Sunday, November 17, 2013

Going Urban

As much as I love my backroads adventures, it is very important to me that I don't  become a One Trick Pony.

So this week I am stretching myself and my photography and going Urban.

This week I planned a trip to downtown Grand Rapids. The biggest city we have on the west side of Michigan. Going Urban means parking in a parking garage and covering the desired landscape on foot.

I parked at the parking garage by the Public Museum, mainly because I know how to get there and how to get out of there, and also because it is right by the Blue Bridge.

The Blue Bridge is strictly a pedestrian bridge crossing the Grand River into downtown Grand Rapids.

I was so ready for my weekly Chai Tea Latte, but didn't immediately see a Starbucks, but a Panera Bread popped into view, and I like their Chai's just as much.

This week's mystery location for the cup was the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

There is this lovely water feature tucked back in a corner.

Also some great texture in the steps.

Downtown Buildings

There is some great architectural detail on the downtown shops.

This spiral staircase to nowhere was my favorite.

The Civic Theatre

The Civic Theatre founded in 1925 and has grown into one of the largest community theatres in the United States. It is located in downtown Grand Rapids in an 80,000 square foot facility consisting of four historic buildings: The Majestic Theatre (1903), the Hull Building (1890), the Botsford Building (1892), and the Wenham Building (1878).

I am continuing to work on adding people into my weekly adventures. I captured this dad taking some little ones on a a field trip to the Children's Museum. I love to see dads going on field trips.

The Museum opened in July of 1997 and every year draws thousands of young visitors to the center of the city.

First (Park) Congregational Church

Next stop was the First (Park) Congregational Church which is directly across from the Children's Museum. This building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

From the Historical Marker:

This handsome yellow-brick Gothic style structure is the second oldest existing church in Grand Rapids. Erected between 1867 and 1869. Among the church's notable features are its Tiffany stained-glass windows and its stately corner tower.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Library was founded in 1871 and was located within the Grand Rapids City Hall. In 1904, the library moved to the Ryerson building which served as a permanent home for the library. The building was a gift from arts and education benefactor, and native son, Martin A. Ryerson.
The library also has a very sizable historical collection, including photographic material. I will go back when I can spend a day just exploring that material.

A Little Grunge
It wouldn't be the city without a little grunge and back alleys.

I stopped for lunch at my favorite place downtown. Anything I have ever had here has been delicious.

The Grand River
I captured some shots of fishermen as I walked back on the other Pedestrian Bridge to get back to my car.

One last shot of the Blue Bridge.

This is an adventure that I will do again to continue to stretch my street photography skills. There was so much more to see and photograph. I am planning a macro shooting adventure for Glen and I in the Spring, so many wonderful details to capture.

A fun date day adventure lies ahead :)

Linking up with Helen for Weekend Walks


  1. I headed to the city today as well - for me the countryside is the easy option. I so love urban though and I always feel a great buzz... there's so much to see. I have a huge blister on my foot from all the walking! You have a great selection of photos here Sarah - I think there is also plenty of scope to take a closer look at the individual buildings too in the future. Thanks for linking to my blog!!

  2. Great idea to stretch yourself - gotta keep trying new things! You make all your walks so interesting!
    Wonder what why that beautiful staircase is there leading to nowhere?!

  3. Arrange a tour of Park church sometime. Great stories along with Tiffany windows!

  4. I so want a photo day trip and to the city. This was fun - thanks.

  5. Love the pub signs . You did a great job.
    Nice to stretch out the scenary , but I must admit I am not good with photographing cities.

  6. Great tour of Grand Rapids. I have not been there for YEARS, so really enjoyed seeing it again. Very nice architectural shots!

  7. Thanks for sharing Sarah I love the Blue Bridge. And a pub, wonder if they serve Guinness !

  8. I loved this, a great city-logue, fabulous shots.

  9. That was very interesting... can't wait to see the date day!

  10. Loved seeing Grand Rapids through your eyes . . . The blue bridge, museums, the Congregational Church, architecture, a bit of the grunge, the scenes of brick and water, children and the lone greenish final photo, my fav . . . Love your series!

  11. It's good to get out of your comfort zone occasionally. I do still see your vision in all this, even though the locale is different. It's still you!


  12. I love urban 'shooting' and cityscapes! Spending a good part of my younger years in New York City and Philadelphia would account for that. But I love wide open spaces, too! :-D Very nicely done, Sarah! And pat yourself on the back for your continued adventures.

  13. Looks like downtown Grand Rapids still has a big swath of historic buildings intact! I like the effects you used on teh church tower photo. Nice work!

  14. oh my goodness you always do so much on your walks! I love the colours and can't believe the one trick pony sign! what a great selection of shots

  15. Wow...Sarah. This is a fabulous post. That bridge is stunning...and you snapped it with no people! Beautiful architecture. Love the grunge too. fabulous work.

  16. This was a fun urban tour - it looks lime you had a great time! I love that blue bridge and especially love the shot of it through the trees!

  17. you have some beautiful buildings in grand rapids, but i LOVE that blue bridge!

  18. I love seeing urban you, it's rare for me to get to a city, so it's always exciting! Thank you for sharing...I love that blue bridge!

  19. So LOVE that blue bridge...and your textured photo of the church! There is something enchanting about doing urban...but I don't know why I resist it so. Probably because I work in the city every day? Who knows.

  20. Inspiring to get out of the comfort zone now and again... not that I do it! Love your photos of the Big City!

  21. Love your visit to the city! Historical buildings always intrigue me with their beautiful architect! I thing it would be very cool to go back on a macro trip.

  22. Great set of photos. Love that fountain and the dad with his kids.


Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)