Tag Archives: travel blog

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.

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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.

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.

Travel Photos from Asheville North Carolina

I recently visited Asheville for my travel podcast, Tourist in your Town. I did several walking tours, ate some great food, and drank some excellent beer while there. Oh and I took some photos. I enjoyed my visit and will definitely return to this town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

At Dusk

The Orange Peel at Sunset in downtown Asheville
The Orange Peel, in downtown Asheville, NC
Wicked Weed in downtown Asheville at dusk
Wicked Weed Brewery in Asheville, NC

After Dark

Downtown Asheville after dark, featuring Double D's double decker bus.
Double D’s double decker bus after dark.
Orange Peel Marquee is lit up after dark
The Orange Peel marquee at night
Church entry at night
It’s after dark and the church’s entry is lit up in this image from downtown Asheville, NC

Asheville North Carolina Courthouse

I recently started a podcast called Tourist in Your Town. The most recent episode is Asheville, North Carolina. While there, I got the chance to take some great photos of the area and learn about the rich history of the town.

Courthouse and City Hall

We all know that I have thing for courthouses. The Buncombe County Courthouse and the Asheville City Hall stand side by side in the Historic district. The City Hall was originally built to be the courthouse, but it was never used for that purpose. The art deco architecture of the city hall is so detailed and beautiful. The courthouse is a much more utilitarian building with an overlay of Neo-Classical ornament applied. 

Asheville City Hall
Asheville City Hall
Buncombe County Courthouse

Midlife Angst: Trying Again

So, here I am starting something new. I’m almost 48 and feel a little too old to be starting over with something I know nothing about. I have decided to start a travel podcast. It’s called Tourist in Your Town. Head over to the website and check it out.

I know nothing about audio recording or editing. But I guess I’ll learn. I thought this might be a good thing for me to try. I love to travel and I love to talk about it. So, it seems a logical step for me.

I have 2 episodes out now and am having a great time with it! Give it a listen!

Rail yard in the Old City

Cuba Revisited

I recently went through my photos from Cuba. When I originally sorted and worked my images from that trip, I did not find these interesting. Or they didn’t represent what I was feeling at the time. I have to admit I don’t remember. But on the revisit, I fell in love with Cuba all over again. Enjoy these “new” images!

Rural Cuba

Images from a trip through the countryside. We visited a baseball team, a historic coffee plantation and farm restaurant.

Urban Cuba

I found myself fascinated with many different styles of architecture, including Art Deco, Colonial, and Spanish. They would often all be on the same building.

I hope you enjoy these images from Cuba as much as I enjoyed taking them! Prints are available of these and other photos from Cuba here.

As always, feedback is welcome!

In the Subway

As a person who lives in a place with little to no public transportation options, subways fascinate me. I have to admit that I find them a bit confusing sometimes. Take the blue line to the yellow line, then go to the green line, then back to the blue line.  When I was in New York, I bought a metro pass intending to use the subway more than I actually did. However, there was construction going on and trying to figure out what detours and where was more than I wanted to do. So, I walked just about everywhere. I would leave extra early and stop for a snack or a beer when I got tired. It did give me the opportunity to take lots of pics. Anyway, here are some pics from the little bit that I did spend in the subway. 

I feel like this person may have been on the wrong platform. Everybody was standing on my side of the platform. But there was this lone person way across the tracks. Maybe he was waiting for someone. But it adds a little mystery to this photo. It is definitely one of my favorites from the trip.

Waiting for the train at Penn Station by Sharon Popek
Waiting for the train at Penn Station

The mosaics in the subway were a favorite subject. Everybody around me was ignoring them and fighting their way out of the station. Don’t worry, I didn’t hold anybody up when taking these photos!

To Penn Station by Sharon Popek
The platform at Penn Station
Pennsylvania Station mosaic sign
The platform at Penn Station
W is for Wall Street by Sharon Popek
At Wall Street Station

And sometimes the entrance to the station is just as cool. This is the Bowling Green station entrance. The head house was constructed in 1905. Look at that clock! You know I love street clocks and interesting doorways. This station entrance has it all!

Bowling Green Head House
The exterior of Bowling Green Station

Always be patient when traveling. Sometimes plans change, but you can make that work for yourself. Leave early, take your time, and have fun!

Phoneography

As much as I carry my camera around with me, I do sometimes find myself without it when there is a photo that needs to be taken. Cell phone cameras these days are pretty nice. I won’t get super large prints from the files, but small to medium sized prints will look excellent from these files. Here is a quick gallery of recent phoneography on the train to New York. 

Dining car at night by Sharon Popek
This is what the dining car on the Crescent line looks like at 3am. I was going through to the bathroom, did not have my camera, so I took it with my phone. 
The dining car with a sun flare by Sharon Popek
The dining car at dinner, as the sun was setting. We went in for dinner. I did not bring my camera, because I was hungry and tired. But the sun coming through that window was more than I could resist. Cell phone worked great. 
The NYC skyline from the train by Sharon Popek
The view from the window as we were entering New York City on the Crescent line. The camera was picking up so much dirt on the windows, so I tried the cell phone. I’m happy with this the way it came out. 

I went to NYC and did a thing

I had 2 pieces in a juried exhibition at the Salmagundi Club. So, we took the train up to NYC. Read about the trip up here. Once in New York, we ate and drank and walked. The walking was probably a sad thing to watch really. I was having back spasms and the mister had a cold. We did not take the town by storm. But we did have a good time. The reception for the show was packed. It was exciting for me to see my work on the wall with so many other beautiful pieces. 

Dinner

Before the show, we went to Burger and Lobster for dinner.  The service was excellent. I also had the best Dark and Stormy ever. We both got lobster rolls and were fat and happy when we left.

Artist’s Reception

When we got to the Salmagundi Club, we noticed a long line for the coat check. There is a restaurant in the club, so we thought it might be for that. Nope. Turns out all of these people were there for the show! We made our way to the gallery, where we found this.

We made our way to where my pieces were and took a few quick pics before the crowd swept us around to see the rest of the show. 

We made it back home, despite the fact that we almost missed our stop on the way home. But that’s another story.