The Friday Five: New-Old-Amish-Snowy Edition, February 15, 2013

I’m playing around with the Friday feature a little bit. What do you think? It took kind of a ridiculous amount of time.

One.

For Valentine’s Day, the husband and I had lunch at Public in Zeeland. (Try the Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps – super yum! but skip the hot chocolate; I think it was instant). And check out what I saw when I was walking past Zeeland Schwinn afterwards:

Yes, I look like a doofus. NOT THE POINT.
Yes, I look like a doofus. NOT THE POINT.

Amish bikes! Okay, that’s what I called them because it’s the sort of thing the Amish ride near my in-laws’ house. But actually, it’s the Current Coaster, which is kind of like a Razor scooter on really fun steroids. I took it on a quick spin around the store – see above – and it is a smooth, fun ride. The owner told me that it’s made by a group of former Mercedes-Benz guys out of southern California. Zeeland Schwinn is the only store carrying them in Michigan. If you’re looking for some weekend plans, head into Zeeland and check them out.

Two.

There was a big blizzard in the Northeast this week. Have you heard about it? Well, in one New England town, the snowy streets and return to medieval transportation (too big a stretch? perhaps?) created an occasion for a big ol’ impromptu street party.

Yes, this photo does look a little bit more like a street riot than a party. But it wasn’t.

These are by far the most fun pictures I’ve seen of the blizzard. Extra points if you spot the little Yoda.

Three.

The Holland Museum has an exhibit going right now called Lost Holland. It has lots of photos of buildings that have been lost to demolition. I was at the archives a while back working on this post, and got something of a preview of this.

On River, looking towards the bridge. Image courtesy of Holland Joint Archives.
On River, looking towards the bridge. Image courtesy of Holland Joint Archives.

You can see the clock tower about a block up from here on the left – you’d be standing near Centennial Park. You’ll notice that the big building just to your left has been replaced by the parking lot next to Reliable Sports. (You can also click over to our Facebook page for another image of Lost Holland.)

I haven’t been here yet, but I think it will be an interesting exhibit.

Four.

And if you’re looking for a little inspiration… The way the Japanese get around may well be second-to-none. This article in Atlantic Cities sums up this incredibly modern, opposite-of-medieval system as well as any I’ve seen.

Five.

When I think of Europe, I think castles, vineyards… and amazing cities. Beautiful cities, with fun little windy streets. Now, I’ve yet to go to Europe, so maybe I’m completely wrong. But I find the leftovers of the medieval city terribly compelling.

Get this: Boston used to be like that.

Creek Square in 1896. The street is still there; the buildings are not.
Creek Square in 1896. The street is still there; the buildings are not.

I found it both thrilling and devastating to look through these photos. All of the places pictured were lost to road widening, highway-building, and so-called urban renewal that razed entire neighborhoods. So much history destroyed! Hard to understand to a modern mind. I mean, look at this –

The Feather Shop, once outside Faneuil Hall. It was built in the 1600s!
The Feather Shop, once outside Faneuil Hall. It was built in the 1600s!

In America! No flight required! Pretty cool, no?

The Friday features are published on the second and fourth Fridays of each month.

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