Winston-Salem, Reynolda House – Spring 2011

I will be glad when the Economy improves to the point that the middle & cheap hotels can afford to replace their old analog TVs with some 32″ (or larger) flat-panel digital screens.  Why should I stay in a hotel when I have better at home?  Flat-screen HD TV, high-speed Internet, etc.

So, I’m making day trips and returning home to sleep in my own bed.  Besides the NCAA Semi-Final games (Butler vs VCU & Kentucky vs UConn) were starting a little after 6pm tonight.

It was a beautiful Spring day, with a little wind, but nothing biting and really uncomfortable.  I rode around Winston-Salem for a while, criss-crossing the streets.  A little before noon, I googled for W/S restaurants and scrolled down Burke Street Pizzafinding a pizza place called “Burke Street Pizza.”  I put this into my phone’s GPS and the sultry voiced navigator began to direct me to my pizza.  I turned into the parking area beside and back of the restaurant, got out of the car and walked around to the front door.

As you enter the building there is a row of stools for individuals to eat their food while facing out to Burke Street.  They were all empty when I first came in, but before I left a group of about 5 guys had entered, placed their orders and all had come to the front and sat to eat and talk.

There were, I think, a few two-seat tables, and then 4 booths.  I ended up sitting in one of these although the “fat-bellied” man was wedged into one side.  A couple of young women were sitting in front of me.  A couple of women came in after me, both wearing at least one pink garment, ordered and then came and sat beside me.  Eventually, two couples came in, ordered and then sat diagonally in front of me.  *I finished eating, went to the Men’s room and left before any other group came in and might have wanted the booth.

There are two seat booth (tables) on the outside wall as you walk to order.  The drinks are at the back next to the bathrooms.

Burke Street Pizza - Voodoo ChickenA young woman was ordering as I walked to the back, and I saw three large pizzas (gigantic) sitting behind a large glass.  If you order a slice of one of these, they pop it into the oven to reheat it.  I didn’t know what it was, but there was a colorful pizza that looked like it had “everything”.  That ended up being the “Voodoo Chicken Pizza”.  It had beef, chicken, and three types of peppers.

As I waited to order, a young latino cook was speaking Spanish to a customer on the other side of the counter.

I ordered one slice of pizza and a medium drink.  I think I paid a little less than $6 total.  I walked to the back and poured about half a cup of Cheerwine with a little ice.  I still had about half a large cup of Hardees’ Iced Tea from breakfast.

As I said, the booth was small and my fat stomach was wedged to the edge of the table.  I took a couple of pictures of the pizza and a flyer.  The pizza was good, but not too spicy.  However a few hours later, the peppers began to haunt me.

I finished the pizza and left.

Several years ago, Jeff Mitchell and I had gone to Winston-Salem to see a couple of Pro Tennis matches (the US playing against Spain – Nadal).  We had found the W/S Visitor’s Center and had eaten lunch at a little restaurant just up the street.  I found the Visitors Center and went up to the door.  The sign said that they were open Monday thru Friday, but I still tried the door and it was open.  There were a couple of hosts inside that welcomed me immediately.

Apparently, the budget crunch had affected the Center.  It no longer had several displays and was basically limited to several W/S informational brochures.  There was an ornate crystal (glass) piece of art rotating on display with a flat-panel monitor playing a story about the author.

NC Arts Incubator in Siler City, NCI had a couple of Moravian cookies, the ginger ones that are paper thin, as I talked to one of the docents (I guess they are docents.).  I had my iPad with me, and the WIFI from the hotel next door got me on the Internet.  I showed my blog entry from earlier this morning regarding the NC Arts Incubator which was in Siler City.  I also showed the gentleman what a QR code was and how my phone could read the info from it.  He was interested when I showed him my GoAnimate presentation from the pictures I had taken when down at Fort Macon several years ago.

The gentleman suggested that I would probably like the Reynolda House.  I said that I probably wouldn’t have time because I wanted to get back home.

I left the Center, and continued to ride around the city.  I made some twists and turns, and found Bob’s Big Gas ?? Restaurant on a corner.  I went past it and soon found that I was near the Reynolda House.  I decided to turn in since it was supposed to be free.

I’m not sure what the free part was, but I paid $10 for the day tour.  I went downstairs first and looked an the current exhibit of black & white photos of old steam trains.  The photographer had put great time and effort in staging many of his images, with an emphasis upon lighting to tell a story.  Norfolk & Western trains mostly (perhaps all).

I then came back upstairs and picked up an audio unit for the home tour.  The hostess at the desk had emphasized that I should be careful about not touching the furniture that was behind the ropes.  I should have told her that I would be “as careful as a bull in a China shop.”  *You have to understand that a few years ago,  I watched an episode of Mythbusters in which they created a mock China shop out in a field.  They put glass and pottery objects on shelving and then let a bull out to roam about and between the shelves.  Surprisingly, the bull performed a most delicate ballet while weaving between the shelves, and did not break (or even turn over) anything.  The animal was totally aware of it’s environment.  *This led the Mythbuster crew to make the point that to the contrary, “Like a bull in a China shop,” should mean the opposite of what it has come to mean.

I placed the lanyard for the audio device around my neck and headed into the house.  I noticed the little floor tile insets which had various animals and insects including a rooster, squirrel, and a rabbit.  I later found sea turtles, frogs, snails, etc.

The sun room had a nude painting done by the Fayetteville, NC artist, Elliot Daingerfield.

In one small room there were many intricately painted porcelain birds behind glass doors for viewing.  I thought Russ & Deborah Savage might like this room since I believe they like bird watching.

A corner of Reynolda House in SpringThe house, it’s paintings, and other objects d’art, was very enjoyable.  Reynolda is perhaps a mini-Biltmore.  It has a pipe organ with an intricate mechanism for producing musical sounds.  In the basement, there was a wonderful indoor recreation area which included a billiard table, shooting gallery, bowling lane, swimming pool and a bar area and the floor was rubberized for indoor roller skating.

Mrs. Reynolds made sure that her daughters knew how to cook, in case they should marry a husband that couldn’t afford to pay for a chef.

I left Reynolda House about 4pm and followed my GPS to get back on 40/421.  The GPS didn’t direct me to the by-pass and I followed 40 all the way until turning off on 222 and then 421.  Still the trip was quick, and I made it back to Fayetteville before 6:30 pm.  The Butler vs VCU game was well underway, but it was a wonderful match.