Looking directly at the sun. It’s something we’ve all wanted to do at some point in our lives. Lately, this desire has become mainstream, thanks to the upcoming solar eclipse. I’ll be honest, I don’t actually know what a solar eclipse is, and I haven’t had time to Google it. I’m too busy talking to the BBC (again) about a Fyre Festival documentary, and with Vanity Fair (again) about being in their September Spain issue. So forgive me for not knowing all the phases of the sun or whatever this whole thing is about.
This whole eclipse craze caught my attention thanks to the micITBit private Facebook group I run. Over the last few days, not an hour has gone by without a caring ITB mom posting to the group asking if anyone has extra eclipse glasses for sale. It seems that taking kids to and from the beach and Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer left ITB moms with no time for ordering eclipse glasses online. Here’s a screenshot of just a few of the “in search of” (ISO) posts on micITBit.
As you can see from that last post, these moms just want to make sure their kids don’t burn their eyes out while staring into the sun. Apparently, “scientists” say the only safe way to look directly at a solar eclipse is through some type of filtering device, such as eclipse glasses. Well they’re wrong. Thanks to my revolutionary LaClipse™ glasses, you can finally stare directly into the sun whenever you’d like.
LaClipse™ glasses are constructed from the finest materials, sourced from local LaCroix boxes. The glasses come in three flavors: Pure, Lemon, and Pamplemousse. The color schemes go well with any outfit.
LaClipse™ glasses are NOT certified by NASA, the FBI, the CIA, the Weather Channel, or whoever approves these things. Obtaining certification is a nightmare, with way too much red tape. Just trust me when I tell you these things are 100% safe. Again, you can stare directly into the sun while wearing these. I’m currently working on some LaClipse™ croakies, which should be available by the end of the day.
For the low price of $100 per pair, you can be the coolest person at your upcoming eclipse party. There are currently three pairs available, but we can easily ramp up inventory by rounding up some kids from Root and Lacy to assist with mass production. Don’t worry, we’ll call it “Arts and LaCrafts” to avoid violating child labor laws, plus we won’t have to pay them anything.
The Vanity Fair August issues and VIP Guns N Roses “Not in This Lifetime Tour” book (one of only 4,000 made) are not for sale. I just put them in the picture for scale, and to brag.
I have the legal team at Stacy Miller’s office working on a trademark and a patent, so don’t even think about stealing this idea. Please let me know how many you’d like and in what flavor. You can Paypal me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you all, and enjoy your LaClipse™ viewing.
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.
“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?”
Raleigh native and Broughton graduate Bonner Gaylord is seeking a fifth term on the Raleigh City Council. He joins Stacy Miller on my list of ITBFFs running for office. As many of you know, I was instrumental in getting Bonner elected during the last race. I wasn’t “officially” working for or with the campaign, but we all know who was pulling the strings. I was the political mastermind behind this campaign poster:
With Bonner set to run for re-election in District E, which spans North Hills and northwest Raleigh, it’s time to take a look at his qualifications and a preview of his first campaign video that I wrote.
He’s a Native
Bonner grew up in Raleigh. Here he is taking care of George the snake, showing leadership at an early age to ensure that none of the other children were eaten alive.
He went there.
Not only did Bonner attend Broughton and give a speech, he also played football. During his senior year he led the team in brooding on the sideline.
As the Managing Director of Kane Realty, Bonner helped turn North Hills from this:
The Weather Dome that Bonner and I co-created has kept citizens safe from storms and rain for years. You’re welcome.
He’s related to Webb Simpson
Bonner and Webb are cousins, and have been their whole lives, which shows how loyal Bonner is. Bonner even helped Webb win the U.S. Open and hung a massive banner in North Hills to celebrate the victory.
Bonner’s been an advocate for Dix Park and has agreed to play the part of Dr. Alan Grant in my screenplay.
So basically, we have a native of Raleigh, who loves technology and gadgets, and devotes his life to his city. Sound familiar? I thought so too.
To help get all these talking points across to the general public, I pitched the following campaign video to Bonner, titled “A Day in the Life of Bonner”.
The camera fades in from black. It’s morning at Dix Park. An F3 PAX (it’s like a secret workout group) works out as the Raleigh skyline watches over them. Around 20 men are doing Empty Wheelbarrows up and down a hill with cases of Trophy Wife strapped to their backs. One stumbles near the top of the hill and as he’s about to fall backwards to certain death a hand reaches out to grab him. It’s Bonner. He looks in the camera and says, “Not on my watch.” He saves the man’s life and then helps him do 50 Fairy Jacks, because if you give a man a Fairy Jack, he’ll Fairy Jack for a workout, but if you teach a man to Fairy Jack he’ll Fairy Jack for a lifetime.
Done with the workout, Bonner looks out over all of Dix Park and then turns to the camera and says, “Dix Park, the dinosaurs are coming.”
We follow Bonner as he rips off his F3 clothes to reveal a perfectly tailored suit from Hengs Suiting and Armoury underneath. He hops on a bikeshare bike and pedals off towards downtown Raleigh. He stops to help an old woman cross Western Boulevard of Broken Dreams. She thanks him and says, “Only 5 more miles until home.” Bonner says, “Ma’am, we have a growing bus system that will take you anywhere your heart desires.” Bonner helps the woman on to the next bus.
Bonner looks into the camera and says, “Transit. You pay for it, so you might as well use it.”
Bonner rides by some children selling refreshments and stops. “Hey lil’ entrepreneurs, what are you selling?”
A five-year-old wearing a Lilly Pulitzer dress replies, “LaCroix, it’s $5 a can.”
“$5 a can? That’s how much a 12 pack costs,” Bonner says.
“Where else are you going to get a cold refreshing LaCroix right now? Cash or charge?” the child replies.
“Capitalism! I love it. I’ll take two,” he says, handing her his credit card.
Bonner looks into the camera and says, “I’ll continue to support all businesses, big and small.”
Bonner then teaches every child in the neighborhood how to ride a bike and leaves his bikeshare bike behind. “Remember kids, sharing is caring,” he says as he pulls his phone out to order an Uber.
While waiting for his ride, Bonner looks into the camera and says, “Technology, let’s keep it up.”
Bonner hops in the Uber. The driver recently moved to Raleigh from New Jersey and uses the beltline to get around because he doesn’t know about ITB backroads. Bonner takes over as backseat DJ and plays a remix of The Connells that he made in high school, on repeat.
Bonner stops by City Council and signs off on the paperwork to make March 15th “ITB Insider Day” and passes a few other laws or whatever they do in City Council. He hops in his electric vehicle and heads home to his family, where he makes dinner, teaches his kids to read, checks on the status of the Weather Dome, and then responds to all of my Tweets before heading to bed.
As he reaches to turn the lights out, he looks in the camera and says, “Raleigh, It’s The Best.”
I’m still waiting to hear back from Bonner and his team about when we’ll start shooting this. I’ll keep you updated, while Bonner keeps us safe.
The mimosas have been freed and brunch is now better than ever. After the passing of the “Brunch Bill” and the approval from the City Council, Raleigh residents can now enjoy alcoholic beverages in restaurants starting at 10:00 am on Sundays. The law came as a result of many protests in support of freeing mimosas and Bloody Marys. Late last week Raleigh residents celebrated the historic law change and began making grand plans for their first boozy ITBrunch.
The Norris family, who live in Hayes Barton, were determined to be first in line for Sunday brunch at NOFO. Their plan was to spend Saturday night camping out in the NOFO parking lot, sort of. The Hayes Barton family paid roughly $15,000 to have a sherpa construct an igloo out of YETI coolers and place it near the entrance to the restaurant. The igloo itself would be cooled by a portable air conditioning unit. That might sound luxurious, but the family didn’t actually plan on spending the night. “Well, we had church in the morning and our kids hate the outdoors. We figured we could pay the sherpa to spend the night in the YETI igloo and keep our place in line,” said James Norris V.
His wife, Mary Ann Norris, added, “We thought about just making the sherpa camp out in a tent but it’s so hot that we didn’t want to be responsible if something happened to him.” Unfortunately for the sherpa, the AC unit failed after a few hours causing him to abandon his spot to avoid heat stroke. The family was less than pleased. “We got to brunch and found the YETI coolers strewn across the parking lot and there was no sign of Padrig, or Paulo, or whatever his name was,” Mary Ann said. “It’s hard to find good help these days,” added James.
The family had to wait in line, unlike my friends and I, who were the first to arrive at NOFO on Sunday morning. The red carpet was rolled out, Glowmosas from Humdinger were poured, and French Toast was ordered. I even brought my own ITBlessed glass, which I never leave home without. (Yes, these are available for sale, and my online store should be up in the next week.)
I documented the historic occasion on social media.
This was a great way to kick off my new ITBrunch series, where I’ll be touring Raleigh’s best brunch spots. I don’t even need to do an in-depth review of NOFO, since it’s already one of the top brunch places inside the beltline. Special thanks to NOFO for the wonderful hospitality. The whole experience gets a 5 out of 5 beltline rating.
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.
“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.
It’s finally over. Our long Sunday morning nightmare is over. Less than a week after Gov. Roy Cooper signed the “Brunch Bill” into law, the Raleigh City Council voted 7-1 to allow alcohol sales starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.
“After reading about the Brunch Bill protests on ITB Insider™, we knew we had to act fast to approve this,” said an anonymous council member. “We didn’t want any more protests, and we certainly didn’t want another pastel-colored frat wall blocking the entrance at the Cameron Village Harris Teeter.”
I don’t want to take all the credit for this victory. A lot of other people helped out, including the NC Restaurant & Lodging Association, legislators, and businesses who wanted the law changed. But I will say that before I addressed this on ITB Insider™ the bill had not passed. Once I investigative journalismed the issue, the bill was passed. I’ll let you all read between the beltlines on that one.
Upon hearing the news, residents cried tears of joy while group texting their friends to make Sunday brunch plans. “We were going to stay in Atlantic Beach through the weekend, but now that we can drink Bloody Marys two hours earlier we’re cutting our trip short. LOAD UP THE SUBURBAN, THOMAS, WE’RE GOING HOME,” said Hayes Barton resident Mary Lane Lane. Some residents became so excited after hearing the news that they couldn’t even keep their cars on the road.
At first I thought this might have been some sort of kamikaze attack on the Club by an OTB mom who was upset that her daughter wasn’t selected as a Deb. Then I remembered they haven’t sent out the Deb announcements for 2017 yet. This accident was clearly due to Brunch Bill euphoria.
How Brunch Impacts the ITB Economy
A representative from Capital Club 16 added that the law change would result in at least an additional $60,000 in mimosa sales…. each week. “This is great for our industry. I’ve had to hire 4 new employees just to manage our mimosa wheels.” The law change isn’t just helping restaurants that offer brunch. A representative from Capital Creations added that this was great for their business as well. “Giving people two more hours to drink mimosas and Bloody Marys is great for us. By the time people are done with a Sunday Funday and that French Toast has worn off they’re dying for a Sunday night anxiety pizza. We support the move 100%.”
It’s time to celebrate our newfound brunch freedom. I wanted to throw an ITBrunch Bash at Dix Park featuring The Connells with a menu of Rise biscuits, flights of French Toast from my favorite brunch restaurants, and Glowmosas. (A Glowmosa is a combination of the traditional mimosa and Glow, a juice made from pineapple, apple, mint, and lime from my friends at Humdinger. When combined with champagne this becomes the Glowmosa, a drink far superior to your run-of-the-mill mimosa.) We’d even have a mimosa ice luge shaped like the beltline. After eating, drinking, and Instagramming it all, we would take three hour Netflix naps and everything would be right in the world. Then I realized you have to get permits, call caterers, and do a lot of work, which we literally don’t have time for.
Instead, I’ll be dining at either NOFO or Capital Club 16 to kick off this new era of brunch. I’m also going to ask my lobbyists to get every good brunch spot in town to add the Glowmosa to their menu. I look forward to celebrating this Sunday. Thank you once again to all who were involved in making this happen. Now it’s time to work on a law to keep Chick-fil-A open on Sunday.
After a deal with a corporate sponsor dried up, Meredith College needs help. Their iconic lake currently sits empty due to the erosion of pipes that caused the lake to drain in March. The beloved lake sits next to an amphitheater which has held countless concerts, graduations, and events over the years. Meredith administrators expect that it will take around $500,000 to fix the pipes and refill the lake. They’ve spent the last few months working on a wide range of solutions, including a major sponsorship from LaCroix.
“We had a deal with LaCroix where they would refill the lake if we agreed to make them our exclusive beverage provider. But then students kept filling up those damn Swell bottles and ITBlessed wine glasses with water in between classes. They were calling it “LaLake Water” and posting about it on Snapchat and Instagram constantly. The whole lake was empty again after 6 hours. It just wasn’t sustainable,” said Rachel Weaver, a Meredith administrator.
They continued to look for other options. “We even tried filling it with the tears from the Cornhuskin’ losers but the lake actually isn’t big enough to hold that amount of liquid,” said Weaver. Similar to Homecoming or the Hunger Games, Cornhuskin’ is a yearly tradition where classes compete against each other to establish a pecking order for the next year.
“We also pitched the students on selling wrapping paper door-to-door to raise money, but that didn’t go over well at all,” Weaver added.
Some students even thought about raising money. “I thought about opening an Etsy shop to make graduation caps with quotes I found on Pinterest,” said Mary Lacy Anderson, majoring in Modern Romance Studies. “But then I had too much going on with planning our watch party for the series finale of Pretty Little Liars.”
Once those options fell through, Meredith turned to their alumnae for donations. So far over 700 alumnae have donated over $100,000. Another donor is willing to match donations up to $250,000. To spread the word about donations, the college considered filming a commercial featuring Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” as students surrounded the dry lake and sadly tried to hold water in their arms.
“It was real symbolic, with the whole Meredith Angels thing, and then they’d be trying to hold nonexistent water in their arms. We had a director and everything. We were going to have Sarah McLachlan come do a live performance as well. Turns out that would cost as much as fixing the lake so we scrapped it. Plus we didn’t want to make everyone depressed,” said Weaver.
The Anthropology Department has tried to make the best of the situation by letting students excavate the dry lake bed. Students uncovered dozens of onyx rings and bottles of wine. “This is a great experience for the students. Sure, there are always one or two who sign up for anthropology because they think it’s related to Anthropologie, the retailer that sells boho-chic womenswear, shoes, accessories and home decor. We just let them post pictures of what we find on social media to keep them involved,” said one professor.
Meredith now has until June 30 to meet their fundraising goal. They’ve set up a donation site and are accepting donations from the public. “We’ve seen how passionate people can be over things like the brunch bill. To try to tap into that movement, we’ll be holding lakeside brunches with bottomless mimosas for all of our donors,” said Weaver.
Yep, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation, listed in the credits of Andy Cohen’s Then & Now on Bravo. I know some of you probably don’t watch Bravo, or know who Andy Cohen is, but a significant portion of my readers are obsessed with both. After clearing it with my lawyer, Stacy Miller, I can now give you all a ITBehind the scenes look of how I ended up on the show.
On June 13th, Bravo reached out to me about using my Pulitzer-worthy footage from Fyre Festival on a new show hosted by the one and only Andy Cohen.
Obviously I had to hear them out. I had never seen Andy Cohen’s Then & Now, but I assumed it consisted of Andy asking different Real Housewives about pop culture in hopes that a fight would break out. More than happy to contribute to such a worthy cause, I threw out an offer, which they then countered. Classic showbiz move.
I tried to play hardball by asking for a signed Andy Cohen headshot, mainly so I could brag about it in my secret Facebook group full of ITB moms who would eat that sort of thing up.
I also requested a shout out on the show, knowing that I would gain a ton of followers because Andy Cohen’s viewers do anything he tells them to. That’s just Influencer 101. And remember, I am an influencer. If you’re reading this and disagree, then ask yourself “Am I asking myself a question right now because William Finley IV told me to ask myself a question?” Yeah, you just got influenced.
Unfortunately, the show had already taped, so none of this was possible.
At this point in my career I consider myself the patron saint of Fyre Festival footage. It’s my duty to make sure I keep talking about it, and provide others with pictures and video footage so they can cover it, until justice is served. So I accepted the offer and started planning a big event for my Bravo debut. I thought I had weeks to pull everything together, but then I got an email saying the show would air the next day.
I quickly reached out to Vita Vite about hosting a watch party (because that’s what people who watch Bravo do) and planned to have some Humdinger Glowmosas for everyone to drink, using their new ITBlessed wine glasses, of course. It would be so synergistic.
After posting about this pop-up watch party on Facebook, I discovered that the show was actually airing in a few hours. I wasn’t even home to watch it but fortunately another Fyre Festival survivor’s wife sent me this clip. Note: I spent about 3 hours tracking down footage and creating a video highlighting my appearance, but YouTube took it down because of copyright violations. Don’t worry, YouTube will be hearing from Stacy Miller shortly.
The episode was titled “Being Rich” and here’s the description: “Andy Cohen dives into the opulent 1980s to explore how the wealthy spent their fortunes on everything from limos and jets to extravagant weddings, and how that’s influenced the ways the mega-rich spend their money today. With celebrity guests Susan Lucci, Jill Kargman, Amber Rose and more, Andy looks at how the gilded mega-mansions of the 80s created today’s high-tech minimalist homes, and how the pricey plastic surgery of yesterday influenced the anti-aging treatments of today. Plus, the Real Housewives spill their pre-nup secrets!”
You can watch the full episode here. While I may have totally botched the watch party for my debut appearance on Andy Cohen’s Then & Now, I’m still glad I helped bring attention to this humanitarian crisis. I hope you enjoyed this insider look at how media empires work together to cover important stories. Now I’m going to go pick up the latest issue of Vanity Fair so I can look at the Fyre Festival pictures that I let them use.
Massive protests took place in Raleigh on Wednesday morning, all with the same message: free our brunches. Demonstrations were held in multiple locations, as citizens of all ages, races (but mainly Caucasian), and genders came together in support of ending brunch inequality.
“We’re all in this together. It’s not about party lines, it’s about brunch lines,” said Kelly Iredell, who helped organize the protests by creating a Facebook event.
The protesters were supporting SB155, also known as the “Brunch Bill”, which would let local governments allow restaurants to serve alcohol starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays. By statute, North Carolina currently allows alcohol sales statewide from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day, except Sundays, when alcohol service cannot begin until noon.
SB155 was referred to the House ABC Committee, projected to meet this week, which is most likely why so many protests sprung up on Wednesday morning.
Protesters chained themselves to tables and bicycle racks outside of popular brunch spots like Capital Club 16, Poole’s, NOFO, and Beasley’s Chicken + Honey.
“The mimosa has sat imprisoned until noon every Sunday for decades. I don’t want to be dramatic, but we might as well call it the “Nelson Mimosa” at this point,” commented Esther August, a barista at a local fair trade coffee pop-up wheelbarrow (it’s similar to a pop-up food truck, but it’s a wheelbarrow.)
“It’s normal to have a crowd of dozens of women and bearded guys, both dressed in plaid shirts and selvage denim, waiting for us to open so they can be the first to Instagram their food before discussing a thing they heard on a podcast for the duration of their meal,” said an anonymous Beasley’s employee. “But once they started chanting “Sunday Bloody Mary Sunday” (a parody of a U2 song) we knew they were serious,” she added.
“We’ve suffered long enough. We’re live tweeting the protest, hoping it will get national attention. Trust me, I work at Br&nd & Br@nd (a local digital marketing firm) I know how to leverage social media to amplify our key messaging,” said Leona Jordan, who considers herself an influencer despite having only 423 followers on Instagram.
The protests seemed to die down at Capital Club 16 once supporters finished dining on French Toast and cheese grit cake, universally known as the best French Toast inside the beltline. “I honestly forgot what we were protesting. I could crush a Netflix nap right now,” said Davis Russell, who manages an Airbnb.
It wasn’t just the downtown Raleigh crowd that came out in support of craft cocktails before noon. Over in Cameron Village, college-aged students formed a pastel colored wall of solidarity at the entrances to Harris Teeter, refusing to let anyone in.
“If we can’t buy beer and champagne for our Glowmosas before noon, then no one can buy any groceries ever,” said Thomas Meyer Williams III, who added that he was “hungover AF” from the previous night’s band party at Delta Sig.
It seems that the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) has been effective in mobilizing support for the bill. They called on community leaders, industry professionals, restaurateurs and patrons alike to learn more about the benefits of the NC Brunch Bill. A petition at ncbrunchbill.com has over 6,200 signatures.
They’ve been posting about the impact of the bill across their social channels on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, encouraging supporters to use #FreeTheMimosa. Here are some examples of a coaster and social media ad that was created to spread the word.
NCRLA believes the change will increase tax revenue, benefitting both local and state governments. They also expect that, with more venues offering brunch on Sunday morning, the NC Brunch Bill will serve as a vehicle for job creation for people in the restaurant industry.
“We’ll keep an eye on the results of the House ABC Committee meeting,” promised Jordan. “Well, unless any more details come out about the Bachelor in Paradise investigation, then I’m totes gonna drop what I’m doing to follow that.”
This is the story of how I got a fidget spinner and half of my Fyre Festival wristband added to the North Hills time capsule, extending my 15 minutes of Fyre fame to at least another 50 years. I also met a Hollywood director who told me he enjoyed my Tweets.
What a Time to be Alive
There’s nothing more ITB than reliving the past and reminiscing about the good ol’ days. So it came as no surprise that Raleigh residents were excited about the unearthing of a 50-year-old time capsule buried in the North Hills luxury retail destination center. On June 8th, 1967, before the beltline (BTB) even existed, a time capsule was buried in the sidewalk in front of The Cardinal movie theater to celebrate its grand opening. That capsule sat dormant for 50 years, waiting to melt people’s faces off like the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
For decades, residents wondered what was inside. I’d always thought it contained the founding documents for the pre-Algebra Club or maybe the original blueprints for the beltline. When North Hills announced that they would unearth the time capsule, and bury a new one, I knew I had to insert myself into the story somehow. Even though North Hills is now technically JOTB it has long been considered ITB, as long as you take Lassiter Mill to get there. Also, the annual revenue generated from ITB residents shopping in North Hills is greater than the GDP of Lithuania, so North Hills is clearly on #brand with our way of life. To make sure I was involved in this epic event I reached out to Bonner Gaylord, Broughton graduate and managing director of North Hills, about getting VIP access.
Bonner let me know that, like Fyre Festival, there wasn’t actually a VIP area at the unearthing. If I couldn’t get VIP then I at least wanted to contribute to the new time capsule. North Hills was accepting items from an exclusive group of businesses, nearby schools, and media outlets. Confused as to why I wasn’t included, since I’m both a business and a media empire, I politely demanded that they let me submit some items. They politely said they would consider it.
I thought long and hard about what I should add to this historic moment. It needed to be something ITB, but also something that represented 2017. I settled on an ITB Insider koozie, an ITBlessed wine glass, a can of LaCroix, half of my Fyre Festival wristband (I need the other half for the lawsuit, more on that soon), a letter to the future, and a rose gold fidget spinner engraved with “ITB 2017” and “WNF IV”. I wanted the fidget spinner to be shaped like the beltline, but I just didn’t have the time to get one made.
On Wednesday, I met with Bonner and his North Hills colleagues for one of the most important decisions in Raleigh history. I laid out all of my items and waited nervously as they reviewed them. It was basically the same process used when selecting the next Dalai Lama. Bonner ended up choosing the fidget spinner and half of my Fyre Festival wristband, as you’ll see in the super dramatic film I made to commemorate the decision.
The next day I joined other residents traveling by Tahoe caravan along Lassiter Mill to get to the celebration. The crowd gathered around the spot on the sidewalk between what is now Bonefish Grill and the Verizon store, waiting to see what would emerge from the year 1967. History was being made.
John Kane, who bought North Hills to find out what was in the time capsule, gave a nice speech to kick things off. Bonner then took over the hosting duties and introduced a few people who spoke about what North Hills was like back in the day. Again, very ITB.
We were then treated to a speech from Broughton graduate and Hollywood Director and Producer, Peyton Reed. He talked about seeing various movies at The Cardinal movie theater while growing up in Raleigh. Reed went on to directAnt-Man, Yes Man, The Break-Up, Bring It On, and many other projects.
They opened the time capsule and discovered that it had not been sealed properly, allowing water to seep inside. Apparently, the folks in 1967 thought that what looked like a metal ice cream bucket would be the perfect vessel for a time capsule. Some of the items were damaged, while others that had been wrapped in plastic were in decent condition. They finished the excavation and laid the items out on a table for people to view. (See pictures at the end of this post.)
They also laid out the items that would be going in the new time capsule. There was a yearbook and stuffed Rooty the Raccoon from Root, a newspaper from the News & Observer, a DVD from WRAL, the newest book from Raleigh native David Sedaris, and my fidget spinner and Fyre Festival wristband. I just hope the new time capsule is a YETI cooler so my items don’t get damaged.
After the event I spoke with Peyton Reed, who was nice enough to hang around for a bit to meet with fans. We talked about Fyre Festival, Twitter, and a few other topics and basically became ITBFFs. The only regret I have was not asking him if the scene in Bring It On where Jaime Pressly (also a North Carolina native) says “It’s already been broughten” is a reference to Broughton.
To impress Peyton Reed, and hopefully break into Hollywood, I filmed, directed, edited, and produced this documentary about the North Hills time capsule. Be sure to watch the part where Bonner approves my request to meet the Dalai Lama when he visits Raleigh later this year. You can also watch the full video of the event on the North Hills Facebook page.
UPDATE: This post has officially been endorsed by Peyton Reed.
Special thanks to Bonner and North Hills for including me in this historic event. The new time capsule won’t be opened until 2067. It is now one of my life goals to make sure I live to see the day my fidget spinner and Fyre Festival wristband are unearthed in front of a crowd of thousands. I even made a calendar reminder just so I don’t forget.
The Electric Storage Battery Company – ESB Exide Missile & Electronics Division
I feel greatly honored in being asked to place an item of interest in the Time Capsule arranged for a ceremony at the new Cardinal Theater in the North Hills Shopping Center on June 8, 1967. Since this is the so-called Space Age, I am enclosing in the Time Capsule our ESB NEWS which is a company publication covering the news media of our company activities for May 1967.
In this issue is a rather interesting article on the batteries that were designed, developed and produced in Raleigh with Raleigh people that powered the Surveyor Spacecraft III that was launched in April and had a most successful flight to the moon, a softlanding on the moon, the taking and transmission of over 13,000 pictures of the moon surface, including a soil scoop or shovel which tested the moon surface for suitability for eventual manned landings. I am also enclosing a Western Union telegram in which Hughes Aircraft Company, who is the prime contractor of the Surveyor Spacecraft, congratulates our Division for our part in this successful program.
It is my understanding that this Time Capsule is to be opened 50 years from now. If this is so, I expect that by the time the Capsule is opened these initial attempts to explore space will be long forgotten, since at that time they will probably have hourly schedules to the moon, to Mars, Venus and other planets of our solar system. However, we are proud of our Raleigh area and the accomplishments of our people in this Outer Space Exploration Era.
By copy of this letter to Mr. C.E. Stone, Manager of the Ambassador Theater in Raleigh, I hope that this letter and the items mentioned will be suitable for placing in the Time Capsule at 11:00 A.M. on June 8, 1967.
A Raleigh couple can breathe a sigh of relief after over 15 months of waiting. The news of the Boylan Bridge Brewpub’s reopening has brought joy to a Five Points power couple who were beginning to give up hope.
Vance Craig VI, a 31-year-old Senior Super Duper Executive Broker at a boutique commercial real estate firm, spoke about how difficult the wait has been, “It’s my right as a Raleigh native to crush 12 beers and enjoy the view on that deck. Do you know how many deals I could have closed out there by now? At least two, I bet.”
Mary Cameron Knoll Craig, Vance’s stay-at-home-wife, runs multiple Instagram accounts that have been impacted by the closing. During the bar’s hiatus she had no choice but to put her account devoted to images of skyline selfies on hold. “Ugh, you don’t even know how many likes I’ve missed out on with this place being closed. Where am I supposed to go for skyline selfies, Dix Park? You can’t even drink out there.”
Her husband added, “We didn’t know what to do. Sure, we could have driven all the way from Five Points and taken a skyline selfie on the bridge that’s 20 feet away from the bar, but that just looks like we’re trying too hard.”
“Exactly. Our skyline selfie needs to appear organic and authentic so we’ll get more likes. No one likes a try-hard,” explained Mary Cameron.
“Plus, if people saw us posing on the bridge for a picture they’d think we were doing engagement photos or headshots for a residential real estate website. Everyone knows we’re married and that I’m in commercial real estate. People would start asking questions,” said Craig VI.
The couple seemed surprised to learn that the bar would now offer a new menu and expanded wine list.
“This place has a full menu? I thought they just served cheese quesadillas, pretzel cheese dip, and whatever that Summer Ale beer is,” said Craig VI.
The couple’s assumption was backed up by a social media analyst with Walk West. “We’ve analyzed thousands of social posts related to this location. We have never seen a single picture of food or beer. Users are taking the same exact picture with the skyline as a backdrop, especially women between the ages of 21 and 40. Typical images contain at least 5 girls wearing Aviator sunglasses, oversized t-shirts, and Jack Rogers sandals. Sometimes they’ll wear those gladiator sandals and a festival ready layered Bohemian dress or super chic cutoff jean shorts and a top with fringe. We expect a flood of skyline selfies from this location in the coming weeks,” commented the Walk West representative.
Being at the mercy of the brewpub’s back and forth has been hard on the couple, but has also been an issue for another member of their family, Mabel the dog. “Thank God we can finally take Mabel to a bar where she can sit outside while we social climb by taking skyline selfies with other couples that we envy,” said Mary Cameron.
“It’s finally summer and I’m just ready to get lit on this deck. Now all we have to worry about is which Barbour apparel to wear,” said Craig VI.
It’s been almost a month since Fyre Festival. While the experience was quite traumatizing, I believe the best way to get through this is to keep talking about it constantly. That’s exactly why I went on the Free Lunch podcast at Clean Design to tell my story. This was my second appearance on their show. On the first episode I taught the gang all about ITB, my growing media empire, and how I was about to go on the trip of a lifetime to Fyre Festival.
Little did I know that I would have to survive and escape the island while becoming a “minor celebrity” (according to Bloomberg). Clean Design asked me to come back on their podcast after seeing what a disaster the trip was.
I set the record straight on a few issues. We covered the “planning” notebook, which media outlets are super lame, how my attorney Stacy Miller plans to handle this, and more.
What started as a typical Easter egg hunt soon became a lesson on local ordinances in Cary this weekend. Residents new to Cary were surprised to learn of a strict ordinance in place which requires all Easter eggs to be painted beige.
Janice Adams, who recently moved to Cary from a suburb of New Jersey, took her two children to the Prestonwood Easter egg hunt expecting to see a colorful display. What she saw was underwhelming. “They just had a bunch of tan and beige eggs everywhere. I was like, what the hell is going on, it’s Easter, where’s the colorful eggs?”
She received the following response after reaching out to the Town Council. “We view Easter eggs as a sign of Easter and like all signs in Cary, they must fit within our guidelines. While we are aware that God offers a Master Plan, He has yet to submit it to the Town of Cary for approval. Until that time, the eggs will remain beige colored and will only contain licorice Jelly Beans, Yellow Peeps, and beige Necco Wafers,” said Jane Morrison, who sits on the Cary Town Council.
Raleigh residents were bewildered after being informed of the ordinance. Mary Anna Harrington, Director of Easter Programming at the Carolina Country Club, commented, “Beige eggs? We only use pastel colored and gold plated eggs. We had to stop using solid gold eggs because they were too heavy for the children to carry, especially when they’re putting 20 or 30 in their baskets. We don’t want anyone tearing a rotator cuff and putting their future tennis or golf career in jeopardy. We also monogram the eggs after the hunt to ensure siblings don’t get their eggs mixed up. Every single egg contains a combination of at least $100 in cash, Godiva chocolate, and keys to a miniature luxury sedan, Tahoe, or Escalade.”
Even North Ridge Country Club found the beige egg ordinance to be archaic. “Our Easter egg budget obviously isn’t as high as some other country clubs in town. While our eggs are plastic and filled with loose change and more economical candy, we can at least afford the multi-colored ones. We’re also able to hide more eggs since we have two golf courses. Yeah land is cheaper out here and DON’T quote me admitting to that, but two is still better than one, ya know? I mean, it’s not like we care what other clubs are doing though,” said North Ridge Assistant Director of Holiday Gatherings, Steve Booker.
The Town of Cary remained firm in their decision after hearing of the other egg policies. “When I joined the Town Council after moving here in 2006, I swore to uphold the values of our ordinances. We take our Master Sign Plan very seriously. If we stray from these rules all hell could break loose. Before you know it we’ll have shopping centers that don’t look identical to each other,” said Morrison.
One of our most precious treasures is missing. The Lake Boone Chicken, a beacon of hope and all that is right inside the beltline, was stolen over the weekend. From its home at the Hight family’s driveway, the Lake Boone Chicken has spent the last 10 years dressed in various costumes for the enjoyment of passing SUVs and luxury sedans. People love this chicken. It even has its own Facebook page. One day the chicken was minding its own business, dressed in a Masters green jacket. The next day it was gone.
Many people alerted me to the crime over the weekend, but I didn’t want to draw attention to the story. I’ve seen enough episodes of Law & Order to know that during ransom situations you’re supposed to keep your mouth shut. I did call my lawyer Stacy Miller to see if we could put a bounty out on whoever did this. I didn’t want capital punishment, I wanted something worse. I wanted the thief to be banished from inside the beltline forever.
First, I had to figure out who was behind this. Who had the most to gain from a crime like this? After some digging, I now know exactly who stole the Lake Boone Chicken and why. But first, let’s look at the timeline of events:
April 7th – the chicken was enjoying the Masters.
April 8th – the chicken was first reported missing.
April 9th – the area officially became a crime scene.
April 10th – search and rescue teams roamed the streets.
At this point, I knew I had to help with the investigation. I wasn’t going to the police with a case like this. I went straight to the top by tweeting at the FBI, the NSA, and the CIA for help.
None of our intelligence agencies ever replied to me. Think that over before paying your taxes this year, folks.
Inside the Biggest Conspiracy Ever
Fortunately, I’ve figured out who orchestrated the heist. Running a media empire means I have sources everywhere, even within the media. One such media source attended a secret meeting of local news outlets last week. They were there to solve a problem. They were there to save their networks, and their jobs. Here’s what went down.
Shadowy News Boss: We all know why we’re here. ITB Insider™ is killing us. Their Development Beat is the most reliable source of news in Raleigh. We know for a fact that his March traffic was record-breaking.
TBJ: Did you see the poll he did for that? 92% of the people said he had the best coverage. And I bet the other 8% were just his asshole friends refusing to inflate his ego. It was a great poll though. We love doing polls. By a show of hands who thinks his poll was good?
Shadowy News Boss: Put your damn hands down. And yes, we know his traffic was up because he was breaking all of these stories. But how does he do it?
Inside Source: Maybe it’s because he’s actually from Raleigh and knows what his audience wants to read? And he doesn’t write clickbait stories and tweet them out 67 times a day with slightly different headlines. And he did go to Broughton.
Shadowy News Boss: Well however he’s doing it we have to stop him. Any ideas?
ABC11: We could run some more clickbait about potential suspects from the fire. I mean, technically everyone in Raleigh is a potential suspect. Oh wait, what if we started another fire ourselves and then we could be the first ones to cover it?!
Shadowy News Boss: No, too risky. And you guys would probably just double-cross us. What if we stole the Lake Boone Chicken?
WNCN: Hi, I’m young and desperately trying to fill the void left by the departure of Penn Holderness. I just moved here from Pittsburgh. What is the Lake Boone Chicken?
Shadowy News Boss: It’s a chicken statue at a house on Lake Boone Trail. People love it. We could steal it, everyone would freak out, then we could break the story. We’ll do it during the weekend when Finley’s incapacitated in a Rise Biscuit and Capital Creations food coma.
TBJ: Love it! We could do a slideshow of pictures from the crime scene and talk about how many companies are leaving the area because of it.
Shadowy News Boss: Sure TBJ, do whatever you want. But we can’t all write the same exact story. So, what angle is everyone else going to take with this?
ABC11: We try to make things as grim as possible, so we’ll go with “Missing chicken, possibly slain and mutilated, or sold into the chicken trafficking trade. A closer look, tonight at 11:00.”
Shadowy News Boss: Great, never change guys. How about you, N&O?
N&O: We’ll just have our web editor sift through all the articles that you guys do and then cut and paste and embed some tweets. We don’t have the resources to cover this. We’re too busy getting Big Daddy Dan Kane to take shots at the UNC scandal while we also promote UNC basketball. By the way, did you guys see that Luke Maye hit a game winning shot and then made it to his early class the next morning? We’ll put so many Kroger pop up ads and video ads on the story that you won’t even be able to read it on your phone. We get more pageviews that way.
Shadowy News Boss: Perfect. Finley doesn’t stand a chance.
Everyone left the room, except for the Shadowy News Boss who began making a phone call. My inside source lingered in the hallway to eavesdrop. She heard the man say, “Yeah, those morons took the bait. They’ll all be wasting their time covering this ridiculous story. Warm up the Sky 5 chopper, I’ve gotta get back for my 6:00 pm broadcast. We all know I’m the only reason people watch our station.”
And that, my friends, is how the Lake Boone Chicken was stolen. It was a classic conspiracy by all the other news outlets in town to create a panic, manufacture a story, and beat us to breaking it. We’ll give them 4 out of 5 beltlines for creativity. Now that I’ve blown the lid off this plot, it’s time to return the chicken.
We have just uncovered plans for additional ads from Pepsi that were to feature Kendall Jenner. You’ve probably seen the backlash from Pepsi and Jenner’s latest collaboration. If you haven’t seen the ad, well, here it is.
Pepsi has already pulled the ad due to the response, which has mainly been “Are you….wait….is this…..uhh…what did I just watch…”
Apparently, Pepsi was to feature Jenner in a series of ads focused on social and political change. We have uncovered the scripts for the remaining ads, which seem to have been written by a mix of suburban millennials and tone deaf ad executives trying too hard to appeal to a young audience.
Ad: Kimpossible Is Nothing
Set in the dystopian future (so like, 3 months from now), the North Koreans are planning another nuclear missile launch. On the streets of a big city (NYC/LA), Kendall Jenner is busy posting selfies to Instagram while holding a Pepsi. She looks up and sees Seal Team 6 driving by in an Uber, not like a Prius though, a really badass Uber. They’re on the way to the airport to go stop Kim Jong-un. Kendall is faced with a moral dilemma; continue building her #brand or fight for our country and effect political change.
She hops in and splits the fare because she’s an independent woman and isn’t going to let no man pay for her Uber. The camera cuts to them landing in South Korea. Kendall is now dressed in camo and is looking very hot as they exit the military cargo plane. They pass through the DMZ, which Kendall keeps calling the “DMV”. Inside North Korea they enter Kim Jong-un’s palace, where he’s already waiting for them.
Kendall approaches Kim Jong-un with a Pepsi and a secret weapon. Face to face with the North Korean leader she realizes he shares the same name as her sister. She smiles, looks back at Seal Team 6 and winks, then hands him the Pepsi. “This world is only big enough for one Kim, bitch,” she says. Before letting go, she slips a Mentos into the can, and duct tapes it to his hand. She backs away slowly, but confidently, as the Pepsi explodes, leaving Kim Jong-un covered in soda and very sticky. He is not happy. He launches nukes aimed at the U.S. but they don’t even make it past liftoff because the North Koreans have inferior rocket technology. Pepsi saves the day again.
Ad: I Dream of Kendall
Kendall is busy posting selfies to Instagram while holding a Pepsi. She notices civil rights leaders marching in the streets. Curious, she puts down her phone, but not her Pepsi, and joins them in the march. They come upon police with firehoses and Kendall wonders why they aren’t putting out any fires. She hands them a Pepsi and then the Civil Rights Act is signed by JFK while a young Bill Clinton plays the saxophone as the outro music. Pepsi brings everyone together.
Ad: Hip to Be Square
Kendall is visiting Tiananmen Square because we’re trying to branch out into the Chinese markets. She’s taking pictures on Instagram while holding a Pepsi. She sees some tanks and wonders why they’re in the street. She thinks “LOL, tanks don’t drive on streets. That’s silly.” She approaches the tank with a Pepsi. The driver of the tank gets out, and it’s a young Jackie Chan. He realizes he doesn’t want to be a tank driver, so he and Kendall hop on a plane and he moves to America to start a film career. Pepsi lets you achieve your dreams.
Ad: Are you there God? It’s me, Kendall, and a Pepsi.
Kendall is busy taking pictures of herself on Instagram while drinking a Pepsi. She notices God, floating above her, attempting to breathe life into Adam. Confused, and wanting to stand up for women, she walks over to God and hands him a Pepsi. God grants free will to mankind and everything turns out ok for the rest of history. Pepsi, there from the beginning.
Pepsi has pulled all remaining ads and declined to comment. We’ll keep you posted if we find any more leaked ideas.
Mom Notes: This section is used to explain who Kendall Jenner is to my Mom, since she’s reading this. Kendall Jenner is part of the Kardashian family. They are famous because one of their daughters, Kim, became friends with Paris Hilton and then made an adult movie with a D-list rapper named Ray J. (Do not get him confused with Jay-Z) That led to a series of reality television shows featuring the entire family, which resulted in them making a fortune.
I could not be more honored to announce that Raleigh attorney and former Broughton quarterback Stacy Miller will run for City Council in 2017. Stacy running for City Council is great news for a number of reasons. We have the chance to add another Broughton graduate to the council, and he’s got some great ideas for Raleigh. Plus, he let me announce this decision, which further legitimizes ITB Insider™ as a media empire and source for real news.
Public service isn’t new to Stacy. He served on the City Council from 1996-1997 and his passion for public service actually dates back to his time at Broughton.
It’s been great having Bonner Gaylord represent Broughton on the City Council, but we need to tip the scales a little more in our favor. That’s why I’ve spent the last few years encouraging Stacy to run. I know I had a lot to do with getting Bonner elected whenever the last election was, so I recently met with Stacy to talk campaign strategy.
“First, congrats on letting me announce your candidacy for City Council. To win a campaign you’ve got to have an iconic campaign poster, like the one that I made for Bonner.”
“Well, that sure is…. iconic,” Stacy replied.
“I’ve got a few themes for yours. First, you as Superman. Your name starts with an “S”. It just works,” I said.
“Ok…but then who’s Batman?”
“I can’t tell you, but his name starts with “B”, he works for a company that rhymes with Wayne, and he likes technology,” I replied.
“So it’s Bonner.”
“You didn’t hear that from me. I’ve also got this one that shows you’ll be a leader that cares about our police and firefighters, children, and Dix Park.”
Stacy looked confused for a moment, then finally spoke, “Am I riding a dinosaur?”
“That would be the LaCroixasaurus that we’re going to genetically engineer at Dix Park. Kids love them, which is clearly evident from all the thumbs ups you’re getting.”
Stacy was still taking it all in, “Is that Red Rocks?”
“It sure is. If Dix Park is going to be world-class then we need to move Red Rocks amphitheater from Colorado to Raleigh.”
“And what’s that one random bike doing in the background?” he asked.
“That’s the bike share program.”
“But there’s only one bike.”
“That’s why it’s called bike “share”. We can’t buy bikes for everyone, how would we pay for the downtown canal?”
“Look, these all sound like great ideas, but I’d like to be a little more practical. Let’s hold off on this poster for now,” he said.
“Good point, we don’t want to overwhelm the voters. I already came up with your campaign slogan: ‘It’s not about party lines, it’s about beltlines.’”
Stacy laughed, “While I understand you’re focused on ITB, I care about all of Raleigh. I do agree that it’s not about party lines though. There’s no Democratic or Republican way to fill a pothole. It’s really about what’s best for the city and the people who live here.”
“Good point, I’m just ecstatic that we may have another Broughton Capital on the council pretty soon. I’ll keep working on some photoshops,” I said, ready to take on another grueling campaign season.
Being a startup is all about winning awards. And after being in existence for over six months I have yet to win any. That all changed last night when Raleigh’s hottest startup, ITB Insider™, took home a major award at the 2017 Downtown Raleigh Alliance annual meeting. Commonly known as the “DRA”, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance “supports downtown’s revitalization by contributing to its economic success”. They do a lot of great things for the city, which you can read about here because I’m too overwhelmed with joy to explain them to you right now.
One of their biggest events is the annual meeting, where they talk about Raleigh, give out awards, and probably do other stuff that I’m unaware of because I’ve never actually been to one. My standard protocol is to avoid the crowds by staying home and tweeting about the event. By using the hashtag they’ve selected for the evening, my tweets will show up on the big screens at the event for all in attendance to see. In the past I had just used Twitter to provide commentary on the evening, but this year I knew I needed more. It was time to take control of the event and give myself an award.
After realizing the event was being held last night, I checked with a source and began my work.
With the keys to the castle in hand, I proceeded to captivate the audience.
I leveraged synergies and mentioned my wonderful lawyer Stacy Miller and Miller Law Group, who I knew were in attendance.
I knew my plan was working because I received a text from another person at the event who thought I was there.
And then, it happened. I won my first award as a startup media empire. The Downtown Best Media Empire Award was given out to me, by me, so that I could get the respect and adulation that I think I deserve.
I assume there was a 10 minute standing ovation and that people were crying tears of joy. “Finally, he did it! He’s worked so hard,” said someone really important, probably. “All those Tweets and Instagrams, all those impressions and pageviews he’s gotten over the last six months, this is so deserved,” said another CEO, I assume. “His investigative work on the Trolley Pub almost ruining the Raleigh Christmas parade, and that piece on The Alley closing, no wonder he won this,” added another attendee.
I obviously had a ton of people to thank.
It truly was an amazing experience and a great night for all. Congratulations to the other award winners as well. I look forward to going to Johnson-Lambe to get them to make an actual award for me that I’ll proudly display at our startup media empire headquarters. Here’s to more success in 2017.
“Seriously. If my kids don’t get into Pullen art camp and camp at Jaycee, I will have a rage blackout. #ITBproblems cc @WNFIV”
This is how I found out about a near riot over the City of Raleigh’s Summer Camp sign-up process. Apparently, the City offers summer camps for children from ages 3 to 16 in 36 locations in Raleigh. Parents were told that camp sign-up would be handled through a website that opened at 5:30 am on Monday morning. The website totally failed, crashing repeatedly and causing parents to lash out. Here is a brief sampling of the reaction: (these are real)
“Raleigh Parks and Rec has gone way downhill the last few years. Can’t say I’m surprised once again a major fail by them! I would not recommend them!”
“It was hung up, we HAD to cancel the transaction which logged us off. This is an AWFUL way to book camps!!!!”
“AWFUL. I was almost in tears at 5:50 AM on a Monday morning. My friends and I were in a text freak-out string. What is being done to fix and prevent it in the future? Would love to know.”
Hell hath no fury like an ITB mom “text freak-out string.” I expected the Holderni to do a parody video titled “Website Crashes” based on “Lightning Crashes” by Live.
Website crashes, a new mother cries,
Her Macbook Air falls to the floor…
According to Andy Specht’s coverage, the city processed more than 8,000 summer camp registrations Monday morning, causing the site to crash. I totally understand the backlash. Having to deal with your kids during the summer is any ITB parent’s greatest fear. That’s why most parents send their kids to Camp Sea Gull or Seafarer for as long as they possibly can.
Being a media empire, I viewed this disaster as an opportunity. Why not make my own ITB Insider Summer Camp? I started researching the City of Raleigh site to see what they were offering.
I figured these camps would consist of throwing some kids in a gym all day for dodgeball or maybe some nature walks. I had no idea how much time and effort the City put into these. Below are just a few that I would sign up for if I hadn’t already aged out.
Bricks 4 Kidz – Jurassic Brick World with LEGO® Bricks
Bricks 4 Kidz – LEGO® Bat League: Heroes and Villains!
CSI Forensics – Who done it? Campers will investigate a mock crime scene, finding clues through scavenger hunts, fun activities and discussions. They will use experimentation and forensic technology to explore, gather and analyze evidence to solve the mystery of the week. Campers will participate in a mock trial, acting as lawyers, judge and jury.
Holt Brothers Football Camp – Torry and Terrence Holt, former NC State and NFL football stars, will lead this one-week camp experience for boys AND girls interested in learning about sportsmanship and teamwork.
Where were these camps when I was a kid? I now see why parents had a meltdown over not getting their kids into these camps. Fortunately, those parents are now left without any summer camp options, which means my camp doesn’t have to be THAT great.
At ITB Insider Summer Camp, kids learn valuable life skills through the following activities:
Wash the Suburban, Tahoe, or Yukon – learn teamwork skills as you attempt to wash and detail these Wade Ave 500 road warriors.
Manage a LaCroix stand – not only are the profit margins huge at $5 per can, your little one will learn about supply and demand, managing inventory, sales, and marketing.
Constructing the downtown Raleigh canal – kids love heavy-duty construction equipment. Why not let them use it? Kids will have access to the finest construction equipment as they begin to dig out the canal.
Excavate Dix Park – Let your child be one of the first to uncover fossilized remains of the dinosaurs that used to roam these lands. (Any dino-DNA discovered during excavation will remain property of ITB Insider™ for future use in genetically engineering actual dinosaurs.)
Pick up my morning Rise biscuits and donuts so I won’t have to deal with the delays from road closures.
I even figured out how to incorporate my sponsors to decrease the cost to campers. Snacks and lunch will be catered by Rise and the SUV pick up and drop off lines will be brought to you by Thompson Buick GMC Cadillac. I’ll also be sure to use Walk West for my registration website so it won’t crash. Also, for just one case of LaCroix a day, you can sponsor a child to attend ITB Insider Summer Camp.
My lawyer Stacy Miller, with Miller Law Group, said this camp violates all sorts of child labor laws, no matter how silly and outdated they are. So I may need to make some changes before we go live with registration.
Next year, I plan to log on early and reserve as many spaces as possible so I can resell them to parents who slept in. Feel free to share your summer camp sign-up experience in the comments.
Residents Fear Dave & Buster’s and Other Rumored Buyers
Raleigh’s most iconic motor lodge is officially for sale, and Mordecai residents are terrified. Our new investigative reporter, James Borden, brought this story to my attention in his first Development Beat earlier this week. The 19-bedroom, 14-bathroom Gables Motor Lodge property is listed for $1.5 million and is located in the Mordecai neighborhood, right outside of downtown Raleigh. Most importantly, it’s in the Broughton school district. Rumors are already circulating about prospective buyers, including:
La Quinta Inns & Suites, who would continue to operate the facility, but would bring the current 4-star rating down to a 1-star.
Dave & Buster’s, who are looking to expand into the Raleigh market after seeing success in Cary.
Apple, who is considering moving an iPhone manufacturing facility to North Carolina if HB2 is repealed.
Since my media empire is expanding, I considered buying the property to use as an office. Like any good real estate mogul, I figured I would need to win the residents over. So last night I attended an emergency Mordecai neighborhood meeting to discuss the rumored buyers. The level of outrage ranged from “ugh, the wait at Capital Club 16 brunch is 10 minutes” to “OMG a chain restaurant is coming to Fayetteville Street!”.
“This just doesn’t sit well with me. My chakras feel out of balance,” said Cassandra Winston, a Trustafarian who owns Pastallations, an Etsy store that sells hand-made vegan pasta in the shapes of astrological signs.
“What if they put something modern there?! My cousin dealt with this same problem over in Oakwood, and it did NOT end well,” screamed Jill Wiesner, a Mordecai resident.
“What the hell is a Wahlburger?!? Is this fake news? What would that even pair with?” asked Jason Shaw, a local craft brewer who uses fresh soil instead of hops to create unique flavors of beer at Oak & Walter’s, a new micro-brewery coming to City Market.
While most residents expressed their fears, a few did offer solutions.
“I would approve of an Ashley Christensen restaurant that offered 19 different concepts on mac and cheese, one in each room,” said Jessica Sanders, a food blogger who only reviews mac and cheese dishes across the region.
“I’m a minimalist, so I’d really like to see the space used by designers of local micro-projects that will be consumed by less than 100 people. Once a project gets too popular it loses its integrity and authenticity,” said a resident who only goes by “Fitz” and describes himself as a local nano-influencer with a purposefully small Instagram following of 27 people.
An example of a micro-project by a nano-influencer.
I left the meeting dumbfounded. There was no way I was going to win these people over. I had my development reporter research what I could do with the property if I decided to buy it. Borden informed me that there are no specific protections in place preventing the future owners from tearing down and dividing the lots to build Cary McMansions.
At first we thought that since the Lodge is considered a “contributing resource” in Raleigh’s Mordecai Place Historic District that any changes would have to be approved by the Raleigh Historic Development Commission. OldPrivy on Twitter informed us that Mordecai is a National Register district, not a local historic district. That means that any changes to the property won’t have to be approved by anyone. We’ll be keeping a close eye on who buys the property.
More on the Gables Motor Lodge
From Borden: The two-story, gable-roofed Tudor revival style home was built by William and Ella Johnson as a boarding house/motel to cash in on the tourist traffic from Route 1. Mrs. Johnson ran the place until the 1940s, and eventually sold it to Charlie Griffin in 1965. Known as “Uncle Charlie”, Griffin continued operating the Gables Motor Lodge until he passed away in August of 2016. His great-nephew recently decided to list the property for sale.
The Pope ended his tour of the U.S. with an unannounced trip to Raleigh on Sunday. The visit was kept secret so that ITB residents would not have to deal with masses of unwanted outsiders flocking to see the Pope. The Pope arrived at RDU in the morning and boarded his custom Tahoe Popemobile to begin his tour of Raleigh.
The Pope arrived at RDU in the morning and boarded his custom Tahoe Popemobile to begin his tour of Raleigh. Crowds cheered as the Pope raced down the Wade Avenue 500 in record setting time on his way to attend church at White Memorial.
Even though the church is Presbyterian, the Pope assured everyone in attendance that they would receive VIP access to heaven over other Raleigh residents. The crowd rejoiced as people threw gold bricks into the offering plates.
The Pope also visited Gelwood South, where he sighed heavily and quietly muttered things like “this is savage wasteland of debauchery and sin” as he surveyed Still Life and Cornerstone.
He continued on to Fayetteville Street where he blessed the endangered patios and prayed that they would be able to serve others until 2:00 am, as God intended. As he was leaving, a Trolley Pub roared by, startling his security team.
Saving the best for last, the Pope arrived at Broughton High School to deliver a speech and canonize ITB legend Pistol Pete Maravich. Known to be a huge basketball fan, it came as no surprise that the Pope wanted to make Pistol Pete a Saint. As a tribute to the greatest basketball player ever, the Pope recreated the iconic photograph of Pistol Pete that was taken when he attended Broughton.
The Pope then delivered a powerful speech. He spoke highly of inside the beltline, condemned the new apartments being built everywhere, and went on a tirade against Trolley Pubs.
“I very much like your ITB. It reminds me of my home in the Vatican. I visited your Cameron Village today. It is lovely place. But, if you keep building apartments there will be no room for the clothing boutiques that you buy for your children to keep them employed,” the Pope warned. “The fastest way to eternal damnation is on the Trolley Pub. The “WHOOOO-ing” is the sound of the Beast. Do not succumb to this road demon. I pray for those who indulge in this sin on wheels. Bless their heart,” he continued.
The audience cheered at the remarks and delivered a standing ovation. The Pope had one more thing to say, “Praise be to God. ITBless you all.”
As you can see, someone drove their car up an entire flight of steps in front Hayes Barton Baptist Church. At first I assumed a Brier Creek resident was lost and unable to navigate the 8th traffic circle of hell, also known as Five Points. Then I remembered what Facebook had bombarded me with earlier that morning, it was the first day of school. Clearly this was the work of an ITB mom who had taken ten too many Xanax and was sobbing uncontrollably after dropping her kids off at Root or Lacy. The rivers of tears made it impossible to see her phone as she typed a first day of school hashtag on her Facebook and Instagram posts while driving. #theygrowupsofast
To make matters worse, she got a call from her husband who told her they might have to give up their membership at the Club as a result of the Dow dropping 1,000 points. After having the concept of the stock market explained to her, she became even more distraught at the thought of having to get a part time job at a Cameron Village boutique now that her kids were in school and she no longer had a valid reason to stay at home all day. This was all too overwhelming, causing her to miss the turn on to Whitaker Mill and drive up the steps in front of Hayes Barton Baptist.
Some speculated this was an ITB mom who was upset after finding out about her husband’s Ashley Madison account. Others thought there may have been a secret Lilly sale at North Hills that this person was racing towards.
There’s a slight chance this could have been an ITB mom reading about the plane breakup from Sunday night. Twitter user Kelly Keegan live-tweeted the breakup that she was, like, totes #blessed to witness, obvi. Since this happened on a flight leaving the Raleigh airport, we’ll consider it newsworthy. I’m too lazy to put all the tweets here so if you haven’t heard about it just go read the story on Us Weekly. Kelly went from around 1,500 followers when I first looked on Sunday night, to over 19,000 around 24 hours later. She’ll probably be on the Today Show and Good Morning America by the end of the week, and then the Holderni will do a breakup parody video titled “It’s Not Me, It’s You” set to the tune of “It Takes Two” by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston. Kelly will get a book deal and an HBO pilot for her reporting. I’ll just sit here and reevaluate my life and try to figure out how to launch a media empire. At least I didn’t drive my car up the steps of Hayes Barton Baptist Church.
Editor’s note: I’m not insinuating that all ITB moms have kids just so they won’t have to get real jobs and that all ITB husbands cheat on their wives. It’s probably more like 60%.