Schoolhouses are easy to recognize, especially one room schoolhouses that appear to have a bank of windows. This brick building in Putney, VT struck me as just that.
You can clearly see the potential in this building, even on a rainy summer afternoon. If you have information, please share.
Many cities have a bike share program; Minneapolis and St. Paul have Nice Ride Minnesota. What’s the purpose?
Nice Ride bikes are designed for one job, short trips in the city by people wearing regular clothes and carrying ordinary stuff. All Nice Ride bikes are the same size, the only thing you may have to adjust is the seat, and it’s easy!
Commuting to work? A quick trip to the store? In need of a ride across the city? Grab a bicycle at one of the many, many stations throughout the Twin Cities. You can rent a bike for $6 for 24 hours or $65 for a year. What a bargain! The bikes are available November – April, 24/7.
And, Nice Ride also works well for tourists. Touring Minneapolis by bike was the perfect way to see great parts of the city. The catch? You have 30 minutes to get between stations, otherwise you pay fees on top of your 24 hour or year subscription. With all of the stations, it’s easy. And then you can immediately take out another bicycle to continue on your journey.
All you have to do is (1) find a station, (2) insert a credit card, (3) select your subscription, (4) get a code, (5) punch in the code in the bike stand, (6) remove the bike, (7) ride and repeat within 30 minutes. You do have to enter your card at each station, but if you haven’t gone over 30 minutes, you will not be charged extra. And you can rent more than one bike at once and get more than one code.
These bikes have adjustable seats for all heights and were very easy to ride around the city. The green makes them easy to spot, and they’re fun looking bikes for cruising!
Now, there were a couple of times when I didn’t think I’d made it to a bike rack. The $1.50 wouldn’t have ruined my day, but, hello, the challenge! That’s when the iphone app called Spotcycle (it’s free!) was incredibly helpful. Spotcycle identifies your location and shows you closest bicycle docks, how many bikes are at that station, gives you routes, timers, and more. It has cities all over the world. Check it out on your phone or on the website. Using the Spotcycle app as a tourist and doing my best to reach each station before the 30 minute limit made exploring quite the fun urban bicycle adventure.
Biking around a city was a great alternative to walking because you could cover more ground, and was definitely better than driving because it removes the need for parking and is slow enough to feel like you’re exploring. And with a bicycle I rode along the river. If you’re in a city with a bike share program, I’d highly recommend it, even just for cruising along a bike path.
What are the disadvantages of a bike share program? Safety, considering not everyone knows how to cycle in a city or knows the rules of the road; bike maintenance and security on the municipality; and usage. All of these are obstacles that can be overcome, by education and outreach. For cold weather climates, it’s a great way to get people to see their city in a new way. And for warm weather climates, it’s good all year long. And for everyone, it’s environmentally friendly and takes up less space than parking lots, garages or spaces.
Have you tried a bike share? What do you think?
Photos of Minneapolis by bike coming soon!
It’s true. I love the idea of farmers’ markets: local food, local folks, supporting the local economy, community gatherings, live music, mingling, sunshine, open air, chatting, fresh food, baked goods, use of town green space or something similar. They embody some strong preservation and community ideals.
What could possibly be wrong with a farmers’ market?
I’ll let you in on a secret because, let’s face it, no one is perfect, preservationist or not. As the post title tells: I get overwhelmed at farmers’ markets, and I always have.
How is that possible, you ask? You live in Vermont, that’s ridiculous, you say. You’re a preservationist who is always talking about local economy, you say.
I know, I know!*
Here’s how. As I am not much of a cook, or at least an organized cook who is capable of planning meals, I tend to wander around a farmers’ market and wind up the full circle later, having no idea what to buy. I can smile and chat with the artists, admire their work, hold a cup of coffee, eat prepared food, enjoy the live music, be neighborly, but produce, meat and other stands? Unless I want berries or just a few tomatoes, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I don’t even know what some of the vegetables are, and I’m a healthy eater. And unless it’s produce that I know, I’m skeptical of prices. Despite what we think and hope, not everything is less expensive at a farmers’ market (add that to my list of pet peeves).
After wandering around for some time, I end up frazzled and heading home with very little produce. Let’s not even talk about buying meat. That’s many steps ahead, despite the fact that local meat is important to me. And then I feel guilty for not doing more very local shopping! But I don’t know how to improve. So it’s really just the same cycle over and over.
There is where you might tease me mercilessly, or offer some helpful advice. I can handle both.
Of course, there are probably simple solutions, like talking to the farmers, etc. And there are more complicated solutions like learning to plan meals. Bring on the solutions.
My point in sharing this is to a) share a weakness I have as a preservationist and b) to tell you that by the end of the summer I will successfully shop at a farmers’ market for a week’s worth of produce & meat, rather than the grocery store. At least, I’ll do my very best. Expect it to take all summer. I’ll report back to you.
And now it’s your turn to offer your own confession, whether you are a preservationist or not.
*P.S. I live in Vermont and I’ve never once been skiing. How’s that to confuse you?!
Have you done any local shopping lately? It’s easier in the summertime when you can places and don’t mind taking extra time to stroll on the streets, or to head downtown rather than to the strip malls on the outskirts. Do you agree? What do you find to be the easiest thing to purchase locally?
Check out this new “Buy Local” infographic. (Who doesn’t love infographics?!)
Previous post on Buy Local posters. Will you make an effort to increase your local business spending this summer? Just $10 per month to a local business, as opposed to a big chain? You can do it!
And the warm weather has found us, even in Vermont. Enjoy the sunshine and the warmth!
It’s summer! That means it’s time for winding road trips and exploring roadside America. Where do you stay when you travel? If you transported yourself to another era, where would you stay? Perhaps a tourist cabin along a state highway, a convenient rest stop. Tourist cabins are part of the evolution of roadside lodging (mentioned here). This summer I’ll be keeping my eyes open for tourist cabins on the Vermont highways, and wherever else my travels take me. If you find any, send them my way.
Here’s one to start off our summer travels. This is located on Route 17 near Chimney Point, VT. Each gable front cabin has novelty siding, a metal roof, exposed rafters, a small front porch, and cinder block foundations.
Would you stay in a tourist cabin?