Saturday, March 30, 2013

NBM House and Home


Yesterday I needed to clear my head a bit before meeting a friend of mine in Eastern Market, so I decided to swing by the National Building Museum. I didn't have any particular exhibits in mind, but I've never known the NBM to disappoint. By chance I came across the House & Home exhibit. At first glance it didn't seem like much; some displays of rooms and such. The detailed models of city and country residential structures were interesting. But the real magic was toward the end.

Imagine an issue of Dwell magazine that's 10 feet tall and consists of nothing more than full page images of beautiful, modern homes and apartments. Now instead of still images, imagine video, constantly alternating between each side of the magazine, showing people living in the homes, along with some Helvetica-like music. It really was enthralling.

On top of that, one the dwellings featured in the video was MICA's very own Gateway building. My picture above doesn't really do it justice.

If you're in the area of the National Building Museum or the Gateway building, I suggest you take 30 minutes and check them out. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fort McHenry Radio


This isn't really photography related, but I thought I'd post something about it since I can't seem to find it elsewhere on the Internet. One dark, early morning commuting through the Fort McHenry Tunnel, I noticed that certain radio stations would stay on the air even as I was passing through the tunnel. "Surely not,"1 I thought to myself; I was underground, under the water. There must be a repeater.

I pointed this out to a friend of mine, and he figured that since the stations coming through were from Baltimore, maybe they had enough power to make it into the tunnel. I had my doubts, but I didn't have any evidence to the contrary.

A few months ago I was driving through the tunnel yet again, but this time I'd left the radio in scan mode since none of my presets had anything good on. Sure enough, the tuner landed on 107.1 MHz about half way through the tunnel. A female voice simply repeated, "This is the Maryland Transportation Authority radio rebroadcast system for bore 3 of the Fort McHenry Tunnel. This is only a test."

So not only is there a repeater for the tunnel, there's actually one for each bore of the tunnel. I haven't done an exhaustive search for stations that they're repeating, but so far I've found 100.7 and 102.7. I'm sure there are more.

I also haven't checked to see if there's something similar for the Harbor Tunnel. My guess is that it's really there to provide emergency broadcasts to people that might be stuck in the tunnel during the regular bumper-to-bumper delays. Obviously it also provides entertainment, probably helps relieve some people's claustrophobia, and may give workers something to listen to while they're doing maintenance.

Ok, that was a lot of words for not a lot of content. The picture above was taken (haphazardly) with a Leica M6 on Kodak Tri-X. Normally I wouldn't post such a poor photo, but it seems to capture a bit of the grittiness of commuting in this area. It's also my only photo that's remotely relevant to this article.

Happy shooting and commuting!

1Insert Airplane quote here.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

From Industry to Charm

Really these pictures could have been taken in any industrial area. These pictures happen to be from Baltimore. I still believe in Baltimore. Between 1950 and 2012, the population dropped from about 1.1 million to around 600 thousand. But I think the city is well over that statistic. Today it's more about the art, the business, the waterfront, the history, and of course, the charm.

If all you know of Baltimore is what you've seen on The Wire, you know nothing. I dare you to walk up Charles Street from Federal Hill to Penn Station and not fall in love.

These pictures were not taken anywhere near Charles Street. At no point was I afraid that some thug would take away my Leica though. Just put that image out of your head.

Chain Link

Point Breeze

Point Breeze

Point Breeze