June 30, 2018
by David Ryan

Wandering Around the Great Falls of the Passaic in Paterson, NJ

Paterson, New Jersey is only 15 miles from Manhattan and can be for some one of the most interesting places to wander on the East Coast. It is a very diverse and urban city that has experienced economic decline as its industrial base vanished. In the middle of its urban core is one of America’s great natural wonders, the Great Falls of the Passaic.

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June 1, 2018
by David Ryan

Wandering into a Huge Surprise in Columbus, Indiana

Before starting the blog post, I want to apologize for going a little over eight months without writing a new post for this website. I was busy during those months working on the 3rd Edition of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Albuquerque. The manuscript is now with the publisher (Menasha Ridge) and should be available by the end of this year. If you already have the 1st or 2nd Edition of the book, the 3rd Edition for all practical purposes will be a new book. There are 19 new hikes, 17 of the retained hikes have been completely revamped to more or less be new hikes, and the remaining 24 hikes have all been updated. To make sure that we had it right, the dogs and I went on 140 hikes related to the book. I’ll be providing more information on some of the hikes as the book gets closer to publication.

To celebrate turning the manuscript over to the publisher, my dog Petey and I hopped in the car last week and went on a road trip. Other than wanting to pick up a couple of baseball parks (Pittsburgh and Detroit), we had absolutely no plans. Somehow we found ourselves driving across southern Indiana and less than thirty miles from Columbus, Indiana.

I had long known that Columbus was the home of Cummins Engine and a mecca for mid-century modern architecture and had driven near Columbus many times while traveling from Chicago to Cincinnati, but for one reason or another, I never made the stop. This time we did stop in Columbus to wander around.  And all I can say is, WOW!, WOW!, WOW!

Even the bridge into town has a sense of design. Outdoor public sculptures are everywhere

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September 21, 2017
by David Ryan

Urban Walking and a Sense of Place

As we all know there is a certain amount of sameness in places that were developed to accommodate automobiles. This phenomenon was described as the “geography of nowhere” by author James Kunstler in his 1993 book of the same name. I have made it a point to wander around to find locations and items that have a sense of place, or if you will, the “geography of somewhere.”

For example, in the older parts of Chicago, you can find areas where the houses are several feet below the street level. The difference in levels is a result of the street level being raised after the homes were built. Raising the streets has been only one of many engineering efforts undertaken over the past 180 years to deal with water in the Chicago area.

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