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Back Alley Tourist

by Richie


Mix one part boredom with three jiggers of curiosity and you’ve got a recipe for wandering around the odd places in town. I’ve become a Back Alley Tourist this month.



January is the month we stay close to home. It’s not camping weather, there’s no place to travel to, and I’m hungry for amusement in our little town. Time for some alley cruising.

The other day I went looking for the recycling center and followed a series of ill-placed signs that led through the deserted back lots of an industrial park. There I saw a crazy collection of colorful factory stuff behind an automotive parts plant. Never did find the recycle place.


I don’t really know what I’m looking for when I wander the back alleys. Something I haven’t seen before, the unexpected surprise. I’m pretty nosy and will poke around any old place. Hey, I know what you’re thinking and let me assure you right now – I won’t rummage through your dresser drawers! I’m not that kind of snoop.


It’s surprising that even the prettiest town will have a seedy underbelly somewhere. Behind Main Street’s handsome façade of cute little boutiques and tidy restaurants there’s likely to be an alley in the back where another kind of life plays out. It’s like peeking backstage at a play. A lot happens behind the scenes.



Fortunately back alleys usually give way to side streets which can lead to little hidden neighborhoods. Enclaves you never knew were there.


There’s a lot to discover in these hidden neighborhoods, especially if the town has a long history. I’ve found livery stables reclaimed as garages, old homes that look like they can barely stay upright, and the remnants of a spring well lined with limestone and long forgotten.


Just a couple of days ago I discovered a historic AME church, the first black church in the area, hidden down a side street which had eluded my attention until a random alley stroll landed me at its doorstep.


So what unexpected find will you discover in your neighborhood? Go ahead and wander the back lots. Be curious. Just stay out of my underwear drawer!


Karen Moore January 29, 2021 - 6:59 pm

Hi Richie! This was great. Peaking behind the scenes was quite the adventure. I always enjoy your stories and pictures. Thanks for sharing. ❤️

Barbara Hancock January 24, 2021 - 1:13 pm

What a great EYE! I love when your posts show up … I let them sit in the inbox for a few days while the anticipation builds and then, WHAM! — the things you spot to photograph blow me away! Love how you let the visuals tell the story, accompanied by pithy comments that add just enough to provide context. Thanks for sharing.

Richie January 24, 2021 - 1:29 pm

Thanks so much, Barbara! Your encouragement means a lot!

Gene Hoffman January 22, 2021 - 7:51 pm

Yes, your pictures are wonderful and your commentary absolutely brings them to life!!!

Richie January 22, 2021 - 8:26 pm

Thanks, Gene, I sure try. Sometimes it’s a hit, sometimes I whiff the ball!

Denise Furnish January 22, 2021 - 3:04 pm

You are a FABULOUS photographer!!! Love these…
The composition, color, interesting subject… Go Girl!

Richie January 22, 2021 - 3:35 pm

You made my day! Thanks hon!!

Beth Daniels January 22, 2021 - 2:47 pm

Quite the interesting stroll you did! These could all be story starters for something creepy like Carrie writes! 🙂

Richie January 22, 2021 - 3:36 pm

Hehe! We should start a Creepy Tour!

David March 10, 2021 - 7:53 am

You were perceptive to see Carrie’s stories in these photos – the ninth photo (or, fifth from the last) is the spot we settled on for the author portrait on her website. Haha, good eye!

– The Husband

Richie March 10, 2021 - 11:04 am

Great minds think alike! Haha!

Peggy Hoffman January 22, 2021 - 2:02 pm

What a delight to experience your colorful finds of tucked away places! It’s nice even on this sunny day but a place to revisit on those cloudy ones. Had a walk couple of weeks ago to walk around our lake with the intention to really notice/SEE the wonders of nature. Captured many of my finds with camera phone. Maybe I’ll share my “finds” in an email!

Richie January 22, 2021 - 2:06 pm

I’d love to see your finds! Glad you were out and about!

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