21 March 2013

San Francisco, California

19 March 2013

Columbus, Ohio

Back home in my extremely selective writing archives I have my eighth grade World History final report: "World War I Aviation." Forget about the grade inside (an A--c'mon) and the inalterably crappy handwriting. Imagine instead the cover illustration, diving on you from 12 o'clock: a hand-drawn black felt tip SPAD S.XIII.

So Eddie Rickenbacker's house is my kind of landmark. It's open 24/7, in a neighborhood you wouldn't visit otherwise, on the National Register of Historic Places--and you can sit on the porch. This is the house that America's bravest ace came home to after the Great War. Hey--it's where he came home from eighth grade every day.

18 March 2013

Marion, Ohio

I didn't see any signs in Marion proclaiming it the "Popcorn Capital of the World"--which is how I first heard of the town. But then harvest time is half a year away and it was drizzling out. I did get to hit two local landmarks I've been wanting to see, and they're across the street from each other. On the left is the inexplicable Merchant Family grave marker, whose unpolished "bald spot" likes to rotate spookily when nobody's watching. On the right is maybe the last of the monumental presidential grave sites: Warren Harding's. I had come to Marion from San Francisco; just like Harding's corpse.

17 March 2013

Ohio State University

Last October 9 I blogged about one of my favorite trespasses in NYC: a bell tower, complete with carillon. Instinctively, my OSU guide knew just where to take me: a bomb shelter. And then to the campus bell tower, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and didn't require a trespass; she's the kind of student who has the keys. Thanks JE for your swell hosting (and adaptive navigating).

8 March 2013

3 March 2013

Mecca, California

The taco shop alone was worth a pilgrimage; the Salton Sea Museum had dioramas AND an arrowhead display collected by the docent as a girl; the International Banana Museum was closed because the owner had a cold; the dust tastes like salt and there were tilapia skeletons everywhere. An altogether knockout day.

2 March 2013

Palm Springs, California

I remember hiking up the back side of San Jacinto Peak as a Boy Scout and then taking the old aerial tramway down--without paying, because all the other passengers were round-trip. The current tram is the world's largest, and it rotates, but I noticed that they still don't check tickets at the top .