Wednesday, March 9, 2011

it's like Ohio, but even moreso...

Last night, over injera and fruity non-alky Lebanese beer, we spread out maps and plotted out train lines and potential destinations in between talking politics and work absurdity. I can't complain about public transit here nearly so much as it costs twice as much out there, but since we both like to walk and are adventurous improvisational souls, I'm sure we'll keep it interesting.

If any of you Boston-ish people know of cheap food and good places to go for two Ohio chicas whose current plans include general turista-ness with potential excursions to Chinatown and Salem, I'd be much obliged.

Being on probation last summer was frustrating as anything because even though I never go anywhere, knowing that if I got caught leaving the state, I'd be

Also, I was alerted to this place which sounds totally amazing on the level of PedroLand. Much of it got burned down, but I totally want a t-shirt with this on there.

From the good people at Coilhouse:

The exploits of George Daynor read like the synopsis of a Coen Brothers flick. As the story goes, Daynor was a former gold prospector who’d lost his fortune in the Wall Street crash of 1929. Hitchhiking through Alaska, he was visited by an angel who told him to make his way to New Jersey without further delay. Divine providence had dictated that Daynor was to wait out the Great Depression there, building a castle with his bare hands.

Daynor had only four dollars in his pocket when he arrived in Vineland, NJ. He used the money to buy three swampy acres of land that had once been a car junkyard. For years he slept in an abandoned car on the mosquito-infested property, living off a steady diet of frogs, fish and squirrels while he built his elaborate eighteen-spired, pastel-hued Palace of Depression out of auto parts and mud. His primary objective? To encourage his downtrodden countrymen to hold onto their hope and stay resourceful, no matter what. Daynor opened his homemade castle to the public on Christmas Day, 1932, free of charge (he started charging an entrance fee after someone made fun of his beard), and proved an enthusiastic, albeit eccentric tour guide...

Daynor held back his wild red hair with bobby pins, wore lipstick and rouge, and enjoyed dressing alternately as a prospector or a Victorian dandy. Legend has it he kept his common-law wife, Florence Daynor, locked up in one of the Palace’s subterranean chambers during visiting hours. He offered his “living brain” to the Smithsonian for experiments (they declined). His Palace of Depression, a.k.a The Strangest House In the World, quickly became a popular tourist destination for folks on their way to Atlantic City.

I have a geographic crush on the state with the most toxic waste dumps in the nation, due to childhood memories of being at the Shore, which had less to do with Snooki and everything to do with spending mornings walking with my mom and watching the sunrise, swimming and building sandcastles, ice cream every night, riding bikes to the library for Nancy Drew novels, and watching the dolphins from the balcony, running down the beach in the darkness with my cousins.

It didn't occur to me that we were looked on with some degree of condescending pity by our hosts, who felt sorry for my mom losing a baby and wanted to give us underprivileged kids a holiday by the sea. My other NJ memories mostly involve driving to Trenton and noticing that if there weren't fields, there were porno stores everywhere and sometimes cars next to us would see our out of state plates and would turn up their car stereos so the subwoofers would make our car shake to see if they could weird out these Ohio crackers.

But anyway, I want to pay a visit to the remains of the Palace of Depression, and was recommended several other sites by sundry people whose suggestions are usually good, as this state also includes Asbury Park, Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash and Ocean Grove.

In the meantime, if I don't get out of Ohio this year, I need to make good on my road trip plans with my usual partner in random adventures and get to some weirdness in my own home state like the Prehistoric Village, the fake "Indian Caverns," and Loveland Castle.


Randal Graves said...

Oh okay, those caverns aren't real live remnants of pre-crackerdom. Harrumph.

Jay & Silent Bob visit the Witch House, there's your new Scooby Doo.

"I would've gotten away with it if it wasn't for you meddling stoners!"

Pulp said...

I have been to the Loveland castle. Interesting, but I don't think it (by itself) would warrant a drive down from Cleveland. Some very nerdy friends and I stopped there on our way down to the Vent Haven Museum in Kentucky, which is well-recommended if you could possibly appreciate a vast and creepy collection of ventriloquist dummies.

Chef Cthulhu said...

When you're in Boston head to Redbones Barbecue in Somerville. It is some of the best BBQ you'll ever have - trust me - and it is cheap. Lots of great beer choices as well. If you're going for lunch just get "The Combo". It's literally a pile of whatever meat they have on at the time, it will feed two and you will definitely still have leftovers to gnaw on the "T" as you chug through Beantown.

I lived in Charlestown for two years, so if you find yourself there (near the Bunker Hill Monument or USS Constitution) you have the Warren Tavern which is quite an historic place (a favorite hangout of Paul Revere's) and has some hearty pub grub. A little pricier but worth it and also in C-Town: check out Tangierino for some good Morroccan cuisine, and near there is a spot called Figs (I'll spare you the website as it has the pretentious mood music). If you're actually in the Charlestown Navy Yard (also known as Boston National Historic Park) there's the Navy Yard Bistro.

Or, go to any Italian restaurant in the North End. If I can think of anything else (I'll blame my age) I'll come back and post it.

If you go to North Commercial Wharf (an Atlantic Ave near Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park) you'll find the Boston Sail Loft a great fish 'n chips joint.

DON'T do a Segway tour. You'll look like a dork and if I'm anywhere near you when you roll through I'll try to knock you off. Boston's a great walking town.

thatgirl said...

Spooky noochies!

I always forget how much of Ohio is south of Cleveland but I'd also love to see the Serpent Mound if I get that far south again.

Yours truly finds the Segways ridiculous as well. I think we're walking the Freedom Trail at least one day so we'll be near some of those places you mentioned. Her uncle's running the marathon but we're going to walk and explore in the meantime.

We're staying somewhere in Acton. Anything I need to know about there?