Located in Uptown Charlotte, NC, the Bechtler Museum is housed in a stunning terra-cotta building designed by Mario Botta, a renowned Swiss architect. The impressive architecture serves as an additional exibit to the works held inside. A vaulted skylight and glass atrium in the center of the museum spread natural light throughout the exhibits. Once visitors are greeted by the Firebird sculpture, designed by Niki de Saint Phalle outside and pass through the museum’s courtyard, they are able to to peruse the personal art collection of the Bechtler family, which was formerly housed in their home in Switzerland. Amassed over a 70 year span by Hans and Bessie Bechtler, the collection was brought to Charlotte by their son Andreas, giving the collection the security of a permanent home. The collection contains mid 20th century modern art pieces, and mixed among these are personal letters, photographs and cards that show the personal relationship that the family has with many of the artists who’s works are on display. The art is stunning, but it’s the cards, letters, …
When I was growing up, my family spent many summers hiking in the White Mountains in New Hampshire. I grew up relishing the accomplishment of making it to the summit of a mountain and taking in the view from the top. Some of my favorite hikes passed by rushing waterfalls or intersected with small streams. Having to strategically crossing a stream successfully always made the hike feel more adventurous. When I moved to North Carolina five years ago, I traded the White Mountains for the Greak Smokey Mountains, which sprawl between North Carolina and Tennessee. Thanks to the North Carolina gold rush, you can explore caverns and abandoned mines within some of the mountains in addition to hiking to the top. Cavern and waterfall hikes are the perfect pairing for a day trip, especially if you add in a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway that runs though North Carolina. Located in the Pisgah National Forest near Marion, NC, the Linville Caverns are submerged within Humpback Mountain. Open to visitors since 1937, they were …
It took me a while to realize that the wallpaper at a local bakery was actually dictionary pages. A book lovers dream.
Originally built in 1935, Charlotte’s Fire Station Number 7 is the oldest fire station standing in Charlotte. Built with a storefront style facade in order to blend in with existing buildings, it was also designed with two jail cells due to the unsavory nature of the NoDa neighborhood it is located in at the time it was built. The station is still active, and because of its smaller size every fire truck in Charlotte has to be specially made in order to fit through the doors. The jail cells however, are used by firemen to watch TV.
These 22 by 7 foot wings are part of a project by artist Maria Velas Campangna to beatify the entry of the downtown area of Mooresville, NC. Inspired by lines from an Erin Hanson poem, “‘What if I fall?’ ‘Oh but my darling what if you fly?’” the wings on the side of this brick building were just a start. She has since added even more sets of wings to this wall and other buildings in Mooresville. Campangna started the hashtag #wingwallmooresville so visitors could share their photos with the wings.
Recently I went on a restaurant tour in the NoDa neighborhood here in Charlotte. The food was fantastic, but an added bonus was all of the street art we passed by strolling from restaurant to restaurant, and at the cafe that was our final stop in the tour.
Over the holiday weekend my husband and I went on a food tour in the NoDa neighborhood here in Charlotte. One of the things it introduced us to is the “Virginia Slice” at Benny Pannello. A whole pizza 28 inches in diameter, and one slice is easily the largest slice of pizza I’ve ever eaten (taking up two paper plates!) The box’s were
I have a few places around Charlotte that I like to visit when I have a day off. One of my favorite’s is the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. A large botanical garden just south of Charlotte, its been updated recently into two parts. The first part is very manicured section that features a changing seasonal assortment of plants and blooms along its pathways and fountains. On the edge of this section is orchard house. A miniature tropical paradise year round, unique orchard flowers dot the greenery in miniature pops of color. It takes a lot of work to maintain, and since I was visiting on a weekday, I caught a glimpse of all the work it takes to constantly weed and update the flowers around all of the water features. The second part is a walk way that loops around a large meadow and a quiet wooded area. A nice contrast to the carefully tended seasonal gardens, the eventual plan is to plant wildflowers in the meadow. I’m sure the final product will match the gorgeous …
Initially I thought these were bats circling in the distance, but they are a kettle of black vultures. There has been a lot of complaints regarding the increased vulture population in my neighborhood, but I don’t mind them. I find them to be incredibly fascinating, and unappreciated.
Cave spider in the Linville Caverns in North Carolina. I spotted it during a summer visit, now I am planning a winter visiting to see the cavern’s population of hibernating bats.