I frequently write about how a good deal of the time I spend when I’m alone in a new city is just spent “wandering,” that I walk around, see what grabs my attention, maybe look for striking compositions of buildings
like this here
and just keep moving until I find something that draws me in or my feet start to feel like they’re about to fall off. I didn’t have any trouble finding something to draw me in this time around, coming into my hotel, it was impossible not to notice the building poking over some trees that looked like an old-time radio, except this one is about 7-10 stories high:
Turns out that used to be the Union Station (and Amtrak still uses a tiny corner of it for passenger rail), but the building is currently the home of three separate museums. And—sadly—they are all halfway into the process of clearing out in preparation for a two-year remodeling project, and for whatever reason, rather than moving one gallery out at a time, it seemed like individual pieces had been removed from all the galleries.
The most striking exhibit (and one which was surprisingly hard to find) was a recreation of the public landing on the banks of the Ohio River in the 1840s or so. I mean, you turn a corner and there’s a paddle wheel steamship docked at the pier with half it’s cargo unloaded, and there’s the streets with storefronts for a printer’s shop, a dry goods store and an apothecary’s shop. And if I hadn’t been paying good attention to find the spot where the guide told me to “make a left turn before you go through that door,” I would have missed it completely.
[I did take some photos of the steamer, but the lighting was not good.]
I also discovered that there is a contemporary art museum downtown with free admission. They had several small but varied exhibits, not much to my personal taste, but at least the price was right.
That’s part of an exhibit of entire rooms, including furniture, power sockets and trinkets rendered in colorful gauzy textiles.
At the top floor was what they call the “Unmuseum” which I don’t know how to describe briefly. So rather than trying, I’m just going to show you this:
Now, if my arms were longer or I had a selfie stick, you’d be able to see that’s a woman with the head of a shark sitting at a bus stop. I was trying to get a face to match those dark clouds over my head, but I don’t know how well I did.