The Long Way Home


Bellevue: A Study in Light
October 28, 2013, 7:18 AM
Filed under: Pennsylvania | Tags: , , , , , , ,
evening in Bellevue.

Evening in Bellevue.

Bellevue is a small town off Route 65 along the Ohio River, across from Neville Island. It’s most famous around the area for its “Live, Worship, Shop” sign and for being one of the few dry towns. It’s like most river towns in Western Pennsylvania: crumbling brick roads winding up steep hills with clusters of large, early 19th-century homes, some a little bruised from the wear, but perfect for people like Jeff and me who don’t mind. When I was in junior high, I wrote an essay on three things I wanted to carry out in life which I found recently among my mother’s papers: 1. To travel to Hungary (check). 2. To write a book of short stories (half-check) and 3. To live in a giant, old house. Any time Jeff and I pass a late-Victorian with a rambling porch, we argue over who gets to set up their cave in the tower. Now I want a place of our own with empty, clean space flooded in light.

this is jody

This is Jody.

indian summer

indian summer

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16 Comments so far
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I love the evening shot and how Jody’s hair blends into the lovely golden, autumnal light. I checked Bellevue’s website–did you see the old photos? Amazing.

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Comment by Michael Williamson

Thanks, Michael – I loved Jody’s hair in the light too, so right before we got in the car to go to dinner, I asked to take her photo (I had to take advantage of that light!). I just checked out the Bellevue site: those old photos are amazing! I recognize a lot of those buildings – still standing, like the high school and the row of houses on N. Sprague Street. It hasn’t changed much.

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Comment by Lisa

The building photo is great!

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Comment by Bill

thanks, dude! that’s my favorite one too of jody.

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Comment by Lisa

I love the colors! And tiny little Jodi.

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Comment by Bill

The Ohio River Valley has some really wonderful places like this (I lived in Wheeling and spent a lot of time in Parkersburg once upon a time). Love the shots, especially the colors in the last one. Beautiful.

Since you’re in Western PA, have you checked out Brownsville? I’ve been through it several times, but never had the chance to really explore it. Looks depressing in all the right ways.

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Comment by Eric

I love Wheeling, especially that beautiful bridge that connects it to St. Clairsville. Some of the buildings there remind me a lot of a mini-Pittsburgh. (thanks for the photo compliment, that’s so nice!).

I have been to Brownsville – when was the last time you were there? It’s been a few years, but when we drove through, the downtown is completely abandoned. It looks like a ghost town on a movie set, it’s so crazy and sad. We were looking for a museum dedicated to a commercial artist from the 40s (I can’t recall his name now) who is from Brownsville, but we didn’t find it.

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Comment by Lisa

The suspension bridge is easily one of my favorites – been over it tons of times.

We went through Brownsville in June, but didn’t stop. Not really sure why. We purposely went out of our way to go through the downtown. I went through it first in 2007ish and fell in love with it, but have only taken a photo or two. It was a real missed opportunity for me. Maybe you’ll go back and I can live vicariously through you.

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Comment by Eric

This is one of my favorite posts of yours.

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Comment by John

Wow, John, thanks – that’s really nice!

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Comment by Lisa

i absolutely love the first two pictures! such a beautiful light!

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Comment by lalahearts

Thank you! The first two photos were with my iPhone and the rest are on film. This little town high on the hill has the most amazing sunsets.

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Comment by Lisa

This is our future neighborhood.

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Comment by Jeff

And if we get our first house here, I get the tower!

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Comment by Lisa

Checklists. Good to revisit and to actually be able to cross things off. Lovely images here. All these things make me think lots of things. 🙂

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Comment by motherblue212

I was surprised when I read the list – how much we change, but stay the same. I wanted to live in a big, old spooky house like something out of all those Nancy Drew mysteries I read as a kid. Thanks, lady, for reading!

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Comment by Lisa




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