For years, I’ve been taking photos of alleys wherever I go; especially throughout my travels because I find them fascinating! Alleys tend to be overlooked because they’re purposely hidden and thus becoming “a needle in a haystack” of all the sights to see as a tourist. We are too focused on the architectural skyline, the landscape, and/or every tourist’s favorite.. people watching! We are visually overloaded therefore the details become distorted and mostly discarded.
According to Google: an alley or alleyway is a narrow lane, path, or passageway, often reserved for pedestrians, which usually runs between, behind, or within buildings in the older parts of towns and cities. It is also a rear access or service road (back lane), or a path, walk, or avenue (French allée) in a park or garden. The origin of the word alley is late Middle English. From aler “go,” from Latin: ambulare “to walk.” A covered alley or passageway, often with shops, may be called an arcade. Synonyms for alley include: passage, back alley, backstreet, pathway, walk; corridor, aisle; ginnel, snicket, twitten; twitchel; vennel; wynd; gully. In the 19th century, American cities used alleys to hide the more utilitarian, less attractive functions of urban life including service and servant access, barns for horses and carriages, and even small shops and areas for children to play. Nowadays, alleys are used for garages, to store/set out garbage cans, where transformers, electric meters, and telephone equipment are installed. The ownership of the land that is platted as a street or alley is actually statutorily presumed to be owned by the abutting property owners. The platted public street and alleys are available for public use for public purposes as long as they are platted.
According to Urban Dictionary, an alley cat has multiple definitions:
1. a stray cat, a homeless cat.
2. a sexually promiscuous person, usually a woman.*
3. a type of race that bike messengers partake in for fun that simulates the average messenger’s work day.
*Fun fact within a fun fact (it’s like dream within a dream = Inception): I’m going to feel awkward the next time my family calls me “Allie Cat” because now I know this definition and I’ll question which term they meant to call me. A stray cat or a promiscuous woman? I hope a stray cat! MEOW!
You’re in for a treat this week! Yep yep yep! Settle in and get comfy because not only do I have a photo of an alley to share, but I have three! HIGH-FIVE! Alright.. Toppin’ it all off with some more fun facts and miscellaneous stuff.
I took the photo (right) while driving through my hometown at the corner of C & Main as I waited for the traffic light to change. The overgrown weeds is what caught my eye first! Man, oh, man.. The condition of this alley screamed that it hadn’t been maintained well, recently or if at all. The blue spray painted curb is a little reminder that my hometown has become infamous for constantly being under construction. No one had been passing through this alley, safely, that’s for sure because I noticed the rusted lock and three faint lines of rusty barbed wire at the top of the chain link fenced gate. Ouch! We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog to bring you this important message: Are you up to date on your tetanus shot? Yes? Good for you! No? Well, you better skedaddle to your nearest pharmacist! I’ll wait.. Sike! Moving on (play @ 48 second mark)..
I captured the above picture during an evening stroll through Hollywood, California while on spring break. If you look closely, you can see this alley is in between two residential buildings that’s scattered with litter, a discarded shopping cart, a folding chair, unknown spilt liquid (some of which is pink), a city sign, and four tied pieces of tape that spells “CUIDADO” which I translated from Spanish to English; it means “taken care of” or “watch out.” The city of LA has an interesting definition of “taken care of” if that’s the term they intended for this unsightly scene! In this instance, I’m sure they meant the latter. The little green and pink floral patch neatly frames the composition, which just goes to show that even in a whirlwind of a mess; there’s a silver lining to be grateful for and admire.
A group of friends and I were exploring Pittsburgh’s Historic Strip District when I came across this quaint hole in the wall alleyway. I combined two photos into one per Android’s collage feature so I could capture every detail. The Strip District is what the kids nowadays call.. Hipster. It’s an eclectic urban street market sprinkled with multicultural influences. I immediately felt the flower power as I stepped into this peaceful realm. Each stop seemed to be some type of organic business: mom and pop shop restaurants, fresh from the farm produce stands, hand-stitched clothing stores (I saw a pair of slippers made from alpaca fleece), homemade soaps and candles, used bookstores, etc. This alley gate has “Enrico” advertised on it which is an entrance and/or exit of an Italian cafe named The Enrico Biscotti Company. Immediately, I could tell this was a functional passageway because of how clean it was with the aligned tables and chairs under the brightly colored canopy, the string of lights, the stacks of signs, the brick wall scribbles in either chalk or spray paint, and a vintage freestanding mixer.
I hope the next time you’re out and about, especially when exploring new territory, that you’ll be inspired to take a moment to examine the details.. such as alleys! Who knows? Maybe you’ll start your own alley photo collection. If you do, please follow me on Instagram or send me a Facebook friend request and share them on my page! I’d love to see them! I’m sure the other readers would too! And I’d be more than happy to give you my two ¢ents.
Here comes the miscellaneous stuff!
There were a few things I didn’t mention about my blog on my first post last week because I secretly hoped that everyone noticed them and/or explored this blog page on their own, if not.. that’s okay! You may be new to blogs.. I know I am! I’m here to help ya out and of course.. overthink things! haha.. Okay, so, if you’re interested in being notified via email every week of each new blog I post, please feel free to enter your email address and click the “Follow” button on the left navigation panel of this page (you’ll only be able to see the “Follow” hyperlink button if you’re reading this on a laptop or desktop computer). You may not see a left navigation panel if you’re reading this on a tablet or cell phone. For tablets and cell phones: there’s a three horizontal line icon (that looks like the image I’ve included above for your reference). If you scroll up to the upper right of this page and click the featured icon, it’ll expand to showcase more information of my blog. The more information includes my:
- Blog Theme
- Blog Stats
- how many times my blog has been viewed
- 63 hits this past week!
- thank you all!
- Clickable hyperlinks to follow me elsewhere
- on Facebook, Instagram, my portfolio website
- Search bar
- About Blogger
- a little biography on me
- includes a music video that is my new self-proclaimed anthem
- Fun Fact
- this will change every week to spread knowledge!
- Watch out now.. it’s addicting!
Oh! When you see an underlined word within my blog text, it’s a clickable hyperlink! Please click them as you read, it’ll be fun! I promise.. or your money back! I don’t make a profit on this blog.. not yet anyway.. Haha.. When you click a hyperlink, it’ll open a new tab to a video or page for some extra entertainment or reference. These clickable hyperlinks help move the story along. They also provide some context as to my intended tone so you can get a feel for my sense of humor. You may have already noticed.. I love pop culture! Fun fact: I always thought the “pop” in pop culture meant.. like soda pop or bubble gum popping. Nope, it’s short for “popular.” Who knew?! Show of hands! 1.. 2.. 3.. Okay, you can put your hand down, people are staring at you! Haha.. Hope you come back to visit next week!