Wednesday, November 28, 2018

[35mm Ohio] Cleveland, a National Forest, Akron, an Outlet Mall, and Standard Suburbia


Cleveland to Cincinnati with a Pentax K1000.



- Cleveland.


The weekend in Cleveland had been good, but too short as always. I wrestled with conflicting emotions as I got in the car. On one hand, I was overjoyed that I had a full day of shooting and exploring ahead. On the other: I had to go back to work the next day and no matter how good this trip would be, it was still a Sunday that would be mired by impending responsibility. I had a whole roll of film and hundreds of miles in front of me before I could let that truly set in, though.

Rather than wander aimlessly, I had some waypoints guiding my route on this day. There’s a longer piece I’ve been working on, remnants of the Cold War I’ve been documenting across the country. I needed to grab a few more examples in Ohio before I could finish out that story, so that took precedence. Anything else that came up along the way would be a bonus for my 35mm cameras.

The first stop was Downtown Cleveland where a few Browns fans were milling about under the light rain, wrapped in sweatshirts and awaiting the day’s matchup against their poetic foes from Baltimore. If this weather kept up, it was going to be a long day.

- Bolivar Rd., Cleveland.


But departing the “Metropolis of the Western Reserve” lead to sunlight as I pushed in the direction of Akron. I stopped a few times on the way to and throughout Cuyahoga Valley National Park before getting there, though.

- Corn field, Brecksville. 

- Brecksville.

- Boston Mills Rd., Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

- Boston Mills Rd., Cuyahoga Valley National Park.


I hadn’t been to Akron before. On a Sunday afternoon, no one was really about in downtown or along the canal. The quiet was nice, this particular city an interesting place to explore as clouds occasionally blocked out the sun above.

- Akron.

- Storefront, Akron.

- Akron.

- Street art, Akron.


Finding my way back to I-71, a violent rain storm slowed traffic before the sun was found again near Burbank. I stopped for gas and explored some roadside ruins: an old motel apparently still in business, a decaying service station, and an outlet mall surrounded by a train ride.

- Interstate 76/ US-224 near Seville.

- Burbank.

- Burbank.

- Burbank.

- The Plaza Motel, Burbank.

- The Plaza Motel, Burbank.

- Ohio Station Outlet Mall & Train Ride, Burbank.

- Ohio Station Outlet Mall, Burbank.

- Ohio Station Outlet Mall, Burbank.


The evening was approaching and the sun released a triumphant blast of sweat inducing warmth (a far cry from the morning’s weather) as I pulled into a rest stop. I realized I had a lot of pavement between myself and home, that I was still well within the northern half of the state.

- ODOT Rest Stop, West Salem.

- ODOT Rest Stop, West Salem.

- ODOT Rest Stop, West Salem.


I didn’t let up much until south of Columbus, trying to find somewhere to stop, explore, and shoot the last of this roll before the sun was gone. Grove City, a place I had previously known only as the name of an interstate exit where traffic is always snarled, became my destination. I watched the sun go down amongst the typical suburban sights as a mini-van-driving-man nearly hit me when I had the audacity to use a crosswalk.

- Fed Ex Facility, Grove City.

- The greatest car ever made, Grove City.

- Grove City.


I got back in the car after rewinding the camera. With all my film used up, I aimed to not stop until I was home. The inherent loneliness of the road set in, an anxiety that can’t be quelled by candy, coffee, soda, a podcast, or any music.

The part of the trip that eats at you incessantly whether it’s a Sunday evening or not.

A time when you’re wondering why you’re doing this (or anything) in the first place at all.

North of Kings Island, traffic slowed and my phone warned me of an accident ahead. The device would’ve given me an alternative route, but at this point, the exits were too infrequent to pull off. All I could do was wait it out.

I rolled down the windows and breathed in the last scents of summer still lingering in the air. I would’ve rather been most anywhere else in the world at that moment.

35mm Ohio is an ongoing documentation of road trips throughout the state. View all the entries here.

8 comments:

  1. The last KMart in Ohio is in Grove City.

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    Replies
    1. Dave! You’re the man. I’m actually on the road right now and heading back that way on Saturday. Was wondering what I’d shoot, now I need to go looking. Are you sure it’s the last one in the entire state?

      Delete
  2. Actually, my bad. It's the last one in CBus.

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  3. That plaza hotel must have been a Howard Johnsons.

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    Replies
    1. So someone commented on Instagram as well, they're pretty sure it was!

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  4. Next time in downtown Akron, consider the Peanut Shoppe (founded 1933) for something to munch on the drive home.

    ReplyDelete