Monday, March 7, 2011

Your Roads Less Traveled

A few weeks ago, I was lamenting the fact that I haven't really been anywhere interesting lately; my life pretty much consisted of going to work, returning home (exhausted), falling asleep watching episodes of Frasier on YouTube, and shoveling snow. Such is life in the wintry Northeast, especially for those of us lacking lots of money and decent, covered parking spaces. In the grand scheme of things, these aren't terrible problems and believe me, I know that. However, they were driving me a little crazy and on one of February's nicer days, I was driven to do something about that; and so I drove. Er, a different way home, that is.
I was leaving work mid-afternoon, the sky was blue, and I had my camera with me. While it wasn't quite the same as going on vacation, not even close, it was a fun and interesting afternoon. I viewed my city in a new way, saw places I had never seen before, and even in places that were familiar to me I found new things to look at. Here are a few of the results:
I drive past this building pretty often, actually, but I had never before noticed the clock. I don't know why I find that so fantastic but I totally do. Someday I think I'd like to own a building with a clock set into it.
I call this one Irony. I know it's not terribly exciting but I had never noticed the sign in the window: "Celebrating 40 Years". Of a boarded up gas station/convenience store? I'd suggest someone remove the sign but I do enjoy that it's there.
That's Nipper, the RCA dog. I'm used to seeing him from a distance but generally not up close. He doesn't live in the nicest neighborhood: it's full of warehouses and old, abandoned-looking buildings. I wouldn't go there at night or anything but I found the area interesting if sketchy during the day. I realized I love taking pictures of old buildings and don't really mind the curious looks from people driving by.

This old church is literally down the street from where I work and until a couple of weeks ago, I had no idea it was there. Again with the old buildings, right? There's just something about it.

Okay, this one's stretching it a little. I live in a city with a port (on a river) but I, like most residents I suspect, don't really think about that. I've known about it for a long time, seen the signs, etc. and, in fact, I remember learning about its existence from my father. But I never thought about its impact on the city or area, what it was like, or even where, exactly, it was. So, knowing full well that ports tend to be kind of gross and have limited access, I decided to sort of kind of check it out. Without leaving my car. Or really seeing anything. I did see a few historical markers but couldn't actually read them. Considering I do actually read those things, I'd kind of like to go back. The whole place felt a little eerie though so maybe I'll stay away. I do think it's strange to think that this place is maybe two miles from where I live and until a few weeks ago, I hadn't actually processed that it's there.
That's it for pictures though I did see a few other interesting things like a drive-in movie theater I always saw listed on Fandango but didn't actually believe existed. All in all it was an interesting experience and one that's convinced me that taking a different route every now and then is worthwhile.
With that in mind, I offer you a challenge. For anyone reading this, I challenge you to, just once, find a new way home (or to work, the store, a friend's house, whatever). This could mean taking the bus instead of the Subway, walking instead of riding, or taking back roads instead of the highway. See something different. And if you do, tell me about it. Comment, Tweet, post a picture, write a blog post, whatever. All it takes is 140 characters. If you do it, you just might win a prize. Plus, you might learn something or find a new favorite store, restaurant, whatever. Or do it because my birthday is this week and therefore I should get what I want.
Kidding. But seriously, it's fun.