You know what would be the perfect weekly Sunday morning trip?

A little Fredericksburg, VA, side street with a used bookstore, and indie comic shop, and a diner where you could get tons of coffee and omelettes.

The diner would have wifi. The comic shop owner would be a chill, affable local dude you could shoot the breeze with about the medium, or about current events. The used bookstore would sell a worn, dog-eared pocket dictionary so that you could learn to finally spell the word “omelette” correctly the first time. (I might just tear out that page and carry it in my wallet, along with the page containing “Pennsylvania.”)

And the entire street would be a block from the Rappahannock River, so you could take a stroll afterward.

 

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Elm Avenue and Main Street Bridge, Roanoke, Virginia

December 2018.

That’s B&D Comics at the end of Elm Avenue, right before the street turns into Main Street Bridge as it crosses over the railroad tracks and the Roanoke River.  There’s something indefinably quaint and cool about the town’s comic shop being “down by the train tracks.”  To answer the sign’s query, comics were 75 cents when I was a kid.

The shots of the bridge and river here are poor.  (Sorry.)  But it’s actually a pretty spot in Roanoke on a nice day.

 

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Roanoke, Virginia, December 2018

It’s the categorically quiet Southern city.  New Yorkers, this is midday during the holiday shopping season.

It’s an odd impression to get, but sometimes I feel as though I am walking through a university campus during Christmas break.  (All the buildings are there, but all the students are away.)

But when you do run into people, they are the friendliest and most cheerful that you could ever hope to meet.  I was just walking by and a local friend called out to me from her car on 1st Street.  I love this sleepy town.

 

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