I said before that I’d offer you a reminder that this Sunday marks the start of shark week. Chompy is ready!
It’s been a while (at least a week) since the last, completely self indulgent, train picture went up.
However, if you are like me and you are wondering about the status of modern day trains, this is an opportunity to share a great article on the shape of American railroading that ran recently in the Economist.
Believe it or not, I actually had a reason for going up to the roof where yesterday’s picture was taken. I wanted to get a shot of this place: the National Dry Cleaning Institute. It’s been abandoned for a long time, but beginning in the twenties this was the home of the dry cleaning industry’s training center.
It’s a building that people are trying to preserve, not because of its link to solvent based cleaning but because of the architecture and specifically because of the tile roof. To truly see the tiles is difficult from the ground. Luckily I knew a way to view it from above.
One thing that noticed from above is that the graffiti artists have taken most of the free space on the roof, but they haven’t done anything to the tiles.
As for the future of the building, according to the county website it will be turned into condos.
After taking last week’s picture of Norman Lane’s statue, I went to a building in Silver Spring where a few friends live. They were nice enough to bring me to their roof to take some shots. We were a little surprised to see that Byrd Stadium on the UMD campus was so clearly visible on the horizon.
As a side note, some MDP visitors may recognize the apartments in be background as the former residence of an MDP photographer.
Last Thursday, MDP took a trip to Aberdeen to see the Orioles’ short season A team, the Aberdeen Ironbirds. The team was brought there by Cal Ripken (and his family), who grew up in the area and who is an integral part of the experience at the park. The team name is based off of the combination of Cal being the Iron Man and being an Oriole.
The ballpark, Ripken Stadium, (pictured previously here), is a great place. Every seat is close enough to the game to put you at risk of being hit by a foul ball. I have pictures of the action from inside the stadium, but they are trapped on film right now. So today we bring you this souvenir cap with the Ironbirds logo. You can note Cal’s number 8 on the tail of the plane.
The picture above comes from contributing photographer, Royela, who was walking through Silver Spring at night and thought the statue of Norman Lane would make a good MDP post. I think she’s right.
Norman Lane was homeless man who, in a strange twist, became beloved by his neighbors. He was so well regarded, and so frequently found downtown, that locals affectionately began to refer to him as the Mayor of Silver Spring. Today, this statue sits near an alley that has been named mayor lane, in his honor. I can do little justice to the man’s story as I know nothing that I haven’t read or heard from others.
For that reason, I made a trip to photograph the statue in the daytime and to try to give you a better understanding of Norman by showing you the plaque below his statue.
As you can see, the years since 1991 haven’t treated that plaque very well.
I can offer another picture of the statue that I took in the daylight, and a few links to some other sources of information.
This article has a section about the artist behind the bust and tells a bit of the story of Norman giving flowers to local ladies. http://silverspringhistory.homestead.com/ArtistsEye.html
The downtown silver spring organization has a summary of the statue as well http://www.silverspringdowntown.com/go/the-mayor
Yesterday’s picture was a gauge from a railroad car inside the B&O museum. (You are all undoubtedly suprised) That particular car, which will be pictured some other day, is used to measure the clearance of tunnel walls. You need the gauges to tell you how much clearance you have.
Almost directly across the way from that car, sits the pullman coach on which this seal is painted. It ran on the high end Royal Blue line from DC to New York. (a route which I talk of here) I like how companies used to tout their home towns and states, and I enjoy thinking of all the people along the mid-atlantic who must have gazed at this seal as the train rolled into their town.
You might not be able to guess this picture’s relevance to the state of Maryland. Rest assured it was taken in Baltimore. This might give some MDP followers a clue as to what this gauge does. You can probably guess the genre of machine from which it comes. Some may have actually seen it before. Regardless, I think it’s a nice picture, and I am also using it to make a (very weak) connection to tomorrow’s post.
Today’s post comes to us again from contributing photographer Matt, who captured the new Civic Center in Silver Spring. The building contains a large public space as well as county offices. In front of the building there is a decent sized open area, including the space in the foreground of this picture.
I was a little skeptical when I heard about this place being built because I just didn’t see how the public would get to use the civic center. It turns out that there is a large open space in the first floor of the place, which presumably is where events for the public and other such things will occur.
In my mind this place has some big shoes to fill as this land had been previously covered with nothing more than astroturf. That might sound as if I am trying to be sarcastic, but I’m not. The “turf” had become a place for people to hang out, toss a ball or frisbee, or just sit down for a while. The community took to the turf in a way that nobody could have expected. Though it was always meant to be a temporary solution, the turf set the standard for the community’s adoption of this space.
Most of the people I know who have been to the civic center agree that this is a pleasant and interesting area. There is an overarching fear among some that all of this concrete will become a make-shift skateboard park. I do not share that fear as I do not believe that this is still 1986. Skateboards or not, the question is if there will be a large contingent of youths who permanently hang out there and harass passers-by or if the space will be a place for the whole community as the turf had been.
Just a quick monday morning snapshot of the Bel-Loc Diner in Towson.