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Published: December 25th 2011
Pratt's Falls from the top
Pratt's Falls, outside Syracuse New York, from the top overlook
The main goal for today was putting on miles back to Boston, but I still had time to see some things.
The first was Pratt's Falls Park
The main feature is a 137 ft. waterfall.
In most states, this would be worthy of a state park.
In New York, the state of Niagara Falls
, Taughannock Falls
, and Watkin's Glen
, it rates a county park so obscure I only found out about it from a brochure at a highway rest stop.
Pratt's Falls was originally the sight of a gristmill.
The dam from the gristmill is still in place, so the waterfall is dam controlled.
This is pretty unusual for a waterfall.
I arrived the day after a thunderstorm, so the waterfall was going full blast.
It’s a stair step waterfall, so the water falls over a series of ledges in quick succession.
At the top, the ledges are very narrow so the water drops steeply.
At the bottom the ledges get wider, so the water spreads out.
When the water level is high, the drops merge together to create a single stream of white foam.
Trail to Lower Overlook
More foliage along the trail to the lower overlook
The waterfall has overlooks at the top and bottom.
The top overlook is directly next to the waterfall.
When looking straight down, you see the water spreading out over the lower ledges.
This caused minor vertigo.
The bottom overlook is reached by a steep trail over many stairs.
It’s walkable in normal footwear.
At the bottom overlook, the ledges become more apparent.
Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute
After the waterfall, I went to the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute
It consists of an art school, a museum, and a performing arts series.
I was interested in the museum.
In the late 1950s, it received a large gift of American art from the 1870s to the 1960s.
It also has large holdings of modern European Art.
The main museum was designed by Phillip Johnson
The outside looks like a black cube.
The inside reminds me more of a 1960s department store than a typical art museum, with lots of wood paneling and white walls around a central courtyard.
The art is shown on three floors.
The main floor contained
Pratt's Falls from the bottom
Pratt's Falls, outside Syracuse New York, from the bottom overlook
a temporary show.
It was about the concept of paradise as depicted in modern photography.
The theme of the second floor is American art.
The highlight is a series of large paintings called "The Voyage of Life
" by Thomas Cole.
The paintings are a highly symbolic depiction of man's search for meaning and immortality.
In keeping with the times they were painted, both are ultimately found through religion.
The basement floor contains the European works.
They cover every major art movement of the twentieth century.
The museum also has a large decorative arts collection, but I skipped it because I was short on time at that point.
After the art museum, I had one last stop to make, of a completely different sort.
Albany is the base of a chain of local convenience stores called the Stewarts Shops
They should not be confused with the Stewarts Soda Company
Upstate New Yorkers consider these stores to have the best snack food in the US.
Their house brand items, in particular, taste as good as gourmet snacks costing 10 times as much.
A native introduced me to them a
Munson Williams Proctor Art Museum
The new building of the Munson Williams Proctor Art Museum in Utica New York, designed by Phillip Johnson
decade ago, and now I always stop in every time I pass through the area.
This time around, I bought several two liter bottles of Cream Soda.
Almost every Cream Soda I've tried has an unpleasant chemical aftertaste.
Stewarts Shops is one of the few that doesn't, and by far the least expensive.
My snack food secure, it was time to put in the miles for home.
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