Saturday, July 9, 2011

Patio Playground

It is difficult to improve upon the simple joy of miniature golf. The giant pirate ships are mere window-dressing. Can you hit the ball around the corner into the hole in 2 shots? Either you can or you cannot. Have a sno-cone.

Photo: Star News Online, Amy Hotz

We spent the last week of June in Topsail Beach, North Carolina. Nice rental, very nice, right on the beach. But I was charmed by the place across the street.

The view from our street-side deck.

Patio Playground was constructed in 1955. The basic design has not been changed since that time.

The paint job is new. Otherwise, we are talking eighteen holes in a compact space with enough geometric challenges to make it an adventure for adults as well as six year-old golf obsessionists.

I appreciated the fact that my children's wardrobes did not clash with the decor.

During World War II and until 1948 this stretch border islands (south of the Outer banks) was used for missiles testing, and even engaged in work that would lead to America's recently concluded space program.

Today people spend money and have fun here.

One of the few known photographs of "Mr. Kim." Can you see him?

Patio Playground is owned and operated by the mysterious "Mr. Kim" who resembles something like Harpo Marx and Danny Kaye with something to hide. But he does know how to rock the zydeco.

Patio Playground is open all afternoon, but positively rocks after sundown. The soundtrack is full of everything I like, Sinatra, Dylan, Chuck Berry but also Diana Krall, Stereolab, Beth Orton -- name it, it's cool.

They also sell ice cream & shaved ice. A relaxing, family-oriented joint. I tried to corner Mr. Kim on our last day and ask him about the origins of the place, but he said "the ice cream is melting" and slipped away.

Source: Star News Online

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