Fitchburg Revisited

Took a brisk mini-photowalk through Fitchburg, MA on Thursday. A struggling old city, in Central Massachusetts. The city is so strapped financially that they had to turn the street lights off, raising the already high crime rate even more. If it were not for the university, it might not be on the map.  Yet, it does possess a lot of charm, potential, and spirit. As do the people, many are simply nice people. Walking around the downtown area, I lost count of how many “Good morning!”, and “Nice camera!” greetings I received. Would be a shock to receive such greetings in Boston, which tends to be a very unfriendly city. Move 50 miles or so to the west, and it’s a whole nother ball game.

Urban Artwork Mural, Fitchburg, MA

Urban Artwork Mural, Fitchburg, MA

Every summer in Fitchburg, there is one of the best kept secrets in all of sports, a world class bicycle race circuit, called the Longsjo Classic. Named after Arthur Longjo, who was the US’s 1st athlete to compete in both the Summer (bicycle), and Winter (speed skating) Olympic Games. He was killed in an automobile crash, but his legacy lives on, and a few years back, I even got to see his devoted widow in person, who awards winners their medals. This huge signage is on the side of an abandoned building:

The Longsjo Classic

The Longsjo Classic

A new obsession is Americana/kitsch. It might become a photographic theme this summer. Rapidly fading from stuffy, Brahmin New England, you can still find some. Putnam Street Lanes, a family-owned 10 lane alley, is open 7 days a week. Sorry, no credit or debit cards, please. Cash, and bowl. This is the oldest candlepin bowling house in the United States.

Candlepins For Cash- Putnam Street Lanes, Fitchburg, MA

Candlepins For Cash- Putnam Street Lanes, Fitchburg, MA

Amazing Polaroid subjects are abound. Just open your (Electric) eye.

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