Today’s blogging prompt is to write a top ten list. So that got me to thinking about its connection that that bucket list that I wrote a few days ago, on the nineteenth of January. Here is the link to that blog post, which was titled “Items from Alice’s Bucket List.” After the fact, I realized that I left out an item… ride on a bullet train! For reasons unknown to me, there are no bullet trains in the United States. Why would we not prioritize that high level of fun and make it happen?
But I digress. Back to my top ten list. I spend a lot of time writing about cool things to do and see on Grand Island and elsewhere in Western New York. And, despite my transportation issues, I have been able to experience quite a bit. Maybe a bullet train would help? Well, yeah, sure, it would be fun for everyone. So… anyway, here is a list of places that I’d like to see and things that I would like to do, mostly in both New York State and southern Ontario.
|This is a view from a train heading east from New York to Buffalo.|
1. Ride on the Attica and Arcade Railroad. These trains are run on steam, just like all trains in the past. This train was part of a line that connected Buffalo with Pennsylvania, and it officially opened in 1880. In addition to passenger service, the route also operated a freight service, and goods, such as milk, cheese, grain, cattle, gasoline, coal, and mail. This was how prison guards traveled from places such as Buffalo to get to the front gate of Attica State Prison. And, now, the route is mainly used for freight and for various tours, such as the fall foliage tour and the Christmas tour and much more.
2. Visit the floral clock in Niagara Falls, Ontario. It’s a clock! It’s a garden! Yes! It’s both! Here is a link to the Niagara Parks website with a photograph of the garden/clock. This clock even has chimes that announce every quarter of an hour.
|Shakespeare in the Park, Delaware Park, Buffalo, NY|
3. Go to the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario. It runs annually from April through October. It was originally dedicated to producing Shakespeare’s plays but it now includes many other theatrical productions.
4. Walk on the breakwall in Buffalo. I was actually planning on doing that in September but the day that I chose was too windy. So I intend to do it some time this year. This breakwall has an interesting history. It was completed in 1822, and it marked the end of a competition between Buffalo and Black Rock (which later was merged into Buffalo) for the terminus of the Erie Canal. With the completion of the breakwall, Buffalo won that honor.
5. visit the Palmyra, N.Y., temple of the Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon). This was where the Mormon church began. It was there on September 22nd, 1827, that the founder of the faith, Joseph Smith, reported finding the golden plates on which was inscribed the Book of Mormon. The Mormon faith was formally established in Fayette, N.Y., on April 6th, 1830. Exactly 170 years later, on April 6th, 2000, the Palmyra temple was dedicated.
|Graycliff was designed for Darwin and Isabelle Martin as a summer home on the shores of Lake Erie in Derby, NY|
6. Visit Fallingwater. Last October, I wrote a blog post about a visit to Graycliff, which was the summer home of Larkin Soap Company executive Darwin Martin and his wife Isabelle. The house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, a famous American architect. His style was very organic. He liked to build his strutures, by using materials indigenous to the area. His houses blended into their backgrounds in creative ways. One of the more creative was Fallingwater, located in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, about 43 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Wright designed this building in the late 1930s for Edgar and Lilianne Kaufmann. He was the president of Kaufmann’s Department Store. The house was built around a waterfall and actually incorporates elements of the waterfalls in its design.
7. Visit a few historical sites in Buffalo. One of these is the Darwin Martin house, located near Delaware Park and designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Much of it has been restored but it is still a work in progress. Another one is the Wilcox Mansion on Delaware Avenue, once called Millionaires’ Row because of the plethora of mansions. The Wilcox Mansion was where Theodore Roosevelt was inaugurated as president in 1901, shortly after William McKinley succumbed to gangrene after having been shot during a meet and greet outside of the Temple of Music at the Pan American Exposition.
8. Visit Lily Dale. Lily Dale is located south of Buffalo on the shores of Cassadaga Lake in the Town of Pomfret. It had been incorporated in 1873 as Cassadaga Lake Free Thinkers Association. It was a place for free thinkers and spiritualists to get together. In 1903, it was called the City of Light, and later, it became known as the Lily Dale Assembly. It continues to be the largest center of the Spiritualist movement.
9. Visit Seneca Falls. This is where the Women’s Right movement started. The Seneca Falls Women’s Right Convention was held in 1848, and was organized by such people as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. In 1980, the Womens’ Rights National Historical Park was designated in Seneca Falls.
|Erie Canal, North Tonawanda, NY|
10. (the most ambitious!) Walk the Erie Canal towpath from Buffalo to Albany. What an adventure into history that would be! The Erie Canal was opened in 1825 as a major shipping corridor. It no longer serves that purpose. Now it is a place for boaters and for others to enjoy.