Friday, June 17 2005
Gretchen's parents arrived in the early afternoon today and we spent the day mostly in Rosendale. We dined at the Alamo, the new Mexican restaurant that stands in place of a Rosendale dive bar, a conversion undertaken by the dynamic gay couple who also brought us the Cement Company and Rosendale's other first steps towards gentrification and higher property values. The Cement Company isn't following in the mold of any other restaurant, so there are no expectations. With the Alamo, though, there's a Mexican restaurant convention and there should always be an excellent reason when any of its time-tested tenets are violated. But as far as I could tell, there was no good reason for the absence of chips and salsa at the beginning of our meal. Maybe it's me that's wrong; maybe chips and salsa at the beginning of a Mexican meal is so 1998.
After lunch we walked around to all the little antique stores and boutiques of Rosendale, the slow sleep-inducing walk one always does in Rosendale when showing it off to friends from out of town. The highlight of this walk came when when we trespassed the length of someone's long, narrow yard from main street to the bank of Rondout Creek, where we watched a chatty Purple Martin hanging out on the porch of his pole-mounted multi-family dwelling, which was made of sharp-edged sheet metal.
With some difficulty we managed to find the entrance to Rosendale's spectacular iron railroad trestle, which crosses high above the Rondout just west of the heart of the village. This trestle has been closed for many years and was at some point fitted with a wooden walkway and handrails so it could serve a pedestrian function. The retrofit extends only from the south end to two thirds of the way to the north end, stopping just short of where the trestle passes over busy main street below. (Perhaps the designers were concerned about the brick-dropping proclivities of Rosendale's adolescent delinquents.)
We had the dogs with us and of course they came with us out onto the trestle. Sally was eager to keep on going, even wanting to continue across the part that hadn't been resurfaced (and still had coffin-sized holes going a hundred feet down). Eleanor, though, was nervous and mostly kept to the center of the walkway, crouching slightly with her tail between her legs.
This evening Gretchen made another of her famous pizzas, though for some mysterious reason the crust didn't rise as expected.
all these pictures were taken by Gretchen's father
A delightful cat named Dave who lives at one of Rosendale's antique stores.
A female Purple Martin at home.
Me on the bank of the Rondout.
The rocky cliffs above Rosendale.
The unfinished part of the trestle.
Eleanor nervously walking with Gretchen and me on the trestle.
Looking down from the trestle. On the right is 213, Main Street. On the right is the ugliest building in Rosendale. In the middle is Rondout Creek.
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