Friday, January 23, 2009

man about town

In addition to my New Year’s resolutions, I also make unofficial ones, which is where I try to do things, but if I don’t make it I don’t have to beat myself up and feel really awful about being a total failure because it wasn’t a “real” resolution.

One of my unofficial resolutions was to have somewhere to go every weekend this year, and to bring the camera. It doesn’t have to be a huge roadtrip or anything, but just an excuse to spend the smallest part of Saturday and Sunday outside the safe womb of my apartment/hermitage. So far I’ve been doing pretty well, but I was also supposed to be unofficially resolved to update this blog regularly, and I’ve fallen behind on that.

One weekend my “place to go” was one of the streets I drive down every day to get to and from work. I do it so often that the scenery is no longer interesting, since familiarity breeds contempt, and I decided that I should stop and look along the road instead of just blowing through it as fast as I can on my commute. I actually did it before New Year’s, but I was already planning the unofficial resolution, so it totally counts.

Plum Tree dragon

mani pedi

lingerie mannequin

the americas

While on that trip, I saw a neon guy that I wanted to come back and see after dark, when he was all lit up, so I went out again another day, after dark:

neon waiter

My next big adventure was to head out to one of the greenways to look for the allegedly haunted remains of the flooded and then burned down Lakeshore Asylum. Unfortunately they tore the ruins down after the fire, but you can spot where the building used to be by following the road to where the driveway was. It’s still raised and flanked by trees, even though it’s not paved anymore, so it’s not hard if you look for it near the lowest point of the trail. Even though I didn’t get to tour the haunted ruins, the rest of the trail was nice.

twisty path



It also leads past some abandoned buildings on the grounds of the psychiatric institute.

oxygen storage

another closed building



I really wanted to know what they were like inside, because, you know, it’s not like Hollywood has spent millions teaching me that wandering alone into abandoned buildings on the grounds of your local psychiatric center right before an impending rainstorm is a bad idea, but I figured trying one of the doors and actually going inside would be trespassing.

Since I had such a good time walking that greenway, I decided to try one of the others in town, and go look at the trail around the abandoned, flooded quarry. (Does every town have one of those?) Since the one by the asylum was nicely paved, I assumed the quarry trail would be, too, but when I showed up after five days of rain it looked like this:


I’d worn flat deck shoes, which had absolutely no traction and were not ideal for a sloping trail that was 50-70 percent mud. Because of that I could only hike the flat side, but that means I can go on another trip out there later when it’s dryer and warmer. The part I saw was really pretty, though, and I want to go back anyway to see it in summer with green trees.

painted point

more rock cuts


In addition to the lake, which is all I expected to see, there are also some remains of the quarry buildings.


brick circle

crumbling wall

Then on the way home I drove past the coffee sign, and discovered that they have a turnoff nearby, so I stopped again.

the letter J

This past weekend, while I was out running errands, I remembered that I’d seen some vandalism by one of our buildings last week, so I went out to look it over:

loading dock graffiti

stairwell graffiti

I’ve already got a plan for this weekend, too, and some big dreams about the rest of the year. Did you know there’s a Paris, Tennessee, and that they have a replica of the Eiffel Tower? Or that Memphis has a Statue of Liberty holding a cross instead of a torch? And what about Graceland?

Someday I must see these things.


Strong Cookie said...

I'll go to Graceland with you!!!

JMBower said...

great shots!