An unexpected find: ICT Pop-Up Urban Park

wpid-img_20151017_215743.jpgSaturday night mom and I were driving in downtown Wichita looking at the cityscape when we drove by something unexpected that I had no idea existed and it was a true thing of beauty.

The ICT Pop-Up Urban Park, which is located at 121 E. Douglas, was formerly a hole in the ground Wichita called “the hole.”  According to an article by twpid-img_20151017_224333.jpghe Wichita Eagle, the Wichita Downtown Development Corp. held a grand opening for the park earlier this year. The park replaced a construction hole that was at the location between Market and Main.

The park, funded by the Knight Foundation, is a little gem for sure. It includes tables, chairs, planters, art pieces and Christmas-light type lighting. Some of the tables are large wooden spowpid-img_20151017_224452.jpgols. The Wichita Eagle article stated food trucks provide good eats during the week.

But what really intrigued me was the ping pong table and it is complete with paddles and plastic balls!wpid-img_20151017_220009.jpg

So, at 10 at night — in the string-lit park, mom and I decided to play. And we decided we suck at ping pong, but it provided some good laughs.

I am so intrigued by this park that I can’t wait to return to practice ping pong again and take some more great shots.

Birthday wanderings

In true Wandering Pigeon style, I got lost for my birthday. What an incredible day it was.

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No food left to serve. REALLY cool building though!

First, one of my passions is photographing old and abandoned things. Especially buildings, and my birthday road trip didn’t disappoint. It provided some surprises along the way too.

Osage City provided my first photographic opportunity. But they weren’t selling slushes that day. 😦 The new Sonic is across town. But, I didn’t want a slush by then…

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The next stop was Osawatomie. I hadn’t been there in a while, and I love driving past the grounds of the state hospital. First, let me tell you if you don’t come in on the major highway, the hospital is not easy to find. After driving around town for quite a while (no, I did not ask for directions), finally we found it…the signs are right on the highway!

The first thing you spot when driving near campus is this huge 11666224_10152869854677035_7320978375395732835_nabandoned structure. The building is beautiful so we drove on campus to get some quick shots. Sure enough, we were spotted and not allowed to stay long. But we got a few pretty cool shots. Would have loved to see the inside of the building, but, of course, that wasn’t possible.

11667427_10152869857382035_4644211741100903781_nOn the way back out of town to our next destination we stopped at a memorial. There are only numbers on the headstones: no names. A faceless cemetery. It’s a very somber, sad place. Each and every stone represents a person — someone who lived and someone who died. I find it a tragedy that we don’t even know their names.11698395_10152869853517035_5001088201834398_n

The next stop on the map was Rantoul, which I honestly didn’t even know existed until this trip. Again, another charming place with a few abandoned structures to photograph. But the real gold mine of this place wasn’t in town, it was outside of town. We were driving and I looked off to the right. I had to do a double-take — there was a field and it was full of jets. Just a random pasture full of planes. We looked to the left and there was a company. The company, called Dodson International Parts, also has a salvage yard full of planes.

11665687_10152869862762035_7393019342610639299_nThe next stop on the list was Neosho Falls. Neosho Falls, located in Woodson County, was founded in 1857, according to Wikipedia. According to the 2010 census, the town has 141 people. The town was once the county seat, but today is mostly abandoned. Entire streets are deserted with e11709611_10152869864792035_3562376862052619439_nmpty lots replacing what was once a block full of homes.

As a newspaper person, I was interested to learn this: “The first newspaper in the county was the Frontier Democrat, which was
started in October, 1869 by Isaac Boyle, who published the paper 11698694_10152869861012035_3849727224818170149_nat Neosho Falls until January, 1870, when it was sold to William H. Slavens, who changed the name to the Neosho Falls Advertiser.” See entire article here.

I got some great pictures in Neosho Falls, especially of the high school, which, according to the article sourced above, closed in 1961.

So, I spent my birthday in wandering bliss! Many more wanderings to co11707528_10152869865072035_5041031833055878670_nme!

I’ll end with one final house: this one actually has a “for sale” sign on it. For $2,500 you can own it! Oh and air conditioning, compliments of nature, is free! (The house to the right is not in Neosho Falls).

The selfie project

So, I’ve decided to do a selfie project on Instagram. Yes, I know, I know. I’m almost 40 years old. Too old for that. It’s self-centered. Blah blah. But I’m going to do it anyway and I assure you, it’s not all about being vain.

I have been following a couple of people on Instagram recently who have done selfie projects — and the results are incredible. People’s appearance changes from day to day — from mood to mood.

I looked back through my own Instagram account — and was stunned. Just a few years ago I weighed over 70 pounds more than I do now. The difference in my appearance is incredible.

For me, this project is all about transformation — not only from day to day but over time. This project will be a diary of sorts. How I’m feeling, what’s going on that day and the like.

And since I’m growing my hair out (in a pre-40 defiance), it’s a good time to do a selfie project.

My plan: one selfie a day — more if I prefer, but I don’t want to clutter Instagram. And I’m keeping it strictly to Instagram. If you should be curious, I’m autumnpath. Give me a follow and I’ll follow you back.