Friday, January 27, 2023

Mississippi Doors 02

Let's continue exploring Mississippi Doors. What lies behind? Anything interesting? Empty space? Snakes? Memories of long lost customers, children, and shop clerks? Will we ever know?

Rear of 325 Washington Avenue, Greenville
Rear of 323 Washington Avenue, Greenville
343 Washington Avenue, Greenville (Fuji X-E1 camera, 27mm Fuji lens)

Johl & Bergman Shoes once occupied this store. The handsome entrance featured dual doors and large plate glass windows to display their merchandise. Note the black marble panels.

Smith's Appliances, Vicksburg

Smith's Appliances on Magnolia Road in Vicksburg sells old machines, freezers, and odd treasures. It's fun to sniff around places like this. The owner has generously let me photograph inside.

Remnant of theater, 928 John R Lynch Street, Jackson (Fuji X-E1, 18mm ƒ/2 lens)

The theater is on a block of buildings that once were part of a thriving African-American commercial district. The Mississippi Heritage trust included the 900 block of John R. Lynch Street on its 2021 list of 10 Most Endangered Historic Places in Mississippi.

Former YMCA Club, Monroe Street, Vicksburg (Kodak Royal Gold 25 film, Leica M2, 35mm ƒ/2 Summicron lens). (Note: Royal Gold 25 was an astonishing film, but it gone forever)

The former YMCA on Clay Street in Vicksburg continues to deteriorate. Status: unknown. I photographed inside many times in the past.

Hallway in St. Francis Xavier Convent, Vicksburg (Kodachrome 25 film)

The St. Fancis Xavier Convent is now part of the Southern Cultural Heritage Center. This building was home to the nuns who ran the school and helped operate the hospital for over 100 years. Most of the convent building is unused now, but the roof has been repaired to prevent water damage. 

Demolition of 915 Clay Street, Vicksburg (Moto G5 phone)

This was a late 1800s wood building broken up into 5 or 6 apartments. In 2021, I saw that part of the roof had collapsed, which foretold the eventual condemning of the structure. It was demolished in 2022.

Deconstructed church, 1205 MLK Blvd., Vicksburg

Someone took apart this little church on Martin Luther King Blvd. I do not know if they recycled the wood or rebuilt the church in another location.

Warehouse, Railroad Avenue, Hazelhurst

Oops, I could not resist, a door from Fells Point, Baltimore Inner Harbor, Maryland.

Fells Point, Maryland

This ends out short tour of the mysteries of doors. Thank you all for reading.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Winter at the Beach, Chorefto, Pelion, Greece

The beach in winter is quiet. It wonders where the happy voices and cheerful tourists have gone. Why have I been deserted? So what if the water is a bit cold and the air bracing?

Chorefto is the beach town located below the village of Zagora on the Pelion Peninsula of east central Greece. Summer is the busy season, but my visit in October was quiet and lonely.

The tavernas are closed, the tables put away for the season.

This is an example of traditional stone architecture for the Pelion area. The red trim may be a recent trend.

An unused house near the stream.

A number of streams like this tumble down from the mountain. This one does not appear to carry much sediment load because the shoreline is straight here without any obvious deltaic accumulation.

One day I may restart my series on Greek doors. It has been done before, but I'll do it better 😁

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea,

You and I you and I, oh! How happy we'll be,

When each wave comes a rolling in,

We will duck or swim, and we'll float and fool around the water.

Over and under, and then up for air,

Pa is rich, Ma is rich, so now what do we care?

I love to be beside your side, beside the sea,

Beside the seaside, by the beautiful sea.

(Words by Harold Atteridge, Music by Harry Carroll (1914))

I took these photographs with a Samsung Galaxy A53 5G mobile phone.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Semi-Demolished 1800s House on Clay Street, Vicksburg, Mississippi

Kodak Super-XX film, 135mm ƒ/5.6 Caltar-S II lens
Kodak Super-xx film, 90mm ƒ/6.8 Angulon lens, 1/2 at ƒ/22.5

Two tall wood houses formerly stood on the north side of Clay Street in downtown Vicksburg just west of the former Clay & LaHatte Appliance store. The west-most house (the grassy lot in the foreground of the photograph above) formerly housed Ocean and Coastal Technologies, a marine engineering company. That building suffered a fire and was demolished about 15 years ago. The second house at 915 was a rental unit with five or six apartments. The roof was collapsing as of 2021 and possibly earlier. That sealed its fate. One day in early summer of 2022, I saw a work crew at the house and I knew the house's demise was ongoing.

I like the old-fashioned front door with the lights to either side and a transom above. I hope the demolition company saved it for reuse. 

View west from Cherry Street.
Time to cook dinner

The original demolition crew stopped work part way through their project. The partly-deconstructed remnants of the house lingered for about 6 months. Then, in early September, heavy equipment crushed the rest. As of October 1, 2022, the house was entirely gone. 

The next building uphill (to the east) was the former home of Wells & LaHatte appliances. They have moved across the street to a larger building. This handsome sign is a classic.

We have lost many other Victorian-era houses. One example that I photographed in 2017 was on Finney Street. Smaller cottages (e.g., on Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd.) are also being demolished as they decay. 

This is how Vicksburg loses its architectural heritage. 

I took the color frames with my Fuji X-E1 digital camera. The Fuji lenses all have excellent resolution. The two black and white photographs are from 4×5" Kodak Super-XX film.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Pinar del Río and the Western Hills, Cuba

2023 Introduction

Dear Readers, I hope you all have a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2023. For new readers, welcome and please come back regularly. 

Over the next few months, I want to review some of the photographs in my archives. Later in the year you will see Houston, Wales, Greece, more Mississippi, Romania, and various other places. I have so many negatives in boxes, I will never finish scanning them. And I get enthusiastic when I see new interesting decay and take new pictures (mostly using film now). Then I get even further behind on looking over old negatives.

I started this blog in 2010, with no particular plan or ending date.

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Let us return to the archives with Cuba, as good a place as any to start. My wife and I toured western Cuba in early 2017. Type "Cuba" in the search box to see older articles. 

Pinar del Río is a charming provincial capitol of Pinar del Río Province, the westernmost province in Cuba. The architecture jumps out at you with the brilliant colors and ornate neoclassical architectural details. I'd love to spend a month in these smaller towns exploring and photographing. 

Room with a view

After looking around Pinar del Río, we headed into the hills to the west for an all-to-short overnight at a spectacular biosphere reserve. 

Room with a view, Las Terrazas, Vinales
Las Terrazas

Las Terrazas is situated in the limestone hills of Vinales. It's a charming setting. We saw Belted Kingfishers on trees around the lake. Part of the region is a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

Las Terrazas es una pequeña comunidad turística rural de desarrollo sostenible que te ofrece un entorno único en el conectar con la naturaleza. Situada a 75 kilómetros al oeste de La Habana, este lugar forma parte de la Sierra del Rosario, catalogada por la UNESCO como Reserva de la Biosfera en 1985.

These photographs are from a January 2017 trip to Cuba. We all had a wonderful time and everyone we met was friendly and welcoming. The Covid shut-down must have been devastating to Cuba's tourist industry, coupled with churlish restrictions on American visits that the Trump administration imposed. Regardless, as travel opens up, go visit Cuba! Go before the developers ruin it. It is a photographic paradise.

Type "Cuba"or "Havana" in the search box to see other articles on Cuba.