How The West Was Lost

Through the days of the Erie Canal, Buffalo rose from a western outpost founded in 1802, into the 8th largest city in the United States by 1900, on its essential position as a market city and trading port to the frontier West. With the rise of the railroads, naturally this position translated into being a hub in that system as well, and just before the Depression the tracks along Lake Erie were the busiest in the world, with close to 200 passenger and 500 freight trains passing daily toward Chicago and New York. The previous station, located on the present…

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Triple Word Score

So, after going with Shane to those caves, and getting shaken down for every little bit of information I had about underground Rochester, he finally held up his end of the deal: taking me draining in Buffalo. I already knew exactly what I wanted. I'd even been to the entrance of it once, when the water was too high. It took some convincing to go here instead of Lockport but once I showed him what I thought I knew, he was all about it. Right from the entrance Scajaquada is an epic drain: instead of an outfall, and going upstream…

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Again And Again

Even though it hadn't been the best of times for the group, I still managed to get a real explorer in town. Which is an unusual enough opportunity for me I never quite know what to make of it -- an explorer with experience, talent, and a car willing to take a weekday afternoon and explore with me is certainly enough to miss class for! It seemed like quite a waste, but she only wanted to see graffiti, so we went back to the easiest and most colorful places I knew. Cobbs Hill water towers: I thought this little one…

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Spoiled Oil

Now that I've stopped spending every minute of free time I can find at Occupy, it's time to get out exploring and following some of the new ideas for our new group, the biggest change of which is to try to explore every Monday instead of taking up people's weekends. On the one hand this keeps us close to home, but it also opens the group up to many more people. We had a group of about ten for this place, an oil refinery that spent a few years repurposed as offices before closing in about 2000. Its demolition has…

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In Dubious Battle

After the beautiful solidarity of the march, and fractious GA, we arrived at a controversial decision, and in my mind a heinous mistake: to try, for the third time in five days, to take the park and create a base for Occupy Rochester. By now we were as well apprised of the situation as one could be; there was little drama, and even less political gain, to be had from either outcome, arrests or a continued stalemate, other than a piece of grass and concrete downtown which we weren't technically allowed to be in anyway. Either way, the scattering crowd…

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Words Can Save Us

November 2 at Occupy Rochester started off a beautiful day. After the arrests on Friday night, our leaders united with organized labor, political groups and even religious groups to put together an impressively diverse march, and finally show ourselves as representing more of the 99% than ever. The march went off perfectly, with no police interference to speak of; even the obnoxious nanny-cam staring down at the park from South Clinton finally left, towed away by a city public works truck a few minutes before the GA started. Calling the march to order! WE ARE THE 99%! WE ARE THE…

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