My Friday Five: On Inaugural Events, Sports Stories & Macy’s Closing

  Photo: Chris White
Photo: Chris White

1. The North Carolina Inauguration

This weekend was suppose to be a celebratory one as newly elected Governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, would be honored and ceremoniously inaugurated. The weekend’s events included a concert, a public inaugural ceremony/parade and an inaugural ball. The concert went on as planned but winter weather predicted to hit the area forced organizers to alter plans for other events. Despite the weather, the Junior League of Raleigh, which puts on the inaugural ball, decided to not postpone its event which was suppose to be on Saturday night and have it a day earlier at a much smaller venue than previously scheduled Reynolds Coliseum – practically at the last minute, according to what many upset ticket holders said on Facebook.

Fortunately, I was not one of the ticket holders but I can feel their frustration about this. Not so much about the ball itself, rather, how everything was handled. Like I said, the event was originally scheduled to be held at Reynolds Coliseum, which holds 3,300 people. Of course, the League cannot control the weather. However, in my observation, it hastily moved the event to Marbles Kids Museum – effectively combining it with the Council of State Reception – which holds about 1,000 people and made it first come first served. All the while, waiting until a little more than six hours (11:15 a.m. Friday, according to a Facebook post on The League’s official page) before the event to alert people of the change. That means many ticket holders would not be able to attend since (1) the weather made driving conditions treacherous, (2) the rescheduling at such short notice made it impossible for people to rearrange their schedules to attend and (3) the event could not accommodate everyone. It’s not like this winter weather system sprung up out of the blue. It’s been talked about in earnest for at least a week. 

I had a similar experience a few years ago. I bought tickets for an event at the Durham Performing Arts Center that went on despite adverse weather. I didn’t attend given how treacherous the road conditions were and was very upset that the event went on. However, DPAC officials did offer tickets to another show free of charge for the issue. Honestly, I’ve never seen an adverse weather situation for an event be handled in the way the Inaugural Ball has been. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out and I’ll update you when I know something.

2. Macy’s Closing

The Macy’s at Northgate Mall is closing, per several reports. The closing is apart of the retail chain’s announced plans to shutter several locations due to a continual slump in sales. Northgate Mall has had its fair share of struggles in recent years, with stores having come and gone and Macy’s being one of now just two main anchors in the mall (the other being Sears).

Although I didn’t shop that much in Macy’s, it hit me pretty hard when I heard the news. My grandma, who just passed away in May, used to shop there all the time. She used to go to Northgate a lot as well. Now, with Macy’s closing and Northgate set to reinvent itself after the closing, it feels like a memory of my grandma is gone. Like I said, I don’t shop that often at Macy’s but I won’t be from here on out.

3. Congrats, DSJ!

N.C. State Freshman guard, Dennis Smith, Jr., became the second Wolfpack player to earn a triple-double in a game (the other being Julius Hodge) and the 29th player to achieve such a feat in the ACC. Smith’s 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists paved the way for N.C. State’s smackdown of Virginia Tech on Wednesday night. I think this is only the beginning for him!

4. Hood Changes Course

UNC running back, Elijah Hood, sat out of the team’s Sun Bowl game in December due to medical reasons but said he would return for his senior season after much speculation that he would leave for the NFL. Now, today, Hood has reversed course and said he would indeed be leaving early for the Draft.

While I’m not disappointed in Hood’s decision, I am disappointed in how it was handled. If he had just said straight up he was leaving, fine. But to say he’s coming back for his senior season and then reverse course like that is very disappointing to hear. In any case, Carolina will reload and be just fine without him.

5. Grayson Allen

Well, that didn’t take long. One game after Duke got throttled by Virginia Tech, Blue Devil guard, Grayson Allen, returned from his “indefinite suspension” for Duke’s game against Georgia Tech on Wednesday. What’s worse? He even started the game. I can’t say I’m surprised but I feel like he’ll never learn from his three – THREE – tripping situations in the past calendar year. Tripping is undoubtedly disrespectful to the game and, if I was the coach, Allen would have been suspended for much more than a measly game.

That being said, I think whoever runs Cook-Out restaurant’s Twitter account wins the week for this post…

  Courtesy: Twitter
Courtesy: Twitter

Thanks for Reading

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