ctsprinterlife: OTR 8.0 Mississippi Part 2

Hattiesburg — a very brief history

After spending time in Louisianna we traveled north back into Mississippi to visit Hattiesburg. We were up in the air about visiting Hattiesburg but after a conversation with a former resident of Hattiesburg (that we met in Cleveland, Mississippi) we decided to invest a day and check out the town. Additionally, visiting Hattiesburg would provide an opportunity to ride the Longleaf Bike Trail.

Hattiesburg was founded in 1882 by William Hardy and named after his wife Hattie. The land that is now Hattiesburg became available after the Chicksaw and Choctaw peoples were forcibly removed under the Indian Removal Act which allowed the government to relocate the nations to land west of the Mississippi River.

The city thrived in its early days as part of the burgeoning lumber industry (Hattiesburg sits in the Pine Belt) and is known as the Hub City because of the confluence of rail lines running through the city. While the timber industry is not a major economic force today, the city is still a major rail hub with freight lines bisecting the city.

While Hattiesburg was not founded until well after the Civil War, the town nonetheless did its part to uphold the legacy of slavery and segregation. The Black residents of Hattiesburg were still largely unregistered to vote in 1962 due to the efforts of the municipal government to make it impossible for Blacks to qualify to vote. For more information about the Civil Rights Movement in Hattiesburg click on the link: https://mississippiencyclopedia.org/entries/hattiesburg-civil-rights-movement/

Hattiesburg — home of rock ‘n roll?

One facet of Hattiesburg that we were totally unaware of prior to our visit is the claim that Hattiesburg is the true home of Rock ’N Roll. Musicologists have traced the roots of the genre to the Graves brothers – Blind Roosevelt and Uaroy. The brothers started as Gospel singers but in 1936 joined with pianist Cooney Vaughn to form the Mississippi Jook Band. Two of their songs in particular are now viewed as very early Rock ’N Roll songs. These songs, Barbecue Bust and Dangerous Woman, were performed and recorded long before the genre was clearly defined and popular. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pegm79r1zE

Today, many musicologists consider the roots of Rock ’N Roll began in the African American Churches in the South where the music was “rocking and reeling” and instruments other than the organ were used to accompany the singers (out of necessity as the congregations could not afford an organ). An excellent article on this subject: https://countryroadsmagazine.com/art-and-culture/visual-performing-arts/hattiesburg-birthplace-of-rock-n-roll/

Longleaf trail

The Longleaf Trail is a 45.5 mile paved rails-to-trails bikeway. The southern trailhead is in Hattiesburg and the trail runs in a northwest direction terminating in Prentis. We rode out and back on the southern half of the trail from Hattiesburg and the northern half of the trail from Sumral Station (west of Laurel).

Longleaf is a Hall of Fame trail and for good reason. The trail is paved, in excellent condition and passes through beautiful Southern scenery. Surprisingly, we encountered very few other riders on either of our rides. We highly recommend this trail. The round trip is 91 miles – beyond our current range – so we split the trail and enjoyed two rides.

The town

Laurel is not our ”home Town” but it could be!

Laurel was added to our intinary once we decided to visit Hattiesburg. If you are a fan of the HGTV show Home Town you may recognize Laurel as the small town where husband and wife Ben and Erin Napier help folks renovate local homes. As a result of the popularity of the show, the town has attracted many visitors and new residents.

We visited their retail store and woodworking shop while in town, but there were unfortunately no celebrity sightings. We can tell you their two stores are doing a brisk trade! Good for them – the couple has done a lot to help bring back this former lumber industry town.

We arrived in Laurel on the day of the annual crawfish festival. The festival runs from 11AM to 3PM – all you can eat for $15- Classic Low Country Boil – crawfish, sausage, potatoes, sweet potatoes and corn. Live music to boot. Now that is Southern Hospitality!

Laurel has more than the CrawFest and the TV show to offer. There are several excellent restaurants (The Loft….our favorite) and several neigborhoods with streets lined with live oaks and stately homes. Lastly, the former town library was converted and expanded into an art museum with a very nice collection of paintings and sculptures. We have included several photogrpahs of our favorite paintings at the end of this post.

William Hollingworth (1910-1944) The Mystery of a Southern Night, 1941, Oil on canvas
Charly Palmer (1960) Leadbelly c. 2012, Acrylic on canvas
Alfred Conteh (1975) Preme 2020, Acrylic and Atomized brass dust on canvas
John Winslow (1938) Painting in Marcella’s Studio 1982, Oil on canvas
Janet Fish (1938) Pink Scarf and Daffodils 2008, Oil on canvas

This post is our penultimate post on Mississippi as part of OTR 8.0. If you missed our previous posts you can find them at ctsprinterlife: OTR 8.0: Mississippi Part One and Ocean Springs, Mississippi at ontheroadwithmariastephen.net Our final post will cover our exploration of the Mississippi Delta.

Be seeing you!

Street Art From the Road: OTR 8.0: Part One

Hello everyone. This is our first post of OTR 8.0. Our plan for this trip is to travel throughout the Southeast. We spent several several days in Knoxville and Chattanooga during our first two weeks of the journey; neither of us had visited either city previously.

Both cities have a strong commitment to street art and we are excited to share our favorite murals from our tours.

Whenever we have been able to identify the muralist(s), we have included their information in the caption.

Knoxville, Tennessee

Many of the murals from Knox featured in this post are located in Strong Alley, downtown. The alley is known locally as graffitti alley.

Fawne DeRosia @fawne
Curtis Glover @curtisglovercreative
Megan Lingerfelt @meganlingerfelt Colton Valentine @coltonvalentine
Tina Brunetti @art_bytinabrunetti
Chance Losher @professor.rainbow
Cody Swaggerty @cswaggerty
Lacey Sutton @suttonceramics

Chattanooga, Tennessee

We only spent a couple of days in Chattanooga but we were able to capture a number of murals that, fortunately for us, are clustered in the Southside neighborhood and on Mccallie Street as part of the Mccallie Walls Mural Project.

Ali Kay @ali_kay_studio
Anna Carll @annacarllart
Kevin Bate @goodwithfaces
Nyx, Goddess of Night — Miki Boni
The Four Horsewomen (above and below) —- Kevin Bate, Hollie Berry, Miki Boni, Anna Carll and Ali Kay

We plan on publishing another edition of Street Art from the Road later in the trip. We hope you enjoyed the photographs of the murals. You can see additional murals @ctsprinterlife.

Be seeing you!

STREET ART TOURIST OTR 7.0

Regular followers of OTR know that, in addition to fine art and excellent coffee and tea, we are avid fans of street art (@streetartfromtheroad). This edition of OTR 7.0 presents a sampling of our favorite street murals from this trip. Some of the murals below we found purely by chance while others we sought out based on our research of public art in a particular area, town or neighborhood.

We should qualify that our focus is on street murals as opposed to graffiti or tagging. Marking public or private property is really a subversive activity and while we have our subversive moments, we do not support the defacing of public or private property. Okay, enough on that topic.

Street art is often very political and cultural in nature and at it’s best is powerful and moving. We also find that it is often highly creative, humorous and very often beautiful.

Please find below our favorites from OTR 7.0, we hope you enjoy the photographs. P.S. We have provided attribution wherever possible.

Utah: Moab

Muralist: @skyewalker_art

New Mexico: Taos

“El santero” muralist: george chacon

New Mexico: Plaza de Chimayo

New Mexico: Espanola

“El sembrador
Muralist: Rubel rael

New Mexico: Santa Fe

Texas: Quitaque (kitty-k)

Texas: Amarillo

blue sky texas burgers

Texas: Amarillo: Hoodo Mural Festival

Muralist: @daas
Muralist: @weshouldbestrangers
“Xochi” muralist: msyellowart
Muralist: @malcolm_byers
Muralist: @dtoxart

OK: OKC

Muralist: Eric tippeconnic (commanche nation of oklahoma)
Muralist @juuriart83

OK: Tulsa

Muralist: Aaron Whisner
In Memory of Madison Mcmanus” Muralist: @jeks_nc

Historical footnote: the Greenwood District of Tulsa was the site of the Tulsa race massacre also known as the Tulsa race riot. In the early 1900’s this area of Tulsa was known as Black Wall Street due to the concentration of wealth in this largely black community.

On May 31, 1921 multiple mobs of armed white residents of Tulsa (deputized by city officials) attacked the residents of the area killing and injuring scores of people and destroying a 40 block area of the district. Thirty-six blacks were killed and over 800 were hospitalized.

Some accounts indicate that the massacre was triggered by the arrest of a black man for assaulting a white woman. Most historians agree that this event was more the result of a growing resentment in the white community of the financial success of ”Black Wall Street”.

Muralist: @skiphillart

AR: Bentonville

Muralist: @steve.adair
muralist: @leftyeyeball
“When spirits dance free” muralist: karrie evenson

KY: Louisville

Be seeing you.

Street art from the road: Amarillo street murals

Hoodoo mural festival

@DAAS

When we visited Amarillo the second Hoodoo Mural Festival had just wrapped up. Five large scale wall murals were commissioned for this year’s festival. We spent a relaxing Sunday afternoon viewing the murals. The murals are all within a very walkable area along Polk Street in downtown Amarillo.

@blankspacesmurals

All of the murals are impressive – not just for the scale – but for the quality, creativity and artistry. Please see the festival website for more information about the festival and the muralists. We have broken the murals down into sections due the large size.

Hoodoo Mural Festival: https://www.hoodoomural.com/#about

We have included the muralist’s Instagram account for the murals shown below.

@malcolm_byers (2019 Festival)

@ d r e w

@blankspacesmurals

Historic Route 66 district

Outside of downtown on a portion of 6th Avenue (Historic Route 66) there are a number of excellent murals that we have included.

@malcolm_byers
@ninawyre
@ninawyre

We feel compelled to include a local Amarillo landmark – Cadillac Ranch – bring your spray paint and have a go.

Be seeing you.

Thoroughly Modern Milwaukee (MKE)

We at OTR had never visited Milwaukee until this trip but a bit of advance reseach convinced us that it would be a good city to spend several days exploring. So after spending a week or so biking and camping in southwestern Wisconsin, we made our way east to the state’s largest city (pop. 595,000).

As some of you may recall, our city visit criteria are well established and straight-forward: third wave coffee and tea cafes, high quality street art, an art museum (or two), an excellent Italian restaurant (and professional baseball is always a plus).

milwaukee Art museum

Crying Girl, 1964, Roy Lichtenstein

The Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) and it’s predecessor organizations have been in existence since 1888. The Quadracci Pavilion pictured below was constructed in 2001. The impressive Pavilion with its moveable sail sits on the waterfront of Lake Michigan as the signature work of architecture in the city. http://collection.mam.org/

The MAM has several galleries devoted to modern, pop and abstract art which seems fitting with the architectural style of the Pavilion. The museum collections includes a number of works by major Pop and Abstract icons including Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.

Mist, 2012, David Schnell

fika

Colectivo Coffee served as our cafe host for our stay in MKE. Colectivo is MKE based with cafes on the waterfront and in the Historic Third Ward. Colectivo is also a force in the roasting business and operates the Troubador Bakery as well.

Colectivo has been in a business for quite a while but clearly has not lost its edge and sits firmly in the realm of third wave coffedom. Our experience was excellent because of the professional baristas, friendly staff, great coffee, tasty sandwiches and treats along with an interesting and comfortable cafe space.

There are other solid third wave coffee cafes in MKE which are worth visiting but for a short stay in town you cannot miss with any of Colectivo’s locations.

Street art

MKE provided us with several excellent street murals nicely placed in the Historic Third Ward while the epic mural by @AEROSOLKINGDOM pictured above and below required a short drive down to an industrial area along the waterfront.

As you can see from the photographs there is an eclectic mix of fun and serious art to be found in MKE.

Historic third ward and Riverwalk

The Historic Third Ward District is a former warehouse area which has been revitalized into a thriving entertainment district. There are over 450 businesses in the district. The center piece of the district is the Milwaukee Public Market which houses restaurants, bars, wine shops, live entertainment and retail shops in an large open space.

The district is bounded by the Milwaukee River and the riverwalk which allows pedestrians to stroll along the river and of course provides direct access to the district. Nicely done MKE!

Our recommendations for the district – Onesto for excellent Italian fare, Thief Wine Bar for delicious and very reasonably priced wine, St. Paul Fish Company for fresh fish from the Lake and of course Colectivo Coffee.

Sports

Our timing was fortuitous in visiting MKE while the Brewers were at home. The Brewers did not play when we saw them, but have played better since we were in town (won nine of last ten games). Nonetheless, it is always fun to take in a MLB game, particularly in a stadium not previously visited.

The stadium – American Family Field – opened in 2001 and, like the MAM, is architecturally impressive. The stadium has the only fan-shaped convertible roof in the United States – which worked out well for us as rain moved into the MKE area on the afternoon of the day we were attending.

As you can see in the photos below the crowd was sparse as the city was still limiting attendance to 25% of capacity. The bewildering part of the rule was that while attendance was limited there was no social distancing with seating.

Our thoughts

We had a great time visiting MKE. The city is a good stop for three to four days, depending on your interests. There are plenty of options with professional sports teams, museums, fine and casual dining and live entertainment.

MKE is also very pedestrian- and bike-friendly with numerous paved paths in downtown and along the waterfront. Also, and very importantly from our perspective, is that the local folks we met were uniformly very friendly and open.

MKE – modern and friendly – worth a visit!

Our next planned post will be based on our travels through Minnesota.

Be seeing you!

It Must Be Columbus: Street Art, Great Coffee and New Friends + Some Excellent Bike Trails!

Spring Flora by Maureen Clark

Franklinton Arts District

We discovered the Franklinton Arts District (FAD) during our brief visit to Columbus last fall when we visited One Line Coffee. In addition to a terrific coffee experience at the cafe we found ourselves surrounded by amazing mural art everywhere we looked (or so it seemed). As a result we knew that we wanted to pay another visit to Columbus as we journeyed west on OTR 6.0 to take advantage of the excellent coffee and street art opportunities.

The FAD is not just a geographic district but also a non-profit organization http://www.franklintonartsdistrict.com/ created to support and advocate for artists and art organizations in the district.

The photographs above and below are just a small sample of some of the murals we saw during this visit. We have also included several more mural photos at the end of this post.

Our first rails to trails ride in Ohio was on the Heart of Ohio Trail (HOOT) and the Kokosing Gap Trail. We rode from the Centerburg Trailhead to the end of the HOOT in Mt Vernon and then continued on the Kokosing Gap Trail several more miles to Gambier where the trail runs through the Kenyon College Campus.

Our departure from Centerburg was delayed slightly by the arrival of two gentlemen who approached us to inquire about the Beast (not an uncommon occurrence). We are always happy to share our travels and provide a tour of the Beast and even more so because we found ourselves talking to two of the top specialty coffee people in the Columbus area.

Kenny (@kennysipes) and Frank (@franksbusy) are the creative and business leaders that have made Roosevelt Coffee Roasters and Roosevelt Coffee House a very special force for good (as well a very successful business) in the specialty coffee industry. https://roosevelt.coffee/ https://the-roosevelt-coffeehouse.square.site/

Roosevelt Coffee House

Kenny had served as a youth pastor for a number of years before deciding to jump into the specialty coffee business while Frank had been in the industry working for one of the top specialty coffee organizations in Columbus.

After chatting about the Beast and some of our adventures Kenny and Frank graciously invited us to visit the roastery and the cafe the next morning. We said YES!!

Frank explains the operation of the Loring Roaster as he expertly roasts a batch of coffee.

We had a fantastic experience visiting the with Kenny and Frank and found out that they are more than just two really nice guys. Kenny started this business in order to help people in need and Frank signed on for the mission. The Roosevelt businesses are owned by the Roosevelt Foundation https://www.rooseveltcoffee.org/ and donate a portion of the money generated by the two businesses to organizations fighting against hunger, unclean water and human trafficking.

The Mission

We are humbled to have had the opportunity to meet Kenny and Frank and learn first hand about the business and their mission. Thank you Kenny and Frank.

Alum Creek Trail

We took advantage of the fine weather on our last day in Columbus to bike the Alum Creek Trail. Although this trail runs through the city of Columbus it provides many miles of greenway as it meanders back and forth across the Alum Creek. This trail is a wonderful asset within a major metropolitan area as you feel transported to a much more rural environment. We encountered many deer along the route – some who seem perturbed by our desire to proceed on the trail!

Historically, Alum Creek was a key route in central Ohio for escaped slaves and free blacks to move north to free states and Canada. The sycamore trees which line the banks of the creek and the creek itself provided cover for the railroad’s “passengers” seeking freedom.

A key group in the operation of the Underground Railroad in central Ohio were the Quakers that created the safe haven known as Quakertown. The number of escaped slaves that came through on this route is not documented for obvious reasons but it is a credit to the abolitionists that risked their own safety to assist with this humanitarian initiative to right the horrible wrong of slavery.

Franklinton Arts District

Elijah Pierce by Hakim Callwood

Next stop Wisconsin to bicycle the Badger State Bike Trail and possibly eat cheese! Be seeing you!

Street Art Tourist: Street Art from the Road: Richmond

Artist: ARYZ, Spain

We made two passes through Richmond as we criss-crossed Virginia. So while we were there just a couple of days, the sheer number of works clustered in various neighborhoods allowed us to take in an amazing sample of great murals (although we have hardly scratched the surface).

Artist: ARYZ, Spain

One of the driving forces behind all of the fantastic street art in town is the Richmond Mural Project. The RMP is an annual event which brings internationally recognized artists to Richmond with the goal of having 100 murals created over five years. Richmond is comprised of 11 primary neighborhoods and murals are planned for all of them.

Artist: Pixel Pancho, Italy

Additionally, the non-profit organization, RVA Street Art Festival, sponsored its fifth three day festival in 2020. The RVA focuses on painting in a different area of the city at each event. The festival provides opportunities for local artists and students to work together to create art and add color to the city. The Festival donates proceeds to local charities including the Richmond Public School system arts program.

Between these two organizations and a number of privately commissioned murals it seems as if around every corner in every neighborhood there is another terrific mural to behold.

Artist, Ed Trask, Virginia

Right: Artists: ASVP, New York City and Switzerland

Artist: Onur Dinc, Switzerland

Bottom Left: Artists: INKTEN + CLOGTWO, Singapore

Richmond also has a robust specialty coffee and tea culture, and we are confident that when pandemic conditions improve we will return to Richmond to explore many more of the neighborhoods in search of great street art and cafes.

Be seeing you!

Street Art Tourist: Street Art from the Road: Columbus

Artist Unknown, Discovery District

After departing Fort Wayne we decided to make a couple day stop in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus has three of the things we look for in a city: excellent third wave coffee cafes, a vibrant street art scene and distinctive neighborhoods.

While our stay was brief, we did quite a bit of walking through the various neighborhoods searching for murals. Of course, we fueled up at the coffee cafes that are conviently located in the various villages or districts.

Columbus has taken full advantage of the river waterfront (Scioto River) by creating many public greenspaces providing access to the riverfront for recreation and entertainment.

We will definitely weave Columbus into a future journey to get deeper into the museum and restaurant options (post pandemic) in addition to the coffee, street art and neighborhood history.

We hope you enjoy the selection of street art we have included in this post.

Onward to West Virginia…be seeing you.

Artist Unknown, Columbus – Discovery District
Untitled by Gabriela Torres @ms.torressss, Franklinton Arts District
Teenuh Stays The Same by Bill Miller, Short North District
Eternal by Natalia Sanchez @nauti.luz, Franklinton Arts District
Deeper Connection by Edmund Boateng, Short North District
Artist Unknown, Short North District
KNOW JUSTICE, KNOW PEACE Artist(s) Unknown, Franklinton Arts District
Panel from Mural of Hope by Maureen E. Clark @maureeneclark, Franklinton Arts District
Stolen Joy, Franklinton Arts District
Arist Unknown, Franklinton Arts District
Listen to the Hummingbird, Artist Unknown, Short North District
Here We Are by Alejandra Zanetta, Short North District

Street Art Tourist: Street Art from the Road: Fort Wayne

Our current trip got off to a rough start when we found ourselves in southern Pennsylvania with multiple issues with the Beast. The first issue required us to backtrack north to Wilkes-Barre to have repairs performed on the diesel exhaust fluid sensors. We were fortunate that the dealer was able to accomodate us quickly and resolved the issue.

The second issue involved our penthouse roof which malfunctioned leaving the pop top partially and unevenly deployed. Unfortunately this particular issue required us to head approximately 600 miles west to Huntington, Indiana for repairs (Sportsmobile).

The good news, besides having the Beast back in full working order, was that we found ourselves with the opportunity to spend some time in Fort Wayne as we started our journey back towards our original first stop in West Virginia.

Fort Wayne is making a major investment in beautifying the city with street murals by both local and international artists.

While you are in downtown taking in the art scene, please visit the excellent @Fortezzacoffee.

Fortezza Coffee

We hope you find these murals as interesting and beautiful as we do:

Untitled by Jaliyah Rice @artby_jaliyah
Where am EYE? by @sarah_e_costumes
NYANE by @jeffpilkinton
Untitled by 1010@1010ZZZ
Woven by Lyndy Bazile @afroplump
Through a Child’s Eyes by Jeff Pilkinton @jeffpilkinton
People Walking by Theoplis Smith, Terry Ratliff, and Alexandra Hall
Bison by Tim Parsely

Next stop Columbus. Be seeing you!