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Saturday, February 23, 2008

A visit to Roanoke

Friday, Feb 22, 2008

Our friends on Smith Mountain Lake showed us around the area on Friday. Besides being a scenic paradise, the lake is a great fishery for Striped, Largemouth and Smallmouth bass.

Also nearby are the birthplace of Booker T Washington and the National D-Day Monument. After touring the Washington site, we headed over to the city of Roanoke. Roanoke is known as the Star City of the South. This title is due to the world's largest man-made star perched atop the steep Mill Mountain, not far from the downtown area.

We drove to the top where there is a good view of the Roanoke area.

Returning to downtown, we discovered that the old Norfolk and Western passenger depot had been converted into a museum for the display of the photography of O Winston Link. A talented commercial photographer, Link created a stunning series of photographs that memorialized the end of the steam locomotive era. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in either photography or railroading.

This exhibit is very different than the exhibit of Warren McGee's on display through May of 2008 at the Montana Historical Society's Museum in Helena, MT. Link's photos are obviously and elaborately staged. He was an absolute master of lighting night time scenes. McGee's have a natural and unposed appearance. Both are fabulous. McGee's photos are hard to find in exhibit form and I hope that following May, 2008 they continue to be exhibited somewhere.

Finally, we closed out the night with a dinner at Nawab Indian restaurant on Campbell Avenue in Roanoke. With six locations in the Virginia-North Carolina area, this small chain serves absolutely superb Indian cuisine. The Shorba-e-Murgh soup was exceptionally tasty. The Tikka Masala made with chicken had the smoothest sauce I have ever encountered for this dish. As for the service - my favorite Indian bread is poori; when I didn't find it on the menu, I asked my waiter for his suggested alternative. He replied, "I will make it for you, sir." And he did! This meal was easily the best of the trip.

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