Friday, July 22, 2016

It's a Wonderful Life Lucy !!

Didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn. First stop doesn't open until 9AM, so it is sit around and wait. Having time, we headed over to Denny's across the street and have a nice light breakfast, back to the room and packed up the bike and headed out.

The first scheduled stop was open so we just blew past it and ended up at the Camillus Erie Canal Park. It was still before 9, but waited until someone showed up so I could get my INK.

The park contains a replica of Sims' Store, a mid-19th-century canal store originally located about two miles east. The store is operated as a museum and gift shop. Other historic features include a salvaged set of lock gates from Old Erie Canal Lock 50 (Gere's Lock), a waste weir, a feeder canal, and the remnants of an earlier lock and aqueduct that were in use from 1825 to the mid-1840s. Wikipedia

In the second picture below, see the cat just lying around. There is a sign out in the parking lot for travelers to check the inside of their car to make sure the cat hadn't jumped in to hitch a ride. While I was taking picks I got pretty close to the cat, which normally they would get spooked and walk off. Not this one just calmly sat there while I invaded their space.

Nice scenic spot worth the stop. Got my INK (NPS stamp) as well

Can you hear me now ??

Just down the rode is Seneca Falls for 3 stops in the area.

The Visitor Center has INK, traffic was light, stopped and got my stamp. Lady in the VC, said "Oh you want the one down the street", to which I replied "I know about that one, but want this stamp as well".

The right up the street is the Women's Rights National Historic Park. At this location is the Wesleyan Methodist Church, which was the site of the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women's rights convention. The last time we were here, back in 2009 the church was still undergoing restoration and was simply the walls.

One more stop in town for the It's a Wonderful Life Bridge for the Americana Tour. While the film was shot on set in California, Seneca Falls is believed to have inspired Frank Capra's creation of Bedford Falls in the movie. This is the bridge that George, while drunk, drove his car into and where he thought about committing suicide.

Not too far is Rose Hill a National Historic Landmark. This was simply a grab and go picture opportunity to satisfy my quest to visit all the National Historic Landmarks in the county. The house was built in 1939 by William Kerley Strong, a rich New York City wool merchant. The design was attributed to Minard Lefever and Alexander J. Davis (architects) who has a profound effect on 19th century architecture and interior design. Given that is was probably built by very skilled carpenters in the local area using the designs of the Leferver and Davis.

The heat has built up and stopping for water is going to be the mantra for day. During one of our oasis stops this was sitting outside. A CB750F Honda slightly ratted out. Crystal asked the guy if it was uncomfortable to ride without a sit, to which he responded, I have been riding it that way for so long I have gotten use to it.

We hit the Niagara Falls area right around 2:30PM. First up was the Adams Power Plant Transformer House, a National Historic Landmark. The last time we were in this area, we tried visiting this, however I had it marked in the wrong place and ended up in a neighborhood with boarded up houses, abandoned and very reminiscent of Detroit, MI. Never the less we didn't find it. When I was planning this trip, this time I used Google Maps to physically locate the property.

Adams Power Plant Transformer House in Niagara Falls, New York is a National Historic Landmarked building constructed in 1895. It is the only remaining structure that was part of the historic Edward Dean Adams Power Plant, the first large-scale, alternating current electric generating plant in the world, built in 1895. Wikipedia

When we pulled up the gate was open, so of course I trespassed and went onto the property to take pictures. Well the owner was on location and from afar started yelling at me. Rather than simply walk away I started limping toward him. At first he was giving me a rash of shit (rightfully so) and when I told him I was an amateur photographer and history guy and simple chase National Historic Landmarks, he softened a bit. He was concerned I was from some historical or citizen group taking pictures so they could harass him about the condition of the property. Our conversation probably lasted 20 minutes or so and offered on another day to let me go inside and take pictures. I did email Peter, the photos I took.

We did see the falls but only drove past them. We did drive onto Goat Island, but they wanted $10 for parking and we did have some crucial time sensitive places to grab in Buffalo. And yes we have been here before and walked around the falls. One of these days we will cross into Canada and see the falls from that side. I hear it is a much better view.

Buffalo is a hop skip and a jump from Niagara Falls. We visited the Buffalo State Hospital, a National Historic Landmark. This is the architecture I am use to seeing for the asylums we have visited in the past, the Kirkbridd Plan.

The Kirkbride Plan refers to a system of mental asylum design advocated by Philadelphia psychiatrist Thomas Story Kirkbride (1809-1883) in the mid-19th century. Wikipeidia

The Richardson Olmsted Complex is a former insane asylum in Buffalo, New York, United States. The building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986. The Olmstead Complex has undergone renovation and remodeling to function as a hotel and conference center for the city. Wikipedia

So as not to miss our time slot we headed straight for the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS to capture INK. We have been here before and this was simply and grab and go for the National Park Tour. This is where Teddy Roosevelt was sworn in to the Presidency of the US in 1901 as a result of William McKinley being assassinated.

Our next stop was Kleinhans Music Hall. Eero Saarinen also designed the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

Kleinhans Music Hall, home of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, was built in the late 1930s and opened October 1940. The building was designed by Eliel Saarinen with his son, Eero Saarinen and "was recognized as one of the greatest concert halls ever built in the United States". Wikipedia

A little bit looser on the artistic side are some of the murals on Allen Street in Buffalo.

This one is called Voyage. The mural was inspired by people’s intrinsic nature to overcome adversity in the face of race and gender bias. I thought about climbing the fence, but Crystal talked me out of it.

Right across the street was this joint, The Allen Street Bar and Grill.

We ended going thru the center of Buffalo, which doesn't bother me in the least. I love looking at all the buildings and people in our great cities. As we approached Niagara Square, this magnificent Art Deco building is right to our left. With no hesitation I pulled over and said to Crystal, I just gotta get a picture of this.

At 378 ft (115.2 m)[2] height or 398 feet (121.3 m) from the street to the tip of the tower, it is one of the largest and tallest municipal buildings in the United States of America and is also one of the tallest buildings in Western New York. The cost of building City Hall was $6,851,546.85 ($94.4 million in 2016 dollars[9]) including the architect's fees, making it one of the costliest city halls in the country. Wikipedia

Way back I started out in architecture school and lets just say I didn't have the spatial aptitude for design work and became an accountant instead. Given that I have always had an appreciation for great architectural buildings. The Art Deco era of the 1930's created some of our most memorable buildings. There is only one other building in my mind that revivals City Hall in Buffalo and that is the Guardian Building in Detroit, MI.

If look all the way to the lower left, you can see Crystal talking with the security guard about the Spyder. Whenever we stop one of us is always talking about the Spyder.

This picture is technically a disaster as a photograph, with the building falling backwards, but I still like it. It is a merging of 12 photos and took my about 4 hours to put together of processing time, brought my computer to its knees begging for mercy, but when it was all done both the computer and myself were satisfied with the challenge.

Right across the street is the McKinley Monument.

The McKinley Monument is a 96-foot (29 m) tall obelisk in Niagara Square, Buffalo, New York. Its location in front of Buffalo City Hall defines the center of the city and many of Buffalo's major roads converge on it. The monument was commissioned by the State of New York and dedicated September 6, 1907 to the memory of William McKinley, 25th President of the United States, who was fatally shot while attending the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo on September 6, 1901. Wikipedia

We will return to Buffalo one day soon to ride to the top and view Buffalo from its tower. I have read the woodwork and stain glass windows inside are second to none.

What would a trip to Lake Erie be without a shot of the lake itself.

One of the boats that got off course. Looking for the Edmund Fitzgerald in all the wrong places. Not even the right lake to boot.

In Pomfret, NY which is where we turned left off Lake Erie and headed due south for the next destination, we stopped for water at a local gas station / old style supermarket / general store. This was the Men's Department. Crystal calls this pic Shotgun Wedding.

Last stop of the day was in Jamestown, NY birthplace of Lucille Ball to grab this mural for the Americana tour. Lucy wasn't just a pretty face or a great comedian.

Lucy became the first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu Productions, which produced many popular television series, including Mission: Impossible and Star Trek Wikipedia

It's the World's Largest I Love Lucy Mural, an image from the episode, "California, Here We Come," of Lucy, Ethel, Desi, and Fred singing as they drive across the George Washington Bridge on their way out of New York City. Roadside America

We stayed in the next town over Falconer for the night. Miles for the day was 289 miles not a lot but a full day nevertheless.

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