Thursday, April 30, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Wheels Plus

Recently, I had to pick up a replacement shower hose at the Central Avenue Home Depot and decided to take the shortcut to the Westgate Plaza.  I stopped to adjust a chronically loose shoelace and looked up to see this sign.

This unassuming building which, in recent years, has been home to miscellaneous businesses such as a martial arts studio and a small theatre, was once Wheels Plus. 

It was a typically 80s roller skating rink - a place of colored lights, loud music,a DJ booth in a sort of stocky tower dead in the middle of the main, skating area, a tiny wooden skating area for little kids, and a snack bar with memorably good French fries.  I didn't go there too often, once or twice for classmates' birthday parties and at least once on a class trip.  And I was never a good skater, whether on wheels or ice.  But seeing the old sign was certainly a terrific flashback to the 80s!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Lincoln's Last Journey

Civil War reenactors gather for a group photo on the steps of the New York State Capitol following yesterday's ceremony commemorating the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's funeral journey.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

The King of Washington Park Lake

Now that Spring is finally here, I've been taking walks around the Washington Park Lake to watch for turtles.  I'm rather fond of them and, so far, I've found quite a few of them sunning themselves on the matted remnants of last year's cattails.  Most of the turtles I've spotted this year are fairly small - not much bigger than my hand.  And then there is this handsome old creature; I've nicknamed it The King of Washington Park Lake.

Last August, I was standing a few inches from the edge of the water near the northeast edge of the Lake.  I was looking out over the water at nothing in particular when I got the feeling that I was being watched.  I looked down and there, not even a half foot from me, was a giant turtle.  I'm talking about a shell nearly as big as a Fiat tire.  It was floating there with its head just above the water, staring right at me.

I nearly had a heart attack and, of course, I didn't have a camera with me.

Since then, I've managed to catch sight of this huge turtle a few times.  Once, while trying to take a picture some dragonflies, it slowly swam out from behind some vegetation to watch me for a few minutes before diving away.  But I haven't been able to get a good photo of it...just some blurry shots of it floating out near the middle of the Lake.

Until yesterday morning when I spotted its peering from the matted cattails where a dozen or so smaller turtles were basking.  Such an awesome, ancient-looking face.