Windsor, ON – June 2017 – Riverfront Scenes

With a weekend in the Detroit area it was decided to spend the night in Windsor, which is just a mile away through the tunnel.

The Windsor Riverfront offers excellent views of downtown Detroit (other post) as well as the scenes on the Canadian side.

 

The Ambassador Bridge

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Riverfront Park

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A carnival was being held in the riverfront park

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Bloomfield Hills, MI – June 2017 – Cranbrook Art Museum & Saarinen House

The Cranbrook Academy of Art was founded in the 1920s by George Booth, who asked renown Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen to design the campus and buildings. Eventually the campus was expanded to include both boys and girls schools, a Science Museum as well as the Art Museum.

The Saarinen House has been restored to it’s 1930s look, and the museum offers tours, which we attended. The house itself (in my opinion) was somewhat disappointing as it did not give the ‘wow’ feeling that I often have when going into other famous homes, such as many of the Frank Lloyd Wright homes of the same period. Instead it seems more ‘practical’ and commonplace, in a 1930s art deco way.

The grounds of the campus are very nice, with gardens scattered about, along with numerous sculptures and fountains. The museum was somewhat smallish, but had some interesting artifacts including the chair collection.

 

The Art Museum

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Gardens and Fountains

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The interior of the Art Museum

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Saarinen House

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Avon, OH – June 2017 – Duct Tape Parade

The company that founded the ubiquitous ‘duct/duck tape’ is based on the small Cleveland suburb of Avon. Since 2004 they have had a festival and parade celebrating the many uses of the tape.

Having read a few different places that this was one of the best parades in America we headed up to check it out. While there were many creative uses for duck tape, the event was nowhere near as interesting as the Twins Day Parade, Doo Dah Parade, or the Parade the Circle (and that is just in Ohio). Still it did give opportunities for some nice photographs

 

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Cleveland – May 2017 – An Afternoon in University Circle

The University Circle neighborhood in Cleveland is the home to most of the major museums in the city, the Cultural Gardens and Case Western Reserve University.

 

The Cultural Gardens is a collection of 31 unique Nationality gardens, most with sculptures interspersed with the plantings. Unfortunately we only had time to visit a handful.

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A residential neighborhood near Case Western Reserve University is home to Hessler Court – an amazing little street that is made out of wood. Known as Nicolson Pavement, the wood block construction was popular in the mid 1800s. Now less than 5 remain in America, and Cleveland is home to one. It is smooth and quiet.

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The Cleveland Botanical Gardens roses were in full bloom.

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Sculpture in front of the Botanical Gardens.

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Nearby they were having stilt walking lessons.

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Mt Vernon, OH – May 2017 – Ariel Foundation Park

The small city of Mt Vernon, Ohio was the home of the largest plate glass factory in the world until 1979 when PPG closed it. Sitting dormant for 30 years it has recently been recreated as a park, with industrial ruins and sculptures as the features.

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The centerpiece is the 280′ high former smokestack, now an observation deck with 244 open steel stairs leading to the 140′ level.

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From the top you get an excellent view of the park, and the town.

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The grounds have been graded to numerous terraces to add to the aesthetics.

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For those who have a problem with heights (me) the stairs can freak you out!

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Back on terrafirma, you can tour the various sculptures including river of glass, which is made up of millions of small clear glass pieces, along with the larger blue ones.

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The Coxley Building Ruins

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Buffalo – May 2017 – Downtown and Harbor Area highlights

Buffalo is an old industrial city that has had a declining population for 50 years. As a result of being a major city prior to 1950 they have a lot of interesting older architecture. As with many rust belt cities, they have also worked to reinvent themselves, sometimes in creative ways.

Buffalo had more grain silos than any city in the world, as a result of their position on the Great Lakes. Many are now abandoned.

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Some have been partially torn down and now serve as a restaurant setting, albeit a very unusual one complete with rebar. Next door on one of the standing silos is one of the largest climbing walls in the country.

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Some have been repainted as giant beer cans.

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The harbor has a mix of old and new, complete with lift bridges.

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Built in 1900, and serving Buffalo ever since the Edward Cotter is the worlds oldest active fireboat, and it serves as an ice breaker in the winter.

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Buffalo & Erie County Military Park

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Federal Courthouse – old and new.

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Grover Cleveland – Buffalo native

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Art deco Buffalo City Hall. Note the Canadian flag alongside the American flag. With Canada a mile away across the Niagara River nearly every place that had a U.S. flag had a Canadian flag.

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McKinley Monument at the location of his assassination.

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A cool old bank building.

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Amazingly for such a small city Buffalo has a train system.

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A great theater district.

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Finally the Liberty Building has twin Statues of Liberty.

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Western New York – May 2017 – Roadside America attractions

As with all trips one of the highlights is finding the offbeat things in an area, and our route to Buffalo was no different.

 

First stop – Barcelona, New York Lighthouse

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Silver Creek, New York – Valvo’s Candy – Dolly The Waitress

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Eden, New York – America’s only Kazoo factory

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Buffalo – Roswell Park Hospital Giant Buffalo Nickel

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Buffalo – Canalside – Shark Girl

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