Sunday, December 7, 2014

Bentonville, Crystal Bridges and 21c Hotel

The weather wasn't the best, but Bentonville, Arkansas (aka Walmart World Headquarters), did not disappoint. We checked in at the oh-so-hip 21c Museum+Hotel Friday afternoon and got a preview of the artgasmic experience we would have on Saturday at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. 
The lobby. 
The view from our room. Note signature green penguins on roof. 

Penguins magically and randomly appear anywhere, anytime. They were my favorite.
Luxury King room. A black light behind the huge bathroom mirror made for a trippy night light.
Someone found a new friend in the elevator
After a short power nap, we drove to Crystal Bridges (because it was cold and raining; you can easily walk or bike from the hotel) for "Culture Hour." $5 glasses of really good wine and cheap but delicious apps plus a jazz duo to enjoy while you take in the amazing view.
Culture Hour at Eleven, Crystal Bridges
The view through the window across the lagoon into another wing.
We had a nice dinner at The Hive in the hotel and enjoyed a stroll around the Bentonville town square. It's a sleepy town, but we found a fun bar down the street where we could watch the Kansas basketball game with a bunch of friendly Arkansans. Fortunately, the game ended well.
The store that is still lit behind the trees is the Walton Museum located in an old Five & Ten.
Dreamworks has an office here. Really. They must have some exclusive deals in the making with Walmart because, otherwise, this makes no sense at all.
The next day, we walked the 1.5 mile Crystal Bridges Trail from downtown to the museum where we spent the first two hours at a demo/talk with Bob Trotman, a sculptor from North Carolina, whom we would befriend in earnest later over wine and Italian food. Very talented and personable guy whose work depicting men and women navigating the corporate world is beautifully provocative.
One of Bob's pieces at Crystal Bridges. Second piece in video below.
More tomorrow from Crystal Bridges - and a word about the surprises of Walmartville - as soon as I sort through all my pics and do a little laundry.

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