Friday, October 29, 2010

Some notes on railfaning and bloging.

Most of my railfanning and other excursions are oriented around the concept of effective recreation. Some times, this means changing up the order and nature of the recreation, to keep it effective. I have already shown that I have more than one interest, in life. What ever day trip I take, I take it to satisfy many interest. I will make the rounds of six cities, to explore and to photograph. Obviously, I could continue to explore a city, but what I photograph becomes limiting. In addition to the six cities there is the Museum at Spencer. The exhibits change so that gives reason to go back.

In addition to day trips, there are good overnight. One day trip that might be nice is to board the train at the local station and take a day train trip. I haven't done that. The times that I have taken train trips, is has been with a destination in mind. Years ago, some friends and I took the train to Baltimore, to the B and O museum. I would love to do that again. The train trip was to get to the museum.

I am thinking about a out and back up the line. The question is, where? I preparation for a Baltimore trip as well as others I have prepare a reference blog. The reference blog has the necessary schedules so that I can access them via my smart phone. Amtrak Schedule Reference I use various levels of planning. The more detailed the plan, the more flexible it becomes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Charlotte, NC, Art

While the measure of success of a city is how gracefully it rises above the sidewalk, the measure of the comfort of a city how art interacts with life. For Charlotte, life is confronted by art or better said life is enhanced by art. Water is among the best material for art. It become a focus for gathering or a way of enhancing all urban experiences. Some will imitate life, as the statues of children playing in a fountain. Remember the children playing in the fountain in Boston? Fountains and waterfalls give life to the city.

Among the busy streets of life, A truly urban experience has art rising from the streets. Some as momuments to human experience and others drawing us into all experiences of life.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Charlotte's Art

The skyline of Charlotte has buildings that in their design are works of art in themselves. Most of these buildings are owned by banks. However, there is the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the stadium for the panthers.

Amongh the buildings there are suttle pieces of art. Some are very creative and attractive.

In one park, called the Green there are some interesting signs.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Charlotte, part 2

I first explored Charlotte when I learned that they had a light rail system. I made a day of riding and whatching the Charlotte light rail. These are a few of those pictures.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Charlotte, part 1

For most day trips, I have a number of criteria. I have many interest that would take me off on one of my excursions. Trains being one. Another would be skylines. The measure of success of a city is the grace with which it rises up from the sidewalk. As to a pretty skyline is found in the city of Charlotte, NC. Coming into the city that grace can be seen rising before you.
To combine my interest, I was drawn to the Charlotte Amtrak station. There at the end of the platform is one of the prettiest scene of that skyline.
Timing was right to capture this picture of the Carolinian as it winged itself north toward Raleigh.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day Tripping to Florence SC.

My original intent for my Boston trip was a vacation, using the concept of effective recreation. Effective recreation means that we re-create ourselves and become more effective in our normal lives. I came home with the understand that I would have to be more intentional in my days off. I needed to leave home for a day trip and to protect my days off. It is all about effective recreation. For without effective recreation we would find it hard to do our work. My first renewed attempt at effective recreation was a day trip to Florence, SC.

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Day tripping to Florence SC included both railfan location as well as those of other interest. You can see below, both passenger stations for the former Atlantic Coast Line which merged with the Seaboard Air Line to become the Seaboard Air Line. Through numerous mergers it is now CSX. The current station is Amtrak's smaller home in Florence, SC
Former train station, Florence SC. Not currently used as a train stationCurrent Amtrak Station
Not far from the train station, there is this curiosity. The display sign explains. Not much more to see in Florence but the trip was worth the time.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Boston trip, Final Notes, cont.

The next type of trip was the tourist form. Sightseeing of all sorts of places. I could add to the list of places and subtract from them. New England is full of sights to see. I could head back down the Plymouth or up to Salem. For some reason they do not attract me but rather become a might as well while here time of sight to see. What would add to the trip or subtract from it would be based on transit. If I had a car, rented one, or just took public transit, would make a difference. The Sargus Iron works would be nice visit. There are too many of the sights that fall into the catagory of might as well but would not go to see. Added all up I might would plan a trip around them.

Now for the railfan trip, In and around Boston, I did a far amount of watching and photographing, Commuter Rail and Subway fall into to that category, seen one seen all. Almost all the equipment and paint schemes are the same. However, we railfans are like school buses, we stop at all railroads. There are a few places and lines that I would like to see and photograph.

To conclude this about my Boston experience. I would rarely make a trip to see that I experienced years ago, unless it was barely a distraction. However, that might change several years from now. There is not any recreational sights that I would purposely see and enjoy, from this distance. I might stop by if in the area. I think that for recreational purposes, I have that day trip limit, one to two hours. Railfan and touring are another story.

As to doing Boston, again. I might. If I were to back up time and do it again, would I? Several changes would be made. First, I would extend the trip by at least two days. I would take in at least two railfan locations, one or two tourist sights, and do some exploring. If I had taken pictures of Lynn and other places, years ago, I might have committed some of them. Now with this visit, I would do a different set of tourist sights. I would do the same railfan sights plus others. I might even go only to watch trains.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Boston trip, Final Notes

The trip is done and I reflect on would how good it was. the first questions include, was it worth it, would I do it this way again, what would I have omitted, and what would add. To the first question, I answer yes. It was worth it. Would I do it again? That would depend on whether I was doing it for the first time, or now that I have done it. I might add one or two days for some side trips to specific locations. I need to breakdown the reason and nature of the vacation first. the first part of the trip is nastalgic. The second is recreational, or to go to recreational sights. the third is tour interesting sights or tourist sights. And the  final is tthe railfan element.

The first is the trip as a means to realize nostalgic items. The best way of looking at this purpose is that nostalgia should be something that is only a side trip, not the whole. The one exception would be if it is close by.Most of these were satisfied. Except for the drive to the North Shore, most of the reliving of the past stuff, was pass through on the way to other things. Cambridge might be added to, on that score. However, it was only north of Potter Square, that was added for nostalgic sake. It was not that much of a side trip. The Copley Square was all because of the location of the hotel. The best that can be said for this type of trip is that nostalgia can only be a slightly out of the way but never an intention. I would not go to Lynn, just to see the old place. I might drive through Lynn, but only to enjoy the shore.

The next element might be recreational. This is a place you go to just to do what is there. Pleasure Bay, Lynn Shore, and Revere Beach were examples of these. As to recreational sites, I would not go to them unless I were staying more time or spending time with someone. Or at least for a day trip to or even an overnight. If I went back, I might spend the full day or part day at Revere Beach or Pleasure Bay. I would not drive more than an hour or two just for the day.

To be cont.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 4 continues, winding down

End of my last full day in Boston. There is some sadness in leaving, but I think it is more sadness at going back to my real world. After supper I took a walk. I took in a bit of local culture, as in this sculpure in from of a grocery store. Down the street toward the Fenway.

I came back via the fountain at the Christian Science Center. I watched the children playing in the fountain.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010