Archive for amish

The Amish and Chicken Wings

Posted in Ohio, Travel with tags , , , on July 14, 2010 by melvisx

Sunday was spent on a quest to find the Amish.  Ten, her mom and myself headed out to visit Amish country and inadvertantly took a detour when none of us saw the sign for the turn off.  No, the sign did not say, “AMISH NEXT EXIT”, we probably would have noticed that one, it was a regular ol’ highway sign.  Anyway, after realizing we had travelled about 45 miles beyond where we intended to be we made a U-turn and headed back. As we got closer to or destination I began to notice laundry hanging outside several houses and my observation went something like this, “Hm, there’s some laundry hangin…HEY! It’s Amish laundry!”  How did I know you ask?  Excellent question.  The row of monochromatic dresses gave it away.  After a similar detour in the town we meant to find much earlier we found “Mary Yoder’s” an Amish restaurant.  I say Amish because I think it was just modeled after the Amish, not run by them.  Regardless, the food was excellent.  We headed from the restaurant to find the “End of the Commons” general store which was the original store for this Amish community.  On our way we saw several horses and buggies, passed a few, then pulled in to store which was near a giant wooded replica of a horse and buggy.  Not sure why they needed a Trojan horse and buggy, eh, it added to the scene.  The store itself had creaky floors and mix of authentic Amish stuff and touristy trinkets made in China.  It is a functioning general store with dry goods and hardware, but it is also a touristy spot that sells fudge, and gimmicky crap like “Red Neck Bubble Bath”, which is a little packet of beans; har-har.  (Ok, it was a little funny.)

After the store we headed back to Youngstown and just hung out for a bit questing for the elusive Pabst sign again and looking for abandoned houses to explore to no avail, they were all locked and/or boarded up.  For dinner we headed over to Sharon, PA to eat at Quaker Steak and Lube, which is famous for it’s chicken wings; with good reason, they were delicious.  The restaurant itself had several cars and even a semi parked on the roof, and various car related memorabilia hanging inside including a whole car!  Oh, not only are the wings delicious, some are even super hot.  In order to eat the hottest ones on the menu you have to actually sign a waiver.  In the bathroom there was a sign on the paper towels that read something like this, “If you ate the atomic wings wash your hands before you use the bathroom”, probably good advice, but not the best place for it.

Whoops, just before we went to dinner we visited Daffin’s Candies which is the home of the CHOCOLATE KINGDOM!  A truly maginificent sight to behold, ……….that took up an area the size of a walk in closet.  See for yourself below.  Sorry for the dearth of pictures RE: the Amish and Quaker Steak, you’ll just have to use your imagination.


Hey, ho, Ohi-o

Posted in Ohio, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2010 by melvisx

Saturday started with a trip to Kravitz Deli a place that has been in operation since 1943, and the owner Rose Kravitz still works there, she’s in her 80’s. On the way there we heard polka on the radio, and the silly Germans in the previous post. From there we headed to Mill Creek Park one of the largest urban parks in the country; bigger even than Central Park. The park was gorgeous and was definitely an oasis. Within Mill Creek park is, well, a mill built into the hillside on the river. The mill itself has been there since the mid-1800’s and was grinding flour when we visited. It was amazing to see the engineering involved in the workings of the mill. We meandered back to Youngstown to meet up with Ten’s folks at the Art and Jazz festival and on the way back saw a closed down gas station that apparently also sold kerosene; hadn’t seen one of them before. Wandered around the art show for a bit, grabbed a gyro, then hopped in the car in search of a Pabst Blue Ribbon sign painted on the side of a building.

We saw the sign in a slightly mediocre documentary about Youngstown produced by Ray “Boom-Boom” Mancini. We were obsessed with finding the sign until we got distracted by the silly gas station. I say silly gas station because there was a LOT going on. First we were trying to turn into the station but some lady had tried to turn down a one way street next to the station and was confused as to how to get herself out of the predicament; she was blocking the entrance to the station. Fortunately a good samaritan guided her into the station. The confused woman entered the mini mart at the station shortly after us asking for a pencil because she wanted to play the lottery. She was having trouble communicating this to the Middle Eastern cashier behind the plexiglass in her thick Asian accent. Fortunately the tall black woman with gold hair stepped in to help, “Why you givin’ this lady such a hard time?! All she want is a pencil; GIVE HER A PENCIL.” Meantime several people on their way to work at the hospital came in and got stuff and the confused asian driver seemed to know several of them, chit chatting with them. While Ten was pumping gas the tall black woman was trying to get some kids to pump up the bass on their tunes and Ten pointed out a crackhead prostitute by the door to the mini mart (this was explained in more detail in a previous post). We left the prostitute, doctors, and confused driver in search of the Pabst sign.

While driving around Ten decided to pull over in what I thought was a fairly random spot. She parked in front of an abandoned office/warehouse that we found an open door too and let ourselves in. Among the dirt and piles of stuff on the floor were several pay checks that were apparently never mailed, some furniture and I tire or two. We walked up the street from there and gained entrance into another warehouse that filled our lungs with nastiness, so we exited fairly quickly. Down the street from there was a school built in 1929 that we explored for a bit. In each place I found it odd that there was so much paper, and books, and other such stuff left strewn about. In the school there were whole bookcases with books left, as if people just walked away. It was all pretty fun and surreal at the same time, and neither of us fell down a hole or had anything fall on our heads.

Abandoned office

Side of abandoned office

School down the street from the abandoned office.

Thought the sold sign was ironic

Almost forgot. After the art show we walked over to the Arms Museum of Local History which was located inside an awesome Arts and Crafts style home. In the basement of the museum was a hands on room where kids could play with different period things, and games. There was one activity called, “Place the immigrants in steerage”. Priceless.

Gorgeous Craftsman door on Army Museum of Local History

Place the immigrants in steerage. This made us laugh out loud!

For dinner we went to Avalon Gardens Pizza located in a neighborhood that is, well, not so nice as evidenced by the warning in their parking lot and the bullet holes in the door right next door. The pizza was awesome, best I’ve ever had, and we escaped without incident. We headed back downtown, went to a martini bar, walked into the jazz festival to hear some Spyro Gyra, decided rather quickly that was a bad idea, seeing as how Spyro Gyra sucks, and left. We wound up hanging out with Ten’s friend Robert who showed us the patio he was making out of granite scraps from his job installing countertops. As we stepped into the back yard we were serenaded by Roberts neighbors who were having a fire in their back yard and singing Guns ‘n’ Roses songs; they weren’t bad…until they went for the high notes.

Mill at Mill Creek Park

Bridge at Mill Creek Park with mill in background

Me at Mill Creek Park


Sign in parking lot of pizza place.

Door next to pizza place.

Hey, ho, Ohi-o

Posted in Ohio, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2010 by melvisx

It’s a little damp and threatening thunder and lightening today so we hit a couple of museums. The first was the Butler Museum of American Art which normally has an Edward Hopper piece hanging, but it is currently on loan to a museum in Rome; doggone it. The Butler was the first museum exclusively dedicated to American art. Saw some great landscape paintings, the Lincoln “Rail Splitter”, some Wyeth’s, and some fun hologram art. One installation allowed me to take a picture of 121 images of myself; who wouldn’t want to see that? After that we headed downtown for some pizza and I snapped a photo of the plaque dedicated to the Warner Brothers, yes, the people responsible for Bugs Bunny are from Youngstown. While munching on pizza some dude came in to use the facilities then had an angry conversation with someone on his cell phone involving lots of expletives and stuff like, “I’m not gonna do that shit man!” We exited the pizza place into an apparent crack deal. It seemed like one dude was giving a crackhead some money for food, and the crackhead wanted to give him some crack in return, but the first dude said, “I don’t get high”

“You don’t drink, smoke, or nuttin’? Dat’s gud.”

“Ain’t no thing, man.”

From there we went to the Museum of Industry and Labor which is dedicated mostly to the steel industry. It was a well done museum and I got to dress up like a steel worker and pose with some as well. The museum also had some very informative and helpful signs for the workers which you can see in the photos. We arrived home to a mildly panicked 12 year old german shepard/lab mix named Cadence. She was sensing the impending thunderstorm we think. She’s calmed down….for now.

Bierstadt-forgot to get the title

121 images of me.

Wonder if the buffalo are fooled

Yosemite Valley

Youngstown, home of the Warner Brothers

I see these all over.

Only half the gear and I was super hot

Samuel P. Gompers quote for my history peeps.

Multilingualism is ingrained in our history.

Guess it