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Views of Union Station in Utica, New York.  While other railroad stations languish, the Utica facility is a success story as a multipurpose facility.  The restored structure houses business offices, a restaurant, and a DMV center.  It also serves as a transportation hub for Greyhound Bus, Adirondack Scenic Railroad, and–significantly–Amtrak.  My photos from today, including the bottom shot of the Maple Leaf stopped at Utica late this afternoon on its way from Toronto to NYC.

flickr

Pittsford, New York by Doug Kerr
Via Flickr:
Pittsford, New York

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IN THE MOHAWK VALLEY - Upstate, New York

This valley consists of a narrow inner valley of river flatlands hemmed in by the rolling hills of the outer valley, which rises to the Adirondack Plateau on the north and the Allegheny Plateau on the south. This cut dividing two mountain ranges is the only water-level pass across the Appalachian barrier and joins the Atlantic seaboard with the Middle West.  -New York: A Guide to The Empire State (WPA, 1940)

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Today I shot a deer.

I find myself back in the Mohawk Valley, New York’s second most famous waterway, gateway to the West when the west was in the east.

I grew up here, Princetown and Rotterdam, Schenectady county. Wanted to leave. Felt like I was passing through, almost everyone here seems like they are just passing, or so I thought. Either that or they’ve become so fixed, so part of the landscape that they’ll talk about farming and not seeming to notice that the barn collapsed 20 years ago and the bailer has saplings growing through it. Thousands of people zoom through here everyday. It’s always been a corridor. Ever since a glacier beat a retreat on it’s way to somewhere else.

Now I like to come back. For the cheese and the hay fever, for the boredom and slowness. For the sound of a train approaching from 5 miles away.

One morning outside my motel I meet a woman who tells me about her childhood trips to her grandmother’s home near Nelliston. She and her younger brother would disembark (it’s what she said) the train at Canajoharie and then they would dine in elegance at the Hotel Wagner.
“The painted mural in the dining room” she exclaims, “the ladies in their beautiful dresses…”
As she reminisces on the Edwardian splendor that was 1950 Canajoharie I watch the trucks roll on the Thruway and think of the travelers in their finest sweatpants enjoying TCBY at the rest stop.
“On Sunday afternoons” she says “we would take a ride to the inn at Stone Arabia for a big country dinner.
I picture her and her dear beknickered brother gliding along in a four-in-hand through the countryside, freed at last from all time and space with a chicken dinner between them. “Probably gone now” she muses.

Travel along.

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Erik Gould was born and raised in upstate New York, and now lives in Pawtucket, Rhode Island with his wife and young daughter. He is the museum photographer for the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design. Erik’s personal work can be seen piling up at erikgouldprojects.com