Monday, September 24, 2012

NDI Seminars and the Fourth Ward

September 4, 2012 -- Tuesday -- NDI Leadership Forum

The NDI seminars met during the day on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Belk Auditorium in the Blumenthal Center.  Primarily planned for the international observers attending the convention and interested students from nearby colleges, these seminars provided serious discussion of the complicated global problems facing both our country and the other countries of the world.  Madeline Albright, former Secretary of State during the Clinton Administration, is the Chairman of the National Democratic Institute, the sponsoring organization for these events.

 Dan Murrey did a splendid job welcoming the attendees and introducing Madeline Albright and Kenneth Wollack, the president of NDI.  Madeline Albright is such an impressive woman, an interesting speaker and a cogent responder at the question and answer session.  In Mr. Wollack's remarks he praised Madeline Albright for her prodigious and legendary energy, noting that "her energy rises from the depths of her convictions."  What a fine tribute to a woman passionate for world peace and understanding.

It was most interesting to hear discussions on international issues and America's role in world affairs.  Education was a recurring theme for the panels we heard, as was the roll of the media.  One speaker used the term "Media Anthropology" as an appropriate area of study--I found this term interesting and intriguing.  

Not any pictures here, the auditorium was too dark, and we were too far to the back to take good pictures.  Television cameras filmed the sessions, projecting live to large screens over the heads of the panelists. It was interesting that we tended to watch the screens, rather than the actual people.  Of course, on the screens the people were large and, from our seats they were live and talking but a lot smaller. 

Here is a rather fuzzy picture of the picture on the screen.  Note they give the participants a hash tag to use for tweeting the event.  

The more I thought about "Media Anthropology" the more I thought it was very relevant field of study for today's world.  

To get to the NDI seminars we took one of the cars at the house.  We wiggled around the various security checkpoints to drop Lucy off at her school, which is uptown.  Then we scooted around the city on the northern interstate and moved back toward the inner city to park at Katie's friend Cameron's house in the Fourth Ward.  Cameron parked on the street with her resident pass and we used the driveway off and on throughout the week.

Uptown Charlotte still has living areas lingering from the old days when Charlotte was divided into four wards.  These areas are very desirable places to live today, with homes being restored, or replaced by newer homes in the same style.  First Presbyterian Church is still a vibrant congregation in the Fourth Ward.  We walked about 7 or 8 blocks to get from Cameron's to the Blumenthal Center where the NDI seminars were held.

Here's a beautifully restored home in the Fourth Ward.

and a nice cottage with a welcoming front porch.....

This home was fitted into a very narrow lot--probably a newer home built sympathetically to the neighborhood.

another old home........

The neighborhood has a spraying fountain in a lovely park with walks and benches.

First Presbyterian Church is near the city center.

We turn and head east on the street behind the Christian Education buildings of First Presbyterian Church.  Looking beyond the buildings you can see two of the city's skyscrapers located a few streets over, south of the church.

The north side of the street borders the old "Settlers Cemetery" containing the graves of some of Charlotte's early settlers.

More of the downtown buildings....

And we arrive at the Blumenthal Center.

Living in the city is very appealing--it is definitely walkable!

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