(The Swannie House, Buffalo NY/Image copyright of Lieuxabandonnes)
I hopped on a Greyhound bus on Thanksgiving Day and headed to Buffalo NY. As it turns out, traveling the US on Thanksgiving isn't recommended; finding a meal or even snack is near impossible. One of my greatest memories of this trip was the hospitality and generosity of the bus driver who shared his thanksgiving meal with me. This was my final lasting impression of what it means to be an American before I headed home to Canada.The six days I spent in Buffalo would be my final photographic exploration of the USA, and it was a memorable visit to say the least.
I had some locations in mind to explore, but as it turned out, local advice changed my mind about where I'd actually explore. I stayed at the Buffalo Hostel and met three photographers who were exploring that week. I have to say that really was a bonus to have inside information ie routes of travel and so on. One of the photographers was a seasoned expert about the historical grain elevators of Buffalo NY and even offered to take me along and go down the elevator shoots together. Teach me the ropes, if you will.
I ended up declining after mulling this over a few days because I follow my intuition, and the thought of not having the physical strength to pull myself back up once down didn't seem terribly appealing ... maybe if I was 20 years younger ... As it turned out, intuition is best. A month later an injury from previous months manifested in Canada, whereby my neck and spine collapsed and was paralyzed for almost a year down my left side of my body. Due to my injuries, I'm very cautious about exploring, and as you know, while it doesn't happen often, some explorers have perished in unsafe buildings.
What remains memorable to me are the unintended discoveries along my route, like stumbling upon an abandoned fuel station called Sam's. That's a first. I've never seen so many American flags in any city, nearly every image has a flag somewhere. Up the road at the corner of Ohio and Michigan I stepped into the Swannie House for some downright good tender vittles and washed it down with a beer. Several hours of a constant drizzle of rain in late November left me cold to the bone, so stepping into the historical Swannie House wrapped up my visit to Buffalo in such a positive note.
The staff were super friendly, so I lingered at Swannie's listening to local history. I pulled myself away as I had a bus to catch in a few hours back to Canada. I stepped out the door into the cold rain on Ohio and made my way back to the hostel, threw my damp clothes into a dryer and said my final farewells to Buffalo NY.
(Old Hardie Kentucky Straight Whiskey/Images copyright of Lieuxabandonnes)