But if you head west about 10 miles, you come to the Bucks county seat of Doylestown, Pa., which has its own history and its own charms. And that's where we are for a few days, 40-some miles north of Philadelphia, staying in a very nice airbnb on the outskirts of town . . . I mean, borough, which is what they seem to call their small cities around here..
|We heard this is a good restaurant; we have reservations for tonight|
We've done a little house-hunting -- as we do practically every place we go these days. And, like everywhere else, the homes may be slightly less expensive than they are in New York metro . . . but not so much cheaper that it would change the financial picture of anybody's retirement.
|The Presbyterian church|
I managed to play 9 holes of golf while I was here. I also did some work on my part-time job. And then, yesterday, when B went to visit her sister who lives an hour west of here, I enjoyed a walk through town and took a few pictures.
|Bucks County Courthouse|
The most-favorite son of Doylestown is author James A. Michener (1907 - 1997), and the downtown cultural area features a fairly substantial Michener Art Museum. The museum is located next door to an impressive local library, and across the street from the Mercer Museum.
|Front of the Michener Museum of Art|
Pearl S. Buck (1892 - 1973), winner of the 1938 Nobel prize in literature, is sometimes associated with Doylestown. But she actually lived in Perkasie, Pa., a dozen miles to the northwest. Her estate is a National Historic Landmark with guided tours, a museum, a cultural center . . . and it can be rented out for weddings and other functions.
|Side entrance to the Michener Museum|
But it's Henry Mercer (1856-1930) who has left the largest architectural legacy on Doylestown. He was born into a wealthy family and went to Harvard then University of Pennsylvania law school. Instead of practicing law, he became an amateur archeologist, artifact collector and tile maker. He spent some time studying in Germany, and built his Moravian tile works to create primitive-art ceramic tiles that, to him, were an antidote to the industrialization of the 19th century.
|The Mercer Museum|
Today you can see his Doylestown home, Fonthill Castle, which is almost as ugly as his Mercer museum, but not quite as ugly as his Moravian tile works. But give him credit. Moravian tiles can be found in the Pennsylvania state house in Harrisburg, the Rockefeller estate in New York, the St. Louis public library, and even a few places in Europe. Today the tile factory is still operating, churning out cute little tiles for the tourists.
Downtown Doylestown is a thriving mini-metropolis, with lots of restaurants, bars, shops and stores. And lots of law offices. For the county court is right in the middle of town, along with county offices, town offices, and rows of historic buildings.
|The renovated local arthouse movie theater|