Friday, September 25, 2009

Accident on Perrine Street

Car in front of Vergie's house
Cell phone photo

Awoken by the sound of crash at 2:15 AM this morning. Looked out bedroom window and saw Bob's van had collided with Courtney's car. Called 911.

Within a matter of minutes two fire engines, five patrol cars and an ambulance were on the scene.

Dressing and going out onto the porch saw there was a crumpled vehicle in front of Vergie's house.

Emergency vehicles in our front yard
Digital Camera - still working on taking nite photos

Joan gathered some details from the crowd. Evidently Bob arrived home a little after midnight from his work. Parked his car as usual across from his home. He heard the crash. Went out into the street. The driver requested that Bob not call the police. Mute point since I already phoned 911. Bob was amazed that the force of the crash could move his car over a hundred feet east since it was in park.

Police looking at Courtney's auto
Cell phone photo

Courtney's car sustained considerable damage to the driver's side door.

The driver who caused the accident appeared to be intoxicated. The ambulance attendants strapped him to a body board and transported from the scene.

Loading the injured driver
Cell phone photo

This incident reinforces why the city should mandate off-street parking. Granted this rule would not eliminate drunken driving but it would protect personal property.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Elizabethtown Trek

Friday, September 18th
Packed the Trailblazer and headed North by way of the Thruway without the our E-Z Pass which has been temporarily disabled. Did not pack a lunch. But as we were tooling East on Rt. 90 Joan suggested that we have lunch at that restaurant which is visible from the Thruway.

As we approached Interchange 30 (Herkimer - Mohawk - Route 28) the restaurant appeared on the right along the Erie Canal. The restaurant turned out to be The Waterfront Grille.

Waterfront Grille Chef

Our hostess seated us at a window table with a full view of the canal. The Lil' Diamond II, a 60 passenger United States Coast Guard certified vessel operated by the Erie Canal Cruises, was boarding just as our first course was served. We watched as the Lil' Diamond II left the dock and headed east on the canal.

Lil' Diamond II

For lunch Joan had the Haddock Sandwich which was fried to perfection and I had the New England Clam Chowder and the wrap of the day - a Caesar chicken wrap. Our waitress was most attentive. The neighboring waitress placed a dish of mustard next to my wrap. Was puzzled as to why she did this. Later found out the mustard was for one of her patrons.

After lunch we browsed through the Gems Along the Mohawk. This visitor's center was unique in that it displays and sells only New York State produced products. We noticed packages of New Hope Mills flour on their shelves.

We resumed our travels east. After filling our gas tank at the Gulf station in Ballston Spa. We parked in public parking and walked around the downtown area. While Joan went into a art and craft emporium I noticed a NYS historical marker on the corner of Washington St. & Fenwick St.

Never knew Abner's origins before.

Arrived at 32 Roscoe Road around 5 PM. Had dinner with Brian and Heather at Cashin's Cobble Hill Inn.

We sat at the table on the left.

Jenna, our waitress, was attentive to our needs and offered dinner suggestions. Heather had a quesadilla, Joan ordered the taco salad, Brian and I had burgers, Brian the Plain Jane and I the Bronx Bomber.

Saturday, September 19th

Woke up at 6:30 AM. Went to Stewart's for the morning paper,Press Republican. Stopped to check our geocache, the The Footbridge. All is well with it.

After breakfast, climbed Blueberry Hill to check our geocache, Fats Domino Tribute. Trail was dry, the view clear, and the cache box intact.

Blueberry Hill looking East

Blueberry Hill looking West

Taken with cell phone

Heather made lasagna for dinner.

Sunday, September 20th
Woke up at 6:30 AM. Went to Stewart's for the Sunday paper. Stopped at our geocache, The Colonial Garden. Although the gardener has clipped back the tree branches, the cache should still be a challenge.

In the front yard of the Adirondack History Center Museum was a unique sculpture. Heather gave me some background concerning the Wadhams artist Edward "Ted" Cornell and this work.

Angel of Inerrancy Conveying Meaningful Souls to Hell

We all went to the Arsenal for breakfast. Being Sunday the place was packed but Faye was doing her usual magic and everyone was served quickly. Brian had the full Adirondack plate and the rest of us enjoyed blueberry pancakes. Faye's sister came in after church, put on an apron and started clearing tables.

Drove to Plattsburgh High School Auditorium. Since we were early we drove to the Plattsburgh Boat Basin. Conditions were sunny but breezy. A family was having a picnic, an elderly photographer was snapping gulls with his Canon, and crew was enjoying snacks and drinks on their docked sloop.

Sailboats - Lake Champlain


Return to the Plattsburgh High School Auditorium, the Adirondack Wind Ensemble's Fall Concert -"Gems and Treasures" began promptly at 3 PM. Bugler's Holiday (a march tune), Place St. Henri (a swing piece by Oscar Peterson) and the score from Richard Rodgers' South Pacific were my favorite selections performed by the ensemble. This would be the last concert for conductor, Dan Geldert, who has relocated.

Heather chatting with one of her students after the concert

Dan Geldert accepting accolades after the concert
Dan on the far right

Dinnertime. Went to Bazzano's Pizza. Brian had a personal pizza and the rest of us had chicken parma. The sauce was excellent.

Monday, September 21th
Woke up at 6:30 AM. Went to Stewart's for the morning paper. Sent Heather and Brian off to work. Joan and I went to the Arsenal for breakfast. French toast and hash. Faye wished us well and said that she would see us the next time we passed by.

Decided to take the scenic road home. First stop - Long Lake. New restrooms - clean and environmentally kind.

Long Lake

Town workers taking in the raft.
Can you find the tiniest worker?


Sea Plane

The Happy Trekkers

Continuing on we made our way down the chain of lakes. Pulled over into the Inlet public parking area. Walked to the beach and checked our geocache, Walkin' Fourth on Water. Cache is secure.

Fourth Lake - view from the cache

Sea-doo passing by

Holl's Inn

Trekking - you've got to love it

Back on the road. Got out in Old Forge. Look at a couple of shops new to us. On to Utica. Gassed at BJ's. Had a snack - chicken wraps - at KFC. Drove into 88 Perrine about suppertime.

Capped off our trek with dinner at Doug's Fish Fry/.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Montezuma Audubon Center - Bird Watching

Montezuma Audubon Center - 7 AM

Naturalist Dave Spier conducted an early morning bird monitoring hike around the Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC) today.

At 6:45 AM, our group of four assembled inside the MAC. Dave led our group (Dave from Port Bay, Sheila, a MAC volunteer, Linda from Palmyra and myself) out on the grounds exactly at 7 AM. Carol, MAC Education Manager, joined us to photograph our walk.

In the parking lot looking back over MAC headquarters we counted 40 Canada geese flying east. Also two blue jays were in a tree near the bird feeders.

Two yellow finch at bird feeder

We walked the trail that eventually brought us to the ponds. There our presence put up a great blue heron. This was the first of four blue herons we would see today. Sheila identified a kingfisher. Using the tripod scope Dave focused in a juvenile, several semipalmated plovers and yellow legs as well as a bird he playfully called a peep.

View from observation deck

Dave explained why shore birds' bills had various lengths. This characteristic eliminates competition in that the birds can feed at different levels below the muddy surface and not exhaust the food supply.

Port Bay Dave spotted a green heron. It gave the rest of the group a test in patience. Hiding amongst the cattails and bulrushes, we could not get a good view of it. However, eventually it did stroll out into full sight.

While on the lip of the pond we also caught sight of a double-crested cormorant and several sparrows.

Upon returning to the MAC center we entered our bird data into the e-bird database kiosk located in the lobby.

View from observation deck

All in all a great September day for bird watching.

Mary Travers

Mary Travers, whose ringing, earnest vocals with the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary made songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “If I Had a Hammer” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” enduring anthems of the 1960s protest movement, died today at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut. She was 72 and lived in Redding, Conn.

Peter, Paul and Mary

Recall while at Providence College going to a Peter, Paul, and Mary concert held in Alumni Hall on May 11 1963. Remember that Peter got the audience involved in a sing-along. Sections of the crowd were responsible for different lyrics to the song.

Mr. Stookey, Ms. Travers and Mr. Yarrow in 2006

Also, cannot forget singing "5oo Miles" over and over as I stood freezing at the Westfield interchange hitchhiking home for Christmas vacation one winter.

Mary in 2006

Ms. Travers once told the music magazine Goldmine: "People say to us, 'Oh, I grew up with your music,' and we often say, sotto voce, 'So did we.' "

Sunday, September 13, 2009

2009 Westcott Street Cultural Fair

Sunday marked the 18th year for the Westcott Street Cultural Fair. Diane, Emily, Joan, Michael and I attended.

The annual Westcott Street Cultural Fair kicked off at noon with a parade led by community activist Starke Donnally, who is best known for his efforts to maintain and improve the Westcott Street area.

Known for its world music, ethnic dances and vendors, the event did not disappoint. With activities geared to families, the fair attracted more than 6,000 people.

One of first stops was the Petit Branch Library. There we purchased several cookbooks and CDs. Phenomenal pricing - books for a dollar and CDs for two dollars.

Street Minstrels of all varieties were on hand.

Our Perrine Street neighbors, Daniel and Susan, performed with their Morris Dance troupe to the enthusiastic applause of the crowd.

On the main stage, there was smooth jazz by E.S.P.

On an alternate stage a diverse groups of musicians played world music.

There were several soloists performing up and down the street.

A young dance group played tribute to Michael Jackson.

The girls found consumer heaven while shopping at Boom Babies. With the upcoming wedding only days away Emily walked away with a pair of shoes and Joan toted out a small purse.

To quench our hunger and thirst we ordered food at Dorian’s Gourmet and Pizza and Deli. Diane had a huge chicken salad sandwich, Emily had a creamy, cheesy chicken sub and the rest of us had the house gyro sandwich. All were A-OK.

All in all thanks to Emily and Michael's invitation to visit their neighborhood coupled with a sunny day once the shower passed we thoroughly had an most enjoyable experience.