6 ghost towns worth visiting in Texas this Spring Break

By Madalyn Mendoza, mySanAntonio.com Published 12:15 pm, Monday, March 5, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-15', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 15', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-20', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 20', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-25', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 25', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-30', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 30', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-35', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 35', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-40', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 40', target_type: Continue Reading

Weekly picks: Step Afrika! brings the beat to Raue Center

Stamping ground Step Afrika! is a professional dance company dedicated to the Chicago tradition of "stepping." See the company perform on Wednesday at the Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. $20-$30; $6 students. (815) 356-9212 or rauecenter.org. 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17 Tomorrow Never Knows continues Tomorrow Never Knows launches five nights of local indie artists, national performers and up-and-coming comedians at five Chicago venues: Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave.; Schubas, 3159 N. Southport Ave.; The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave.; Metro, 3730 N. Clark St.; and Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark St. The fest runs Wednesday through Sunday, Jan. 17-21. Five-day pass is $125; individual shows range from $10-$22. See tnkfest.com for full schedules and ticket info. Still aglow Bundle up to take outdoor train tours of holiday lights in Habitat Park and then warm up inside with lots of family activities at the special Winter Wonderland event tonight at the Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview. $27. (847) 832-6600 or kcmgc.org. 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19 Icy fun The Village of Lincolnshire and Lincolnshire Sports Association team up for a special Skate Night. There is free skate rental (while supplies last), s'mores and fireworks tonight at North Park, 1025 Riverwoods Road, Lincolnshire. No admission charge. (847) 410-1999 or lincolnshiresports.org. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19 St. Louis-based Story of the Year comes to Chicago for a show at Bottom Lounge with Davlin, Make Room and Face the Fire. - Courtesy of Ryan Phillips St. Louis-based Story of the Year has written a long-awaited (Has it really been seven years?) new emo-peppered pop-punk chapter with December's release of "Wolves," the band's latest album. They'll come packing the new songs when they visit Chicago's Bottom Lounge, along with local post-hardcore foursome Davlin and St. Louis metalcore act Make Room. Make sure you get there early to catch Face the Fire, Continue Reading


Jan 25, 2005 —1882: ScottsdaleFirst McCrory's store opensJohn Graham McCrorey opens his first store in Westmoreland County. The single store grows into a chain that topped 1, 300 units, doing business under such names as McCrory's, McLellan, H.L. Green, T.G.&Y., J.J. Newberry and G.C. Murphy. Financial problems reduced that number to about 160 in 1997. Meshulam Riklis purchased the company in 1960, and its McCrory's Stores' home office and distribution center moved to Springettsbury Township in 1963. McCrory's closed its downtown York store in the 1990s, and the home office and distribution center downsized by 300 employees in 1997. McCrory's moved its home office and a retail store to its former downtown site in late 1998. Riklis, who has owned Faberge, Brut, Aqua Net and other business interests, was married to actress/entertainer Pia Zadora. Zadora performed at York's Strand Capitol Performing Arts Center in 1987.1882: York CountyRinging up the futureIsaac Rudisill of the Pennsylvania Telephone Company predicts that someday a caller in one town will talk to another person across America. "The history of the telephone promises to resemble the development of steam," he wrote in Vo. 1, No. 1 of "The Telephone," an early phone book. "Practical business men with hard heads that are not apt to be turned by an enthusiastic mania are interesting themselves in the telephone and have been asked what they saw in the future of the telephone." The publication lists phones in five banks, three hotels and six residences. C.F. Black, J.S. Black, A.B. Farquhar, J.K. Gross, I. Rudisill and M. Schall own the private phones. The county jail, the courthouse, The Daily newspaper, and York police headquarters also are connected to the exchange system. John K. Gross, Northern Central Railroad agent, inaugurated the system a year earlier. Meanwhile, poles are popping up for phone service in Hanover, from Railroad to Shrewsbury and Wrightsville to Columbia, where the bridge Continue Reading

May concert guide for Phoenix: Chris Stapleton, Zac Brown Band, the Weeknd, Chainsmokers

Chris Stapleton, Zac Brown Band, the Weeknd and the Chainsmokers are among the higher-profile artists playing metro Phoenix in May 2017, whose other highlights range from Brian Wilson doing "Pet Sounds" to the Damned (not doing "Pet Sounds").They took the emo scene by storm with 2015’s “Joy, Departed” a cathartic postcard from the edge that offered vivid insights into Cameron Boucher's real-life struggles with manic depression without romanticizing sadness. This year’s “You're Not As _____ As You Think” is every bit as powerful, inspired as it was by Boucher reeling from the death of several friends since the release of “Joy, Departed.” The album was praised in Alternative Press, and deservedly so, as “an album that holds nothing back – musically nuanced but raw, explosive but restrained, matched only by the torrent of unapologetic emotion of Boucher’s subject matter.” Also playing: Walter, Etc., the Obsessives, Diners.Details: 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 1. Rebel Lounge, 2303 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. $16; $14 in advance. 602-296-7013, therebellounge.com.A soulful vocalist whose sound is steeped as much in classic soul and R&B as modern jazz, she arrives in continued support of "Freedom & Surrender," an understated gem whose highlights range from heartfelt gospel to her aching cover of "To Love Somebody," a Bee Gees song that clearly didn't need another treatment (but I'm glad she didn't know that).Details: 7 p.m. Monday, May 1. MIM Music Theater, Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. $48.50-$63.50. 480-478-6000, mim.org.Pop-punk veterans New Found Glory are bringing their 20th Anniversary Tour to the Nile Theater in Mesa on May 2. They've been called "the greatest pop-punk band in history" by Bad Religion's own Brett Gurewitz, who scooped them up for Epitaph after they walked out on Geffen. Their first album for the label, "Not without a Fight," debuted Continue Reading

Spring concerts in Phoenix: Chris Stapleton, Panic! at the Disco, the Weeknd, Country Thunder, Keith Urban

Festival season rages on as we head into spring, with the March Madness Music Festival in downtown Phoenix giving way to Country Thunder 2017 followed by Coachella, for those of you willing to travel for music, and FORM Arcosanti.There are also some huge concerts rolling through town from March to June that aren't attached to festivals -- Chris Stapleton, Panic! at the Disco, the Weeknd, Kings of Leon, Eric Church and Chris Brown chief among them.Here's a look at the main events and the best of the bigger club shows. We'll be adding smaller critic's picks as we get deeper into spring.The Zac Brown Band will bring their Welcome Home tour to Glendale a week before hitting the streets with the album for which the tour was named. Since breaking through in 2008, the Grammy-winning Zac Brown Band have topped the Billboard country charts with no fewer than eight songs — quadruple-platinum "Chicken Fried," "Toes," "Highway 20 Ride," "Free," "As She's Walking Away," "Colder Weather," double-platinum "Knee Deep" and "Keep Me In Mind."Details: 7 p.m. Thursday, May 4. Gila River Arena, Loop 101 and Glendale  Avenue, Glendale. $44-$522. 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.Formed in 1967 and signed four years later, REO Speedwagon topped the album charts for 15 weeks in 1981 with the nine-times-platinum "Hi Infidelity," which spawned the platinum chart-topper "Keep On Loving You" and the Top 5 "Take It On the Run." Their other hits include "In Your Letter," "Keep the Fire Burnin'," "One Lonely Night," "That Ain't Love," "In My Dreams," "Here With Me" and a second chart-topping smash, "Can't Fight This Feeling." Kevin Cronin, who’s been fronting REO since signing on in time to be featured on “R.E.O. T.W.O.,” their second album, is joined by bassist Bruce Hall, keyboardist Neal Doughty, guitarist Dave Amato and drummer Bryan Hitt.Details: 8 p.m. Friday, May 5. Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd Continue Reading

State: Tempe family has been squatting for 120 years

The adobe house was built back around 1880 by a Mexican immigrant when the area along the Salt River was mostly farmland. There were no fences or signs as there are now, indicating that the land belonged to the Arizona Territory, entrusted to it by the federal government.As the years passed, the adobe house stayed put. The city of Tempe changed around it.The river was dammed up and stopped flowing. The area around the dried-up riverbed became easily ignored. Who would want to live by the dried-up riverbed, where people dumped trash in the shadow of a railroad trestle?The dirt just outside the adobe house stopped holding crops and hogs and started filling up with construction equipment, the new preferred trade.Then, the water flowed again, filling a man-made lake. The area drew restaurants, bars and high-rise condominiums.Meanwhile, the adobe house became lost in a place that started looking more like a salvage lot and, increasingly, more out of place.Today, the lot around the house is home to, among other things, three motor homes, the cab of a semitruck, a bus, an antique car, two jet-powered skis, two attachments that would turn a bicycle into a pedicab and one tub of motor oil.Across the street to the south, a multimillion-dollar restaurant has been constructed. Just east of the house, another million-dollar restaurant is being built. RELATED: 10 things to know about the new Culinary Dropout in Tempe And while the blocks around it have been subjects of scores of real-estate deals, the adobe house and its junk-covered lot have passed hands only once. The place was sold by a family named Gonzalez to a family named Martinez. That happened in 1892.Jesus Martinez died at that adobe home. So did his grandson. The great-grandson, Steve Sussex, was born in the adobe home and spent his childhood there. His children, the great-great-grandchildren of Jesus Martinez, have lived off and on in the adobe home in recent years. One lives there right now.But probably not for Continue Reading

Wonder how your town got its name: Monmouth County

Have you ever thought about how your town got its name?What does Manalapan mean? Or Manasquan? Why is Ocean Township named so when it's landlocked? Why is Asbury Park named after a Methodist bishop? What town translates into something in Italian? Which president was Roosevelt named for?There are 53 towns in Monmouth County and 33 in Ocean County. The story behind how they got their names weaves into a greater narrative about the history of the Jersey Shore, one that goes back to before American independence, farther back to before the first European explorers spotted its wooded coastline from the sea. READ: How Ocean County towns got their namesHere's how your town got its name:MONMOUTH COUNTY (est. 1683): The county, which until 1850 included almost all of present-day Ocean County, became a crown possession after the English seized control of the region from the Dutch in 1664. The land was titled the "Monmouth Tract" for reasons that are disputed. The simplest explanation is that the area was named after the county seat in Monmouthshire, Wales. However, competing official explanations are that the tract was named after either the Rhode Island Monmouth Society or for James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth and illegitimate son of King Charles II. After the death of his father, the duke attempted to lead a coup d'état in 1685 against his Roman Catholic uncle, who inherited the throne as King James II. It didn't go well. The rebellion was crushed and the king had his nephew's head chopped off. Nevertheless, the duke became something of a martyr and the rest of Protestant England eventually rose up against James, ejecting him from the throne and into exile in France.ABERDEEN (est. 1857): Named after Aberdeen, Scotland. Two dozen Quakers and Presbyterians from Scotland settled here in the 1680s to avoid religious persecution across the pond. First Continue Reading

Walkway Over the Hudson: Poughkeepsie footbridge spurs development and retail boom

The 14-acre site on Poughkeepsie’s waterfront where Louis Kaufman’s company plans to build a large upscale condo complex is a former lumber-treatment plant abandoned for more than a decade – and looks it. The only color there is the graffiti that covers the old Dutton Lumber site’s beat-up industrial buildings, nestled by the frozen Hudson River. “It’s a pretty awesome site, but you have to have vision,” says Kaufman, project manager for the O’Neill Group in Hackensack, N.J. “It’s right by the train station, right on the river, right by the walkway – it’s as good as you can get under the circumstances of today’s economy.” The 1.3-mile former railroad bridge connecting Highland to Poughkeepsie, now called the Walkway Over the Hudson, looms over the site. The wildly popular pedestrian bridge − the longest in the world, according to the nonprofit behind it − has drawn more than 750,000 tourists, three times the expected number, since its debut in October 2009. As a result, “vision” is in great supply in Poughkeepsie lately, with developers rushing to tap the city’s potential. Caffe Aurora in the shadow of the Walkway ( Handschuh/News) “In five to 10 years, the waterfront will look completely different,” says Steve Densmore, a spokesman for the Walkway Over the Hudson nonprofit. “Only now are developers starting to invest because of the mayor and the Walkway,” says Kaufman, whose company bought the site in 2003. “We got nothing done under the old administration.” Other developers also credit Poughkeepsie’s mayor of three years, John Tkazyik, 31, with removing bureaucratic stumbling blocks and facilitating a burst of development activity. “He’s a young, visionary mayor, and he’s receptive to areas we’ve identified for development,” says Joseph Spiezio 3rd, of Harrison, Continue Reading

A Kosciuszko bridge too far gone

It is an all-too-familiar feeling for many city drivers - screeching to a horn-honking halt on the BQE as traffic bottlenecks on the Kosciuszko Bridge. Cars stop and start - and often crash - as drivers struggle to negotiate outdated merging lanes. Trucks clog the works as they lumber up the steep span, built in 1939 to accommodate tall-masted ships ferrying goods along Newtown Creek. RELATED ARTICLE: KOSCIUSZKO Bridge CAN'T SPAN A RIVER OF RED TAPE "It's a nightmare - especially at rush hour," said Roy Pinzon, manager of Haley Trucking Corp. in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. State transportation officials are nearing approval of a $630 million project that would make the rusting relic history - just like the days when tall-masted ships dominated New York Harbor. Plans call for two new parallel spans to replace the aging truss-style bridge, which carries the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway over Newtown Creek between Maspeth, Queens, and Greenpoint. The new bridges - one for each direction of traffic - would have new merges and access ramps. They would also be substantially lower than the current span, which reaches a height of 125 feet at its center. Several design shortcomings mean the bridge has an accident rate more than six times the state average for a similar roadway and require that the bridge be replaced, state officials said. The mile-long span, which predates the BQE, is also crumbling. "The bridge is carrying significantly higher traffic volumes than were envisioned when it was designed, and the structure has deteriorated," said state transportation spokesman Adam Levine. In December - several months after the catastrophic bridge collapse in Minneapolis - the Kosciuszko got the worst rating in a state evaluation of New York's 49 deck-truss-style bridges. It got 28 "flags" for problems. The second-worst bridge had 11 flags. "It's in bad shape - potholes all over the place," Pinzon said. "They keep patching it up - but Continue Reading

Gurda: On Milwaukee’s lakefront, distant echoes of rumbling steel on Oak Leaf Trail

I went for a bike ride last month. This one covered 240 miles, from western Missouri all the way into suburban St. Louis, and it took nearly a week to complete. For most of the journey, my companions and I played tag with the wide, fast, roily Missouri River, sometimes riding in the shade of steep bluffs at the water’s edge, more often separated from the stream by sprawling fields of corn and soybeans in the fertile, flood-prone bottomlands. It was harvest season, and massive combines lumbered through the fields like mechanical dinosaurs, each trailing a thick cloud of dust.The trail we followed was the original roadbed of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, or MKT— a name that was further abridged to KT, or simply Katy. For nearly a century, from the 1880s to the 1980s, the Katy was a lifeline for residents of the Missouri River Valley, and small towns are still strung along its route like beads on a rosary. Pushed into oblivion by semi-trailers and interstate highways, the line died in 1986 and was reborn in the following decade as the longest continuous rail-to-trail conversion in America.The Katy Trail was a pleasure to ride, and I came home with a fresh appreciation for the rail trails in our own backyard. None can match the Katy for length, of course, but southeastern Wisconsin’s trails offer an unusually rich blend of history and scenery. My personal favorites include the Bug Line in Waukesha County, the Hank Aaron State Trail in Milwaukee, and the Interurban Trail in Ozaukee County.The region’s most historic rail trail, and perhaps its loveliest, is the section of Milwaukee County’s celebrated Oak Leaf system that begins at O’Donnell Park, climbs the lake bluff above Lincoln Memorial Drive, traverses the East Side, and then follows the Milwaukee River to Estabrook Park. Slicing through one of Milwaukee’s most congested districts without a single stop sign or red light, the trail connects lake and river, high ground Continue Reading