Six things I learned about Dunkirk, N.Y.

From my visit this past July, I learned:

One: That this looks like the factory where despair is manufactured;

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Two: That the shrubbery at the James Turk Murphy Volunteer Fireman’s Training Ground looks fine from the front,

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but from the side, makes my inner 14-year-old giggle;

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Three: That we didn’t find A Wright Park; we found THE Wright Park;

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Four: That this half-Lab, half-Border Collie is adorable;

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Five: That the Coburn Block building in downtown Dunkirk

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has a unique color scheme

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and is made of parts marked “Dunkirk Iron Works. Dunkirk N.Y. 1868”

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and has seen better days;

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Six: That the Lake Erie beach at Dunkirk is near this defunct power plant

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and is maybe just a mile from a beach marked with this sign

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and is labeled

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and smelled like rotting fish when it didn’t smell like chemicals, but had dozens of people wading and swimming on the day I visited, including these people below,

dunkirk_2014 (3)and my friend who lives near Dunkirk, but who does not frolic on the beach, commented, “Those are some people making the most of their lives. God damn them. I mean, God bless ’em.”

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