Thursday, March 7, 2013

Downtown Gastonia

After my workshop let out this afternoon, I went in search of old Gastonia. After a bit of driving around I finally did find Main Street.  Like most towns in NC and for that matter, most of the country anymore, the downtown is largely empty, despite apparent efforts to revitalize the main street with small parks, old fashioned streetlamps and little flags hanging from the telephone poles.  The first thing that attracted me was the side of this building which looked like a giant abstract landscape to me.  Up close it was positively geologic, with veins of gravel running through the concrete.  It had the appearance of being sculpted, though I examined it closely and think it is simply the remains of the demolition of another building that once stood.
There were a few restaurants, some new, some old; like the Cafeteria Restaurant with red vinyl booths and Venetian blinds in the windows, hours 6 AM to 3 PM.  There were law offices, "antique stores", and this classic drugstore next to the equally classic Kress building, currently for sale by the Town of Gastonia.
I wandered into the former bank building which now houses the local arts council and artists studios.  There was some respectable artwork inside and some not so much, but what I found the most fascinating was the vault.  It's round and shiny steel door spoke to me more than anything else in the space.
I then joined folks from the NC Association of Environmental Education Centers, whose meeting I will be attending tomorrow.  We tucked into a fried fish dinner at Linebergers Fish Camp.  A huge plate of fried, perch, catfish and flounder, sadly, everything pretty much tastes the same once its been battered and fried.  The company was good though and I look forward to tomorrows conference.

No comments: