I didn’t have much time to spend in Rochester so I had to be very selective about what I would want to see while I was there. I stopped there mainly to see my friend, Sandy, but I was also able to squeeze in a trip to Wegman’s. I’ve heard the ambiguous statements of it’s splendor so I decided I should see what it was all about.
My conclusion: most awesome grocery store in existence. We went to the Wegman’s in Pittsford because Sandy considered it the best example. The most impressive section of the store is by far the prepared foods.
Not only was there a full roasted pig that was sliced as it was ordered, but an overwhelmingly comprehensive spread of vegetarian food (ironically placed next to each other). I sampled a couple Indian dishes that ended up being tastier than the Indian food I had at a restaurant in Burlington before I left. There was also an extensive selection of teas at the tea bar, fancy chocolates and baked goods at the dessert bar, and walls of bread and bagels. I bought a peanut butter brownie for the road; the woman who put it in a bag for me said it was so rich that I wouldn’t be able to eat it in one sitting. I looked at the size of it and thought I’d have no problem. I almost always have an overblown appetite for brownies. But alas, she was right. It took the course of 5 hours on my way to Cleveland to finish.
The drive to Cleveland was pretty uninteresting. It rained the entire way there so I employed my ipod to entertain me with a couple spanish lessons and then a playlist of Rubblebucket and Death Cab for Cutie. The only noteworthy aspects of the drive were the prevalence of teasel and asters in the meridian, the fields of goldenrod lined with billboards against a background of trees, and the occasional vineyard.
I arrived in town as it was getting dark but was still pretty astounded by the dilapidated homes and empty warehouses along the highway and as I went around to the west side of the city where I would be staying. The magnificence of Cleveland’s past industrial strengths was very apparent. Now, in a city where there is space for nearly a million inhabitants, the population is just under 400,000. So my first impression of the city was as an eerie ghost town dirty with soot. But it is far more complicated than that.