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Buffalo, Part II

March 29, 2010

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we began our journey at the waterfront by the Irish Famine Memorial. Not only had I never seen this before, but I wasn’t even aware of its existence before this past weekend.

There is a side-walk that leads up to the memorial from one side and there are 4 plaques that describe the memorial and a brief history of the famine. I will include pictures of the plaques below, but if you don’t want to read them all, I’ll summarize. Beginning in 1845, when Ireland was under British rule, there was a famine due to a failed potato crop. A million Irish died during this famine. Two million more people left Ireland during the famine. From the mid to late 19th century, Buffalo became one of the largest inland immigration ports and thousands of Irish immigrants settled in Western New York. In 1995 several Irish cultural organizations worked together to form a famine commemorative committee. A short time later, they and several other interested parties had the memorial erected. The central piece of the memorial is a granite slab from Carraroe, Galway County. The 32 limestone rocks surrounding the outer edge of the memorial are from Penrose Quay in Cork Harbor, where many immigrants last set foot in Ireland as they left. If you only read one of the plaques, I recommend the third one. It describes the significance of each part of the memorial.

Here are a couple more pictures of the memorial.

Very near the memorial were some geese, swimming in the water.

There were about a dozen geese in all, but two of them were off a ways from the others. They seemed to be engrossed in a courting ritual or something when the other geese began swimming towards them. The goose in the front of the pack and the male, I assume, from the pair began fighting. They looked so ridiculous fighting that I was giggling and forgot to take a picture. Then they stopped and the one goose from the pack began swimming quickly away while the one from the pair put its head down and began weaving it back and forth as they do on land to intimidate would-be attackers. The whole thing looked very silly, but the only picture I got of the whole affair was of the goose from the pair “yelling” at the other goose.

The two farthest to the left are the pair, the angry one on the right, and the one being scolded is the goose that seems to be swimming out of the frame.

After we watched the geese for a bit, I began taking pictures of stuff surrounding the area where the memorial is.

Sarah loves light houses, so this one is for her.

As I looked toward the Naval park, I thought these would make cool shots.

Above is the USS Little Rock. It’s pretty cool to tour, although I don’t think my back would hold up to a tour of it at this point. Below is the USS Little Rock in the foreground and USS The Sullivans. It was named after 5 brothers who were all killed in World War II when their ship, USS Juneau, was sunk. Their deaths prompted more strict regulations about separating siblings in the service. Behind the ships, on the other side of the skyway, is the HSBC Arena, where the Buffalo Sabres play.

After looking around for a little while at the waterfront, we headed into down town. Yesterday’s post describes that in detail. Once we were finished in the down town area, we moved north a ways and stopped at one of my favorite places in Buffalo, the Forst Lawn Cemetery. I am a big fan of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs and his last design, which was constructed after his death, is the Blue Sky Mausoleum located in the Forest Lawn Cemetery.

The cemetery has a very park like feel to it. When Jeff worked in Buffalo, the kids and I would go visit the cemetery and have walked through a great deal of it. I sensed that Jeff wasn’t really into visiting the cemetery, so I took pictures of Blue Sky and continued driving, the long way, back to the exit. As we came around a bend, avoiding several geese who believe they own the road, I saw something I really didn’t expect. Walking among the headstones was a young looking deer.

I pulled over onto the far side of the road, rolled Jeff’s window down and took a couple of pictures. The deer stopped and just stared at us. I became a little concerned, wondering if it might spook and run into us, but it just stared. Eventually, it took a few steps and stopped to eat some grass near a headstone. Now I know that cemeteries are very open places and deer might find them good places to hang out, but this cemetery is in the middle of a densely populated, urban, residential area, with a rather high (5 or 6 foot) wrought iron fence surrounding the place! As far as I know all the entrances are off of decidely city streets. There is a park neaby, but it is also in the middle of the city. Weird!

3 comments

  1. Webster has suburban deer…apparently Buffalo has the urban variety. Love the photos, and I had never even heard of the Irish Famine memorial. Will have to check it out one of these days.


  2. Great shots Carly. I love the deer…how wild!


  3. hehehe…deer and raccoons are moving from the country into the cities!!! Beware!!!! Deer wander great distances in relatively short periods of time, and they always seem to know where they can find a wooded area!

    I have never seen the Irish Famine Monument. Very interesting history, indeed!



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