One notices a particular smell when a creature dies and begins to rot. When a city expires, however, the signs can be a little less obvious … except when they’re not.
Like a zombie lacking the capacity to know it shouldn’t be walking this earth, the city of Buffalo shambles along tirelessly, its few remaining citizens oblivious that their city has given up the ghost.
At the end of a nine-hour drive spanning half of Indiana, all of Ohio and a bit of Pennsylvania and New York, and after checking into our hotel, we stepped out its doors yesterday evening with our walking shoes and camera, eager to stretch our legs and hoping to discover unexpected sights and people.
Within a block, the excitement of our tourist pilgrimage to the hot-wing Mecca of The Anchor Bar (read Glenn’s bucket-list experience) melted away, replaced with the somber feeling one has in a cemetery. As if in hushed reverence for the dead, we continued down Main Street, pausing to make out the name of the next shuttered storefront that marked the grave of someone’s ambition.
Passing us with hushed voices, a few disappointed Fourth of July tourists made their way back up the direction we were headed. Aside from their whispers, the city’s silence was broken only by the occasional and grudging passage of empty light rail cars, the earnest chirps of sparrows, and the plaintive keen of a gull that had strayed over the derelict city from the shores of Lake Erie.
We will not be back.
On this, our last day of the long-stretch from Colorado to Vermont, Glenn continued to prove a marathoner’s endurance when it comes driving long-distance. Except for a few brief sojourns behind the wheel, I rode shotgun – navigating the road and our soundtrack.
Today I served up our first real sampling of the Vermont native band Phish, which, we found, did not agree with us. Thus, we moved on to more the comforting and familiar fare of the Grateful Dead and Creedence.
Tomorrow, we’re looking forward to seeing a Vermont favorite live: Mo Lowda and the Humble! For our Denver peeps, you can catch them live on August 10th.
The Way Station
Hooray! We reached the first of what we’re calling our way stations on this trip, which is where we’ll be for a week at a time. The three way stations for us are: Killington, VT; North Conway, NH; and Carrabassett Valley, ME.
We are so happy to put our long drive-days behind us and stay long enough to explore our surroundings.