Off to New Orleans – Day 1, on our way to Georgia

Day 1, February 13 2018

West Valley, NY

Our plan is to spend a few days driving down to Columbus Georgia, a few days with our son, then on to New Orleans.

Up and at ’em, on the road and across the border by 6 am. Our route took us through Buffalo, and our first planned stop is Bradford PA. But of course there are always those unplanned sightings on the side of the road. The first one was just south of Springville NY, where we spotted this fearsome insect and not-so-scary dragon.

20180213_081351    20180213_081254Location: 10155 Ashford Hollow Rd, West Valley, New York

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Bradford, PA

Our first planned stop was the home of the Zippo lighter – Bradford, PA. On Barbour St you can see not only the giant lighter on the Zippo building, but the street itself lined with large lighters on the light standards. Apparently all the flames light up at night, which must be pretty cool.

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Location: 33 Barbour St., Bradford PA

Even more interesting was the Zippo Museum – a pretty good freebie, and some time to stretch our legs. Everything you ever wanted to know about this iconic lighter, and a peak at the repair centre. The things people have done to their lighters is AMAZING!!!  It is also the home of CASE knives. Worth a stop for the history (click here for Zippo Museum info)

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Location:  1932 Zippo Drive, Bradford, PA

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MAY 10, 2017 – NIAGARA and BUFFALO part one

It has been unseasonable cool and wet for the last couple of weeks, but today the forecast is for sun and slightly warmer – 13 Celsius. To celebrate we are heading to Niagara Falls via Buffalo and the Erie Canal/Lake Ontario area.

BUFFALO, NY

Why do I always pick the wrong line-up!!??!! It doesn’t matter if its supermarkets or border crossings – I always pick the slow line! Realistically, my line only took 15 minutes to clear, so it wasn’t really bad.

Our first stop in Buffalo is Wilkeson Pointe Park. Even with the address in hand, we drove past the spot twice without spotting these whirligigs – they are out on the point, a fair ways from the road. I’m not sure these actually fill our criteria – just how large are whirligigs normally? By children’s toy or garden decor standards though, these are HUGE. They are also amazing to watch. My wife isn’t sure they are art in the traditional sense, but they are certainly a marvel of engineering.

Location: Wilkeson Pointe Park, 225 Fuhrmann Boulevard

The City of Buffalo has, no surprise, a lot of buffalo (or bison) statues sprinkled liberally throughout the city, like these ones near the Harborcenter. Unfortunately there is never any street parking near these items, so we are forced into renegade behavior – stopping with our emergency flashers on, parking in tow-away zones, ditching the car in Reserved for the President spots – it’s like a game of roulette. So far we have gotten away with it, but my eye-rolling wife says future tickets are inevitable, and jail isn’t out of the question! And all for a picture of buffalo that are only life sized!

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Location: Harborcenter, Main and Scott Sts

This is billed as the World’s Largest Six Pack, but they aren’t fooling me – they are just painted silos – and not the best I’ve seen. Good view from 253 Ohio St, though they are located on Ganson St.

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I LOVED the beer keg tap at the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery! I think the wife plans these trips so I arrive at pubs WAY to early to sample the wares.

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Location: 76 Pearl St, Buffalo

The gardens around the Roswell Cancer Center were absolutely spectacular, so it seemed a bit churlish to only take a picture of this big buffalo nickle (did it anyway!)

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Location: 614 Elm St, Buffalo

Our next stop was a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial – very nice, with some of his best quotes from the I Have a Dream speech engraved in the sidewalk. I’m not really sure this is much of a likeness of MLK Jr – still a nice monument, though.

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Location: 1131 Fillmore Ave, Martin Luther King Jr Park, Buffalo

We had to stop and take a picture of this buffalo – he isn’t bigger than life, but the smile is hilarious. Sponsored by Evolution Dental as part of a Community Art Project

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Location: Evolution Dental Science, 235 Aero Dr, Buffalo

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WILLIAMSVILLE, NY

As we headed out of Buffalo, we stopped in Williamsville to get a shot of this butcher. Another sign on the store said Roast Beef on Weck. What is this, I asked myself, plus “Why is it too early to have lunch?” Turns out Roast Beef on Weck is “A beef on weck (also known as beef on wick) is a sandwich found primarily in Western New York. It is made with roast beef on a kummelweck roll. The meat on the sandwich is traditionally served rare, thin cut, with the top bun getting a dip au jus and spread with horseradish.” MMMMMM!!!!

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So what was this nonsense about cucumber on the sign?

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Location: Charlie the Butcher, 1065 Wehrle Dr, Williamsville

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BATAVIA, NY

I’m a sucker for an ice cream cone. This location had a tangerine and vanilla twist with chocolate dip!  Oh Yeah – there was a big cone on the roof, too.

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Location: Dave’s Ice Cream, 3872 W Main Street Rd, Batavia

What we really came to Batavia for was this set of armour. We have a picture of a similar set from a different location (Canadaigua, NY) earlier in the blog posts, but this one is definitely in better nick.

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Location: 653 Ellicott St, Batavia

Across the street, we spotted this Incidental Sighting (unplanned.) Chapin Mfg has been in business for 125 years, manufacturing air and hand sprayers for spraying a variety of liquids, from pesticides to cleaning solutions. I thought this find was amazing, til my research showed it is actually a fountain! Darn – we missed the water!

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Location:  700 Ellicott St, Batavia

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This is the point where we realize we are falling behind our estimated time. Do we go to East Bethany to look for a roadside dragon, or try to get back on schedule? DRAGON IT IS!!!!

EAST BETHANY

So glad we chose dragon – it’s awesome! Here I am doing my Father of Dragons imitation.

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There was also a bonus horse around the corner – not quite the same workmanship though.

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Location: – Emerald Models – 10187 Transit Rd, East Bethany

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ELBA, NY

Big onion! The mural on the wall says it all!

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Location: 6550 Transit Rd, Elba

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MEDINA, NY

It is now definitely past lunch time (ignore the giant ice cream, the coffees and the miniature pecan pie I ate earlier!) So we were glad to stop by the big apple and have a picnic. Not the biggest or the best apple, but in a nice park on the side of the Erie Canal.

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Location: Lions Park, 108 Glenwood Ave, Medina

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From here we took a scenic drive along the Lake Ontario shore – no Big Things, but the apple trees were in full bloom and absolutely lovely.

LEWISTON, NY

We were underwhelmed by the Lewiston Art Park, so thankfully the spider at the public library was a winner.

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Location: Lewiston Public Library, 5 South 8th St, Lewiston

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NORTH TONAWANDA

After a little sight seeing along the Niagara River, we ended up in North Tonawanda. This large Seabee is part of a WWII memorial. Again, though, there was no where to park. Seems like bad planning – should have had some Seabees design it!

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Location: 682 River Rd, North Tonawanda

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It’s not as big as a Blue Whale, but it’s such a fixture in the area we decided to include this anyway.

Location: Old Man River, 375 Niagara St, Tonawanda

NOVEMBER 8, 2019

 Day 2 of our Western New York/Vermont Extravaganza.

We got up early, packed up, ate the free breakfast in the hotel and were on the road by 7 am, because today’s trip will take us from New York, through western Massachusetts and up the western edge of Vermont.  First stop: Taconic Sculptures

SPENCERTOWN, NY

Spencertown is actually south east of Albany, and I feared I’d be starting the day off badly if the Taconic Sculptures turned out to be a bust, or worse still, impossible to find. I knew they were down a gravel road – one that didn’t appear on Google Streets. It turned out to be hilly but well maintained – more a private lane for the scattered estate homes along it. The sculpture garden is at the end overlooking the Taconic Parkway. It is a private residence, where the sculptor lives, and the public is welcomed.

The pièce de résistance in the collection stands high upon a hill and can be seen from the Parkway below. At one time you could climb up a ladder at the back and look down the Parkway through a viewing port in the top of the head. Maybe you still can, but at 8 am there was no ladder and no sign of life in the residence.

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The rest of the sculptures are also large and interesting – somehow reminiscent of Greek mythology characters. This would definitely have been worth the detour for the view alone.

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LOCATION: Stever Hill Rd., Chatham – at the very end – follow the signs

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Across the state line, and in to:

LENOX, MA

The hand sculpture we came to see is no longer outside the gallery, but we found this IS (incidental sighting) to make up for it! This treble clef is outside Glad Rags, on a street of old homes that have been charmingly converted into businesses.

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LOCATION: 66 Church St, Lenox

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PITTSFIELD, MA

Just 20 minutes north on MA-20 we come to Pittsfield, who’s claim to fame is the Wahconah Baseball Field. Built in 1919, it is one of the last remaining ballparks in the United States with a wooden grandstand, and one of just two professional baseball stadiums that faces west! (Because the field was constructed before the advent of field lighting, no harm was seen in orienting the diamond due west. Games are sometimes temporarily suspended while the sun sets! Lights were not installed until 1946. In 1989 a mesh screen was placed in center field to help shield batters’ eyes.)

What we REALLY came for, though, was the giant baseball bat, resting in the park outside the stadium. (the pile of stones at the handle of the bat is supposed to be the ball, and the shrubberies originally formed a baseball glove.)

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LOCATION: 105 Wahconah St, Pittsfield

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While driving through downtown Pittsfield, we realized we have been here before (spring of 2015 as we headed from Hoosick, NY to Boston, MA)- I recognize the Stegosaurus in front of the Berkshires Museum! This time we spotted a baseball cap outside the Colonial Theater

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LOCATION: Colonial Theater, 111 South St, Pittsfield

The cap and this tuba were both fortuitous IS (Incidental Sightings) We were looking for a baseball sculpture (literally a baseball) that is no longer on display on Banker’s Row, and while driving around the block, came across this beauty.

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LOCATION: Berkshire Music School, 30 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield

NOTE: because it was a few days before Remembrance Day – er… Veteran’s Day in the US- the War Memorial in the park was neck deep in Old Glory! As a Canadian, I’m always torn between admiring our neighbour’s flashy patriotism, and being embarrassed by it.

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WILLIAMSTOWN, MA

Our next stop was William’s College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. To be honest, I had never heard of this school. Although not one of the Ivy League institutions, it has a stellar ranking among US colleges and universities. It was established in 1793 and is regarded as a leading institution of higher education in the US. The campus certainly has an Ivy League look – beautifully maintained older buildings and grounds in a New England setting. Although the college has a vibrant collection of outdoor art, these pieces were the only figurative works.

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These might be works of art best viewed at night, when eerie blue light shoots out of the pupils!

Eyes (nine elements), 2001
Louise Bourgeois (American, 1911-2010)
granite, bronze, and electric light

Apparently a lot of people find them creepy – I found them amusing, though the eyes below do NOT agree with my comment – they definitely look UNamused!

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LOCATION: Williams College Museum of Art, 15 Lawrence Hall Drive, Williamstown

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Further north on US-7 we cross the State line and are into Vermont.

NORTH POWNALL, VT

Another IS (incidental sighting)this one is just north of Pownall, VT at the Dutch Haven Court (One Bedroom Rentals!). We weren’t sure what Mother Goose was doing on the lawn, but she looked pretty jaunty with her crown!

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LOCATION: US-7 at Dutch Haven Rd, North Pownall

BENNINGTON, VT

Just south of Bennington VT we hit the Trifecta of IS (incidental sightings). Near the Apple Barn and Country Bake Shop we found an ice cream cone, a bear and a flower basket. In front of the Apple Barn is this nice ice cream cone.

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Off to the side near the parking lot was this large bear. I’m starting to be worried about the number of bear sightings in combination with ice cream. Is this a thing? Do bears crave ice cream?

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Across the street was this huge basket, which apparently is planted in the summer

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LOCATION: 604 US-7, Bennington

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BENNINGTON, VT

*WORLD’S LARGEST

In the city proper, we turned left on Main Street in our hunt for one of the claimants to World’s Largest Chair. Originally built in 1969, and weighing in at 2000 pounds, this reproduction of an antique ladderback chair graced the property of Hayes and Kanes Furniture until 2000 when it was dismantled because it was deemed unsafe. At the time it was erected, it was the WORLD’S LARGEST LADDERBACK CHAIR. A couple of years after the big chair disappeared, LaFlamme’s Furniture opened at the location, and the owners, one of whom was an area native,  decided to BRING BACK THE CHAIR with help from local businesses and public support. The new chair was dedicated on December 1, 2012. Astonishingly, the new chair stood for only 20 days before it collapsed, toppled by a freak “Nor’icane” windstorm. Not to be defeated, LaFlamme’s had the chair back up within a month – and this time anchored its legs, with chains, into cement. And then – the store burned down! The giant chair somehow escaped the flames, and stood, forlornly, until February 2015, when it was moved to a spot in front of a new LaFlamme’s location in town.

The new chair weighs 3000 pounds and the seat is made of marine-grade rope, to resist rot and mildew.

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LOCATION: 239 West Main St., Bennington

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Not larger than life, but too funny to pass up, was this example of street art – a metallic green moose with a side car and a really ferocious look in his eyes.

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LOCATION: 318 North St, Bennington

WOODFORD, VT

At the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce, we were treated to a sampling of past street art projects

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LOCATION: 100 Veterans Memorial Dr, Woodford

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Arlington, VT

So, you notice there’s no picture here. That’s because the Arlington Cheese House, which was a sad, tacky, crumbling yellow building that looked something like a cheese wheel, and had an adorable mouse on top, has been taken over by the dreaded  gentrification of buildings. Sure, its bright and cheerful and no longer looks like the wares will give you food poisoning, but why, oh why, did you have to do in the mouse? BRING BACK THE MOUSE! BRING BACK THE MOUSE! (every one together now) BRING BACK THE MOUSE!

LOCATION: 5187 VT-7A

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MANCHESTER, VT

The Southern Vermont Arts Center sits on a rolling acreage north of town, up a winding road through a beautiful, but under utilized sculpture park. It could be, and hopefully will be, so much more.

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The Muse by Jack Howard Potter (above) is probably the most striking peice in the collection, but another, depicting a three torsoed wolf which I assume was Cerebus, was also exciting (though not larger than life)

LOCATION:  930 Southern Vermont Arts Center Dr, Manchester

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MANCHESTER CENTER, VT

This driftwood horse stands outside Manchester Square Shopping Center.

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LOCATION: 442 Depot St, Manchester Center

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A QUICK ASIDE

I want to say what a beautiful two days we had driving through the Catskills and up through western Vermont. The weather was unseasonably warm with highs in the teens (though one gentleman  at the Southern Vermont Arts Center tried to tell us that it was ALWAYS like this in November, and he couldn’t understand how anyone could live in Canada – so cold. Someone in Vermont actually tried to sell that!). Although the maple leaves had all fallen, the oaks (of which there are MANY) held stubbornly to their leaves, which were are a deep, burnished copper colour. The scenery was breath-taking; maybe better than in summer, when the leaf cover blocks the view. We could see the hills rolling off in the distance. On this day, we pulled over into a rest stop, sat on the open hatch of our car and ate sandwiches, while the sun beamed down on our faces. Heavenly!

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RUTLAND, VT

More IS (incidental sightings)  MAC Steel is the home of this Minion.

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And this… robot?

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And this…………….. sculpture?

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LOCATION: 286 N Main St, Rutland

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Just two minutes up the road, another big chair. So many Big Chairs!

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LOCATION: 1094 US-7, Rutland

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PITTSFORD, VT

 

Pittsford has it’s own street art project. For some reason they chose hearts. We only found three, but the rest may already have been auctioned off.

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The heart in front of the Library seemed fitting with a wise owl.

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We continue up US-7 through Pittsford to the New England Maple Museum, where this sweet jug awaits us. The label says 217,600 fl. oz. That’s a LOT of maple syrup!

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LOCATION: 4578 US-7, Pittsford

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BRANDON, VT

Another big chair – this one a brightly painted rocker.

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LOCATION: 22 Park St, Brandon

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LEICESTER, VT

OK. Now I want to acknowledge that my wife does a lot of work finding these locations, makes all the notes and plots out routes for my treasure hunts. But I think she could do better. For example, her notes simply said ‘Gorilla’ for this attraction. REALLY?!! Gorilla! That’s all it got? Not Giant Gorilla Holding up Car ? Shear sloppiness!

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LOCATION: 2829 US-7, Leicester

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SALISBURY, VT

This location is a bit off the beaten track, plus our GPS decided to take us on an unnecessarily winding and scenic route on the way in, but the straight, no-nonsense route on the way out. I love this squirrel in a onesy – I want one!

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There is also a companion skunk – smaller, but still large enough.

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LOCATION: Country Store and Deli, 1457 Lake Dunmore Rd, Salisbury

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FERRISBURGH, VT

Another jug of maple syrup. The walls must be REALLY thick, cuz this only holds 1 quart! (the one in Pittsford held 1700 GALLONS!)

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LOCATION: Dakin Farm, 5797 US-7, Ferrisburgh

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SHELBURNE, VT

Who can resist a giant Teddy Bear! This fellow appeared to be waving us down to come see the Vermont Teddy Bear factory .Pretty cute bears – if I was American Military personel I would HAVE to buy one of these bears in camo.

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LOCATION: 6655 Shelburne Road, Shelburne

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I’m not sure this really looks like a toy Jack – too many arms (are you old enough to remember jacks?) but it’s a pretty cool sculpture re-purposing hydrants.

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LOCATION: 5347 Shelburne Rd., Shelburne

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BURLINGTON, VT

It was getting pretty dark by the time we got to Burlington, and every second we spent stuck in traffic made it less likely that we would get to the Peter Toth Indian in Battery Park, but I still had to stop to check out what looks like a high-speed, low-drag wrist watch.

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LOCATION: 210 Shelburne Rd, Burlington

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The Peter Toth Indian stand proudly in Battery Park, and there was enough ambient light to get this picture. Toth has carved at least one indian head in each of US states, plus several in Canada, in a career spanning 45 years. Click here for more info on Peter Wolf Toth

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LOCATION: 1 North Ave, Burlington

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WATERBURY, VT

No trip through Vermont would be complete without a stop at Ben and Jerry’s. We arrived just before closing, and chowed down on some Cherry Garcia (me) and Bourbon Brown Butter (the wife). My wife said it was the best dinner so far! For those who don’t know, Ben a Jerry’s started out nearby in Burlington Vermont. We were hoping to find a large ice cream container here, but because we were so late, and obviously the last customers, we just didn’t have the nerve to ask for a tour. Oh dear – we will just have to come back another time! We did find the lid for the giant container though.

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LOCATION: 1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Route 100, Waterbury

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We drove on to our hotel in Montpelier, and that was the end of day two. A mere 480 km, but lots of stops. Today is Election Day in the US. Let’s see what happens.

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NOVEMBER 7, 2016

So it’s Day 1 of our Western New York/Vermont Extravaganza. We got up EARLY so we could leave by 4.30 am, scoot across the border at Buffalo before anyone was awake and head for our first scheduled site. We decided that we wouldn’t stop in Buffalo – that can easily be a day trip – and we would drive passed Rochester – I see a trip that includes the Erie Canal as another day trip. Buckle up! Next stop –

VICTOR, NY

Victor, a suburb of Rochester, is home to a large LL Bean outlet, and luckily also home to a big boot! We were pretty disappointed when we visited the store in  Massachusetts only to discover the boot was out for a polish! So were were pretty happy to find this one.

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LOCATION:  60 Eastview Mall Dr, Victor

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PALMYRA, NY

Palmyra is the birthplace of the Latter Day Saint movement. In 1830 the Book of Mormon was first published in the village of Palmyra, and this big book at the Hill Cumorah visitor center celebrates the event. (Founder Joseph Smith’s family lived on a farm that straddled the line between Palmyra and Manchester. In 2000 the church built the Palmyra New York Temple on a portion of the former Joseph Smith farm.)

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LOCATION: 603 State Rt. 21, Palmyra

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CANADAIGUA, NY

From Palmyra we drove south down NY 21 to the Finger Lakes district and Canadaigua. There is a lovely sculpture of an Iroquois hunter arriving home from a trip, to be greeted by his family. Unfortunately it isn’t BIGGER THAN LIFE, so no picture goes in here! (it was pretty nice though – click here to cheat peek!)

We got lucky with an IS (incidental sighting – ie not researched or planned – the best kind!) just east of town on NY 20 (or NY 5 – I find it confusing when it is both! This knight stands outside Armor Building Supply (there is a similar knight outside their Batavia NY store)

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LOCATION: 4034 NY-5, Canandaigua

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PENN YAN, NY

*WORLD’S LARGEST

We headed further south to Penn Yan, site of the WORLD’S LARGEST pancake griddle. In 1987, the WORLD’S LARGEST PANCAKE was made in this thing. The batter was mixed in a (clean!) cement mixer, poured into the griddle and heated over a large fire pit. When it was time for flipping, a matching-sized griddle was placed and secured on top and the thing was flipped with a crane. The ‘pancake’, which was 28 feet wide and  4 inches thick, was served with syrup. The griddle is now mounted on the wall of the loading dock of Birkett Mills – the world’s largest manufacturer of buckwheat products, established and in continual operation since 1797. It’s on Main Street and easy to find, as there are only two blocks to the downtown!

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Location: 1 East Main St., Penn Yan

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WATKIN’S GLEN, NY

We continued south to the southern extreme of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes, ending up in Watkin’s Glen (think car races!) I expected to find all sorts of large race car related kitsch – I’m forever being disappointed! Instead, I found this – I think it is a giant mandolin – at any rate I couldn’t coax any music out of it!

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LOCATION: 209 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen

Outside to Colonial Inn and Motel, I discovered this bear eating a large ice cream. He doesn’t look to happy with the idea of sharing it with me, does he!?

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LOCATION: 609 N Franklin ST., Watkin’s Glen

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MONTOUR FALLS, NY

OK there was nothing big here, but the She-Qua-Ga or Chequaga Falls are worth a stop anyway. She-Qua-Ga means Tumbling Water, and these falls were something to behold even late in a very dry year. According to a 1932 plaque, back about 1820 a gentleman called Louis Philippe (who later became the King of France), supposedly sketched the falls. The plaque says the sketch is in the Louvre, but no such sketch seems to exist. Nice story though. And the falls are definitely sketch worthy.

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LOCATION: S Genesee St, Montour Falls

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ELMIRA, NY

Elmira is so far south, it’s practically in Pennsylvania! To get there we had to drive through the town of Horseheads. I mean, come on! Why were there no giant three-dimensional horse heads in this town?

We drove around the nightmare that is Elmira 2016 – several bridges are out/under construction and for some reason our GPS doesn’t know about this. Anyway, we found our way to Booth Electrical Supply, which is home to this BIG plug.

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LOCATION: 101 E 2nd St, Elmira

Apparently bears in New York State really like ice cream. Here was a polar bear – probably only life size – but he has a big ice cream in his paws. He’s up on the roof because he doesn’t want to share.

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LOCATION: 3162 Lower Maple Ave, Elmira

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CANDOR, NY

From Elmira we headed east cross country to the town of Candor. We drove around town for a bit looking for Power and Paddle. I mean, how hard can it be – Candor is basically one street. Eventually I stopped and asked. Seems it’s a fair way south of town, even though the address says Candor. And I didn’t find it in my research, because this is so far out in the boonies that the roads don’t have Google Street views!  So back in the car and another 5 miles on NY-96. Well worth the hunt for this huge chain saw.

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LOCATION: 1035 Owego Rd, Candor

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OWEGO, NY

We are still in the boonies, as far as Google is concerned, but this pink elephant is pretty eye catching. It’s at Tioga Mini Challenger, a mini golf that also has a big skull and a giant parrot. Unfortunately it was locked up tight, with no legal way to get pictures. Apparently the wife thinks this hobby is not sufficient means for breaking and entering. Spoil sport! I could have climbed the fence with only minor injuries.

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LOCATION: NY-96 just north of Metros Rd

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BINGHAMPTON, NY

One hour east of Owego we arrived in Binghampton. We were hunting for Blossom the Black Angus bull – a fiberglass statue painted with dozens of pastel coloured blooms. Blossom lives outside the Children’s Discovery Center – just one of a number of charming figures in an amazing children’s play area.20161107_14041720161107_142032  20161107_142748

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From the top: Blossom the Bull, large metal leaves, Peter Rabbit in the garden, a big, colourful chair, a gorilla looking over my shoulder and a giant fairy tale book.

LOCATION: 60 Morgan Rd., Binghampton

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ONEONTA, NY

The big disappointment of the day was the giant soccer ball embedded in the wall of the former National Soccer Hall of Fame. The word FORMER should have been a give-away. After driving around for half an hour (and Oneonta isn’t that large) we got directions back to where we had begun. Another fruitless half hour and we noticed, in the setting sun, the circle on a side of a building where the ball used to reside (the building is now a factory) Subsequent research gleaned this information “In February of 2010, the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum announced its plan to change its current operating model to address its financial challenges.” That, my friends, is a flowery way of saying went out of business. Apparently some stuff was relocated, and the rest is in a storage locker in North Carolina! I’m pretty resentful about the wasted hour of daylight, but I don’t know who the anger is directed at!

BIG INDIAN, NY

Back on the road, and driving through the Catskills. It was beautiful until the sun set, and even then it was quite charming. And there was no sound of dueling banjos! It actually looked fairly prosperous. Just before we got to Phoenecia, we went through the town of Big Indian. We were joking that when we rule the world, the town of Big Indian would have a statue of a big Indian, when low and behold, one magically appeared at the side of the road! This is a sculpture of Winnisook, the legendary seven foot Indian who lived here way, way back in the 18th Century (click here for the Legend of Winnisook – the language made me cringe, but keep in mind the story was written in 1896). So apparently this is only life-sized! Ha!

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LOCATION: Big Indian Park, 8280 NY-28, Big Indian

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Phoencia, NY

A couple of hours after the sun set, we arrived in Phoenecia. Outside the Sportsman’s Alamo Cantina is a statue of Davy Crockett (who, as David Crockett lived most of his life in Tennesee, was a congressman who later moved to Texas and inexplicably died at the Alamo, and probably never set foot in New York State! But let’s not let facts get in the way of a good frontier story!) Luckily there was enough ambient light to get this picture.20161107_174816_lls

LOCATION: 87 Main St., Phoenecia

TANNERSVILLE, NY

Another IS (Incidental Sighting) caught when we stopped for gas in Tannersville.

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LOCATION: 6067 Main St, Tannersville

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CATSKILL, NY

One last stop in Catskill, to see if any of their current public art projects are on display. If you lived in Catskill, what object/animal would you choose for a public display? did I hear Mountain Lions or Cougars? Posh! They chose the friendly house cat! For the last 10 years they have had local artists paint up various cats, displayed them in public places, then auctioned them off in September (Proceeds from the event benefit a local not-for-profit, as well as the Barry Hopkins Art Scholarship Fund) Other towns in the area have similar displays – Saugerties  has its decorated horse statues on display, while Greenville has its ducks for a second year. Other communities that have hosted such displays include the city of Kingston, which featured peacock statues, Woodstock, which had its guitars, and the city of Hudson, which had its dogs. The town of Cairo also had a display of bears and the village of Tannersville had Rip Van Winkle statues. Annese said Coxsackie may join in and have a display of its own next year.

We didn’t find any cats downtown, and think this fellow might be responsible. He looks like a cat chaser to me.

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These three were spotted out near the Walmart – at the Suds’n Duds on Bridge St. I like that they are all different shapes and types of cats. It looks like a fun thing to check out in the summer when there are 50 or so scattered around town.

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So that was it for Day 1. A quick run up to Albany to our hotel, for a total of 908 km in 16 hours!

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HOOSICK, NY

Hoosick is the home of BIG furniture! The chair and kitchen were impressive, and I’m sure the bed looks nice if it is filled with flowers in the good weather – get it? -flower bed! (nudge nudge wink wink!)

LOCATION: Countryside Furniture, Hoosick (NOT Hoosick Falls) on Rte 7  from Troy.

This is just one on MANY ‘interesting’ items at Big Moose Deli in Hoosick. A bit overwhelming!

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LOCATION:Big Moose Deli, Hoosick (NOT Hoosick Falls) on Rte 7  from Troy.