David & Marian Cortesi
Friday, December 19, 2008
David & Marian Cortesi
En route from Durham to Columbia we stopped for lunch in Charlotte, NC, said to be the 2nd-largest financial center after NYC, where the tops of the many skyscrapers were disappearing in the afternoon fog.Downtown was decorated for the season with cheerful reindeer on every lamppost.The center of downtown Charlotte is The Square, which is defined by four heroic statues. One is a prospector who appears to be dumping his paydirt onto a dude whose bow-tie is too tight,One is a stalwart worker sitting on an eagle with a bow-tie,One is a mother & child,And we forget the fourth because we were busy reflecting on modern art.Tomorrow: Columbia, SC.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
By Dave & Marian Cortesi The morning after the Duke game was (appropriately) dull gray and gloomy. We drove from Durham to Raleigh to bag us another state capitol. We have pictures of 40 or so of them. In North Carolina, the only official occupants of the Old State House are the Governor and Lieutenant Gov. Inside there was a surprise. All the way up on the third floor is a charming old State Library, very nicely preserved and displayed. Also on the third floor is a similarly cozy and appealing State Geologist's office. Below these are the original legislative chambers. This was the House of Representatives. North Carolina has over 100 Reps (which seems a superfluity, but I'm sure they feel a need...) and you can see why they felt a bit cramped back in 1960: This is what they had built for them by Edward Durrel Stone, who also did the Kennedy Center in DC and many other famous buildings. Finished in 1963. It's a very nice building inside, with four interior garden courts and spacious and imposing legislative chambers. This is where the Reps sit--quite an improvement over the old one. Look at those chandeliers. Those double-cone lamps are just soooo 60s, aren't they? Admit it, you had a fixture like that in some apartment you lived in. Here's Marian, trying out the Grand Staircase (carpet for official use only): The neigborhood around the capitol has a lot of impressive 1890's houses. Here's a detail from one. We also visited the Mordecai House historic park and were given a very pleasant tour but the weather was too gloomy for pictures. Tomorrow: a stopover in Charlotte.