Category Archives: Americana

Historic Downtown Boston

In the first blog about Boston, I talked about rain. The first part of my full day there, I walked around Back Bay East, following the Women’s Heritage Trail. As I made my way from Back Bay East to Faneuil Hall Market Place where I was meeting a friend, I found some great photo ops in historic downtown Boston.

Boston Common

I made my way through the massive central park in downtown Boston. It is considered the oldest city park in the US, as it dates from 1634. The park is 50 acres. I found the carousel to be sad and lonely on this rainy day in October.

The carousel in the Boston Common
Boston Common Carousel

Chinatown

As I made my way out of the park, I found myself in Chinatown. Boston’s Chinatown is the largest outside of New York City.

The large ornate gate at the Chinatown entrance in Boston, MA
Chinatown entrance in Boston
The brightly lit marquee for the Empire Garden in Chinatown.
The Empire Garden was once a movie theatre.

Old State House

I finally made my way to Faneuil Hall but was not able to take pics as it was getting remodeled. From the Marketplace we decided to do some indoor activities as the rain and wind was getting intense. We decided to visit the Old State House. The Old State House was home to the Massachusetts General Court until 1798. It is one of the oldest public buildings in the US.

The Old State House one of the oldest public buildings in the US.
The Old State House

Thanks for reading about my Boston walk about. Interested in learning more? Visit the podcast to hear about it.

As always prints are available for each of these photos.

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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.

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.

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!

Photography from Cincinnati Ohio

Downtown Cincinnati

I recently traveled to downtown Cincinnati Ohio for an episode of Tourist in your Town, my travel podcast. While there, I managed to capture a few photos. Prints are available, just click on the image and it will take you straight to the page!

Ezzard Charles

Ezzard Charles, also known as the Cincinnati Cobra, was an American boxer and former World Heavyweight Champion. Some say he is the greatest boxer of all time. I don’t know a thing about boxing, so I’m not the one to ask. I do know that this mural is a great tribute to a local hero.

Ezzard Charles Mural
Ezzard Charles Mural

The Skystar Ferris Wheel

This ferris wheel is located right on the banks of the Ohio River. This view is from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. You can see Northern Kentucky just across the river.

Skystar Ferris Wheel
Skystar Ferris Wheel

Empty Warehouse

This image was taken as we walked through the warehouse to enter the underground tunnels on our walking tour.

Inside a local warehouse
Inside a local warehouse

If you want to know more about my visit, be sure to listen to the podcast. You can find it anywhere you listen to podcasts. You can also visit the website, Tourist in your Town.

If you are looking for travel photography, be sure to visit my gallery.