Summer photos

Time to hunker down for the winter and clean out my large cache of photos from the year. This is a slideshow of a dozen and a half of the pics I thought were worth keeping. (To activate the captions, hover mouse over the lower edge of the first photo and click on the “i” for “info.”)

7 thoughts on “Summer photos

  1. sean

    i like the red eft and the beautiful interstate service area, which says something about my screwball priorities.

    a few weeks ago, i wrote a column about an old dude in jamesville who suggested building the old limestone courthouse tower at some incredibly cool point with a great view – interstate 81, at the bend? – and making it into an extraordinary traveler’s stop, kind of like this service area with a dynamite view in pa. on the way to williamsport.

    his idea got a lot of reaction from readers. as for those in power?

    zee-row.

    sean

  2. Ellen

    One of the photos is of a visitors’ center in VT. This is a minor Revolutionary War state historical site and a small building… but something that would have only gotten a perfunctory cinderblock construction around here, got clever architectural treatment there. The visitors center is designed like an upturned boat (the type the soldiers would have used on Lake Champlain). That said, it’s not a hugely sophisticated building – it was just imaginatively designed.

    It’s culture, it’s mindset. Vermont is a small state but very proud of what they’ve got. I sometimes think we have a problem here… we think too “big” when we really ought to be thinking like we’re small — and also, ought to be thinking small – that is to say, thinking about details and putting design into every thing (not just grandiose projects). Like roadside stops?

    I’ll tell you something, I am getting very weary of big exciting new buildings.

  3. sean

    big exciting new buildings or press conferences for big exciting new buildings where everyone smiles and hoo-rays and then nothing gets built?

    robert campbell, the boston architectural critic who spoke at “writing the city,” said the upstate anxiety over the state of our big cities often overwhelms a quiet point … he said upstate new york is staggeringly beautiful, and that it remains as relatively unchaged – and unscarred – as anyplace he can think of in the nation. that is high praise from a guy like campbell.

    i often think about that beauty when driving on the thruway, where the scenery is green and lush, usually with blue hills as a backdrop.

    our rest areas, on the thruway or the 81, are not build to match.

    sean

  4. Ellen

    Big exciting new buildings that leak.

    A further thought on size and design: I almost stepped on that newt (but that’s because I wasn’t looking down!) Then I wondered why on earth it would be that color. It must be some kind of “I am poison” warning color (or false warning color to fool predators). Design is everything when you are little.

    Re Campbell’s point- it just seems to me that the nation is poised to descend an economic peak at this moment, and I wonder if perceptions of upstate NY’s appeal are poised to change. I like to say that Vermont represents an alternate America that branched off from the rest of the country’s path during the 19th century. (they too, suffered a loss of young people during that time) It has always seemed to me that upstate NY represents an alternate America that parted company with the rest of America in the last half of the 20th century. There is a certain nostalgia for the 20th century that I see coming back. I wonder if Upstate will ever find itself loved to death like Vermont is. Strange question… but would we be ready for such a sea change?

  5. Phil

    Wow, just took a spin through your Herald Journal and Erie Canal in Wayne County slideshows on Flickr. Wow!

    As for the debate above, I think you’re absolutely right. CNY needs to start thinking about how we can grow smaller and better. I again promote the original thought by jesse over at York Staters that we need to develop the infrastructure for backpacking/hosteling/public transport tourism. People from across the country will not come to Syracuse for yet another mall with all the same stores they have back home. But they will come to tour the Finger Lakes and Oneida Community and the Erie Canal and a Native American center dedicated to Hiawatha and nascent democracy etc.

  6. Ellen

    I liked that idea of Jesse’s. Thanks for retrieving it. Especially since gas prices are going to be soaring. And here we have all these old “low-tech” travel routes. I don’t understand why we don’t yet have a truly bike-friendly route through downtown Syracuse (and Solvay) that links the Old Erie Canal trail in Dewitt with the newly refurbished bike paths on the Camillus end. (The Camillus-to-Jordan section used to be pretty wild and woolly, but it’s now all stone dust like Dewitt… so once Port Byron gets linked up to Rochester with a good stone dust trail, Syracuse’s lack of attention to this is going to be even more noticeable.) An Inner Harbor stop wouldn’t be too difficult to add. What is the problem in getting that done? What logistical or financial holdup am I not understanding?

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