Saturday, May 09, 2020

Lincoln's Hood

We popped up to Springfield, Illinois to visit my parents today.

We ate lunch together outside at a respectable distance from them, and brought our own food to limit the opportunities for cootie transfer.

Afterward we decided to take a stroll around the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.

Some interesting signs in the vicinity:

"While visiting the Lincoln home and the surrounding historical neighborhood, you will encounter conditions that were part of everyday life in the nineteenth century. Uneven and slippery boardwalks, walking surfaces with loose stones, and narrow staircases are part of the historic scene."

"A Sea of Mud

'When it rained, the earthen streets became a morass of shoe-clinging mud. During the dry weather, these same streets quickly converted to avenues of eye-burning, house-filling dust.' - Thomas Dyba and George L. Painter, Seventeen Years at Eighth and Jackson

The streets of Springfield started as messy, 55-foot-wide expanses of dirt and small stones. 10-inch wide oak planks served as curbing to protect yards and wooden walkways from erosion. Once a year, the streets were graded by teams of horses to control the dangerous ruts caused by weather and traffic.

The city added storm culverts and gutters in 1853, to control overflows of mud and rainwater. The gutters were stabilized with curbing in the late 1850's; plank crosswalks were also added at the time, allowing for safer and cleaner travel by pedestrians.

The construction of Springfield's streets didn't change until the 1880's, when the city paved the roads with blocks of hewn cedar."

"Harriet Dean House

In 1838, Abraham Lincoln purchased two lots in this block for $300. Twelve years later, he sold a half lot to Harriet Dean for $125.00. Mrs. Dean purchased an adjacent lot from someone else and had a house built, thus becoming a neighbor of the Lincolns."

I drove around my old stomping grounds and pointed out some landmarks of my childhood. The Pattons lived a few blocks away and I used to hang out at their house a lot.

The highway the leads to my parents' house passes by the local little amusement/water park. It's always nostalgic to pass by Knight's action park.

They happen to have a drive-in movie theatre! I don't think it's retro like the others we've visited... I seem to recall this one being built during my lifetime.

I think Trolls is the of the few new movies that studios have released in recent months. Since conventional theatres are all either closed or empty, they have been sitting on all of their new releases and waiting. It's then a bit of a vicious cycle for the businesses because they can't open with no new material to show. Anyway as a result I've seen this Trolls movie showing at numerous outdoor theatres.

As I said there are no new movies these days so it was exciting to have a chance to see another new release: The Invisible Man. It was a modern take on the classic story where the bad guy is made invisible by some technological suit that he invented. I liked it and I like the main actress from her Mad Men days.

Many hotels are closed so they light up their rooms to make cutesie shapes these days.

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Isolated Cinco De Mayo

After coronavirus killed St. Patrick's Day, we had made preparations to at least celebrate Cinco De Mayo at home. We did mourn the loss of the annual parade on Cherokee Street, however. 

I broke out a bottle of tequila that we hand blended in Tequila, Jalisco on our trip.

I popped on my staff shirt from working the parade last year.

There were other tequilas in attendance.

We did a video call with our Mexican friend Viry and her husband Lolo, and played some games. Lolo is French and of course the holiday is about the Mexican victory over the French, so there was some gentle ribbing about that.

May our next Cinco De Mayo be a happier one.

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Cemetery Sanctuary

We wanted to spend time at the park as we considered public indoor spaces off limits due to the danger of contracting the coronavirus. Well unsurprisingly everyone else had the exact same idea, and all of the parks were packed. Even being near other people while outside made us uncomfortable, though, so we did some brainstorming on where would be a good green space for us to inhabit. We came up with a genius place.

Cemeteries! We headed over to Bellefontaine Cemetery as we had done a little volunteer work here previously and we knew it had beautiful natural elements and some cool graves to see as well.

Later on we spent some time on the roof.

There were tiny red clover mites all over the roof. I was impressed as it was quite a climb for such a tiny creature.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Ferris at the Drive-In

Lydia made us a baller dinner. This belongs on a magazine cover or something.

We once again did the long drive to Starlite Drive-In.

This time we saw the classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

These movies are always double features but... that's a lot of movie for one night. Footloose will have to wait for another time.