When I was young "The Valley" used to be a place you wouldn't go to, you'd just drive through it on the way to somewhere else. It was (we thought) an industrial wasteland that was icky in implicit and unspecified ways, and in which your cell phone signal would mysteriously disappear. But I went there, not just through it on Route 8, but I stopped. In Waterbury, Beacon Falls, Oxford, Seymour, and Derby. And I drove through Middlebury, Ansonia, and I don't even know what other little towns. Not on the highway but on the back roads. And it was interesting. And beautiful. I don't know if the area has improved over the past 10-20 years, or if we were wrong all along. (We lived in Fairfield County; we were probably wrong.)I saw thing like the footbridge above.
And these silos, and farmland, and winding roads and ice cream stands and all those thing you think exist only in the Quiet Corner or Litchfield County.
And bins full of metal letters. You can't say anything bad about a place where there are bins of metal letters.
And history, a lot of it, casually standing around, just part of the landscape.
History within history, even, like the blackboard in this picture I took through a broken window of the one room schoolhouse above. I wish I had gotten off Route 8 and peered through some broken windows years ago.