Downtowns

We have arrived in Raleigh, North Carolina after spending five days doing researching in Washington D.C. We stayed in Northern Virginia with relatives and just did our work, so no sightseeing. That was okay because I have been to Washington many times, mostly notably and recently for the Inauguration.

I was using the archive at Howard University, which is over 130 years old. There are some very nice buildings and the campus is huge but the library and the archive could use some updating.

We are staying near the downtown of Raleigh. We walked around the area that includes the capitol building, a state office complex, and some museums. The streets were basically empty around 5 p.m. on Sunday. Many of the restaurants seem to be open only during the week. When we were approaching Raleigh on the highway, there were strip malls on both side for several miles. My guess is that those areas have destroyed business downtown. It reminds me a lot of Springfield Massachusetts, which is the city near where I live.

Tomorrow we will be at North Carolina State University so I will see if that is any livelier. We did find an open, nice bar/restaurant near our motel, so not all was lost. Apparently, there is still smoking in restaurants. The one we ate at did not have a nonsmoking area, but come January that will be changing. I find that interesting since Raleigh is tobacco country.

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