June 27 — 2012 — The weather was amazing, welcoming and happy. Our downtown enlivened my normal, yet new, work routine. And I felt grateful to be a part of our city of Raleigh.

So, as the humidity starts to flow in and take away our desire to be outside, remember that places like Player’s Retreat and The Daily Planet Cafe offer ways to cool down — a professional mist system (PRs only), tons of shade and local beer on tap. No reason to stop going out and being a part!

Plus, I’ll be adding more to my “for lunch” section soon, including a list of all available outdoor seating.*

*send me an email or comment here if you’d like to add your restaurant/bar to that list + a photo

SparkCon: Plans in the works and talent mixer

Heard a little something about SparkCon?

Every September, SparkCon brings our city’s creative juices together in downtown Raleigh for four days of color, sound, surprise and energy. Creatives meet tonight at Humble Pie to stir the pot and chew the fat – in general, to get this party started.

Watch: Inspiration for SparkCon from three top creatives, best part at minute 2:25.

Scroll: Vibe for SparkCon via their Flickr gallery.

Plan: Variety of Sparks!

Restaurant Week in the Triangle

Let’s eat! It’s restaurant week in the Triangle.

All over the place, including downtown of course, there are restaurants participating by offering special lunches and dinners. What makes them special is that they are new or rarely used recipes, with exciting ingredients, some offered with beer and wine pairings, for a fixed price. I think I’ll try Raleigh Times for my birthday lunch, Mmm!

See what strikes your fancy with this guide and read more of Downtown Dame’s restaurant reviews!