Short tours of a small city, Elmira, U.S.A., deep in the heart of Upstate New York. Click on photo for detailed view.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Riverfront Park revisited

Took Ellie downtown to enjoy the sun. We lucked out entirely, with some two hours of pure sunlit heaven, just before the rains started again.

If you're interested in the complete tour of the Park go here.

Little Pond

Do you remember our blocky fountain from our Riverfront Park blog? I promised to learn its name. And here it is. The Park is a direct result of the 1972 flood caused by Tropical Storm Agnes. Posted by Picasa

Our Cascade must be running on Chemung River water. It's drier during the summer and quite full right now. Posted by Picasa

The Cascade on a misty morning. Posted by Picasa

The plaque refers to the greening of Downtown Elmira. Many feel the greening is what drove away the businesses that left after the Flood of 1972. Don't think so. A service economy replaced the retail district. Takes a while, but many people now live downtown. Posted by Picasa

Grape Tree in the Fall of 2005

Remember the Butterfly Tree? It changes quite regularly. I finally caught up with it, now a grape tree in celebration of our bountiful grape harvests up on the Finger Lakes. Posted by Picasa

Then there's the heading home part. Ellie's ready for a short visit to the Fishing Ramp. Quick, before the rain starts. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Apples for Animals

Hey all you horsey people and deer lovers.!!

You've probably noticed our apple trees, at the corner of Guinnip and First on the city/town line. Those apples are for the taking. We use no pesticides and they are generally not fit for humans. But they are great for feeding stations and snacking horses. Posted by Picasa

Feel free to pick from the trees and please, please, grab any bagged ones you may see. I'll come to the door and wave. And the GrandDog will bark her butt off at you.

You're welcome. And thank you.

Little Pond Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

When it's too hot downtown...

...We go where it's cool. Pack a picnic hamper and head up to Harris Hill, New York. Bring the dog: Ellie will be there, too. You'll find us at the overlook, listening for the gliders and their towplanes.

Little Pond

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Welcome Input from ECTC

A local agency (paid by your tax dollars, dear Hometown Tourist) has responded to our griping posts by offering the illustrated Elmira Promenade Priliminary Design Study of June 2005 for your perusal. I'm posting two of the graphics below, more later if you show your interest. Leave a comment.

Mr. Jay Schissell of the Elmira-Chemung Transportation Council indicated that we are encouraged to post these enhanced computer simulations, with this caveat:

"Keep in mind that display areas for local artists, museums, school and the library is an important component of the Promenade project that will hopefully make it a "destination."

I hope he will not mind some of my editorializing.

Little Pond

ECTC vision under the viaduct

Coming in from the opposite direction, with our back to Church Street. Transportation Center at left. Love the colors, love the light. My only objection is that the hanging art will cut back on the natural light. I prefer the area as open as possible under the trestle.

Friday, July 15, 2005

ECTC vision of the Transportation Center

Note how the colors would tie into the existing buildings' scheme. Gives it an almost organic look. The busses would load on the other side of the viaduct.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Train Trestle: The Viaduct

Word is out that the Elmira-Chemung Transportation Council is aiming to spruce up the railroad viaduct that bisects our little town. Plans are to transform the old "eyesore" into a Promenade. Sounds good to me, as long as they promise to restore or rehab the derelict train station along the way. Quite costly even in theory, to the tune of a couple of millions, the plan would install better lighting and resurface just about everything from top to bottom. Gone would be the white, gray, blues and green, and various shades of sand and sandstone would be used instead.

In fact things wouldn't be all that different than they are now, just newer and cleaner, a little more elegant. I like that, too. As a life-long fan of trains and railroads, anything that preserves and protects the viaduct appeals to me personally. Love to watch those trains passing through our little corner of the earth.

So, dear Hometown Tourist, start on West Gray Street, about a block east from the Community Bookstore. All our downtown tours start there. Stop in for a snack and chew the fat with authentic Elmirans. If Louis is there, give him my love.

Little Pond

Viaduct: Railroad Avenue and West Gray

Our back to the parking garage on West Gray Street; facing Church Street. This is a primary boarding area for the County Transit System. Looking three blocks up, where the defunct railroad station awaits some serious rehabilitation and restoration. But that's another blog. Let's cross under the trestle. Posted by Picasa

Overdue Paint Job

Local businesses keep attractive landscapes. Many people wait for their rides under the viaduct, especially in rainy weather. We are long overdue for a new paint job. Posted by Picasa

Viaduct at Transportation Center

This shot shows where the busses load for the Chemung County routes. The long distance busses board on the other side of the Transportation Center, across from the Post Office. While I like the blues and greens, they represent our old bus company and no longer apply. Posted by Picasa

Toward Riverfront Park

Looking backward towards Water Street. Just beyond the greenery is Riverfront Park, blogged earlier here. The chipped paint is unfortunately obvious and faces our recently remodeled Clemen Center. Posted by Picasa

Clock Kiosk on West Gray

New take on an old favorite. A modern clock tower with advertising kiosk faces West Gray Street just beyond the viaduct. Posted by Picasa

Transportation Center Walkway

This little planting provides a much-needed touch of green in this concrete habitat. Posted by Picasa

A travelers' oasis, with benches. Never busy, although often occupied. Posted by Picasa

North of Church Street

Coming around the Transportation Center, we are now facing the Steele Memorial Library and the Viaduct crosses Church Street. Posted by Picasa

Window Box Garden

A cheerful sight on a cloudy day. What is that sign? Posted by Picasa

Thank you, Volunteer Master Gardeners and Citizen Pruners.  Posted by Picasa

An eyesore? Depends on the beholder. So lets scrape the peelings and repaint, already. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Remember by Morning with Louis?

A comfortable, indoor visit to the Mark Twain Hotel Museum is now available. Go alone, or with an intimate little group. Maybe you, too, will meet someone nice enough to fill you in on the local lore and details.

Little Pond

Monday, July 04, 2005

An Independence Day Tour of Wisner Park

This is the perfect place to make a quick tour in honor of Independence Day. Downtown Elmira has this little gem; Wisner is actually a memorial park. Go to the corner of North Main Street and West Gray. Two quadrangles perfectly maintained by people dedicated to the memory of our heroes. Even the trees are carefully pruned to give a nice high canopy, enhancing the light and the safety of the walkways.

Start your tour here. It is likely there is someone inside who can regale you with stories about the memorials you are about to visit. There are books and maps to the area here. Then head straight down West Gray toward the First Arena, in the upper right. Our first stop is across the street. Posted by Picasa

This is a nifty statue, if only because it gives a pretty complete picture of the Spanish American War, largely fogotten by most Americans. In fact most of these memorials are like history lessons. Head past the statue to another one facing North Main Street. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Thomas Beecher with his back to the church he pastored. He was a close friend of author Samuel Clemens and the Langdon family, who used to live across from the church. Posted by Picasa

Let's continue across the street, around the spreading triptych of marble, the memorials to our foreign wars of the 20th Century. Behind them is a minimemorial, sort of an engraved prayer, with something different on each side. Note the gazebo behind it, just in front of the Baptist Church. This is really a beautiful, peaceful park, perfectly set up for a quiet meal on most days. Posted by Picasa

Coming up Main Street, headed south, we are presented with three related memorials. The battles and the names of the fallen, all engraved. Each of the three is a complete history lesson in itself. They are beautiful and touching memorials. This is to our heroes of World War II. Likely we may know relatives of those whose names are engraved here. Posted by Picasa