Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Floyd Phenomenon

Floyd, Virginia: population 425.

To get right to point: We love this town.

That point is very easy to state. The reasons are clear, but it is frustratingly difficult to summarize them in a bumper sticker phrase, much like a town motto.

How does a small town with only one stop light in a county with no other traffic signals have a degree of complexity more characteristic of a much larger city?

How do 425 people, who possess such a variety of activities and interests, present such a commonality of purpose to produce a community tapestry the envy of larger numbers of people?

The town has really captured us, so to address these questions, we want to take a look at the layers of attraction.

It is the music that has drawn us the this area of southwestern Virginia, and Floyd (25 miles south on Route 8 from exit 114 off I-81) has several music venues—among them are the Floyd Hotel, the Dogtown Roadhouse (on the right of the building below),

and the Floyd Country Store. It was the Sunday jam at the Floyd Country Store (on the left in the photo, left) that brought us to Floyd (see 5/17/12).

Within two blocks of the main intersection are most of the town’s businesses. A walk along these streets introduced us to clean streets, spruced up exteriors of buildings, and inviting entrances to stores. The hardware store

with it colorful doors

and displays that spill into the sidewalk is an imposing building.

A couple doors down from this store is the Blue Ridge Restaurant. Passing the entrance without turning in is very difficult due to the enticing aromas the roll along the sidewalk.

The book store,

the town's barber shop, and

the Red Rooster Coffee Roaster are just some of the buildings in the center of town.

No boarded up buildings, no signs of deterioration.

Along these same few blocks were these colorful benches (the next three photos).

On the afternoon of one our recent visits, some craftsmen and women had set up tables across from the Country Store.

The table with the Enchanted Forest Soaps caught Kate's eye, especially the Dragons Blood, Shea Butter Soap.

So, with the completion of this walk, we enjoyed another layer of Floyd. The jam highlighted the music of the region and the life of the people shone through in the care of the town's buildings and streets. In the next few days, we go inside some of these buildings to further learn what makes Floyd such a special place. A tour of the Republic of Floyd (below) will be coming up, but first, time for lunch.

No comments: