Archive for blight

Posted in Photography with tags , , on April 6, 2017 by sethdellinger

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Wild Harrisburg

Posted in Photography with tags , , on March 30, 2017 by sethdellinger

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Harrisburg, December

Posted in Photography with tags , , , on December 13, 2016 by sethdellinger

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From Wikipedia:

Harrisburg’s site along the Susquehanna River is thought to have been inhabited by Native Americans as early as 3000 BC. Known to the Native Americans as “Peixtin”, or “Paxtang“, the area was an important resting place and crossroads for Native American traders, as the trails leading from the Delaware to the Ohio rivers, and from the Potomac to the Upper Susquehanna intersected there. The first European contact with Native Americans in Pennsylvania was made by the Englishman, Captain John Smith, who journeyed from Virginia up the Susquehanna River in 1608 and visited with the Susquehanna tribe. In 1719, John Harris, Sr., an English trader, settled here and 14 years later secured grants of 800 acres (3.2 km2) in this vicinity. In 1785, John Harris, Jr. made plans to lay out a town on his father’s land, which he named Harrisburg. In the spring of 1785, the town was formally surveyed by William Maclay, who was a son-in-law of John Harris, Sr. In 1791, Harrisburg became incorporated, and in October 1812 it was named the Pennsylvania state capital, which it has remained ever since. The assembling here of the highly sectional Harrisburg Convention in 1827 (signaling what may have been the birth of lobbying on a national scale) led to the passage of the high protective-tariff bill of 1828.[12] In 1839, Harrison and Tyler were nominated for President of the United States at the first national convention of the Whig Party of the United States, which was held in Harrisburg.

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Karla

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2015 by sethdellinger

Despite the fact that it is an impossibility in this version of the universe, I sometimes imagine what it would be like to lose you.  It is, I understand, just a thought exercise.  But it is nonetheless intensely powerful, and a little debilitating.  The depth of sorrow I can experience in just these few moments alone with a hypothetical–it is indescribable.  You out in the wide world, somehow not in my orbit, no longer my anchor and my sail, and I am alone late at night (it is always late at night in this thought exercise) and I am always holding, for whatever reason, a corded landline phone, waiting for I don’t know what.
This isn’t a sad exercise; it’s glorious for reminding me that you are my lady, and you are a glorious lady.

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Tonight I drove to the movie theater and back.  It wasn’t incredibly late at night; 9pm on the way there, close to midnight on the way back, but it felt much later than that.  The roads were empty and even Dunkin Donuts was closed, but the night had that great mid-summer heat and glow, as though the whole world had been swimming all day in a very chlorinated pool.  I saw the new Mission: Impossible movie and it was pretty good.  I thought about you and the way your jaw juts out a little bit–really it’s practically imperceptible–when you are worrying about something.  It’s a small glimpse into your inner universe.  It’s a magical moment, when I get glimpses like that.  I wish I was in there with you.

I was listening to a Seven Mary Three mix disc I’ve made myself and I had the song Favorite Dog on repeat.  The lyrics have nothing (or very little, or who knows, really?) to do with me or us, but the dirge-like buildup and dreamy crescendo and Sisyphean lyrics bled into my ruminations.  That’s my other hand, open and empty. It wants one too, I guess. That’s my other jaw, swollen and shameless. It talks too much, I know.

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The neighborhood we live in is pockmarked; pockets of new buildings, swaths of blight, dozens of playgrounds: some new, some disgusting.  Office buildings and squalid churches and a new-ish Red Cross headquarters.  It doesn’t know what it wants to be, this neighborhood, although I’m confident some day it will sort everything out.  For now it’s enough that we live here, together, and our neighbors are nice and we have a huge bathtub and don’t worry about much and it’s a safe neighborhood.

There seem to be more people on motorized wheelchairs than I see elsewhere.  And chicken bones; a lot of people seem to eat chicken wings here and leave them on the ground, which is strange.  But the ice cream truck stops many places, and frequently, and plays cheery tunes with that twinkly horrible bell.  Sometimes when you’re up in bed, I slip out the front door and buy a cone.  They are creamy and luscious and melt down my hand by the time I’m back inside our air conditioned living room.

Last week we were driving down Harris Street toward Sixth and, outside an old barber shop that I had assumed was no longer in business, there were dozens of chairs sitting on the sidewalk; perhaps ten recliners, maybe three or four dining room 1chairs, and a few folding chairs.  At first we thought some small event was taking place, but as we pulled up beside them, it was obvious they were for sale.  Just chairs.  We were incredulous and we laughed and were baffled.

A few days ago I was walking our dog and just a few blocks from our house I came upon an old wooden chair that had been partially disassembled.  It sat boldly on the corner of the sidewalk as though it belonged there; I couldn’t help but remember the barber shop of a few days before.  I thought to myself, we live in a neighborhood of chairs.  I know this is nonsense and is not meaningful, but it sounds meaningful.

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…and they’re barking at me, yeah they’re working on me, just like my favorite dog.  Geronimo!  Look out below!  I love that rusty water like it was my favorite dog…

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Much, much more than most people (I assume) I become instantly and strongly aware that I am a creature scurrying across the outer crust of a planet in the massive and unpredictable universe.  You know how, in science fiction movies, sometimes the protagonists land on a planet they weren’t prepared for, and when they step out onto the surface, it is often something recognizable to us but also partly mystifying and different, and you think how you’d like to explore that world, see how it works?  I am frequently struck by that sensation on our own world.  From our current house, I need only walk six blocks to be standing beside the Susquehanna River–massive amounts of water which has all found its way into one spot, moving along together, flowing, flowing, never stopping, against a backdrop of a blue atmosphere and low mountains dappled with bushy green trees.  I’m on a planet, I think to myself, and nearly faint.

A few months ago I was at my father’s house out in the country when an especially intense weather pattern blew through the area and I stood outside with the neighbors, watching in awe as a tornado almost formed in the farmer’s field across the road. The massive dark and white clouds were moving faster than I could have imagined, swirling into and out of each other, turning 11148570_10206509552443317_4647072801334266283_oon end, pitching and yawing, an intricate dance choreographed by pressures beyond my ability to fathom, powers pulled from even beyond the Earth but the laws of the universe itself.  Suddenly the pressures above turned their powers toward us and a gush of air was blown directly down, the strangely warm air like a very strong wind blowing at the ground.  A gargantuan black cloud passed over our heads so close it was almost fog, and so fast it was almost an airplane, and then in an instant, it was gone, had moved past us, onto the next crop of onlookers elsewhere.  As I walked inside I said to my father in the living room, I have never felt so much like I was on a planet!  As I was walking out to the kitchen to get a drink I heard him reply I already know I’m on a damned planet! 

Just a few days ago, my dear, we were driving on one of these lengthy but truly scenic highways that Central Pennsylvania supplies us with by the dozens, and when we rounded a bend, we saw the light coming through holes in a cloud, we could see the light’s rays dancing on the air, and we could see it land, slantingly, on the nearby bulbous mountaintop, lighting individual treetops.  It almost looked like a forest fire was raining from the sky.  I was breathless and you let me take your hand and you let me be amazed and you were amazed with me, here on the surface of this world.

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…that’s my other head, open and bleeding, it thinks too much, I guess. That’s my other eye, swollen but fearless. It’s seen too much I know.  Geronimo!  Look out below!  I love that rusty water like it was my favorite dog…

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It’s enough–it is so much more than enough–that your hair falls across your ear the way it does when you lay on the couch.  How you sigh after a long day’s work: it is tired but determined.  It is so much more than enough the way you always offer me water when I walk in the door, it is so much more than I ever would have asked for.  The way that your lips taste, always so sweet, like you had just put a dab of sugar on them, even that is all I need, all I could ever need, here in our neighborhood of chairs, here on the surface of our planet.

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Stop Harshing My Groove

Posted in Snippet with tags , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2014 by sethdellinger

1.  Am I, potentially, the only person in America who said to themselves this morning, “Looks like it’s time to buy some more blank CDs!”?

2.  What do you think it would take to get this zany country of ours to do away with this whole “move the clocks back” thing?  Everyone hates it, and even those who have a full understanding of why we do it, even they don’t understand why we do it!  In a country that seems to be waking up from centuries of backward thinking (yay gay marriage! yay legal pot even though I don’t personally smoke it! yay even bigots hate Westboro Baptist!) you’d think we could find a way out of this dark-at-noon bullcrap.

3.  Those of you who are aware of the trend of men wearing fancy socks, I’d like to get your thoughts on it.  Part of me really wants to jump on that train and thinks it is very much me, and the other part of me thinks that is the opposite of me and that I should be very opposed to it.  And please, suggestions like you should do whatever you feel like are pretty pointless since I just told you I’m conflicted!

4.  I’m getting sick of dust.  I mean, when will dust just give up?  Aint nobody got time for that!

5.  Who knew there was an abandoned section of Asbury Park, New Jersey, that seems to border on “ghost town” status??? Not me, and I’ve freakin’ BEEN to Asbury Park!  Brian, why didn’t you ever tell me about this?  Geez Louise, this is right down my alley! (thanks to the lovely Karla for filling me in!)

6.  Boy howdy, do I ever freakin’ love the holidays.  I’ve blogged about this before, but I just don’t understand people’s hatred of the holiday’s “starting early”.  Oh, what’s that, you’d rather not begin feeling a kinship with your fellow man too early in the season?  Too soon for warm nostalgia, quality 50s music (that’s basically what our Christmas songs are, but mostly, as songs, they’re REALLY GOOD), eye-popping decorations, and a general air of joviality?  What is wrong with you people?? Stop harshing my groove.

Kingdom of Rust

Posted in Photography with tags , , , , , on June 26, 2014 by sethdellinger

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I’m a Kind of Portion, I Guess

Posted in Philly Journal, Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2014 by sethdellinger

I had a long conversation last night with one of my employees about demonyms.  Demonyms are the words we use to describe where we are from, that you are a person from a specific place.  For instance, Philadelphian is a demonym, and so is Israeli and Marylander.  I have always found demonyms very interesting.  They come in so many shapes and sizes, and there are no rules about how it is formed (and typically, there aren’t even official demonyms).  I first became really aware of and curious about them when I first moved to Erie, PA, and realized I had become an Erieite.  That is a helluva word!  Ever since, I have been intrigued by each place’s demonym.  You can usually guess it, but not always.  In addition, what REALLY blows my mind is that there is a demonym for everywhere.  I mean, continents have 007them…European, Asian, South American, etc.  Obviously, countries and states, too.  But you really start to slither down the rabbit hole when you think that every town has one!  Not every city, every town has it’s own demonym.  Just thinking about the people likely to be reading this blog…Dad, obviously I know you are a Newvillian.  So am I, to a degree.  Mom and Adi and Brian are Mantuans.  Kyle…what are you, a Ridgecrester?  I hope that’s what it is.  Cory K. lives in Racine, WI…that one boggles my mind.  I could look it up but I hope he reads this and tells us in the comments.  My best guess is Racineite.  But in my conversation with my employee last night, we took 012it one step further.  Sure, we were both Philadelphians, but we also lived in sections of the town that had names.  Did they, too, have demonyms?  Of course they do!  But we don’t know what they are.  He lives in Society Hill so he settled on Society Hiller, and I like Pennsportian (rhymes with portion).  I seriously could think about demonyms all damn day.

I stumbled onto something pretty interesting today.  Watch this video I made.  I don’t even make you listen to any hip music in this one:

Things I don’t understand in life include, but are not limited to: hopscotch, red licorice, the stock market, bandwidth, point spreads, football’s “secondary”, tort reform, Celsius, 12 bar blues, and the aeronautical concept of lift.  Also, unrelated,

For those with a passing interest in architecture, these apartment buildings near the Delaware River in Philly are Frank Gehry buildings.

For those with a passing interest in architecture, these apartment buildings near the Delaware River in Philly are Frank Gehry buildings.

there is a place in Maryland called Big Assawoman Bay.  It’s a bay.  Really.

Why does my phone die faster when it’s cold out?  seriously, is there someone who can explain this to me?  And why, why, does there not exist a device which is portable, with which we can charge our phones using stores solar power?  I know I am sounding like some green tree-hugger (I kinda am) but for real, I hate how when I leave the house for extended periods of time, I now have to plan where and when I’ll be charging my phone (losing the car option has changed things a tad; that was always a go-to charging area).  With these smartphones being power sieves nowadays, after an hour and a half out of the house on foot, I find myself having to conserve battery power.  Not cool, world.  Figure something better out!

I bought this mini-figurine of William Penn because I am good with money:

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