Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rochester, NY Part II: Downtown and Rochester Museum & Science Center

We left University of Rochester and headed towards Downtown. Mark explained about the crime and area's surrounding the college. There were some areas that were concerning. Like many cities that were once home to big business's;  Kodak, Bausch and Lom to name the bigger, fell to difficult times when these companies left. Many areas felt old, unkempt, and poverty stricken, where as other areas seemed abundant with wealth.
 The OTB, Mark's favorite place. There were a ton of cop cars everywhere.
 Nick Tahou's originally established in 1918. I had heard of from stories about the Garbage Plate. This building was originally the railway terminal. It doesn't look so inviting today. There are other locations in the city although we did not stop there for lunch.

The streets of downtown Rochester.Much busier then the Downtown area of Syracuse on a Sunday mid day. We never found out what these firemen were doing, there did not appear to be a fire anywhere.

We made our way off the central drag and found East Ave which is lined with beautiful turn of the century houses. Including The George Eastman Mansion and Gardens. (above). I could have taken shots all along this street each home more gorgeous then the next. I would love to come back during the summer months and visit the gardens.

We never did find Susan B. Anthony's house, the park dedicated to her and Fredrick Douglass, or their burial, (I don't think Mark was trying all that hard to find them) but we did find an area clearly the art district, and there were fun paintings on the electrical boxes. I also spied several painted ponies like the one's I have been trying to capture in the Syracuse area.

We had lunch at a no frills Micky D's simply because we were lost and hungry and finally made our way to the museum. (The pony above is in front of the Rochester Museum of Science Center).

I should let you all know that the price was NOT as nice as I would have liked. For the four of us it came to nearly $50-. I was a little concerned because I had read mixed reviews online about the place, and I am SOOO Cheep. (It seems funny when I say something like that, because we will easily plop down $50-to $75- on a good meal out somewhere.) I guess I have become so good at finding thrifty ways to visit places that when I do put some dollars down I tend to freak.. It does cost extra for the planetarium, the hurricane (which we did do) and one of the two simulated rides. (We went on the free one). The COST was well worth the experience!!!! We all had a BLAST.
Nearly every room has hands on activities for all ages, but the boys were in that perfect age of maturity where they could get the science behind it. It was definitely a better choice then making a return trip to the children's museum.

First stop was The ADVENTURE ZONE: How wind works with sail boats, the canal system, roller coaster's momentum, the use of pulley's and how weather works too.  

 There was a section on the Erie Canal waterway, where you could open and close the canal. You can also get a National stamp indicating the ERIE CANALWAY NHC for your passport book. (The stamp was not sitting out anywhere and I had to ask about it. I only would have know to ask at all as I saw it on the website.) Not sure what I am taking about visit the  http://www.easternnational.org/passport.aspx

Now for your local weather.

The boys LOVED the rocket launcher. Pump up and launch the tennis ball!!

can you see the tennis ball WAY WAY WAY UP THERE?

And up next; Expedition EARTH:
I think these guys are pretty stinkin cool.

 This is pretty impressive too. Can you believe some of these creatures used to roam free around NY.
 Wonder what I would do if this guy was hanging out in the back yard.

Why do some animals become extinct? I found this information about the homing pigeon to be quite interesting on the matter.....did you  know this? I didn't. We basically ate these pigeons extinct.

This section was all about animal and the earth. The boys buzzed through this section. There was less hands on activities in this section and more informative areas. Both agreed they were to old to go on the fossil dig, and they were not nearly impressed with the BIG BONES as I was, so I went on my own through this section of the museum.

I caught up with the boys pretending to be beaver's...I missed Ben, he took his off too soon, and I think Mark was about to but some guy came in the room. (Sometimes they will play it up just for fun)

I could easily spend much more time at most of these museum places then the rest of my family, so I skipped through like I usually do and was dragged to the ENERGY show. Here are a few quick shots of what I briefly viewed....

I was glad I didn't miss this. We all really enjoyed the experiments with ENERGY.

 I feel kind of stupid, but I actually learned some things (or maybe it was re-learn) but the two scientist explained about different types of energy and then presented two experiments using energy. Both had bangs/explosions and one had FIRE! Of course that had the boys intrigued. I missed the P\*O*P!! in the picture, but it was pretty loud and IMPRESSIVE. I know we never did these kind of experiments when I was in school.
 We headed to the second floor and into HOW THINGS WORK:

This section was all hands on activities including engine parts, petals, electrical circuits and pieces that make things run.

Ben enjoyed building for a bit before both boys decided to play beach ball basketball using air!

Native People of North America:
This was another area that the boys were less interested in then myself. I did get a few pictures of the different Native American People.

There was also a section on The Underground Railroad:

Some of this area's exhibits were interactive, and the boys explored what it would be like to be a slave on the underground railroad. Both the boys had some education on the topic and are aware that it was not a real railroad.

I was impressed with some of the answers surrounding myths vs truths. There were many facts that I was not aware of. I think many American's protect themselves from the honest truths of some of our History, or perhaps it was how we were taught. I remember when I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, being SHOCKED at the information, not that the topic was never not shocking, but that I was so incredibly sheltered about the harsh reality of the event. Anne Frank's diary does not even come close to the details of what people suffered. Although this museum only showed a small part of Slavery in America it certainly makes you become more aware. I had watched 12 Years a Slave earlier this past week. It was an incredible movie and highly recommended, but often difficult to watch.
 Did you know about the man who shipped himself to freedom? This was an interesting display about Mr. Brown, who actually was shipped to freedom. Ben got in the box, but quickly jumped out...must have been a difficult ride.
 This was an interesting exhibit. The photo is of Fredrick Douglas and as you switch the lighting your face begins to appear. The question becomes can you see yourself as a slave owner. It was interesting.

Once again, I was the one slowing down the rest of the crew..I would have liked to have more time to read and become better informed, but the boys were off to yet  another section of the museum.
The third floor was calling and we were off to the...
Math Midway:

This section had everything to do with MATH, totally my DUH section of the building.

I have to admit this was my least favorite part of the museum. I know they tried to get Math all exciting with the colors and the flashy signs, but I still SUCK at the subject and found it all the more difficult to understand. The boys were interested but found they were the most impressed with the square wheeled tricycle.

This looked like FUN! Apparently the larger squares worked better then the smaller...I am sure there is some mathematical reasoning for this, but I don't have that answer.
Across the hall from EVERY THING MATHEMATICALLY FUN was the Under Construction,

This was a hands on construction zone. We only spent a few minutes playing in this area as we were running to catch the Electricity Show we ended up 5 minutes late. ( IT IS A DEFINITE MUST SEE, I highly recommend it).

 (Sorry for the poor shots, It was PITCH DARK and I was trying to put head phones on) I also took video's so hopefully they come out on here.
We were late so we came in not totally aware of what was happening, but the quick summary is that the light is charged by the music. Music was played and the lights would energize. There is more to it, but we missed the explanation and only arrived in time to see the show. It was REALLY NEAT!!! (So hope the video comes out on here)
After the show we hit up the last few areas on the third floor that included Energize it and Light Here light Now. Both of these area were full of hands on activities that had to do with electricity and the use of light.

Next we quickly breezed through the Western Door: The area highlighted the NY State expansion including the fur trade and relationship with the Native Americans.

 There were several artifacts found from dig sites across NY state, and some Native American cultural descriptions. It was interesting, but the boys flew through it, I only was able to catch a few things as we went.
 On our way out....we

did some Hurricane Action: (This cost $2- extra). Ben laughed the entire time, and I don't think either of them really felt like they were in a hurricane. I think they had fun despite it. Last stop in the museum was the FREE simulated ride into the deep Ontario Lake. This was a 7 minute animated and real plunge into
Lake Ontario. Both the kids reported they felt sick. I'm not sure what I thought, but it was a little hot and rough riding.

Once outside the kids did "the whisper" (only they know what they said to one another) and we were off.
It was a GREAT time spent at the Museum. It was really a great time. The boys had fun with all of the hands on activities and nothing was to immature for them to really enjoy. On the way home Mark did a tour around Rochester so here are some of the city skyline.
 Can you make out the little man standing on the tip top of the pillar to the right? I saw him closer when we were on the main drag. Mark was not sure what he was all about so I did some digging.....Apparently he is the Statue of Mercury.  He was once atop the Tobacco company tower, now it is an attorney's office building and City Hall.
 You can see him here as well.
 This is the Fredrick Douglas, Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge crossing over the Genesee River.

 The Kodak building. A few interesting facts; the spire was once home to the birth of some 43 (once on the endangered list) baby Peregrine Falcons. Apparently Kodak worked with environmentalist on this project adhering a  nesting box. The project became incredibly popular and a 24 hour web cam was installed to watch these babies in action. The box remained from 1996-2008 which at that point the box was relocated to time square.

It was a wonderful way to GET out of the house and enjoy each other. We are already planning our next day trip adventure. I'm thinking I will need to dig deep as there are not many places we have NOT been, but maybe somewhere. Thanks for stopping by!