Posts Tagged ‘city’

Do you think you’ve really seen all there is to see in the city or town that you live in?  For instance, if you’re living in Washington, you could say that it bores you because you are already familiar with every museum at the smithsonian, and the exhibits are all the same every time you go there.

I discovered a website that allows you to take a different look at your city through taking what I call a “subject trip”.  By doing so, you might discover new features and interesting tidbits about your city or town that you never thought existed before.

Go to the website http://www.waymarking.com and click on the “categories” tab in the upper right hand corner of the page.  It will present you with a list of vague categories to choose from, such as “Signs” or “History/Culture”.   Click on your subject of interest for the day, and it will bring you to a list of more specific subjects based on the category you chose.

As an example, if you click on “Signs” and then “Border Crossings”, the website will present images based around state and country borders.  You will see signs such as “Welcome to Arkansas” and the US/Mexican border at Laredo, Texas.

To find border crossings specific to your city/region, type your zip code or address into the window at the top of the page where it says “Filter:  All Waymarks”.  Now naturally for the Washington, DC area, State of Maryland signs seen on the side of the highway are not that exciting to the common sight-seer.  But this is the beauty of waymarking.com.  You might type in a subject that pertains more to your liking, and actually find something that you never thought you would have seen before.

My personal favorite categories so far are “used bookstores” and “roadside america”.  Not only can I appreciate the used bookstores themselves for what they contain, such as that rare find of a free Life Magazine from the 1960’s showing Richard Nixon’s inauguration, but I can also appreciate each store’s unique interior layout and exterior facade as well.  And I don’t even have to have been there:  someone else has managed to take a picture of their local bookstore in San Diego, California, and placed it online for me out of the goodness of their own heart.

One more thing:  if you don’t see a Waymarking category there of a subject that interests you, you can create it yourself.  And if you only have 2 or 3 pictures of that category to share, don’t worry, because that is the beauty of Waymarking.com:  other people can contribute to your category.  Over a small period of time, the category you create could become a true collaborative effort that is an effective piece of research/fun/learning for many others out there in internet-land.

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It is commonly known that Cincinnati once had a series of several inclines to raise people from the main basin up to the top of the city’s many hills.  As a matter of fact, a new “Images of America” book just came out about these inclines.  But what is less commonly known is that the city once had a series of cable cars that helped boost people up the steep streets that were closer to the main basin.  Although San Francisco remains one of the only cities that still operates cable cars (and for nostalgic reasons only), three of the buildings can still be seen.   Unfortunately I was never able to shoot pictures of them myself, because I simply just ran out of time, as I had so many other things on my list that I wanted to accomplish before my lease expired.  But here are some pictures of the cable houses I found myself on the internet that still stand today (believe it or not – they were built in the late 1800’s!):

Old cable car house on Gilbert Avenue at Sinton Avenue in Walnut Hills

Old cable car house on Gilbert Avenue at Sinton Avenue in Walnut Hills, looking northwest. This building was the main cable pulling house for the Mt. Adams & Eden Park Railway. It operated cable cars from 1885 to 1898. Also note the buried tracks in the foreground, pointing towards the building.  Text stolen from Cincinnati Traction History.  http://homepage.mac.com/jjakucyk/Transit1/carbarns/large-52.html.

Old cable car house on Gilbert Avenue at Sinton Avenue in Walnut Hills

Old cable car house on Gilbert Avenue at Sinton Avenue in Walnut Hills, looking northwest.  Text stolen from Cincinnati Traction History.  http://homepage.mac.com/jjakucyk/Transit1/carbarns/large-53.html

Cable car barn at the corner of Highland and Dorchester Avenues in Mt. Auburn

Cable car barn at the corner of Highland and Dorchester Avenues in Mt. Auburn, looking northwest. The stone section is from the original carbarn that burned down in 1892. The brick parts were built after the fire. This building was used by the Mt. Auburn Cable Railway, which operated cable cars along Highland Avenue to downtown from 1887 to 1902.  Text stolen from Cincinnati Traction Historyhttp://homepage.mac.com/jjakucyk/Transit1/carbarns/large-54.html.

So, in Cincinnati there was a serious progression of transportation.  You first had the horse-drawn trolleys, then the cable cars, then the streetcars and the cable cars connected to the street cars, the inter-urbans, and then the automobile.  Please shoot me if I’ve missed one or got the chronology incorrect.  Anyway, here is a link to some of the “car-barns” which once were shops that provided maintenance for the streetcars.  These still stand as well, and I find this quite fascinating.  Do you as well?

Cincinnati Carbarns and Shops that Still Exist

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