Monday, May 27, 2013

WNY 2013

Memorial Day
Monday, May 27, 2013
We are in Buffalo this year; we should be back in Charleston, SC!
But it was a proper day to visit Daddy at Forest Lawn Cemetery:
Military veteran graves were decorated with American flags:
The day before we had gone on a typical GJT walk, to find remnants of railroad bridge abutments:
Above is the abutment to the northwest and below to the southeast, angled over the pathway:
The bridge once carried the Delaware Lackawanna Western RR over the Erie RR tracks. The pathway should be the Buffalo Metro light rail branch to Niagara Falls...
There are tentative plans to make the abutments an art installation ("The Abutments: Public Engagement as Art"):
Some graffiti artists have already made them art installations...
Back to Memorial Day, our destination was the Buffalo Waterfront. There was a ceremony in progress at the Veterans Park, specifically at the Vietnam Memorial.
A wreath at the Korean War Monument:
We passed the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park that includes the submarine the USS Croaker. We noticed the victory tallies:
We understand that the sun symbol represents a Japanese ship that was sunk (the USS Croaker was credited with 11 sinkings during WWII), but the kangaroo? The rising sun symbol seems to represent a downed aircraft.
Stand up paddle surfing:
Except that there is no surf on the Buffalo River...
We have visited Erie Canal Harbor several times. Today I tried (not very successfully) to line up the drawing on the Marine Drive with the actual bowstring truss bridge:
The Rotary Club of Buffalo Centennial Flagpole (2011):

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Took a walk with Karen H in the old neighborhood of Parkside.
Robin's egg:
Margaret named this home on Crescent Avenue the "Easter Bunny's house:"
Karen's childhood home at 175 Crescent Avenue (view from W Oakwood Place):
View from Crescent Avenue:
Gosh, it was a huge house, compared to the Thompson's old house at 199 Crescent:
Lil Library:
Since the Fairfield Library was closed in 2005, the neighborhood association decided to install 10 of these little book stands. No library cards, registration or fees required. Take a book and return one as you please. The free little library movement has spread across the world.

Monday, June 3, 2013
Today Karen and I went a bit further, to Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, NY. It is said to be the oldest county park in the U.S. The hills were once covered with Great American Chestnut trees. The trees became diseased, and the wood was used to build the structural foundations of the Adirondack shelters in the park.
The casino was established in 1925. The present building dates to 1938:
There was a slightly hazy view towards Lake Erie from the sledding hill:
the city of Buffalo could be seen to the right:
Gosh, I can remember coming here for tobogganing (those are toboggan slides below)!
Today we were here to find the Eternal Flame Falls. But first we tried to find a map. A couple county workers hopped in their truck to go to their office to get us a copy!
The falls are not easily reached from within the park, but from a parking lot farther down NY Rte. 277.
Thanks to the Boy Scouts, there is a marked trail to the Eternal Flame Falls:
But you have to keep an eye out for the markers instead of admiring the scenery:
We missed a turn and started heading downstream:
From what Karen remembered from a previous visit, we should be approaching the falls  from downstream. Another hiker got us turned around. He was simply hiking up the middle of the stream.
At this time of year, the water was shallow on the shale stream bed:
Tiny side falls:
Wow, flames behind the waterfalls!
The flames are fueled by a natural gas source, but the process of how the gas is produced is a mystery.
Apparently the flame does get blown out at times, but can be relit by anyone. Who lit it the first time? Ancient Native Americans?
For lunch we drove to the Roycroft Inn in East Aurora, NY:
Part of the Roycroft Campus founded by Elbert Hubbard in 1897, it was at the center of the American Arts & Crafts Movement. In 1986, the Inn was designated a National Historic Landmark.
Karen's sneakers dry by the fireplace:
The Arts & Crafts style can be seen in the dinnerware:
the furniture:
and the stained glass windows:
The Roycroft Inn Clock is not a historical item, but a limited edition gift shop item!

Thursday, June 6, 2013
Today's outing was with Karen and her mom, Dot. They have Buffalo Zoo memberships and I was a guest.
The Buffalo Zoo has been in the news across the nation because of Luna, a polar bear cub. The zoo is one of only two in the nation with polar bear births in 2012. Buffalo is planning on building a new Arctic Edge habitat and Luna is the face of the fundraising campaign.
But then there was the orphaned cub from Alaska, whose mother was shot by a hunter. Thinking it was best for the cubs to be raised together, the orphan Kali was sent to the Buffalo Zoo. Kali is to remain at the zoo for at least six months. In the meantime, the pair of cubs have been introduced to the public, and they have been drawing lots of visitors.
Kali still sucks his thumb:
The visitors were thrilled to see some play-wrestling:
For some reason, the cubs did not want to get their toes wet, reaching way out to pull in water toys:
Kali spent a good amount of time trying to get a soccer ball out of the pool:
When at the Buffalo Zoo, one must see the buffalo:
Only to be reminded that this is an American bison...
Luna is not the only popular baby at the zoo; there is a Amari. a Western Lowland Gorilla:
She is actually three and a half years old.

Sunday, June 9, 2013
Allentown Art Festival
The view up Delaware Avenue:
The festival appears to have shrunk since the 1970s, when it seemed you never had time to see all the vendors and the crowds were more dense. And now there seems to be more craft than art.
Ceramic bowls molded on real fruit:
Very delicate and realistic artificial flowers:
Hanging gardens:
Ugly mugs:
Hmm, lots of Florida-style art:
Tamiko with Teddy in front of the Wilcox Mansion:
A wagon with a cup holder!
Mosaics gone wild:
Would you like your salad served with feet?
Hummingbird feeders:
Glass bowl flowers that fold back to become a bird feeder or appetizer tray:
There were several Faberge-type egg artists:
Leaf waterfall:
A-yup, gotta get me one of these planters:
Lots of metal work as well; a chandelier: