austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

A duel in the sun at the stroke of high noon

So with Niagara Falls having been looked at adequately for everyone else, and fairly well given the limitations of time and queue avoidance by me, we got in the car to head out for the night's hotel. Since we'd driven that day from Cleveland, hugging Lake Erie, and were now just outside Buffalo we naturally headed for Rochester, New York. I had always pictured Rochester as the place people went when they felt Albany was too tropical, although in summer that's not bad. Unfortunately the route we followed meant that we were never anywhere close to seeing the Erie Canal, or any pieces thereof, although we did come across signs warning that it was just over some hill or other.

As to why we got a hotel in Rochester before driving home ... well, I don't know. My mother did the bookings. The major features of the hotel in Rochester were that there wasn't any way to actually get to it from the highway that Mapquest insisted the hotel was on, so we did a fair bit of driving in loops, and that we weren't able to find any restaurants in the immediate vicinity. But it did have a curious set of inset closet doors which my father wanted to figure how to build --- as a result I've got about two dozen pictures documenting every side, interior and exterior, of how the doors are hung --- and an advertisement from the Rochester Science Center proclaiming the chance to see ``Spin! The World Of Angular Momentum!'' Somehow we weren't to go to that. The room also had lamps that I had to carefully examine to figure out where the light bulbs were and how electricity got into them.

The restaurant we ended up at was, I suppose, the default for when you don't know where to eat: an Italian restaurant. This one had a floor layout divided into many nearly-enclosed rooms, making the place strangely noisy, and booths against what amounted to a long hallway. (We got a booth.) The walls were covered with nearly life-size caricatures of people who we were pretty sure had Italian heritage, all labelled editorial-cartoon style and talking about how they like going to this restaurant, in case Sophia Loren or a Three Tenor feels like Italian food and is in Rochester, New York. Or in Albany, as it turns out, as the menu said they had three restaurants and the Capital District got one of them.

Trivia: In 1900 the most accurate clock at the Greenwich Observator could be expected to deviate about 0.051 seconds per day. Source: A History Of Mechanical Inventions, Abbot Payson Usher.

Currently Reading: Tsar: A Thriller, Ted Bell. This was my provisional Christmas polyanna gift, gotten to at long last. A hundred pages in and so far everything that's happened has looked like pieces from other spy books or movies.

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