The Greatest Loo in the Galaxy

To say I’m a Doctor Who fan is a bit of an understatement, as anyone who’s read my first book, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy: The Discerning Fan’s Guide to Doctor Who, can tell you. So I was rendered somewhat dumbstruck when my wife surprised me with a visit to Brooklyn’s The Way Station. The main reason for my dumbstruckness (dumbstrickenness?) was that I had no idea the place existed or why it was so cool until we walked through the door and I spotted a police box parked at the far end of the bar — this despite the fact that my sister-in-law had mentioned the place in a fairly lengthy email outlining all of the attractions we might visit on our weekend visit to her neighborhood. And while the fact that I was so surprised might also suggest that I don’t always read lengthy documents that I claim to have read, it also underscores the value in not reading such documents. After all, had I read my sister-in-law’s email, I would not have had the pleasant surprise of discovering what I can only describe as The Greatest Loo in the Galaxy.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

I topped off my spring break with a visit to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Though I imagine most people probably think of Amish farm country when they picture Lancaster County, the city of Lancaster is developing the hip vibe of an artists’ colony. While the fact that the Lancaster Convention Center was hosting an anime/comic book/sci-fi convention made the visit seem surreal at times — particularly when Captain Jack Sparrow, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Rorschach all showed up (separately) at the farmers’ market — what really impressed me was the range of art in the museums and galleries all over town.

Dolls

As if the folks at the anime convention didn’t make Lancaster seem surreal enough, this storefront window gave me a minor case of the fantods — not to mention the creeps!

The best cure for the creeps? Crepes! If you go to Lancaster, be sure to have lunch at Rachel's Cafe & Crepes.

The best cure for the creeps? Crepes! If you go to Lancaster, be sure to have lunch at Rachel’s Cafe & Crepes.

In addition to art galleries and museums, Lancaster also offers a healthy assortment of antique and vintage clothing stores.

In addition to art galleries and museums, Lancaster also offers a healthy assortment of antique and vintage clothing stores.

I would be overstating the case if I said that all of the doors in Lancaster are this charming, but you have to admit that this one is, indeed, quite charming.

I would be overstating the case if I said that all of the doors in Lancaster are this charming, but you have to admit that this one is, indeed, quite charming.

The hotel where we stayed used to be a cork factory. I wish I could remember the name of it...

The hotel where we stayed used to be a cork factory. I wish I could remember the name of it…

More Lancaster store fronts.

More Lancaster store fronts.

On our way home, we stopped at the Stoudt's Brewery for a tour and also visited their artisanal cheese cave.

On our way home, we stopped at the Stoudt’s Brewery for a tour and also visited their artisanal cheese cave.

And in the foyer of the Stoudt's Brewery, YELLOW WALLPAPER! (This one's for my American Lit. Students.)

And in the foyer of the Stoudt’s Brewery, YELLOW WALLPAPER! (This one’s for my American Lit. Students.)

Though pretty much everything about our trip to Lancaster impressed us, my wife an I were particularly taken by an exhibit of work by high school students at the Lancaster Museum of Art. Though the museum itself is very small, the art of the local high school students reflected a massive range of interests and talents. Perhaps the most mesmerizing of all the pieces was the following short-subject claymation film by a twelfth-grader named Samuel Root:

A Flying Fable FINISHED VERSION from Samuel Root on Vimeo.

All told, it was a great weekend. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Lancaster, I highly recommend it.

From the Sketchbook

As I was putting yesterday’s post together, I found some of the following images in my sketchbook. I’m guessing I worked on them last summer.

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