After my last few posts, friends and family members have encouraged me to compose a post about my hometown, Rochester, NY. So, here goes!
Rochester is a small city, in Western New York with a population of about 220,000 in the city itself and about a million in the Greater Rochester area. Rochester suffers from an inferiority complex. After all, it is not New York City. It shouldn't , however, as Rochester was one of America's first boomtowns, and rose to prominence as the site of many flour mills along the Genesee River and a city on the Erie Canal, and then as a major hub of manufacturing. Several of the region's universities (notably the University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology) have renowned research programs. In addition, Rochester is the site of many important inventions and innovations in consumer products. The Rochester area has been the birthplace to such corporations as Kodak, Bausch and Lomb, Gleason and Xerox that conduct or have conducted extensive research and manufacturing in the fields of industrial and consumer products.
Today, Rochester is undergoing a resurgence as Kodak and Bausch and Lomb are shells of what they once were. Many small startups are sprouting all over town and the culture is booming. For the past 16 years, Rochester has run one of the largest Jazz Festivals in the United States. It goes for 9 nights in about a dozen venues. Over 200 jazz acts from all over the world graced us with their presence this year. For me, one of the best shows of this year's festival was the Donny McCasslin group. The 4 band members played with David Bowie on his last album, Blackstar, and at their show at the Festival showed why Bowie had such faith in them. They played 2 sets with joy, vim and vigor, for over an hour each, despite only getting an hour's sleep the prior eve due to flight issues. The pic below captures some of that joy.
Many of you, I am sure have been reading about the rising waters in Lake Ontario. The situation has caused great damage. This past holiday weekend we traveled to the Lake to walk on the pier in the Charlotte neighborhood. We were shocked by what we saw. The Lake was about 3 feet above where it usually is. Check out the pic below for stark evidence of the dire situation.
Every July 4th, the city has fireworks at dark. This year, I made my first attempt to photograph them. The pic below is the only pic that turned out moderately well and that I would not consider simply a snapshot. Whatcha think?
What would a Rochester blog be without a few pics of my neighborhood. It is amazing what one notices when looking at a very familiar spot with new eyes. The first pic in this blog is of the side of our home on a mid afternoon sunny day. The photos that follow are of the mile around my neighborhood, the Highland Park neighborhood named after Highland Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the designer of Central Park and many others. As I walked down the street, I noticed the lawn of my neighbors who live on a busy street. Both members of the couple are engineers and the hubby is also a master carpenter. Their yard is spectacular with 2 high chairs for viewing the area as well as a treehouse for chillaxing.
Across the street from this home is Highland Park. The sight one sees from the chairs and treehouse is beautiful. It includes a lovely pond that freezes in the winter and becomes an ice skating rink. In the photo below, you see a bench that was gifted to the park in my honey's honor by her family on her 60th birthday.
As we walk through our neighborhood, both the Warner Castle and the Mount Hope Cemetery, home to Susan B. Anthony and Federick Douglass, are can't miss locales. Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass made history in Rochester. The four photos below show some of the splendor and color of the locales as well as the gravesites, constantly changing, due to the gifts left by visitors. Both Susan B Anthony and Frederick Douglass were buried in the cemetery with other family members.
So, there you have a smattering of photos of Rochester and our neighborhood. Come visit us for the real McCoy!