Norm’s Soda Fountain

Norm’s Soda Fountain is an old-fashioned soda fountain and diner in Kalispell, Montana. The soda fountain opened in 1938 and serves burgers, fries, soups, milk shakes, ice cream, floats, and hot dogs. There are also 800 types of candy and hundreds of magazine titles for sale. The burgers are hand-pat fresh each day. We ordered…

Frank’s Diner

Frank’s Diner, in Spokane, Washington, is the oldest diner in Washington. It began as a dining car on a railroad line in 1906, was located in Seattle from 1931 to 1991, and has been in Spokane since losing its lease. Locals consider it Spokane’s best breakfast spot. As interesting as the train car looks from…

Ugly Mug

Ugly Mug Cafe & Coffee Roasters gets its name from the grotesque stone faces on the outer walls of its building in the U District surrounding the University of Washington. Inside, it’s anything but ugly. I had the Grilled Cheese (swiss cheese, pepperjack, olive tapenade  mayonnaise, tomatoes, grilled focaccia bread, $5) with a cup of…

Japan, day 1

After leaving Shanghai, I flew to Tokyo, Japan for 10 days of learning, sightseeing, and, of course, eating. This was the first photo I snapped in Japan, travelling from Narita Airport to Shinjuku, where I would be staying. Narita is about two hours from Tokyo and a shuttle bus is about $30 per person. When…

The Inn at Cooperstown review

Staying at the Inn at Cooperstown was a wonderful experience. I had so much fun exploring the bed and breakfast, which is a historic landmark designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh, famed architect of the Plaza Hotel. The inn, built in 1874, feels more like a home than a hotel. There are a lot of little…

Cooperstown NY, the birthplace of baseball

Ok, so Cooperstown being the birthplace of baseball is really a marketing thing that is not exactly true. The situation is complicated and, not being a baseball fan, I don’t care to recap it here, but there’s a detailed write-up on Major League Baseball’s website you can read. I came to Cooperstown (AMTRAK from New…

A famous hoax and a carousel + more snapshots of The Farmers’ Museum

The Farmers’ Museum really has something for everybody. Their welcome exhibit does a good job of laying out what visitors can expect: This was in a building that looked like this: Activities for Sugaring Off Sunday: Special events for the year: It’s pretty cool that there’s regional Civil War history being taught up here. Because…

Farm-to-table? Tree-to-table!

After leaving the printing shop, I walked around the rest of The Farmers’ Museum checking out the farm animals. The Farmers’ Museum is home to goats, chickens, cows, sheep, turkey, and horses. There were wagon rides around the premises so I got on one. The horses are slow and strong, meant for labor instead of…

A printing press from the 1800s

“I know this keyboard better than the computer keyboard,” the printer in the printing shop said. I had gone into this shop after leaving the blacksmith shop at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, NY. It was filled with functional printing presses, moveable type, and examples of printed work. The Farmers’ Museum offers letterpress workshops. This is…

Meeting a blacksmith

The Blacksmith Shop at The Farmers’ Museum was built in 1827. It was used continuously as a forge until 1934. Today, it is still a functioning forge turning out product the traditional way, but it does not operate full-time. I talked to one of the smiths at work. This man is 26 and started smithing…

Sweet things in a general store

After learning how maple syrup is made, I headed into the historic village of The Farmers’ Museum. There are a couple dozen buildings in this village, many of which are preserved historic buildings that actually existed in the 1800s. Because Cooperstown is not in its tourism season (that’s baseball season – more on that later),…

How maple syrup is made

The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, NY, is a living history museum that highlights rural and agricultural traditions of life in the mid-1800s. I travelled to Cooperstown from Manhattan for their event Sugaring-Off Sundays, which feature activities and demonstrations including livestock interaction, metalsmithing, printing, and more. The Sugaring-Off Sundays happen during sugaring season, when maple syrup is…