It seems in the Main Street area at least that valet parking is big. They all have the same place they use from what I can tell as they all charge $4 for "lot fee" and then I threw in a couple more as a tip. Trust me, if going to Luva you should just do this. You'll come out SO much happier.
Welcome to Springfield
"Intro to Swingfield"
I wouldn't actually suggest that anyone go out of their way to visit (except for gun collectors and military history buffs) but if it is on your way to someplace else you can visit the Basketball Hall of Fame (the game was invented in Springfield).
There are also the art museums at the Quadrangle with a really impressive collection of Asian art in the George Walter Vincent Smith Museum (GWVS) and a Monet in the fine arts musuem, and the Springfield Armory Museum.
Aside from being the home of the world famous Simpsons (the last time I had to change my French residency card the guy behind the counter was laughing and when I asked him what was so funny he said "The Simpsons", perhaps he mistook me for Marge..?) Springfield is home to Smith & Wesson and they have a Store and Shooting Academy as well.
Actually Springfield has a lot to offer for a small town. Go to Forest Park as well, it was my first playground.
"American kids and Chinese food from cartons"
My daughter Maya is 15 and although she is an American citizen this was her first trip to the States. She watches all the US sitcoms on TV and one of the really important things that she wanted to do was have Chinese food in a carton.
Here in Paris the Chinese take out comes in plastic containers...
"Typical American living room"
This is where I am from and for those of you who might be interested this is a typical American living room. Check out that big screen TV!! and the dance pads.
Dance pads are a real challenge and a good way to lose weight. I live in an apartment in Paris so I don't think my neighbours would appreciate them but for those of you who can...
Boston Road (Route 20)-shopping drag
"Typical USA Supermarket"
In travelling to other countries, I find myself amazed by the simplest things, such as what the local shopping markets look like. How do people buy their food? What kind of food do they buy?
So since I am sorely lacking in other photos from my hometown :-( here are some pics for those of you who share my same curiosity regarding local customs such as shopping. :-)
American supermarkets are less intimate than many markets elsewhere. Ones like this are huge and impersonal. You cannot bargain for lower prices here. There is not always a butcher available for custom service. However, you can buy a whole variety of items under this one roof. Fresh-baked bread, milk, meat, fruits and vegetables, canned items, condiments, etc. All the staples of the American diet can be purchased at these large supermarkets.
What have become staples of the American diet might not look like food to some people. You might be able to understand where the American obesity epidemic is coming from when you enter a typical supermarket and see most shelves lined like this. Items in boxes, cans, plastic tubs, plastic bags, etc. This picture displays some of the numerous dairy items typical in the American diet. Cookies and candy take up a whole long isle of the supermarket, usually paired with chips and crackers. There usually is another whole isle taken up by instant meals like boil-in-the-bag rice and Hamburger Helper and ramen noodles. If you are a big fan of fresh fruits and vegetables, some grocery stores might disappoint you with poor variety and underripe or overripe items. However, some places have a pretty good produce section where you can even find tropical imported fruits and out-of-season vegetables.
"A Great place to escape the cold."
You can warm yourself up here with some hot and sour soup if you've been brave enough to trod through the snow to shop on Boston Road. Kitchy, cute atmosphere and tons of food to choose from, Foody Goody Super Buffet on Boston Road is a must-stop sight for hungry travellers. It is also very affordable, so I spent a lot of time here when I was working in Springfield.
This is the shopping plaza where one of my favorite restaurants in Springfield, Foody Goody Super Buffet, is located. On cold and snowy days like this, not too many shoppers brave the weather. I certainly don't miss driving around in the snow. It is dangerous and slow.
"Eastfield Mall on Boston Road"
This is the only big mall around where I lived. It is hardly big though. It is only a one floor mall. It has some major department stores like Sears and Filenes. Typical of most malls, you will find clothing stores like Old Navy and the Gap, a music store, an electronics store, a video arcade, and a food court. Almost 5 years ago a huge movie theater moved in and made a large addition to the mall to accomodate itself. This has helped business, and it's great to have a big movie theater close by. Unfortunately, regular adult tickets are almost $10 now. Even in Boston, movie tickets are less than $10!