Raleigh is booming. No, Raleigh’s too corporate. Too dull. But not dull much longer, because with the help of seven (for luck) bartenders around town, we’ve come up with a signature drink for our City of Oaksthe “Pretty Talk.” Like a few politicians we know.

Anyway, on the eve of Raleigh Wide Open III and the opening of the new Raleigh Convention Centerand hopefully not on the eve of a visit by Hurricane Hannathe Indy staff considers whether the Capital City is ready to welcome company. Ready for all the conventioneers. Ready to be the cutting-edge “City of the 21st Century” that our pitchmen and women are out there selling. (And a lot of us are ready to buy.)

We think the “Pretty Talk” will help, at least till we put up a Space Needle or something.

Conventional wisdom

Raleigh’s rebranding
Now that the Convention Center is complete, Raleigh needs to get busy on an equally farsighted new plan.

Me build pretty one day
Architect and City Councilor Thomas Crowder Crowder believes Raleigh should raise its planning and design sights and stop settling for “good enough” when it comes to major development projects.

Raleigh Wide Open III: Many things to all people
Three stages spread between the convention center’s sizeable plaza and the intersection of Fayetteville and Hargett streets will host 34 acts.

Photos document workers who built Convention Center
Five years ago, photographer Doug Van de Zande decided to document the cycle of demolition and erection near his McDowell Street studio on film.

Seeing the city through a conventioneer’s eyes
This is how I ended up standing in front of a large bronze statue of an acorn with a homeless man named Danny.

Raleigh’s cocktail
We asked 10 area bars to do their best to design “a signature drink representative of the city.”

…and to remember your visit
To be sure, you’re not going to leave Raleigh without something for the kids and the friends.