Work With Me, Baby

It’s amazing the things that occur when you step outside into the world.

My intent was to walk up to the hospital and use the fax machine for some insurance documents.  I decided to bring along my camera, since I’m constantly discovering interesting things on my walks.  I have re-connected with a friend in Germany and she would like to see photos of where I live.  I couldn’t get more than a few steps away from my building before I started shooting.  There are some wonderful late 18th century brick homes on my street, and most of them begging to have their picture taken.

I like buildings with character.  There are few modern buildings that catch my eye.  They appear so austere and cold, with lots of metal and glass.  My favorite archetecural style is the Craftsman, or Arts and Crafts style.  It’s very organic and interesting layouts.  My friend, The Squire, has a wonderful old catalog from Sears, Roebuck and Co.  At one time Sears sold prefab homes, or “Kit Homes”.  Most are concentrated in the Midwestern US, with Chicago as the epicenter.  There are some here in the East, few in comparison with the Midwest.  Most of the homes are bungalows, some are two story structures.  You bought the house with pre-cut lumber, moulding, roofing, and all else to build the home.  Often times, you could buy all the furnishings, for an additional charge.  If you wanted to build the  Kilbourne cottage in 1923, with two bedrooms on the first floor, kitchen, dining and living rooms, and a bath, with three extra rooms upstairs, you would pay $2554.  If you wanted it furnished, it would be an extra $241.

These are not Katrina homes.  They have load of character and style. 

Wow – what a tangent!  SO I go to the hospital, do my fax thang, then decide to wander the West End and photograph some interesting houses.  The West End of the city is full of very cool (and very expensive) homes that date back to the late 19th-early 20th century.  I spent the better part of an hour, wandering up and down streets, taking pictures of anything that looked funky or interesting.  Brick, shingle, wood or stone – it didn’t matter.  I found myself creating my dream home using ideas from various homes, imagining a cozy living room with a crackling fire in the fireplace, with wide window seats and lots of shelves for books.  I imagined a sun porch off the master bedroom, with settees and daybeds for lounging or sleeping on warm summer nights.  I imagined big kitchens with old fashioned gas stoves, deep slate sinks, tall cupboards in the pantry, and a big farmer’s table that seats 10.

I had some fun with passerby’s, as I framed my shots.  When I sensed someone was about to walk past me, I waited until they were almost behind me, then greeting them while concentrating on the shot.  I never looked back to see their reaction, but I know I surprised a few people.  I wanted to be spontaneous and catch folks off guard.  More than once I caught myself chuckling while thinking about it.

As I made my way back home, I happened upon a friend from my church choir.  She was returning from work, listening to music through her ear buds.  We were on opposite sides of the street, so I crossed over to greet her.  We stood and chatted a bit, but decided to chat and walk.  I hadn’t seen her or her husband for several months so it was nice to catch up.  When we arrived at her home, she invited me in for a beer and gave me the nickle tour of the house.  We talked awhile, but she had stuff to attend to, so she kicked me out. ( No, she didn’t grab me by the collar and toss me out the door.)   I walked home, grateful for the time we spent talking and sharing.  I felt so good to connect with another human being and have a meaningful conversation.  I felt uplifted and engergized.

As I walked through the door of my apartment, I had a gloomy feeling come over me.  Did I really want to spend another evening at home?  Did I want to eat supper, then lounge on the couch, watching TV? 

Hell, no!   I had a few extra bucks in my pocket from my tax return, so I decided to darken the door of the local sports bar and watch the Bruins game.  I could post a seperate story about what happened during the game.  Maybe later.

The point is that my day was made infinitely better by stepping out of my apartment and into the world

This entry was posted in archetecture, Arts and Crafts, Books, Browsing, Craftsman, Discovery, Inspiration, Laugh, Life, Me, Musings, Photo, Possibilities, Ramblings, Reflections, Sears, Spring, The Squire, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Watching. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Work With Me, Baby

  1. Marge says:

    that’s great!

  2. it generally is better when you get out and explore it all with snapshots along the way.

    • megawfa79 says:

      I bought myself a digital camera as a birthday present. Now that the weather is warmer, I plan on using it even more. I’ve always said that the best souveniers from a trip are the photos you take along the way.

  3. Ah – what an interesting post. Human interaction and architecture. I miss Europe. No – that is not a tangent – allow me to explain. I grew up in Europe and North Africa. I find everything – and I DO mean EVERYTHING in North America so “bloody” new!

    Oh how I miss walls that have stood for many centuries – gardens that have evolved over millennia … I miss history. I miss old stones. In a nation barely over 200 years of age – it’s all so … plain.

    I miss the stone arches, the massive extensions of buildings that grew over centuries with add ons that seem like bizarre growths. I miss castles that have historical knowledge as deep if not deeper than their moats.


    I go back often and every single time – I am hit with how immature our architecture is. Every time I wince when I realise how we lack respect for the old preferring to rip and replace. How will we evolve our own sense of history if we demolish at every turn?

    I was in Greece not long ago – and stood on the first “start line” of all time … the first site of the first Olympics … an age when people believed in Gods (plural) and so much more … I wondered streets where the concept of all that we hold dear today were born … it was amazing.

    Again – wondering down memory lane …!!!

    And I love the ambushing of strangers!! you should share your favorite photo!

    • megawfa79 says:

      It wasn’t the strangers I ambushed. When I knew someone was about to pass me as I was taking photos, I would raise the camera to my eye, then wait until I knew they would be behind me, then said, “hello” or another greeting. I never saw their faces because I was concentrated on the shot. I like to do things like that, but I have to be in the proper mood.
      Portland has wonderful old buildings and homes, and I agree that here in America we are too quick to take down something old and replace it with new. i LOVED walking around London, Paris, and Amsterdam and marveling at the wonderful buildings. I prefer buildings that have an organic quality, that have life. I am not a fan of bauhaus (very German, too functional) – Gropius had no soul. Other modernists like Frank Gehry are alright – nice curves, but a steel and glass building is not organic.

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