VFYW: A Hippie Haven
For contest #327, we find ourselves in a scenic mountain town with an eclectic history.
(For this week’s View From Your Window contest, the post exceeds the content limit for Substack’s email service, so to ensure that you see the full results, just click the headline above.)
First up is our super-sleuth dad with two daughters, who hasn’t entered the contest in almost a year but couldn’t pass up the chance to remark on last week’s window:
Jeez, your Lisbon window came out a week too late. I just got back from Lisbon and almost have this view randomly from my pictures. We got drinks up the street from here at the Silk Club (not a strip joint, BTW), and I can vouch for all of the good things said about Lisbon. I’m attaching the pic in question. My two daughters are featured, and the one on the right is my erstwhile View solving partner. The river is behind them in the distance:
I didn’t see it mentioned, so here’s a fun fact: Lisbon is home to the world’s oldest continuously operating bookstore (just up the street from the View). And the restaurant across the square (O Trevo) was featured by Anthony Bourdain.
On to this week’s view, here’s another sleuth who’s back in the game:
I’ve been following the contest closely — I love it! — but life has gotten in the way of submitting an entry lately. This week, based on the natural landscape, my mind went straight to the Green Mountains of Vermont. But seeing that there are cars that are not Subarus, and a white license plate (Vermont’s are green), I’m moving east to New Hampshire. I see a hospital sign on the street and was thinking the building to the left is a hospital, perhaps with a children’s wing, where we see stickers on the windows. But I got stumped in my search for a hospital located so close to such a steep mountainside, so New Hampshire is my best guess.
The hospital sign in question:
Here’s a snippet of a long entry from our super-sleuth in southern France:
I immediately thought American Northwest. Then, on closer looking, a ski resort — there’s a chairlift in the distance. I spent a few hours scouring Oregon’s resorts, because for some reason the rugged and somewhat sparse aspect of the street gave me the impression of a fairly down-at-heel or less glitzy place than Aspen et al, but to no avail. No better luck in Idaho.
Back to the picture, I spotted the white H sign on a green backdrop, which matched a sign on the Wikimedia page for Quebec road signs. This led me down another wild goose chase as I tried finding a match for the picture in Quebec’s ski resorts. Pas de chance! And I couldn’t shake the feeling that we were in the NW rather than on the Eastern seaboard.
It’s not the Eastern seaboard. From a long-time sleuth in Bend:
Hills and pine trees suggest the western half of the U.S. or Canada. The phone booth tells us that this photo was taken about a hundred years ago. It is a non-fancy town, which the western U.S. is running out of. Billings, Montana still isn’t fancy, so I’m going with that.
Next up, “a long-time player, first-time submitter”:
After months of my wife shrugging after I correctly guess the country but never say anything, it’s time to throw in my hat into the ring. At first glance I was pretty sure this view is in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, where I grew up. My parents still live there — my dad in the small town of Foresthill, California, and my mom in nearby Auburn, where I think this photo was taken (the lamp post gave it away, since the same ones are in downtown). Auburn is perhaps most well known as the long-distance running capital of the world, and it is the terminus of the Western States Trail 100-mile endurance race. But less known is that it was also the location of the 1996 hit movie Phenomenon starring Jon Travolta, where some kind of tumor or something gives him magical powers.
Chini’s magical powers:
From a second-time sleuth who thinks we’re looking at Banff, Alberta:
One clue is the sign “McQuay,” which is part of Daikin. The Canadian HQ of Daikin is in Toronto, which is too flat. Typing in “Daikin Alaska” brought up various places, including Knik Heating in Wasilla, which was intriguing. But it looks like the building density there is too low. I feel like a conspiracy theorist now; it’s probably just an HVAC or heating unit.
Speaking of conspiracy theories:
Thanks so much for all the work you put into the VFYW: it’s a great weekly pleasure … even if I never get remotely close to the answer. There have been some elaborate theories about Chini (AI?!?), but isn’t the most obvious that he’s hacked your email?
I’m sure others can get more creative than that. Another guess for Alberta:
Edmonton specifically. Some trendy neighborhood within. This view consumed me, namely the green “H” sign. And on Saturday night, after basically taking a full Canadian Drivers Ed course online (during date night, mind you), I thought I had it … but on this Sunday, I’m not so sure.
That sleuth a year ago, I just noticed, sent us an intriguing dispatch from “an entirely made-up French town within a stones throw of Alabama”: