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Monday, July 27, A.D. 2009
Portland, Maine

Today, my Dad and I shall visit Portland and Cape Elizabeth. We’ll check out the Old Port, Portland Head Light, and whatever other cool thing the Mainers suggest.

Posted by Joseph on Monday, July 27, Anno Domini 2009
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Sunday, July 26, A.D. 2009

Today, my father and I continue our visit to Boston. Over the weekend, I hope to visit the main historical sites, such as Boston Common, the Boston National Historical Park, the U.S.S. Constitution, the Old North Church, Harvard University, Faneuil Hall’s Quincy Market, and the Granary Burying Ground.

Posted by Joseph on Sunday, July 26, Anno Domini 2009
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Friday, July 24, A.D. 2009
Cape Cod

Today, Dad and I shall visit Cape Cod. I debated visiting Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket during the trip, but we just won’t have enough time to justify island excursions. I hope to return one day to visit New England in more depth. This trip will be more of a survey vacation.

Among the towns that we might visit are Provincetown and Sandwich. I’d like to see the Pilgrim Monument near the end of the cape. On the way, we’ll surely visit the Cape Cod National Seashore. I love our national parks.

If we have time, I would also like to visit the Cape Cod Chips factory. I enjoy factory tours in general; it is neat to see the origin of products that I use.

We may visit Plymouth on the way to Boston this evening. I want to see the rock! We may visit other sites around the town, such as the Alden House and Burial Hill, though I refuse to visit the Leftist revisionist racket, Plimoth Plantation. It is too bad; I would like to tour the Mayflower II.

See my post on “Plymouth.”

Posted by Joseph on Friday, July 24, Anno Domini 2009
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Thursday, July 23, A.D. 2009
Newport, Rhode Island

Today, Dad and I shall visit Newport, Rhode Island.

We plan to enjoy the sea, as my old sailor father loves the water. I imagine that we’ll see plenty of lighthouses during our trip.

In Newport, we’ll definitely visit some of the Newport Mansions, too. I love visiting castles, palaces, plantations, and fine homes. It is good to see that some rich folks made beautiful settings for their lives. I wonder if the current crop of plutocrats will bequeath posterity residences worthy of visiting.

If we have some extra time, I would like to visit the Naval War College Museum, as well.

See my post on the “Newport Mansions.”

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, July 23, Anno Domini 2009
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Wednesday, July 22, A.D. 2009

Today, I am leaving on my first trip to New England. I have never before been further up the East Coast than the Bronx.

I’ll soon pick my father up at B.W.I., and then we’ll make our trek up I-95 into the land of the Yankees. Please pray for us; I have heard unanimous reports of Massachusetts drivers.

For the next week, I have created a series of entries that will post each day concerning our stop for that day. After the trip, I’ll add linked posts to serve as travel reviews of the places visited.

Today, we plan to stop in New Haven, Connecticut to visit Yale University, Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven Green, and other historical sites near Yale.

Posted by Joseph on Wednesday, July 22, Anno Domini 2009
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Wednesday, July 1, A.D. 2009
Young’s Dairy Farm

This past weekend, my sister and I visited Young’s Dairy Farm in Yellow Springs, Ohio, close to Xenia and right up the road from kooky Leftist Antioch College.

I have been going to Young’s since I was a teenager, and it is quite a place. In the middle of nowhere, you find a rural, family entertainment complex, complete with cows, chickens, very friendly goats, a driving range, water balloon war courts, two “Udders and Putters” miniature golf courses, and children’s rides. Moreover, you can enjoy some country dining that uses local produce and ingredients, including Young’s own dairy products. Lastly, you get to indulge in the ice cream made on the farm from their own cows’ milk. Young’s also has many seasonal events that draw a crowd.

The Youngs have sensibly turned their agricultural and livestock farm into a multifaceted tourist and entertainment business. Smart folks, those Youngs!

I love Young’s mainly for the ice cream and the goats. It never fails to surprise me just how friendly and social goats are. Of course, they like you more when you have goat feed for them, but they also just like to be petted. The babies are, well, like almost all animal babies—just darling.

If you are ever in southwestern Ohio, consider spending an afternoon at Young’s. You will enjoy it.

Posted by Joseph on Wednesday, July 1, Anno Domini 2009
Saturday, May 2, A.D. 2009

When I travel, I like to sample the local cuisine. There are many ways to accomplish this. One can dine at the finest restaurants that a city has to offer, but one has to be wealthy in order to do that. One can also get himself invited to dinner by local folks in order to sample regional homestyle cooking, but one has to be outgoing, charming, witty, or quite good looking to gain the favors of reserved natives. Naturally, rich and beautiful folks have the advantage. If you find yourself lacking in those prized goods of human life, you can always sample the cheap but beloved establishments of a given place. Peasants and proletarians have their esteemed spots, too.

Lonely Planet and the Rough Guide often feature such delightful local dives where one can eat at establishments honored by regular folks. Another useful resource for travel within the United States is I recommend checking it whenever you venture into a new town.

For Cincinnati and its neighboring towns, Roadfood lists Price Hill Chili, Graeter’s, Putz’s Creamy Whip, Mr. Gene’s Dog House, Camp Washington Chili Parlor, Hathaway’s Coffee Shop, Zip’s Cafe, Blue Ash Chili, Friendly Stop Cafe, the Root Beer Stand, the Golden Turtle, and the Golden Lamb. I have eaten at all those establishments except Zip’s Cafe and the Friendly Stop Cafe. I would say that the list comprises many representative favorites from Cincinnati, though I note many conspicuous absences. Still, I encourage you to consult Roadfood and to enjoy those cheap eats.

Posted by Joseph on Saturday, May 2, Anno Domini 2009
Sunday, March 22, A.D. 2009
Christ the Savior Cathedral

An acquaintance of mine soon will travel to Russia due to United Airlines’ currently incredibly cheap deals from Dulles to Moscow. So, I prepared a list of recommendations for her, one of which is Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow.

I believe that Christ the Savior is Moscow’s cathedral, but it is difficult to tell which of the “cathedrals” is the current patriarchal church because so many former ones remain. Moreover, it appears that Russians use the term sobor (собор) to designate any important church; so, the English equivalent is not really “cathedral” but something more like “basilica.”

Tsar Alexander I initiated the building of the new cathedral in gratitude to God for Russia’s defeat of Napoleon. His brother Tsar Nicholas chose the final design, and the cathedral was consecrated in A.D. 1883 on the coronation of Tsar Alexander III, Nicholas’ grandson. During the Soviet years, Stalin had the cathedral blown up, and the site became a public swimming pool. After the fall of the Communists, Russians rebuilt the cathedral, and it was consecrated on the feast of the Transfiguration in A.D. 2000. My brother Aaron and I attended the liturgy there for the same feast when we visited Moscow.

The cathedral is massive but beautiful. As you can see in the photograph above, it is built upon a base that covers a lot of area. Inside, in addition to the main church, there are museums, auditoriums, numerous chapels, and other facilities. In this, Christ the Savior strikes me as a Russian Orthodox equivalent to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Like Christ the Savior, the basilica is an all purpose center for worship, administration, and pilgrimage. They are similar in other ways, as well. I harbor significant reservations about the interior iconography of both churches. Christ the Savior has the Westernized style of nineteenth century Russian iconography, and the basilica has the chaotic and confused style of modern Roman Catholic religious art. Nonetheless, I am quite fond of both. If you are ever in the Russian or American capital cities, spend some hours visiting one of these monuments to the glory of God.

Posted by Joseph on Sunday, March 22, Anno Domini 2009
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Thursday, March 19, A.D. 2009
Motor City Blues

What American city better illustrates the diminution of the United States over the last couple of generations than Detroit? A century ago, the city that straddles Lakes Erie and Saint Clair boomed and became one of America’s industrial powerhouses. Today, it somewhat resembles a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The factories have closed, the talented continually leave, the politicians are corrupt and moronic—even by American democratic standards, and the city’s survivors remain in a forgotten town. Good job, U.A.W. and Big Three visionaries!

Detroit’s populace only has Vernor’s Ginger Ale for comfort and the ridiculous People Mover for a laugh. Oh, I forgot “Comerica Park”—even baseball has been ruined in Detroit by their obnoxious companies. Comerica Bank is not even headquartered in Detroit anymore, having carpetbagged down to Texas. Bastards! Cincinnati has likewise suffered, as all the “Rust Belt” towns except, it seems, Chicago. However, Detroit’s decay is more striking, and the rot is regional rather than limited to the core of the town. De-industrialization has devastated Michigan.

On Slate, Witold Rybczynski has a “slide show essay” on Detroit and its ruins. You can see it here. I find the Michigan Theater pictures rather emblematic of the city as a whole. Henry Ford would weep.

Of course, those resigned to their doom may amuse themselves by the spectacle of their failed city. Urban politics often make for a colorful circus show, and Detroit does not disappoint.

The councilwoman who causes a scene is Monica Conyers, the wife of Congressman John Conyers and the current president of Detroit’s completely Democratic city council. Note that John Conyers is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and the second longest serving member of the House, as well as being yet another crooked Detroit politician. Yes, this is what the American government has become.

You can see more Conyersesque wonderfulness in an interview with Charlie LeDuff. Here is the first part, and here is the second part. I experience the same sort of joy with Mrs. Conyers that I had watching Saddam Husein’s Information Minister, Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf (a.k.a. Baghdad Bob). If you are going to represent bad government, you can at least entertain the world while doing so. Kudos Monica Conyers—you at least have a sense of humor, if not of propriety!

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, March 19, Anno Domini 2009
Thursday, March 12, A.D. 2009
Cincinnati Views

Several nights ago, I had a dream about the old Ape House at the Cincinnati Zoo. It has been long closed, and I awoke not knowing if my mind had constructed the dreamscape or if I had simply remembered it. For I often dream of places that do not exist outside my imagination or of real places that change considerably in my dreams. Once, I dreamt that Catherine the Great escorted my family on a carriage tour of Saint Petersburg, but it was quite different from the city on the Neva. The mind is bizarre. Anyway, as I thought about it more, I was sure that my dream was based on my childhood memories of the zoo.

To confirm my memory, I looked online for pictures of the old Ape House, which led me to Cincinnati Views. The site has many postcards, maps, and photographs of the city. On the Downtown Streets page, you can see this view of Fourth Street looking east from Race Street:

For a more industrial look, consider this wonderfully melancholic view from Price Hill on the Bird’s Eye View page:

Spend some time on the site; it has thousands of images.

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, March 12, Anno Domini 2009
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