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Discussion in 'Travel Stories' started by giradman, Oct 29, 2013.
Thanks for another excellent travel post. Your room has an excellent view.
Hi Scifan.. - thanks again - view is indeed beautiful and temps today hit 60 ºF, so a light jacket was just fine. Our afternoon outing included a drive around Wrightsville Beach (not a large island) and was again surprised at the lack of damage (not sure about lower level flooding?) - saw just a few houses w/ minor damage, several around Johnnie Mercer's Pier which suffered no harm except for beach erosion, probably already restored (pic below from an late afternoon walk on the beach).
However, several restaurants were not opened and are under restoration, i.e. South Beach Grill and the Oceanic Restaurant (pics of the latter below) - the wood pier seems to be still standing but likely damaged - I'm sure both will be back in business soon! Overall, I'm amazed that the island is in such good shape. Dave
Latimer House - Another Gem in the Wilmington Historic District
The Wilmington National Historic District is large and contains many ante-bellum (i.e. pre-Civil War) structures, including house, churches, and public buildings. A number of the houses are open for tours - in previous pages of this thread, I've posted more details on the historic district and the Bellamy Mansion (see pg. 10, if interested); also, comments/pics on the Burgwin-Wright House, the only Revolutionary house open to the public and a recent visit (see pg. 13). Yesterday, we took a tour (our first) of the Latimer House - see quotes below from the link.
The Latimer House is located on the now busy 3rd Street and Orange (a country road in the late 19th century) - the house the built in 1852 in the Italianate Revival style and has been well preserved (see the few pics below) - many more details in the quotes below. The tour includes 3 floors, the basement, the gardens, and the restored 'excellent' slave quarters (see second quote for more history). Zebulon and Elizabeth Savage Latimer had 9 children with just 4 boys living to adulthood (third quote); when the house was passed onto the sons, one bought out the others who in return built 2 similar adjacent houses (see pic below); in fact, there were 5 adjacent houses along 3rd Street representing the extended Latimer-Savage family, as evident by the plaques; one is now a beautiful looking Bed & Breakfast Inn. Finally, William Latimer built a railroad (replaced by a trolley) to Wrightsville Beach beginning its fame as a tourist destination. Dave
It's nice to see that these historic buildings survived the recent hurricane and are still open for the entertainment and education of their visitors.
After our visit to the Latimer House, I drove down to the Cape Fear River (Front and Water Streets) - again cannot talk about flooding during Hurricane Florence but virtually all looked intact - a couple of streets were blocked off for construction which I assume may have related to flooding? We went shopping at the famous Cotton Exchange which seemed 'untouched' by the storm.
The historic Wilmington district covers hundreds of blocks with many structures intact and restored - most are private residencies but the ones open to the public are indeed gems to explore. More on the Latimer House - the inside was beautifully done and brought back to its Victorian appearance - the basement had two kitchens (some pics below w/ the original cooking area, sink and table); the second kitchen was converted into a useable room for meetings, kid's birthdays, etc. Different events occur often, including weddings, historic reenactments, and even seances. The restored slave quarters is worth seeing w/ a lot of interesting history presented - the building (shown in the last pic below) is now rented out as small apartments. Dave
Shuckin' Shack & Cameron Art Museum - our Wednesday Afternoon Outing
About noon, we headed south toward Ft. Fisher (previous posts in this thread) to Carolina Beach for a light lunch which started with Harkers Island oysters, another North Carolina location near Morehead City and Beaufort (also discussed previously here) - from Harkers Island swift boats can be taken to the Cape Lookout National Seashore (only reachable by water) and the beautiful lighthouse w/ the diamond black-white design - we made the trip a number of years ago - highly recommended!
After lunch a return to the Cameron Art Museum for two new and quite different exhibits: 1) Along the Eastern Sea Road: Hiroshige’s Fifth-three Stations of the Tōkaidō; and 2) Recovery in Flight: The Sculptures of Grainger McKoy - these were just wonderful, so I'll devote the next two posts to a discussion of each, along w/ some appropriate pics from the web. Dave
Grainger McKoy is a Carolina artist whose primary interest is the sculpting of birds, especially from their dynamics - he carves out of wood but incorporates metals and paints to produce wonderful bird animations - a short bio quoted below, plus check his website in the first link above. He has expanded into other areas, such as jewelry for both women and men. The current exhibit at the Cameron Art Museum was impressive - I particularly love the Carolina Parakeet multi-bird work, a beautiful species now extinct - I own a print copy of the original Audubon drawing (a print was part of the current exhibit). For those nearby Wilmington, this is an exhibit not to be missed (which is also part of the next post on famous Japanese woodcuts); the pics below are a mixture from various web sites, some of which are in the exhibit. Dave
Andō Hiroshige - The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō
This was the other exhibit, i.e. Hiroshige Japanese woodcut prints from the early part of the 19th century based on the 53 Stations of the Tōkaidō, which was the main eastern road from Kyoto (the imperial capital then) to the the Shōgun's capital, Edo (now Tokyo) (quotes below about Hiroshige and also the print series); pics of 8 of the stations (stops along the road) - the prints shown are from the second quote and are oriented horizontally - the ones we saw were vertical, but likely just another edition, as stated below (he created 30 different series). Many European artists were greatly influenced by Japanese woodcuts, including Vincent van Gogh; also, Frank Lloyd Wright, the architect, was a collector of the prints of this Japanese artist.
Interestingly, Dr. Isabel Bettinger, who was an orthopedic surgeon in our home town of Winston-Salem, donated this collection to the Cameron Art museum - the prints were bound in an album that was originally given to one of her ancestors who was on the Commodore Perry voyage to Japan in the early 1850s - see the first pic below (second paragraph description). All of the stations can be view by going to the second link. Dave
Last Day - Fitness Center - Shopping & Movie - Dinners
Our last day, we were at the fitness center late morning - Susan on the reclining bike and I on the treadmill plus some light hand weights - although small the machines are relatively new and work well, PLUS the views from the large glass window are spectacular (see first 3 pics below - Susan on the bike). Plan to do a little shopping at a LARGE nearby mall and may take in a movie (Green Book).
For those who may be visiting the Wilmington area and would like some restaurant suggestions near Wrightsville Beach - on Tuesday night, we ate at Brassiere du Soliel, an annual favorite - shared a dozen oysters (Texas and Hatteras Island, Outer Banks); I had the flounder and Susan the Crêpe (believe her third time) (see first quote for details). On Wednesday night, we tried for the second time the Port City Chop House; Susan started w/ oysters (Gulf Coast) and I with tuna sashimi; she had a delicious Australian set of lamb chops and I the seafood sampler with oysters on the half shelf, of course (again details in second quote). On our last night, we plan to return to the Boca Bay Restaurant. Tomorrow, Friday, back home; although chilly the weather has been beautiful and the ocean re-invigorating. Dave
Our Departure Day for Home - Up Early for Sunrise Over the Ocean - Beautiful!