Day 4: Nor’easter Interruptus (bye bye Bostonland)
Well, they finally got the forecast right: snow and loads of it coming down here in NYC. We’re supposed to get a foot and Boston’s supposed to get two feet. I was sensible for a change when I saw those flakes at 7am and ditched the rest of this trip’s plans. I put a notation on the June calendar for a 3-day weekend to finish up and reshoot some of those god-awful grey photos. Also the Waller Warehouse!
So where were we… yes, yesterday, Xmas Day, my birthday — Boston suburbs and even some New Hampshire stops. Some disappointments — the house in Westford, MA that used to put up the giant classic fiberglass Santa — definitely not there last year and now, not this year. Guess the owner(s) moved. The giant Timberland boot that I’d hope to see/shoot at their headquarters in Stratham, NH — apparently not there. I had emailed someone there about a year ago to confirm and they said it was there. But the lone soul working inside that came to the door when he saw me peering in – said that he’d never seen it anywhere. Skip’s neon sign in Merrimac covered up with a box for the off-season. One pet cemetery too modern & boring to shoot; another not there at all (supposedly behind a MSPCA) but no one there & I sure didn’t see it. So lots of strike-outs but I can at least check them off my list and/or make some calls.
Only a handful of photos for you. Maybe I’ll take some snow shots in the park tomorrow to beef things up a bit. Don’t want to disappoint you! Yesterday started out promising weatherwise. But about an hour in, there came those clouds to flatten out all color.
This one from Westborough, MA. The uneven-ness of these poles make me think there was another sign above the “Drive-in”. I thought maybe another name — but it seems this has been Harry’s Restaurant here since 1946:
This sign from Lawrence, MA. Simple but I like a lot of things about it. The font, the name, the weird graphics (is that a fishing reel bottom right? looks more like a lawnmower). Also I like those plastic signs that bulge more towards the center. I’m no expert on this type — but it seems older than the embossed type plastic sign.
From Malden, MA: a little midcentury goofiness — Colonial embellished entrance with rocky patches and metal letters on the sidewall (more visible from the main road there).
From Newburyport, MA. This newsstand has been here since 1903. Added the soda fountain & restaurant in 1920s and the storefront vitrolite glass & Deco lettering has to be from then. I’ve got it here in my notes that the hanging sign was built in the late 1930s. It was renovated in 2003 and looks pretty dull now but the red neon is nice at night.
The faded storefront sign is actually nicer and more interesting. I hope they don’t mess with it! The letters are actually… don’t know what they call it — but I call it reverse relief (lowered instead of raised).
One more faded beauty before I return to gazing at this month’s Storm of the Century. About 5 inches out there now at 7pm. This one from Merrimac. You probably can’t see it at all when the trees grown in. Lettering looks like Coach House but it’s probably been repainted a half dozen times or more. No sign of a motel or restaurant on the lot now. Don’t overlook the little Colonial style pediment-y hole at the top of it:
So that concludes our grey little holiday attempt. Next year maybe Atlanta for Xmas, whaddya think? Though no guarantee of sun there either. Next trip probably won’t be til end of March — and it’ll be a biggie. Five weeks grappling with Texas, Oklahoma and states en route. I’ll drop in tomorrow with some snowy pix from home. Hope you enjoyed the New England adventure.