I like this town. It has an impressive 22-mile hike-and-bike path, with clear efforts made to line it with businesses: bike shops and bike rentals, cafes and restaurants. Also Falls Park on the Reedy, which is an absolute gem. It has several breweries (more than I was able to see in my days there), and it has diversity. As my father said, all-white in Washington state is one thing. All-white in the Carolinas is quite another.

On the other hand, I was really sorry to hear about the controversy following a Drag Queen Story Hour event at a Greenville library. I was at a brewery wearing a librarian t-shirt and so this came up; my initial info came from a retired librarian at a neighboring table, and then I did a little Googling. My new friend reported it pretty accurately, from what I see. A local group booked a library’s meeting space, according to all rules and regulations, for a story hour for children in which drag queens would read children’s books. The intolerant folks of the world circulated a petition for the event’s cancellation, and protested outside the event when it went on. The manager of the library branch in question lost his job. It’s been an uproar, and one that really saddens me. And I was letting it color my impression of Greenville – until I read that the same events had just played out in Houston, at my home branch library in the historically gay part of town.

No place is perfect, is it.

Besides the sad story of the library, Greenville has offered me good beer, beautiful walks, and some very fine food: I took the advice of the couple I met in Brevard and did one Mediterranean meal and one Jamaican one, and both were highlights. I would totally come back here. Need to see where the nearest mountain biking is…

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