Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy First Birthday to Backside!

From Dave Brigham:

I had no idea what to expect when I launched The Backside of America a year ago (see March 1, 2010, "Take Me to the River."). I'd long had an interest in what goes on behind the neat and polite curtain of society, whether it be the crumbling walls hidden behind the solid abandoned factory facade, or the neat-as-a-pin back lawns of Newport, RI, as seen from the Cliff Walk.

I had a backlog of my own photos to get things rolling, but I had a sometimes sketchy point-and-shoot digital camera and no knowledge of exposure, composition, lighting, shutter speed and editing. So I reached out to a handful of friends whose photos I admired. Luckily, most of them agreed to join the ranks here. And they have done recruiting of their own, so this blog continues to flourish (and we're always looking for more people; America's a BIG place.).

I've been overwhelmed by the great pictures and fascinating stories that have come across the digital transom, such as Joe Viger's stark black-and-white frozen Alaskan tundra (see March 8, 2010 "Backside at the Topside of the Continent"); Mick Melvin's tale of the rise and fall of turn-of-the-20th-century African American community, Deerfield, Colorado (see July 9, 2010, "Dearly Departed Deerfield"); and David Burke's June 8, 2010, B & E adventure, "Meet Me at the Station (We'll Find a Way In)."

Over the last 12 months, we've covered many of my favorite topics:

Diners -- see March 18, 2010, "Eat, Dance & Be Happy" from David Burke and my own July 28, 2010, ode to Lazarus-like diner owner Barbara Lind "Two Hearts Beat As One".

Drive-in Movie Theaters -- see April 12, 2010, "Cars, Flicks & Weiners" from David Burke.

Old vehicles -- see Michelle Loya's May 24, 2010, "This Old Truck" piece, and Mick Melvin's January 1, 2011, post, "Patriotic Caddie."

Old Factories -- see my July 5, 2010, post "Rebuilding the Lost City."

There are plenty of great things in the hopper: fantastic shots and a history lesson about a downed B-18 bomber from our newest contributor, Kristen Smith; my chronicle of, and diatribe against, the tear-down culture; and a post that brings new meaning to The Backside of America.

Still, with all the great stuff we've run in the past 12 months, there are some pictures that either haven't fit in anywhere, or have been cut from posts due to space considerations. Below, you'll find some of those pictures.

From Mick Melvin:

downingtown quarry

(Hansen Agregates- Distribution Quarry, Downingtown, PA, taken through a chain linked fence.)

From David Burke:

Torrington, CT

(Old quarry, Torrington, CT)

From Michelle Loya:

Wagon wheel

(Wagon wheel, Woodstock, Vermont)

From David Burke:

Top Dog

(Taken in Portland, CT, in the late '90s)

From Dave Brigham:

Elvis Mural, Newton MA

(The King, Newton, MA)

From Kristen Smith:

A signal from the shelter

(Bedford Golfland, Bedford, NH)

From Joe Viger:

Wide Treads & Cheater Slicks

(Taken in Asheville, NC)

From David Burke:

Torrington, CT

(Taken in Torrington, CT)

From Dave Brigham:

Boston Trailer Park

(Taken at the Boston Trailer Park on March 16, 2010, after three days of heavy rain.)

From Joe Viger:

Backside Mosaic

(Oakland, CA)

From Joe's Flickr page: The Talking Heads album cover for "More Songs About Buildings and Food" features this great photomosiac done by David Byrne. He made a portrait of the band using hundreds of polaroids. It's amazing... they have it at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This view reminded me of that, despite being much less interesting than Talking Heads.

From Mick Melvin:

avondale garage

(Old broken down truck in an old garage in Avondale, PA.)

I'm happy to report that I have a new camera, and have been taking an adult ed class to learn how to use it more effectively. Here's to the next 12 months of beautiful pictures and fascinating posts!

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