While others lament that Rocky Mount has seen its heyday, I enjoy living within the city limits. Here’s my second list of five reasons why.
#1. City Lake
I’ve driven by this impressive, man-made body of water beside Sunset Avenue thousands of times and just about always, I glance over to appreciate its beauty. The lake was a project by the Works Progress Administration to create jobs in 1937, during the Great Depression.
City Lake has undergone renovations over the years, with a complete beautification project in 1993. Today, there’s a half-mile walking trail circling the lake, a gazebo, and a fountain. Whimsical metal sculptures have been added in recent years.
I would say City Lake is one government project that’s been worth the money.
#2. Chico’s Mexican Restaurant
When my Greenville friend visits, she likes to eat at Chico’s, located within easy walking distance of City Lake. Never mind that the original Chico’s is in her town. She likes the Rocky Mount location because of the setting: the old power plant building, which overlooks the Tar River.
I like Chico’s for the location reason, too. But I also love the food. My favorite? The Enchilada Suisa stuffed with chicken. My husband always order a Combination of Two, one beef taco and one chicken enchilada. If we completely want to forget about calories, we split a Fried Ice Cream for dessert. Without a doubt, Chico’s Fried Ice Cream is the best Mexican dessert I’ve ever eaten.
Here’s a look inside the restaurant. The two dummies in the swing (upper right) are a playful, quirky feature of the decor. Those windows in the back overlook the Tar River.
#3. The Koi Pond
Now I love pretty much everything about the Mill Village in Rocky Mount, but the Koi Pond Brewing Company is a standout. It was the first craft brewery at the Mill Village, and I guess that’s why it’s still my favorite. I’m never disappointed in my pint, and Josh the barkeep is a friendly, familiar face, even behind his mask.
The taproom is located in what was once the mill superintendent’s house. In its former life, the Mill Village was the home of the second cotton mill in the state, established in 1818. It was the longest in operation until the mill closed in 1996.
I love that The Koi Pond is keeping an old mill house alive.
#4. The Farmer’s Market
Business is booming at the Farmer’s Market. I stopped by on a recent Saturday in April for a fun shopping excursion. The choice was vast and varied: baked goods, homemade soaps, plants, meat, oysters, etc. And, of course, fresh fruits and vegetables.
The location off Peachtree Street is centrally located and easily accessible.
#5. Azaleas in My Neighborhood
In my last blog, I talked about how much I enjoy the walkability (is that a word?) of my neighborhood. Here’s another perk where I live: the azaleas. During this time of the year, mid-April, I feel like I’m in fairyland.
I have a smorgasbord of colors in my yard: white, red, lilac, pink. My neighbor across the street has a stunning display of solid white. Around the corner, the residents seem to favor pink. It won’t last long, but these well-established, mature azaleas are absolutely lovely when they bloom.
I’ll be back again in my next blog with five more reasons why I love my Rocky Mount life. Believe me, I have plenty to choose from.