through a tourist's eyes


Last week, Gerald and I went to see a wonderful concert by the Blind Boys of Alabama. The concert was at a venue we hadn't been to before, a place called German House, which is in a city neighborhood called Corn Hill South Wedge (thanks, Alan). Neither of us had been in Corn Hill South Wedge before, and it was somewhat disorienting to get out of the car in a completely unfamiliar landscape--as if we'd travelled to another city. It got me thinking about how many parts of Rochester I just don't know as well as I'd like, and how many interesting and beautiful things I've missed because I don't take the time to really explore the place I live.

Today on my way back from a downtown meeting I skipped the interstate and took local roads back to campus, driving along the Genesee river, past the Mt. Hope Cemetery where Susan B. Anthony and Frederic Douglass are buried, and through some beautiful riverside parks. Then I called Gerald and said "I know what I want to do for my birthday on Saturday!"

I want to be a tourist, right here in town. I want to start the day with breakfast at the public market. I want to walk around downtown and take pictures of the beautiful architecture. I want to walk through Mt. Hope Cemetery. I want to go to Eastman House and admire the photographs, and the Susan B. Anthony House to remember that I live in a city that's always been home to great women. Maybe visit the zoo and the adjoining Frederic Law Olmsted park.

So that's my birthday plan. Friday night dinner and drinks with friends; Saturday wandering the city with my family and my camera. Then Sunday morning I'm outta here, headed for back-to-back meetings in Seattle.


Ahh...the joys of Western New York. I grew up in Buffalo and did my M.A. there and I've never grown tired of the quiet little drives around that area. Rochester has a lot (the Geneseo/ Brockport area is a treasure trove) as does the slightly more well-known but nonetheless beautiful Niagara Gorge region. I used to love to get lost in those parts. Around here (D.C.), there's too many people, too many signs to ever lose your way. I miss the quiet pull of those roads. Happy Birthday. Enjoy the fall into Spring.

Happy Birthday. The 16th is mine too.

When I was up visiting in January I wandered around the bridges over the river near the Public Library at night, with about 4 inches of snow on the ground from the previous night's storm. It was really pretty and memorable.

What perfectly delightful birthday plans! We send our love.

In the interest of being pedantic (a favorite pastime I've yet to outgrow), it may be that the reason you had so much trouble finding the German House is it isn't in Cornhill. It's in the South Wedge.

If you're out and about, don't forget to check out Highland Park and the conservatory. It's quite a different place when it's not overrun by the Lilac Festival.

Oh you're making me home sick. What a lovely way to spend your birthday. You might also enjoy visiting the Park Avenue area for a stroll along the shops and restaurants. If you have never eaten at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, you should check it out for lunch. It is located next to the older historic Rundel library. The building the restaurant is in used to be a train depot. It's pretty neat.

Happy Birthday!

Hi Liz,
What a wonderful way to spend your b-day! I just saw you yesterday and didn't even know it was your birthday - whoops! I was at the Eastman House on a "behind-the-scenes" tour myself this week. Mt. Hope is special to us too...You have to check out the U of R sometime - very pretty and the path by the River is a pretty place to walk. By the way, we lived in the Southwedge for 5 yrs - loved it!

Happy Birthday, Liz =)

Happy Birthday to Liz, Happy Birthday to Liz, Happy Birthday Mamamusings, Happy Birthday to you.

(have fun on the west side)


What a perfect weekend for all of those pictures I see showing up! Happy birthday once more! :-)

It's amazing what surrounds us without our being aware of it. Your mentioning German House brings back a memory of my childhood. When I was a student at Ellwanger and Barry School #24 on Meigs Street in the 1950s, once a week I and other Catholic students walked from there to St. Boniface Church on Gregory Street for religious instruction classes. This took us right past German House. Of course at that age I didn’t know anything about it and didn’t care. When I visited Rochester in 2002, I duplicated that walk and there was German House in beautiful condition. And outside it was the same slate sidewalk I had walked on 43 years earlier.
Dave Beedon
Renton, Washington

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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on April 13, 2005 4:34 PM.

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