Sunday, September 25, 2011

Paterson Museum & Great Falls in way too many pictures

This piece is "Untitled" but I would rename it "Awesome"

I went to the Paterson Museum yesterday for the first time. Half the building is being used by FEMA (yep that flood thing is still news here) but the permanent exhibits were still on display. Suggested donation to enter is $2

Outside are some sculptures and these two trains. The 299 was built in Paterson and then shipped off to help build the Panama Canal. About 100 years later Paterson's mayor asked for it back to be placed in the museum. It caused a huge international mess.

The museum was originally a train building center. Once trains were built they were dragged a mile over to the train station by horse. That explains these ridiculously oversized, gorgeous doors all over the place.

Fact: Paterson is known as "Silk City" because we're all so smooth.
Better Fact: That sentence is untrue.

Truth is, we are home to the Great Falls. The town's history is mired in hydro-electricity and child labor.

I would have been useless in the silk mills because I'd be lost in all the patterns and colors.

I mean, come on! I'd be too busy Pantoning it up to do anything but be fired.

Another True Fact: My favorite colors are red and green but only together at the holidays.

Who doesn't love organized messes?

Doesn't this look like the loom the princess picked her finger on? The Ruplestilskin princess, I forget her name.

Nice to see your town's name on something besides a crime blotter.

They designed and assembled the first submarine here too.

I kind of wish they hadn't painted the submarine. I don't mind seeing rust and old stuff in places other than where I live or drive.

This awesome quote rues the day the submarine would end up in a museum. I love the tongue-in-cheekness of having it in front of the thing.

Here is the 1920s mayor receiving a torpedo at City Hall. This is in the foyer. If you go right you get to the tax offices. To the left are land records. I haven't been inside in years because I'd rather spend a stamp than try to find parking in downtown during business hours.

This engine was in the first plane to fly from NY to Paris. It was built by the Wright (brothers) company over in Paterson.

This weird lamp was in one of their offices. Its like a demented jack in the box with sharp reptilian feet.

Paterson is also the birthplace of the handgun. I didn't take many pics here because gun violence is horrible.

but pharmacies are AWESOME!

Listerine still came in these corrugated tubes when I was a kid. That toxic stuff could strip paint off a submarine.

Imagine how long it would take to check out all my coupons using this beautiful machine!

We also had the first nursing school in the Americas. This is St. Joseph's Hospital and I was born in the building all the way to the left. Its the only part of the original building left. All the rest is now made of glass and brick and other Anny Approved modern stuff.

Look at the cute old, impractical fire engine!

And this little thing? How could it put out more than a garbage can fire?

Lou Costello was from here and always mentioned Paterson.

They had a bunch of screenplays with Paterson mentions but this one made me laugh so in the blog it goes.

What with all the mechanics in town and a (now falling down) stadium only blocks from where they worked it was only natural they start building little cars to race around the track. The curator said it was the NASCAR of their time and folks from all over America would come race or just build.

I don't think we could get away with calling small cars Midget Cars these days.

I don't know this guy's story but in my head he is called Roland and is at odds with Blayne the Pain outside. Dark Tower fans get it.

The museum is a few blocks from the Great Falls, which caused all our flooding problems during Irene.

This precarious little tree has been here all my life. Its always a season ahead too. See how red the leaves are? Everything else here is green (or yellow from over-rain).

Isn't that pretty?

In second grade we took a field trip to the Great Falls and my teacher's assistant Ms. K got her heel stuck between two boards. She panicked and started screaming, causing a mini stampede of 8 year olds already freaked out by crossing a bridge over a waterfall. That was about 25 years ago and it still makes me laugh.