Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Following up...

Following the theme on the last post, more places to visit before I die to satisfy that border geekiness I have:

Post Office, Texarkana, Ark./ Texarkana, Texas: Apparently Texarkana is a city much like Bristol. (Bristol, as you'll recall, is in a corner of the state that I've been to once in my life - before I moved here.) Bristol has the Virginia/Tennessee state line running down the middle of Main Street. Texarkana has much the same setup, with the Texas/Arkansas border running through the middle of town. But the folks in Texarkana were smart enough to put some buildings there too, including the post office.

In the photo above, you can see the post office in the background. (Photo courtesy of PelicanParts.com.) From what I've read about the place, there's actually a concrete island across the street from the Post Office, on the state line. They call it Photographer's Island, because folks stop to take pictures there.

Oh, yes, I would most definitely be one of those photographers.

Cal Neva Resort, Crystal City, Nev.: A resort along the California-Nevada border. Not much to say about it, other than that the state line runs through the main lodge. The photo I found won't work so well here, since it's one of those 360-degree photos.

The photo was part of a Cal-Berkeley (sorry honey) project called "Borders: A World Wide Panorama" and features several 360-degree photos of different kinds of borders. This was the most obvious, and you can find the photo on this page.

When we took our last trip west in July, I offered to run through McCarran International (the airport in Vegas) yelling "Re-Elect Ensign!" She mentioned something about TSA, blah blah blah, personal embarrassment, blah blah blah. So I didn't, because she seemed pretty adamant. I guess I could extend the offer if we visit the Cal Neva in the next two months, taking care to keep both feet in the right half of the lodge.

Haskell Free Library/Opera House, Derby Line, Vt.: This is a pretty sweet deal. As you can see at left (photo courtesy of Wikipedia), part of the reading room is in Vermont, while the remaining part is in Canada.

According to other reports I've read about the place, an audience sits in the U.S. to watch a performance in Canada. Though I couldn't find any photos of the boundary in the opera house, I'll take their word it.

My only dream is that in the library, there's a little humidor on the Canadian side with a couple of Cuban cigars. Don't you dare cross that line with the Cubans, but enjoy them while reading in the Canadian section.

According to the International Boundary Commission, there are actually several structures that straddle the boundary in Derby Line and its Canadian counterpart, Rock Island, Quebec.

Lastly, but certainly not leastly...

Hotel Franco- Suisse: That's right, a hotel situated right on the border between France and Switzerland. Just outside the hotel is a customs station and everything.

The pic at right is from Peter Hering's Border Pictures, and you can see the coolest bed in the place - bisected right down the middle by an international border. (I guess that's his wife.) France is "F," duh. "CH" is Switzerland, somehow.

I must admit, I do like Peter's caption to the photo, in an eighth-grade sort of way.

"Marianne's enjoying her nap in Switzerland," he writes, "while Peter will spend the night in France - crossing the border is NOT allowed...!?!"

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