I’ve lived in Raleigh, North Carolina for a decade now. By and large, I love my adopted city – but not all areas equally. Probably my favorite spaces are Hillsborough Street (where my comic shop, Foundation’s Edge, is, as well as awesome restaurants like Neomonde and our local Chipotle), and various pockets of downtown. My least favorite area is North Hills, which is yuppie central – being there really tests my nonviolent commitments. A step or two less intense than North Hills is Cameron Village, which is pretty commercial, and relatively culturally void, especially after 10,000 Villages left.
Imagine my shock when YouTube recommends I watch this very early R.E.M. show from 1982:
Raleigh Underground? I ask myself. Is there a Raleigh, England or something?
But no – this was a thing:
In the same way Cameron Village itself was modeled after a shopping plaza in Kansas City, The Village Subway was modeled after the Atlanta Underground. It was a series of restaurants, clubs, boutiques, fashion stores, and a few other shops. Some of the night clubs were The Frog & Nightgown, Cafe Deja Vu, Elliot’s Nest, The Pier, Skyline, The Bear’s Den, and the Midnight Express…
Enjoy the really young Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, & Co. – positively collegiate!
It wasn’t the Raleigh Underground, it was the Cameron Village Subway and it was amazing. The Pier (where REM played) was gone by the time I moved to Raleigh (1983), but there were still some rockin’ clubs down there In fact, from Wednesday to Sunday, you could find amazing live music all over the Triangle. Alas, those days are gone and Raleigh is about as bland as a city can be.