dancing with architecture: Wilmington, North Carolina

So many travels, so little time to post... I am WAY late on posting photos and thoughts from various trips I have been on recently (and tend to favor posting the most recent trip, such as this one:): WILMINGTON!

The bride's company has a retreat every July. Because the bulk of the employees are on the east coast, they favor east coast locations for these retreats. And because the company is not ginormous (with ginormous budgets), they tend to favor quaint backwater eastern seaboard towns. These are not places we would normally seek to explore, but they are a hoot to explore nonetheless. This world is filled with interesting places.

Our sightseeing seems to gel about several themes: farmers' markets, food (and drink...), cemeteries, water (often a boat ride), art, graffiti, botanical gardens, and, of course, architecture, preferably modern. And this trip was no different.

Wilmington, originally established in 1732 under a different name (New Carthage and New Liverpool), is a port city with a wee bit more than 100,000 souls situated along the Cape Fear River. The downtown is southern-port-city quaint and livens up nicely on the weekends with a solid collection of clubs, bars, and restaurants. It's also only 30 minutes or so from gorgeous Atlantic beaches.

We went on a food tour for the first time (Taste Carolina) and thoroughly enjoyed it, mostly because we, along with another couple, got to pick out ingredients at the farmer's market and then spend an hour with a chef as he fixed it up and described what he was doing and why. Fantastic!

River water stained by tannins from cypress forests

A modernish house I saw.

Un otro.

Before the Civil War, several of the nearby river islands were used, via slave labor, to grow rice, which was a major cash crop in North Carolina at the time. The photo above shows a canal that was dug to bring water to the fields. The dead trees (ghost trees) were victims of dredging the river, which caused seawater to move upriver. 

In the olden days, when your boat was giving up the ghost, you just parked it along the shore opposite the city. Said shore was littered with the last remaining remnants of the steam boiler hearts of these boats.

Oysters in the bay.

Detail from the church below showing the clapboards with at least a hundred years of paint on them.

Cupcakes from the Peppered Cupcake, who sells (ahem) peppered cupcakes.

Chef Tyson of Aubriana's fixed up our ingredients for lunch (scallops, eggplant, and butterbeans) while sharing many trade secrets of chef'ing up food. This was the hi-lite of the trip. 

The cemetery has a gravestone for a volunteer fireman and his dog. The fireman died during a fire. The dog died trying to save him. 

This lady (nickname Nance) died during a voyage through the Caribbean. The ship's crew preserved her in a vat of rum until she could be brought back home. 

This was an interesting architectural detail. It caught my eye because of the blockiness. The large tan blocks are made of sandstone. To make them fit in better with the brick construction, the builder/architect had the sandstone etched such that it looked like brick. Lo-fi-ing a more hi-fi material...

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