A Slice of Hollywood in Wilmington, NC

yu

The town of Wilmington, North Carolina is often referred to as “Filmington.” TV shows such as Eastbound and Down and Dawson’s Creek were locally-based.  Wilmington is also home to a range of films;  from the David Lynch classic Blue Velvet to summer blockbusters like Iron Man. Unfortunately, North Carolina tax laws may push this lucrative business down to Atlanta and New Orleans, which are more film-friendly.

Inspired by Gone with the Wind's Tara, the previous owners raised the columns to be two stories high

Inspired by Gone with the Wind’s Tara, the previous owners raised the columns to be two stories high

But whether or not the film industry flees North Carolina, John West is in Wilmington to stay, thankyouverymuch. West has been in the business for over 20 years, and while work led him to Los Angeles for over a decade, he was thrilled to return to North Carolina. He and his four dogs feel quite comfortable in this historic home, with two-story columns out front flanked by twin palms.  He has his beloved boat for weekend excursions.  Not to mention his mother, who lives nearby. Not only are they close friends, but Martha West is such an impeccable cook, that I wouldn’t want to be too far from her myself.

Kate Gibbs speaking up for film in Wilmington

Kate Gibbs speaking up for film in Wilmington

The weekend we visited, the film industry held a demonstration to keep production local. West’s girlfriend Kate Gibbs even made the news, speaking up for the cause. It was a relaxing weekend, kicked off by a thunderstorm that knocked out power in West’s neighborhood. It was a welcome event.  We lit candles, poured some bourbon and sat on the front porch rockers, catching up.

Fried green tomatoes - classic

Fried green tomatoes – classic

We ate at one of the best restaurants I’d ever visited, called Rx. This former pharmacy has a modest look that belies some serious artistry in the kitchen. Our accommodations were beyond compare – we stayed in a guest house fully-equipped with a bathroom and kitchen, and well-decorated interiors.

John West and Kate Gibbs

John West and Kate Gibbs

The best part of the trip however, was the boat ride. We cruised waterways that slid by restaurants and bars. We passed tiny islands that appear and disappear depending on the tide. I almost forgot I was in an industry town until we sped past the modern home which was the setting of Sleeping with the Enemy. We even skirted close to Cape Fear, made famous by the Scorcese thriller starring Robert DeNiro, Jessica Lange and Juliette Lewis.

t

It was a nice slice of Hollywood, but just a sliver of a slice. Only in the South can one expect a pickled okra in their Bloody Mary!

photo 5

IMG_7388

We luxuriated in the detached guest home – with full kitchen and bath!

photo 6

My favorite room in the home was the foyer, warm and welcoming with an antique lighting fixture.

Homemade brunch - Martha's breakfast casserole, fresh fruit, angel wings and "Georgia Ice Cream" - AKA grits.

Homemade brunch – Martha’s breakfast casserole, fresh fruit, angel wings, coffee and “Georgia Ice Cream” – AKA grits.

A custom painting of three of his dogs hangs over an antique roll desk.

A custom painting of three of his dogs hangs over an antique roll desk.

A plaque marks the home's historic status.

A plaque marks the home’s historic status.

photo 4

The devil is in the detail in this fine home.

Advertisements

...you rang?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s