We had a girls day in Durham this week. Firstly we had lunch at Guglhupf an artisan German bakery there. It was a nice lunch but nothing out of the ordinary as far as food goes. We talked about history and families which is always interesting. One of the girls has no ancestors on her grandfather’s side as his father jumped a train from somewhere in America when he was 7 during the depression. He had no knowledge of his real name, parents or where he came from. He got off the train in West Virginia and was brought up by a family. I suggested DNA which they were already looking in to to see if there are any cousin matches. To make it even more difficult there are no males alive on that line. We shouldn’t complain about our brick walls! I also hadn’t thought about or considered about those young children who jumped trains when they were so young and disappeared, too young to keep their memories.
After lunch we drove into downtown Durham past many of the old tobacco warehouses and businesses to the 21C Museum hotel. What an amazing place. If you are ever in Durham or one of their other properties visit them to have a look. We bought drinks in the bar on the ground floor to take around with us while we traversed a number of floors. On the ground floor at the entrance to the bar and restaurant was the most wonderful installation / waterfall made from plastic spoons. I don’t think my photo can do it justice. I just realised I should have taken a short video.
There was an amazing image of the American flag that was made up of plastic soldiers. Then a picture that you could only see when you took a photo of it with your flash, and a ‘bendy’ Empire state building. Another image ‘moved’ as you walked past it (the black and white man’s torso).
We went downstairs to the old bank vault (this was an old bank), the tiles on the floor were bank notes. All the safety deposit boxes had been welded in. Reminiscent of the GSV in Melbourne was the corridor completely around the old safe.
Upstairs where the reception and business centre were were more art and installations. One had a couple sitting at opposite ends of a table, both on their mobile phones with a wedding cake in between them, complete with mouse eating the cake! I loved the different cloud images throughout the building and the pink penguins.
Thank you to Kim and Grace for a lovely day. We finished it off with a drive through Duke University.