Sunday, January 30, 2011

Demolition -- Par for the Course

We here at the Backside are pleased to welcome Kristen Smith to our ranks. Check out more of her terrific photos at Wicked Dark Photography .

From Kristen Smith:

Land of Pleasant Living

I can’t claim any nostalgia over Bedford Golfland other than in general. I only went there once in high school even though it existed all through my childhood and only became defunct a few years ago (I think the year on the day planner in the office was 2006). Even though I wasn’t a customer, I was used to seeing the place, if you know what I mean. It was the kind of thing you’d use to give someone directions –- go through the light at the mini golf place.

The site is due for a date with the bulldozer in the spring. Like the world needs another supermarket, right? As you can see, vandals have gotten a head start on the destruction. I seem to recall this trap was a little New England scene with a barn or a water wheel mill or something. Cutesy, but typical of the old-style mini golf set up.

Like a hurricane

For some reason we also had a tribute to Gilligan’s Island.

A Three-hour tour

No one bothered me while I shot although I’m sure folks in the passing cars wondered what the hell I was doing out in the wind and cold. Eventually I made my way over to the former office. Had to wait until some hunters played through though. After I heard a couple of very close rifle shots, I looked over my shoulder a few minutes later and noticed a hunter standing in the walkway between the driving range and the office. It was a little weird, but he didn’t say anything and I didn’t see him again. The destruction inside the office was near total. Only more sturdy structures like walls, the counter and the ice cream treat freezer remain intact. It made for some interesting still lifes.

Forced retirement

I like this photo because the card was found as it is, but not where it was. I moved it to a better location and shot. The light was pretty damn great and having the camera on a tripod helped. All of these were shot with a tripod, something I don’t do often enough, but felt that I should since it wasn’t like I would be walking miles. The additional range of options it gave me really helped. I wasn’t cornered into using a high ISO or wide-open apertures.

Although the light isn’t the best in the outdoor shots, I like enough of what I got to feel satisfied with the shoot and what I was able to document.

It makes me a little sad that a supermarket is going in there. People complain that families and friends don’t do anything together anymore. That we’ve become a society of passive watchers only, instead of active doers. As long as we keep tearing down miniature golf parks to put up supermarkets, is there any wonder why?

Monday, January 24, 2011

End of the Road

From Dave Brigham:

Old Route 128, Blue Hills #3

Ever since discovering this abandoned section of old Route 128 in the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, MA, during a mountain bike trek several years ago, I've wanted to get back and take some pictures. OK, that's an exaggeration. I have long wanted to get back to the site. But only since starting this blog last March have I wanted to take pictures. I finally made the half-hour trip there with my daughter this past fall.

I didn't do enough mapping homework in advance, and ended up having to carry my 3-year-old daughter for a good distance through the woods to find the old road. Once we found it, however, she was more than happy to jump out of my arms and walk along, mugging for the camera. From what I've learned online, state road crews have used the old highway for striping practice, evidence of which can be seen here.

Old Route 128, Blue Hills #2

This is the end. Or the beginning. Take your choice.

Old Route 128, Blue Hills #1

Monday, January 17, 2011


From Dave Brigham:

Self-described urban historian and photographer Steve Duncan made a 28-minute documentary with filmmaker Andrew Wonder (real name: certainly not Andrew Wonder) in which they explore abandoned subway stations, forgotten sewer tunnels and the tops of bridges in New York City. Very cool -- made we wish I were younger or at least more adventurous, or had more time on my hands, or wasn't concerned about hurting myself or leaving my kids without a father.

Thanks to my buddy David Belson for tipping me off to this video.

Check out more of Duncan's exploration photos from around the globe here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Water Under the Bridge

From Dave Brigham:

l took these pictures in Weston, MA, at a water main crossing for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. The site is directly across the Charles River from the Newton Marriott Hotel and very close to a canoe and kayak rental place located in a one-time Metropolitan District Commission police building.

The water main crossing site is also popular for feeding ducks, and for gay cruising, according to my wife, who's a Newton native. For me, it's just a cool place to wonder and wander.

MWRA Water Main Crossing, Weston, MA #1

Graffiti Crown

Small old bldg., Weston, Mass.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Trash Guitar

From Dave Brigham:

I don't get it. Who tosses a guitar over the side of a bridge and down a hill hard by the Charles River? In my dream of dreams, a Boxcar Willie devotee scrambles down the incline, cleans the grit off the guitar and sells a million records singing about starfish and the Crab Nebula.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Patriotic Caddie

From Mick Melvin:

I happened upon this old patriotic ambulance while taking a detour on a trip in Vermont. We were driving south from Colchester, looking for covered bridges on the way to visit relatives in Northfield. We were driving along Cox Brook Road (a country road off of Route 12) when I noticed the old auto and had to stop. I snapped only one shot. We found the bridge, the Lower Cox Brook Bridge circa 1872, and took a few photos. When we returned down the road from viewing the old bridge, I had to stop and take a couple more shots of this vintage ride.

Patriotic station wagon

I took this picture in 2007 and rediscovered it recently. I immediately thought about the “Backside.” I searched online comparing it to pictures of classic Cadillacs. After viewing some awesome pictures of old Cadillac models, it looks to be a 1956 limousine-style ambulance. There were some nice pictures of vintage cars, which had me side-tracked for about an hour or so. I can only imagine seeing some of those old cars in their primes. I'm glad we took a detour that day so we can enjoy this piece of the backside of America and let our imaginations run wild. Woo woo woo...