Category: Sights from the Road

Are You Ready to See the Greatest Mural Ever?

Are You Ready to See the Greatest Mural Ever?

Hands down, the most incredible mural I saw while visiting Lynn, Massachusetts, and perhaps that I’ve ever seen is this collab between JPO and Miss Zukie.

“Zukies are a fluffy and chubby character that don’t talk,” the Peru native said. “They communicate with facial expressions and thought bubbles.”

-itemlive.com

They sound like my people!

I’m in love.

More Info

See this mural on Google Maps. Better yet, go see it in person. It is awesome!

Miss Zukie

JPO

Beyond Walls – Lynn, Massachusetts Murals and Vintage Neon

Beyond Walls – Lynn, Massachusetts Murals and Vintage Neon

The town of Lynn, Massachusetts has been incredible-ized by a program called Beyond Walls, which features neighborhood beautification with vintage neon, sculpture and gorgeous murals.

We activate spaces that foster more livable, economically viable, and equitable communities while retaining the voice and integrity of area residents.

On Saturday I zipped up north to take in the sights. It was fantastic. Never having been to Lynn before, I found myself wishing I had company and time to stay the night and explore all the nooks and crannies on foot. The downtown area featured walkable streets with interesting sights. It seemed like a great place to have a drink and go for a stroll on a warm spring evening.

Here are a few of the sights from my day trip:

 

Two Coca-Cola Ghost Signs Spotted

Two Coca-Cola Ghost Signs Spotted

Though I don’t drink soda or smoke, I do have an affinity for tobacco and soda wall advertising. Whenever I see a Coca-Cola ghost ad, it feels like a win for the day.

Previously I posted a few ghost ads that I saw in Middletown, New York. One that I left out of that post was this lovely 2-sided dame from Union Street.

Delicious and Refreshing
Relieves Fatigue
Drink Coca-Cola
5¢ Sold Everywhere 5¢

One side of the building is now covered in vines and ivy. Just based on the “Co,” I wish I knew the condition of the rest of the words hiding below that creeping jungle.

Coca-Cola Ghost Ad
Union Street
Middletown, NY
https://goo.gl/maps/BiRmq8kctNR2


This Coca-Cola ghost spotted in Phillipsburg, NJ a few weeks ago, also has a Bull Durham Tobacco layer for a nice one, two punch.

Drink Coca-Cola
Delicious and Refreshing

Morris St
Phillipsburg, NJ
https://goo.gl/maps/wVKHsjkzDos

The Ghosts of MIddletown

The Ghosts of MIddletown

Last weekend we had an itty-bitty taste of spring. Temperatures crept into the 60’s and so I decided to hop on the Bonnie and visit a few of the pins on my Google Maps app.

If I don’t look at the Streetview of a pinned item, sometimes I’m not sure what will be waiting for me when I turn up at the coordinates. At some point, I’d saved a cluster of stops in Middletown, New York. Based on my general familiarity with the area and their proximity to each other, I assumed they were ghost signs – and I was right.

This multi-layered ghost was hard to read in person. Sometimes tweaking a photo’s colors can help you read parts of the signs you can’t see with the naked eye. But other times the fade or overlapping is just too vague.

  • Synder Fancher & Company | Wholesale Grocers | Importers & Jobbers
  • Duluth Imperial Flour | Without a Rival
  • Altec | (distributors?)

When I go looking for ghosts, it isn’t uncommon for me to find myself in the parts of town that are economically challenged, their heyday long since passing them by. I’ll wind up in front of silent brick shells where factories once billowed steam, near old railroad stations and tracks, and often in areas that have fallen on hard times.

  • Gold Medal Flour | Eventually | Why Not Now | Bakes Best Bread

Riding towards home after snapping a few photos, it occurred to me that invariably when I am in these areas, I will encounter people walking on the street. And these people are more often than not, curious and friendly. They’ll flash a smile, give a hello and offer some chit-chat about my bike.

  • Snyder & Fancher | Wholesale Grocers
  • Duluth Imperial Flour

As I mulled over my interactions with people on the street I thought about my range of experiences on the different rungs of the economic ladder. Some stranger in an astronaut suit milling around snapping photos of a burned out factory doesn’t seem to raise suspicion in people. Just something to ponder…

 

Would You Like to See My Sweet Caboose?

Would You Like to See My Sweet Caboose?

Sleeping in a caboose is one of the items that has been on my life’s To Do list for many years. How it ended up there, at this point I can’t say. It’s not like I’m not a railroad fanatic or anything. No doubt I stumbled across the existence of a caboose motel and said fun! and the idea stuck around.

When I woke up on Saturday morning, I hadn’t planned on that being that day that I would sleep in a caboose. But, a few cups of coffee and 200 miles later, I found myself in the belly of the Reading caboose #21. ::shrug::


Sadly, my car isn’t as photogenic as my motorcycle.

Upon check-in at the Red Caboose Motel, the friendly desk clerk addressed me as if there were an “us,” a “you guys” and a “you all.” As you might imagine, this place is popular with families, so I don’t blame her.

“Have you guys stayed with us before?”
“Nope, first time.”
“Well, welcome aboard! Woo woo!”

Yep. She really woo-wooed, pulling the imaginary cord that sounds the horn. It’s nice when people are excited about life.

If I had to guess, a lot of solo 40-something women don’t come wheeling into the caboose motel on a Saturday night. And so I didn’t bother to correct her on my non-us-ness. About an hour later when I saw her again, she said cheerfully said, “is everything okay with you guys in your caboo… you’re alone, aren’t you. Sorry. Habit.” I’m starting to get a complex. You can’t make this stuff up.

As I said, this motel is very family friendly. It has an arcade, a silo observation tower, playground, buggy rides, ice cream and a few barnyard animals for petting.

Though I felt a little out of place with no kidlet of my own, I spent some time at the animal pens with the mini horses. As gaggles of children descended to tug on animal ears and manes – there I was, trying to telepathically communicate with the animals. I felt it was important that they knew that I was only there to love them up gently and that they should stay with me ‘cuz I love them best.

But apparently, they don’t have time for small talk, even if telepathically, when you don’t come with 25¢ worth of yum-yum pellets from the vending machine. I never seem to have any change when I actually want it.

While trying to make nice with a fuzzy gray horse, I watched the families at the other end of the corral. Looking on, I wondered why any parent would just allow their tiny toddler to put their deliciously chubby digits into some strange animals face unobserved.

Maybe I’m overly cautious, but it seems to me that when your two-year-old is touching an animal that is at least four times their size, you might want to put your fucking phone down and pay attention. I watched one dad yap nonstop on his phone while his little girl, face plugged with a pacifier, ran up and down along the fence “petting” the other mini horses. Later on, I heard crying and the words “…is a nipper,” floating above the general conversation. Oh, well.

People move in and out of my office all day tugging at my attention. Maybe if I start biting they’ll leave me alone, too.

The interior of my Queen Couples caboose looked like a tiny log cabin. It was clean and comfortable with cable, WiFi, a table to write at, a microwave, comfortable bed, and no funny smells. As nighttime inked the sky black, the wind outside picked up. The lack of insulation in the train was apparent in both the noise and the occasional draft. Not that it was bothersome, just something I was aware of. It felt like a reminder that I was sleeping in unusual quarters.

I enjoyed the novelty of my stay in the caboose. Seeing them all lined up, end to end with their candy colors brings out a child-like cheerfulness. It was worth the trip.

The Red Caboose Motel
312 Paradise Lane
Ronks, PA 17572

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