Brian Troutman Land

Archive for November, 2004

Alice Childress – Ben Folds Five

by on Nov.01, 2004, under The Greatest

Ben Folds Five

In the mid 1990s, a trio from Chapel Hill, North Carolina emerged from the local NC indie-rock scene to national prominence. Interestingly enough, Ben Folds Five was set apart from other groups by what it lacked: a guitar player. Instead, the band’s high-powered tunes were fueled by the masterwork of namesake pianist Ben Folds, a master at the ivories who could probably one-up the likes of Elton John and Billy Joel in the realm of pop piano.

The group’s self-titled 1995 debut album features a dozen tightly crafted songs, most with a comically impish streak. The antics are partially (and I should stress not fully) balanced by a couple of more sedate and serious numbers, including the contemplative “Alice Childress.”

(continue reading…)

Comments Off on Alice Childress – Ben Folds Five :, , more...

The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike — Brief History

by on Nov.01, 2004, under Abandoned Turnpike

Original Two-Lane Turnpike Tunnel

Original 1940s-era two-lane Turnpike tunnel. (Source: PA Turnpike Commission)

Anyone reading this probably knows the all about the history of the abandoned Turnpike, so I don’t really know why I’m even writing this, but anyway….

When the Pennsylvania Turnpike first opened from Carlisle to Irwin in 1940, the new toll road was truly “America’s Tunnel Highway.” A trip from one end to the other would take a motorist through seven different tunnels: (from east to west) Blue Mountain, Kittatinny, Tuscarora, Sideling Hill, Ray’s Hill, Allegheny, and Laurel Hill.

While the length of the Turnpike was built to unheard of (at the time) construction standards—two travel lanes in each direction, a grass median dividing traffic, complete control of access—the tunnels could accommodate only one lane of traffic in each direction. For early Turnpike travelers, these seven tunnels were the motoring equivalent of commas, brief slowdowns to 35 punctuating countless miles of unfettered cruising. Turnpike planners were not concerned with potential bottlenecks; these merge points could easily handle the ’40s modest traffic volumes.

(continue reading…)

Comments Off on The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike — Brief History :, , , , , , , more...

The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike — See the Pictures

by on Nov.01, 2004, under Abandoned Turnpike, Highways

Between Breezewood and Ray's Hill.

Eastbound between Breezewood and Ray's Hill.

Of course, there really is no substitute for making an actual pilgrimage to Breezewood, but if you aren’t really inclined to make the trip or are trying to give yourself more excuses to go, take a photo tour of the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike.

(continue reading…)

Comments Off on The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike — See the Pictures :, , , , , , , more...

I-383 – Harrisburg to Lancaster

by on Nov.01, 2004, under Amateur Counsel, Highways

Mounting Traffic on I-283 at Highspire

Mounting Traffic on I-283 at Highspire

Interstates and US route numbers follow (or are supposed to follow) strict numbering guidelines, but state departments of transportation can number any state route as they please and will sometimes use this liberty to bridge psychological gaps in the Interstate network or keep alive a familiar designation that has officially been retired. For example, US 309 once ran from Philadelphia to Wilkes-Barre and beyond, but when it was decommissioned in 1968, PennDOT decided to keep the number on life support as PA 309. Also witness PA 581 that runs from I-81 eastward into Harrisburg. It could be Interstate 581, although it might not meed Interstate technical standards, but in any case, it serves the purpose that a true I-581 would serve. (continue reading…)

Comments Off on I-383 – Harrisburg to Lancaster :, , , , more...

Search the Land...

Brian Troutman in other media...