I thought I would do a recap of my favorite images of the time I spent out East earlier this year. I realize that I have been posting about this a lot lately, but it did take up the first 1/3 of the year–so it was kind of a big deal. I also managed to travel a lot while I was out there, and so if you have not gone through the previous posts, or do not care to, then you can just pay attention to this one and it will recap the whole shebang. Be warned: it’s lengthy. But with that in mind, it’s intended to be a “greatest hits” of sorts to give you an idea of the time I spent, and some of my favorite images that I captured along the way.
I spent most of my time in Maryland, where I was training for a new job. That took up the majority of my time, but I took full advantage of my weekends to get out and travel the coast whenever I could.
This is the recap of those travels.
On my way out east, I stopped in Cleveland, OH, to visit a friend of mine. You can check out his blog here, his website here, and his flickr here. We went out shooting for the day, and I wished I could have stayed longer but I had to get going to my final destination.
I spent most of my time in a sleepy Maryland sub-development outside of Fort Meade, MD. There wasn’t much to see, but there were birds. Seagulls and geese. Lots of geese (more on the geese later).
I got the chance to travel to Washington, D.C., quite a bit. It is always full of tourists, and is a city that seems to accept its inherent transience. Nobody seems to actually live there–at least, very few do–and those that do are only there for a time. People who call the area home generally live outside the city, or in northern Virginia. Part of that, I assume, is the crazy prices in the city. It also has a bad reputation in terms of crime, but those aren’t the parts of the city I saw. I played tourist for the most part, and went to a few sporting events (the Nationals and the Wizards).
One of the first places I went was Gettysburg National Battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I hadn’t been there before, though I had been to PA, and I enjoyed the experience. It was not quite as enjoyable as my later trip to Antietam National Battlefield, but I did enjoy it.
One of the most important trips I took the entire time I was there was to Annapolis, Maryland. My initial visit was early on in my time there. I met a really good friend there and we ended up traveling quite a bit while I was out east. We went to several states together and had a great time.
I went to New York City, and I loved it. The energy, the craziness, the close quarters, the noise, the smell…I was enthralled. It’s visually fascinating and it’s alive all hours of the day and night. There is always something going on, and for someone who was desperately trying to make images and experiences, it was ideal. NYC also has a dark side that I didn’t get to see much of, but that intrigued me and that I would like to get to know some other time. I definitely want to go back.
I went to Baltimore and a few times, and visited Fort McHenry on one of my trips. I also caught an Orioles game on another trip–and of the three baseball parks I saw out east, the one in Baltimore was easily my favorite (and I learned about Natty Boh).
My dad came to visit, and we headed out to take some shots along the Atlantic coast. The weather was brutally cold.
I took a weekend and headed up to Philadelphia. I wished I could have been there longer, as the city certainly does have a different feel from the other cities I saw out east. Like many of these places, I didn’t have enough time to dig in and get to know the place, and I was always left feeling as if I had only seen things skin-deep.
I went back to New York City again, this time with my wife when she came to visit me.
Did I mention that I really liked New York City?
I went to Antietam National Battlefield, and took a trip to Harper’s Ferry, WV on the same trip. As a Civil War monument, I favored Antietam over Gettysburg–but both were cool. Harper’s Ferry was not much beyond a tourist town now, and with it being out of season most things were closed. All I got was a sleepy West Virginia town, and an awesome state park.
I went back to Washington, D.C. In some other visits to DC, I managed to catch two baseball games, and three basketball games, as well as visit all the major tourist sights (although there are so many, frankly, that one could spend weeks doing nothing else but seeing the tourist sights and still leave some unseen).
I visited Ocean City, MD. In the peak tourist season it’s probably interesting–during the winter it’s not all that busy, and most things are closed.
And the aforementioned geese were prominent around where I was staying. They crossed the road without fear of being hit, and I never saw evidence that any of them were. Amazing, really.
I visited the Delaware coast and saw a lot of really cool, well-preserved sand dunes. They were impressive, and the ocean creatures I learned about were cool too (though I can’t remember what they were called…sorry, Paige).
One of the last trips I made was to Richmond, VA. Right as we went, the weather really picked up and we enjoyed one of the most beautiful days of my tenure out east. Walking and enjoying the artsy district of Richmond was pretty cool. The food was good, the outdoor music was nice, and the Confederate protests were in full swing as well!
What I spent most of my time doing was creating videos for my training. Not all that interesting, but it was at times. I met some good people along the way, so maybe that made it all worth it. It also helped me move into a new career field and learn some skills that may (or may not) prove valuable down the road.
What I gained more than anything, was a new way to look at the country that I call home. I visited a huge portion of it that I had never seen before, and what I managed to gain from all of this was a better understanding of the region and its people. The sheer size of the USA means that much of the country could probably be split into several countries considering how little we have in common. The northern Midwest and the East Coast have about as much in common as New York City and London in many ways: they both speak (a lot of) English.