Archive for the ‘New York’ Category

Birthplace Bragging Rights

May 28, 2012

Waterloo, N.Y., claims the official title as birthplace of Memorial Day, but down South, a feud about the holiday’s origins still simmers.

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Nugent Hardware

May 27, 2012

Nugent HardwareWaterloo, New York© karen e. titus | all rights reserved© karen e. titus | all rights reserved

Waterloo, New York

This business hasn’t traveled far since opening in 1887 – it started two doors up the street from its current site, according to owner William B. Velte Jr. It moved to this spot in 1932.

Velte bought the store in 1965. Apart from a 28-month stint in the service, starting in 1950, he’s been a steady presence. “I love to fix screens and windows,” he says. Velte started working in the store in the winter of 1948, right out of high school, earning $26 a week. The first thing his boss told him: “If we have another Depression, you’re gonna have to take a cut in pay.”

Velte says the secret of his success is simple. “Work. 60 hours a week. I clean the streets, I clean the parking lot, I don’t take coffee breaks.”

Though he appears to sell everything in his store, it’s not quite the case. At one point his daughter (who began working at the store when she was a 4th grader) came by with a customer. She told her dad, “He’s looking for a propane fogger.”

Not even bothering to look up from the screen he was repairing, Velte replied, “That’s not us.”

Leesville Toll Marker

August 8, 2011

Great Western Toll BoothLeesville, New York© jan albers | all rights reserved
© jan albers | all rights reserved

Leesville, New York

Leesville, New York, was one of the most western posts on the First Great Western Turnpike, built as a toll road from Albany, the state capital, to the frontier town of Cherry Valley in the late 18th century. Commerce didn’t come cheap – drivers (of a different sort) paid 3 cents per dozen to move their sheep and swine along the road. No tolls were collected from people going to or returning from church or the grist mill, or from those who were on military duty or on journeys within the town where the tollgate was located.

Heading Downtown

July 27, 2011

Heading DowntownWaterloo, New York© karen e. titus | all rights reserved© karen e. titus | all rights reserved

Waterloo, New York

Three blocks away from the excitement of Main Street.

Through Albany

July 17, 2011

Road Through AlbanyAlbany, New York© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

Albany, New York

This is as urban as it gets along Route 20 in New York, as it passes through the state capital of Albany. Here it runs along the Empire State Plaza, home to the offices of state legislators and executive branch agencies. More compelling, perhaps, is the egg-shaped structure called, appropriately enough, The Egg, a performing arts center that descends six stories below ground level.

Road Through AlbanyAlbany, New York© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

Modern-day Albany is a far cry from its early days. It was first settled as the Dutch trading posts of Fort Nassau (1614) and lays claim to being the longest continually chartered city in the United States (chartered in 1686).

Patriotic Spirit

July 4, 2011

Patriotic SpiritAuburn, New York© karen e. titus | all rights reserved© karen e. titus | all rights reserved

Auburn, New York

This girl must be in her mid- 20s by now. Surely she’s performing on stage, wherever she is.

Shaker Village

June 22, 2011

Shaker VillageMount Lebanon, New York© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserve

Mount Lebanon, New York

A settlement designed to fail. Which it did, in 1947, when the last seven members of the community left this site.

It’s Show Time!

June 3, 2011

Seneca Drive-InSeneca, New York© jan albers | all rights reserved© jan albers | all rights reserved

Seneca, New York

The end of one road, at least: 20/20 Vision: Travels Along America’s Accidental Highway opens tonight at the Carnegie Center!

Drummer, Memorial Day

May 27, 2011

Drummer, Memorial DayWaterloo, New York© karen e. titus | all rights reserved© karen e. titus | all rights reserved

Waterloo, New York

Surplus Bride

May 21, 2011

Surplus BrideWestfield, NY© karen e. titus | all rights reserved© karen e. titus | all rights reserved

Westfield, New York

Those who live in the Chautauqua region of New York point, with justifiable pride, to the area’s charm and beauty, the Finger Lakes wineries, the Chautauqua Institution…. Certainly they’re not lacking in a sense of humor, either.


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