k50: Yes, that was the idea...
dubaidude303 : Look in the above response.
Oh my... we are back to full updates? Well... two months of little content pass quickly, but not quickly enough for me to not be eager to continue our tour.
Last time, we took a helicopter from Meadowsville to our next destination. Today, we visit Missouri City another old industrial titan, and the inland brother of Storm City.
We arrive to the city's helipad. It's small and doesn't help at all when it comes to handling other aircraft, like airplanes, but they give it good maintainance.
The rumors say that the the mayor is prospecting to the south of the city to build a new municipal airport, but rumors just that, rumors.
We drop off the chopper and walk into the car rental agency to get one for ourselves. And with our new vehicle, we march unto the urban area.
Missouri City is small city, compared to the rest of the important population centers in Alpena. Barely over 40,000 inhabitants, its population has been dwindling steadily since it started declining in the 70's. It was founded in the early 1700's by Ingerish pioneers coming from Queenstown, the colonial capital. Missouri City was the rebels' headquarters during the Independence War and from its end in 1808 it also was country's capital until it was moved back to Queenstown in 1821.
The city declined until becoming little more than a small town of about 5000 people until the Industrial boom hit it in the early 20th century, when in a matter of two decades it grew to more than 80,000. Alas, it now is a shadow of it's former self. The times changed and the industrial cities of the Great Valley decayed when a new boom caused because of another thing happened in the west, but we will talk about it in later entries.
We enter the city from the north, so we see most of the newer buildings in the city, most of them built in 1992-95, the last time the city population grew.
We go on through the Main Avenue to the south, we pass through some neighborhoods of old houses. That warehouse-like building is part of the past of city. During its heyday, in the 1920's-1940's, most of the factories in Missouri City were built in the southern area, in a special district for them, with the exception of the one below, and it was a very controversial decision back then to allow the construction of such a building in the middle of the suburbs, but today it's a symbol of the city and is part of the historical buildings list.
By the way, are you hungry? We can stop in the local Chez Mondo if you like.
Chez Mondo is one of the main restaurant chains in Alpena and one of its biggest companies, and their food is delicious, or so the locals say.
Forward to the south, we find the main bridge of the city, it has two, and this one is the most used, as the other one is in the outskirts.
At the bottom we can see the old Radio Station, built in the 30's and re-built in the 80's, it's one of the iconic structures in the city's skyline.
Crossing the bridge, we see some denser housing and even rowhouses. Want to know why?
Yes, you are correct, we are in the city's downtown.
Well, I didn't say it was big, did I? But despite the apparently chaotic organization, it has quite a nice appeal. The big pink building is the Freytag building, it was built in 1928 and ever since only the industrial smokestacks have been able to be taller than it.
And talking about smokestacks. We should make a quick visit to the industrial zones, don't you think? After all, that's why this is an industrial city.
Missouri City has an industry that revolves around two things: Steel refining and the automobile industry, and it shows quite a lot in how the industrial district looks like.
Figaro Motors has it's most modern facilities here, in Missouri City, in a complex with no more no less than five assembly lines. No surprise this is also the most productive complex of the Alpenian car giant.
Unfortunately we are only seeing the better parts of Missouri City's industrial district, farther to the south lie abandoned steel refineries and old warehouses, mixed with some of the last manufacturing plants built here, in the 60's, we won't go there because it's crawling with criminals and we are also short of time.
The afternoon starts to advance towards the night as we go into the eastern neighborhoods. Some condos and an apartment complex are seen here, they are the newest structures in the city. Also, you can see the local farmers' market.
Missouri City may be an industrial giant, but still has some farms to the east. Some farms didn't plant this year, due to the poor rains, and most of the ones that did use mechanized irrigation, it has been a harsh year for this area's agriculture indeed until now.
The sun sets in the horizon, and we start to drive back to the hotel. On our way we cross the second bridge of the city.
We arrive at night to the Best Western Hotel. Enjoy the room service and the free internet to talk with your relatives.
Next time we will start driving west to the Colton River Valley, the heart of Alpena, and we also start our journey to the country's capital, Queenstown.
See you next time!