Sunday, July 27, 2008

Forsyth County, North Carolina: Wake Forest University

George and I recently visited Winston-Salem in Forsyth County, North Carolina, and had a delightful time! I worked in Winston-Salem for four years, but George had never been, so he made the suggestion. It was a treat to be back in Winston-Salem, and it made me wish I'd lived in town while I worked there. (I commuted from Greensboro, a city I loved living in, so it was a tough call.)

We got to town on Friday, July 18, and went straight to the Professional Center Library on the Wake Forest University campus. (It serves the university's law and business schools.) I worked there before I came to Duke, and I'd emailed ahead of time for my old "lunch bunch" (Gina, Linda H. and Linda P.) to go out to eat that day. It was fun to see the library again, and to visit with several co-workers there. Tech Services there has been rearranged, and looks different--but good. A lot of the loose-leaf filing I used to do there has gone electronic, a big change as well, but some things were the same, which was nice. It was fun to show George a place where I'd spend four working years, and to introduce him to everyone. We ended up eating lunch at Coppola's, where the food was good (I had a veggie sandwich) but the service happened to be a little slow that day. Gina reminded me about a time we went there while I was still at Wake Forest, when I ordered the meatball sub. When the server brought it out, she stood at the end of the table, tray in hand, and asked, "Okay, who's the meatball?!" We all had a good laugh over that! I miss both working and dining with Gina, Linda, and Linda; seeing them again reminded me just how much! (The picture to the left was taken by one of the servers in the restaurant; I wish it had turned out more clearly!)

Winston-Salem and Durham remind me of each other in some ways, since both are old tobacco industry towns with major universities brought there by tobacco money. One thing I love about Winston that Durham doesn't have is Old Salem, which I'll write obout in another post. Old Salem is a big plus! Durham does have Winston-Salem beat in the mall department, though; the Streets at Southpoint is my favorite over Hanes Mall. I was a history major in college, and am not a big shopper, so I'm wishing Durham had an Old Salem.

We enjoyed ourselves in Winston-Salem so much that we decided to stay Sunday night as well. Our hotel that night was near the Wake Forest campus, so I decided to run over and around campus. My legs couldn't handle running that morning after all (more about that in the Pilot Mountain post), so I enjoyed walking around campus instead. It was nice to stay close enough to walk in, and made me wish I lived close enough to walk to work now.

Sunday night I volunteered to run out and get dinner take-out for the two of us, and after some driving, ended up at Reynolda Village. I'd forgotten what a quaint shopping area that is! I ordered us a couple of sandwiches from Village Tavern, a restaurant I remembered fondly from my time in the Triad. (There was one in Greensboro as well.) In this instance, the service was slow, the orders were slightly wrong (too minor to return)--and sans ketchup for George, and I wish in retrospect that we'd just eaten there together, tired as we were that evening after touring Old Salem. It's a cute restaurant, and it would've been a nice night to sit outside.

I'd forgotten that Reynolda House and Gardens are behind the shopping area at Reynolda Village. It was too late in the evening to take a tour; besides, I was without George and the camera. Still, it brought back nice memories of a previous visit, and made me want to return there.

On the way out of town on Monday morning, George and I went back to the Wake Forest campus to take pictures around the main quad. Both visits to campus that weekend reminded me how much I enjoyed working there. One of the highlights on Monday was stopping by Z. Smith Reynolds Library and meeting Lauren, someone I've known virtually for several years, first through a Yahoo group for librarians and librarian-wannabees, then through Facebook and Twitter. (One of the few regrets about the weekend was not having George take a picture of Lauren and me, that would've been fun!)

Below are some of the pictures I took on campus.

This is Wait Chapel. In addition to weekly services, it houses special events. In 2000, one of the Presidential Debates between Bush and Gore happened here. I entered a ticket lottery for faculty and staff, and was able to attend the debate, which was fascinating.

This is Reynolda Hall, the administrative building on the Wake Forest campus.

Here's George, in front of one of the buildings on the quad. I thought the flowers were a pretty backdrop.

Here's a picture of Z. Smith Reynolds Library, the main library on campus. Parts of it are being renovated, hence the white trucks and fencing (barely visible here) in the front.

One of my favorite things about visiting the campus on this Monday morning was meeting Lauren, who's been a virtual acquaintance for several years. She works at Z. Smith Reynolds Library, and slthough she was meeting with someone when we dropped in, she was nice enough to come downstairs to meet George and me. It was a treat to meet her in person, after several years of emails, message board posts, Facebook friendship and Twitter feeds. I guess you could call her a Web 2.0 friend!

Because of the construction, we couldn't make a grand entrance through the front door of the library. We followed signs around to what seemed like the back of the building, and entered through the door that bore this sign--rather unassuming for such a large and pretty building!

This is one of the reading rooms, which is quite pretty!

On the way from the library to the car, we came across signs for a Lego camp being held at Wake Forest. I'm not exactly sure what this creature was, but it was in the Wake Forest colors of gold and black, and sitting outside the building where it seemed that the Lego camp was taking place.

Wake Forest is also home to NPR station WFDD. Famous people with Wake Forest connections include golfer Arnold Palmer, football player Brian Piccolo, basketball player Tim Duncan, and poet Maya Angelou.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was good to see you! Your county trips are very exciting. If you come through Forsyth again on the way somewhere else, let me know! We can take a picture then. :) (I'll do the same if I make it to Duke!)