It was a windy day, today….a thunder storm has been threatening most of the day….so, what to do on a day like this? Why, I decided to wander around downtown and take some photos, of course! I like windy day photos – you can usually capture some nice movement in the photos!
So, I parked and wandered around downtown just to see what I might want to take a photo of…..and stopped to take this one on my way home – LOVE these signs and totally agree with the message:
The most daring thing I did, today: I am horribly afraid of heights, but for some reason, I got the bright idea of climbing the stairs on the Main Street lift bridge to take a shot of Main Street from “above”. Well, I got up there OK……and I snapped the photos OK…..but, then, I had to turn around on the narrow step I was standing on and look down to the pavement below in order to descend the stairs…..rut ro!!! When I was a kid, I used to run when I heard the bridge bell ring, climb the stairs as fast as I could, and ride the bridge back down after the boat passed by, but now……hhhmmm – not as fearless as I used to be! But, I did it…..it was sure scary, though…..so glad the photos I took were worth it – they came out pretty good…..not great, but I wasn’t about to hang out there too terribly long to try to get a uniquely perfect shot!!!
Several years ago, I was searching for some info on the canal for a paper I wrote for my Geography final when I was working on my Bachelor’s degree. My search brought up a post from a blogger from one of the upper New England states and he had passed through Albion and snapped a photo of the lift bridge stairway, which when not in use, can be a curiosity for someone who isn’t familiar with lift bridges. His caption for the photo was “Stairway to nowhere” and he wrote a commentary about his confusion about what, exactly, these stairs that appear to have no useful purpose are there for! I left him a comment and explained their use – that in the early days of the canal, there was more boat and foot traffic than there was road traffic, so the bridges tended to remain in the lifted position to keep from having to raise them constantly for boats and barges – they would be lowered when a carriage or other road traffic came through and needed to cross the bridge – the stairs were for people to climb and walk across the bridge when it was raised. Once automobiles became more common and barge traffic became less active, the lift bridges began to remain in the lowered position and only raised if a boat needed to pass under it. He was fascinated with my answer!!! Haha!!!
Here is a photo I took a while back showing the stairs I climbed – definitely not taken today (note the snow)!
Then, I just walked the streets and this is what I decided to take photos of:
The mural commemorating quarry men in Waterman Park
And, another shot of Waterman Park
You know I can’t resist a shot of the canal, especially if there are tugs and barges docked!
Beaver Alley…..I just adore the brick paved road and the way the buildings look along this alley!
I stopped in to say “hi” to Jeremiah Knight in his wood working shop – Knight’s Pride! Stop in and see him – have a gumball, and chat a while – he loves to talk and meet new people…..and, you’re sure to fall in love with his work while you’re there!!!
The Albion Merchants Association and the owners of all the shops do a wonderful job keeping the plants looking inviting all summer long!
And……many of the shops have wonderful window dressings!!!
Here’s some of that “movement” I hoped for on this windy day – this Open flag was really active!!!
Love to see people sitting on the benches and enjoying their time in our historic downtown! This guy had been out cycling — perhaps he was part of a 10 person biking group that Lisa Stratton of The Hazy Jade told me passed through earlier today!
I always enjoy stopping in to talk to Lisa Stratton at the Hazy Jade Gift Shop! She told me some great stories about conversations she had over the past couple of days with people who were passing through and enjoyed our lovely Village!
Pretty trees and a wonderful Medina Sandstone walkway along the stone exterior of the building that the Hazy Jade is in!
El Gallo, authentic Mexican restaurant with the Presbyterian church in the background – the building the restaurant is in used to be Gould’s Flower Shop! I worked there as a floral designer when I was a senior in high school – one of two jobs I worked that year – the other was a waitress (soda jerk) at Woolcott’s Dairy on alternating days after school and weekends! The sky is starting to look pretty ominous!!!
A couple and their dog taking a stroll along Main St….window shopping at the Hazy Jade!
Same couple a little further up the street by Albion Agencies – Haines Insurance building!
And……my favorite shot of the day – the American Flag and the 9/11 Flag waving in the wind in front of the courthouse dome!!!
When I was done with my stroll, I stopped in the Village House Restaurant for some dinner. I sat there eating and reading my book when I overheard a couple talking to the waitress a couple tables over from me. They were telling her that they were from Orchard Park and this was their first time visiting Albion! They told her they were on a quest for apples, peaches, etc. and usually only go as far as Medina, but today they decided to venture a little further to check out Albion! After the waitress left, I heard them say “I’d eat here again” and started to get ready to be on their way. Well, you know I couldn’t let that go without chiming in! I keep a few business cards with my blog address on them, so I went over and excused and introduced myself and told them I’m a local blogger and thought they might be interested in reading my posts about Albion and our surrounding area. We chatted a little and they commented on how much they enjoyed the sandstone buildings downtown and that it is obvious we work to keep our downtown clean and nice! They said they had a few pieces of sandstone that they made a walkway out of a their home and asked about where it is mined. I told them there used to be several quarries in the area, but none are still working quarries that I know of and told the wife to Google the Orleans Hub and look for the link on the left side bar for more info on our Sandstone Heritage. They seemed impressed with Albion and I think this won’t be their last visit!!!
The gentleman seemed very knowledgeable about a lot of things – after we parted, I thought how he should be a contestant on Jeopardy!!! He told me a bit of trivia he knew about a soldier with my last name that lead a battle way back in one of the early wars – I really wish I could remember exactly what he told me! He also asked if I knew what “Albion” meant and asked if it meant “England” – I was intrigued, but had to say I really didn’t know, but I would have to Google it, now!!! So, when I got home, I did…….and he was RIGHT!!! The origin and definition of “Albion” is “England” or “Great Britain”!!! Here is what I found of three different sites:
From The Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
From the Oxford Dictionaries:
Old English, from Latin, probably of Celtic origin and related to Latin albus ‘white’ (in allusion to the white cliffs of Dover). The phrase perfidious Albion (mid 19th century) translates the French la perfide Albion, alluding to alleged treachery to other nations.
Albion (Ancient Greek: Ἀλβίων) is the oldest known name of the island of Great Britain. Today, it is still sometimes used poetically to refer to the island. The name forScotland in the Celtic languages is related to Albion: Alba in Scottish Gaelic, Alba (genitive Alban, dative Albain) in Irish, Nalbin in Manx and Alban in Welsh, Cornish andBreton. These names were later Latinised as Albania and Anglicised as Albany, which were once alternative names for Scotland.
New Albion and Albionoria (“Albion of the North”) were briefly suggested as names of Canada during the period of the Canadian Confederation. Captain Arthur Philliporiginally named the Sydney Cove “New Albion”, but for uncertain reasons the colony acquired the name “Sydney”.
So, there you have it…….