Archives For On the road

Road reports as we take trips.

NYC…. The Vendors…

July 19, 2014

This a continuing pictorial post on our visit to New York City recently.  One of the things that got my attention was the number of vendors on the streets selling almost everything. Here are some pictures. Click on any picture to bring up a larger gallery view.

 

 

NYC… Architecture….

July 12, 2014

One of the things that amazed me about my recent three day visit to New York City was the architecture. I have always been fascinated by the myriad of building in this country and NYC is probably the best of the best.  I won’t bore you with more words here.  Instead this post is almost all about the pictures.

Click on any picture to see an expanded gallery view:

 

NYC… People…

July 5, 2014

This is a continuation from last Saturday of my recent visit to New York City.  As I previously mentioned the reason for the trip was to fulfill a bucket list item for my wife.  This Post is about the people..

Here is a little about what Wikipedia says about the city:

New York County is the most densely populated county in the United States, more dense than any individual American city.It is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with a Census-estimated 2013 population of 1,626,159  living in a land area of 22.96 square miles

For an old Hoosier farm boy that is a lot of people and I think I rubbed elbows with most of them while I was there. :)  I think most of them there were in Time Square on the Saturday night we were there. Everywhere you go there are crowds of people. That is except for the Museum for the City of New York. There weren’t more than a hundred or so in that entire building.  I guess New Yorker aren’t very interested in their history (ha).

One thing I learned from the trip is that I, at least now, have a low tolerance for crowded places. Another thing I learned is that there is no such rule about keeping right as you walk down a sidewalk. It seems to be every person for themselves.

Enough of this talk, let’s get some picture of the people I encountered on our visit.  As usual click on any picture to bring up the expanded gallery:

 

 

NYC…

June 28, 2014

I am going to spend the next few Saturday posts reporting on my recent trip to New York City. It was an enlightening time for me. I learned some things about myself that I didn’t appreciate before.

When we lived in central New Jersey at the end of the last millennium my wife fell in love with Central Park. She has talked about it many times in the almost 15 years since she was last there. She is getting somewhat physically restricted so it was now or never if we were going to re-visit that city.  It is about the only thing in her bucket list so I was determined to make it happen.

We spent two days traveling from our home to there. Knowing that NYC traffic is impossible we took a train in from central New Jersey to Penn Station. It was a two hour trip that we have taken several times. We stayed three days at the DoubleTree Suites looking down from 38 stories onto Times Square.

Now that I have set up the scene for the next few posts it is time to do a gallery of pictures. More words and thoughts next Saturday. More pictures and stories next week. Click on any picture to see an expanded gallery…

 

Cleveland 30Here we are in the final hotel of our Cleveland vacation. We are in Newark Ohio which is a little east of Columbus. We spent much of the day in more Amish country of Berlin Ohio. It claims to have the largest Amish community in the U.S. I bought a couple of framed pictures as mementos of our trip.  When we left this area to head south to I70 we found you couldn’t get there from here. Two of the three roads we tried were closed!

Cleveland 31Finally after three failed attempts we managed to find our way south and will jump on I 70 tomorrow morning for  the trip home. It was a good vacation; we certainly enjoyed the cultural aspects of it and the visit with my high school friends. We learned quite a bit about Cleveland that we didn’t know before. When we visited the historical society building yesterday we came to understand that it is critical to say you are from east Cleveland or west Cleveland, not just Cleveland. We learned that there is much ethnic diversity in Cleveland than we thought. We learned that you can’t get there from here when traveling south out of northeast Ohio.

It was an interesting vacation. We will likely be back sometime soon for another visit to our re-found friends. But the next time we will find an easier way to get from there back home :) Tomorrow I will be getting back to my usual posting about life in general…It was nice to be away but it will also be nice to get back; even for that mountain of Spring chores waiting for me…

AmishSignWe spent the day touring amish country around our friends home. There is a very large population here in northeast Ohio ( I made a terrible mistake originally here in that I said northwest instead of northeast.  Sorry about that).  Almost every house we came to had clothes out on the line and all in typical amish colors. So that made discovering which farms are amish rather easy.  That and seeing no utility lines going into the houses.  It seems that some of the families are “cheating” though; they have solar panels installed on the roofs.

AmishLaundryIt was a good leisurely day. We went to several different stores; some for the amish and some for the tourists. Our hosts bought quite a bit of bulk goods (sugar and that sort of thing) to stock up. We bought a few things to weigh the car down a little more.  If my wife buys much more I will have to rent a U-Haul trailer :)

Tomorrow we will hit the road towards home. We will likely take the State roads instead of the Interstate ones and spend an extra day.

Here we are sitting in our hotel room on Sunday morning waiting for the museum to open at noon. So, I thought I would pull a few more pictures out of the album to show here. We are headed for the Western Reserve Historical Society today to get a more detailed account of local history.  Then it will be off to our friends home for a few days. I’m not sure how technology conscious my friend is so I don’t know if I can get on the internet while we are there. If not, this will be a last post for a couple of days.

I am just going to give you several pictures here we have taken over the last five days. If you want an explanation of any of them leave a comment. :)   Well maybe I do need to explain the first one. It is of a sewer cover!  My wife is from Neenah Wisconsin so whenever we travel we are always looking down as well as up so we notice the Neenah Foundry art. It is surprising how many states we have come across these iron monoliths.

Cleveland10Since we have been walking so much the last few days we decided to take it a little easier today. We drove the mile to the center of the city instead of walking. Our fatigue and the fact that it is still in the 30s and 40s here enticed us to take the easy way.  When we got close to the Tower City Center we found a convenient parking garage. I have been reading about a 4th Street complex of restaurants and sites so we decided to head there. It was not as we expected. There were a number of the more well-known local restaurants there but they were all closed until dinner and there was little else in the area. It seemed that almost the entire downtown area was deserted.

Cleveland downtown it seems is pretty much like most of these metropolitan areas in that they are not kept in the most pristine shape. We meandered down to the Tower City Center amongst the tall high-rises and found a shopping mall and a casino there. It was surprising to see a casino right in the very heart of the city.Cleveland11 After eating at a small mexican restaurant we had enough of touring for today and headed back to the hotel for a mid-afternoon nap before heading for the Blue Point Grill for dinner. This is a very upscale seafood restaurant specializing in seafood so of course I had to have a plate of oysters on the half shell.  They were very good. I also had the special for the night which was flounder and it was to die for. Yvonne had seared trout. She gets pretty picky about this dish but this time it was cooked to perfection as it should have been for the price. We don’t eat out in upscale restaurants but once a year or so and this was definitely a good one.
Tomorrow we will do a little more touring and then head for the Ohio/Pennsylvania border for a visit with our friends. As an overall wrap-up,  Cleveland reminds me of Pittsburgh. It is not the cleanest or as tourist friendly as many that we have visited but still worth the visit.  The University Circle area was the most culturally oriented part of town. The Cleveland Clinic, University Hospital and three or four colleges are located there as well as most of the museums.  If we are ever to do this visit again I would likely choose that area as our home base and skip the downtown area.

Cleveland12We thought about going to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame which is less than a mile from the hotel but when we found that the tickets were $25 each we changed our minds. I was never much of a rock and roller, I was more into folk music in my hearing years so the enticement at that level of admission just wasn’t there. :)

cleveland 7We spent today with some old-time high school friends of mine who are near-Cleveland residents.  We spent the majority of the day at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History but before that we got a thorough driving tour of the Cleveland Clinic.  The scale of the clinic is almost unimaginable.  There were at least twenty huge buildings in the complex. The Cleveland Clinic is thought to be the healthcare of the future in that they do it much more efficiently than most. All their doctors are on salary as opposed to independent practices. Surgeons don’t make money performing more surgeries; they make a salary to find and relieve healthcare problems. The entire complex is very automated and geared toward wellness instead of profits. I do believe that the Cleveland Clinic along with the Mayo Clinic will be how medicine is done when we finally get over our obsession with our current healthcare systems in this country.

cleveland 6The Museum of Natural History was one of the finest ones we have visited. It had a very diverse amount of different things. I seem to be a rock-hound so I spent quite a bit of time in that area and learned several different facts that I had not previously heard. Another part of the museum that fascinated me was the Mayan exhibit.  I did not realize that they had such an elaborate means of recording their history. Their hieroglyphics are very elaborate. I need to study on that some more.  The museum shop didn’t have anything on it so I will hit Amazon as soon as get home. I think I would like to be more studied on it.

One thing I learned both yesterday and today is that this is Spring break for the Cleveland area. I can’t tell you how many shin bumps I have from being hit by baby carriages in the last two days.  Maybe it is a good thing that we are childless as I just don’t seem to have much patience for all the kids running around frantically at these sort of places.

We finished up our tour of the museum with a planetarium show. It was an elaborate demonstration of the mars probe as well as showing us all the constellations in the heavens. I still think it is kind of a stretch how they name some of them. They just don’t look like lions and bears and such to me. But it was a very impressive show.  I remember hiking up to the top of a mountain in Colorado in my much younger days and see all those stars they showed us today but I has been years since I saw a sky so studded with stars.

cleveland 5After the museum it was off to Little Italy for a late lunch at a one-hundred year old establishment and then some cannoli at a bakery of like age.  Both were fantastic.  Tomorrow will sort of be an R&R day for us. We have walked about ten miles in the last few days and need a little rest. The day will probably be spent at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and dinner at a place along the lake. But, of course more on that later…

cleveland3We are now situated in our home for the next three days. It is in a DoubleTree Hampton on the 15th floor overlooking Lake Erie. It will be nice not having to pack for the next few days. Nice views from the 15th floor.  We spent the day at the Cleveland Zoo and Rainforest. It was an interesting time. Of course photos are attached here.  The Rainforest was pretty nice; lots of beautiful flowers and such. The Zoo was pretty good but not up to par with our hometown one in Indianapolis.

We will be spending much of the day tomorrow with some high school  friends who are giving us the royal tour of the city. They both graduated from colleges here after attending our alma mater high school in Indiana and have been living here for 30+ years. I have seen them a few time but this will be the most time we have spent together since we were classmates almost fifty years ago.

cleveland5When we left the zoo for the hotel in downtown Cleveland I punched the name of the hotel into my iPad mapping program and it set up a route for me.  Unfortunately it was the wrong location. I didn’t discover it until we were more than ten miles beyond where we needed to be. You gotta keep an eye on these gps programs :)

I am spending the evening trying to come up with a restaurant for our anniversary dinner on Saturday. Since my wife and I have such differing tastes it proves difficult.  We were going to try the Lola which is owned by the famous chef Bobby Simone but the menu wasn’t compatible with my wife’s tastes or our budget and it was already filled for the entire weekend. So I am still on looking for one.

Cleveland 1

 

Tomorrow we will likely see the Cleveland Clinic along with many sites in the University Circle area. More on that tomorrow.