Assuming the homosexual is me, that is…
Having spent four lovely days in the warm and fuzzy embrace of Toronto, I’m now exploring Kitchener-Waterloo. I spent a few hours here several years ago, and I decided I would come back for a couple of days at some point. That point has arrived.
A few initial impressions that I may or may not expand on later:
It was 64F when I arrived. The next morning it snowed and the temperature never again climbed above freezing.
Thanks tto the cold, this was very much a trip of specific destinations rather than my usual random wandering. I’d already planned to hit several museums, and I ended up doing most of my traveling on the subway rather than on foot. But it was lots of fun, and I did get some significant strolling in.
Random thoughts about New York, danger, middle age, and other things coming in another post. For now, here are pretty pictures:
Prerogative of being middle-aged and single with no dependents (human or otherwise): after discussing the idea for 30 seconds with a friend at dinner, I just decided to have a long weekend in New York in about three weeks. I will visit friends, buy books, and see this. I got a great deal on a room in a very nice hotel centrally located between two subway lines. From decision to execution took all of 30 minutes.
Another prerogative: I can change my mind just as easily as I made the decision in the first place, with no repercussions or arguments whatsoever.
La vie c’est bon!
I really find Lynchburg kind of intriguing. It’s a shame it carries all that Jerry Falwell/Liberty University baggage that makes me (and I imagine much of America) reluctant to visit. It has very much a small-scale Pittsburgh vibe, from the topography to the impossibly large Victorian mansions in Rivermont. It’s apparent there was a lot of money there a hundred years or so back. There’s some great architecture, and the view from the park on the other side of the river is really nice.
I think a lot of people expect Virginia to be very southern and pastoral and bucolic, and there is certainly that aspect of it, but most of urban Virginia — not just the western cities of Roanoke and Lynchburg but also places like Richmond, Hampton, and Newport News — feels considerably more Rust Belt than Sun Belt.
Maybe a full weekend soon. Given two days in Lynchburg, I should finally be able to find at least one decent place to eat there, right?
This makes me a little sad. Winston-Salem seems finally to be abandoning its never-much-used quadrant system. As street signs age, they are being replaced with new ones that lack the “NW/SW/NE/SE” indicators.
The quadrant system for identifying streets seems to have been introduced in the 1950s. Several North Carolina cities (Hickory and Concord for starters) implemented some version of the system over the years, and it was not a big success in most of them. In fact, it seems to have been largely ignored in Winston-Salem by the 1980s, no longer being used in published addresses even though the designations continued to be included on the street signs.
When the ex and I moved to Winston in 2006, we added the “SW” to the end of our address from day one, just because that’s the sort of geeks we were. I liked the the whole anachronistic nature of using this convention most people no longer observed, even though the city apparently still did. I believe the quadrants may even have still been part of the tax map database as recently as a few years ago.
I haven’t seen any official notice of the change anywhere (though I haven’t looked very much) but it’s pretty obvious that the signs they are a-changin’.
On what would have been Jane Jacobs’s 100th birthday, some thoughts from 2006.