Today’s photo-a-day assignment was “street”. It was supposed to be an establishing shot- wide angle. A hard task to not come back with a visual cliche, and I’ll admit most of the shots on my disk were exactly that, wide-angle street scenes. All except this one.  As a designer, I love found typography. I’m always fascinated by old signs, and the skill of neon artists. It’s what says street to me.

I live just outside Royersford, Pennsylvania. Royersford is a small, ex-manufacturing riverside town, just like thousands of others around the country. Once a prosperous, bustling downtown area, it screamed Main Street USA. It’s such an archetype that its been used as a main street “town” set for several motion pictures. Yet like many other old  downtowns, it struggled badly in the last 5o years. With malls and strip centers and big box stores, the small shop owners just couldn’t compete.

Lebow’s Furniture stuck it out though. They were a fixture in town for over 60 years. I know we bought some furniture there when we first moved to the area.

They’re gone now, leaving another couple of big vacant storefronts on Main Street. Yet just like many other small towns, Royersford keeps trying. Places like French Quarter Bistro, Annemarie’s and Main Street Cafe, Choppers, Ashley’s Candy, Brewed Awakenings Coffee Shop, and a handful of others, working hard to keep that main street dream alive.

That’s why I like this image so much. It’s about hanging in there, and even though the lights are out, there’s a bit of new day just peeking in. Just like Royersford.

Shot with Canon 60D with a polarizing filter.

©2014 Scott Sharadin

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