There was not much competition for a parking space for our white Prius at Crabtree Valley Mall, likely the largest mall in the Raleigh/Durham area, six miles from downtown Raleigh. I pulled out the Surly Long Haul Trucker out of the back.
Crabtree Valley Mall sits on Crabtree Creek and the Crabtree Creek Trail runs along the creek, part of the huge Raleigh system of greenways. These Raleigh greenways follow streams, floodplains, land that would otherwise be left fallow.
I biked on the trail in the direction of the center of the city. After the trail passes under the I-440 beltline neighborhoods of fancy houses sit on the steep bluffs rising above the creeks. A lot of money has been made in and near Raleigh in the past twenty years, much of it from tech. For those looking to impress, the area above Crabtree Creek has the double whammy of Inside The Beltline and proximity to Carolina Country Club. I biked off the trail and up the steep streets of this neighborhood. The Teardowner has become the norm for the past ten years.
There used to be a lot of houses that looked like this.
I have never liked the “colonial ranch” style but the new houses that replace them are too gaudy.
It was fun looking for yin/yang houses for big and small next to each other. I wonder how many of the smaller ones are living on borrowed time.
These two new houses here:
sit next door to this 1951 modernist gem:
These two houses, just being completed,
sit next door to this:
The Raleigh/Durham area has a wealth of mid-century modern homes from the 1950-60’s. Many are a product of the excellent NC State School of Design. Anyone interested in this should see the very thorough website http://www.ncmodernist.org. On a prime lot overlooking the golf course I bicycled by this house which was completed in 1950:
These modernist houses were usually built on deeply wooded lots and most are difficult to see, even if you are standing right in front of them. It reminds me of why people go to Palm Springs CA to see such houses, in the desert with no trees. Here is a photo from the internet of this same house showing the side facing the golf course.
I bicycled back downhill and got back on the greenway system.
I stopped at this bench for lunch; peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I made sure not to touch the bench with my hands!
I bicycled a little further, then back to the car for the drive home. I had not gotten near any person nor had I touched anything other than my bicycle and stuff.