May 10, 2005

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

I need to drive east, to pick up my son in Ithaca next week, and I've decided to stop halfway there in Cleveland and take a day to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Any Cleveland travel tips? Any advice for scenic byways or charming towns or natural beauties on the drive from Cleveland to Ithaca? I'm already aware of Niagara Falls, of course, and I've even seen Taughannock Falls. I'm looking to do some interesting photoblogging as I make my way east and then dart back home again.

33 comments:

Pancho said...

Does the river there still catch on fire? I'd like to see that!

TigerHawk said...

My wife grew up in Ithaca. Tragically, it is after her bedtime so I can't tap her useful knowledge.

Can you schedule it to catch some stock car racing at Watkins Glen?

Ann Althouse said...

Pancho: Every story on Cleveland always refers to that. I think it happened in the 1970s, but they will never live it down.

Tigerhawk: I've never attended any sort of a car race. I have attended horse and also dog races however.

Mark Daniels said...

Ann:
As a life-long Ohioan except for one year in Michigan and five months as an infant in some town called Madison, Wisconsin, I have a few suggestions for the Ohio portion of your trip.

(1) For some scenic and enjoyable views, if you have a little time, you might want to check out Put-in-Bay or Geneva-on-the-Lake.

(2) For fun, you could visit the best roller coaster park in the world, Cedar Point.

(3) For a relaxing time in a pretty setting, you could go off the path just a short distance and visit Grand Rapids, Ohio, astride the Maumee River. There are lots of little shops there. On a sunny day, it's a fun and beautiful setting for eating an ice cream cone and taking in the sights.

Except for those two stints in Michigan and Wisconsin, I spent the first thirty-plus years of my life in Columbus, then six in rural northwestern Ohio. For the past fourteen-plus years, I've lived in the Cincy area. There is so much to see and do here and it's such a diverse place, from the flat reclaimed swampland in the northwest to the Appalachian foothills in the southeast.

I hope you have a nice trip.

Dean said...

I second Mark's point on Cedar Point being the best roller coaster park.

The Finger Lakes region has some nice scenery. Rochester, NY used to have a Kodak plant and museum, but it's beem awhile since I've been there. And there are vineyards (never seen 'em myself but would like to). Try I-86--not bad scenery for an interstate route, although I imagine it still pales to the back roads.

Rick Lee said...

I see two people beat me to the punch on Cedar Point. I'd be surprised if you turned out to be a roller coaster fan, but for coast fans from all over the world Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH is a holy site. http://www.cedarpoint.com. You can ride 4 of the best coasters in the world in one park. Zero to 120mph in 3 seconds... eeoooww. Cedar Point is an old fashioned park with the most modern of rides. Sandusky looks like it was picturesque in its day, but not so much now. The islands near there such as Put-In Bay are a good bet.

When I went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I just happened to be there when they had a special Beatles exhibit with things like John Lennon's first guitar. I was on cloud nine. Without that special exhibit, I don't know what it would be like.

Somebody mentioned Rochester... it's a little out of your way, but talk about holy sites... for photography... the George Eastman House Museum is astonishing.
http://www.eastmanhouse.org

Speaking of falls... be sure to see Ithaca Falls right there in Ithaca. It's better than you'd think.

Mark Daniels said...

One other Cedar point:

I'm not really a coaster fan, but I love the place. It still has some of the charm and ambience of it's early twentieth century roots. There's a beach there. The Breakers is a nice hotel. Their outdoor water park is da bomb. (They also have an indoor water park, which I haven't yet visited.)

When I was a kid, we used to drive to Sandusky and take a ferry boat to the Point. It's still a cool place.

As far as Not-Ohio goes, it has been a long time since I was at the Finger Lakes, but they were beautiful. I once participated in the wedding of a friend that took place on Lake Onandaga.

All of upstate NY is a wonderful area to see and explore.

Wade_Garrett said...

You will be passing near to my hometown of Buffalo, New York. The Anchor Bar, on the corner of Main & North, is the original home of Buffalo Wings; the place they were first served. Its worth the time, if not on this trip, then at some point before your son graduates!

I don't know if you follow baseball at all, but Cleveland has a beautiful baseball stadium which is right down the street from the R&R Hall of Fame. Jacobs Field is one of the prettiest parks in the American League -- baseball fans love it. Also on that same street is a tacky Alice Cooper-themed restaurant called "Alice Cooperstown." Referencing both the nearby R&R Hall of Fame and the nearby baseball stadium, I found its name and decor rather amusing, though its food to be your basic TGI Friday's-caliber fare.

Wade_Garrett said...

Right next to Niagara Falls is a beautiful little town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario. It has changed little since the pre-WW2 days; it still has a heavy British influence.

Every summer, they have a George Bernard Shaw festival, to which Shaw fans come from all over North America. Many of the actors are classically trained actors from Britain. I don't know when the festival begins (it might not be until later in the summer) but that too is another good idea.

MrsWhatsit said...

If you want a waterfall theme, there are spectacular falls all around Ithaca. Your son may know a few . . . though, if this was his first year of law school, he may not have had time for much of that kind of exploring. Anyway, Cascadilla Gorge in the middle of town makes a lovely afternoon walk. Buttermilk Falls, just south of Ithaca on Route 13 on the left, is easily accessible and spectacular. Or, best of all, you could travel down 13 another few miles to Newfield and explore magical Enfield Gorge in Treman State Park. Here, a pathway leads you through a two-mile gorge with 12 different cascades, including Lucifer Falls.

There's also Letchworth Gorge in western New York, the "Grand Canyon of the East." It's a couple of hours west of Ithaca and wouldn't take you far out of your path from either I-86 or I-390.

Rick said...

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is ok. I'm not really thrilled by it, but if you're passing through. About 500 feet away from the R&R Hall of Fame, is the USS Cod. Its a WW II submarine that is well restored and worth a look. It's hard to imagine how those guys went down in a little can like that.

For something completely different, at the Great Lakes Science Center, which is also a few 100 yards away from the Hall of Fame, the "Body Worlds 2" exhibit is running. From their website, the topic is:

"The invention of plastination is an aesthetically sensitive method of preserving meticulously dissected anatomical specimens and even entire bodies as permanent, life-like materials for anatomical instruction. The body cells and natural surface structures retain their original forms and are identical to their condition prior to preservation, even at a microscopic level. The specimens are dry and odorless, and remain unchanged for a virtually unlimited amount of time, making them truly accessible. These characteristics lend plastinated specimens inestimable value both for training prospective doctors and for educating non-professionals in the field of medicine."

I find the idea of displaying skinned humans in clever or ironic poses to be creepy and disrepectful, but many of my peers (I'm a science teacher) thought the exhibit was fantastic. I'm sure it is unusual and photo-bloggable.

leeontheroad said...

If you make your way to Rochester, anyway, consider traveling east along 104 to see the drumlins along Lake Ontario. They're unique. You can return west to Rochester, pick up 490 to 90 to Ithaca, or, for a tour of the small towns in north central New York, follow 104 to Oswego (pass all the depressing strip malls and follow into the old town, a key port for the Underground Railroad). I recommend a stop at Coleman's, an "authentic Irish pub" converted from a fish packing plant that's right on the water (with outside tables), then take 481 to I-81 to Ithaca.

The downside of this route is you'd skirt the main Finger Lakes region, which is more typically pictaresque, and more developed. The Finger lakes region has wineries; the Lake Ontario region is more wild.

Peter Conover said...

I went to Cornell University many long years ago. One of the most impressive sights in that area are the deep gorges on campus. I could -- and sometimes did -- spend a lot of time looking into their depths. Once I looked into the gorge for so long, I thought I saw a body at the bottom. I was told that it wa a houseparty weekend prank. Sadly, it wasn't.

Ron said...

Ann Arbor beckons...

I know it's out of your way, (slightly) but it still beckons!

Plus it's gloriously quiet now that the rodents, er, students are gone...

grumpymary said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Althouse said...

Wow! Thanks for all the advice. Maybe I will go to Cedar Point. I'm especially fond of the old fashioned wooden type of roller coaster.

Rick: thanks for the tip on the "Body Worlds" exhibit. That is actually one of the first things I ever blogged about, back in February 2004 (here). So I'm very interested in seeing it -- especially if photography is allowed.

grumpymary said...

I second the suggestions for Buffalo and Niagara-on-the-Lake.

In Buffalo, not only can you get chicken wings, but you can also go to the Albright Knox Art Gallery, which -surprisingly - has some great collections! And Buffalo is known for its architecture - the city has several Frank Lloyd Wright houses and some other beautiful buildings.

Might I also suggest a visit to the Chautauqua Institution or a stop by Bemus Point; both are located on the beautiful Chautauqua lake (which is about 20 miles to the east of Lake Erie, in the South Western part of NYS). The area is wonderful (in my fact, my father lives in Bemus Point - so I'm quite biased!) and I'm sure you can get some great photos out of a visit!

roger said...

I don't know if you're still reading this, but being a native Clevelander, I thought maybe I could help:

1. The Cuyahoga river burns daily. First show's at 8, next show's at 11. No recording devices please.
2. Cedar Point is America's Roller Coast and you should definitely check it out. Bernstein Bears Land is equisite. No, seriously, go.
3. The Cleveland Museum of Art is nice. I'm not a big into art dude, but Terry Teachout is and he liked it.
4. There's always stuff going on at Playhouse Square. It's the second largest theater district west of NY and east of Chicago . . . something like that. Let's just say they put on a lot of shows.

Doesn't sound like you'll be in town long, so that be plenty. I also know plenty of places available for drunken bs-ing.

Pancho said...

Cuyahoga River fire....June of 1969. Actually, much good came from the river fire.

At 11:56 am on June 22, 1969, an oil slick caught fire on the Cuyahoga River just southeast of downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Over thirty years later, Cleveland's image is still scarred as people recall how "the river caught fire." The 1969 fire is the most famous fire on the Cuyahoga River, even though a previous fire in 1952 on the Cuyahoga caused nearly thirty times the amount of damage. Yet the day after the 1969 river fire, the two major Cleveland papers both ran front page pictures showing the aftermath of the fire. Only The Plain Dealer ran a short story on the fire.
Not until a Time Magazine article on August 1, 1969 did the river fire begin to get national attention. Eventually the river fire, with its seemingly implausability, became a rallying point for the environmentalists in their fight for cleaner water. The Clean Water Act passed three years later in 1972, while clean-up of the Cuyahoga River continues to today.

Duke of DeLand said...

Two additions......just an hour apart, and really unusual....

1st - Conneaut Lake Amusement Park

Home to an original wood roller coaster plus an entire park of the old style amusement park rides and game places as they were 80 years ago. It all sits on the shores of beautiful Lake Conneaut with a restaurant there with what we found to be good food!

2nd - Lake Pymatuning

This lake is where "the ducks walk on the fishes back"....and it is true. Carp are groiwn along a causeway and they are there in large sizes and by the hundreds of thousands. People go there and, using bread, toss chunks to the fish and local ducks and geese run literally across the swarming fish's backs to get to the bread...
I must have shot a roll of film of this really cool event!

The two are located almost on the Ohio/Pennsylvania border just about 30 miles S. of Erie....

My Dutchess is from nearby Meadville, PA.

Duke of DeLand
http://pekinprattles.blogspot.com

Baron Violent said...

In upstate New York I would also recommend visiting the finger lakes, such as Skaneatles. It's really beautiful around there, and not too far from Ithaca. Very different from visiting the falls. There are also a lot of great vineyards around there as well that should be nice this time of year.

Just don't go to Syracuse.

Terri said...

I'm not sure how much of fun "travel tip" this really is, but I hope it'll save you some trouble: don't speed in Ohio. They'll nail you for 59 in a 55. [Admittedly, this may have changed in the years since I lived in Cleveland, but possibly not.]

boringmadedull said...

If you're interested in faux manor houses, Stan Hywett in Akron is a good one.. About 50 rooms, gardens, etc., built with Sieberling | Goodyear money.

Cedar Point rocks.

I'd skip Geneva-on-the-lake, unless you like a very 60's run down resort atmosphere. The conference center there is an ok place to stay, and there are a lot of small wineries run by interesting people in the area.

www.boringmadedull.blogspot.com

Rick said...

I might have over-sold the "photo-bloggable" comment in my previous post. I haven't been to the exhibit (like I said, I find it creepy), so I don't know if they allow photography or not. But if they do...well..I can skip over your pixes. But I will be interested to read your response to the exhibit.

Ann Althouse said...

Rick: You're right. There are already many photos of those things in the press. This may be one of those places where putting it into words is better.

B. P. Beckley said...

The Cleveland Museum of Art is pretty cool, but it's also currently under construction and many of the galleries have been closed. Inquire locally.

On the other hand, the Phillips Collection exhibit is pretty cool, if it's still there (extra $).

ziptang

B. P. Beckley said...

I've taken visitors to see our beloved integrated steel mill, if they are the type of people that might like such a thing. There's no plant tour or anything (as far as I know), but it's still impressive, and one of the most obvious remaining pieces of the Glory That Was Cleveland.

If you're coming to Cleveland from Sandusky, you could consider taking US6 along the lake rather than OH2 or I90. It would definitely be slower, but there are no major obstacles between Sandusky and Cleveland, and it's not a bad drive.

How long are you going to be in CLE? Are you staying overnight here?

tomrepleh said...

I'm Clevelander exiled to Honolulu for 15 years, but I get back every year or two to visit. The Cuyahoga River valley goes right down the middle of the city , and is the reason the city exists in the first place. The great mills and factories that made CLeveland are there, and the many great bridges span the valley are overhead. The West Side Market, on the west side of the river above the valley at W. 25th Street, is still dominated by old-world butchers and bakers, with great produce stands outside. Take twenty bucks and you'll have enough food to last you to Ithaca and a good dinner or two while you're there. It's open M, W, F, Sat I think.

From the Market, walk east across the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge (now renamed Hope Memorial or something like that), and look at the WPA carvings on the stone bridge supports, representing all facets of 1930s industry. Look north and south, up and down the valley, and see the industry that built America in the first half of the century. Then go down into the valley -- the Flats. Most of the factories and warehouses near the mouth of the river are now bars and restaurants, ranging from pretty yuppie to old-style workingman's bars (the Harbor Inn and the Flat Iron Cafe used to be good examples of the latter).

The R&R HOF is worth half a day. With the other half, try to do the above, both within a couple miles of the Hall. Have a beer for me.

Taumarunui said...

For something more highbrow, attend a cleveland Orchestra concert in Severance Hall. The interior has been stunningly renovated and the band ain't too shabby, either.

Michael E. Lopez said...

Skip the Hall of Fame. It's an ABSOLUTE WASTE of your seventeen dollars.

Go to the Aquarium just across the way instead.

Ann Althouse said...

Michael: I am somewhat concerned that there won't really be anything to see at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Costumes, guitars -- what difference does it make? It's at least an interesting piece of architecture. $17 is an interesting amount of money: it's what it cost for a ticket to Woodstock, which I skipped because I didn't have $17. But it won't be a waste of my time, even if it's awful, because I'll blog about it.

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