Day 2: Coal Country, PA

So, yeah, I never did catch up last night.  But I’ve got the photos ready for this one and hopefully after this post, I can whip up some of today’s photos & get on track.  Tomorrow night (Mon.) will be a hustle home, so the final post will be from home, most likely Tuesday.

More perfect weather today.  Great sun for shooting.  But it must’ve been over 100 degrees.  Bank clocks that I saw in the morning and afternoon were in the 90s.  The A/C is running good.  I took the dogs for a walk with me mid-afternoon while I tried to find a good angle to shoot the Cyclorama in Gettysburg.  We all nearly died.  I try to Nik & Grem a good, hard grassy run in first thing in the morning.  Then focus on water opportunities for everybody the rest of the day.  All the barking and jumping around in the van is just not enough to wear down these animals.

On with it.   I know there are lots of these Guggenheim-esque spiral parking garages around the country.  But I never get tired of them.  I will soon be starting another blog for these trips entitled “For the Love of Concrete”.  Just kidding.  If I didn’t have website obligations and a full-time job though I might.  This one from Allentown:

A couple shots from Quakertown.  A neat five and dime store still in business.  The lettering projects from the building:

And from a news stand that is no more:

In the by-gone beverage department.  At least, I think both of these brands are gone.  This one in Allentown:

And this one from Northampton.  “A-Treat” seems to be a regional brand.  I’ve never seen signs for it elsewhere — but must have seen five today:

An old barber shop in Allentown.  I love the skeletal barber pole on the right:

Also in Allentown.  A nice grill or screen thingie on the left.  What makes it come alive is the turquoise paint:

From Whitehall.  Today’s high calorie snacks:   a couple donuts from this place.  Very heavy — what I call “doorstop donuts”.  But then I realized they were something like a cross between a donut and a biscuit.  And then I really loved them. Each one was like a meal though.  Great if you’re on a budget like me.

Oh, and if you’re stealing this photo… you might want to PhotoShop out that Sherwin-Williams sign in the background before dumping it into your blog or website.  Just kidding.  Kind of .  I’ve had a LOT of infuriating discoveries lately (my photos appearing all over the place without permission or credit).  Why are people so freaking lazy and disrespectful?  Another topic for another time.

From Tamaqua.  One of those half-full / half-empty finds.  So wonderful — yet so sad that it’s closed and those letters and glass tile might disappear any day now:

From Ryan.  An adapted gas station — but the recessed letters and vintage clock are nice touches:

Very much coal country today.  Though it didn’t have the same depressing, shantytown feel of SW Virginia where I was just a couple weeks ago.  Towns named Coaldale, mining museums, businesses with coal references… and this miner statue tribute in Minersville: 

A couple sign photos from Mount Carmel.  This one, originally Miller Furs (?)  Shoes.  Adapted to Miller Bros. Market.  But now, whatever-it-last-was is closed.  Store as storage.  Lovely pale green vitrolite (glass tiles):

A really nicely done, recent hand-painted sign.  Although the laundromat below has one of those for sale signs out in front and you gotta worry what will happen with this nice bit of artwork:

Also in Moutn Carmel, an incredible fire station.  Extra credit for the neon sign:

From Reading. Here’s an out the window, stuck in traffic shot.  Really nice curved entrance windows and steps:

Running out of sun for the day in Fraser.  Hard to judge scale from this — but this bowling pin sign must’ve been at least six feet tall.

And the accompanying building with bulging roof and scripty letters.  Point to ponder: why do so many of these vintage bowling alleys have dome-y roofs?  Is that to trap sounding from the clattering pins?  For A/C units?  What?

OK — I’m going to go hunker down now & see if I can miraculously get today’s batch in order.  Although it’s 11pm and not looking good.

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10 thoughts on “Day 2: Coal Country, PA

  1. I think ATreat may still be in business. Saw a handful of these signs when I was in the Allentown/Gap area last month.

  2. I can’t believe you were in my neck of the woods while we were out of town. I would’ve loved a Sparkle Spotting! Your photos came out fabulous, can’t believe there are people out there stealing them without asking permission. How do you find out? Ah, well, we’re back in hot muggy PA today ourselves, but no road trips just house chores. Glad you had a good visit!

    • This has been a more frenzied trip than ever. The heat has really zonked all of us, too.

      I find out about stolen photos when I’m poking around at Google Images or Flickr key word searches for something and accidentally bump into photos that “look familiar”. Sure enough, they turn out to be mine. Then I fire off some angry emails — which seems to get things done faster than polite ones. It’s hard to believe some people are stupid and lazy enough to steal from Flickr and repost directly to Flickr in their own stream.

      Still in PA for the night — then off to work tomorrow. Final post & Flickr photos for the trip will be Weds.

    • Yes, I noticed that last night too but was too beat to read it. These trips are killers. I can be a thorougher researcher from home but not while I’m out here.

  3. That bowling alley was probably built between the 1940’s and 1960’s before steel buildings became the norm. These are known as “Bowstring Truss” or “Bowstring Roof” buildings. This design eliminated posts in the middle of the floor area holding up the roof, and the roof truses usually consisted of glue-laminated spruce wood arches for the top chord, and a timber bottom chord, connected across the way by webbing. This way, the walls or pilasters in the walls supported the roof structure, and the usable floor space was free of roof supporting columns.

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