My street! It’s full of surprises and visual treats. Let’s have a look at a few.

Figure 1. From the author’s front steps looking south. Photo: author.

We begin from my house and its hemlock hedge, looking south (figure1).

Figure 2. Asbestos shingle roof. Photo: author.

The roof in figure 2 is the product of people who were very thoughtful and spent a little extra to get a wonderful speckled roof in asbestos shingles. The light was just bright enough to bring out the color without washing it out.

Figure 3. Lackawanna County Prison. Photo: author.
Figure 3a. Lackawanna County Prison. Detail: inscription. Photo: author.
Figure 3b. Lackawanna County Prison. Detail: corner turret. Photo: author.
Figure 3c. Lackawanna County Prison. Detail: long wall on New York St. Photo: author.

There’s a prison on my street! You’d think NIMBY, but it antedates most of the local houses: see figure 3a; my house was built in 1920, for example.

The turret (figure 3b) is just wonderful. The architect, D.L. Walters, rigorously carried through the castle/fortress style of the prison. The actual building within is new, but to its credit the county retained the outer enclosure. The prisoners, in the ‘new black,’ were out mowing the lawn when I was there.

Figure 4. Joyce Building. Photo: author.
Figure 4a. Joyce building. Detail: foundation and pilaster. Photo: author.

I have no idea what really to call the building in figures 4 and 4a. But there’s a sign that says ‘Joyce,’ so . . . . Two things captivated me enough to stop for these photos. First, in figure 4, the building has been meticulously cleaned and it is showing off beautifully its rusticated masonry (with porthole!). But in figure 4a, I liked the geometry, of course, but more, the sand and grit that is collecting at the foot of the pilaster as the slate of the foundation decays. I also note that fools have been scraping their vehicles into the slate ‘bumper rail.’

Figure 5. Simrell building. Photo: author.
Figure 5a. Simrell building. Detail: right side mass with door. Photo: author.

The Simrell building (again for lack of a better name, figures 5, 5a) is, I guess a sort of business duplex, at least nowadays. Summer weeds have taken strong root around it, but I hope it gets fully rented out soon, because it’s too handsome a building to be allowed to go to seed. The ornamentation and choice of teal makes me think it was last refurbished in the 1980s or maybe early 90s.

Figure 6. Cooper’s Seafood Restaurant. Photo: author.
Figure 6a. Cooper’s Seafood Restaurant. Detail: octopus infestation. Photo: author.

I have many different thoughts about Cooper’s Seafood Restaurant (figures 6, 6a). First, mad props for going all-in on the Cap’n Cooper theme. Actually, I think there’s a version of Captain Morgan (think rum) at the far left of figure 6; the pirate motif in general seems indebted to the Pirates of the Caribbean (the ride, not the movies). But the octopus (figure 6a), rather than referring to the kraken in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, seems more likely to be indebted to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. There’s a shark hanging by the entrance (figure 6) which appears to owe something to Jaws.

It’s all in good fun, though I’m a bit skeptical of a seafood restaurant a good 2-hour drive from the sea. But the BEST THING about the place is the ‘Ahoy Mateys’ speeches by the Cap’n broadcast over the restaurant’s PA system. Having only ever driven by hermetically sealed in my air-conditioned car, I never knew there were appeals to more than one sense on the outside of the restaurant. Smell and taste inside, I assumed!

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Arlington, VA

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