Monday, April 20, 2015

Our Trip to Agloe

In the midst of final papers, final process recordings, and of course, diabetes management, my friends and I decided to take a long overdue trip to the (paper) town of Agloe, NY. For those of you who aren't die hard John Green fans, Agloe is central to the plot of his novel Paper Towns, which has been turned into a movie that's debuting July 24th. If you haven't yet read it, I would highly recommend it. Although it is classified as a young adult novel which typically is associated with a younger crowd, in true John Green fashion you easily find yourself emotionally attached to each character and completely enmeshed in the plot that unfolds. It is an excellent book if you are looking for an adventure.

So, what exactly is a "paper town"?
"Fictitious entries on maps may be called phantom settlements, trap streets, paper towns, cartographer's follies, or other names. They are intended to serve as traps for identifying copyright infringements."
That's right folks. A paper town is a town that, in fact, does not exist. Agloe, however, eventually was deemed a real town and even had a general store erected. It is essentially an intersection in the Catskills off Route 17, in New York State.  Which happens to be not so far from me.  So off my friends and I went, in search of the run-down Agloe General Store and the intersection we had so long wondered about.

Spoiler Alert: the general store is no longer there.

After about an hour and a half of driving through New York State--which is beautiful, by the way--and about a half hour of wrong turns, dirty looks, no service, and possible trespassing, we came across this tiny sign:

"Come back soon." What did this mean?! Where was the general store?! There was quite a bit of shouting and confusion and harassing of strangers who happily told us that the general store was no longer there, it has been torn down. Oh well. At least we got to take pictures at the tiny scenic intersection that is Agloe, NY.

We also discovered a large, home-styled building that had "Hodges" printed across the side in huge letters adjacent to a giant silhouette sign that looked like Peter Pan, a worn down shed that stood as a gravel supply, a river, a frightening castle crumbling down in the woods, and a mysterious house at the bottom of a valley that we could barely see through the thick shield of trees.

After taking extremely touristy pictures, we went into the main street of Roscoe to empty our bladders and get a soda. We also found a tiny shop where they sold fudge (which I OF COURSE did not buy...) and little trinkets. It was a true adventure.

After which I returned home to cry into my syllabi while I finished my final projects, still smelling like the great outdoors and mountains of New York.
Ta da! Agloe, NY (we hope)

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