Sunday, February 20, 2011

Walkin' the East Side #1

These are from this past Wednesday.  We went up to Commerce and down to visit a couple of cemeteries (City Cemetery #1 & #6, to be specific) and then when it started getting dark walked toward downtown a ways before heading home.

The rest of the pix are after the break, to save those uninterested from having to scroll past them all.

(Oh, & I apologize in advance for the wonky formatting.  Blogger hates to properly wrap text.  Next time I'll just leave 'em all centered.)

This photo and the one starting the post are both of the same building--and I use that term loosely.  There may well be other buildings along this street in worse condition; if there are, they are properly boarded up.  This is urban decay, illustrated.

This is the Friedrich building, the holy grail of neighborhood revitalization.  Once upon a time, it was a factory which built air conditioners.  It is slated, last I heard, to become new headquarters for SAISD.  Given that the current headquarters are a bit hidden and not very easy to get to on the bus--and this one has a frequent route that stops right in front of it--it's a move I wholeheartedly support.  The same day we went by here, there was a camera crew taping the building.  I don't know why--there was no insignia of any sort on their van or camera and they just seemed to be shooting the building from a purely stationary position.  We totally need to get the TAPS people in here, eh?  Apparently, we watch that show too much, 'cause the kids and I reflexively glanced in the van as we went past, hoping to glimpse some EMF readers or something.

This is...well, I'm really not sure what it is.  But it involves a mural, a console television, and a couch.

Surely pretty streetlights along the main thoroughfare make up for decades of ignoring an entire part of the town!  Right?  And look--there's a banner!  Welcome The Day!  So, apparently New London's paper is relocating here.  (Please tell me I'm not the only one who thought of that.  Greg?)

This is the view down one of the main "streets" of City Cemetery #1.  This is kind of a perfect illustration of why I love cemeteries.  Lots of trees, interesting things to read and see, and pretty much no other people, ever.
This is the monument in the center of the Guenther family plot.  Note the stalks of wheat.  The Guenthers are the folks behind the Pioneer Flour Mill.  See also: Guenther House Restaurant.  I found the plot interesting.  There were a couple of very young folks buried there, as of course seems to be the norm for the 19th century, but it's somehow always jolting to see in the plot of a very well-to-do family.  The best doctors money can buy won't save everyone.

The Guenther family plot from the outside.  It's very pretty, hidden under trees as it is.  Very Victorian.

This is in City Cemetery #6.  As you can tell, it was starting to get dark, and that means I was starting in on the zombie jokes.  Esther has determined that next time we go cemetery walking like this, we need to carry Erik's gun filled with garlic.  She was not happy when I told her garlic does nothing against zombies.

This is my first attempt to photograph the moon.  It was slipping behind clouds; very pretty.

So, it's nearly dark and we see this light on in a mausoleum.  We had to go investigate, of course.  Sad to say, no vampires--this is actually the cemetery office, cleverly designed to fit its surroundings.

OK, I know that it's not the right pronunciation, but I enjoyed pointing at this headstone and exclaiming "Mummy!"

The cemetery from the outside, as we started walking back toward downtown.  We actually went all the way up to Sunset Station, crossed Commerce, and walked back down.

A better pic of the moon behind tree branches, even if the contrast isn't the greatest.  You might have to enlarge it to see the branches, but this has a much better horror-novel look to it than the other one.

The Tower of the Americas in the distance, from the cemetery.  (Yes, some of these are out of order.  I tried to fix it, but got tired of fighting Blogger to get the photos to go where I want them to go.)  It occurs to me that they could well name Commerce "Tower of the Americas Way", if Landry's needs that much help getting customers.  But really, this illustrates my bitch about renaming Bowie street.  It's a freaking 750 foot high tower, easily visible from anywhere in the general area.

On the walk back away from town.  Lots of run-down buildings, then this small bus parked in between two of them.  Very odd.

This is the block of buildings the bus was hidden in.  Most (but not all) of the buildings are boarded over and vacant.  There are posters promoting some upcoming James Cameron and other promoting breastfeeding on these buildings.  Strange combination?  Perhaps, but Linda Hamilton is on record as having nursed her child a really long time, so maybe it fits.

A (legal) mind-altering substance in the community garden next door to the Southwest Workers' Union HQ (also sharing the building: City Councilwoman Ivy Taylor's reelection headquarters).  The jokes, they write themselves.

I assume the same artist did these portraits of Rosa Parks and Malcolm X as did the one of Obama I talked about before (sorry, too lazy today to link the other post).  I had a difficult time explaining Malcolm X to the kids.

It's a lucky thing the G wasn't doubled, eh?  This is an interesting little throwback grocery store.  It's like stepping back in time a good 25 or more years.  It is small, very crowded, and probably barely limping by.  It is still owned by the son or grandson (I forget which) of the fellow who opened it.  They take cash and food stamps only, and key in the prices rather than scanning them.

There are indeed pay phones still in existence!  This is one of two or three in my general neighborhood.  To the best of my knowledge it does work, though I didn't think to lift the receiver to have my kids experience a dial tone.  Speaking of which, you should have heard me trying to explain to them what a dial tone is!

That's all for today.  I'll put up more over the next couple of days.  The rest are better, having all been taken during full daylight.

1 comment:

suz said...

While looking forward to these pix, I wondered about black and white digital photography - I used to take b&w (film) pix in cemeteries. Your sunset photos in the cemetery are even better than b&w! Just gorgeous! Not to come off like a snooty art critic, but these are very good - nice composition.