Friday, March 28, 2014

Dishing on Greensboro

Downtown Greensboro, NC and the International Civil Rights Museum

Here it is the end of March and I'm finally sitting down to write about Valentine's Day. (I'm running a bit behind these days.) On Valentine's Day my husband and I booked it out of town for a weekend getaway to Greensboro, North Carolina. In the days leading up to our trip, it seemed iffy we were going to make it. For one, our main purpose in going to Greensboro was to see the Wailin' Jennys in concert. (Love them!) The only problem is that the band had to reach North Carolina from Winnipeg and New York. Normally that wouldn't be an issue, but there were snow and ice storms all over the South. Things weren't looking pretty there for a while. However, the travel gods prevailed and all parties were able to reach snowy Greensboro.

This was my first time in Greensboro and I thought I'd share a little bit about our trip with you. It's is a cute little town with a charming downtown area. The concert was held at the Carolina Theatre, an old movie house/Burlesque hall turned modern performance space. It reminded me a little of the Fox Theatre here in Atlanta, just on a smaller scale. The acoustics were fabulous and it was a great show! 

Carolina Theatre
On Saturday, we slept sinfully late and spent the morning and early afternoon at the International Civil Rights Museum in downtown Greensboro. The museum is housed in the former Woolworth's Department Store, which like many stores of that era, boasted a large luncheon counter where shoppers could grab a sandwich or slice of pie while they shopped. This particular luncheon counter was made famous by the events of February 1, 1960. Four African American college students set out to change the world by simply sitting down to eat there. Within days, the sit-in movement was launched and college students from all over the country conducted sit-ins of their own. They wouldn't allow pictures, but if I could I would share with you pictures of the actual lunch counter where the "Greensboro Four" sat.  I would show you the vintage Coca Cola machine that was 5 cents on the "white side" and 10 cents on the "black side." I would also show you their display of the mugshots of all the Freedom Riders and others arrested for peacefully protesting throughout the Civil Rights Era. It was a very inspiring place!

Now on to lunch ...

Lunch at Crafted.
Picking out just one slice at Cheesecakes by Alex is so difficult!
After the museum, we walked down the street to a cute little taco joint called Crafted. We really enjoyed our food and North Carolina brewed beer. Afterward, we had a requisite slice of cheesecake from Cheesecakes by Alex. Sometimes cheesecake is too rich for me, but the Kahlua Espresso Cheesecake we settled on was light, creamy and delicious.

Once stuffed, we headed back to the interstate and over to what I call "Dish Mecca." Replacements, Ltd. is located right outside of Greensboro near High Point. If you love china, crystal and silver, then you need to make a pilgrimage. They have a massive warehouse and showroom and likely carry that missing piece of china you need to replace. Even if you're not sure of a pattern's name or vintage, they can help you identify it and likely have other pieces in the same collection. The place is so huge and they offer guided tours! Who would go on a tour of a dish warehouse? I would! Like most cooks, I have a thing for dishes.

A display of the most popular patterns at Replacements. Do you see yours?
I enjoyed peeking behind the scenes and seeing how they categorize, process and rehab their wares. The best part? They have a bargain room and overstocks room where you can buy pieces that have been marked down -- some antique but many new. I could have spent hours looking through dishes, but finely landed on a few pieces to add to my food photography prop collection. 

Aisles and aisles of dishes behind the scenes at Replacements.
At last, after a busy day, we took it easy the rest of the night. We headed back to Atlanta -- and reality -- the following morning. We had a great trip and I can't wait to get back up there one day with the boys (though not necessarily to the china and crystal showroom because that would kind of be a nightmare). Now that I have some new beautiful dishware, I need to get back to posting some recipes. I just haven't been feeling it lately. I feel like I'm in a food rut. (Frozen pizza, anyone?)  But, I promise I'll get back to cooking and baking again soon. Thanks for sticking around with me!

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