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Wandering - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
So, I gave in to my itchy feet, got on the commuter rail, and headed up the north shore today, ending up at Rockport, which turned out to be a pretty, if run of the mill, coastal town, with a harbor and a tourist street full of little gift shops (all of the restaurants are still closed) and a real main drag for the locals, where the town offices, library, and so on are. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon, though it would have been more fun if I had someone to grab and say, "Hey, let's go to Rockport." Of course, even when I have people around me, I don't find many who share my affinity for saying, "Hey, let's get on this train just to see where it ends up." On a whim, with no reason in mind. And even if I did find such a person, he or she most likely wouldn't also be the sort that just had to check out the local library and see how it is. (Best little "Quiet Conversation Room," honestly, with comfy chairs, artwork, and a homey little area rug. I liked that.)

For those who came through North Station for The Witching Hour, they've improved it quite a lot (I actually haven't had any reason to be there for a year and a half). There's--gulp--a real waiting area for the trains, with benches and everything.
11 comments or Leave a comment
redlily From: redlily Date: April 1st, 2007 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Have you been to Manchester-by-the-Sea? It's quite lovely too.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 1st, 2007 03:33 am (UTC) (Link)
The train went through there and I thought about getting out, but opted to go to the end of the line instead. :) Looked pretty.
veryshortlist From: veryshortlist Date: April 1st, 2007 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Kind of a weird question, as you're the only person I know of who has lived in Buffalo, how's SUNY Buffalo? Is the campus nice? Any good professors you've heard of?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 1st, 2007 04:53 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know U.B. (aka, SUNY Buffalo) very well. It has two campuses, one kind of traditional and perfectly nice, the other out toward the suburbs and done more in the brutalist fashion. Two of my cousins spent time there, one graduating, the other deciding that college wasn't really his thing (nothing to do with U.B. in particular), and their mother graduated from there. I really don't know any of the professors, but it's my impression that it's a reasonably decent education. The only negative factoid sticking in my brain is that the dorms aren't especially nice. I've never heard anything bad about its academics, though I've never heard great raves about it, either (I seem to recall hearing that they have some pretty good seismologists, but don't quote me on it!). Because I went to school outside the SUNY system, I didn't do a lot of reading up on them when I was looking, so I just have a townie perspective. My aunt and cousins found it just fine academically.

To the best of my knowledge, U.B. is a non-fancy but perfectly good school (though, grr, their library science program has apparently been renamed "informatics"), in an inexpensive town with good junk food and a sweet downtown library. Remember if you do a campus visit that Buffalo doesn't always put its best foot forward the first time out, but that's just because it's socially clumsy. ;p
veryshortlist From: veryshortlist Date: April 1st, 2007 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh wow, thanks for that explanation. And the bit about the library, cause that's important. Junk food, not so much. :)

Socially clumsy is okay by me. I'm not all that good in social situations myself.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 1st, 2007 04:58 am (UTC) (Link)
(PS, if you're looking for a pretty SUNY campus and don't mind being in the middle of nowhere, there's always Geneseo. Growing up in nearby Perry and having a lot of interaction there, I know that campus better than U.B.'s!
harriet_wimsey From: harriet_wimsey Date: April 1st, 2007 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
If only I lived closer to Boston--that sounds like a great outing. And of course you have to check out the library!
matril From: matril Date: April 1st, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oo, that sounds like fun. I love to go exploring, even though I can't do it as often as I'd like. And I love visiting libraries I've never been to before, though I end up spending most of the time in the children's room thanks to my kids. (But children's room are usually fun, so - yay!)
mk_tortie From: mk_tortie Date: April 1st, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, I always thought I was the only person who got the urge to do that at train stations. Tell me if you ever come to London, I would quite happily hop on trains to random places!
cheddartrek From: cheddartrek Date: April 1st, 2007 11:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Hey, let's get on this train just to see where it ends up."

Haha, I understand this sentiment perfectly.

I lived in Exeter, England for about 6 months while I a study abroad program at the University of Exeter. I was living right next to the train station, literally just a stone's throw away, and I used to do this sort of thing all the time.

If I didn't have anything that really needed doing, and it was fairly early in the day, I'd often just pick a train, hop on, and ride to somewhere I hadn't been before. It was brilliant.

Of course, that was two years ago, and now I'm back home in Mississippi. Does really work the same way down here, though I'm not sure about how it is up north. I think the rail system up there is more advanced. Still, I can't physically walk to the train station from where I live (not in a day at least), and even if I could, then I'd have to rent a car or something on the other end just to get anywhere BUT the station.

I miss England, it was nice being able to walk everywhere. =)

verdenia From: verdenia Date: April 3rd, 2007 08:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, hopping the train and going to the end of the line sounds fun.

It doesn't work so much that way in SF--or at least, I've been to the end of most of the MUNI [light rail] lines, and the BART lines...eh.

A seaside town sounds lovely, though. ;D
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