Tuesday, April 03, 2007

On Route 17 in New York, Only the Billboards Have Changed

When I complained a couple of weeks ago about the ugliness of parts of Connecticut, I didn’t mean to single Connecticut out. Yesterday we drove to Delaware County, New York, and I can attest that ugliness aplenty along Route 17 too. Interstate exchanges in Orange County are a mess of suburban sprawl. Route 17 in Orange and for most of Sullivan county is still blighted with billboards, although ads for new subdivisions, restaurants and mason supply businesses have replaced those for the Nevele, the Concord, Grossinger’s and Brown’s, which in the 1970s was still being endorsed by Jerry Lewis, a huge caricature of whom adorned every billboard.

But west and north of Liberty, the landscape and the roads are beautiful, with fast rivers, small mountains, and small towns that are pleasant if not exactly thriving. By this time we were almost three hours from home, and from New York City, so it’s impossible to compare it with Connecticut. The only generalization I could make is that the further away from the suburbs you get, the more pleasant the landscape becomes. The blight fades away.



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