Monday, December 30, 2013

Fifty Two Town Pickup - Lets go to the Movies

The end of the story at the beginning

I finally got around to reviewing some of the photos I took this past summer more to see what could be Waymarked. I am up to July 21 and I came across the photos I took while on a 3 day jaunt across the State of New York for the GLMC Z to A Grand Tour. This was to be one of my big pushes to turn in a respectable amount of the towns that began with Z or ended in A. We started out on one of these trips but had to turn back because MeAsWe’s neck was killing her. I took 2 vacation days from work and headed out solo, which I had not done in along time. As I was reviewing the photos 5 months after the fact, I found the beginning of the blog entry that was also started 5 months ago.

The Story as it happened

This past Sunday I took off for a 1200+ mile trek thru New York. Out to Buffalo passing over the top of the Finger Lakes and back heading east just south of the Finger Lakes. Objective was to capture as many towns that start with Z or end in A for the GLMC Z to A Grand Tour. Got plenty of the A’s but no Z’s. They just aren’t that common. I think the only opportunity was Zoar, NY but I already got Zoar, MA and you can only use a town name once. So come along as I pick up some towns and other interesting sites.

It has been so hot in MA for the last month, it has been hard to want to ride on the bike any place, at least for me. I am sure folks in Mississippi or Louisiana think that would be spring weather, however our blood has been thickened with the winters. Let’s see the Mississippians walk around in T-Shirts when it is in the 40’s

MeAsWe is not coming along this trip because she is not sure she can take the miles and constant mounting and dismounting. This kind of trip is purely RunPicandGo type trip. While scenic, it is also hectic.

The target towns and places have been waypointed. I simply cannot ride to a town a see if there is a sign of the town someplace without researching it. Google is my best friend here and street view is great. How else would I have found Laona United Methodist Church. While I have targets, I will pick up the first sign with the Town. I have learned not to pass them up. Post Offices and Welcome To Signs are not allowed.

First day is just shy of 500 miles, with 20+ targets. That is a full day, especially considering the first 160 miles is just getting to the first place. For most part I end up on the back roads, however the beginning and ending miles do involve interstates. In the beginning one is anxious to get to the first photo op and the end run, you just wanna get home. The in between is seeing New York state off the beaten path.

This is what I picked as my first photo op. A run down abandoned gas station. Nothing special, no Pure Oil 66 chimneys, no sweeping roofs as in the Phillips 88 stations, just plain ole painted cinder blocks. I promise the rest of the report will be visually more stimulating, well for the most part.

Kelts - Waterford NY Vintage Gas

First cluster is Malta, Ballston Spa, Saratoga, and Fonda, NY, oh and Niskayuna. Malta is a run of the mill diner (NY style) along with Saratoga. I have been to Ballston Spa before but never downtown. This place looks like it has a ton of historic places. Niskayuna was home to Steve Katz of Blues Project and Blood, Sweat and Tears fame.

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Ballston Spa Police - Ballston Spa NY

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I really like the lettering on this place. It is Art Decoish or Moderne like. I actually turned around
to go back to take a picture of this place. It is going to be along journey
Heading out to Utica next, the Garmins wanted me on I-90, but I resisted taking NY 5, which roughly follows the Erie Canal. Next town is Scotia, which I picked up the Scotia Theater. The Scotia Cinema opened in January 1929 as the Ritz Theater. “Lilac Time” was the first movie shown starring Gary Cooper and Colleen Moore.

Scotia Cinema

In Amsterdam that begins with an A but doesn't end in an A, so it doesn't count I found this VW looking for roads in all the wrong places.

VW on top of a Smokestack

As I head out to the next town all I could think of is the Chicago 7, motorcycle movies and cowboys.

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I grabbed the Bank of Utica as the A town, but really is very uninteresting, however the name Utica was easily photoed. Right across the street is the Savings Bank of Utica known as the Gold Dome Bank. While a bit gaudy, it really is beautiful. This is a great example of American Beaux Arts which became the style du jour after the Chicago's World Fair in 1893. The bank was built in 1900.

Savings Bank of Utica

Savings Bank of Utica

Savings Bank of Utica

Note a dramatic as the bank, never the less a flashback to the past. The Stanley Theater is also located in Utica. It opened in 1928 and has an affliation with Warner Bros. Pictures thru out its history. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

As I head furthere west I had targeted Verona, NY as an Z to A town. While I had a couple of choices with the name Verona, this old hotel just seemed so kewl. It has no significance other that the NEON lights to me.

Verona Hotel - Verona NY

Not to far from Verona is Oneida NY. I have been here a couple of times, once specifically to pick up the home where there was a utopian society lived and made silverware. This place was just so bright and had some elements of Googie architecture.

Christopher's - Oneida, NY

New York is suppose to be semi known for their diners, but today it is movie theaters. The Kallet was built in 1937 and is a great example of Art Deco, more specifically Art Moderne.

Kallet Theater - Oneida NY

Just outside of Syracuse is Canastota. I picked up a RR bridge for the Z to A town, but had to stop for the old Methodist Church that was built in 1910. It has been subsequently converted to a restaurant / function place called the Greystone Castle.

Canastota Methodist Church - Canastota NY

Keeping with the Movie theme grabbed the Palace Theater in Syracuse. This theater has been owned and operated by the same family since 1922 when it was built.

The Palace Theater - Syracuse NY

Making some tracks I passed over the top of the Finger Lakes and stopped into Canandaigua NY. Grabbed the really neat Town Hall for the Z to A tour and walked up the street for the court house.

Canandaigua Historic District - Canandaigua NY

Canandaigua Historic District - Canandaigua NY

It is getting late in the day and I still have a bunch of miles to go. While I am not running out of sunlight yet, there is not a lot of day left even on July 21. Pulled into Honeoye Falls NY, snapped a quick shot of the Historic District and headed further west.

Masonic Temple Building Honeoye Falls NY

1886 - Village Hall - Honeoye Falls NY

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Passed thru Henrietta NY and made my way to Scottsville and stopped for an artistic shot of this barn. The view I had was much better than what I translated it too thru the camera.

Sundown in Scottsville NY

Only a couple more town to go before I sleep. So far I have not seen any deer.

Town of Caledonia Town Hall

My destination for the night is Batavia, NY. Don't have a clue where I am going to stay so at my last stop of the night, I called MeAsWe to let her know I am still upright and not cohorting around with the antler folks. Cell phone is running on empty, FJR may be getting there too so MeAsWe finds me a place in Bativia and I pull into town just a little while after the sun has gone to bed for the night.

Elba Diner

When I look at the map where Elba is in relation to Scottsville and Batavia, I see that Elba may not have been exactly on the way to Batavia. I elected to get Batavia Z to A capture tomorrow morning.

Today's route

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