Local

Local items of interest from Greenville and Upstate SC.

Time Lapse at the Farmer’s Market

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I’m slowly collecting my little snippits of time lapse video from around Greenville. So far I’ve been limited to 10-15 second bits. That might be enough if I string a bunch of them together.

Regardless, Saturday morning I decided to do a time lapse at the downtown Greenville Farmer’s Market. I headed down early before the crowds arrived so that I could get set up. I was armed with my larger tripod, and my newly acquired selfie stick, which has a tripod mount in the bottom of it. Extended, it would put my GoPro nearly twelve feet in the air. Not to shabby.

I set up toward the upper end of the farmer’s market so that I would have a view back down the hill toward the Poinsett Hotel. I found a great place right across from Port City Java, so I got a large cup of coffee, then set up the tripod, on the street where I thought it would be out of the way.

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Furman Lakeside in Summer

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Cygnets from Black Swans

Well after that last “fat” revelation, I figured it’s time for more photography. Life can’t be spent entirely in the gym, so it was time to get out and take some pictures.

I headed up to Furman (where I joined Laura for a low calorie lunch), and we decided to walk down to the lake. There were reports of new baby swans, so I carried my long lens. We didn’t see the swans at first, but I decided to use the lens with its narrow depth of field to take some photos of the flowers in bloom around the student center and bookstore.

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Great Scots Parade in a Mini Convertible

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Great Scot! Parade in front of the Westin Poinsett Hotel

This Memorial Day weekend actually started Thursday morning, and it’s just barely getting started. So far I’ve been kayaking, gone to a midnight movie to see X-Men: Days of Future Past, attended a history lecture on old maps, looked for mythical meteors, visited an Irish pub, and had coffee and a great visit with old friends – and it’s only Saturday. The highlight so far, though, has been our participation in the Great Scot! Parade through downtown Greenville with the Upstate Minis.

A couple of weeks ago Jeff Goodman had posted on the Upstate Minis Facebook page about the group participating in the parade. I asked Laura if she were interested, and she jumped at the chance. So, Friday afternoon a little after 5:00 we lined up with ten other Minis on Townes Street. We would bring up the rear of the parade.

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Standard “Too Busy to Post” Post

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How many things can be crammed into one weekend? On the agenda for this one upcoming there’s Mother’s Day, a kayaking trip with Lowcountry Unfiltered, a photo walk with the Upstate Photographers, Artisphere is happening in downtown Greenville, it’s Furman Commencement…

…and, oh yeah, we have a concert at the Peace Center Saturday night and Sunday after noon with the Greenville Chorale and Greenville Symphony Orchestra, with rehearsals Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning.

I think I have an excuse not to post anything elaborate, although I’ve got a few things on various back burners.

As for the concert, we’re doing “Music from the Heavens” which includes the Poulenc Gloria, Verdi’s Stabat Mater and a piece from Aida, and Mascagni’s Easter Hymn. Edvard Tchivzhel is conducting, and he is taking maddeningly fast tempi as he usually does. That way the bad notes don’t last as long, as I used to tell my choirs. The music is challenging, but it should be a good concert. I have a very brief semi-solo bit with the men of the Chamber Ensemble in the second half of the show, but only for a couple of measures. There are two of us on a part, so I guess in a group this size, that qualifies as a “solo” ;-)

Rehearsals are exhausting. Monday we started working with Tchivzhel. Either his English is getting better, or we’re learning how to interpret his thick Russian accent. We seemed to understand him a bit better. Now I’ll have to see if I can get through these next few crazy days without losing my voice.

Shinola and Java Fix

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Art, Antiques, Funk

I had been working around the house most of the day and needed to get out and about. I decided a cup of coffee was in order, but I didn’t just want Starbucks or Atlanta Bread Company, my usual haunts. Then I remembered Java Fix, a coffee shop in a tiny weird building on Wade Hampton Boulevard. That simple decision turned into an afternoon’s adventure.

I’m a sucker for weird angled buildings. These are usually built to take advantage of a limited footprint where roads intersect at a sharp angle. Often there will be an entrance at the narrow end, then the place widens out. There used to be a really cool building at the intersection of Poinsett and Highway 183, but it was torn down when the Pete Hollis Boulevard was build. That was a shame.

Located where Mohawk Drive veers off of Wade Hampton, Java Fix is in a tiny little angled building. I think it started as a car service place. For awhile it was a record store, and I remember stopping in to browse. It’s also been a hairstyle saloon and several other things before the Fix people took over.

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Flea Markets and Falls

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Twin Falls, AKA Reedy Cove Falls

Glynda has been recovering from surgery, and is making great progress. For the first time in ages she had energy to get out and about and explore, so she suggested that we go to the regular Wednesday gathering at the Pickens Flea Market. It looked like it was going to be a beautiful day, so who was I to say no?

We left out early and arrived at the flea market shortly after 8:00 am. Even at that time there were already crowds gathered. We wandered among the booths and looked at the goods. Since I’d had success with my 35mm lens on yesterday’s Earth Day trek, I decided to use it here, too. I had my Panasonic as a backup.

For the most part it was the same old same old. There were the random collections of antiques, toys, bottles, etc. etc. I noticed that a lot of my shots are starting to look the same. It’s hard to find something unique.

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Live Steam

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Sandy River Narrow Gauge Engine

Last week fellow singer and explorer Tommy Thompson had been invited to tag along with one of his friends, Steve Baker, as they visited Jim Pitts, retired chaplain of Furman University and expert on live steam model railroading. I knew Jim from when I was a student at Furman, and we’ve have kept up with each other through Laura in the many years since then. Tommy invited me to come with them as a tag-along tag along. I jumped at the chance.

We started with breakfast at the Travelers Rest Inn, then headed on up to Jim Pitts’ house in Travelers Rest. Steve was running a bit late, so Jim invited us in and gave us a tour of his extensive collection. The first room we entered had shelves lining the walls and cases with multiple types of model engines. Jim gave us a running description of each.

Steve arrive in time to join us for coffee and doughnuts, after which Jim took us out to see the rest of his collection. We thought we had already seen it, but there was a separate garage out back with even more trains. (more…)

Taylors Renaissance Revisited

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Red Chair 2

Last week I visited a new coffee shop in the old Southern Bleachery Mills in Taylors. This week I noticed that they were going to have live music Friday night, and that the artist studios I had seen on that last visit would be open for First Friday. After dinner in Greer, Laura and I decided to check it out.

At first she was quite skeptical. I took the back way, following Chick Springs Road from Greer into Taylors. It worked perfectly, but Laura had no clue where we were going. Her skepticism increased when I drove onto the old mill property. However, when she saw all the cars and activity, that skepticism diminished.

Due South Coffee was hopping. They had opened two of the large garage doors leading into their space, and we could hear the music all over the parking lot. However, we decided to check out the art studios first. (more…)

Taylors Renaissance and Textures

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Taylors Mill with Texture

As most readers by now know, I am fascinated with old ghost towns. However, what I like even more is when I find an area that was previously in decay now coming back to life. Such is the case with the old Taylors Mill in downtown Taylors.

The phrase “downtown Taylor’s may not have much meaning to Greenvillians. Most think of Taylors as a nebulous area somewhere on the Eastside of town before you get to Greer. There is actually a downtown area, just off of Wade Hampton Boulevard, beyond Taylors First Baptist Church. There are a few storefronts, but the most prominent features are the old Taylors High School, now converted into a Fine Arts Academy and Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and the old Taylors Textile Mill. (more…)

Composite Greenville History

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On our latest Lowcountry Unfiltered trip down to Bonneau Ferry I enjoyed creating some composite images from old photographs. These show a historic photo of of the plantation superimposed over a present-day photo. The photos proved popular, and I wondered if I could do more with local historic photos.

I love historic photos. I’m a sucker for those little historic images books from Arcadia Press. When I first got involved with multimedia design for the classroom, one of my first projects was to create an interactive display comparing historic images of Greenville taken from the same vantage point over time.

Finding suitable images can be tricky. Copyright issues aside, I could scan the images from my books, but I’d prefer to find something available online. The best, most extensive collection is the Coxe Collection. The Greenville Historical Society has those locked away, available only at low resolution and watermarked to hell and back. The Library of Congress has some good images, as do the South Carolina Digital Library collection and the Greenville County Library.

Recently I discovered that Greenville History Tours had been posting some cool photos of Greenville on their Facebook page. Some of these were perfect for my project, and I spent one afternoon greedily downloading images from their site.

Thursday of this week was a beautiful day, and seemed like a perfect opportunity to put my project to the test. I printed out copies of the historic images so that I could try to line up my photos with the original. I think some of these turned out quite well. I’m going to be posting larger than usual images in this post because of the nature of the project, so I apologize ahead of time to the bandwidth-challenged. (more…)

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