I spent an extra day in Las Vegas to do some sightseeing after a recent work trip. I did two very cool things that day. The first of which was the tour at the Neon Boneyard. I can’t possibly recommend it enough to anyone who has even the vaguest interest in signs, history or photography. It was incredible. I took hundreds of photos that I will be editing for a very long time to come.
Shown above is a portion of the sign from the old Moulin Rouge Hotel in Las Vegas, rearranged to read ”In Love” instead of “Moulin Rouge.” The Moulin Rouge was the first desegregated hotel casino. At that time, the other casinos on the Strip were off-limits to blacks unless they were the entertainment or staff. The sign was designed by Betty Willis, creator of the popular “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign on the Strip. (Fun fact from the tour: the lettering style used in the Moulin Rouge sign was Betty’s own handwriting. She was unable to find a typeface she liked, so she used her own.)
The second very cool thing I did that day was drive to Valley of Fire State Park. There are no words. There will, however, be photos. Soon(isn).
Most of Wednesday was spent on a plane, so not the most exciting of photo ops. I took this shot while waiting in line for 45 minutes to get a taxi at the Palms after dropping off my rental car.
Radio City Music Hall
New York, NY
I went to see Hugo this morning. What a fantastic, magical movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
My state-named street project is still going strong! I’ve now finished 23 states and explored at least some of about 10 others. I found this cool storefront and sign on Colorado Avenue, NW. Interested in seeing more from the project? Take a look here.
Alaska Avenue NW
Taken as part of my DC 50 (+1) project.
Glen Echo Park
Glen Echo, Maryland
Glen Echo Park
Glen Echo, MD
I went exploring in my hometown for a little over the weekend. I found a lot of interesting architectural bits on the old buildings. My favorite find, however, was this ghost sign from the old McCrory’s 5 & 10 store. I had never seen it before. The store is now long gone, but I remember it fairly vividly from my childhood.
Cool extra bit of information – my paternal Grandmother met my Grandfather while she worked at that store. It was shortly after he returned from World War II. She used to play records for him in the store. I don’t know all the details, but I know at one point he asked to walk her home after work one night and it caused quite the stink with her family. Oh times they have changed!
For the second time in three days, I was harassed while taking photos in a public place yesterday. This is getting to be quite old, honestly. And more than a little ridiculous.
I was taking a few photos of this sign at the Burke & Herbert Bank & Trust in Del Ray, VA when what I can only assume to be a bank employee (he didn’t identify himself, wasn’t wearing a nametag) exited the building and asked me where I was from. I told him I was from the area. He asked what I was doing. I told him I was admiring the sign and taking photos of it. He informed me I was not allowed to take photos of his “financial institution.” I informed him that I was – I was in a public space (on the sidewalk) and thus I could take photos of anything I could see from that space. He told me I was wrong. He said if I wanted to take photos of the building/sign/etc. that I had to ask permission. I told him, again, that he was mistaken. Anything in the public eye – bridges, signs, buildings, people – can be photographed from a public space. He again told me I was incorrect and that I must ask permission. I was getting nowhere with this guy, obviously. I told him that I would leave, but that I would share this experience with a network of other photographers in the DC area. It was really frustrating.
I’m in the process of composing a letter to send to the bank outlining my experience there. I’m also going to include a copy of The Photographer’s Right with applicable sections highlighted. It won’t change my experience there, but maybe it will educate them so the next photographer who tries to take photos there won’t receive the same treatment.
I’ve been in a bit of a photo rut lately. I feel like I’m constantly shooting the same things in the same places. Because of this, I decided it’s time for a new project.
As most people probably know, there is a roadway in DC named after each of the 50 states (plus Puerto Rico!). They vary in length from 0.4 miles to well over 5 miles and are in each quadrant of the city. (For more info, check this handy dandy Wikipedia article out.) Over the course of this summer, I will attempt to photograph each state-named road’s street sign and some things of interest on each street. (By quick estimate I’ll be exploring approximately 113 miles of roads… assuming I explore ALL of each street.) I’m not sure how this whole project will shape out, but I’m excited to get on with it and see how it turns out.
I hope this project will not only lead me to see areas of the city I would have otherwise never seen, but hopefully will help get me out of my photo funk.
If you feel so inclined, you can follow along here.