Warmth welcome for new year

Warmth welcome for new year

Staff WriterDecember 31, 2004 

For many Triangle women, springlike temperatures just days before New Year's Eve can only mean one thing:

Time to head to the salon for a pedicure and a wax.

The departure of the area's first winter storm has ushered in a period of unseasonably warm weather and put many locals in the mood to show a little skin at their New Year's celebrations.

The temperature reached 62 Thursday in Raleigh. Today's record high of 69, set in 1990, could be in play as the National Weather Service predicts it will hit 70 by Saturday.

For Londy Riley of Jolie -- The Day Spa & Hair Design in Cameron Village in Raleigh, the sunshine translated into a sudden rush of women wanting waxes, pedicures and manicures.

"Lots of waxing," she said Thursday during a rare break between appointments.

Warm winter weather means short dresses and open-toed shoes come out of hibernation early, she said.

Of course, springtime temperatures in winter mean different things to different people.

Craven Avery, 48, hopes the balmy weather draws a lively crowd to downtown Raleigh's First Night celebration.

"I'm going to party," Avery said Thursday as he sat in Roland Boylorn's barber chair at Roland's Barber Shop on Main Street in Garner. "I'll be heading down there right as it gets dark," he said.

As for Boylorn, the weather won't change his plans to spend New Year's eve worshipping at Evans Grove Baptist Church in Wake Forest.

For Albert Lee, 41, of Raleigh, the weekend forecast means speed.

Lee drove to Garner to get the clutch on his Suzuki GSXR 1000 motorcycle fixed Thursday. An avid rider, Lee founded a club called OG Riders, which, he said, stands for "orderly gentlemen."

On Saturday, Lee plans to hit the road with friends, perhaps riding as far as Fayetteville, about 50 miles south of Garner.

For parents with children on holiday break, the warm weather is a chance to cure cabin fever. Both the North Carolina Museum of Art and Exploris reported heavy crowds Thursday.

"We have lots of families with little children who look like they needed to get out of the house," said Pam Hartley, vice president of programs for Exploris.

Some simply didn't have time to appreciate the gorgeous weather.

Harvey Spencer was in Diamond Cuts Barber Shop in Garner reading his Bible while waiting to get his hair cut.

Spencer, 47, will be preaching his first sermon tonight before officially being ordained a minister. Since his pastor told him that he would be preaching to 1,200 members of the Abundant Life Christian Church in Raleigh, Spencer has been understandably on edge.

"I've been real nervous for three weeks," he said. "It's getting up in front of God's people and trying to figure out what God wants you to say at that time."

Staff writer David Bracken can be reached at 829-4548 or dbracken@newsobserver.com.

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