Summer Photo Walk, July 7

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Today’s locations were the Lima Public Library and the Allen County Children’s Garden, which are situated right next to each other just west of downtown Lima, Ohio.

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Glass Palace, 2017

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This evening I share a photo I took last summer in downtown Lima. If you live in Lima, the downtown area is somewhat of a photographic cliché, a rite of passage that signifies that the hobby has become part of your identity. I really should take a new set of pictures because the downtown area is the midst of transition. One of the key buildings is getting carved into apartments, and Rhodes State will break ground on a new health sciences building very soon.

The photo above shows a reflection of Town Square in the Glass Palace, a ruthlessly geometric building that houses many of the city government’s offices. It’s an image that insists that the old cannot compete with the new. The unsteady lines of the reflected buildings remind me of an untrained hand trying to copy a master.

Before I close, I will tell you about an oddball rendition of a text message I received yesterday. As I was parking my car, I received a text message from my pharmacy. I choose to let the car read the message aloud. Its synthetic voice told me, “Your prescription that starts with Georgia is ready for pick up.”

That sounds like a hallucinogen or a sci-fi writing prompt.

Summer Photo Walk, August 5

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The sunflowers are in full bloom at the Allen County Children’s Garden. The ones in my garden are lagging behind others in town because I was late to sow their seeds this year. The annuals are prospering everywhere, and this public garden was no exception.

I spotted a wind chime fashioned in part from souvenir spoons. That’s some creative upcycling.

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Summer Photo Walk, June 25: Town Square, Lima, Ohio

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This morning I took pictures of a local public garden and my city’s downtown. I hadn’t photographed Town Square in several years, and I had mixed feelings about revisiting it. Early in my photography habit, I frequented this area, hoping to capture why I feel so attached to a locale that is in decline. I took lots of pictures showing rust and various brands of misfortune, but I did not succeed in showing why I love this place. To reveal one’s attachment to a place is just as hard as taking a portrait of someone you love. To lay bare that core of feeling in a single, two-dimensional moment is very hard to do.

My city is one of many Rust Belt towns finding its way in a post-industrial economy. Earlier this year, a portion of Town Square was demolished to make way for the construction of a nursing school downtown (more specifically, this will be a relocation of some of the health programs at Rhodes State University). Where once was a row of Gilded Age buildings is now a field:

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I hope that this partnership between Rhodes and my city is fruitful.

Today I took basic, well-saturated landscape photos of the downtown area. In the light of a summer morning, the downtown looks free of the lost fortunes that seem to haunt it at times.