Four Signs: You’re in Chittenango, N.Y.

Geography Essay
Photos and captions by Nathan Mattise

College (and post-college limbo) is a time for excessive sleeping, partying, *studying*…. and traveling. It’s one of the finer points of college because there are no real commitments to hold you back. So in the spirit of good roadtrip, In the Pursuit of the Trivial offers the Five Signs series. It’s a photo-documentary account from an exotic location done through the signs ready to greet every and all tourists. Today, welcome to Chittenango, N.Y. – childhood home of Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz.

There was a tornado on the day of my visit, but since I couldn’t make it to Oz-Fest in two weeks a journey to Chittenango had to come early. If I had another two weeks, maybe we could get a fifth sign in here.

1. [Untitled]

Alright, so there is technically a lack of signage above. The first thing that greets you when you enter the wonderful world of Chittenango however is…

A yellow brick road leading into town.

Its purposes are 1) paying homage to the town’s biggest success 2) novelty 3) walking on and 4) so locals can weed out tourists by noticing who is enamored with the sidewalk.

2. L. Frank Braum | Birthplace May 15, 1856

Some areas have U.S. flags on their light poles, others use seasonal decorations (or some shove St. Ubaldo in your face). Chittenango uses Baum all over (and they do have one of those historic site inforamas in front of the library about him too).

3. Auntie Em’s Place

Auntie Em’s looks like an abandoned diner, but it’s cool how businesses in Chittenango adopted the Oz-quirkiness. When passing through you can find (among others)…

Emerald City Grill

Dorothy’s Pet Grooming

Oz and Ends Antiques

4. Village of Chittenago

That’s just an extreme closeup so you can see the Oz quartet featured on the city’s official emblem. If you want to read the text you can though. No word on if this is the town’s official anthem however.

And that’s it from Chittenango, N.Y.. There are no signs that didn’t make the cut this time around so, until next time, I’ll make sure to keep you posted on the next adventure.

(Links today from Wikipedia, Syracuse.com, Chittenango and YouTube)

If you want to yell at Nate for this idea because it’s dumb or he utilizes it too much, e-mail him. He was in Arizona this weekend so expect a double dose of signs this week.
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