Wednesday, June 27, 2012


From Joe Viger:

Back in February, I took the classic "Joe Vacation." I packed a bag and and all of my camera gear, updated my iPod and got in my car and drove. I had a general compass point in mind, but no firm plan and no reservations.

Speaking of "No Reservations"....I did hit a restaurant in Rockland, Maine, from Anthony Bourdain's TV show, called Conte's, and I highly recommend it. Talk about the backside, but I digress.

Anyway....I was the wind. Or at least as much of the wind as a guy my size driving an SUV can be. I'm sure I could be a long-haul trucker. Driving just feels good to me. Time alone helps clear my head and I always find interesting stuff.

Some of the most fulfilling experiences of my life have been had just like this...roaming. Besides, nobody wants to sit around while I make photos for hours, contemplating the virtues of 20 different camera angles or how the scene will look through an 11-16mm lens vs. the 80-200mm.

On this trip, I ultimately ended up in Acadia National Park, but avoided the interstate and stopped frequently to take in the backside of the great state of Maine. These images were made somewhere in Maine between Bucksport and Waterville.

Somewhere in Maine 3 Somewhere in Maine 1 Somewhere in Maine 2

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Happy Summer from the Backside Gang!


(Photo by Mick Melvin, Sunrise Resort, Moodus, CT)

Guido Salvucci Bocce Court, Boston #1

(Photo by Dave Brigham, Guido Salvucci Bocce Court, Brighton, MA)

Picture Lake Motel Pool #2

(Photo by Dave Brigham, Picture Lake Motel, Bourne, MA)

View of the Grandstand.

(Photo by David Burke, Great Barrington Fairgrounds, Great Barrington, MA)

Thar She Blows, Portsmouth, NH

(Photo by Michael Cevoli, Portsmouth, NH)


(Photo by Joe Viger, Salton Sea, California)

Foundation Lupines

(Photo by Joe Viger, Franconia, NH)

Bombay Beach reclaimation II

(Photo by lostlosangeles, Salton Sea, California)


(Photo by Dave Brigham, Newton, MA)


(Photo by Chris St. Cyr)

Top Dog

(Photo by David Burke, Portland, CT)

Now Playing

(Photo by David Burke, Burrville, CT)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Watery Map

From lostlosangeles:

Gentle guide

In the hallway of an abandoned middle school in New Orleans. I could still read the capitals.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Beach Town Ghosts

From Peter Arnemann:

With summer just around the bend, I wanted to feature these pictures that Peter took a few years back in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. The town has been a vacation destination for about 175 years, and remains a popular spot, but like any place these days, parts of the area have fallen into disrepair -- DB.

Check out Peter's pictures here.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Backside in Front of Us

From Joe Viger:

Recently I made an overnight business trip to Baltimore and checked in to the downtown SpringHill Suites. The location was interesting...a couple of blocks off the famous Inner Harbor and a couple of blocks from Baltimore's infamous "The Block." For the uninitiated, The Block is the city's red-light district. Needless to say I was in a street photographer's heaven (check out this post at Joe Blog for more on that).

My room was on the 10th floor and as is my habit, I went right to the window to open the blinds and let some light in. I was surprised at what I saw. A Backside gem relic... five stories of empty building a block off the Inner Harbor and in the middle of some of Baltimore's nicest downtown real estate.

Backside of Baltimore-6.jpg

Over the next 24 hours, I walked through the downtown area many times going to and from meetings and began to notice more and more that beautiful old buildings were empty all around the newer high rises. In fact, the back of my hotel was a great example.

Backside of Baltimore-2.jpg

Sometimes the first floor of these buildings housed active businesses, sometimes they did not.

Backside of Baltimore-5.jpg

As I snapped away with my iPhone making pictures of all these buildings, I was struck by the Backside all around me. This is exactly what we always write and photograph here on The Backside. Wonderful heritage and architecture laying to waste and how it was seemingly forgotten by the hustling masses on the street as they made their way to a glass-sided high rise or swank new hotel. I kept thinking how great it would be to live on one of those empty floors with 10-foot windows and lots of open space.

Backside of Baltimore-4.jpg Backside of Baltimore-3.jpg Backside of Baltimore-1.jpg

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fill 'er Up

From Pete Zarria:

This is the first of two parts involving old gas stations, some restored, others ignored. This batch is from Iowa -- DB.

Deep Rockin'

I was leaving town not having seen much, a nice elevator maybe when this hit me in the face. It's the local garden club now, but somebody went to some work for this, it's a pristine example.

Perspective ~ Zeller's So Long to Zeller's of Palo

Two views of Zeller's Garage, Palo, Iowa. Pop, 889.

Ding! Ding! - Fill 'er Up!

Down at the old Shell in Waverly, Iowa.

Standard Service

Brooklyn, Iowa. I was just driving along looking for things when this came up. Tried from the car, gave that up and did everything I could to get a decent shot of an operating Deco Standard Station. I think its mostly repair now, but the pumps look to be still functional.

Fire Chief

Tokheim pump, Main Street Texaco~LaPorte City, Iowa.

Virgil's Sinclair

West Branch, Iowa - The birthplace of Herbert Hoover. This building was first a bank in 1910 then the post office before being converted to Virgil's Sinclair.

Reed's Gas at Niland's Corner

This station once sat at the crossroads of US 63 and US 30, the Lincoln Highway. The Lincoln has since been realigned and 63 crosses on an overpass relegating the business they relied on to the speed of "modern engineering." Yet it is these places that were the spice of the American roadside, every place reflected its individual owner, not corporate "branding" strategies. It's now maintained as kind of a museum piece along with the cafe (still serving) next door and the motel just next to that.

Roiled Sky

Old gas station under an ugly sky in Mediapolis, Iowa. I suspect this is someone's home now.

Readlyn, Iowa

I don't really know what it is with Iowans. They dis neon but really love their gas stations. I find them all over the place in the smallest towns. Hidden gems that make the road less traveled very worthwhile. This is now the town museum, a collection of the finest corn cobs this side of Probstei, Iowa.

Monday, June 4, 2012

School's Out Forever...

From Joe Viger:

...Or so it seems at the Sadie F. Adams School. Rehabbed into a great, funky private residence with a view of beautiful North and South Baldface Mountains, or torn down? Time will tell.

Sadie Adams School

North Fryeburg, Maine

See more of Joe Viger's photography at Follow him on Facebook at

Friday, June 1, 2012

We'll Always Have Paris

From Dave Brigham:

Had some time to kill, so I drove out to Worcester, MA. Drove around for too long before finding this old theater.

We'll Always Have Paris

I knew nothing about this place, but was glad to find out after the fact that the facade will be removed and donated to Preservation Worcester. As for the building, the 1926 theater (which ended its life as a porn theater in 2006) will be revitalized in the near future.

Blue light theater