This is the perfect time for a lemonade stand

Today has been an extremely interesting day- I had a slow start, talked to Cori and ate breakfast, then Lisa came home with the news of a crime scene being down the road. I used that as an opportunity to disguise myself as a photo student and nose around, slowly discovering what was going on. A hundret meters from Lisa’s house they had blocked off Goodman Street with a couple police cars and had that amazing “Crime Scene- Do not cross” tape up, that I had previously only seen in Hollywood movies. It was so surreal because it was such a nice summer day, you had your sunshine falling through the leaves of the trees, peaceful Pearl Street and just a nice morning and not even a block down they had blocked off an entire street, the exit from the expressway and policecars were just everywhere… Insanity! I talked to some of the neighbors and the rumour of someone holding a 17 year old girl at gunpoint made the round… that did not really seem to be true because it later turned out that they used a SWAT team to capture some 15 year old guy. That’s right, a SWAT team. Rochester is not messing around.

I finally got myself to the point that I gave up on seeing actual crime taking place and went over to Margaret’s with the intention of working on some photos… set up the iMac here and then came along with her to Finney where she had to pick up an adapter. Got to see Mr. Belmont, my old principal, a really cool guy, and walk around the school. Not too much had changed from last year, but the whole place brings up a ton of memories to my exchange year… just walking down the hallway does that for me. I went into the gym too and was reminded to those endless amounts of basketball practises back in the day… I can’t even believe that I actually used to play basketball, seems so long ago, especially since the entire place was empty.

When we got back, Margaret had to go to some slideshow presentation and so I talked to Anika for a really long time and then went over to Lisa’s house to spend some time with Lisa who I had not really seen in a couple of days because she was helping people (That’s right!). So I get to her house and she decides that we “should have an adventure” and so we went to see the abandoned houses over at South Avenue. There is a completely abandoned road called Staff Street with 6 houses on it… they were apparently built for staff members of the Rochester Psychiatric Hospital but unfortunately my neverending source of wisdom, the RocWiki won’t tell me anything about it. The place doesn’t appear on any maps and you aren’t really supposed to go there, so Lisa and I snuck through a little forest and ended up on Staff Street. The place was incredibly creepy- we are in the city and while there are just regular houses on the one side of the road, there are boarded up buildings on the other side. Once you either take the road or cut through the woods, you end up on this little road with 6 perfectly similar buildings, their only difference being the color of the blinds. the really strange thing about it is, however, that the whole place has a) been abandoned and the paint is peeling off those houses like crazy and b) that the entire street seems terribly isolated. It might have been sunny and warm, but the place was definitely on the creepy side of things. We ended up leaving, right before being spotted by a security car that was patrolling the place and got back on the road. Saw the abandoned Rochester Psychiatric hospital… that crept the hell out of me. I can’t believe that Paul was actually in it, the building is huge and scary looking. There was also a man in white, walking around the building. He had something about him and my photographs kind of reflect that because he is blurry on every single thing… something was not quite right about that place.

Lisa took me to Cobbs Hill where you have an awesome view of the city and talked for an extended period of time while the sunset was taking place over Rochester. This was the first time ever, that Rochester actually looked like the big city it is. Sounds ridiculous but sitting on a hill, overlooking the city seems to do this for me. Felt like Rochester was surrounded by a forest. Somehow I am really happy that I get to see so many places here this year, I feel like I am actually gaining a genuine understanding of the city, definitely more that I ever had before. Now I just need to start linking the places in my head and I will actually know where stuff is. Right now I only have a remote understanding of the geography, I should probably spend more time looking at maps. There is something about this city, I can’t quite put my finger on… so many interesting places and people… when I think about it, it is awfully strange that I have been here so many times and that I have ended up here several times, first when I was 14 and then as an exchange student. Such a great city though.

Met Margaret, Lindabeth, Jarrett and a friend of his for dinner at this place on Monroe, had myself a sandwich and had to be extremely careful about whatever I said again because having been told that I come off as a homosexual has now sparked an intense amount of jokes about that. No, you don’t want to know. Since their dessert was nothing but a letdown, we moved on to Cibon where I consumed amazing chocolate cake and espresso while discovering that Jarrett pays for his rent by donating sperm and being paid for it. And I am not even joking. He practically makes a living off it and I wondered how I would feel about the prospect of having children due to something like that.

I am now at Margaret’s place and apparently my statement earlier, that espresso does not affect my sleeping pattern was a lie. I am wide awake and it is 3.47. Had an interesting conversation with Jarrett about photography, film… the fact that I should probably shoot some film, music and urban exploring.

It’s been a great day, what else is there to say?