We're not fussy people. Our needs are simple. We like to go for neighborhood walks, or hike in state parks. We go for little drives: we have our favorite farms, our favorite horse pastures, our favorite fallen-down barns. Most of the time, we content ourselves with our place, and the things that can be seen or done in it. Binghamton is, after all, an okay place to live. We like it.
But, now and then, we need to escape. Sometimes, and for no reason, a snowy Saturday will find us embarking on a field trip. We tell no one our plans. We take nothing. We have no expectations, excepting maybe the thrills of unfamiliar street corners and discovering cool old buildings.
On days like this, only the most exotic of upstate New York locations will suffice. Today, we went to Syracuse.
What? That's right, folks. It's exotic. There are cool buildings and unfamiliar corners, and also a slick, big-city feel that Binghamton definitely lacks. There are museums we've never explored, regional microbrews we've never sampled, restaurants whose menus we don't have memorized. There's a first-rate cooperative craft store, and maybe the finest indepedent music store I've ever seen.
The Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) is housed in the old armory building, which makes it cool even before you set foot inside. Why did they build armories that look like castles? There's something so mysterious and old-world about them.
We liked the butterflies.
I'll pause here to give a little of the back story. As usual, there's a dorky, under-lying reason we find Syracuse enchanting. (Deep breath.) Well, back in 2006, when Patrick and I had been dating a mere three months, (imagine!) he drove me to Syracuse to take my GRE's. When he came to pick me up after the test, he had a dozen roses in the back seat. I spent the rest of the day in a daze: it was May, all the trees were blooming and the birds were singing. An afternoon rain shower had cleared the air, and my boyfriend of three months had just given me a dozen roses! We ate dinner at a charming little place, drinking wine and talking about the future. Since then, Syracuse always brings me back to that day, not even so very long ago, when our life together was something we were just starting to think about. It was a nice time. So is this one.
Dinner was at the Empire Brewing Company. Microbrews for Patrick, Chilean red wine for me.