Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Facing Death

From Dave Brigham:

I've lived in the Boston area for 20 years, roughly the amount of time since the Faces nightclub on Route 2 in Cambridge closed down. Oddly, pinning down just how long the place has been shuttered is difficult, even for Cambridge government officials. You'd think in this day and age it wouldn't be that hard to figure how long one of the most infamous eyesores in the city has been messing up the view as folks enter Cambridge from the west.

The old Faces nightclub, Cambridge MA

A year ago, the Cambridge Day newspaper reported that the Faces site was getting cleaned up, quoting representatives for the property owners indicating that "there is a plan" for the site. The property is no longer zoned for entertainment, but rather for office space, R&D and housing. As you can see, not much has happened since that promise.

The old Faces nightclub, Cambridge MA #4

I snapped these photos while at the Lanes & Games bowling alley next door with my wife and kids. Even if I'd been alone, however, I wouldn't have been able to venture inside, as you can see.

The old Faces nightclub, Cambridge MA #3

Here are some great shots from somebody who did venture inside.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Guido's Court

From Dave Brigham:

Guido Salvucci Bocce Court, Boston #1

I wanted to get to this bocce court when some of the old-timers were actually playing, but by the time I fit my trip in, their season was over. I've lived in the Boston area for 20 years, and had driven by this location many times but only in the last few years did I discover it was home to a bocce court.

The court is on the Leo J. Birmingham Parkway, a short stretch of road that runs parallel to the Mass. Pike, up a hill from Staples and Martignetti Liquors in Brighton, and just around the corner from the old Charles River Speedway headquarters (see 9-6-10 UPDATED: Horsing Around at the Old Barracks). A Google search turned up the fact that the Mass. Legislature officially named the court in Guido Salvucci's honor in September 2003, but Google didn't provide any clues as to the honored man's identity.

Guido Salvucci Bocce Court, Boston #2

I love the simplicity of this site, and the old-fashioned tools and scoreboards. Seems like a great place to hang out on a lazy summer afternoon, drink some grappa and get a few lessons, if you're so inclined.

Guido Salvucci Bocce Court, Boston #3

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mining for the Backside

From Mick Melvin:

Tilcon Connecticut #2

I went out to shoot a few backside pictures and saw this building with a big government sign posted. I almost didn't stop for fear of being whisked away by the “men in black.” I've always been curious about this site along Route 6 in Farmington, CT. I ended up looking closely at the sign that read, "U.S. Government M.S.H.A. Registered Mine."

Tilcon Connecticut Inc.

"Tilcon Connecticut" was also printed in small red letters at the bottom of the sign.

As I often do, I went home to do some research on the location. I ended up finding the Tilcon Connecticut web site. Tilcon Connecticut deals in crushed stone, hot mix asphalt and ready mix concrete. There are over 20 sites throughout CT that sell any combination of the three. The site along Route 6 in Farmington doesn't seem to be producing much these days except some shots for the Backside.

Tilcon Connecticut #5

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Can You Ever Get Enough of Train Tracks?

As any hobo knows, some of the best views of any town or city are from a train. Here are some shots of train tracks, subway systems and affiliated locales and items from a few of Backside's contributors.


Iron pin in retaining wall for abandoned B&M trestle, Waltham, MA

Iron pin at B&M trestle retaining wall

(Photo by Dave Brigham)


Tracks in Bristol, CT

Bristol, CT

(Photo by David Burke)


Tracks at old train station in Torrington, CT

train tracks

(Photo by Michelle Loya)

Tracks over a stream, Torrington, CT

Tracks going over a stream

(Photo by David Burke)

Decrepit train in Essex, CT

Choo Choo

(Photo by David Burke)

Trackside mail box at JFK/UMass stop on Boston's Red Line

Trackside mailbox at JFK/UMASS stop on Red Line

(Photo by Dave Brigham)

End of Red Line, Ashmont Station, Boston, MA

End of Red Line, Ashmont Station

(Photo by Dave Brigham)