Living in Raw-leigh | Local Color
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Living in Raw-leigh 

Oh, goddammit: It's not yet 9 on this Monday morning, and I've just spilled a bit of my Raleigh Raw juice on my raw Raleigh Denim jeans.

Raw denim, you see, is a narrative lifestyle choice, storyteller fashion.

To see my raw Raleigh Denim is to read my riveting Raleigh Story.

On my hindquarters, for instance, you might detect faint grass stains, likely obtained over the weekend while luxuriating on the verdant hills of Dorothea Dix City Park (patent pending) with a breakfast picnic of Slingshot Coffee and a Yellow Dog sticky bun, both handcrafted a few blocks away from my midcentury Mordecai bungalow.

If you care to cast your curious gaze toward my crotch, you might notice the pale wear lines I've earned by donning these jeans (without washing them) and riding my bike most every day and most everywhere for the past eight month. My bike is a custom job, purchased at the hippest little bike shop in the world, Oak City Cycling Project.

The worry of today is going to be a very, very busy day in the Capital City. I needed all the energy I could get from my $8, 16-ounce Raleigh Raw "Ion Lion Zion," a post-irony Bob Marley reference and an energizing goop made by mashing together dandelion greens, romaine lettuce, cucumber, celery, honeydew, lemongrass and lemon. Doesn't that sound sustainable?

I will persevere, though, even if the day requires a second early-evening dose of coffee from Joule, where the beans are fastidiously measured and where the water temperature is carefully controlled, each cup treated like a sonnet, written in a Moleskine and submitted to Kinfolk. (Available for purchase, mind you, just down the street at the new haberdasher, Lumina.)

This will be a Monday full of meetings, as are most of my days: There's morning coffee with someone who might work for a mayoral candidate and then a business-plan discussion with someone who wants to start a gluten-free food truck. I'm having lunch with someone who used to work at Red Hat but wants to launch a new company that's so open-sourced it makes Linux look like the Tyson Foods to his free-range Tour D'Coop. Later, there's a group discussion ("The Problem of Progress: How Bankers Just Don't Understand") at the local AIA headquarters and, if I have time, I'd like to get a tour of a crossfit facility. I hear that's huge now?

Outsiders often joke Raleigh for its state buildings and officious politicians, but who else would all of my friends wait on? How else would they pay for their second jobs—as musicians, as artists, as artisans?

I hope I'll see some of those pals later tonight when I bike to Trophy, a nanobrewery ("nano" being Greek for very small, very hip) across town. We've got so many brewpubs you can literally get drunk on a different variation of the same dry-hopped, spice-infused ale every night of the week. It's incredible.

Anyway, I'm having beers there with someone I met last week at a preview party at the Contemporary Art Museum. I suppose you could call it a date, but I like to see it as a potential networking opportunity. She said her last name was Goodman, that she was interested in the media and in joining what she called "an economy of cool."

"Huh," I thought, "maybe she wants to read my raw Raleigh Denim, too?"

Walter J.K. Meeker IV is a freelance consultant to consulting firms, living in Raleigh with his dog, Fetzer, and his cats, Wilmington and Hargett.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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