One of the perks of being married to a university biology professor is accompanying her on conference trips. This past week, we spent a night in Little Rock, at the undeniably luxurious Marriott Hotel and enjoyed fine dining at my favorite watering hole, CBG (the Capital Bar & Grill, located in the sumptuous Capital Hotel), a great lunch at another beloved hot spot (Big Whiskey), toured the Old State House, and saw the new spans of the Broadway Bridge, which is currently (and spectacularly) being rebuilt over the Arkansas River. I also squeezed in a trip to North Little Rock on business for Southern Arkansas University. Needless to say, I had a helluva time taking photos. I used my f/1.8 35mm for night photos and switched to my 10-24mm lens during the day. I was very pleased with the results. It has long been an ambition of mine to photograph downtown Little Rock, which is a magnificent place. I still have a lot of imaging to do there.
After enjoying a delicious, gourmet meal in the CBG, I grabbed this snap outside the Capital Hotel, one of my favorite places to eat and hang out. Though I did not imbibe alcohol this trip, some of the best cocktails and martinis I’ve ever had have been served to me in this bar. The embodiment of Southern class and hospitality.
The Stephens Building, by my lights the tallest in Arkansas, is illuminated at night as clouds drift overhead. Stephens, Inc., based here, is the largest and most powerful financial firm west of the Mississippi.
At CBG, Christa enjoyed a meal of spinach-wrapped shrimp and grits served in crawfish sauce. Yes, it was delicious.
We took a nighttime walk.
I secretly took this photo of Christa reading the inscription in the garden area behind the Martial Arts Gate at Main and Markham. It was a beautiful spot.
Christa likes horsing around.
Christa hangs out with some statuary.
I was fascinated by the twin spans of the new Broadway Bridge waiting in the wings (and apparently on flotation devices) on the North Little Rock side of the Arkansas River. This is a big deal; the old bridge was demolished, and traffic has been rerouted any number of ways between the two cities.
Another view, looking farther west along the river, shows the remains of the old Broadway Bridge. The Corps of Engineers tried, and failed, to detonate the bridge with explosives, forcing tugboats to literally tug the bridge into the river. Divers then had to go down and try and raise the massive girders.
Outside the Statehouse Convention Center, looking toward the Capital Hotel, the Stephens Building and the Marriott.
Christa heads toward Big Whiskey as a trolley car passes.
I sneaked this photo from our booth inside Big Whiskey.
We decided to shop in a favorite store called Ten Thousand Villages, located in Little Rock’s trendy River Market District.
The Capital Hotel, a daytime view.
I grabbed this shot from the window of my car as I crossed the Interstate 30 bridge into North Little Rock. That’s the LR skyline to the left and you can just make out the beams of the Broadway Street Bridge parked on the river below.
I liked the leading lines of this photo taken on Louisiana Street, which terminates in the solid glass wall of the Marriott. (That’s that Capitol Hotel to the right.)
I had some time to kill, so I visited the Old State House, one of Arkansas’ most venerated historic structures. Bill Clinton accepted the presidency in 1992 on the steps of this old house, which is filled with political and historic memorabilia.
A view of one wing of the Old State House with the Marriott Hotel in the background. The old mixed with the new, a common theme in downtown LR.
This staircase is just one lovely architectural feature of the Old State House.
The old House of Representatives chamber, now a gallery of political memorabilia.
The old House of Representatives chamber was shiny and glossy with polished, restored woodwork, glass and light fixtures.
A display room in the Old State House.
A sumptuous staircase and landing in the Old State House.
Johnny Cash’s six-string, boots and hat, on display in the Old State House.
More architectural beauty in the Old State House.
I loved this flag hanging over a mantle.