Thursday, September 2, 2010

Semi-Staycation, Part Seven

Superman's Home Town

Just across the Ohio River from Paducah, Kentucky is the little city of Metropolis, Illinois, home of the annual Superman Festival each June. Eric wanted to rest, so Lois and I drove up to Metropolis one day in July.

The town is marked by the huge statue of Superman in the court square., an indication--along with casinos--that this town lives on tourism. In July, in the midst of a stifling heat wave, on a weekday, the town outside the casinos was nearly empty. The restaurant in the center of town was closed, and we were directed to a diner on the outskirts of town for lunch. Like so many small American towns, Metropolis has empty storefronts, and prime downtown property currently filled by thrift shops.

Lois and I don't gamble, so we didn't go into the part of town where the casinos are. The central part of town with the Superman Museum and Show Business Museum a few blocks apart is small enough that we parked the car and just wandered around. By the way, yes, those are raindrops on my camera lens. A shower briefly interrupted the heat, and we welcomed it.

There is a strange kind of innocence in this part of the country. The museums and shops are not glitzy, and the prices are reasonable. I couldn't resist buying a Superman T-shirt for just $12.00. The Superman Museum is packed with photos, posters, props, costumes--everything imaginable from the many incarnations of the world's first superhero.

There's even the punny street sign that our Lois could not resist.

Speaking of Lois Lane, we left the museum and strolled down the street so our Lois could commune with the new statue of Noel Neill as TV's first Lois.

From there, we walked down to the general Hollywood Museum, with displays of an amazing number of stars, movies, and TV shows.

All in all a pleasant day. If you're traveling with kids, they are sure to enjoy a day in Metropolis, while adults will appreciate all the nostalgia available, and maybe even the casinos we ignored.

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Geezer-Chick's guest blog on York, England is here.

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