austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

We go down to Fishtown in the mist and autumn light

Monday up north would be another day with a lot to visit. Also with an increasing certainty that we'd broken the house. The kitchen sink's garbage disposal just wouldn't work, or even drain all that much. It would turn out to be a drain plug, which had somehow got turned upside-down and stuffed past the rubber baffles on the sink. It was also something which had been there since before we arrived, so we could think of whatever group rented the house before us as even more the troublemakers.

We travelled, with bunny_hugger's parents, first to Northport. This I had thought of as the particularly ritzy part of the Traverse Bay area, at least outside the wineries (which we didn't visit), full of the kinds of people in my mother's circle of college friends. And it was still. I think they were in a momentary lull between festivals that week, although there's enough galleries and restaurants that it feels like the sort of place that's always have an art-movie-wine festival going on.

We did see a Little Free Library, one of the surprisingly few I know of since the one near our hipster bar seems to have evaporated. This was also one of the most elaborately decorated ones; the box was set up to look like a real, proper, and aged house, complete with faded brickwork and shutters and shingles. But that might give you some idea of the kind of town it is. This particular Little Free Library was, I believe, outside an art gallery that also had a huge metal sculpture of a dinosaur or possibly Martian invade made of chains, and an old railroad car converted to some sort of seating area.

Another art gallery had a couple of rooms and a docent who had some connection to the university where bunny_hugger teaches, a point her father found interesting to no end. He's a natural at going up to strangers and just talking with them, but something like that makes his job easier yet. Outside, the shop also had some kind of little paper leaf hung by a string which, in the breeze, fluttered apparently without support, this little blazing white stab in midair, which was a weird and fascinating effect.

It was really kind of a relief to run across an actually closed and fallow building, with this charming 80s heavy-wood sign declaring it to be The Pier Group Shops. It had a for-sale sign and even a couple guys walking around as if they owned the place, or figured to.

We kept walking around, for example to an inn that used to be some kind of working mill and which bunny_hugger's parents remembered going to back in the day when it was a restaurant open to the public. It's now apparently just a special-events place, though they had an ice cream shop attached. And that took us in town to the place that sells Petoskey stones and other charmingly not-yet-upscale souvenir bits. The place has been there forever, or at least since the 80s, and by reports hasn't changed much at all.

bunny_hugger and her mother poked into a dress shop. Her father and I noticed --- well, let me just give you the text of the sign that the grease truck had:

Earth Wind And Fryer presents the NEW
Truck with the DUCK
BARRIO Feed Wagon
Globally Inspired TACOS

``Tacos'' was written to fit inside a half-moon shape, kind of taco-y, with ``Globally Inspired'' lining this as if it were overfilling the taco. So you know what even the grease trucks are like there.

We'd hoped to visit the book shop, but it was closing just as we entered, with the owner making some apology about having to take someone to the hospital for tests and nobody being able to hold the fort there. It happens. We did spend some time in an antiques shop next to it, bunny_hugger and I more than her parents, but in my defense the shop had stuff like reprinted campaign buttons for the losing side of the 1880 Presidential Election. How am I supposed to rush through that?

We finished our circuit of the main part of town, coming back past the ice cream shop we'd visited Friday, and drove on.

Trivia: For a December 1961 football game in Washington DC, Cowboys owners Clint Murchison and Bob Thompson covered the field with chicken feed, in anticipation of releasing enough chickens onto the field to disrupt the planned appearance by Santa Claus at the halftime show. The scheme did not work. Source: The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes, Bryan Burrough. (Burrough claims 200 chickens were intended for the prank. Wikipedia says the plan was to release ``dozens'', 75 white and one black, that number to harass the Washington team's refusal to integrate. This puts a context to the prank which leaves me in the distressingly abnormal position of being on the side of (a) Texan (b) oil millionaire (c) Cowboys owners.)

Currently Reading: Flash Gordon and Jungle Jim, Alex Raymond, Don Moore. Editor Dean Mullaney.

Tags: traverse bay 2016

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