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Showing posts from June, 2016

Steel Windows

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Steel Windows The Bethlehem Exhibition
(updated 7 September 2016)
Once "protected by pistol-packing mamas," Bethlehem Steel was central to the success of the United States in peace and war. As you review the photos below, you will not hear what workers and neighbors described as the "constant booming" of the plant. Companion to many generations, today the pulse of the plant can only be imagined by the scope of its gargantuan local footprint, nine and a half miles long.

The easiest way to comprehend the impact of Bethlehem Steel is to watch the PBS documentary on its history (YouTube, ~1 hr. 20 min.) :

"Bethlehem Steel: the People Who Built America" 
Local efforts in preservation and restoration were incomplete as of 2011 when many of these Google Street View photos were taken. Much progress transforming the former headquarters facilities of Bethlehem Steel has been made. New tenants and uses are everywhere. Transformation, however, is a tricky deal that ne…

Restaurants in passing: The Flo-Jean, Port Jervis NY

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updated 31 August 2019 Permanence. As a child, I thought everything that was had always been and would always be. It takes a few years to realize that change is life's certificate of authenticity. The bustling railroad towns of Port Jervis and Middletown NY I knew in the 1950s are now just memories, personal experiences shared with fewer and fewer of my contemporaries.

Sometimes as a consequence of community decline and occasionally due to changes in customer preference or competition, staid old landmark restaurants pass into history. Featured here are a few I have known and some I wish I had known. All have passed into history.

The Flo-Jean, Port Jervis NY

Here's a look at some of the conveyances listed on the Toll sign:

Stage wagon ride (YouTube ~3 min.)
"Once busy" describes the Port Jervis area very well. It was a canal town, then a railroad town and is now bypassed by intercity traffic altogether. At a time when all traffic passed over the Delaware at Port Jervis…

Arles, France: Searching for Iris and Sunflowers

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updated 3 June 2016
When Street View guided me down West Montgomery Avenue in Philadelphia, one of the murals I saw was "Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles." Not long after, I visited the profiles page of one of my Google+ followers and found that the Van Gogh painting "Field with Flowers Near Arles, 1888" was posted there.

So of course, I had to go there! Arles traces its history back to the Romans, as Wikipedia explains. It was founded by Rome as a retreat for Roman soldiers. The area is host to several Roman ruins, but they are not the only tourist draw. Climate and civic atmosphere combine with history to make Arles well worth visiting (Tripadvisor).

Rick Steves' Europe: YouTube (4 min.)

Major tourist destinations can be hard for some of us to find, however. With the aid of Google Maps, I did locate two:
The Arena at Arles was constructed for the usual bloody purposes of empire by the Romans. It is thought by some who like to think about such things that perhap…