A Rochester that I Know

  “‘Rochester? Why Rochester?’ ‘Why not?'” — It’s a Wonderful Life, phone conversation between George Bailey and Sam Wainwright


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Rochester skyline from the Ford Street Bridge.


St. Boniface Church, the Moon, and the Planet Jupiter. A sort of Holy Trinity, I think. Would the Church agree?


Poet’s Garden in Highland Park. “And this our life, exempt from public haunt. Find tongues in trees, books in the running brooks. Sermons in stones and good in everything.” William Shakespeare, As You Like It


Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse, America’s oldest surviving lighthouse on Lake Ontario


George Payne at the Fireman’s Plot in Riverside Cemetery. Along with 250,000 other people, this is the final resting place of Giuseppe Aiello, organized crime figure and William Joseph Beldue, inventor of the eyelash curler.


Rhino at the Seneca Park Zoo



A former Catholic church in the northeast section of the city which became a Pentecostal temple. The building is gorgeous no matter what name is on the facade.


Lewis Morgan’s grave in Mt. Hope Cemetery. Morgan is widely considered to be the most influential anthropologist in American history.


The Boynton House by Frank Loyd Wright. What can be said about Wright that has not been said already? He is one of the undeniable geniuses of the 19th and  20th centuries. This house is a representation of his Prairie School style. This style attempted to create an indigenous North American style of architecture that did not share design elements and aesthetic vocabulary with earlier styles of European classical architecture.


Albert Paley sculpture piece at RIT


Canada Geese along the Genesee Riverway Trail in the Plymouth Exchange neighborhood.  Having grown up in the Tug Hill Plateau of the Adirondacks I have a special connection to Canada Geese. I admire their beautiful patterns, both in terms of their physicality and their migration habits.


Young protestor at a Black Lives Matter march downtown


Icicles along the Genesee gorge near the RG&E substation. Icicles can form where ever water seeps out of or drips off vertical surfaces such as road cuts or cliffs.
Hostas in the Plymouth Exchange Neighborhood. Hostas are widely cultivated, being particularly useful in the garden as shade-tolerant plants whose striking foliage provides a focal point.


Statue at Nazareth College


The Kodak Hawkeye Manufacturing Plant. I have written extensively about the Hawkeye Plant on this blog at: TOURING HAWKEYE: AN INSIDE LOOK AT KODAK’S MOST ENIGMATIC LANDMARK


Monument in Mt. Hope Cemetery. I read somewhere that Mt. Hope has more people buried there than the number of people who live in the city. This is both a testament to the sprawling magnificence of the Mt. Hope landscape and the dwindling size of Rochester’s population.



Genesee Riverway Trail near Brooks Landing. The Genesee Riverway Trail is a 16 mile trail that stretches from Genesee Valley Park to Lake Ontario. The trail passes the Erie Canal, the University of Rochester, Corn Hill, the site of Frederick Douglass’ North Star,  three Frederick La Olmsted municipal parks, the Upper Falls and Lower Falls, ancient Seneca trails, Turning Point Park, and the Ontario Beach pier in Charlotte.


At a Metro Justice “Fight for $15” rally at the University of Rochester



Climate Justice March outside of St. Luke &  St. Simon Cyrene Church. Rochester has always been a hotbed of social justice and progressive reform. When the churches are at their best, they are leading these movements.


Norton Falls  at the Seth Green Trail on the east side of the Genesee River. Seth Green is the most important fisherman in the Western world. He helped to invent the modern fishing reel. He was the first to make an enterprise out of fish propagation. He studied fish and turned his discipline into a science; and can rightly be called the grandfather of “fish culture.” He was raised in the destroyed city of Carthage, which can still be explored today if one knows how to access the bottom of a two thousand year old Native American hunting trail off St. Paul.


I.M. Pei’s Wilson Common’s Building at the University of Rochester. He is known for combining traditional architectural elements with progressive designs based on simple geometric patterns


A beach at Mendon Pond Park.. My wife and I love Mendon Ponds so much that we named our son after the park. It will always be a spiritual home for our family.
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Mendon Joseph Payne, born June 22 at 1:46 am in Highland Hospital.


George Cassidy “Casey” Payne,                                   philosopher, photographer, and poet.

One thought on “A Rochester that I Know”

  1. We’ll have to run this one too.

    On Sun, Aug 28, 2016 at 1:58 AM, Gandhi Earth Keepers International wrote:

    > George Payne posted: ” “‘Rochester? Why Rochester?’ ‘Why not?'” — It’s a > Wonderful Life, phone conversation between George Bailey and Sam Wainwright > &nbsp” >


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