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Exploring Raleigh Part One: jewelry, museums, flowers, NC State Campus

USA | Wednesday, 21 March 2012 | Views [696]

Exploring Raleigh

After working 9 days in a row, two of which were doubles, I was looking forward to finally getting to explore Raleigh. The morning brought a random thunderstorm and my plans were canceled. My friend and I laughed as we tried to make literal "rain check" plans for later in the week. Disappointed, I settled into my giant fluffy chair. I watched some TV, surfed the web, and ordered some pizza... a lovely lazy day. Then God decided to bless me with a beautiful (rest of the) day so my friend and I texted each other at the exact same time, "Hey the rain cleared! Wanna meet up?"

She lives near NC State as she is enrolled there so we met at her apartment. She offered to drive me around since I don't know my way yet and our first stop was a jewelry store called Light Years. If you like jewelry this store is heaven! They have jewelry representing the entire world; Eiffel Tower necklaces, Ganesh rings, Buddha earrings galore! They also have a few luggage tags and passport covers, coffee cups, magnets, incense, and other cool items. Located in Cameron Village near several other quaint little shops including a Thousand Villages Store, which sells items made by villagers and proceeds go back to help them. Next stop was a Starbucks for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. After ordering our coffee we went outside to sit in the warm sun. We sat down at a vacant table and the woman next to us moved down two tables. We both looked at each other with puzzled faces. What was that about? Well in Raleigh people are either snobs or nice, it's a weird mix but I have found on several occasions that you never know what you're going to get from this bunch!

Raleigh Mixed Nuts

On an elevator several days ago, as more and more people kept packing into the small space, I mentioned aloud to my uncle that I was freaking out a little bit that there were so many people trying to get in. I mean we were all practically contorting to play this odd game of elevator twister with complete strangers. A lady overheard me and said for everyone to hear, "Well if I were afraid of elevators I just wouldn't get on! And that's that!" I didn't say anything back. She was rude I'm not. A few days later at a Mexican restaurant, On The Border, who by the way boasts the best margarita in Cary; I mentioned to the bartender that I had never been there before and didn't know what to order from the menu. The lady next to me reached over and said, "Do you like enchiladas? They have all you can eat for $6.00." I replied "That sounds good!" And she said, "Well I overheard you talking to the bartender and I thought I would help."

Now back to Starbucks, as we sat there laughing about the lady who obviously has some people issues, we noticed a much older lady walking her greyhound. My friend asked if we could pet her dog and she obliged. The lady told us about how she rescued the former racing hound from a shelter that specializes in the care of retired racing greyhounds. If people don't adopt these animals or "donate" them to a shelter they are put down. I almost got sick as we talked about this. The dog was sweet and obviously old. He really liked his new owner who loosely tied him to a pole as she went inside and he stared after her. When she came back out we said our goodbyes and thank yous and she walked to the sidewalk. Nervously we watched as we realized she was trying to cross the busy street, not at an intersection. She thankfully made it across and we went on our way to the NC State Campus and The Gregg Museum.

I should mention that the traffic around the campus is crazy! These people drive like maniacs. I more than once was stepping on the imaginary break in the passenger's seat and had made some stifled whimpers. They just got a new traffic circle and apparently no one knows how to use it yet and there are accidents all the time. So drive with caution or take a cab so you don't have to worry about it.

Gregg Museum

The Gregg Museum is located inside of one of the NC State Campus buildings. I was allowed to take pictures of one of the exhibits and the man at the counter was really helpful. The first exhibit- Barkcloth, Bras, and Bulletproof Cotton: The Powers of Costume. From the NC State website: Using amazing objects from the Gregg Museum’s permanent collection, this exhibition explores not only how clothing serves to protect, shelter, shield, and modify the human body, but also how what we wear helps us lure, seduce, dominate, segregate or manipulate others, discover spirituality and personal self-awareness, proclaim our individuality or group membership, or express ourselves.

This exhibit is an amazing display of clothes from around the world; including colorful hats, ceremonial dress, and military uniforms. Both beautiful and informative with a mix of the weird and surprising. Free admission makes this museum even cooler!

The next exhibit entitled: Textiles of Exile, I wasn't allowed to take pictures and honestly I wanted to for this exhibit much more than the other. From the NC State website: In Textiles of Exile, the Gregg displays examples from Hispanic immigrants in California, African slaves brought to the Americas, Afghan refugees in Pakistan, imprisoned women in Chile, and relocated Cambodian Hmong in North Carolina; all call attention to the universality of the “silent scream” of homesickness. This description leaves out that there are also tapestries from 9/11 here in America, a sweater from a schizophrenic, and some needle points made by a man in prison unraveling his multicolored tube socks. While the latter was the smallest example it was the most detailed.

The JC Raulston Arboretum

This little gem is free to the public 365 days a year. I've never been to a place where the flowers were so fragrant! Peaceful, relaxing, gorgeous a great place to go if you generally just want to have a good day and get out of the house. There are benches scattered around and some are set off in some private places. I can imagine grabbing a book and sitting there all day. : )

I hope you enjoyed my post. Comments and questions are welcome! Check out my photo gallery too!

Tags: arboretum, city, exploring, gregg museum, nc state, raleigh


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