Monday, July 14, 2014

Create and Cultivate

Adam's been extra-busy with work this past week (by "extra-busy" I mean that Brooklyn hasn't seen him at all because he's been getting home between 8 and 11 every night and since it was Drill he worked over the weekend). We did get to spend one evening playing a few hands of Bananagrams - otherwise, we've pretty much gone straight to bed.

That is not my favorite arrangement (it's worse than him being gone - at least that way, we both prioritize spending at least 15 minutes each evening talking) but it can't be helped. Brooklyn and I decided to seize the opportunity for a three-part adventure, photographing another South Main Street location.

No, The Root wasn't our spot, but it was across the street from it so we tried it out on Friday. They serve fresh, local food, and get their regular bread from Boulevard (also across the street) and gluten-free buns and bread from Dempsey Bakery. I enjoyed my sandwich, and Brooklyn enjoyed the bit of cucumber that I let her "sneak" off my plate.

The Bernice Garden. Also on South Main Street, it's privately owned by Anita Davis but intended for public use - whether that be an impromptu picnic with friends, a few quiet moments spent sitting alone, or renting the space for a wedding or other event.

She's all about what's pleasing to the eye but also healthy for the environment, so the base of the central pavilion is the concrete pad that a fast food restaurant used to sit on, and the beautiful sloping canopy funnels rainwater into a reservoir for watering the Garden's native plants.

The space is also sprinkled with a lovely array of work from local artists, intended to evoke the spirit, nature, and history of Arkansas, and chosen in a yearly competition (although some are permanent fixtures).

Remember how I said the space can also be used for events? On the second Saturday of every month (late Spring through early Fall), the Bernice Garden hosts a Vintage Market. It was an extremely warm day to be outside, even in the shade --- but that meant I didn't feel as in-the-way, taking pictures, since there were less people to be in the way of.

There was a range of items from vintage to truly antique, and one lady who had upcycled vintage jewelry into lovely modern pieces. (She also let Brooklyn hold her fingers and walk around while I took pictures, which act of kindness made me like her all the more).

And then (this part is my favorite) on Sunday mornings from April to November, the Garden hosts a Farmer's Market. Brooklyn and I went after church - I parked and asked her if she wanted to go to a farmer's market, and she giggled, then proceeded to beam the entire time we were there. I deeply enjoyed it, as well - people from the culture I'm most comfortable in tend to frequent such places.

It was a dear little thing (if you've been to the Market in Fayetteville, imagine one side of it and you've got this one) with an excellent selection: veggies, a food truck, fresh bread (sadly not gluten-free - it smelled amazing!), a coffee pour-bar, a few family businesses of salsa and jam - and a one man band. I left with a local food guide and vibrantly pink bouquet (and the promise to come back another time and have coffee).

[There was also a well-loved and slightly-abused piano, for whoever to play on that wanted to, at the Farmer's Market]

So, three days of exploring the Bernice Garden were well spent, and only made me want to spend more time there - though, perhaps after it cools off a little!

When was the last time you really explored the attractions in your hometown, trying to see through the excited eyes of a tourist, instead of the jaded eyes of a local?

No comments: