PhotoFlood Phaves: 2020

The images below are my personal favorites of the several PhotoFlood STL events in which I participated for 2020.

Mini-Flood 81 - Rte 66

This event was the first 'mini-flood' in which I participated. And the first driving event. I.e, typically those able to join the fun meet at a specified location/time and head out on foot to find subject matter of our  choice to shoot within the boundaries of the designated neighborhood. In this case, we were exploring the length of the portion of the famous 'Route 66' that runs through St. Louis....which runs pretty much from the Gateway Arch downtown to the far extent of southwest STL County. Far too much to cover on foot in a single session. In fact, more than I personally wished to cover even via car.

So, I started my session close to the city/county border with the two images in the top row. Both are landmarks in south STL.

  - The 'Donuts' shop I'm a little less familiar with, but know it's been there since I first discovered this section of the city probably some time in the early 1970's...and it looked like it had been around for quite some time then.

  - The 'Ted Drewes' shot is of a frozen custard stand that's probably as well known to residents of  the metro area as anything...including the Gateway Arch. I would be surprised if there's another 'ice cream stand' anywhere in the country that does more volume business than does Ted Drewes. In the summertime, they'll have at least 4-5 serving windows active and it's extremely rare there isn't a line of people waiting at each window...especially during the 'after dinner' hours time of the evening. It is a truly amazing thing to witness. And during the Christmas season, they turn it into a very popular Christmas tree sales location. Quite the 'mom & pop' business they have going on there.

  - The 'Chippewa Motel' shot comes from a stretch of the road I would have to believe could have been referred to as 'motel row' at the height of Rte 66 activity through this part of the world. There were a number of these mom & pop motels in a relatively short stretch of road...several of which remain in business today. And for me, it's a rather unique stretch of road in that it seemed for a long time to be stuck in a bit of a time warp. At least architecturally, it was like driving through a mid century slice of time. In the last 15 years or so, there's been a slow, but steady influx of newer styles creeping in, but for the longest time, it seemed to barely change at all.

  - And then there's the last image that's become something of a sign of the times in that, what appears to be a big empty hole in the ground behind the fencing, was once a thriving shopping mall. It wasn't one of the biggest malls in the area, but it was very popular amongst the 'locals'. And it makes for a good representation of the demise of the American shopping mall....I think all of that ilk in this area are in various states of decline.


PhotoFlood STL 90: Franz Park

The Franz Park flood took me to an area of St. Louis city with which I was completely unfamiliar and one which I'm fairly certain I've only driven the main north-south road through the neighborhood previously. But  it turned out to be a very interesting neighborhood that was largely residential, but had some photographically interesting commercial aspects skirting it's edges as well.

The residential areas struck me as pretty solidly middle class with a smattering of some that fell below that line, and what seemed to be a growing number of modestly upscale homes as well.

The most interesting single family residence I found was one with a stained glass 'eye' built into the roof. Would be interesting to know what's behind that.

The RV sitting in the one rather large piece of undeveloped land in the neighborhood I thought was ironic. Instead of sitting in a campground in a national park with iconic views, it's sitting in the one bit of 'nature'(?) in this commercial area of the neighborhood.

The 'U-Store-It' facility image has prison implications written all over it for me.

The blue door through the red fence image has pandemic implications...as though we're getting a sliver of a glimpse of 'what life used to be' prior to being relegated to various states of lockdown.

And then there's the semi-abstract multi-colored concrete planters(?) protecting the wall behind them in a parking area.


PhotoFlood 94: Hermann, MO

Hermann, MO is a quaint little country town approx a 1.5hr drive WNW of St. Louis in Gasocnade County, MO along the Missouri River. It has a very strong German heritage and has very successfully managed to revive itself over the last 30 or so years after years of decline. It's pretty much the heart of Missouri wine country and it's revival has been largely dependent on the wine industry.

The images included here were all captured in pretty much the 'downtown' area....

The 'window' image attracted me for the very formal nature of the window itself contrasted against the very random and organic nature of the curvy bits of flora clearly trying to find its way out from behind the glass.

The green structure image puzzled me. Given there appears to have been a driveway entrance once upon a time, I would have to guess it may have been a garage at some point in time.(?) But it's current utility is unclear. It appears to be largely a screened in porch, but a door to....??a back room??...is visible towards the back of the structure as well.

Interest in the  'fence' image came from the ornate nature of the fence itself along with other unique trim pieces on the nearest house. But without the house next door and the terrific autumn colors in its trees, I'm not sure this image would  work nearly as well.

The golden domed county courthouse overlooking the river and autumn colors had king overlooking his kingdom vibes.

And the red building with white trim image caught my attention for the formal meticulous 'just so' vibes contrasted against the crooked shutters. Had never seen shutters like that previously, but there were several homes I walked by that were trimmed similarly.



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