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  #21  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2011, 3:16 PM
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cro, i agree -- seeing places the size of altoona become donuts of suburban sprawl is a little hard to take, especially since it continues to this day. logan town centre is your typical "town centre" big box development with home depot and best buy, and is of course right off the interstate. it opened some time in the last five years, and there are already other suburban developments that have died off. circuit city, a couple strip malls, and one of the original "dead malls dot com", the station mall, are all shells of their former selves.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2011, 4:01 PM
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Originally Posted by giovanni sasso View Post

Sheetz, a convenience store based in Altoona -- and historically one of my all time favorite chains, but whose product has severely declined in recent years (higher prices, smaller portions, even with shmuffins!) -- is featured prominently in the movie.
Agreed completely. I noticed a seismic shift in Sheetz's food offerings in 2006. They basically eliminated all the obscure, random food possibilities I enjoyed... and they reformulated their "fresh baked chocolate chip cookies" to make the experience similar to eating a hockey puck.

Still, Sheetz remains a beacon of salvation on lonely Appalachian highways. And they will keep me fat as long as every Sheetz from Harrisburg to Harrisonburg continues to carry Gardner's peanut butter meltaways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by giovanni sasso View Post

The Curve are the Eastern League's defending champions, by the way.
The Pittsburgh Pirates fired the Curve's manager after winning that championship... claiming he didn't do it "the Pirate way".

...

Anyway... capital tour, mate! I'm a big fan of dense housing descending a hill with lush green ridges in the distance shots.

Some day... those wacky downtown signs need to come down... what a blight.

Looking forward to Hollidaysburg!
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  #23  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2011, 4:14 PM
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There's some amazing individual buildings in there. Great tour Gio.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2011, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by giovanni sasso View Post
pj's always been a man of pennsylvanian accuracy, and he knows his taneyhillin' altoona. i still have a news clipping from high school when he and danny fortson (who played in the nba for the mavs and sonics) led altoona to the district championship, and the game was played on tyrone's court. the altoona mirror's headline was "fortson, taneyhill get altoona off" which, as you can imagine, made my 16 year old self overjoyed with beavis & butt-head approval.
I played against that mulleted goon and Fortson in high school! Tanneyhill was just a big 6'4'' 230 lb load running the point and impossible for a normal sized high school hoops player to guard. He'd bring the ball up the floor and jack up a three from just over half court and make it, and then talk trash as he backpedalled slowly. Or, he'd just drive in, lower his shoulder, or bounce defenders around with his ass, and then try to throw behind the back alley oops to Fortson, who was only a freshman at the time, but damn good.

I think they made it to the state finals that year. Can't remember if they won it though. "get Altoona off"
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  #25  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2011, 12:57 AM
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Nice pictures. The whole tour was informative and interesting. The one picture that seemed bland but I appreciated was the one of Sheetz. For some reason, roadside history/chain store history seems like a more interesting topic to me, so seeing an old-school Sheetz is nice.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2011, 5:21 PM
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Great tour and even greater photos.

Not very often you see photos of a baseball stadium in a tour like this. Nice touch for me, the baseball addict.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2011, 7:48 PM
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Magnificent photos made even better by gorgeous weather. I've been through Altoona numerous times on Amtrak, and before that, once on the PRR in 1964, and in 1995 I spent an afternoon and evening at Horseshoe Curve watching trains roll through, but I'd never been into town. Clearly it's on hard economic times, but it looks better than I expected.

The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament is one of two cathedrals in the Johnstown - Altoona diocese. The other is St. John Gaulbert, in Johnstown.
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  #28  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2011, 9:10 PM
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Altoona reminds me some of Elmira, NY. Gotta say I like Altoona better.

Pom?



+





Thanks for the dandy thread gio.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2011, 2:33 PM
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thanks again, everyone.

pj: that's hilarious. taneyhill was the shit talkin'est, cocky jackass altoona ever produced, which is especially funny because his dad (the former altoona lady lions' bball coach that took them to a couple state championships) was such a nice guy, an old school gentleman.

evergrey: yeah, totally. it's disappointing that sheetz' quality has fallen so far off, but i'll still keep going back. oh -- and man, i'd love to do a little tour through hollidaysburg sometime. i know the town well enough but i've never taken any photos there (at least none since my high school prom dinner at dave's dream).

rob: i'm glad you caught this, knowing you're the train buff you are. if you ever make it back to altoona, be sure to stop in the railroaders museum, i think you'll get a kick out of it.

xzmattzx: the current sheetz in tyrone opened in 2000 on the exact spot of one of our former elementary schools, which was demolished. (mine is now an old folks' home.) they opened it at midnight after closing the small old one (store #6) at 11:59. they demolished that in like five days, and there's now a windowless kopp drug in its place.

ithacan: i believe you misspelt "al tuna" the rally fish:
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  #30  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2011, 3:09 PM
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Al + Tuna - OK, that is funny.

In my mind there is a grouping of cities based entirely on name. Chattanooga, Altoona, Kalamazoo, Kokomo, etc.
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  #31  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2011, 9:39 PM
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^^ Rally Fish??? Did you see the scoreboard? The Curve don't need no stinkin' Rally Fish.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2011, 12:42 AM
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Wait... you're the guy (or one of the guys) behind phillyskyline?
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  #33  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2011, 1:25 AM
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Fantastic tour.

I'm a map guy, and Altoona has a very pleasing layout. Nice solid grid in a valley with very few squiggly streets on the outskirts.

Those street signs downtown need a sledgehammer taken to them asap. They should be pointing to The Maxx from Saved By The Bell.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2011, 4:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evergrey View Post
The Pittsburgh Pirates fired the Curve's manager after winning that championship... claiming he didn't do it "the Pirate way".
What way is that? Making bad front office moves and showing extremely poor judgement in finding young talent?
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  #35  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2011, 9:08 PM
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hey man, those buccos are two games over .500 and four games outta first. 18 years of losing is finally paying off!

N0rthcar0lina: mmhmm.

tubs: as awful as those signs are, i kinda have a soft spot for them. they look ridiculous and they're the easy face of a failed campaign, but i'd take one for, like, my backyard or something.

ithacan: pshaw, how do you think the curve put those five runs on the board? and all before noon! (seriously, check the clock on the scoreboard -- first pitch was at 10:30am.)


thanks again, y'all.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2011, 6:23 AM
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Cool. I don't think I've ever seen Altoon, err, Pom Wonderful. Whenever I hear of Altoona I always think of Steve Urkel's Aunt Tuna from Altoona.
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  #37  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2011, 12:39 PM
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So charming.

After seeing so many threads about Pennsylvania I actually now plan on doing a roadtrip through it soon!!
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  #38  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2011, 1:30 PM
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If I had to choose one state from among the ones I've visited, where I had to spend the rest of my life without leaving its boundaries, I'd take Pennsylvania (although New York would be a strong contender). There's great variety in scenery and types of rural and urban communities, and there are many historic attractions from the earliest agrarian settlements to those interpreting the evolution of American industry and technology.

My paternal grandmother's ancestors immigrated from Switzerland in 1738 and settled near Lebanon, and my maternal grandmother's German family survived Johnstown's 1889 flood.
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  #39  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2011, 4:45 PM
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Great shots - I remember the cathedral from an Amtrak trip from Pittsburgh to NYC in 1992.
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  #40  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 7:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA Pride View Post

I have pretty much always thought of Altoona as one of Pennsylvania's ugliest cities (along with Erie) in terms of the built environment. This thread still basically reinforces that. Besides a few cool church's, this one being a big exception:
Again, like I told you in the Casper, WY thread, I simply cannot believe that someone from Pittsburgh has the nerve to rip on other people's cities. I lived in Pittsburgh for 6 months and ran fleeing. If you wanna talk about uninspiring and ugly, Pittsburgh is the poster child.

I could understand if you lived in a VIBRANT city such as Seattle, Charlotte or San Diego and you wanna call someplace uninspiring, but you live in Pittsburgh.
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