Thursday, November 30, 2006

Watersedge Teenagers

Photography by David Robert Crews

These kids are hangin' out across the street from Watersedge Park, which is one of Dundalk's waterfront parks. From where they are standing they can look across the waters of Bear Creek to see the old Bethlehem Steel Mill and former Sparrows Point Shipyard.

30 or so years before this photo was taken, I used drive by this spot on some Saturday or Sunday afternoons to see if any of my old schoolmates who grew up in Watersedge were hangin' out around there. Watersedge is a neighborhood where there are muti-generations of families owning their own nice homes, any of these kids who hang out here might be an old friend of mine's child or grandchild, niece or nephew. It's a good place for them to socialize in public, because the families who live in the homes along that street may know the kids or their parents or grandparents or aunts and uncles, or one of those families' kids might be out there with them, so there's little chance of any hooliganisms happening out there.

Elmo Often Visits Dundalk

Photography by David Robert Crews

Kevin Clash is the voice and soul of world famous Elmo. Kevin grew up in the Turners Station neighborhood of Dundalk, and he graduated from Dundalk High School. He comes back to his old neighborhood to visit his family a lot and once a year or so he puts on a free show and autograph signing event. Yep kids, that is really the real Elmo in this photo!!

Kevin has worked with so many famous people that he's probly lost count of the major film, TV, and music recording stars he knows. He's even had the leader of the United Nations, Secretary General Kofe Annan, on the Sesame Street TV show having fun with Elmo.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sunset Over Dundalk Elementary School

Photography by David Robert Crews

I took this photograph while standing in the front door of my Dundalk Townhouse.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Young Couple In Merritt Point Park

Photography by David Robert Crews

Here's a typical summer weekday scene in one of the large waterfront parks in Dundalk. During warm weather weekends these parks have a lot of families and other groups having big picnics with lots of food and fun. The parks are well used by many people, well cared for by Baltimore County, and I have enjoyed spending time in them since the 1960s.

This photo was taken on a terribly overcast, hot and hazy day. I have more and better photos of this park, but I need to scan them into JPEG files.

The Last Of The Horses Who Live In Dundalk

Photography by David Robert Crews

When my family moved from the Bungalows in Sparrows Point over to Dundalk, during 1955, there was still a bit of active farmland there. There was a cattle pasture and dairy farm right across the road from where this property is today. Sometime after the dairy farm went out of business there, it had a horse boarding stable in the early 1970s. There have been horses living in this area almost constantly since the first Europeans arrived here. Now it's just these three horses left.

This photo is as much about an example of the nice open space that is in Dundalk as it is of anything else.

The Sun

Photography by David Robert Crews

For years, I had wanted to produce a photograph of the Sun showing its heat-wavy, fire-spouting, ever-so-slowly diminishing edges. And by yimminy I got 'er!

Bring Back The Tradition

Photography by David Robert Crews

We have to bring back the business into Dundalk Village Shopping Center to bring back the tradition of having Ole Jack the Jehovah's Witness hanging out in front of the grocery store. It was kind of a more secure feeling walking near the grocery store when Jack was out there all the time greeting store patrons and passersby. He didn't push his religion on others, he just made it available for anyone who might be interested. Beings that no Hari Krishnas or other overtly religious individuals wanted their fair allotted time out in front of the store, Jack got to stay there and pass the time doing his thing.

I seriously doubt that he made any converts while he was out there.

Personally, I'm not religious, I'm spiritual.

The tolerance of all the shopping center patrons and store owners, who practice a different religion than Jack or have another way of dealing with life, who didn't complain much about Jack being out there, was a religious and spiritual experience in itself.

Garden Harvest

Photography by David Robert Crews

Every spring, summer, and fall growing season the public gardens in Dundalk's Stansbury Park produce lotsa' vegetables for the local gardeners who get out of the house, away from the TV and computer, and do some diggin' and weedin' in their garden plot.

A Closer Look At Some Of Dundalk Village’s Unique Architecture

Photography by David Robert Crews

That old rusty Lillichs sign is long gone now. Several antiques dealers tried to buy it; I sure wish I could have afforded it; I wonder where it went to.

There Are Some Nice Shops In Dundalk Village

Photography by David Robert Crews

There are some nice little shops in Dundalk Village Shopping Center. These shops have all changed owners or management since these photos were taken in 2000, but they look about the same today.

The top photo is Scoops Cafe. It is an ice cream parlor and sandwich shop that is leaning towards also being a delicatessen today. The new owners are some real nice ladies.

The middle photo is of RTI Jewelers. They have a wholesale watch repair shop in the back section of the store that services many Baltimore area jewelry stores. So if you go to them with your watch repair or battery replacement needs you'll save about 2/3 of what it would cost elsewhere. As of this date, November 27, 2006, the store has everything in their retail shop for sale at 1/2 price, and they will probly keep the sale going till Christmas. The fellow in the photo passed away recently, his daughter is running the shop now.

The bottom photo is the Dundalk Cleaners and Alterations Shop. There is a new owner, but the good service and quality work are still the same, just by different old fashioned tailors.

There are several new shops in the shopping center that are helping to make Dundalk Village's much deserved revitalization happen. The old and new shops are all well staffed by good people who need your business. The shops are quite nice and just right for a village shopping district, forget the megamalls for a day and come do some Christmas shopping in Dundalk Village. Or come and have a meal in the good eateries there. Or stop by to buy something you need to grab real quick and take a look around, the place is definitely on the upswing.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Key Bridge Brings Traffic Into Dundalk

Photography by David Robert Crews

There are two problems which limit your ability to enjoy the full impact of this superb photograph. One is the limitations of JPEG files as photographs, which causes some weird, wavy effects in the deep, rich colors of the sky. The other is that the original photo had dust on it when I scanned into a JPEG file. I did not wipe all of the dust off of my original print, which I custom, hand printed, in Dundalk Community College's color photo lab, because I love this photo so much that I did not want to give it away on the Internet in perfect shape. It needs to be cleaned right and rescanned. I also need to rescan all my photos using a higher quality scanner. This way I am somewhat protecting my photos from copyright infringement by having lesser quality versions on the Internet--none of my photos are right click disabled, anyone can take a copy of any of them off these web sites of mine. If you left click on the photo and enlarge it, you'll see better what is so superb about it.

Sunset Over Baltimore As Viewed From Dundalk

Photography by David Robert Crews

The limitations of transferring a photo to a JPEG file and posting it on the Internet really show up in this one. The print of this photo is a hell of a lot better looking than this, but you get the idea. And there's plenty of room on it for text to be overlaid, like if some Baltimore business might want to use this photo on their web site or in a publication. On the cover of a publication maybe? Let me know, my email address is available my complete profile page.

Phil And Friends

Photography by David Robert Crews

Multi-generational neighbors and friends are the norm in Dundalk. Phil was confined to a wheelchair, but he had that garage, in Three Garden Village, set up as a nice little wood shop--notice the tennis ball on a rope for him top close the door with. Phil didn't mind stopping in the middle of a wood working project to help a neighborhood kid with his bike.

Shady Spot for Man and Cat Alike

Photography by David Robert Crews

This elderly man has himself a nice little space just outside the front door of his apartment in Dundalk's Three Garden Village where he can relax and get some fresh air with his buddy that fat cat.

St. George's and St. Matthew's Episcopal Church

Photography by David Robert Crews

Just Another Nice Little Home In Old dundalk

Photography by David Robert Crews

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Unique Landscaping In The 'Ship Streets ' Of Old Dundalk

Photography by David Robert Crews

I like the way that this family has used plants, bushes, and trees to landscape their front yard instead of just grass.

They have also chosen the natural artistic effects of weathering wood over the usual white painted fence and railings. The inside of this home is decorated with old collectibles similar to what I myself collect and display. Their collection of old tins from Baltimore area businesses made me a tad bit jealous.

Nice Backyard In The 'Ship Streets' Of Old Dundalk

Photography by David Robert Crews

I like the way that this family has chosen lush green plants and bushes over many colored flowering plants for their landscaping.

Springtime In Dundalk

Photography by David Robert Crews

Every springtime, there are flowers blooming all over Dundalk in the yards of homes and on the grounds of churches and commercial buildings. Trees, bushes, and plants exhibit all kinds of beautiful, attractive colors for appreciative people, birds, and insects to see and enjoy.

A Nice Little Front Yard In The 'Ship Streets, Of Old Dundalk

Photography by David Robert Crews

Trimming Up The Yard On July 1, 2, + 3

Photography by David Robert Crews

This is what you see all along the parade route on the days just prior to Dundalk's 4th of July Parade going by. People cut and trim their lawns and tend to their flowering plants and put out patriotic flags and banners. I used a hatchet to edge sidewalks many a time when I was a younger man, it's a tough way to do it, but the results look nice.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Watching Dundalk's 4th of July Parade

Photography by David Robert Crews

The usual kind of family scene that is seen when watching the 4th of July Parade in front of my house. Members of my family are amongst them, as they are every year.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Family Fun Before The Fireworks Begin

Photography by David Robert Crews

All around the area where Dundalk's annual 4th of July fireworks are shot of from, many of the residents living there have big, day long picnics. In the early evening other people begin to find a spot where they can view the fireworks show from. It is quite a humongous, happy crowd who watch the fireworks show every year.

Photography by David Robert Crews

Here's what they were waitin' for!

Backstage At The Heritage Fair

Photography by David Robert Crews

Three of Dundalk's well known community members having a beer and a bulls##t session backstage at the Heritage Fair.

Heritage Fair Volunteers

Photography by David Robert Crews

It takes a lot of teamwork on many levels to put together Dundalk's Heritage Fair every year. In the entire USA, it is the only annual fair this large that is put together totally by volunteers.

Photography by David Robert Crews

Even wheelchair bound Dundalkians help to put on the fair. People of all ages, physical abilities, and work skill levels volunteer each year for the benfit of the thousands of other people who attend the fair. It is always a considerable success. Come to it next year, I'll see you there.

Gene Pitney At The Heritage Fair

Photography by David Robert Crews

Old time Rock n' Roll Star Gene Pitney beltin' out a song at the Dundalk Heritage Fair. Every year at the fair there is at least one music act which had a lot of Gold Records and other musical accomplishments in their careers. They may be a bit out of style for some people, but their music is still played on the radio, is available on CDs, and they often have active tour dates all over the world.

Photography by David Robert Crews

After the headliners are finished rockin' the crowd at the Heritage Fair, the performers often sign autographs for everyone. This is Paul Revere of The Raiders signing an original old collectible model car kit of a 1960s hot rod that was custom made for Paul Revere way back then when I was young teenager.

4th Of July Parade As Seen From My Bedroom Window

Photography by David Robert Crews

The Greyhounds of America walking in Dundalk's famous 4th of July Parade.

Letter Crediting Me With Helping Bring The Urban Design Assistance Team To Dundalk

In 2001, an Urban Design Assistance Team came to Dundalk, Maryland.

Every year, a team of architects and designers choose one community in America to give a week’s worth of professional help to in planning a better future for the town. The community must show need and have potential.

The chosen community must provide the UDAT team members with transportation to and from the community. And while the team members are in the community, working on the UDAT project, the community must provide the team members with a good place to sleep, plenty to eat and a well equipped, comfortable work space.

During the week long UDAT visit, the team tours the entire community. They meet with local community groups and any other local residents, in order to gather input from the community on what good changes residents want to see happen, in their community.

At the end of the week, the team puts together an all encompassing 5-10-15-20-30 year plan for the revitalization of the hosting community.

I was instrumental in bringing the UDAT to my community of Dundalk, Maryland. I also worked with them through their one week visit and took some good photographs of the entire UDAT process. Some of those photos are on this web site.

From 1998 to 2003, I was a part time photography student at Dundalk Community College. The instructors and photo lab aides there really knew what they were doing; they helped me to become a damn good custom color photo printer, in the wet lab there. Because the of the lab's high standards, while I was on my way to becoming so good in the lab, I had to make numerous copies of all the prints I made. When working towards those high standards, it's hard to get a print’s color absolutely correct. Consequently, by the time that I ended up with enough color correct copies of each of my prints to satisfy myself, I had some extra prints which nobody but the lab personnel and I could tell were slightly off color.

All along during my time as a photo student I produced photographs of Dundalk. This is photogenic community, swear to it. Check out this entire blog and you’ll see a good cross section of those Dundalk photos.

During the summer of 2001, previous to the Urban Design Assistance Team coming to Dundalk I had some of those extra prints of my Dundalk photos sent to the team leader, Peter Batchelor.

The following letter he sent me explains what the effect those photos had on him.

A copy of the letter was published in our widely read local newspaper, the Dundalk Eagle.

Click on Peter Batchelor's letter to see it on a separate web page; then click on that image of the letter to enlarge it, so you can read it.

Here is the letter in text format.

College of Design, Room 308
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695 - 7701

Regarding the photographic accomplishments of David Robert Crews, Dundalk, Maryland. During the year 20011 had the special privilege of working with David on the Dundalk Urban Design Assistance Team (UDAT) project. The UDAT process provides volunteer teams of skilled planning and design professionals to communities who can demonstrate a need, and is modeled on national and state teams of a similar nature. The Dundalk UDAT was conducted in the community's town center from October 31 to November 7 of that year.

Dundalk, a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland was planned under the leadership of Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. in 1918 using the principles of Garden City planning. Up to and including World War II Dundalk was a blue collar steel making and shipbuilding community. The bulk of heavy industry eventually moved away to other locations, and the waterfront currently functions as a warehousing and a container transshipment center. Recent economic trends indicate the need for public and private investment in order to reclaim both the original charm and livability of Dundalk's original design and its physical connection to Metropolitan Baltimore. In short, the town was in need of revitalization and my basic task was to assemble the most experienced team of design professionals to help the community with this goal.

At some point in the project I began to question the advisability of my conducting yet another design mission to an American community, especially in view of an approaching retirement. Then one day I saw the work of David Crews and all doubts in this matter disappeared. He is a talented and sensitive photographer, and his images of the Dundalk's folkways, with their gritty reality, revealed that David is a perceptive observer of the human condition and a true documentary photographer.

I have to credit David with providing me with an infusion of energy to continue with the project. His photographs of the people of the community at major celebrations and in daily life capture the soul of Dundalk's residents. His documentation of the character of Dundalk's citizens deserves greater recognition than he has received so far, and I am hoping the my support will bring a key figure to light in the world of photography.

Dundalk is a proud community with an impressive history of contributions to American society.

David Crews is one of its citizens capable of shaping the collective vision of the town, and to this end I believe he deserves recognition of his accomplishments.

Peter Batchelor, FAIA, FAICP
Professor of Architecture
Director, Urban Design Assistance Program

Dundalk Marine Terminal Crains At Sunset

Photography by David Robert Crews

The Urban Design Assistance Team used a copy of this photo for their letterhead while they were in Dundalk. But the copy they used was not this one, it was slightly off center, I saved the best for some future use as one of my own signature prints.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Urban Design Assistance Team Photographs

All of my other photographs on the other posts on this web site were scanned into JPEG files from custom, hand printed 8x10 photographs, which I printed in the "wet" lab at Dundalk Community College.

The photos on this blog post were scanned into JPEG files from 4x6 photos that were printed by a generic commercial photo printing company; hence, these photos are nowhere near as nice, crispy and clear as I could make them myself, with better digital photo reproduction equipment. In fact, the UDAT JPEGs on here are rather blurry looking renditions of the excellent negatives which the photos were printed from.

Please excuse the photos' blurry appearance and understand that these copies must act as a ‘proof set’ of a fair selection of my entire set of negatives from the Urban Design Assistance Team’s visit. And also understand that I have a much wider selection of them.

The entire internationally staffed Urban Design Assistance Team. They voluntarily worked long, intense hours for my community’s benefit.

All of the Baltimore TV stations gave the UDAT visit plenty of fair coverage.

A Welcome wall with photos and other things to set the tone of the work space for all who entered there.

Team members toured the entire community getting ideas and citizen’s input. Here are a few of them taking input from local residents in the Fleming Community Center in the Turner Station Neighborhood of Dundalk.

A Baltimore Sun Newspaper reporter interviewing Chamber of Commerce leader Pat Winter.

Architect Martin Perlik from Czechoslovakia enjoying the UDAT work he did for Dundalk.

UDAT team member doing his thing in front of an crowded gym floor full of attentive local citizens.

This is an overview of the UDAT work space which was set up in St. Rita School’s gymnasium.

Long time local community volunteer Eleanor Lukanich and the UDAT leader Peter Batchelor meet and greet as a young local citizen looks on. The intelligent, concerned young kid is interested in helping his community’s future to be a revitalized success.

Handmade decorations and well wishes for their future in Dundalk which came from students at Dundalk Elementary School. This UDAT visit was, and the ongoing renaissance of Dundalk is, heavily supported by many local residents of all ages.

Co-leader of the UDAT visit speaks about the work they were doing.

A very interesting place for us to visit while touring the area with UDAT members.

Two Dundalk lawyers, Wendy Zerwitz and Arnold Zerwitz, are briefed on the UDAT process by former high school principal and Dundalk Renaissance Corporation leader Ed Parker.

Friday, November 17, 2006