Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Anniversary Post #5: My Favorites from 2014

From Dave Brigham:

Welcome to the fifth installment in a series celebrating the 7th anniversary of the blog (for links to the prior four installments, see the bottom of this post). This post covers 2014.

I need to mention that Joe Viger has contributed some amazing photos and fantastic write-ups over the years, but I'll be linking to very few of them in this series. Why? Because Joe -- an amazing photographer who has served as a mentor of sorts to me in that regard, and a great friend I've known for nearly 30 years -- has changed the security settings on his Flickr account so that many of his photos that have run on this blog show up as broken links now. I will instead direct you to his wonderful online portfolio.

The year started out well, on January 3, 2014, with the blog's first -- and, to date, only -- photo from Hawaii. Lostlosangeles shared a great shot of an abandoned high school in "Maui Wowee."

Just eight days later, on January 11, 2014, I posted about a drive-in theater in Connecticut where as a teenager I'd seen wholesome films such as "Eager Beavers." "Fade to Black" found me astonished at how much of the old outdoor movie place was still intact.

(The East Hartford Drive-In, South Windsor, Connecticut.)

The good streak kept on rolling at the end of the month. On January 25, 2014, I published "Last Building Standing," about the lone architectural solider left standing after Boston's West End was demolished in the late 1950's.

February 17, 2014, brought us another great collection of Pete Zarria's photos. In "Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign," he shared lots of neat photos of old signs in Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Iowa and Missouri.

On April 14, 2014, I published a post about a trip a friend and I took to Springfield, Massachusetts. "Coincidence?" features two black-and-white photos, one of which is of the YMCA where my father spent countless hours as a kid. I"d heard a lot about the Y as a kid, but had never seen the building until that. day just a few weeks before my father passed away.

(YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts.)

Mick Melvin's "Holy Resurrection!" from June 24, 2014, brought me back to childhood road trips to my cousins' house in Westchester County, New York. As we drove along I-84 approaching Waterbury, Connecticut, I'd look up on the hill next to the highway where Holy Land USA stood. There, I'd see the giant cross and wonder what the park was like. Mick didn't get inside, but he took some nice photos of the cross and the gates to the long-abandoned Christian-themed park.

(Holy Land USA, Waterbury, Connecticut.)

We finished up the year on December 26, 2014, with an ode to a closed restaurant. "What's Sadder Than a Closed BBQ Joint?" was specifically about Jake's Dixie Roadhouse in Waltham, Massachusetts, but illustrates the general problem of keeping a family-owned eatery in business when health issues arise.

(A sad sight: the bar at the former Jake's Dixie Roadhouse in Waltham, Massachusetts.)

Here are links to the previous three installments of this series:

"Anniversary Post #4: My Favorites from 2013"

"Anniversary Post #3: My Favorites from 2012"

"Anniversary Post #2: My Favorites from 2011"

"Anniversary Post #1: My Favorites from 2010"

Coming up next, my favorites from 2015, including an abandoned mansion in Maryland; the redevelopment of a former gas company site in Waltham, Mass.; some gorgeous shots of an old paper mill in Vermont; and a 200-year-old former law office along a very busy road in Weston, Mass.

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