Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Every State Has a Springfield

Dominating the skyline like an Eastern European monument to thoughtless architecture, the Springfield, Illinois Hilton lends an eerie ugliness to a town whose chief qualities are eeriness and ugliness.

Scene of Obama's announcement to run for President (an impressive event) and the home of the Illinois State Capitol (an impressive structure) the town also hosts the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. This is no ordinary museum, and despite its overwhelming fascination with death and ghosts and creepiness (a wax figure of Mary Todd Lincoln sits dressed in black, the window reflecting a gloomy rain as she mourns the death of her son with a bible on her lap; a replica of the rotunda is dark and ominous, where Lincoln's body lies in state) the museum rivals anything Disney could do. Put together by BRC Imagination Arts (WARNING: exceptionally cheese-filled homepage video on their website) the exhibits leave you asking, "How did they do that?" which is a pretty decent takeaway for any museum.

We had a good visit, randomly deciding to stop in (at the compulsion of some roadside signs) as we drove through the very flat and uninspiring middle of Illinois. Springfield has an Arby's. We ate there. I had the French Dip, an inspired sandwich, the au jus of which was "CAUTION: EXTREMELY HOT" so I cannot sue them for a burnt tongue as they warned me ahead of time.

I took a moment to travel back in time to try to talk John Wilkes Boothe out of what he kept referring to as his "destiny," but alas, I was too late. His mind was made up.

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  • could have had an original corn dog

    By Blogger Chris Houchens, at June 23, 2009 at 4:36 PM  

  • Wow..had I known you were so close to Quincy, I would have treated you to a Maid Rite as featured by Alton Brown's Feasting on Asphalt... enjoy our small moment of fame!

    And you're right....Springfield Illinois IS A CREEPY PLACE...Illinois Politics-UGH!

    By OpenID adchick, at June 24, 2009 at 12:29 AM  

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