All posts by Sharon

Boston Back Bay East

When I visited Boston, I knew that I wanted to find out more about historic women in Boston. My podcast, Tourist in your Town, specializes in historic women and minorities. There are several different areas featured on the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail. So, I decided to walk the Back Back East tour and try to find some of the historic places associated with these women.

I discovered that most of the homes associated with the women did not have markers, so a handy printed map would have been helpful for me. I tried to use my phone, but that just didn’t work well for me. But I did find some beautiful doors and entrance ways in this historically residential area.

Iron and glass doors in the arched entries are eye catching, but the vintage looking bicycle is what really grabbed my attention.
There’s just something about a simple bicycle, waiting for someone to take an adventure.
Side by side blue doors against a decorative white arched entry and a single, un-carved pumpkin on the stoop.
It’s that sad, lonely pumpkin against those heavy blue doors.
The French Cultural Center.
Fisher College

Be sure to listen to the episode featuring these women and historic locations in the Back Bay East area of Boston.

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Barn in Winter

My fellow travel blogger, Tatiana, has started a new Thursday Travel – Photo Challenge. The first challenge was barns. It just so happens that I work right down the street from a very cool red barn. I’ve been wanting to take photos of it for a while. But never have. The property is soon to be sold for development, but I’ve been putting off stopping. But when I woke up this morning and it was snowing, I knew this was the day. I grabbed my camera on the way out the door. It was still fairly dark when I got there, but the snow was coming down and had already covered everything nicely, creating a nice winter scene.

A red barn covered in a winter blanket of snow.
Red Barn in Snow

Prints of this beautiful winter scene are available in my Pixels shop. Just click on the photo!

Rain in Boston Massachusetts

In early October, I visited some friends in the Boston area. Since I’ve started a travel podcast, I find myself having to travel at least every two – three weeks. I mostly travel by car because I can only do weekends right now. But I decided to fly up to Boston for a quick trip. I took a four day weekend at work and booked the flight.

People on rainy street in Boston
Rainy Boston street scene

Early October is a great time to see the leaves up there. However, it’s also a great time for changing weather. It rained. A lot. I tried to prepare for it by taking a raincoat, umbrella, and a home-made camera cover. The camera cover worked okay, but I think it’s best to shell out the money for a real one. A good thing about the rain is the clouds were amazing.

Storm clouds roll in over Trinity Church in Copley Square in Boston, MA.
Trinity Church in Copley Square
Rain clouds over Old South Church in Boston
Old South Church in Boston
The historic firehouse of Engine 37 / Ladder 26 in Fenway
Fire Engine 37 / Ladder Company 26 in Fenway

To hear more about my visit to Boston, visit Touristinyourtownpodcast.com!

Don’t worry if you can’t listen to the podcast, I’ll also be posting pics and fun updates here!

Train Photography

September is my birthday month and in honor of me, I decided to share my favorite images. I previously share my favorite simple images and my favorite window photos. This week, I thought I would share my favorite train photography.

Steam Engines

Like many photographers, I love steam trains. There is just something about the smoke rolling from the stacks. My favorite is just before take off when the smoke releases from below.

Steam engine just before take off
Steam train just before take off
Steam blowing up into a cloudy sky as the engine crosses the trestle.
Train crossing the trestle with steam blowing
The steam engine, releasing steam at take off.
Releasing steam

On the Train

When we visited New York City, we took the train up. These are some photos that I took on that trip.

Train corridor
The sleeping car on the Crescent Route with Amtrak.
Dining car on passenger train
The dining car on the Crescent

Train Stations and Depots

The train stations and depots have their own charms. Some are beautiful, historic buildings currently still in use for passenger trains. But many have been repurposed as visitor’s centers or craft shops.

Main Street Station in Richmond, VA
Main Street Station in Richmond, VA
Ashland Train Depot is also the visitor's center
Ashland Train Depot is also the visitor’s center
Greenback Depot in downtown Greenback, TN
Greenback Depot in downtown Greenback, TN
The visitor's center in Loudon, TN.
The visitor’s center in Loudon, TN.

Yes, I am slightly obsessed with trains and train depots. That feeling of nostalgia when you step inside. Of course, I have not doubt that original passenger trains were uncomfortable rides. But it’s nice to imagine having the time and money to take the train across the country. Some day.

East Tennessee Day Trip

While looking for a new subject for my podcast, I came across the Birthplace of Sequoyah Museum. I also noticed they were having a Cherokee Fall Festival. It would make the perfect East Tennessee day trip. So, we made our way from Knoxville, TN to Vonore, TN.

Greenback TN

The Greenback Drugstore and Diner in downtown Greenback, TN.
Greenback Diner

When I travel, I like to stop at local places to eat, so I searched for diners between Knoxville and Vonore and found the Greenback Drugstore and Diner in downtown Greenback, TN. It’s more diner than drugstore. But it’s a great little spot for a quick breakfast. Right across the street from the diner is the historic Greenback Depot, home to several small shops. None of which were open when we came through town.

The historic Greenback depot in downtown Greenback, TN.
Greenback Depot

Birthplace of Sequoyah Museum

At the Cherokee Fall Festival, we were surprised to find Civil War reenactors. I am famous for not reading descriptions all the way through. Apparently, the reenactment is because a troop of Cherokee joined the Confederates for several major battles. We did not stay for the reenactment, battle isn’t my thing. But I did get some cool shots of the actors and their camp.

Civil Ware reenactors are presenting the flags during the opening ceremony for the Cherokee Fall Festival.
Presenting the flags
Tents in the Civil War encampment.
Civil War Camp

The festival was held on the grounds of the Birthplace of Sequoyah Museum. Sequoyah created the first written language for the Cherokee Nation. He is also believed to be the first person to create a written language without ever knowing how to read or write another language. Listen to the episode to find out more about Sequoyah.

Maryville, TN

On the return, we spotted this abandoned grocery store. The signs on the outside were new. The soda machines out front seemed to be working. There were items inside, but it was early Saturday afternoon and the place was locked up tight. So, I am assuming it is closed for good. I had to stop and take pics.

Abandoned Super Market in Maryville, TN
Super Market

For lunch, we stopped at Jake’s Place on Highway 411 in Maryville, TN. Jake’s is a country cookin’ joint. We BBQ sandwiches. Hubby got fried okra on the side, made with fresh okra, not frozen. I had onion rings because it’s been years since I’ve had them. They were good, just enough breading without being overwhelming. The pulled pork was perfectly smoked without being overwhelming.

Jake's Place on Highway 411 in Maryville, TN.
Jake’s Place Menu

Sometimes it’s difficult to go on a real vacation. A quick day trip usually isn’t hard to find. Our travel time was about an hour each way. We ended up being out of the house for about 7 hours. I’d love to hear about your own day trip! Tell us about it in the comments or share the link to your blog!

Prints are available of the photos in this blog, just click on the pic.

Window Photography

More favorites in honor of my birthday month. Windows are a favorite for most photographers. They can be used in a variety of ways. They can be used to enhance your subject. But most of my window photography is all about the window itself.

Window Light

That soft glow that you can only get from window light. In all honesty, I think there is an additional light in the stairwell, but it still looks cool.

The light from windows in the stairwell of Matthias Church in Budapest, cast a glow on the stairwell.
Four windows are reflected in a pool of rain water inside an old, abandoned warehouse.

Window as a frame

No need to change a thing. It’s a built-in frame.

A young woman takes a selfie in the window of an upstairs loft in downtown Knoxville, TN.
Women make dumplings in London’s China Town. Her work station is setup right in front of the window, allowing passersby to see the art of dumpling making and trust that those will be amazing dumplings.

Window Reflections

Got a window? Then you’ve got a reflection.

While having coffee at Cafe Gerbeaud in Budapest, Hungary, I noticed this cool reflection with the window sign reflected and had to take a picture.
An old, historic building is reflected in new mirrored glass building in downtown Budapest.

Just Cool

Some windows are just kind of cool.

A deep window arch in a medieval castle affords a view of the surrounding countryside
They’re everywhere in Cuba, the large windows and doors with the beautiful, decorative arches at the top. The columns and the decorative iron covers just add a special something else.

To see more of my window photography, please visit my gallery.

Favorites

It’s my birthday month! That means it’s all about me! So, I decided to share some of my favorite images and the memories associated with them. Enjoy!

Simple

Sometimes an image doesn’t have to be complicated to stand out or be pleasing to the eye. I love these images because they are so simple.

The fan shape of the Gingko leaves are a favorite of many photographers. These two were placed perfectly on the ground.
A single ground cherry with a thread hanging out at the top. I feel like if I pulled that thread it would all just fall apart.
I just love these boots.
I used this camera years ago in college. It cost $12 at that time. Took some technically terrible photos, but the light leaks made for great effects.
The shapes of these locks caught my eye. They work so well together.

Downtown Danville, Kentucky

For a recent episode of my podcast, Tourist in your Town, I visited my hometown of Danville, Kentucky. Growing up, my time spent downtown was spent at the library or shopping. I paid very little attention to the historic aspects of my small town. So, I decided to be a tourist on my most recent visit.

Ephram McDowell Museum

The home of McDowell and the location of the first successful abdominal surgery. The surgery was performed on a woman named Jane Todd Crawford. Want to know more, listen to the story here.

Ephram McDowell House Museum

The Pioneer Playhouse

An outdoor summer stock theatre. Founded in 1950 by Eben Charles Henson, the theatre is an intense summer program for up and coming actors. The Playhouse puts on 4-5 plays every summer. To hear more, listen here.

One side “Main” Street at the Pioneer Playhouse
The other side “Main” Street at the Playhouse.

Constitution Square Historic Site

The site is considered the birthplace of Kentucky’s statehood. In 1785, Danville was the first seat of government. The square has the meeting house and several other buildings, mostly reproductions.

Prints are available. Visit my gallery for details!

Artist Collaboration

I recently traveled to my hometown of Danville, Kentucky. While there, I wanted to get some photos of the places that were important to me when growing up. One of the most important places was the public library. I spent many days after school at this magical place. So, while in Danville, I swung by and took a quick photo.

This is now a small part of the library. But it was the whole library when I was growing up. It did have a lower floor, so it’s bigger on the inside (some of you will get that). When I got home, I uploaded the pic to my Pixels account where I sell prints. Not long after uploading, I received an email from a man wanting to use it as the basis for a charcoal, pen & ink drawing. Of course, I said yes! Because I love nothing more than artist collaborations! So, without further ado, here are the 2 images. Both are available as prints. If you click on the pic, it will take you directly to the page for purchase.

Photograph by Sharon Popek

Drawing by Jonathan Broyles

Evelyn Hazen: A Story of Sex, Lies, and Love Letters

Evelyn Goes to College

Evelyn Hazen entered college at the young age of 14. She was a young, naive girl, raised by a very proper victorian woman. She falls in love with a man named Ralph Scharringhaus.

Sex

For over 15 years, the two have a relationship. They start having sex early on. She agrees with the promise of marriage. There are several love letters where he talks about when they will get married. But he continually delays marriage with excuses and lies.

The Lawsuit

When Ralph breaks it off with Evelyn, she feels lost and afraid. She is in her early 30s and her reputation is in tatters. So, she files a lawsuit against Ralph for breach of promise of marriage and seduction. Image what it was like for her in the 1930s, to have the whole world know that she had sexual relations outside of marriage. She was embarrassed and devastated. But stood up for herself and did what she had to do. Want to know more? Listen to the podcast on touristinyourtownpodcast.com

Prints of the above images are available, just click on the pics!