My family lives about 45 minutes from Cooperstown and my little sister happened to have a medical appointment there yesterday (22 May 2014). My Mom found out about a week ago that President Obama was planning a visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but as hard as she tried to move things around, there were no other appointment times available for a few weeks. So they planned for the parking situation to be worse than usual (it’s already normally hard to park near the hospital there. Overflow parking for the hospital is about half a mile away and also normally full), left way earlier than need be and were completely surprised when they arrived.
Mom said that there was no one in the streets. Cooperstown is a vibrant little place. No big corporations are allowed within city limits, so all of the business are small and locally owned. Most of the restaurants have decks that pop out onto main street and outdoor seating so that people can enjoy great weather and talk to passersby since everyone knows each other. The coffee shops don’t take a card unless you’re purchasing more than $5 worth of product, but they’ll let you come back later with cash if you don’t happen to have any on you.
Cooperstown is one of my favourite places in Upstate NY. My brother used to work in a hotel there and I was there almost every weekend during that time. We’d drink beer, eat takeout and watch movies. I saw The Boondock Saints for the first time at that hotel.
My point here is that there is so much more to the town than the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s a great place to visit (the Hall), but there is so much more…the Fennimore, Glimmerglass Park and The Farmer’s Museum to name just a few.
Apparently everything was closed down when Mom got there and continued to be closed during the entirety of his visit. Streets were blocked off, restaurants were either closed or all seating was inside. The President didn’t get to experience the real Cooperstown and although I understand that it was probably for security reasons, I feel badly about that. He saw the Hall of Fame, great, I’m glad he experienced a bit of the place, I just wish he had been able to see my little corner of the Country as it really is.