Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shoes Required

From Dave Brigham:

My daughter, Amelia, and I joined a fellow stay-at-home dad and his two girls for a trip to the USS Constitution in Charlestown, Mass., recently. I brought along my camera, of course, but wasn't expecting this advertising nugget:

Safety Shoes

I searched online and found photos of this great sign before it was restored, but I don't know when that was done. Some folks indicate that the sign dates to around World War II, but I don't know.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall On the Backside

Fall is my favorite season. I love the cool temps; the apples, pumpkins and cider at local farm stands; the porters and dark ales on tap at neighborhood bars; the soups and hearty meals on menus at my favorite restaurants; watching football and hockey on TV (especially after this latest dismal Red Sox season); Halloween and Thanksgiving; and, of course, the full palette of colors you witness as the foliage changes from its monochromatic green.

With the falling of the leaves (in New England and elsewhere, although unfortunately not everywhere across America), more of the Backside reveals itself. Buildings that during the spring and summer are hidden behind vines and overgrown trees, reappear during fall and winter.

And landscapes that look beautiful in lush greens become transformed in reds, yellows and oranges.

Below are some shots from various members of the Backside Gang that reflect the wonders of autumn, whether because of their subject, their colors or their feel -- DB.


(Photo by Dave Brigham: Abigail Draper Mann Woodland Worship Center, Dover Massachusetts)

Abandoned campsite

(Photo by Kristen Smith: Abandoned camp site, Litchfield State Forest, New Hampshire)

Hungry Canyon

(Photo by lostlosangeles: Mendocino County, California)


(Photo by Pete Zarria: Milan, Illinois)


(Photo by Dave Brigham: Watertown, Massachusetts)


(Photo by Pete Zarria: Tucson, Arizona)

Double Deuces

(Photo by Joe Viger: Conway, New Hampshire)


(Photo by Kristen Smith: New Hampshire)


(Photo by Heidi Waugaman-Page: Antrim, New Hampshire)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Simple Beauty

From Pete Zarria:

Blairstown, Iowa

Blairstown, Benton County, Iowa - Pop. 685. Many people simply do not realize all the beauty that is spread across the world. Even across just a flat old farm state known for corn and hogs. This scene is just a simple grain elevator in small Iowa town backed by nature's best light.

Monday, September 10, 2012

More Backside TV

From Dave Brigham:

I spent a lot of time over the summer watching the Food Network. I can't cook much, but I love to watch other people who do it well. I got really into "Chopped," "The Great Food Truck Race" and "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."

But I got a bit burned out on that stuff, so I was really happy when I saw a preview for National Geographic Channel's new reality series, "Abandoned."

To date I've watched three episodes, and have a few more waiting for me on my DVR. In the show, carpenter/antique collector/restoration expert Jay Chaikin, along with his buddies Dan and Mark, get permission to enter abandoned buildings looking to salvage antiques, collectibles and furniture.

They walk very carefully through old mills, churches, breweries, factories and banks, marveling at the architecture and the relics they find. Chaikin is an amiable host, and his friend Mark provides some comic relief.

I'm not an urbex guy -- I don't think getting arrested for trespassing would go over well with my wife, and it would be hard to pick up my kids at school if I were in jail. So I live vicariously through people who are bold enough to enter dilapidated buildings to see what's been left behind, and to behold the beauty of decay.

As I said, in "Abandoned," the hosts receive permission from property owners to enter the buildings. After they pick through the stuff, they haggle with the owners over items they want to restore and resell. Yes, the show is similar to History Channel's "American Pickers," but there's nothing wrong with that.

In some cases, the buildings are facing demolition; in other situations, they don't indicate what the fates are.

So if you find yourself looking to fill an hour to learn about endangered historic sites, urban exploration and antique collecting and restoration, check it out.

I also watch Travel Channel's "Off Limits," which used to focus more on old factories and abandoned mines. This season the host, Don Wildman, has changed the focus a bit to places like operational salt mines and Air Force base rocket launches, but it's still a cool show. I wrote a bit about the show in May 2011.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Nice Hat

From Pete Zarria:

El Mecca Club

Actually, I was looking for a place to park to get a shot at the Veteran's Hall neon sign. I found this. Waterloo, Iowa.