Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New Growth...Buffalo Style

This past weekend in Buffalo, NY set some record temperatures
The stats for May 20th (according to weather underground) are:Temp. (°F) high avg low
 May 20th    89    74    59

The high on Sunday was 89 degrees, so we broke the existing record and set a new one!
People were out and about. I saw countless kayaks strapped atop car roofs, people were riding their bikes like there was no tomorrow, and I even saw some pools being opened for the season (before Memorial day!)
Jon and I decided to get outside and play, too. We went to Buffalo's Outer Harbor and took our bikes.

This part of town used to be extremely busy and productive in its true hay day (roughly the late 1800s - early 1900s.) The Outer Harbor was a series of slips where boats and ships would dock to unload their goods, to then be loaded onto rail cars that waited near the shore. The trains would then take these goods all across the country.

There were factories and mills set up all along the water to take in the raw materials as soon as they came off the boats.

                                     Source: http://wnyheritagepress.org/index.htm

The Canadian Pool Elevator (pictured above) was a factory that took in grains from ships, sorted and transported it by rail to all parts of the country.
According to wnyheritagepress.org, the Canadian Pool Elevator "was constructed by a co-operative of Canadian farmers whose goal was the achieve fair prices for their grain." This factory did very well - "in May 1926 it set a record by unloading 372,000 bushels in eleven hours while simultaneously loading 164,000 bushels into rail cars (the 4 tracks seen above)."

Here's the same building as I saw it on May 20, 2012:

This building has long been out of commission, but the history behind it is amazing. It basically became obsolete once the St. Lawrence Seaway was opened for commercial transport. Products could be taken to their direct locations instead of having to be brought to Buffalo . . . and that was the beginning of our demise. Soon after companies stopped shipping to Buffalo, factories and mills struggled, people lost their jobs, and times got tough.

Nowadays, however, the city has been working to restore and preserve these historic treasures and the areas where they were placed.

They're making bike paths, nature preserves, they're cleaning up the beaches and making it a clean, safe place to take your family or a date for a nice walk by the water side.

I can see the Outer Harbor becoming really popular once word gets out. It's just minutes away from the heart of the city.

There is even a little restaurant on the water - Dug's Dive.

Dug's Dive

It was a pretty modest place with a few creepy nautical decorations...

I got their house-made veggie burger, Jon got the Fresh Haddock sandwich, and we both got a side-order of their sweet potato fries. The portions were plentiful and we went home stuffed (sorry, no pictures, we were famished and completely forgot.)

I'm looking forward to spending more time down here this summer...if you're in the area, I recommend you check it out, too!


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