North Forest Lights, Oven &Tap, Crystal Bridges – Bentonville


(From early November)

Because of Covid, I booked an Airbnb with a kitchen and dining space so we have eaten all but one of our meals dans Airbnb, on a little wooden deck at a turquoise-colored metal table overlooking a sloping lawn with trees and a big stone mansion in the distance. We ordered takeaway from Oven & Tap, which made for two dinners – excellent flash-fried edamame, fried chicken and a margarita pizza. We had to wait a half hour beyond our pickup time, but other than lousy service, no complaints about the food! We also got excellent bread (orchard bread, rosemary polenta bread) from Ferrere, a bakery in Kansas City’s quality Hill neighborhood (near bluebird cafe)which has served us well.

Crystal Bridges’ North Forest Lights did not disappoint. At our scheduled time (8:15) we joined a socially distanced crowd to walk 1.5 miles along a lit path in the dark woods, stopping at 5 installations that combine music, lights, trees and sometime sculpture. It was mesmerizing. The woods was also dotted with sculpture, illuminated by lights. Loved this!

Today we rode bikes to Crystal Bridges proper and showed our timed tickets on my phone to get in. The museum is free. We paid $ 12 per person for an interesting show of photography by Ansel Adams and a host of contemporary landscape photographers. It took me awhile to figure out how to best see the art, given we must wear masks. I thought contacts would be best but after getting warm riding my bike, my vision was blurry with the contacts so I switched to glasses. Next issue, my glasses kept fogging up so I’d have to wait until the fog cleared to see the photos. I finally figured out a way to put my mask a little lower on my nose so my glasses didn’t fog. For the most part, other people kept their distance but every once in awhile some clueless person would get too close. I just moved away. We did eat lunch in the museum’s cafeteria because there were only a few tables with people, we found a table far from everyone, the space is huge with high high ceilings and glorious views of the ravine and yellow and orange leaves on the trees.

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