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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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September 20, 2014

News from Huntington

Since I've been so remiss in posting, I've neglected to report on doings around town and to get me back in blogging mode for my trip, I'll provide a little update.

First, and I can't believe I didn't report on this, we had a fairly bad fire right in downtown Huntington probably a month or a little more ago.  It was in one of our big old buildings about a block and a half away from the big old building where I live.  Happened early in the morning and no one was badly hurt so that was good.  Took the firefighters quite a long time to get it contained.  The very sad thing is that it's the building where Backyard Pizza, my current favorite restaurant, was located.  And, the owners of Backyard Pizza had earlier this year opened another restaurant in that same building, The Peddlers, that I hadn't even tried yet but that everyone was raving about.  I was really worried that they would have to tear down the building not just because I'd lose my favorite restaurant but because it would leave such a big empty space right on the corner.  But apparently they are going to be able to replace the roof which collapsed and then with major clean-up and restoration work, save the building and, keeping my fingers crossed, the reopening of at least Backyard Pizza.

Also, for at least a year and I feel like it might be close to 2 years now, work has been being done to turn what was the old (1902) Anderson & Newcomb Store, then the Stone & Thomas store, into Marshall University's Visual Arts Center.  Work was finished up and move-in accomplished within the last couple of months and yesterday evening they hosted an open-house.  It is so wonderful to see that building looking good again.  When January was little (and actually until she went off to college) we had a pretty solid tradition of coming downtown every Saturday, visiting the stores, having lunch at Bowincal's (a thing of the past now), going to the library for books and then home.  Once the mall opened in Barboursville, it took about two years for almost all of the downtown stores to close and the Stone & Thomas building just got rattier and rattier looking.  It had been empty for about 20 years when Marshall finally bought it.  I visited a couple of floors last night and it's just wonderful what they've done with it.  The facade of the building was maintained with the same windows, etc., but inside it's like some 6 story art gallery!  There are classrooms and workrooms also but the students will be surrounded by art works while they work and learn.

So, just a few pictures...
You can't see it clearly but they even restored the canopy's metal trim that had slowly been disappearing. Apparently the interior was pretty much a disaster - they had to do a lot of shoring up with steel beams, etc.  A beautiful job I think.

Marshall's football team is called the Thundering Herd and their mascot is a bison.  Actually not being very knowledgeable in the sports realm, I guess he's the mascot of all the teams and the school for that matter.  Anyway, he's a big deal.  So the university sponsored a contest for arts students to enter a design for how they would paint a fiberglass statue of a bison to be kept somewhere on Pullman Square (right across the street from the new Visual Arts Center).  A sophomore, Brianna Jarvis, won the competition and her bison was unveiled at the opening ceremony last night.  Here he is in all his glory:

 I like the the side on the right best, I think cause it just seems right to see him with a brown head.  I wasn't there to hear the explanation of her reasons for her design but what with pictures on his hindquarters and the logo of the center on his hump/shoulder, I'm sure every section has a raison d'etre.

I think it's pretty neat that we now have a designer bison in town just as other cities have their cows, pigs, and various other designer animals.

Another nifty thing we now have is a food truck!  It's "Chickpeas" and serves mid-Eastern foods - gyros, falafel, babaganoush, etc., and all made fresh everyday by the owners.  I was going to get my first meal last night cause they were going to be at Heritage Station but their truck broke down!  So no meal and no picture either.  But I'll keep trying.  I had a few samples one evening when I happened upon them and it was very tasty.

We also have another fairly new place that I really like and that's Salads With a Twist.  It took quite a while before I got around to trying them but once I did, I have slowly become addicted to them.  You pick out what you want in it and their small salad is enough for dinner one night and finish the rest off the next day for lunch.  They also apparently have omelets(?) and maybe sandwiches but I've never seen them and it's the salads I like so someone else will have to figure out if everything else is good.

And, finally, I was at Starbucks last Sunday doing my Sunday newspaper, funnies and puzzles.  Looked out the window and laughed out loud at what I  have to call a lap dog because she stayed put there for a while - no hopping off right away for her!

tee hee...

3 comments:

Chinch said...

Love this update and the pics that go with it. Sure am looking forward to my next visit to Huntington whenever that turns out to be. xoxo

Mary Lynne said...

Anytime is fine with me - just so long as I have enough notice to clear a path!

Christopher said...

That Marshall building looks great! May it continue to prompt more downtown renovations an "rescue/re-use" of those old buildings!
And good golly, what a huge dog!!

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