WINTER - WINDHAM, NY
Windham is a small town nestled in the Catskill mountains. It has a largely white, middle class population of around 2,000 inhabitants, which fluctuates on weekends when vacationing New York City residents visit to enjoy the ski resort and mountains. Well preserved architecture from before the turn of the 20th century adds charm to the main road (Highway 23) passing through.
* * *
New York Guide Lydia White was born on the 4th of July and has been an independent spirit ever since. She spends her free time exploring what NYC and the surrounding areas have to offer. White has been photographing interesting people and unusual landscapes for nearly a decade. Follow her on Tumblr at lydia makes pictures or on her website, LydiaWhitePhotography.com.
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WINTER - WINDHAM, NY
Windham is a small town nestled in the Catskill mountains. It has a largely white, middle class population of around 2,000 inhabitants, which fluctuates on weekends when vacationing New York City residents visit to enjoy the ski resort and mountains. Well preserved architecture from before the turn of the 20th century adds charm to the main road (Highway 23) passing through.
* * *
New York Guide Lydia White was born on the 4th of July and has been an independent spirit ever since. She spends her free time exploring what NYC and the surrounding areas have to offer. White has been photographing interesting people and unusual landscapes for nearly a decade. Follow her on Tumblr at lydia makes pictures or on her website, LydiaWhitePhotography.com.
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WINTER - WINDHAM, NY
Windham is a small town nestled in the Catskill mountains. It has a largely white, middle class population of around 2,000 inhabitants, which fluctuates on weekends when vacationing New York City residents visit to enjoy the ski resort and mountains. Well preserved architecture from before the turn of the 20th century adds charm to the main road (Highway 23) passing through.
* * *
New York Guide Lydia White was born on the 4th of July and has been an independent spirit ever since. She spends her free time exploring what NYC and the surrounding areas have to offer. White has been photographing interesting people and unusual landscapes for nearly a decade. Follow her on Tumblr at lydia makes pictures or on her website, LydiaWhitePhotography.com.
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WINTER - WINDHAM, NY
Windham is a small town nestled in the Catskill mountains. It has a largely white, middle class population of around 2,000 inhabitants, which fluctuates on weekends when vacationing New York City residents visit to enjoy the ski resort and mountains. Well preserved architecture from before the turn of the 20th century adds charm to the main road (Highway 23) passing through.
* * *
New York Guide Lydia White was born on the 4th of July and has been an independent spirit ever since. She spends her free time exploring what NYC and the surrounding areas have to offer. White has been photographing interesting people and unusual landscapes for nearly a decade. Follow her on Tumblr at lydia makes pictures or on her website, LydiaWhitePhotography.com.
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WINTER - WINDHAM, NY
Windham is a small town nestled in the Catskill mountains. It has a largely white, middle class population of around 2,000 inhabitants, which fluctuates on weekends when vacationing New York City residents visit to enjoy the ski resort and mountains. Well preserved architecture from before the turn of the 20th century adds charm to the main road (Highway 23) passing through.
* * *
New York Guide Lydia White was born on the 4th of July and has been an independent spirit ever since. She spends her free time exploring what NYC and the surrounding areas have to offer. White has been photographing interesting people and unusual landscapes for nearly a decade. Follow her on Tumblr at lydia makes pictures or on her website, LydiaWhitePhotography.com.
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WINTER - WINDHAM, NY
Windham is a small town nestled in the Catskill mountains. It has a largely white, middle class population of around 2,000 inhabitants, which fluctuates on weekends when vacationing New York City residents visit to enjoy the ski resort and mountains. Well preserved architecture from before the turn of the 20th century adds charm to the main road (Highway 23) passing through.
* * *
New York Guide Lydia White was born on the 4th of July and has been an independent spirit ever since. She spends her free time exploring what NYC and the surrounding areas have to offer. White has been photographing interesting people and unusual landscapes for nearly a decade. Follow her on Tumblr at lydia makes pictures or on her website, LydiaWhitePhotography.com.
Zoom Info
WINTER - WINDHAM, NY
Windham is a small town nestled in the Catskill mountains. It has a largely white, middle class population of around 2,000 inhabitants, which fluctuates on weekends when vacationing New York City residents visit to enjoy the ski resort and mountains. Well preserved architecture from before the turn of the 20th century adds charm to the main road (Highway 23) passing through.
* * *
New York Guide Lydia White was born on the 4th of July and has been an independent spirit ever since. She spends her free time exploring what NYC and the surrounding areas have to offer. White has been photographing interesting people and unusual landscapes for nearly a decade. Follow her on Tumblr at lydia makes pictures or on her website, LydiaWhitePhotography.com.
Zoom Info
WINTER - WINDHAM, NY
Windham is a small town nestled in the Catskill mountains. It has a largely white, middle class population of around 2,000 inhabitants, which fluctuates on weekends when vacationing New York City residents visit to enjoy the ski resort and mountains. Well preserved architecture from before the turn of the 20th century adds charm to the main road (Highway 23) passing through.
* * *
New York Guide Lydia White was born on the 4th of July and has been an independent spirit ever since. She spends her free time exploring what NYC and the surrounding areas have to offer. White has been photographing interesting people and unusual landscapes for nearly a decade. Follow her on Tumblr at lydia makes pictures or on her website, LydiaWhitePhotography.com.
Zoom Info
WINTER - WINDHAM, NY
Windham is a small town nestled in the Catskill mountains. It has a largely white, middle class population of around 2,000 inhabitants, which fluctuates on weekends when vacationing New York City residents visit to enjoy the ski resort and mountains. Well preserved architecture from before the turn of the 20th century adds charm to the main road (Highway 23) passing through.
* * *
New York Guide Lydia White was born on the 4th of July and has been an independent spirit ever since. She spends her free time exploring what NYC and the surrounding areas have to offer. White has been photographing interesting people and unusual landscapes for nearly a decade. Follow her on Tumblr at lydia makes pictures or on her website, LydiaWhitePhotography.com.
Zoom Info
WINTER - WINDHAM, NY
Windham is a small town nestled in the Catskill mountains. It has a largely white, middle class population of around 2,000 inhabitants, which fluctuates on weekends when vacationing New York City residents visit to enjoy the ski resort and mountains. Well preserved architecture from before the turn of the 20th century adds charm to the main road (Highway 23) passing through.
* * *
New York Guide Lydia White was born on the 4th of July and has been an independent spirit ever since. She spends her free time exploring what NYC and the surrounding areas have to offer. White has been photographing interesting people and unusual landscapes for nearly a decade. Follow her on Tumblr at lydia makes pictures or on her website, LydiaWhitePhotography.com.
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WINTER - WINDHAM, NY

Windham is a small town nestled in the Catskill mountains. It has a largely white, middle class population of around 2,000 inhabitants, which fluctuates on weekends when vacationing New York City residents visit to enjoy the ski resort and mountains. Well preserved architecture from before the turn of the 20th century adds charm to the main road (Highway 23) passing through.

* * *

New York Guide Lydia White was born on the 4th of July and has been an independent spirit ever since. She spends her free time exploring what NYC and the surrounding areas have to offer. White has been photographing interesting people and unusual landscapes for nearly a decade. Follow her on Tumblr at lydia makes pictures or on her website, LydiaWhitePhotography.com.

FREEDOM TUNNEL - NEW YORK, NEW YORK
The 83-year-old Freedom Tunnel, which runs 2 ½ miles, once funneled freight trains into New York City. It has become Manhattan’s longest and perhaps most atmospheric gallery, where cathedral light falls upon 20-foot high walls. The day-glow alternates with long stretches of complete darkness turning the entire corridor into its own work of chiaroscuro. Admission is free but you might get busted for trespassing. And when trains speed through, you must quickly clear the tracks.
At some point the Freedom Tunnel’s freight trains went away and were replaced by people seeking shelter and artists seeking fabulous light and generous wall space. The subterranean shantytown was featured in the documentary Dark Days which chronicled the stories of tunnel residents and their eventual eviction in 1991 when Amtrak brushed off the abandoned tracks for their Empire Connection line. That hasn’t stopped folks from trespassing.
In 2007, my husband and I descended into the tunnel following entry directions from a fellow explorer. We brought a tripod and two cameras. Upon entering, we saw a man laying on a platform high up to the right of the tracks. He looked up, smiled, mumbled a few words then lay back down. We continued onwards, the only other contact with humans coming from above—the fleeting sounds of children’s laughter, adults conversing loudly. But for the most part it was quiet. We were in an alternate zone where long walks through darkness gave way to columns of sunlight that fell in from grates above and on the west side of the tracks. The effects combined with the graffiti were a photographer’s dream. Rays of light fell beneath an alien smoking from a hookah. Beautifully designed block letters, 10-feet-tall, spelled out “peace.” And the iconic “There’s No Way Like the American Way” mural by Chris Pape referenced the people that once made this subterranean landscape their home—the “mole people” as they came to be known.
Our walk through this corridor of chiaroscuro was loaded with anticipation. Even in the darkness, our flashlights revealed smaller artworks, tags, and random prose. All manner of ephemera littered the ground—a teddy bear, the bare bones of a bike, and no shortage of spray paint cans. And while there was ample room off the tracks and no third rail to worry about, when a train thundered through it definitely amped the excitement.
Artist Chris Pape (aka Freedom), for whom the tunnel is named, began painting there in 1980. There is an old photo of Pape’s recreation of Goya’s Third of May beautifully lit by a fire that a resident used for cooking. Pape said it was meant to viewed by that firelight. In 2009, Amtrak began painting over the tunnel walls. Gone are works like the American Way mural. The cavalier ruin of decades of visual history is in keeping with the heavy, sometimes tragic, history of this controversial corridor. But the art keeps going up. These days, websites provide directions to the tunnel’s once-secret entrance and more folks are exploring it. I can’t begrudge the masses. To visit the Freedom Tunnel is to experience another dimension, one that is as much a visceral experience as it is visual.
* * *
Irene Tejaratchi Hess is a photographer, video editor and writer.  She was born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx, where evenings brought the sweet song of the mourning dove and the low whistle of a mobster calling his kids home for dinner. Irene spent her early career producing natural history documentaries for the PBS series Nature. She now lives in Portland, Oregon and recently finished editing a documentary on the Marine National Monuments. Find more of her work on her website, www.IreneHess.com, and follow her on Tumblr at luxroxvox.tumblr.com.
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FREEDOM TUNNEL - NEW YORK, NEW YORK
The 83-year-old Freedom Tunnel, which runs 2 ½ miles, once funneled freight trains into New York City. It has become Manhattan’s longest and perhaps most atmospheric gallery, where cathedral light falls upon 20-foot high walls. The day-glow alternates with long stretches of complete darkness turning the entire corridor into its own work of chiaroscuro. Admission is free but you might get busted for trespassing. And when trains speed through, you must quickly clear the tracks.
At some point the Freedom Tunnel’s freight trains went away and were replaced by people seeking shelter and artists seeking fabulous light and generous wall space. The subterranean shantytown was featured in the documentary Dark Days which chronicled the stories of tunnel residents and their eventual eviction in 1991 when Amtrak brushed off the abandoned tracks for their Empire Connection line. That hasn’t stopped folks from trespassing.
In 2007, my husband and I descended into the tunnel following entry directions from a fellow explorer. We brought a tripod and two cameras. Upon entering, we saw a man laying on a platform high up to the right of the tracks. He looked up, smiled, mumbled a few words then lay back down. We continued onwards, the only other contact with humans coming from above—the fleeting sounds of children’s laughter, adults conversing loudly. But for the most part it was quiet. We were in an alternate zone where long walks through darkness gave way to columns of sunlight that fell in from grates above and on the west side of the tracks. The effects combined with the graffiti were a photographer’s dream. Rays of light fell beneath an alien smoking from a hookah. Beautifully designed block letters, 10-feet-tall, spelled out “peace.” And the iconic “There’s No Way Like the American Way” mural by Chris Pape referenced the people that once made this subterranean landscape their home—the “mole people” as they came to be known.
Our walk through this corridor of chiaroscuro was loaded with anticipation. Even in the darkness, our flashlights revealed smaller artworks, tags, and random prose. All manner of ephemera littered the ground—a teddy bear, the bare bones of a bike, and no shortage of spray paint cans. And while there was ample room off the tracks and no third rail to worry about, when a train thundered through it definitely amped the excitement.
Artist Chris Pape (aka Freedom), for whom the tunnel is named, began painting there in 1980. There is an old photo of Pape’s recreation of Goya’s Third of May beautifully lit by a fire that a resident used for cooking. Pape said it was meant to viewed by that firelight. In 2009, Amtrak began painting over the tunnel walls. Gone are works like the American Way mural. The cavalier ruin of decades of visual history is in keeping with the heavy, sometimes tragic, history of this controversial corridor. But the art keeps going up. These days, websites provide directions to the tunnel’s once-secret entrance and more folks are exploring it. I can’t begrudge the masses. To visit the Freedom Tunnel is to experience another dimension, one that is as much a visceral experience as it is visual.
* * *
Irene Tejaratchi Hess is a photographer, video editor and writer.  She was born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx, where evenings brought the sweet song of the mourning dove and the low whistle of a mobster calling his kids home for dinner. Irene spent her early career producing natural history documentaries for the PBS series Nature. She now lives in Portland, Oregon and recently finished editing a documentary on the Marine National Monuments. Find more of her work on her website, www.IreneHess.com, and follow her on Tumblr at luxroxvox.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
FREEDOM TUNNEL - NEW YORK, NEW YORK
The 83-year-old Freedom Tunnel, which runs 2 ½ miles, once funneled freight trains into New York City. It has become Manhattan’s longest and perhaps most atmospheric gallery, where cathedral light falls upon 20-foot high walls. The day-glow alternates with long stretches of complete darkness turning the entire corridor into its own work of chiaroscuro. Admission is free but you might get busted for trespassing. And when trains speed through, you must quickly clear the tracks.
At some point the Freedom Tunnel’s freight trains went away and were replaced by people seeking shelter and artists seeking fabulous light and generous wall space. The subterranean shantytown was featured in the documentary Dark Days which chronicled the stories of tunnel residents and their eventual eviction in 1991 when Amtrak brushed off the abandoned tracks for their Empire Connection line. That hasn’t stopped folks from trespassing.
In 2007, my husband and I descended into the tunnel following entry directions from a fellow explorer. We brought a tripod and two cameras. Upon entering, we saw a man laying on a platform high up to the right of the tracks. He looked up, smiled, mumbled a few words then lay back down. We continued onwards, the only other contact with humans coming from above—the fleeting sounds of children’s laughter, adults conversing loudly. But for the most part it was quiet. We were in an alternate zone where long walks through darkness gave way to columns of sunlight that fell in from grates above and on the west side of the tracks. The effects combined with the graffiti were a photographer’s dream. Rays of light fell beneath an alien smoking from a hookah. Beautifully designed block letters, 10-feet-tall, spelled out “peace.” And the iconic “There’s No Way Like the American Way” mural by Chris Pape referenced the people that once made this subterranean landscape their home—the “mole people” as they came to be known.
Our walk through this corridor of chiaroscuro was loaded with anticipation. Even in the darkness, our flashlights revealed smaller artworks, tags, and random prose. All manner of ephemera littered the ground—a teddy bear, the bare bones of a bike, and no shortage of spray paint cans. And while there was ample room off the tracks and no third rail to worry about, when a train thundered through it definitely amped the excitement.
Artist Chris Pape (aka Freedom), for whom the tunnel is named, began painting there in 1980. There is an old photo of Pape’s recreation of Goya’s Third of May beautifully lit by a fire that a resident used for cooking. Pape said it was meant to viewed by that firelight. In 2009, Amtrak began painting over the tunnel walls. Gone are works like the American Way mural. The cavalier ruin of decades of visual history is in keeping with the heavy, sometimes tragic, history of this controversial corridor. But the art keeps going up. These days, websites provide directions to the tunnel’s once-secret entrance and more folks are exploring it. I can’t begrudge the masses. To visit the Freedom Tunnel is to experience another dimension, one that is as much a visceral experience as it is visual.
* * *
Irene Tejaratchi Hess is a photographer, video editor and writer.  She was born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx, where evenings brought the sweet song of the mourning dove and the low whistle of a mobster calling his kids home for dinner. Irene spent her early career producing natural history documentaries for the PBS series Nature. She now lives in Portland, Oregon and recently finished editing a documentary on the Marine National Monuments. Find more of her work on her website, www.IreneHess.com, and follow her on Tumblr at luxroxvox.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
FREEDOM TUNNEL - NEW YORK, NEW YORK
The 83-year-old Freedom Tunnel, which runs 2 ½ miles, once funneled freight trains into New York City. It has become Manhattan’s longest and perhaps most atmospheric gallery, where cathedral light falls upon 20-foot high walls. The day-glow alternates with long stretches of complete darkness turning the entire corridor into its own work of chiaroscuro. Admission is free but you might get busted for trespassing. And when trains speed through, you must quickly clear the tracks.
At some point the Freedom Tunnel’s freight trains went away and were replaced by people seeking shelter and artists seeking fabulous light and generous wall space. The subterranean shantytown was featured in the documentary Dark Days which chronicled the stories of tunnel residents and their eventual eviction in 1991 when Amtrak brushed off the abandoned tracks for their Empire Connection line. That hasn’t stopped folks from trespassing.
In 2007, my husband and I descended into the tunnel following entry directions from a fellow explorer. We brought a tripod and two cameras. Upon entering, we saw a man laying on a platform high up to the right of the tracks. He looked up, smiled, mumbled a few words then lay back down. We continued onwards, the only other contact with humans coming from above—the fleeting sounds of children’s laughter, adults conversing loudly. But for the most part it was quiet. We were in an alternate zone where long walks through darkness gave way to columns of sunlight that fell in from grates above and on the west side of the tracks. The effects combined with the graffiti were a photographer’s dream. Rays of light fell beneath an alien smoking from a hookah. Beautifully designed block letters, 10-feet-tall, spelled out “peace.” And the iconic “There’s No Way Like the American Way” mural by Chris Pape referenced the people that once made this subterranean landscape their home—the “mole people” as they came to be known.
Our walk through this corridor of chiaroscuro was loaded with anticipation. Even in the darkness, our flashlights revealed smaller artworks, tags, and random prose. All manner of ephemera littered the ground—a teddy bear, the bare bones of a bike, and no shortage of spray paint cans. And while there was ample room off the tracks and no third rail to worry about, when a train thundered through it definitely amped the excitement.
Artist Chris Pape (aka Freedom), for whom the tunnel is named, began painting there in 1980. There is an old photo of Pape’s recreation of Goya’s Third of May beautifully lit by a fire that a resident used for cooking. Pape said it was meant to viewed by that firelight. In 2009, Amtrak began painting over the tunnel walls. Gone are works like the American Way mural. The cavalier ruin of decades of visual history is in keeping with the heavy, sometimes tragic, history of this controversial corridor. But the art keeps going up. These days, websites provide directions to the tunnel’s once-secret entrance and more folks are exploring it. I can’t begrudge the masses. To visit the Freedom Tunnel is to experience another dimension, one that is as much a visceral experience as it is visual.
* * *
Irene Tejaratchi Hess is a photographer, video editor and writer.  She was born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx, where evenings brought the sweet song of the mourning dove and the low whistle of a mobster calling his kids home for dinner. Irene spent her early career producing natural history documentaries for the PBS series Nature. She now lives in Portland, Oregon and recently finished editing a documentary on the Marine National Monuments. Find more of her work on her website, www.IreneHess.com, and follow her on Tumblr at luxroxvox.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
FREEDOM TUNNEL - NEW YORK, NEW YORK
The 83-year-old Freedom Tunnel, which runs 2 ½ miles, once funneled freight trains into New York City. It has become Manhattan’s longest and perhaps most atmospheric gallery, where cathedral light falls upon 20-foot high walls. The day-glow alternates with long stretches of complete darkness turning the entire corridor into its own work of chiaroscuro. Admission is free but you might get busted for trespassing. And when trains speed through, you must quickly clear the tracks.
At some point the Freedom Tunnel’s freight trains went away and were replaced by people seeking shelter and artists seeking fabulous light and generous wall space. The subterranean shantytown was featured in the documentary Dark Days which chronicled the stories of tunnel residents and their eventual eviction in 1991 when Amtrak brushed off the abandoned tracks for their Empire Connection line. That hasn’t stopped folks from trespassing.
In 2007, my husband and I descended into the tunnel following entry directions from a fellow explorer. We brought a tripod and two cameras. Upon entering, we saw a man laying on a platform high up to the right of the tracks. He looked up, smiled, mumbled a few words then lay back down. We continued onwards, the only other contact with humans coming from above—the fleeting sounds of children’s laughter, adults conversing loudly. But for the most part it was quiet. We were in an alternate zone where long walks through darkness gave way to columns of sunlight that fell in from grates above and on the west side of the tracks. The effects combined with the graffiti were a photographer’s dream. Rays of light fell beneath an alien smoking from a hookah. Beautifully designed block letters, 10-feet-tall, spelled out “peace.” And the iconic “There’s No Way Like the American Way” mural by Chris Pape referenced the people that once made this subterranean landscape their home—the “mole people” as they came to be known.
Our walk through this corridor of chiaroscuro was loaded with anticipation. Even in the darkness, our flashlights revealed smaller artworks, tags, and random prose. All manner of ephemera littered the ground—a teddy bear, the bare bones of a bike, and no shortage of spray paint cans. And while there was ample room off the tracks and no third rail to worry about, when a train thundered through it definitely amped the excitement.
Artist Chris Pape (aka Freedom), for whom the tunnel is named, began painting there in 1980. There is an old photo of Pape’s recreation of Goya’s Third of May beautifully lit by a fire that a resident used for cooking. Pape said it was meant to viewed by that firelight. In 2009, Amtrak began painting over the tunnel walls. Gone are works like the American Way mural. The cavalier ruin of decades of visual history is in keeping with the heavy, sometimes tragic, history of this controversial corridor. But the art keeps going up. These days, websites provide directions to the tunnel’s once-secret entrance and more folks are exploring it. I can’t begrudge the masses. To visit the Freedom Tunnel is to experience another dimension, one that is as much a visceral experience as it is visual.
* * *
Irene Tejaratchi Hess is a photographer, video editor and writer.  She was born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx, where evenings brought the sweet song of the mourning dove and the low whistle of a mobster calling his kids home for dinner. Irene spent her early career producing natural history documentaries for the PBS series Nature. She now lives in Portland, Oregon and recently finished editing a documentary on the Marine National Monuments. Find more of her work on her website, www.IreneHess.com, and follow her on Tumblr at luxroxvox.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
FREEDOM TUNNEL - NEW YORK, NEW YORK
The 83-year-old Freedom Tunnel, which runs 2 ½ miles, once funneled freight trains into New York City. It has become Manhattan’s longest and perhaps most atmospheric gallery, where cathedral light falls upon 20-foot high walls. The day-glow alternates with long stretches of complete darkness turning the entire corridor into its own work of chiaroscuro. Admission is free but you might get busted for trespassing. And when trains speed through, you must quickly clear the tracks.
At some point the Freedom Tunnel’s freight trains went away and were replaced by people seeking shelter and artists seeking fabulous light and generous wall space. The subterranean shantytown was featured in the documentary Dark Days which chronicled the stories of tunnel residents and their eventual eviction in 1991 when Amtrak brushed off the abandoned tracks for their Empire Connection line. That hasn’t stopped folks from trespassing.
In 2007, my husband and I descended into the tunnel following entry directions from a fellow explorer. We brought a tripod and two cameras. Upon entering, we saw a man laying on a platform high up to the right of the tracks. He looked up, smiled, mumbled a few words then lay back down. We continued onwards, the only other contact with humans coming from above—the fleeting sounds of children’s laughter, adults conversing loudly. But for the most part it was quiet. We were in an alternate zone where long walks through darkness gave way to columns of sunlight that fell in from grates above and on the west side of the tracks. The effects combined with the graffiti were a photographer’s dream. Rays of light fell beneath an alien smoking from a hookah. Beautifully designed block letters, 10-feet-tall, spelled out “peace.” And the iconic “There’s No Way Like the American Way” mural by Chris Pape referenced the people that once made this subterranean landscape their home—the “mole people” as they came to be known.
Our walk through this corridor of chiaroscuro was loaded with anticipation. Even in the darkness, our flashlights revealed smaller artworks, tags, and random prose. All manner of ephemera littered the ground—a teddy bear, the bare bones of a bike, and no shortage of spray paint cans. And while there was ample room off the tracks and no third rail to worry about, when a train thundered through it definitely amped the excitement.
Artist Chris Pape (aka Freedom), for whom the tunnel is named, began painting there in 1980. There is an old photo of Pape’s recreation of Goya’s Third of May beautifully lit by a fire that a resident used for cooking. Pape said it was meant to viewed by that firelight. In 2009, Amtrak began painting over the tunnel walls. Gone are works like the American Way mural. The cavalier ruin of decades of visual history is in keeping with the heavy, sometimes tragic, history of this controversial corridor. But the art keeps going up. These days, websites provide directions to the tunnel’s once-secret entrance and more folks are exploring it. I can’t begrudge the masses. To visit the Freedom Tunnel is to experience another dimension, one that is as much a visceral experience as it is visual.
* * *
Irene Tejaratchi Hess is a photographer, video editor and writer.  She was born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx, where evenings brought the sweet song of the mourning dove and the low whistle of a mobster calling his kids home for dinner. Irene spent her early career producing natural history documentaries for the PBS series Nature. She now lives in Portland, Oregon and recently finished editing a documentary on the Marine National Monuments. Find more of her work on her website, www.IreneHess.com, and follow her on Tumblr at luxroxvox.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
FREEDOM TUNNEL - NEW YORK, NEW YORK
The 83-year-old Freedom Tunnel, which runs 2 ½ miles, once funneled freight trains into New York City. It has become Manhattan’s longest and perhaps most atmospheric gallery, where cathedral light falls upon 20-foot high walls. The day-glow alternates with long stretches of complete darkness turning the entire corridor into its own work of chiaroscuro. Admission is free but you might get busted for trespassing. And when trains speed through, you must quickly clear the tracks.
At some point the Freedom Tunnel’s freight trains went away and were replaced by people seeking shelter and artists seeking fabulous light and generous wall space. The subterranean shantytown was featured in the documentary Dark Days which chronicled the stories of tunnel residents and their eventual eviction in 1991 when Amtrak brushed off the abandoned tracks for their Empire Connection line. That hasn’t stopped folks from trespassing.
In 2007, my husband and I descended into the tunnel following entry directions from a fellow explorer. We brought a tripod and two cameras. Upon entering, we saw a man laying on a platform high up to the right of the tracks. He looked up, smiled, mumbled a few words then lay back down. We continued onwards, the only other contact with humans coming from above—the fleeting sounds of children’s laughter, adults conversing loudly. But for the most part it was quiet. We were in an alternate zone where long walks through darkness gave way to columns of sunlight that fell in from grates above and on the west side of the tracks. The effects combined with the graffiti were a photographer’s dream. Rays of light fell beneath an alien smoking from a hookah. Beautifully designed block letters, 10-feet-tall, spelled out “peace.” And the iconic “There’s No Way Like the American Way” mural by Chris Pape referenced the people that once made this subterranean landscape their home—the “mole people” as they came to be known.
Our walk through this corridor of chiaroscuro was loaded with anticipation. Even in the darkness, our flashlights revealed smaller artworks, tags, and random prose. All manner of ephemera littered the ground—a teddy bear, the bare bones of a bike, and no shortage of spray paint cans. And while there was ample room off the tracks and no third rail to worry about, when a train thundered through it definitely amped the excitement.
Artist Chris Pape (aka Freedom), for whom the tunnel is named, began painting there in 1980. There is an old photo of Pape’s recreation of Goya’s Third of May beautifully lit by a fire that a resident used for cooking. Pape said it was meant to viewed by that firelight. In 2009, Amtrak began painting over the tunnel walls. Gone are works like the American Way mural. The cavalier ruin of decades of visual history is in keeping with the heavy, sometimes tragic, history of this controversial corridor. But the art keeps going up. These days, websites provide directions to the tunnel’s once-secret entrance and more folks are exploring it. I can’t begrudge the masses. To visit the Freedom Tunnel is to experience another dimension, one that is as much a visceral experience as it is visual.
* * *
Irene Tejaratchi Hess is a photographer, video editor and writer.  She was born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx, where evenings brought the sweet song of the mourning dove and the low whistle of a mobster calling his kids home for dinner. Irene spent her early career producing natural history documentaries for the PBS series Nature. She now lives in Portland, Oregon and recently finished editing a documentary on the Marine National Monuments. Find more of her work on her website, www.IreneHess.com, and follow her on Tumblr at luxroxvox.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
FREEDOM TUNNEL - NEW YORK, NEW YORK
The 83-year-old Freedom Tunnel, which runs 2 ½ miles, once funneled freight trains into New York City. It has become Manhattan’s longest and perhaps most atmospheric gallery, where cathedral light falls upon 20-foot high walls. The day-glow alternates with long stretches of complete darkness turning the entire corridor into its own work of chiaroscuro. Admission is free but you might get busted for trespassing. And when trains speed through, you must quickly clear the tracks.
At some point the Freedom Tunnel’s freight trains went away and were replaced by people seeking shelter and artists seeking fabulous light and generous wall space. The subterranean shantytown was featured in the documentary Dark Days which chronicled the stories of tunnel residents and their eventual eviction in 1991 when Amtrak brushed off the abandoned tracks for their Empire Connection line. That hasn’t stopped folks from trespassing.
In 2007, my husband and I descended into the tunnel following entry directions from a fellow explorer. We brought a tripod and two cameras. Upon entering, we saw a man laying on a platform high up to the right of the tracks. He looked up, smiled, mumbled a few words then lay back down. We continued onwards, the only other contact with humans coming from above—the fleeting sounds of children’s laughter, adults conversing loudly. But for the most part it was quiet. We were in an alternate zone where long walks through darkness gave way to columns of sunlight that fell in from grates above and on the west side of the tracks. The effects combined with the graffiti were a photographer’s dream. Rays of light fell beneath an alien smoking from a hookah. Beautifully designed block letters, 10-feet-tall, spelled out “peace.” And the iconic “There’s No Way Like the American Way” mural by Chris Pape referenced the people that once made this subterranean landscape their home—the “mole people” as they came to be known.
Our walk through this corridor of chiaroscuro was loaded with anticipation. Even in the darkness, our flashlights revealed smaller artworks, tags, and random prose. All manner of ephemera littered the ground—a teddy bear, the bare bones of a bike, and no shortage of spray paint cans. And while there was ample room off the tracks and no third rail to worry about, when a train thundered through it definitely amped the excitement.
Artist Chris Pape (aka Freedom), for whom the tunnel is named, began painting there in 1980. There is an old photo of Pape’s recreation of Goya’s Third of May beautifully lit by a fire that a resident used for cooking. Pape said it was meant to viewed by that firelight. In 2009, Amtrak began painting over the tunnel walls. Gone are works like the American Way mural. The cavalier ruin of decades of visual history is in keeping with the heavy, sometimes tragic, history of this controversial corridor. But the art keeps going up. These days, websites provide directions to the tunnel’s once-secret entrance and more folks are exploring it. I can’t begrudge the masses. To visit the Freedom Tunnel is to experience another dimension, one that is as much a visceral experience as it is visual.
* * *
Irene Tejaratchi Hess is a photographer, video editor and writer.  She was born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx, where evenings brought the sweet song of the mourning dove and the low whistle of a mobster calling his kids home for dinner. Irene spent her early career producing natural history documentaries for the PBS series Nature. She now lives in Portland, Oregon and recently finished editing a documentary on the Marine National Monuments. Find more of her work on her website, www.IreneHess.com, and follow her on Tumblr at luxroxvox.tumblr.com.
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FREEDOM TUNNEL - NEW YORK, NEW YORK
The 83-year-old Freedom Tunnel, which runs 2 ½ miles, once funneled freight trains into New York City. It has become Manhattan’s longest and perhaps most atmospheric gallery, where cathedral light falls upon 20-foot high walls. The day-glow alternates with long stretches of complete darkness turning the entire corridor into its own work of chiaroscuro. Admission is free but you might get busted for trespassing. And when trains speed through, you must quickly clear the tracks.
At some point the Freedom Tunnel’s freight trains went away and were replaced by people seeking shelter and artists seeking fabulous light and generous wall space. The subterranean shantytown was featured in the documentary Dark Days which chronicled the stories of tunnel residents and their eventual eviction in 1991 when Amtrak brushed off the abandoned tracks for their Empire Connection line. That hasn’t stopped folks from trespassing.
In 2007, my husband and I descended into the tunnel following entry directions from a fellow explorer. We brought a tripod and two cameras. Upon entering, we saw a man laying on a platform high up to the right of the tracks. He looked up, smiled, mumbled a few words then lay back down. We continued onwards, the only other contact with humans coming from above—the fleeting sounds of children’s laughter, adults conversing loudly. But for the most part it was quiet. We were in an alternate zone where long walks through darkness gave way to columns of sunlight that fell in from grates above and on the west side of the tracks. The effects combined with the graffiti were a photographer’s dream. Rays of light fell beneath an alien smoking from a hookah. Beautifully designed block letters, 10-feet-tall, spelled out “peace.” And the iconic “There’s No Way Like the American Way” mural by Chris Pape referenced the people that once made this subterranean landscape their home—the “mole people” as they came to be known.
Our walk through this corridor of chiaroscuro was loaded with anticipation. Even in the darkness, our flashlights revealed smaller artworks, tags, and random prose. All manner of ephemera littered the ground—a teddy bear, the bare bones of a bike, and no shortage of spray paint cans. And while there was ample room off the tracks and no third rail to worry about, when a train thundered through it definitely amped the excitement.
Artist Chris Pape (aka Freedom), for whom the tunnel is named, began painting there in 1980. There is an old photo of Pape’s recreation of Goya’s Third of May beautifully lit by a fire that a resident used for cooking. Pape said it was meant to viewed by that firelight. In 2009, Amtrak began painting over the tunnel walls. Gone are works like the American Way mural. The cavalier ruin of decades of visual history is in keeping with the heavy, sometimes tragic, history of this controversial corridor. But the art keeps going up. These days, websites provide directions to the tunnel’s once-secret entrance and more folks are exploring it. I can’t begrudge the masses. To visit the Freedom Tunnel is to experience another dimension, one that is as much a visceral experience as it is visual.
* * *
Irene Tejaratchi Hess is a photographer, video editor and writer.  She was born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx, where evenings brought the sweet song of the mourning dove and the low whistle of a mobster calling his kids home for dinner. Irene spent her early career producing natural history documentaries for the PBS series Nature. She now lives in Portland, Oregon and recently finished editing a documentary on the Marine National Monuments. Find more of her work on her website, www.IreneHess.com, and follow her on Tumblr at luxroxvox.tumblr.com.
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FREEDOM TUNNEL - NEW YORK, NEW YORK

The 83-year-old Freedom Tunnel, which runs 2 ½ miles, once funneled freight trains into New York City. It has become Manhattan’s longest and perhaps most atmospheric gallery, where cathedral light falls upon 20-foot high walls. The day-glow alternates with long stretches of complete darkness turning the entire corridor into its own work of chiaroscuro. Admission is free but you might get busted for trespassing. And when trains speed through, you must quickly clear the tracks.

At some point the Freedom Tunnel’s freight trains went away and were replaced by people seeking shelter and artists seeking fabulous light and generous wall space. The subterranean shantytown was featured in the documentary Dark Days which chronicled the stories of tunnel residents and their eventual eviction in 1991 when Amtrak brushed off the abandoned tracks for their Empire Connection line. That hasn’t stopped folks from trespassing.

In 2007, my husband and I descended into the tunnel following entry directions from a fellow explorer. We brought a tripod and two cameras. Upon entering, we saw a man laying on a platform high up to the right of the tracks. He looked up, smiled, mumbled a few words then lay back down. We continued onwards, the only other contact with humans coming from above—the fleeting sounds of children’s laughter, adults conversing loudly. But for the most part it was quiet. We were in an alternate zone where long walks through darkness gave way to columns of sunlight that fell in from grates above and on the west side of the tracks. The effects combined with the graffiti were a photographer’s dream. Rays of light fell beneath an alien smoking from a hookah. Beautifully designed block letters, 10-feet-tall, spelled out “peace.” And the iconic “There’s No Way Like the American Way” mural by Chris Pape referenced the people that once made this subterranean landscape their home—the “mole people” as they came to be known.

Our walk through this corridor of chiaroscuro was loaded with anticipation. Even in the darkness, our flashlights revealed smaller artworks, tags, and random prose. All manner of ephemera littered the ground—a teddy bear, the bare bones of a bike, and no shortage of spray paint cans. And while there was ample room off the tracks and no third rail to worry about, when a train thundered through it definitely amped the excitement.

Artist Chris Pape (aka Freedom), for whom the tunnel is named, began painting there in 1980. There is an old photo of Pape’s recreation of Goya’s Third of May beautifully lit by a fire that a resident used for cooking. Pape said it was meant to viewed by that firelight. In 2009, Amtrak began painting over the tunnel walls. Gone are works like the American Way mural. The cavalier ruin of decades of visual history is in keeping with the heavy, sometimes tragic, history of this controversial corridor. But the art keeps going up. These days, websites provide directions to the tunnel’s once-secret entrance and more folks are exploring it. I can’t begrudge the masses. To visit the Freedom Tunnel is to experience another dimension, one that is as much a visceral experience as it is visual.

* * *

Irene Tejaratchi Hess is a photographer, video editor and writer.  She was born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx, where evenings brought the sweet song of the mourning dove and the low whistle of a mobster calling his kids home for dinner. Irene spent her early career producing natural history documentaries for the PBS series Nature. She now lives in Portland, Oregon and recently finished editing a documentary on the Marine National Monuments. Find more of her work on her website, www.IreneHess.com, and follow her on Tumblr at luxroxvox.tumblr.com.

SCENES FROM THE RUST BELT

I am here in a most wonderful out-of-the-world place, which looks as if it had begun to be built yesterday, and were going to be imperfectly knocked together with a nail or two the day after tomorrow.

—Letter from Charles Dickens upon visiting Syracuse in 1869, quoted in New York, A Guide To the Empire State (WPA, 1940)

Images, from top to bottom, left to right:

1. Syracuse, NY

2. Syracuse, NY

3. Etna, PA

4. Cleveland, OH

5. Pittsburgh, PA

6. Braddock, PA

7. Stowe Township, PA

8. Stratton, OH

9. Syracuse, NY

* * *

Dan Wetmore is from Pittsburgh, PA. He could have been from Buffalo or Cleveland and the story would have been the same: he developed a fondness for the rich industrial history and aesthetic that surrounded him. Still, he could have been from Miami or LA: he digs photo. He received his BFA from Syracuse University in 2013 and still lives there—immersed in the photo community, a TA at the university, a lab intern at Light Work. He works at a food cooperative, drives and maintains a Buick wagon and is into local food. Find more of his work on his website, cargocollective.com/danwetmore, follow him on Tumblr at dans240z.tumblr.com and check out Golden Dawn, his upcoming show at Light Work in Syracuse (3/17-5/30/14).

This dispatch arrived care of THE AMERICAN GUIDE submission page. Be a guide yourself and send a post from your state: theamericanguide.org/submit.

ALL THE WAY IN - HILLSDALE, NEW YORK

Nestled between the Berkshire Mountains to the east and the Catskill Mountains to the west, Hillsdale exists in a world of its own. Far away from most things, it is a rural escape for many and home to few. Wikipedia accurately describes the area as “rolling hills, open farmland and wooded tracts,” and that’s exactly what you see when you set out in any direction from the intersection of Routes 22 & 23 in the center of this hamlet.

Or you can stay awhile and discover the real beauty that is off the beaten path on the dirt roads that seem to outnumber the paved streets. They criss-cross the landscape for miles and miles, daring you to press your luck with a guess to turn right or left at the numerous forks in the road, leading you to the next hidden gem that could be an abandoned house or a fallen down barn. You’re purposefully lost and don’t care while the GPS taunts you to continue further in the direction you intended, but the road ahead turns muddy and seems suitable only for farm vehicles. And the odd, handwritten sign tacked to the tree like a warning instructs to “Leave the road open to the back, we are all the way in.” You realize your luck has been pressed sufficiently for today while you head back the way you came and wonder what that life would be like… all the way in.

There are numerous places to pull your car over to take in the view for a few minutes, only to realize five minutes later that not a single other car has come along. So you sit awhile longer and another 10 minutes pass before one does. The next time it happens you sit almost 25 minutes before you see another soul. You could sell this silence. You’re tempted to just sit and try it again in the exact same spot—make a game of it, but there’s so much more to see and little time left to see it.

The sun in the sky is low and blinding most of the day—it has trouble rising over that mountain just like you do, but when it goes it’s gone, and then the night is black when you step outside and ease your car down the mountainside through this year’s first snow to join the locals at the Hillsdale House Inn and Tavern—one of the few common gathering places available. Everyone knows each other and when they don’t there are introductions made. A few sit alone on stools frittering dollars on the lotto, making small talk, but mostly it’s a lively bunch on Thanksgiving Eve and more than one patron confesses that the amount of libation consumed is in direct correlation to the fact that no work is required tomorrow—the rare day off in a town where second homes are common but the locals don’t know much leisure. Some of these folks have been at it awhile, and just like the scenery on the empty roads you are tempted to sit and see how long it can last.

You finish your dinner at the bar and drive again through the ink black, making sure to accumulate enough speed to maintain momentum up the snow-felled mountain. Finally the crunch of snow is under your feet again and that’s when you realize there is a life outside the city, where you can see the stars for the first time since you don’t remember. You step inside to the warmth of the woodstove and hope it’s still burning. You’re all the way in.

* * *

Guide to the Northeast Brett Klein lives in Connecticut and works in New York, but prefers small town life and his home state of Maine. Any chance to get rural is a mental vacation. Follow Klein on Tumblr at The Coast is Clear. His curatorial collection of Americana, rural life, other artists and ephemera can be seen on Tumblr at Tons of Land.

CITY ISLAND, SEAPORT OF THE BRONX - NEW YORK
Then:

City Island, connected to Rodman’s Neck by the City Island Avenue causeway, is an important boatyard. The dull rubbed brass of sextants gleams in the shop windows, and white sloops stand like herons in the cradles of boatbuilders. Clam chowder and popcorn are sold.
—New York City: Vol 1, New York City Guide (WPA, 1939)

Now:

Perhaps nowhere else in New York do natives have as strong a sense of themselves as they do on City Island, the sleepy speck of land ringed with sailboats and tacked to the eastern edge of the Bronx. The words clam digger and mussel sucker do not pop up every day, but City Islanders say they are well-known.
—The New York Times (2007)

° ° °
Northeast Regional Guide Leah Frances was born in a small fishing village off the west coast of Canada and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In pursuit of a graphic design career she moved to New York City in 2005 and now calls Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. She spends her days in the production departments of magazines and her evenings studying at the International Center of Photography. Weekends you will find her in the back of a Greyhound bus, map in hand. Leah posts daily at americanroads.tumblr.com. 
Zoom Info
CITY ISLAND, SEAPORT OF THE BRONX - NEW YORK
Then:

City Island, connected to Rodman’s Neck by the City Island Avenue causeway, is an important boatyard. The dull rubbed brass of sextants gleams in the shop windows, and white sloops stand like herons in the cradles of boatbuilders. Clam chowder and popcorn are sold.
—New York City: Vol 1, New York City Guide (WPA, 1939)

Now:

Perhaps nowhere else in New York do natives have as strong a sense of themselves as they do on City Island, the sleepy speck of land ringed with sailboats and tacked to the eastern edge of the Bronx. The words clam digger and mussel sucker do not pop up every day, but City Islanders say they are well-known.
—The New York Times (2007)

° ° °
Northeast Regional Guide Leah Frances was born in a small fishing village off the west coast of Canada and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In pursuit of a graphic design career she moved to New York City in 2005 and now calls Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. She spends her days in the production departments of magazines and her evenings studying at the International Center of Photography. Weekends you will find her in the back of a Greyhound bus, map in hand. Leah posts daily at americanroads.tumblr.com. 
Zoom Info
CITY ISLAND, SEAPORT OF THE BRONX - NEW YORK
Then:

City Island, connected to Rodman’s Neck by the City Island Avenue causeway, is an important boatyard. The dull rubbed brass of sextants gleams in the shop windows, and white sloops stand like herons in the cradles of boatbuilders. Clam chowder and popcorn are sold.
—New York City: Vol 1, New York City Guide (WPA, 1939)

Now:

Perhaps nowhere else in New York do natives have as strong a sense of themselves as they do on City Island, the sleepy speck of land ringed with sailboats and tacked to the eastern edge of the Bronx. The words clam digger and mussel sucker do not pop up every day, but City Islanders say they are well-known.
—The New York Times (2007)

° ° °
Northeast Regional Guide Leah Frances was born in a small fishing village off the west coast of Canada and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In pursuit of a graphic design career she moved to New York City in 2005 and now calls Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. She spends her days in the production departments of magazines and her evenings studying at the International Center of Photography. Weekends you will find her in the back of a Greyhound bus, map in hand. Leah posts daily at americanroads.tumblr.com. 
Zoom Info
CITY ISLAND, SEAPORT OF THE BRONX - NEW YORK
Then:

City Island, connected to Rodman’s Neck by the City Island Avenue causeway, is an important boatyard. The dull rubbed brass of sextants gleams in the shop windows, and white sloops stand like herons in the cradles of boatbuilders. Clam chowder and popcorn are sold.
—New York City: Vol 1, New York City Guide (WPA, 1939)

Now:

Perhaps nowhere else in New York do natives have as strong a sense of themselves as they do on City Island, the sleepy speck of land ringed with sailboats and tacked to the eastern edge of the Bronx. The words clam digger and mussel sucker do not pop up every day, but City Islanders say they are well-known.
—The New York Times (2007)

° ° °
Northeast Regional Guide Leah Frances was born in a small fishing village off the west coast of Canada and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In pursuit of a graphic design career she moved to New York City in 2005 and now calls Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. She spends her days in the production departments of magazines and her evenings studying at the International Center of Photography. Weekends you will find her in the back of a Greyhound bus, map in hand. Leah posts daily at americanroads.tumblr.com. 
Zoom Info
CITY ISLAND, SEAPORT OF THE BRONX - NEW YORK
Then:

City Island, connected to Rodman’s Neck by the City Island Avenue causeway, is an important boatyard. The dull rubbed brass of sextants gleams in the shop windows, and white sloops stand like herons in the cradles of boatbuilders. Clam chowder and popcorn are sold.
—New York City: Vol 1, New York City Guide (WPA, 1939)

Now:

Perhaps nowhere else in New York do natives have as strong a sense of themselves as they do on City Island, the sleepy speck of land ringed with sailboats and tacked to the eastern edge of the Bronx. The words clam digger and mussel sucker do not pop up every day, but City Islanders say they are well-known.
—The New York Times (2007)

° ° °
Northeast Regional Guide Leah Frances was born in a small fishing village off the west coast of Canada and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In pursuit of a graphic design career she moved to New York City in 2005 and now calls Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. She spends her days in the production departments of magazines and her evenings studying at the International Center of Photography. Weekends you will find her in the back of a Greyhound bus, map in hand. Leah posts daily at americanroads.tumblr.com. 
Zoom Info
CITY ISLAND, SEAPORT OF THE BRONX - NEW YORK
Then:

City Island, connected to Rodman’s Neck by the City Island Avenue causeway, is an important boatyard. The dull rubbed brass of sextants gleams in the shop windows, and white sloops stand like herons in the cradles of boatbuilders. Clam chowder and popcorn are sold.
—New York City: Vol 1, New York City Guide (WPA, 1939)

Now:

Perhaps nowhere else in New York do natives have as strong a sense of themselves as they do on City Island, the sleepy speck of land ringed with sailboats and tacked to the eastern edge of the Bronx. The words clam digger and mussel sucker do not pop up every day, but City Islanders say they are well-known.
—The New York Times (2007)

° ° °
Northeast Regional Guide Leah Frances was born in a small fishing village off the west coast of Canada and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In pursuit of a graphic design career she moved to New York City in 2005 and now calls Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. She spends her days in the production departments of magazines and her evenings studying at the International Center of Photography. Weekends you will find her in the back of a Greyhound bus, map in hand. Leah posts daily at americanroads.tumblr.com. 
Zoom Info
CITY ISLAND, SEAPORT OF THE BRONX - NEW YORK
Then:

City Island, connected to Rodman’s Neck by the City Island Avenue causeway, is an important boatyard. The dull rubbed brass of sextants gleams in the shop windows, and white sloops stand like herons in the cradles of boatbuilders. Clam chowder and popcorn are sold.
—New York City: Vol 1, New York City Guide (WPA, 1939)

Now:

Perhaps nowhere else in New York do natives have as strong a sense of themselves as they do on City Island, the sleepy speck of land ringed with sailboats and tacked to the eastern edge of the Bronx. The words clam digger and mussel sucker do not pop up every day, but City Islanders say they are well-known.
—The New York Times (2007)

° ° °
Northeast Regional Guide Leah Frances was born in a small fishing village off the west coast of Canada and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In pursuit of a graphic design career she moved to New York City in 2005 and now calls Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. She spends her days in the production departments of magazines and her evenings studying at the International Center of Photography. Weekends you will find her in the back of a Greyhound bus, map in hand. Leah posts daily at americanroads.tumblr.com. 
Zoom Info
CITY ISLAND, SEAPORT OF THE BRONX - NEW YORK
Then:

City Island, connected to Rodman’s Neck by the City Island Avenue causeway, is an important boatyard. The dull rubbed brass of sextants gleams in the shop windows, and white sloops stand like herons in the cradles of boatbuilders. Clam chowder and popcorn are sold.
—New York City: Vol 1, New York City Guide (WPA, 1939)

Now:

Perhaps nowhere else in New York do natives have as strong a sense of themselves as they do on City Island, the sleepy speck of land ringed with sailboats and tacked to the eastern edge of the Bronx. The words clam digger and mussel sucker do not pop up every day, but City Islanders say they are well-known.
—The New York Times (2007)

° ° °
Northeast Regional Guide Leah Frances was born in a small fishing village off the west coast of Canada and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In pursuit of a graphic design career she moved to New York City in 2005 and now calls Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. She spends her days in the production departments of magazines and her evenings studying at the International Center of Photography. Weekends you will find her in the back of a Greyhound bus, map in hand. Leah posts daily at americanroads.tumblr.com. 
Zoom Info
CITY ISLAND, SEAPORT OF THE BRONX - NEW YORK
Then:

City Island, connected to Rodman’s Neck by the City Island Avenue causeway, is an important boatyard. The dull rubbed brass of sextants gleams in the shop windows, and white sloops stand like herons in the cradles of boatbuilders. Clam chowder and popcorn are sold.
—New York City: Vol 1, New York City Guide (WPA, 1939)

Now:

Perhaps nowhere else in New York do natives have as strong a sense of themselves as they do on City Island, the sleepy speck of land ringed with sailboats and tacked to the eastern edge of the Bronx. The words clam digger and mussel sucker do not pop up every day, but City Islanders say they are well-known.
—The New York Times (2007)

° ° °
Northeast Regional Guide Leah Frances was born in a small fishing village off the west coast of Canada and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In pursuit of a graphic design career she moved to New York City in 2005 and now calls Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. She spends her days in the production departments of magazines and her evenings studying at the International Center of Photography. Weekends you will find her in the back of a Greyhound bus, map in hand. Leah posts daily at americanroads.tumblr.com. 
Zoom Info
CITY ISLAND, SEAPORT OF THE BRONX - NEW YORK
Then:

City Island, connected to Rodman’s Neck by the City Island Avenue causeway, is an important boatyard. The dull rubbed brass of sextants gleams in the shop windows, and white sloops stand like herons in the cradles of boatbuilders. Clam chowder and popcorn are sold.
—New York City: Vol 1, New York City Guide (WPA, 1939)

Now:

Perhaps nowhere else in New York do natives have as strong a sense of themselves as they do on City Island, the sleepy speck of land ringed with sailboats and tacked to the eastern edge of the Bronx. The words clam digger and mussel sucker do not pop up every day, but City Islanders say they are well-known.
—The New York Times (2007)

° ° °
Northeast Regional Guide Leah Frances was born in a small fishing village off the west coast of Canada and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In pursuit of a graphic design career she moved to New York City in 2005 and now calls Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. She spends her days in the production departments of magazines and her evenings studying at the International Center of Photography. Weekends you will find her in the back of a Greyhound bus, map in hand. Leah posts daily at americanroads.tumblr.com. 
Zoom Info

CITY ISLAND, SEAPORT OF THE BRONX - NEW YORK

Then:

City Island, connected to Rodman’s Neck by the City Island Avenue causeway, is an important boatyard. The dull rubbed brass of sextants gleams in the shop windows, and white sloops stand like herons in the cradles of boatbuilders. Clam chowder and popcorn are sold.

New York City: Vol 1, New York City Guide (WPA, 1939)

Now:


Perhaps nowhere else in New York do natives have as strong a sense of themselves as they do on City Island, the sleepy speck of land ringed with sailboats and tacked to the eastern edge of the Bronx. The words clam digger and mussel sucker do not pop up every day, but City Islanders say they are well-known.

The New York Times (2007)

° ° °

Northeast Regional Guide Leah Frances was born in a small fishing village off the west coast of Canada and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In pursuit of a graphic design career she moved to New York City in 2005 and now calls Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. She spends her days in the production departments of magazines and her evenings studying at the International Center of Photography. Weekends you will find her in the back of a Greyhound bus, map in hand. Leah posts daily at americanroads.tumblr.com. 

ALLEYS - HUDSON, NEW YORK

We’ve been a fan of Peter Spear’s The Alleys of Hudson, New York project for some time, so as the Sunday afternoon sun sets, we’re thrilled to welcome Peter and his intimate portraits of a small town to American Guide Week: 

Hudson, New York is 2 hours north of NYC, on the eastern side of the Hudson River. Once a bustling whaling port and center of commerce, it is now a town whose primary industries are tourism and poverty. Hudson is, like most small towns, complicated.  It is a town that seems to be in constant transformation. 

The city is a simple grid, with the train tracks and a bluff separating it from the Hudson River. The main streets - Allen, Union, Warren, Columbia, State - fall gently down a hill westward towards the tracks and the River. 

Hudson was built for commerce, with alleys between the streets to manage deliveries, waste and carry electrical and telephone wire. The main street - Warren - is free from this clutter, to encourage trade.

I began exploring the Alleys of Hudson a few years ago with my Mamiya (and my dog). The photographs are named according to the Alley they were taken in : Long Alley, Rope Alley, Strawberry Alley, Prison Alley, Cherry Alley, Dear Alley and Lake Alley. There is even an alley that’s called a street because it never became the street they wanted it become; Partition Street.

* * *

Peter Spear was born in the suburbs outside of Rochester, New York. He lives in Hudson, New York and shoots mostly film with either his lovely Mamiya 7ii or his Rollei. He enjoys exploring his new hometown looking for images. Follow him on Tumblr at peterspearphotographs.tumblr.com and on Twitter at pspear, find him on Flickr at peter[spear] and check out his book, “The Friendly City”.

THE HINDU TEMPLE SOCIETY - QUEENS, NEW YORK

Did you know that in addition to American Guide Week, it’s Animal Week over at the amazing Atlas Obscura? If you haven’t seen the incredible Lake Monsters of America map, get over there now. In order to help celebrate Animal Week, we dug up an American Guide dispatch on the day an elephant walked the streets of Queens.

Amidst the detached houses and backyard kiddie pools of Flushing, Queens, the elephant-headed Lord Ganesha receives visitors and devotees to the Hindu Temple Society of North America’s Šri Mahã Vallabha Ganapati Devasthãnam. As the presiding deity and a prominent god in the Hindu pantheon, Lord Ganesha’s shrine sits at the focal point of the sunlit temple space.  

Ganesha, the son of Shiva, is the remover of obstacles and inspires intense devotion in the worshippers who come to ask his blessings. Temple-goers bring offerings on a daily basis, but for special occasions — such as Ganesha’s birthday, Ganesh Chaturthi — elaborate gifts of food are presented. In 1995, the “milk miracle” was witnessed at the Queens temple when brass statues of Ganesha reportedly drank milk offerings held under their trunks.

For particularly auspicious ceremonies like the consecration of altars or the infusion of divine energy into temple statues, a live elephant attends the festivities. Upon the Temple’s re-consecration in 2009, Minnie the elephant graciously accepted the respectful touches and offerings of an admiring crowd. (Minnie’s trainer mentioned that she also does weddings.)

You can see more photos and details on how to visit the Temple over at Atlas Obscura.

* * *

Atlas Obscura is the definitive guide to the world’s wondrous and curious places. If you’re searching for MINIATURE CITIESGLASS FLOWERSBOOKS BOUND IN HUMAN SKINGIGANTIC FLAMING HOLES IN THE GROUNDBONE CHURCHESBALANCING PAGODAS, or HOMES BUILT ENTIRELY OUT OF PAPER, Atlas Obscura is where you’ll find them.

Find them at AtlasObscura.com and follow them on Tumblr at atlasobscura.tumblr.com

IRON AND SMOKE - PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK and NEW JERSEY
From the smoke-smudged factories and rail lines of Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, your Guide to the Northeast Chris Giuliano checks in for Field Assignment #10 - Products and Manufacturing/Industry:

Some of these factories and railroads are still in use, some are not. Most of these photos were taken in Pennsylvania, with the exception of two in NJ and NY. The northeast used to be an area abounding in industrial wealth and overflowing with jobs. However, with the United States’ transition from a manufacturing economy to a service economy over the last 40 or so years (which happened just as quickly as the transition to a manufacturing economy), numberless warehouses and factories have closed their doors and shuttered their windows. In spite of this, there is still an abundance of heavy industry in the northeast, whether it be the massive gas refineries of Philadelphia and New Jersey, or the coal mines and quarries of central and western Pennsylvania. I hope that these photos can begin to connect the dots between the industry of yesteryear and that of the present day. They attempt to tell the story of the factories and railroads, as well as the carriers of industry themselves (Norfolk Southern and CSX trains), which changed the face of America during the late 19th century and which continue to drive America onward today.

* * *
Chris Giuliano is a photographer and student living in the NY/NJ/PA region. Traveling throughout these states, and often to other places as well, he is able to see and capture a wide variety of life, and hopes to portray the way he sees the world to other people through his photographs. Follow on his blog, chrisgphoto.wordpress.com, and his website, chrisgiuliano.com.
Zoom Info
IRON AND SMOKE - PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK and NEW JERSEY
From the smoke-smudged factories and rail lines of Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, your Guide to the Northeast Chris Giuliano checks in for Field Assignment #10 - Products and Manufacturing/Industry:

Some of these factories and railroads are still in use, some are not. Most of these photos were taken in Pennsylvania, with the exception of two in NJ and NY. The northeast used to be an area abounding in industrial wealth and overflowing with jobs. However, with the United States’ transition from a manufacturing economy to a service economy over the last 40 or so years (which happened just as quickly as the transition to a manufacturing economy), numberless warehouses and factories have closed their doors and shuttered their windows. In spite of this, there is still an abundance of heavy industry in the northeast, whether it be the massive gas refineries of Philadelphia and New Jersey, or the coal mines and quarries of central and western Pennsylvania. I hope that these photos can begin to connect the dots between the industry of yesteryear and that of the present day. They attempt to tell the story of the factories and railroads, as well as the carriers of industry themselves (Norfolk Southern and CSX trains), which changed the face of America during the late 19th century and which continue to drive America onward today.

* * *
Chris Giuliano is a photographer and student living in the NY/NJ/PA region. Traveling throughout these states, and often to other places as well, he is able to see and capture a wide variety of life, and hopes to portray the way he sees the world to other people through his photographs. Follow on his blog, chrisgphoto.wordpress.com, and his website, chrisgiuliano.com.
Zoom Info
IRON AND SMOKE - PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK and NEW JERSEY
From the smoke-smudged factories and rail lines of Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, your Guide to the Northeast Chris Giuliano checks in for Field Assignment #10 - Products and Manufacturing/Industry:

Some of these factories and railroads are still in use, some are not. Most of these photos were taken in Pennsylvania, with the exception of two in NJ and NY. The northeast used to be an area abounding in industrial wealth and overflowing with jobs. However, with the United States’ transition from a manufacturing economy to a service economy over the last 40 or so years (which happened just as quickly as the transition to a manufacturing economy), numberless warehouses and factories have closed their doors and shuttered their windows. In spite of this, there is still an abundance of heavy industry in the northeast, whether it be the massive gas refineries of Philadelphia and New Jersey, or the coal mines and quarries of central and western Pennsylvania. I hope that these photos can begin to connect the dots between the industry of yesteryear and that of the present day. They attempt to tell the story of the factories and railroads, as well as the carriers of industry themselves (Norfolk Southern and CSX trains), which changed the face of America during the late 19th century and which continue to drive America onward today.

* * *
Chris Giuliano is a photographer and student living in the NY/NJ/PA region. Traveling throughout these states, and often to other places as well, he is able to see and capture a wide variety of life, and hopes to portray the way he sees the world to other people through his photographs. Follow on his blog, chrisgphoto.wordpress.com, and his website, chrisgiuliano.com.
Zoom Info

IRON AND SMOKE - PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK and NEW JERSEY

From the smoke-smudged factories and rail lines of Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, your Guide to the Northeast Chris Giuliano checks in for Field Assignment #10 - Products and Manufacturing/Industry:

Some of these factories and railroads are still in use, some are not. Most of these photos were taken in Pennsylvania, with the exception of two in NJ and NY. The northeast used to be an area abounding in industrial wealth and overflowing with jobs. However, with the United States’ transition from a manufacturing economy to a service economy over the last 40 or so years (which happened just as quickly as the transition to a manufacturing economy), numberless warehouses and factories have closed their doors and shuttered their windows. In spite of this, there is still an abundance of heavy industry in the northeast, whether it be the massive gas refineries of Philadelphia and New Jersey, or the coal mines and quarries of central and western Pennsylvania. I hope that these photos can begin to connect the dots between the industry of yesteryear and that of the present day. They attempt to tell the story of the factories and railroads, as well as the carriers of industry themselves (Norfolk Southern and CSX trains), which changed the face of America during the late 19th century and which continue to drive America onward today.

* * *

Chris Giuliano is a photographer and student living in the NY/NJ/PA region. Traveling throughout these states, and often to other places as well, he is able to see and capture a wide variety of life, and hopes to portray the way he sees the world to other people through his photographs. Follow on his blog, chrisgphoto.wordpress.com, and his website, chrisgiuliano.com.

THE HAIR INDUSTRY - POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK

[Poughkeepsie’s] chief manufacturing concerns are the De Laval Separator Company, producers of cream separators and oil clarifiers, and the Schatz Manufacturing Company, makers of ball bearings. There is one large cigar company, one trousers factory, and two companies producing neckties. Numerous smaller shops make men’s and women’s garments, machine parts, woodwork, cough drops, ice cream, and loose-leaf notebooks.

Dutchess County (WPA, 1937)

At one point, Poughkeepsie was quite a manufacturing hub in New York. These days a few engineering component makers, a woodworking machine maker, and the Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl manufacturing company remain, but industry and commerce ain’t what they used to be.

One thing we do, though, is hair. 

We wash, set, blow dry. We touch up roots. We do color rinses and highlighting and permanent color. We’ve got weaves and wigs. We do West African braiding. We do razor work. We do foil lites and low lites. 

Main Street is the place to get it all. 

Images - Tom McNamara & Erin Chapman; Words - Erin Chapman

* * *

Erin Chapman and Tom McNamara are co-editors of THE AMERICAN GUIDE. They live in Poughkeepsie from whence they send this dispatch for Field Assignment #10 - Products and Manufacturing/Industry.

PANORAMA OF NEW YORK, QUEENS MUSEUM OF ART - NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Amazing modeling sent in to American Guide Week by Matt Bergstrom of Wurlington Bros. Press, which makes their own amazing modeling:

The world’s largest scale city model is the Panorama of New York at the Queens Museum of Art, originally built for the 1964 World’s Fair. The model encompasses all five boroughs of the city, with 830,000 little buildings made from wood and plastic on 9335 square feet. Over 100 craftsmen worked for 3 years using plat maps, aerial photos and field surveys to recreate the mini city as accurately as possible.
There are many other scale model cities around the world, but few encompass the entire urban area from the skyscrapers of downtown all the way out to the smaller dwellings of the far-flung city outskirts.

* * *
Matt Bergstrom grew up in Minneapolis but now lives in Chicago, where he runs Wurlington Press, a publisher of architectural souvenir postcards and Viewmaster 3D photos. See the wonders of Wurlington at www.wurlington-bros.com and on Tumblr at wurlington.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
PANORAMA OF NEW YORK, QUEENS MUSEUM OF ART - NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Amazing modeling sent in to American Guide Week by Matt Bergstrom of Wurlington Bros. Press, which makes their own amazing modeling:

The world’s largest scale city model is the Panorama of New York at the Queens Museum of Art, originally built for the 1964 World’s Fair. The model encompasses all five boroughs of the city, with 830,000 little buildings made from wood and plastic on 9335 square feet. Over 100 craftsmen worked for 3 years using plat maps, aerial photos and field surveys to recreate the mini city as accurately as possible.
There are many other scale model cities around the world, but few encompass the entire urban area from the skyscrapers of downtown all the way out to the smaller dwellings of the far-flung city outskirts.

* * *
Matt Bergstrom grew up in Minneapolis but now lives in Chicago, where he runs Wurlington Press, a publisher of architectural souvenir postcards and Viewmaster 3D photos. See the wonders of Wurlington at www.wurlington-bros.com and on Tumblr at wurlington.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
PANORAMA OF NEW YORK, QUEENS MUSEUM OF ART - NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Amazing modeling sent in to American Guide Week by Matt Bergstrom of Wurlington Bros. Press, which makes their own amazing modeling:

The world’s largest scale city model is the Panorama of New York at the Queens Museum of Art, originally built for the 1964 World’s Fair. The model encompasses all five boroughs of the city, with 830,000 little buildings made from wood and plastic on 9335 square feet. Over 100 craftsmen worked for 3 years using plat maps, aerial photos and field surveys to recreate the mini city as accurately as possible.
There are many other scale model cities around the world, but few encompass the entire urban area from the skyscrapers of downtown all the way out to the smaller dwellings of the far-flung city outskirts.

* * *
Matt Bergstrom grew up in Minneapolis but now lives in Chicago, where he runs Wurlington Press, a publisher of architectural souvenir postcards and Viewmaster 3D photos. See the wonders of Wurlington at www.wurlington-bros.com and on Tumblr at wurlington.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
PANORAMA OF NEW YORK, QUEENS MUSEUM OF ART - NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Amazing modeling sent in to American Guide Week by Matt Bergstrom of Wurlington Bros. Press, which makes their own amazing modeling:

The world’s largest scale city model is the Panorama of New York at the Queens Museum of Art, originally built for the 1964 World’s Fair. The model encompasses all five boroughs of the city, with 830,000 little buildings made from wood and plastic on 9335 square feet. Over 100 craftsmen worked for 3 years using plat maps, aerial photos and field surveys to recreate the mini city as accurately as possible.
There are many other scale model cities around the world, but few encompass the entire urban area from the skyscrapers of downtown all the way out to the smaller dwellings of the far-flung city outskirts.

* * *
Matt Bergstrom grew up in Minneapolis but now lives in Chicago, where he runs Wurlington Press, a publisher of architectural souvenir postcards and Viewmaster 3D photos. See the wonders of Wurlington at www.wurlington-bros.com and on Tumblr at wurlington.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
PANORAMA OF NEW YORK, QUEENS MUSEUM OF ART - NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Amazing modeling sent in to American Guide Week by Matt Bergstrom of Wurlington Bros. Press, which makes their own amazing modeling:

The world’s largest scale city model is the Panorama of New York at the Queens Museum of Art, originally built for the 1964 World’s Fair. The model encompasses all five boroughs of the city, with 830,000 little buildings made from wood and plastic on 9335 square feet. Over 100 craftsmen worked for 3 years using plat maps, aerial photos and field surveys to recreate the mini city as accurately as possible.
There are many other scale model cities around the world, but few encompass the entire urban area from the skyscrapers of downtown all the way out to the smaller dwellings of the far-flung city outskirts.

* * *
Matt Bergstrom grew up in Minneapolis but now lives in Chicago, where he runs Wurlington Press, a publisher of architectural souvenir postcards and Viewmaster 3D photos. See the wonders of Wurlington at www.wurlington-bros.com and on Tumblr at wurlington.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
PANORAMA OF NEW YORK, QUEENS MUSEUM OF ART - NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Amazing modeling sent in to American Guide Week by Matt Bergstrom of Wurlington Bros. Press, which makes their own amazing modeling:

The world’s largest scale city model is the Panorama of New York at the Queens Museum of Art, originally built for the 1964 World’s Fair. The model encompasses all five boroughs of the city, with 830,000 little buildings made from wood and plastic on 9335 square feet. Over 100 craftsmen worked for 3 years using plat maps, aerial photos and field surveys to recreate the mini city as accurately as possible.
There are many other scale model cities around the world, but few encompass the entire urban area from the skyscrapers of downtown all the way out to the smaller dwellings of the far-flung city outskirts.

* * *
Matt Bergstrom grew up in Minneapolis but now lives in Chicago, where he runs Wurlington Press, a publisher of architectural souvenir postcards and Viewmaster 3D photos. See the wonders of Wurlington at www.wurlington-bros.com and on Tumblr at wurlington.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info

PANORAMA OF NEW YORK, QUEENS MUSEUM OF ART - NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Amazing modeling sent in to American Guide Week by Matt Bergstrom of Wurlington Bros. Press, which makes their own amazing modeling:

The world’s largest scale city model is the Panorama of New York at the Queens Museum of Art, originally built for the 1964 World’s Fair. The model encompasses all five boroughs of the city, with 830,000 little buildings made from wood and plastic on 9335 square feet. Over 100 craftsmen worked for 3 years using plat maps, aerial photos and field surveys to recreate the mini city as accurately as possible.

There are many other scale model cities around the world, but few encompass the entire urban area from the skyscrapers of downtown all the way out to the smaller dwellings of the far-flung city outskirts.

* * *

Matt Bergstrom grew up in Minneapolis but now lives in Chicago, where he runs Wurlington Press, a publisher of architectural souvenir postcards and Viewmaster 3D photos. See the wonders of Wurlington at www.wurlington-bros.com and on Tumblr at wurlington.tumblr.com.