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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Grafton Peace Pagoda

The Grafton Peace Pagoda is one of 80 in the world and 2 in the United States. It is also the home of Jun Yasuda a Buddhist nun in the Nipponzan-Myohoji order. Visitors are welcome to walk the grounds, including the Peace Pagoda and gardens and to attend services.

 Temple and home of Jun Yasuda

See also posting: Peace Pagoda
Read More:
Grafton Peace Pagoda (All Over Albany)
Grafton Peace Pagoda II (Mark Rondeau)
Nipponsan-Myohoji (Wikipedia)
Peace Pagoda (Wikipedia)
Walks Far Woman (

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Blue Benn

The historic Blue Benn diner in Bennington. Conveniently located next door to Wassick's Tire Service. I frequented this gem at the beginning of winter while my snow tires were mounted and yesterday while they were removed. The building is a Silk City Design creation prefabricated in 1948 at The Patterson Vehicle Company in Patterson, New Jersey. Sonny and his wife Marylou have been running the place since 1973.

I feasted on a gigantic shiitake mushroom and broccoli omelet, home fries and coffee for $10 (incl. tip). The menu is extensive with many varieties of pancakes, omelets, french toast and more. When I was there in December, eggnog french toast was on the holiday menu. Lunch and dinner are also served (the offerings are displayed in a bit out of control fashion as 1-page Microsoft Word print-outs along the entire length of the wall behind the counter). The ambience will take you back in time. Old mini-jukeboxes at each table.

Everyone these days talks about diversity. Well the Blue Benn Diner has its own unique diversity offering: attorneys and bankers sitting side by side with loggers, Bennington College students and truck drivers.

A "Warning: Cash Only" enterprise.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wassick's Tire Service

When I moved here, I knew I was going to need a 4-wheel drive vehicle. This prompted the acquisition of a Subaru Forester (which I've been very happy with). What I didn't know was that I was also going to need studded snow tires -- or so the janitor at work who lives in Petersburgh advised me. So I researched studded snow tires. All the mechanics at Carbone Subaru said to go with Nokian's Hakkapeliitta 5 studded snow tires. Made in Finland. OK, I figured if they're good enough for the tundra in Finland, they gotta be good enough for here. I went to Nokian's website, used their online dealer locater and was pointed to Wassick's Tire Service in Bennington. Off I went to Bennington and had them mounted on the car. Wassick's is in a 1950 vintage garage. They know tires. Mr. Wassick told me that the Hakkapelitta's on my Forester would enable me to climb a cliff. They were a hefty price but, based on a brutal winter's use, he was right. Today I had them removed and enjoyed breakfast at the Blue Benn diner which is right next door to Wassick's -- another unique experience.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bald Eagles in North Petersburgh

Location of Eagle Nest
A friend who lives in Petersburgh told me about bald eagles who have a nest just off State Route 22.  As you drive on Rt. 22 from Petersburgh to Route 7, the nest is visible from the right (east) side of the road about 1/4 mile north of the intersection of State Route 346 and Route 22 and a bit south of a bend of the Hoosic River along the north line of trees in an open field.
Someone posted this nice video of this nest and the eagle on YouTube.