Saturday, December 1, 2007

Winston Part One

We went to Winston-Salem today so Moomin Light and our daughter could see the Nutcracker ballet at the Stevens Center.

We first went to the West End Cafe (which we recall from it's earlier tiny location up Fourth street, and which we continue to call Animal Cafe, from the wonderful children's book).

Then I dropped the ladies off at the theater and I was turned loose with a camera for nearly three hours.

I have loved this town since I worked for Wachovia, back in the early 80's. It was my first full-time job, after I quit college to marry Moomin Light, and while she was at School of the Arts and then Wake Forest. I rode the bus back and forth to work, went to downtown churches for daily mass or to pray with friends, and ate lunch in downtown restaurants. I knew some of the panhandlers by name. I Christmas shopped for Moomin Light in downtown department stores. Winston-Salem might be where I feel most at home on earth.

The first thing that caught my eye today was all the crazy ornate work at the tops of the late 19th, early 20th century buildings. So much careful detail up where almost no one notices. Here are several samples. Click on the photos for closer looks.

Modern buildings are meant to be read from further away, and so they skip the detail. I suspect the cost of artisans has a lot to do with it, too. Older buildings were more intimate, and obviously meant to be viewed from across the street. And while artisans were expensive then, too, the money was spent to show off.

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