50 Towns in 50 States

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:47 am

Breaking my rule in my initial reluctance to feature major cites, but Portland, Maine, is only so by comparison with the rest of the state. Described by a friend as "Boston in six blocks" it's actually larger than that and has its own fiercely held character.

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Munjoy Hill. The tower illuminated by the moon is the old Fire Lookout.

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The Old Port district.

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The crumbling wooden wharf district, dating in (rotting) parts to the 1720s.

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Downtown.

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City Hall.

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The interior of the Custom House.

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The McLelland Mansion, Portland's finest Federal Era house.

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Exchange Street.

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The Western Promenade.

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A rather cranky double house.

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The Baxter Library.

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The oldest wooden house in Portland, the Captain Willox Mansion from 1750-1755.

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The astonishing Clapp Mansion, now owned by the University of Portland.

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An interior at the Victoria Mansion museum.

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The city's Memorial Concert Hall.

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Gables, bays and spires.

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Spring in Portland...

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And Fall.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by Lost Soul » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:19 am

The last shot is pretty, and a good jigsaw puzzle.
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by FUUZ » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:20 am

^
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:56 am

With the exception of Avalon, I assume all the California entries in this thing are pretty much toast.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by FUUZ » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:43 am

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by FUUZ » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:54 pm

Astoria, Oregon, the oldest anglo town on the west coast, might be worth a look.
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by korgy » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:27 pm

BulletPark wrote:With the exception of Avalon, I assume all the California entries in this thing are pretty much toast.
i dont think you did Mendocino, but a shame what's going on there now with the mudslides..
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by korgy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:27 pm

^ jesus, the mudslides are in Montecito, not Mendecino -- how embarrassing.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by FUUZ » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:38 am

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:08 am

FUUZ wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:54 pm
Astoria, Oregon, the oldest anglo town on the west coast, might be worth a look.
Already done - check above.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Mon May 07, 2018 5:24 am

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Onteora Park, NY, is essentially a subset of Tuxedo Park set up into the Catskill Mountains and renowned as an artists' colony.

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Being less overtly aristocratic than Tuxedo, Onteora Park is actually the more architecturally distinguished of the two and is somewhat more intact from an aesthetic standpoint.

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The beautiful little Church of All Souls, hand-built from salvaged stones in the community.

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Alas, this gorgeous old witch's tower burned to the ground last year.

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Nearby Kaaterskill Falls, one of the great touchstones for the Hudson River School of painting.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by Lost Soul » Mon May 07, 2018 12:45 pm

Nice shots of the Catskills, BP.
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by dBrother » Mon May 07, 2018 12:56 pm



Alas, this gorgeous old witch's tower burned to the ground last year.

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Looks like the old monastary towers in county Wicklow where they used to climb to the top and hide from the Vikings in, after destroying the ladders..

The other tower further up was a water tower yeah?


Excellent photos btw..
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Mon May 07, 2018 1:57 pm

Both were water towers, with observation rooms at the top.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by FUUZ » Tue May 08, 2018 10:08 pm

The Kennicott Mine mill town, which is a National Historic Landmark, has been a ghost town for more than 60 years. Worth looking at.
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by Undertree » Tue May 08, 2018 10:38 pm

Thanks for Portland. I'm going to NH and ME this summer for a short trip.
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by mishmish » Wed May 09, 2018 1:24 am

Ahhhh my brain is soothed. I hope this thread never dies

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Thu May 10, 2018 5:31 am

Undertree wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 10:38 pm
Thanks for Portland. I'm going to NH and ME this summer for a short trip.
Let me know if you need suggestions - I've relatives in both places. Portland is the more laid-back place, while Portsmouth is decidedly upper-crusty, but both have amazing sites and cultural resources that belie their relatively small sizes.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by Undertree » Thu May 10, 2018 6:04 pm

Thanks Bullet, it'll be a short 5 day trip. Mostly just getting a feel.
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Thu May 17, 2018 6:23 am

Undertree wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 6:04 pm
Thanks Bullet, it'll be a short 5 day trip. Mostly just getting a feel.
You may be able to stop off in the town just below Portsmouth, NH - Newburyport, MA.

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A prosperous small city, it boasts a wealth of architecture from the Federal period (1780s - 1810).

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The Customs House.

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The First Religious Society Church (yes, that is what they call the thing).

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Imposing houses from 100 and 200 and 300 years crowd the main boulevard south of the town center.

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Is that your chimney, house from 1740, or are you just glad to see us?

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But the greatest is the Timothy Dexter Mansion.

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Owned by Lord Timothy Dexter, the Self-Proclaimed.

Here shown not at all looking like a fucking crazy person.

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He bought what some consider to be the finest Federal era mansion in New England from the aristocratic Tracy Family (who from that point on shunned him in the street) and then studded the front lawns with statues of people he admired and charged a penny for the public to enter and view them for their useful entertainment and edification. Among them was a statue of (who else?) himself. It had the inscription, "I am the first in the East, the first in the West, and the greatest philosopher in the Western World".

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At age 50, Dexter authored "A Pickle for the Knowing Ones or Plain Truth in a Homespun Dress", in which he complained about politicians, the clergy, and his wife. The book contained 8,847 words and 33,864 letters, but without punctuation and seemingly random capitalization. Dexter initially handed his book out for free, but it became popular and was reprinted eight times. In the second edition, Dexter added an extra page which consisted of 13 lines of punctuation marks with the instructions that readers could "salt and pepper" as they pleased.

He had slightly more sinister habits, such as claiming that his wife was dead when she was not only alive but standing in clear view and that the woman who appeared to be her was simply her ghost. He faked his own death once to see what would happen and threw the mother of all tantrums when his mock-wake revealed that absolutely nobody in the entire town gave a pinch of ant shit.

Yes, he was the Federal Era Donald Trump with much better taste in architecture.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by Unwashed_Pom » Thu May 17, 2018 7:38 am

It never ceases to amaze. Some of the best architectural eye candy on the planet and yet you lack the capacity to build drinkable coffee.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Thu May 17, 2018 3:06 pm

As a bonus for Undertree, another town on the Portsmouth/Portland track, this one midway between the two.

Ogunquit, Maine!

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Perkins Cove, with its wooden drawbridge.

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Mmmm, lobster.

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The lighthouse.

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The Rockmere Hotel, now in pistachio.

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The library.

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The famed Ogunquit Playhouse, one of the most significant summer theaters in the country (for what I don't know. I can't stand summer theater).

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The architecturally unprepossessing but distinguished Ogunquit Museum of American Art.

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In summation - less prickish than Kennebunkport, more beachy than Camden. Plus it's where, in the opening chapters of Stephen King's "The Stand", everybody dies.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by Moethebartender » Thu May 17, 2018 4:58 pm

Those look outstanding, going to have to make a visit up there sometime this summer.
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Sat May 19, 2018 5:50 am

St. Michaels (not "Michael's), Maryland, was named after the church raised first on the early 1700s.

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It is perhaps more famous as a crab and oyster bay, guarded by a charming 1879 lighthouse.

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The downtown is in an excellent state of preservation, preserving numerous sites from the 1700s.

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The Great Inn at Perry Cabin.

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The Oaks.

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The Episcopal Church.

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An outlying estate.

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A more modern villa by Michael Gurney.

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The town was heavily fired upon during the American Revolution by the British. According to legend, the reason it survived the bombardment is that the townsfolk realized the attack was imminent and hung lanterns in the trees so that the British fired over the roofline. Ha ha, whaddabunchalosers.

Still, broken clock, right, twice a day, etc., and at least one cannonball caroomed into this pile, which is now known as the Cannonball House.

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St. Michaels is also the home of the largest collection of log boats in the world - a type of sailing vessel influenced by Native American construction and raced in the bay for literally centuries. The fleet shown here have all been given National Historic Landmark status.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by DianaHaddad » Sat May 19, 2018 6:29 am

Glad to see Ogunquit on there, it's a fantastic place. The drawbridge in Perkins Cove (pictured above) has instructions on it because passers-by often need to open the bridge for sailboats going by.

The playhouse is marvelous. What is there not to like about summer theater, though? Do you go to their shows after Labor Day? I saw something there once and then a week later saw the same show on Broadway, and it was better in Ogt. They draw from the same talent pool, too.

There's great food to be had up there. Small seafood places, bigger restaurants and cafes, and a very nice place fine dining restaurant hidden away in the woods.

The beach is spectacular and Marginal Way is a walkway between town and Perkins Cove, all along the ocean. You walk right by a tiny lighthouse, too.

The only problem is the same problem with all of Maine: the water is too damn cold. It's not their fault of course, but it's what keeps them from being perfect.
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by DianaHaddad » Sat May 19, 2018 6:31 am

My parents stayed at the Inn at Perry Cabin. They liked the hotel and thought the town was nice, but they were the youngest people there by three decades.
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Thu May 24, 2018 6:06 am

Marietta, Ohio, might be a bit of a sleeper.

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Not, technically, the oldest town or city in Ohio, it is the first populated European settlement.

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"The Castle".

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Other houses from the 1790s onwards.

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The Lafayette Hotel.

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The bar.

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Stern-wheelers arriving for the annual riverboat festival.

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But actually the most interesting thing about Marietta may be the fact that the Mound Dwellers of the prehistoric period lived here and raised one of their most monumental earthworks, a series of earth structures that the Swanee People avoided but that the Ohio settlers incorporated into their own cemeteries because, Grandpa, meet unearthly Lovecraftian hellbeast.

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They date between 100 BC and 500 AD and are attributed to the Hopewell People.

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The settlers were unexpectedly respectful of the mounds and conducted many early 19th century surveys of their contours and architecture.

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But not too respectful to put the town library on the biggest of them.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by Lost Soul » Thu May 24, 2018 6:33 am

Cool.

The evil, white people around St. Louis plowed through most of them from Cahokia.
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Thu May 24, 2018 6:38 am

Marietta was settled by Puritans from New England, who were probably more canny about ancient burials than the French Catholics in St. Louis.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Thu May 24, 2018 6:41 am

Anyhow, we've reached more than 100 towns, etc.

Coming up! Not Quite the United States! Iowa again, believe it or not! Fags! That place with the pizza!

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by Lost Soul » Thu May 24, 2018 6:45 am

The pizza ovens of Madison County.
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Fri May 25, 2018 12:34 am

St. Augustine is the oldest city in the US, but Old San Juan, in the US Protectorate, was founded 50 years earlier in 1509 by Ponce de Leon himself.

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The youth-seeking puddle-diving conquistador fuckhead built himself Casa Blanca in 1519, but was spiked by the Calusa people of Florida, who deed not like hees steenking looks, Senior, before he could take up residence. It was, however, inhabited by his descendants until the late 18th Century. It is now a museum. A rather poncey one, ho ho ho.

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The Executive Palace came roaring along in 1533 and is the oldest such building in continuous use in the New World.

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The Convent, now a hotel.

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The Cathedral of San Juan, the second oldest Cathedral in the New World.

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The Capitol Building, designed by a New York architect.

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The old town was saved by the efforts of the writer and anthropologist Ricardo Alegria, whose battle to preserve the old quarter led to a gradual renovation project that has inspired similar long-term preservation in Havana and Lima, among other Latin American cities. Old San Juan itself is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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The main square.

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Kinda makes where you live look like shit, don't it?

An old soda and ice cream palace. I wonder if they put pansies on anything?

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Hmm, probably not.

San Juan is one of the few walled cites in North America, along with Quebec City and St. Augustine. Note the opalescent blue cobblestones - they are only found here.

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Its trio of vast fortresses were declared a national landmark by the US in the 1950s.

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The sentry tower overlooking the ocean at the ancient Castlello el Morro.

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Legend has it that if you enter this tower alone at midnight…the, um, Easter Bunny will…grant you three wishes. Yes! The fuzzy little Easter Bunny. Not Satan himself. Three wishes. Not spontaneous combustion. Hey, would I lie to you?

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by Lost Soul » Fri May 25, 2018 12:40 am

Tucson had walls- due to the Apaches.
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Fri May 25, 2018 12:43 am

Lost Soul wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 12:40 am
Tucson had walls- due to the Apaches.
Lots of places did, including Manhattan, thus "Wall Street". But the three I've given have preserved walls and gates.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by FUUZ » Fri May 25, 2018 12:44 am

the Capitol Building in Havana is pretty remarkable....(albeit Cuba is not (yet) one of the 50 states)
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Fri May 25, 2018 2:39 am

I assume they were Building For Tomorrow.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Fri May 25, 2018 3:17 am

Welcome to Pella, Iowa! At first glance a well-preserved and handsome Midwestern town.

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Then shit gets weird.

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Founded in 1843 by Dutch immigrants, Pella has clung onto its colonial history with the tenacity of a honey badger.

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The Vermeer Windmill, tallest in the US, and a fully functioning flour mill.

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Much smaller windmill in the city park.

The town has a tulip festival.

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They've also set the world record for people dancing in wooden shoes.

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The local high-toned architecture firm does not care.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by Moethebartender » Fri May 25, 2018 3:55 am

I've actually stayed in Pella (and subsequently, forgot all about it), back when Nebraska and Iowa were part of my ever so exciting territory many, many years ago. It was actually one of the more pleasant (and completely weird) places that I visited in Iowa. Red Oak was another. Iowa was more interesting than Nebraska. Faint praise, really, given that belly lint is more interesting than the vast majority of Nebraska.
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Fri May 25, 2018 4:02 am

I've always thought that Iowa was full of small yet highly distinctive towns, for whatever reason. Nebraska, not so much.

I assume settlement patterns have something to do with it, as well as climate and topography. Iowa is more hilly and meadow-like - Nebraska has some amazing countryside but is rather severe.

Iowa:

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Nebraska:

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Fri May 25, 2018 4:07 am

Interesting to note that Pella and the oldest town in Victoria, Australia, share a founding year - 1843.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Fri May 25, 2018 5:55 am

And now for something a little bit gay.

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The Pines/Cherry Grove, Fire Island, is probably America's oldest "out" gay community.

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Although settled for nearly 200 years, very little survived the hurricane seasons of the 1930s, which wiped pretty much everything historic off the map.

What was put in its place was pretty cool - probablyt he greatest collection of low-cost high style modernist homes in the world.

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Many of these were the work of Horrace Gifford, whose designs offered a neat balance of transparency and privacy that has been identified by scholars as singularly conducive to gay sexual culture on the Island during the pre-AIDS era. Which is a fancy way of saying "Peep all you like, Tom."

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The Fire Island Pavilion.

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The lighthouse, one of the few historic buildings to have survived the storms.

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And the Belvedere, probably the first gay-men only hotel in the world.

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A labor of love from an old theater queen, this bogus Russian/Spanish Baroque mish-mash is now a national historic landmark. Think of it as San Simeon with a lot more dick.

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Only one street in all of Fire Island. Everything else is wooden boardwalks.

People use Radio Flyer red wagons to lug groceries, etc.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Sun May 27, 2018 2:28 am

I bet you thought the place with the pizza would be Mystic, Connecticut, home to the restaurant that launched Julia Roberts' twee, toothy, talent-free career.

Wrong, bitches.

It's New Haven!

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Home to the best pizza in North America.

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And some other stuff.

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The first American city laid out on the grid plan (1638), New Haven is ordered around one of the oldest of New England’s greens.

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Yale University, founded in 1712. You may have heard of it.

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Paul Rudolph's Art & Architecture Building, thought by some to be a masterpiece; by others (the actual students) worthy of being set on fire (which they did).

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Woolsey Hall, the concert auditorium.

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The Beinecke Rare Book Library.

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The Yale University Art Gallery, repository for over 30,000 artifacts and works of art.

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The Yale Center for British Art, largest collection of British art outside of the UK, housed in Louis Kahn's penultimate masterpiece.

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The City Free Library, in a building by Cass Gilbert.

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The Peabody Museum of Biological and Natural History.

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The New Haven Colony Historical Society.

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What’s left of Henry Austin's design for City Hall.

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The renowned Schubert Theater, cited in “All About Eve”. According to the website, "Some of the biggest names in show business have graced the Shubert stage - including Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Clark Gable, Mary Martin, Rex Harrison, Ethel Merman, Gene Kelly, Julie Andrews, Carol Channing, Robert Goulet, Shirley MacLaine, Robert Redford, James Earl Jones, Jane Fonda, Alan Alda, Debbie Reynolds, Jerry Lewis, Liza Minnelli, John Travolta..." I believe this is called: "The Law of Diminishing Returns".

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Hillhouse Avenue, cited by Charles Dickens as "the most impressive boulevard in the New World I have yet seen."

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Harkness Tower, designed by the ancestor of a friend of mine to honor the ancestor of another completely different friend.

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But enough of all this boring highbrow shit. Now for what New Haven is best known for (after the pizza) (yum, pizza) - yes, as of accordance with American legal writ, New Haven is recognized as the official home of the hamburger, dating back to 1895 and sold a Louis Lunch, still operating out of a little building that was once a colonial era tannery.

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Still cooked in vertical grills from 1900.

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And served on toast and without condiments.

No pansies, sorry.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by DianaHaddad » Sun May 27, 2018 3:32 am

Excellent post on New Haven. So are you going to take a stance on the great pizza debate?

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Sun May 27, 2018 4:29 am

I love New Haven, despite the majority of the city resembling the set for a Batman film.

I don't believe I've ever had a bad slice of pizza there, so abstain from the ongoing blood feud.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Sun May 27, 2018 4:31 am

Coming up! Not Virginia! Not Nevada either! Vast cold piles of uncaring cash! The opposite of that! And three uniquely American personalities.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by korgy » Sun May 27, 2018 4:38 am

the suspense...
"Iranians apparently disagree with korgy"

Ped_Yai
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by Ped_Yai » Sun May 27, 2018 6:33 am

You may be able to stop off in the town just below Portsmouth, NH - Newburyport, MA.


Home of the best known "Colby" line of Pit Bulls. Bred to fight.

Bull Terrier Kills Child
Grabs Him by Throat at Newburyport.
Bert Leadbetter, 2 Years Old, of Lynn on Visit.
Uncle John P. Colby Owner of the Dog

NEWBURYPORT, Feb 2, 1909 -- Bert, the 2-year-old son of Mr and Mrs Walter Leadbetter of Lynn, was killed this afternoon by a fighting bull terrier, owned by his uncle, John P. Colby, at 36 Franklin st.

Origin/History of the Colby Pitbull line of dogs:

The Colby Pit Bull has a long and interesting history. John Colby originated his strain of American Pit Bull Terriers in 1889. He brought over the top of the line canines from Ireland and England. He started breeding them and the breed took off and spread all over Northern parts of America. However, due to selective breeding over the last 70 years they own been bred to different standards resulting in many individuals recognizing them as two distinct breeds.
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by FUUZ » Sun May 27, 2018 8:58 pm

^^^
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VinnyD
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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by VinnyD » Mon May 28, 2018 12:37 am

My mother had friends who had a place at Fire Island (where we spent a week or so in my youth; I remember our cat didn't like the sand under his feet and spent the whole week under the house). She was there before and after the 1938 hurricane. Before, there were three houses between the Murphys' place and the ocean. After, there was a toilet and some pipes.

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Re: 50 Towns in 50 States

Post by BulletPark » Mon May 28, 2018 4:47 am

Virginia City, Nevada, is not in Virginia. It is in Nevada. It was named after a bottle of whiskey someone dropped. Which ought to give you some idea.

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It was founded to service a little thing called the Comstock Lode.

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In 1879 the whole place burned down and fire threatened the Comstock mines itself. When informed that the city's church was in danger of burning, The manager replied: "Damn the church! We can build another if we can keep the fire from going down these shafts." They did too, a rather nice one.

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They also built an opera house.

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A courthouse

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And a school. You know. For the kids.

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The entire town is now a National Historic Landmark.

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All in all, some 2.5 billion was extracted from Nevada City in today's dollars. Most of which went to build a different city, one you may have heard of, called San Francisco.

Also, Virginia City is where Samuel Clemens, working for the local paper, first used the pen name of "Mark Twain".

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