Sunday, May 3, 2015

Little Rock, Arkansas River Market Area - 4/17/2015

We worked up an appetite touring the Clinton Library so we headed to the River Market area which is just down the street from the library.  We left our car parked at the library and took the free shuttle tram to the Market.  The tram takes you to the Clinton Gift Shop in the Market area so you can buy some last minute souvenirs.  I don't know why they don't have the shop in the library, but they don't.  Maybe they needed more room to display all the plastic saxophones.  When you are done shopping, the tram will take you back to the library parking lot.  We did much more sightseeing in the Market than we did shopping.

The River Market reminds me of the Westport area of Kansas City or the KC River Quay before the mob blew it up....old buildings with lots of clubs and restaurants.

The Flying Fish was the top ranked restaurant in the River Market area.  It was a fun dining experience.  Sigrid loved her crab legs.  I was not as impressed with the catfish....too much breading not enough fish.

President Clinton Ave runs from the River Market to the library.

An indoor food court at the Market.

We ended up eating at Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken.  Another fun experience.  The chicken was good but Popeye's remains my favorite (better than Strouds).

We were there after the lunch crowd but before dinner.

Edel and Sigrid anxiously waiting for the chicken.

Sigrid deep in thought.

This riverfront theater would be a great place for a small concert.

The two Farmers Market buildings.

You can see the large letters on top of the building in this photo.  The letters face the river.  The second building has the "Rock" on it.

After lunch, Sigrid wanted to visit the Little Rock Central High School.  It had shown up as a historical landmark as she did internet research for our trip.  I told her it was a pretty shaky part of town and there was risk involved particularly with all our our recent racial tensions around the country.  She still wanted to go so we did.  Before we got to the high school, she was scared to death by the neighborhood and the less than friendly faces and begged me to get out of there but we were already committed.  We did a quick drive by and photo and then headed for the hotel.

In case you don't know the history, here is what Wikipedia has to say:
The Little Rock Nine were a group of nine African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Their enrollment was followed by the Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Orval Faubus, the Governor of Arkansas. They then attended after the intervention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, 347 U.S. 483, on May 17, 1954. Tied to the 14th Amendment, the decision declared all laws establishing segregated schools to be unconstitutional, and it called for the desegregation of all schools throughout the nation.[1] After the decision, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) attempted to register black students in previously all-white schools in cities throughout the South. In Little Rock, the capital city of Arkansas, the Little Rock School Board agreed to comply with the high court's ruling. Virgil Blossom, the Superintendent of Schools, submitted a plan of gradual integration to the school board on May 24, 1955, which the board unanimously approved. The plan would be implemented during the fall of the 1957 school year, which would begin in September 1957.

By 1957, the NAACP had registered nine black students to attend the previously all-white Little Rock Central High, selected on the criteria of excellent grades and attendance.[2] The nicknamed "Little Rock Nine" consisted of Ernest Green (b. 1941), Elizabeth Eckford (b. 1941), Jefferson Thomas (1942–2010), Terrence Roberts (b. 1941), Carlotta Walls LaNier (b. 1942), Minnijean Brown (b. 1941), Gloria Ray Karlmark (b. 1942), Thelma Mothershed (b. 1940), and Melba Pattillo Beals (b. 1941). Ernest Green was the first African American to graduate from Central High School.

Later that night we walked from the hotel, which was in the River Market area, to Dugan's Irish Pub for one of the best meals of the trip.

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