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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

homework: Travel Studies: Europe on a Shoestring

Homework: Pick one assignment that appeals to you. ~Someone found your blog and emailed you saying they're visiting the city where you grew up. Write an itinerary for a one-day tour of your hometown. Prompt: "When you're there, you can't miss____. There's a great view from____. My favorite place for lunch is_____, and the kids would love____."

I know that this isn’t much of a stretch, imagination or writing-wise, but a little while ago, I did a photo essay of my tiny home-town in New York. My brother and I were visiting (I from Utah, and he from Illinois) for a surprise retirement party that we and our sister hosted for our dad. For this assignment, I’m going to re-post that essay here, as well as the photo-essay of our favorite of all favorite places to eat, Johnny’s.


The following was originally posted on Tuesday, June 24th, 2008:

"But you don't SOUND like you're from New York."

What they mean is that I don't sound like I'm from New York City (no disrespect, fuhgettabouddit).

It's because I'm not.

There are other places in New York.

Like this one:

It's prounounced "BUST-eye" (not "busty"). And that's my brother, James (prounounced "JAY-me" if you knew him when he was young). He will be your tour guide today, using mainly his finger.

This is the house in which we grew up. Pardon the vehicle in front -- that was my rental for my visit.

This is the sign across the street from the house. It advertises all the goings on, of which there are many throughout the year, mainly in September.

Jayme loves this sign.

This is also across the street from the house (the house picture, the sign pictures, and this picture were all taken from the same spot, just turned in different directions). It is a "Protestant Free Church." I haven't ever seen people attend church here, but I have seen a lady make candles inside. Pioneer stuff, but in Busti, we call it Amish.

This is an ice cream shop and a reception hall. I remember going to this building before it was a reception hall and buying bags of cheese curd.

This is one of two actual churches in Busti. (I couldn't take a photo of the other one because I'm pretty sure they have security cameras and Mormon sensors set to shoot at a second's notice; be assured that it is a large and spacious building with its own mini-version of Calvary in the side yard.)

Here is their sign.

Praise be.

Here is the fire hall.

Here is someone driving an ATV in the fire hall's parking lot (sorry my mirror is in the way).

Here is a silly yellow car parked in the fire hall's parking lot.

Here is a truck parked near "The Triangle" at the five corners. The fire hall is at the five corners. The five corners is where Busti's light is.


Here is the library. I cannot tell you how many hours I spent here. Lots. Kids met outside to have some sort of club; I never joined because doing so involved pledging, in part, "...Michael Jackson is a fag..." and, well, at the time he was my boyfriend. No thanks, Kids.

Look! Another ice cream store!

Here is the diner at the five corners. In my day, it was The Corner Store, where we bought penny candy and subs. When I was an awesome pre-teen, this is where I bought my Tiger Beat and Noxzema. Today it's called Whatever Diner. Next week it will be something else.

This jewel deserves a two-fingered point. It's Jesse's. Not Jesse's gas station, just Jesse's. Jesse is the owner. I remember going here to get my bike tires filled with air. Jesse was a scary-looking individual, and my parents speculated about Jesse adding water to the gasoline he sold. They also took their vehicles to Jesse's for service. Constantly. Guess Jesse never fixed the vehicles. Looks like Jesse's is for sale, if you're interested. Last gas stop before Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania.

Yes, Egg Farm. It's been around since the days of yore.

Down the road a bit is the Cider Mill Farm.

Here's the actual Mill. Jayme hates this place (won't tell you which finger that is) because he worked here one day for like, 27 hours and got paid 37 cents. That's how the Amish do things. will I pay for my Mill Goods?

Oh! Good!

Lots to do here in Busti!

Another Farm? Could it be?

Yes! Some kids live there! But what can I buy?

Oh, sure! (Jayme was not present for these pictures.)

Driving out of Busti you can see how much people get excited about living so close to Buffalo.

You can also see this road across the lake. It makes me wonder if, driving on that road, people see a similar scene.

Thanks for joining us on our tour! Any questions?


The following was originally posted on Sunday, July 6th, 2008:

Hungry? In or around the 14701 zip code? Well, you're in luck. There's this little place on Fairmount (bigger than it used to be, but still little) called Tummy's. Only, it's not called Tummy's. My brother & sister & I call it Tummy's but it's really called Johnny's. Only, it's technically called Johnny's Lunch.

Johnny's boasts Texas Hots. I don't know why they're called that. They're hot dogs. Or, tummys.

When you go into Johnny's, get in line to order at the counter. Be prepared to be called Sweetie. The food is made in front of you, but magically, you don't wait long at all. You see people preparing the food in front of you.

If you're getting it to go, they wrap the food SUPERFAST (almost too fast for my camera to catch). Here's how they start:

And a millisecond later, it looks like this:

A very common order is "3 with E", which means 3 hotdogs with Everything. Everything includes mustard, Johnny's sauce, and onions.

Jayme ordered 3 with E and a milkshake.

Jayme likes to add hotsauce.

This is what I like to order:

Here's a closer look:

(L-R, Texas Fries (fries w/ melted cheese, Johnny's sauce, & onions); rice pudding WITH NO RAISINS; a cheeseburger with Everything; and a chocolate shake.)
But what exactly is Johnny's sauce?

Beats me.

Jayme had to finish my fries.

Yummy in my tummy.


What is this? Why, it's homework!

You can get in on the fun, too!


La Yen said...

I can't wait until the day you can be my real-life Busti tour guide. Hopefully during Apple Whatever.

Travelin'Oma said...

This is a great idea!

Bunsies said...

Apple Festival--- the last Sunday of September EVERY YEAR!

c-dub said...

i wanted to go then and i want to go now. let's do it!

p.s. i think you should make this into a coffee table book.

Unknown said...

Ah, home. The pictures of Johnny's (we called it Johnny's Crotch, btw) made me hungry.

Sorry, must go look for some gelatinous meat sauce for a squishy, delicious hot dog...Johnny's freakin' rocks!

Holly said...

That looks like a great place to grow up. Serious.