Sunday, April 1, 2012

River Market District of Little Rock, Arkansas- Part Two

In my previous posting I mentioned that we had stopped at the Market Hall for frozen lollies. Walking through that building, which is like a giant food court, we stepped outside to view the Farmer's Market pavilions. Unfortunately for us that market does not start up until the middle of April. We did, however, see the River Market Pig, a rather large bronze sculpture of a pig who seems to be guarding a fountain of koi.
We spent a good part of Friday afternoon at the State House Museum. Built in 1836, it is the oldest state capitol west of the Mississippi River. The new capitol was built during the turn of the 20th century.  A lot of Arkansas history is chronicled in the exhibits in the old State House. The building also once served as the University of Arkansas School of Medicine.When the school was in the old capitol it played a role in the Crossett Experiment, which led to the eradication of malaria-bearing mosquitoes through-out the world.
We made it to the Peabody Hotel in time to see the ducks leave the fountain in the lobby and march to an elevator- the music of John P. Sousa accompanied them. Their trainer walked with the ducks and kept them in line by gentling poking them with his stick. Actually they did not need much guidance! They are pictured below on the red carpet, their trainer is the man in the red coat. The ducks took it all in stride!
 Our last stop was at the Korean Gate and International Garden. The Grand Master of Taekwondo, H.U.Lee, loved Arkansas and the city of Little Rock. The state's rolling hills, green pines and beautiful lakes reminded him of South Korea. He consequently made Little Rock the international headquarters for the American Association of Taekwondo. On his passing his wife honored him by gifting the city with the Korean Gate, which was constructed in South Korea and then shipped here. The gate is colorfully decorated with the figures of dragons, birds, flowers and lady drummers. A small garden lies beyond the entrance doors.
We ended our day riding an electric streetcar which took us by the historic sites of North Little Rock and Little Rock (we had chained up our bikes at the old State House). We finally arrived home at 7PM.

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