Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Little Rock River Market
Very rarely do I visit a city for the first time and find it exactly as I expected. New York City, Las Vegas, Memphis and Chicago are the only ones that come to mind. Often a city is a big disappointment, like Seattle, St. Louis, or Cleveland. But every once in a while I expect little out of a city and I am pleasantly surprised. No place was more of a shock than Little Rock, Arkansas.
I had driven through Arkansas twice before visiting Little Rock: once in mid-July when the humidity rivaled any sauna I have ever sat in, and once in October when the foliage was as beautiful as anywhere in New England or the Shenandoah Valley. On my third trip to Arkansas I stopped in Little Rock to visit the Clinton Presidential Center. Since I got in in the early evening and stayed right by the center, I decided to go out for a while in the "River Market District" and see what trouble I could get into.
It was one of the most fun places for nightlife I have been, like a grown-up version of Bourbon Street or a non-Yuppie version of Old Pasadena. My friend and I had several beers at a bar and watched the sun set over the Arkansas River before hitting several other places on President Clinton Ave. We had so much fun that we forgot to eat dinner. The next morning, with my head slightly aching and my stomach growling, I stopped by the River Market Building and got a chopped pork sandwich from a stand there. It was perfectly smoked with no fat chunks in the sandwich, and the slaw complemented the sandwich nicely.
I then spent a few hours walking around the Clinton library and museum. Afterwards my friend asked me what I wanted to do for lunch. I said I wanted another barbecue sandwich. There are lots of food stands inside the building so she agreed to go there because she could get non-barbecue food. (She actually ate sushi... and said it was excellent.) My sandwich was the same as the previous one, which was a good thing. I contemplated getting a third sandwich, but we were on our way to Memphis and I knew I would be having barbecue that night, so I didn't. There is a limit to the amount of barbecue I can eat in one day. Actually, that's a lie.
Posted by JustinM at 3:39 PM