Last year I visited Greensburg, Kansas and it was leveled by a tornado. This spring I visited Shelby, Ohio and yesterday Shelby got six inches of rain. The Black Fork River flooded. Two residents had to be rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter and twenty by boat. Bucyrus, which I also visited, had almost nine inches of rain yesterday.
Who knows what will happen to the next town I visit...
I read yesterday about how NYU has teamed with Times Up! to recycle abandoned bicycles on the NYU campus. A small grant from the university pays for new parts. Volunteers at Times Up! repair the bikes. So far 39 bicycles have been recycled.
The lovingly wrapped bike above was next to Lerner Hall on Columbia's campus yesterday. Given the wrapping it probably isn't abandoned.
I believe these are called weepers. I don't know why I know that. They are passive vents that let humidity escape outside so that moisture doesn't collect on the station walls. Yes, I don't have much to say today.
Had I gotten on the interstate right away I would never had seen the Arcus Brothers store in Bloomsburg. They were closed when I stopped. It appears they sell mattresses, furniture, slot machines, condoms, musical instruments, movies, and probably items too numerous to mention. I didn't take a photo of the whole building, but someone did in 2003.
That's it for the trip to Ohio. I'm at a loss as to what to chronicle next. The trip to Iowa? All of this summer's bike rides around town? Maybe it's time to back to the Midwest!
The last night of my May vacation was spent at the Quality Inn of Danville. It was only 3-4 hours to New York but I wasn't in the mood to drive any more. The next morning was Memorial Day. For breakfast I bought a yogurt, banana, orange juice, and donut at a grocery store in town. Then I sat on a shady section of the sidewalk and watched a very short Memorial Day parade.
Aside from the charming impressionistic hulkster, I was impressed by the elaborate drainspouts making their way off the houses downtown. Every third or fourth house had this sort of arrangement. I hadn't seen anything like that before. I wonder why this is done?
A few sights from Saturday morning's visit to the greenmarket. It's that time of year when baskets are overflowing with produce. I didn't get any of the pictured items. Instead I got blueberries, peaches, sweet corn, milk; and for tomato sauce: San Marzano tomatoes, green frying peppers, white onions and oregano.
A couple hours drive east of Youngstown, which included stoppage because of a cow on the interstate, I needed to take a walk and get an iced tea. The skies were threatening rain so I was thinking a grocery store would fit the bill. I could get something to drink, walk the aisles, and not get wet. Dubois was the only town that looked big enough to have a proper grocery store. It started pouring as I walked from my car to the store. Ten minutes later the rain let up. I decided to go into town proper and walk around.
I'm glad I got a chance to see the town as it had a distinct personality. I'm not sure how to describe that personality but it was distinct.
As an aside, let me propose, without any data other than my informal observations while traveling and having grown up in a rural town, that the number of goth kids in rural towns is directly proportional to the number of "stay off my lawn" and "no loitering" signs in that town and inversely proportional to the number of activities for those kids to participate in.
Dubois' most famous native is Tom Mix, the silent movie cowboy. The second most famous native is the great 1970s Yankees relief pitcher Sparky Lyle, he of the pranks, ever-present chaw of tobacco, and elaborate mustache. You may have wondered "where did Sparky get that elaborate mustache?" Having been in his hometown I believe I found the answer: The Pennsylvania Academy of Cosmetology: Arts and Sciences.
Youngstown Historical Center of Labor and Industry, Michael Graves, architect.
No people, no cars, no open businesses. Downtown Youngstown.
Golden Age has seen better days
Not much was happening in downtown Youngstown on the Sunday I was there. As I was driving around I realized that I didn't need to stop at stop signs or traffic signals, and that u-turns in the middle of the street were perfectly safe, as there was only me downtown.
Youngstown does have two excellent museums. The Butler Institute of American Art on the Youngstown State campus. The Butler includes the Beecher Center, the first museum dedicated solely to electronic and digital art. Even better is the Youngstown Historical Center of Labor and Industry. They were very happy to see me! I was there for at least an hour. I was the only visitor there for that hour. I highly recommend the permanent exhibit on the history of the steel industry in the Mahoning Valley.
There was one more stop in Ohio, Hubbard, but I don't remember why I stopped there. While I may not remember Hubbard, I do remember being overwhelmed by the unique charm of Dubois, Pennsylvania.