Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cooperstown U. S. A. Part I

When the halfway point of your trip is Roscoe, NY, aka Trout Town USA, you know you're entering into a world quite different from the suburbs of Long Island and the outer burroughs of NYC.  Cows and horses and chickens replace the manicured lawns and townhouses.  Go ahead--attempt to drive by cows in the distance without shouting, Cows! Cows!, or Mooooooooooo!

This is how Anthony, Eddie, and I filled our four hour drive up the interstate, up the thruway, and up and down the winding mountain roads, through Walton, through Franklin, through Oneonta, all the way to The Baseball Motherland.  The cow sightings were interrupted by the questions of Will this car go up this hill?  Why is the engine revving like that?  Are you sure you're in the right gear?  No, seriously, are you?  These questions came mostly from Anthony, owner of the car, directed towards me, driver of the car once we left Roscoe.  Our deal was that he would drive over the bridges and I would drive through the mountains.  There was no question of gears when we were over the bridges.  The incline of the mountain paths posed a challenge his car had never encountered previously.  And probably won't again.

As an added bonus challenge, it rained.  Whenever the sun poked out, I proclaimed, See?  I was right! We passed the storm!  Then it rained some more, and I pointed out, It's raining again, like really raining.

When we got to Oneonta, it was a crisp rain.  However, I didn't mind because the drive had been somewhat familiar, the tiny towns and barns and silos and hills and trees and winding backroads all coming back in dream-like snippets from the drives up during my undergrad days.  I didn't drive when I was in college; I got rides and checked out the scenery, navigating the way, so driving this time delighted me.  It also meant I couldn't navigate.  My brother in the passenger seat was in charge of that on the second leg.  My brother never texts.  So when we hit Oneonta, not only was my brother not navigating, but we missed the turn to Cooperstown because he was answering texts.  This, my friends, is irony.

Eddie in the backseat found this amusing.  He spent the drive taking pictures and video, some of the greenery, some of the livestock, and some of his wife and brother-in-law.  At one point, he got very excited by the sight of a llama.  My brother caught the excitement once he saw it.  I then explained that it was an alpaca, not a llama, because I am an animal expert since I watch Dr. Pol on TLC.

By the time we hit the Best Western, I was ready to give up driving forever.  Finding the hotel was easy.  We were happy to see that it was at the end of a strip mall that had fast food and a supermarket.  After checking in, we headed directly out to downtown Cooperstown to eat and check out the Fenimore Art Museum.  When we stepped out into the parking lot, Eddie said, It's hailing.  We looked down.  The precipitation was bouncing off the ground in tiny pellets.  Yup, this was Memorial Day Weekend weather in NY.  Sleeting.  Hailing.  Raining.  Fantastic.

We drove to find the museum.  We drove back to Main Street to find food.  We found metered parking at a muni-meter that didn't want to take credit cards so we scrounged around for quarters.  We found the very fancy Batters Up diner with their fancy menus.  We got seated in about ten minutes.  The server took our order in another ten minutes.
After about thirty five minutes, we got our food.  I almost died of starvation.  Seriously.
We devoured the food.  Fueled up, we headed back into the now-rain and went to the art museum to look at art.

Eddie at the art museum is fun.  Anthony reads everything.  I analyze the photos, sculptures, and paintings.  Eddie takes pictures of everything.  Like everything.  Of me.  Of Anthony.  Of the art.  Of descriptions of the art. Of security.  Of other patrons.  Of the entrance and exit.  Everything. Of course, it took very little time for my brother and I to jump right in and join the fun.

Exhausted from looking at all the art, making fun of all the titles of the pieces (like a painting of a girl with a red shoe was called Girl With A Red Shoe and a painting of a young black boy was called Black Child, which sent us into hysterics, the kind where other people were looking at us, questioning our sanity), driving, dodging rain drops, and waiting for food, we went back to our strip mall hotel.  Eddie and I grabbed Subway for me and McDonald's for him--fast food in that part of town is different from fast food here.  The McD order took about nine minutes.  Superfast in some places, I suppose.  But we weren't in a rush. We were on vacation!

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