After my driving day to and from Piggott, Arkansas, the next day I explored Little Rock and went to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum. Little Rock is easy to navigate because it has a triangular highway structure (including North Little Rock) and a middle loop. The library has a unique, modern design. It really is a beautiful and architecturally striking building:
–from www.datravelmagazine.com (Destination America)
Here is another view:
–from the architects’ site (Polshek Partnership Architects)
The Library has four levels: the bottom floor houses a restaurant and meeting rooms, the next level is the street-level entrance and security area with a couple of exhibits such as a Presidential limousine. The second level houses the Cabinet Room replication, as well as a year-by-year timeline and major subject area groupings with memorabilia, and also on the second level is a theatre giving an overview of the Clinton presidency (12 minutes). The third level houses many of the gifts from all over the world and various souvenirs from famous people. Also on the third level are special exhibition areas such as the Dr. Suess one I viewed. There were many of Dr. Suess’s propaganda drawings done during World War II. Also, many of his non-children-oriented works were displayed. I happened to catch the Dr. Suess exhibition near or on its last day.
–Lance Armstrong’s 1999 bike and jersey from the Tour de France
–a work by Dale Chihuly that the artist donated to the Library
After approximately an hour and half, I was finished seeing and reading all of the major displays (I didn’t do the audio tour). It is good to always have something different to do if I return. The library has a shuttle to take you about a 5-minute walk away to downtown Little Rock to their Museum Store.
I enjoyed buying a few souvenirs:
–I also bought some Toms shoes that had just arrived at the store.
I savored the history on display at the Clinton Library, as I have at the two other presidential libraries located in Texas that I have previously visited. I always enjoy the personal correspondence on display and the life story of the subject. It is so amazing to remember all of the major world events that occurred during a particular presidency.
After walking around downtown Little Rock, I found a fabulous used book store called River Market Books and Gifts. This bookstore is actually part of the Central Arkansas Library System. It is located across from the downtown River Market shopping area and was a nice respite from the heat of the day. The bookstore is housed in an old warehouse and has a couple of levels. There is also a cafe/coffee shop and a nice patio area. I could spend lots of time here on the weekends if I lived in Little Rock. This entire building complex is called the Cox Creative Center and also had a great children’s area and displayed lots of art from local artists.
–Cox Creative Center, Little Rock, AR
I ended this day by going to see the movie Thor at a local theatre. An enjoyable escape from the heat that I would rate 3 stars. Chris Hemsworth (see my previous post on CA$H) will probably get more roles after this movie. Natalie Portman was fine as Jane Foster. I barely recognized Ray Stevenson (Titus Pulio from HBO’s Rome).