The Long Way Home


From Beyond
September 21, 2014, 8:08 AM
Filed under: Ohio | Tags: , , ,
from beyond

from beyond

One of the very first drives that Jeff and I took together was to East Liverpool, Ohio: not exactly the romantic trip of every couple’s dreams, but one that means a lot to us because it’s the first route we navigated together. This was pre-GPS. We still used a beat-up, crumpled atlas, coffee-stained, dog-eared and missing pages, but a few states left intact. I had vague ideas of where to go – follow the Ohio River along 65, until you get to 68 and across the border. And then what? I wasn’t sure, but had to figure it out quickly before Jeff had a panic moment at the wheel because he likes to know where he’s going. We’ve come to know the journey so well that we don’t even need a GPS, the atlas long since trashed. He’s the driver, I’m the navigator. Sometimes I don’t know where I’m going, and we end up in unexpected places. We try to make the most of getting lost. I take notes and photos, Jeff scouts landmarks since he remembers places by sight, not names. Sometimes we still forget, and find ourselves braving sticky heat, me fussing with a tripod and camera, trying to get a shot with Jeff as lookout. Sometimes I take too long, we are both hungry and tired from driving aimlessly. Then the shutter clicks. We breathe easy, laugh, and leave, squeezing each other’s hands. We talk about chili dogs from Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe, maybe chocolate milkshakes for dessert, a sunset to guide us home.

A Saturday afternoon.

A Saturday afternoon.

Crook Building, E. Liverpool

Crook Building, E. Liverpool

After the storm.

Portal

Wunder Bar, Route 68

Wunder Bar, Route 68

Ghost sign, E. Liverpool

Ghost sign, E. Liverpool

Along the way: New Brighton.

Along the way: New Brighton.

The secret door.

The secret door.

A faded mural, E. Liverpool.

A faded mural, E. Liverpool.

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Camp Ohio
June 24, 2013, 7:52 PM
Filed under: Ohio | Tags: , , ,
in the woods

in the woods

It’s been a little quiet here on the blog because for the past few months, I’ve had continuous sinus issues, which have worsened over the past month. I’m on two weeks worth of antibiotics, Flonase, Mucinex, herbal teas, ACV – I can’t believe I’m not glowing from all the medication. Being sick and trying to slug through the usual routine is challenging, but I feel as if it’s made me braver, more intuitive with photography. Maybe since, for two weeks with laryngitis, I could barely speak and chose images to express myself instead of words. Or because I’ve been so dazed out on all these meds, I didn’t over-think a photo opportunity: I took it. Maybe too, we shouldn’t have gone to camp at the beginning of this month, but I couldn’t resist taking my Polaroid cam to northeastern Ohio, where I knew we’d find a lost world. Holiday Campgrounds is a little city of decked-out trailers and campers, complete with ice cream stand, a general store and pool, and a private lake for fishing. We found a pregnant wolf spider, a house in the woods, a vacant blue motel without a name.

holiday road

holiday road

andover, oh

andover, oh

abandoned motel

abandoned motel

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Trompe L’oeil
March 12, 2012, 6:55 AM
Filed under: Ohio | Tags: , , ,

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Yesterday was such a beautiful day that I decided to forgo my usual jammies-and-crime-shows Sunday routine and take off on a photo adventure. Jeff, Bill and I drove through Ohio River towns, ending up in East Liverpool to hunt for more junk that we possibly do not need. But it’s been so long since we looked, I figured why not? I found three great old photos (which you’ll see in future posts), and the awesome score of the last few months: an art deco announcement plaque with overhead lamp from the Roy Powell funeral home. East Liverpool was a ghost town at 4 p.m. on a Sunday March afternoon, but tucked away on the former site of an old theater was this trompe l’oeil mural of a garden fence and two secret doors, possibly of the theater that once stood there?  The things you find when you wander aimlessly.

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Fall Stories
December 11, 2011, 10:03 AM
Filed under: Ohio | Tags: , , ,

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I’m restless. I can’t stop, I have to be moving, doing something – reading (a lot), taking photos (a little). I thought this morning about what I would write, and realized I didn’t know what to say.  I wanted to talk about late fall, how the early setting sun makes me miss Osijek. Or how the deep blue sky settling into night around an abandoned factory in Cleveland made me want to scale the fence and run across the empty lot, just to stand under the building’s enormity. I get these urges when we travel to pull over the car and walk across a field, or through a town that I’ve never been before. I wanted these images to tell their own stories.

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West Side Market
December 7, 2011, 8:29 PM
Filed under: Ohio | Tags: , , ,

a brief moment of solitude in the busy market

cannolis from theresa's bakery

rooster roasters

meah

more pastries from theresa's bakery

a bustling saturday afternoon

 

 



I <3 Cleveland
December 4, 2011, 9:21 AM
Filed under: Ohio | Tags: , , ,

a view from a bridge

euclid avenue

garfield monument at lake view cemetery

waiting for an early dinner at melt, cleveland heights

an empty storefront on the west side

getting lost, you never know what you may find.



I’ll Be Home for Christmas
December 23, 2010, 7:21 PM
Filed under: Ohio, Pennsylvania | Tags: , ,

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For years I spent Christmas away from home, trying to avoid the stress of the holidays. One Christmas in Key West, where I spent 80-degree days riding my bike around the island, getting a kick out of palm trees strung with garland. Another year in Osijek, where half the city celebrated on the 25th, then Epiphany on January 6th. Decorating for the season was slowly catching on, even a decade after the Balkan War, but every once in a while, on my walks home from the Center for Peace, I caught a glimpse of a lighted star in someone’s window. My landlady had a potted tree with blue lights in our courtyard which stayed that way till spring. But now the holidays are a lot easier with Jeff, who cares as much about this time of year as much as I do. We roasted a chicken one year just the two of us, got engaged in Florida the next, went for Chinese at New Dumpling House the next two, and spent an entire weekend snowbound in West Virginia. We have amazing friends who have become our family. I am lucky and thankful, reminding me that maybe this holiday isn’t so bad after all.

 

sad santa

beaver valley bowl

toronto, ohio

beaver, pa

route 65

 

 




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