The Microwave • 12 Steps For Dealing With Drunk Uncles • How To Survive The Drive To Angus Barn Just To Get Cheese And Crackers And Chocolate Chess Pie • The Real Cause Of Your Turkey Coma (It's Liquor) • Seaboard Wine's Picks That Pair Well With Your In-Laws @seaboard_wine Loud Chewers: Why It's Ok To Stab Them With Your Butter Knife • Quiz! Should You Go To Crowley's Even Though It's Closed? (Duh) • Full story on

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This edition of Raleigh’s premiere digital magazine cover includes:

The Kids’ Table: Rite Of Passage Or Blatant Ageism?

From Side Piece To Side Dish: Introducing Bae To The Fam

Ladyfingers Ham Rolls: The Rolls-Royce Of Rolls

Tip: DON’T Put The Platinum Rimmed China In The Microwave

12 Steps For Dealing With Drunk Uncles

How To Survive The Drive To Angus Barn Just To Get Cheese And Crackers And Chocolate Chess Pie

The Real Cause Of Your Turkey Coma (It’s Liquor)

Seaboard Wine’s Picks That Pair Well With Your In-Laws

Loud Chewers: Why It’s Ok To Stab Them With Your Butter Knife

Quiz! Should You Go To Crowley’s Even Though It’s Closed? (Duh)

Thrilling ‘Making micITBit’ Docuseries Announced

High-Resolution Cover:

About ITB Living

This cutting edge media property addresses the rapidly growing market of people who don’t have time to read magazines. As a carbon negative media company, ITB Insider realizes how bad magazines are for the environment. Think about all those pages and ink piling up in a landfill after not being read in an office waiting room. Magazines are basically the new plastic straws (sorry, sea turtles). Each carefully curated issue of ITB Living is posted to the @ITBInsider Instagram account and paired with a blog post on We’re in discussions to launch a podcast as well.

Past Issues:

The Debut of ITB Living

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Welcome to the debut issue of ITB Living, the world's first digital magazine cover publication. Our inaugural cover has everything you need to prepare for another glorious Deb Ball weekend. Including: The Science Behind Why Raleigh Has The Most Debs Every Year • How This Is SO Like An Episode Of The Crown • Hot (But Still Classy) Dresses Under $25,000 • What Your Deb Stool Monogram Font Says About You • Quiz: Will Your Escort Be Your First Husband? Spoiler: Nope • Tips On Surviving A Pellet Gun Wound The Night Before The Deb Ball • Best Mini Bottle Hiding Spots At CCC • Eggshell, Cream, Ivory: Picking The White Gloves • Playlists For The Tweener • Which Dress To Wear If Your Body Type Is Pear, Hourglass, Or Pizza (this headline was written by a former deb, so no, we aren't pizza shaming) • How To Not Throw Up At The Morning Dance • Full story on

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ITB Living: Halloween ’18

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Our newest ITB Living cover has everything you need to survive Halloween, whether you're roaming the streets of Country Club Hills with a liquor drink in a YETI tumbler or pulling a toddler in a Radio Flyer wagon through the alleys of Cameron Park. Including: Science: Egyptian Cotton Pillowcases Hold The Most Candy • Quiz: Which neighborhood gives out the best candy? Spoiler: It's Country Club Hills • The Best Trick-or-Treating Wines From @seaboard_wine • Pumpkin Carving Monograms Guaranteed to Get 100+ Likes • Costumes That Won't Offend Anyone (JK, That's Impossible In 2018) • Tiny Pumpkins: How many is too many? #porchgoals • Trunk-or-Treating: Are we really doing this now? • Don't stress about eating all your child's Halloween candy. #candycarbsdon'tcount • Full story on

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