Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The other thing we did on the weekend

While we were in the vicinity (an hour or so to the South of Bethlehem), on Saturday afternoon we visited Valley Forge National Historic Park, 30 km N of Philadelphia. This the site of George Washington and the Continental Army's 3rd winter encampment during the Revolutionary War, from Dec 1777 to Jun 1778. No battles were ever fought here but they had to endure a very harsh winter with great privation such as these rough-hewn huts they lived in. The stone building was Washington's HQ. So it's remembered today more as a symbol of American perseverance. Now it's a beautiful 14 square km parkland for relaxed family picnics and other recreation.

Monday, July 14, 2014

What China will be like next century

(Bethlehem PA, circa 1935). Before we went to see Thomas yesterday, we stayed Saturday night at the Sands Casino & Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania a large town nestled in the steep-sided Lehigh Valley about 30-40 km to the west of Phillipsburg NJ. Bethlehem was the site of Bethlehem Steel, the 2nd biggest steel mill in the country back in the day, but ceased operations in 1995. The huge smoke stacks and the massive but deserted and crumbling other buildings make a foreboding backdrop to the casino. Nick Cave's Red Right Hand would be the perfect musical accompaniment when looking at them. 2014
(Bethlehem PA, 2014)
Though S. Bethlehem is decrepit, it's a different story on the North side where they have a nice historic Downtown and lots of well-maintained antebellum mansions in nearby streets. It was very pleasant for strolling around there on Sunday morning.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Day Out with Thomas

This weekend we drove across New Jersey (about 100km) to Phillipsburg on the Delaware River where they have historic trains. But this wasn't just any historic train today. It was a special appearance by the Number One Blue Engine himself. It was all things Thomas, as the pictures show.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Saturday we stood in line for an hour to see this off-beat art exhibit in the old Domino Sugar Refinery on the East River in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. The main statue was made of sugar - a bit gimmicky, but it was in memory of the workers (mainly African American and Hispanic) who toiled away in there in what must have been hot, hard and smelly work.
Media Release: The Domino Sugar Factory, one of New York City’s architectural icons, dominates the waterfront of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Built in 1856 by the Havemeyer family, it was the first of dozens of sugar refineries that contributed to the area’s emergence in the nineteenth century as the industrial center of the Port of New York.By the end of the Civil War, the factory had become the largest sugar refinery in the world, employing over 4,000 workers and processing 3 million pounds of sugar a day–more than half of the sugar consumed in the entire country. After a fire in 1882, it was completely rebuilt to include the two grand brick buildings and distinctive smokestack that still stand today. The highly recognizable “Domino Sugar” sign was added the 1950s, transforming the 90,000-square-foot complex into a true New York City landmark.
obviously was not pleasant working conditions

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

T.S. (Tropical Storm) Arthur

National Weather Service Flash Flood Warning this area til 9:15 pm EDT. Avoid flood areas. Check local media. Category: Met. Response Type: Avoid. Severity: severe. Urgency: Immediate. Certainty: Likely. Nothing like Irene or Sandy, but very hot and humid, heavy rain, and lots of thunder and lightning that's lighting up the Manhattan night sky. Let's hope this weather moves out of the area before Friday's holiday.