Describing Wilmington, North Carolina

Today’s topic on The Daily Post is to describe the town where you grew up.

I was born in, and grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, where I still live today. I wrote about how much I love my hometown in a post titled Going Home. It was recently featured on Freshly Pressed, much to my delight, y’all.

Wilmington is a diverse city, made up of all kinds of people. It is a college town, a thriving port, a retirement relocation for many folks of the Northern persuasion, a historic southern city with roots going back to the Civil War, a popular travel destination, a beach lover’s paradise and a golfer’s dream.

It is home to the USS NORTH CAROLINA Battleship, the Azalea Festival, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, the UNCW Seahawks, and the Wilmington Hammerheads. It offers a large  historic district on the riverfront, horse-drawn tours, an authentic riverboat, quaint shops, elegantly restored southern mansions, and  Thalian Hall – one of the oldest working theaters in the nation.

The city has been given the nickname “Wilmywood” since it became a major center of American film and television productions. Films such as A Walk To RememberBlue VelvetTeenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesEmpire RecordsCape FearBlack Knight28 DaysThe Crow (death place of Brandon Lee), Nights in Rodanthe and the controversial  film Hounddog were produced here, in addition to television shows such as MatlockSurface,  Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill.

I love my city; the sights, the sounds, the smells and the people. With my camera, I constantly try to capture  images that can showcase the essence of it – the customs, the food, the oak trees, the historic buildings, the battleship, the gardens, the salt air full of screaming sea gulls, and the lonely river that flows through it all.

Because I think a picture is worth a thousand words, I hope you enjoy this slideshow of some of my favorite photos that I have captured.

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Going Home

This is my home, Wilmington, North Carolina. I was born here, but I haven’t always lived here. My family relocated to Florida when I was five years old. But Wilmington was always home.

Most families leave home to go on vacation. My family’s vacation was to go home.

Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.  ~Charles Dickens

Yesterday’s challenge on the Daily Word was What is your favorite word? Why?

“Home” is the best word to my ears. It conjures up comfort, warmth, familiarity, love.

My family moved a lot when I was a kid. I went to thirteen different schools in twelve years. Some years, I went to different schools in the same year. It was hard to feel like you had a “home” when your home kept changing from one rented house to another every few months.

I guess that’s why “home” became so important to me. I needed, desperately, a place that I could feel connected to.

Every year, in the summer, my parents would pack my brother and myself into the back of whatever car we happened to have at the time, from whatever city in Florida we were living in, and they would say, “We’re going on vacation kids! We’re going home.”

It was a good twelve-hour ride in the back-seat of the car, cooped up with my younger brother, and books and toys that were supposed to keep us occupied. There was also no air conditioner in the cars in those days, so it was hot. My dad liked to get a good early start, which meant getting up at three am so we could be on the road by four.

After a long day on the road, enduring the heat and the constant bickering with my brother about who was taking up more room, the best part for me was driving over the Cape Fear River and my first view of home.

My dad would say, “Look, kids! We’re home!”

I would get a lump in my throat. I would crane my neck to look out of the backseat window, so I could get a view of the familiar Wilmington waterfront – the church spires, the boats in the river including the majestic BATTLESHIP NORTH CAROLINA, the quaint historic buildings.

Going home meant visits with friends and relatives; aunts and uncles, cousins, both grandmothers. It meant playing on my grandmother’s front porch, eating from a huge pot of goulash that was prepared by her loving hands, going to sleep on the back porch with my cousins, listening to the crickets, giggling under the covers.

Going home meant spending the day under Johnny Mercer’s Pier at Wrightsville beach, slathering on Coppertone, eating hot dogs with chili and  coleslaw, riding the waves on rented canvas rafts, walking on the beach listening to the seagulls screams mingling with the joyous cries of children playing in the surf, smelling cotton candy and popcorn and salty air.

Going home meant listening to my parents laugh, watching them try to dance the shag and cut up with their friends from high school, getting up early to eat scrambled eggs and taste sweet coffee in my grandmother’s kitchen. It was listening to old stories about how things used to be. It was belonging somewhere.

Now I am 53 years old. I have lived my entire adult life back in, or near, my hometown. There is no one house that I can point to and say – that was my home. I have adopted the whole city as mine. Today, driving over the bridge and seeing my precious city still brings tears to my eyes.

I’m still happy to be home.

People In My City

I love my city, Wilmington, North Carolina. I love the sights, the sounds, the smells and the people. Wilmington is a diverse city, made up of all kinds of people. It is a college town, a thriving port, a retirement relocation for many folks of the Northern persuasion, home to a large film studio (and the location of too many productions to mention), an historic southern city with roots going back to the Civil War, a popular travel destination, a beach lover’s paradise and a golfer’s dream.

I especially like taking candid shots around town of our people. Truly “candid” street images strive to capture something unique and inherently interesting about the subjects. I hope I have succeeded with these.

I chose these photos for Sunday in My City, a photo forum that has folks posting pictures on Sunday of their cities. I thought Wilmington NC should be included.

To participate, visit Unknown Mami and link up! Let’s visit and travel the world together.

I think the thrill of taking candid shots of people on the street is never knowing what I will capture. Some photos that I think are going to be great, are actually quite mundane, and others that are almost unintentional turn out to be spectacular.

I was actually annoyed when I took this photo because this woman was “in the way” of the shot I was trying to get of the riverboat. Now I think she is the most interesting element in the photo.

I was focusing on the shadows on the walkway, and this couple just happened to kiss – right when I snapped the shot.

I was zeroing in on the Capt. J. N. Maffit on the side of the boat, and had no idea how interesting these people were going to look.

This woman never looked up from her task of cleaning a boat, so the shot I got was, I thought, going to be a disappointment. Now I love the mystery of not seeing her face.

I was taking a photo of an historic home, when she appeared out of no where! I have no idea what the feather boa was for, but she looked as though she enjoyed wearing it.

I wanted a photo of the colorful door on this bar, and a man on his cell phone would not move away from it. Much more interesting with him in, don’t y’all agree?

I thought these women were beautiful, eating sushi in a downtown cafe. I had no idea if they would even be visible in the photo, since I was shooting into the glass.

This woman’s bright, red hair caught my eye.

I admit I paid absolutely no attention to what these people were doing. I was simply shooting the brick street. In this shot, the people became the background.

If I see someone in an interesting outfit, I have to take their picture. Check out the stockings on the girl on the right!

This guy fascinated me. The shorts, the shoes AND the tatoos match.

Sometimes when you think you’re taking a candid shot, you get caught! This fellow was a good sport about it.

I was aiming for the graffiti on the wall, but it became just an interesting background when this guy intruded into my shot.

While looking through my lens at the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, an animated conversation got my attention. Everybody down here knows that Southern women can’t talk without using their hands. Here’s the proof!

As a Wilmington native, I am so proud to show off my hometown. I love it so much that I have another blog called Wilmington Daily Photo. It keeps me busy posting a new photo of the Wilmington area every day. I hope y’all will check it out and see for yourselves why I think this place is so spectacular.

Sunday At The Battleship Park

I chose these photos for Sunday in My City, a photo forum that has folks posting pictures on Sunday of their cities. I thought Wilmington NC should be included.

To participate, visit Unknown Mami and link up! Let’s visit and travel the world together.

Wilmington is a beautiful city, rich in history and natural scenery. As a Wilmington native, I am so proud to show off my hometown. I love it so much that I have another blog called Wilmington Daily Photo. It keeps me busy posting a new photo of the Wilmington area every day. I hope y’all will check it out and see for yourselves why I think this place is so spectacular. Continue reading

Sunday On The River

I chose these photos for Sunday in My City, a photo forum that has folks posting pictures on Sunday of their cities. I thought Wilmington NC should be included.

To participate, visit Unknown Mami and link up! Let’s visit and travel the world together.

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The majestic Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is docked on the Cape Fear River, across from our historic downtown district.

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Dining options along the riverwalk include everything from upscale elegant restaurants to casual hot dog stands.

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Living on the river has many advantages. You can have your own boat and enjoy a spectacular view.

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Wilmington, North Carolina is a beautiful city; rich in history and natural scenery. As a Wilmington native, I am proud to show off my hometown. I love it so much that I have another blog called Wilmington Daily Photo. It keeps me busy posting a new photo of the Wilmington area every day. I hope y’all will check it out and see for yourselves why I think this place is so spectacular.

Random Shots of My City

I chose these photos for Sunday in My City, a photo forum that has folks posting pictures on Sunday of their cities. I thought Wilmington NC should be included.

To participate, visit Unknown Mami and link up! Let’s visit and travel the world together.

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Last weekend we walked around downtown Wilmington and I enjoyed snapping random shots. This odd looking fellow was guarding the doorway of an eclectic gift store on Front Street.

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A shot of some beautiful orange hibiscus.

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I thought the pier pilings on the Riverwalk had a unique beauty of their own.

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A very distinguished looking gentleman and his date were dining at The Pilot House. (Pssst…..I think he might have been someone famous!)

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Do you remember the scene in the Stephen King movie, Cat’s Eye, when the man was forced to walk a narrow ledge around a high-rise penthouse apartment? The building you can see here, peeking out above the trees is that building. It is called The Murchison Building.

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I think these vines are some kind of peas. They were growing along someone’s fence down by the river.

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I’m not sure what this scary looking creature is supposed to be, but he was begging to have his picture taken.

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Old, wrought iron fencing  is prevalent on the streets of our original downtown district. I think it has a quiet, distinct beauty.

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I really wanted to climb up those steps, “set a spell”, and watch world go by with a tall glass of sweet ice tea.

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There is always someone on this street corner, trying to sell something or entertain you for tips.

Wilmington, North Carolina is a beautiful city; rich in history and natural scenery. As a Wilmington native, I am proud to show off my hometown. I love it so much that I have another blog called Wilmington Daily Photo. It keeps me busy posting a new photo of the Wilmington area every day. I hope y’all will check it out and see for yourselves why I think this place is so spectacular.

Capturing Bits of Red in Wilmington, NC

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The HENRIETTA III, an authentic tour and dinner riverboat,  is a constant and familiar part of the scenery on the Cape Fear River in Wilmington, NC. She is docked at the foot of Dock and Water Streets, on The Riverwalk, in historic downtown.

“Welcome Aboard!” is the motto of HENRIETTA III’s Captain Carl Marshburn and crew. They offer the finest in Southern hospitality. A favorite for locals and visitors, HENRIETTA III is a unique way to celebrate  special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, family reunions, weddings and receptions, as well as just a lazy day or evening of fun.

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This was taken early one morning at Topsail Beach, NC. It’s the best time of day for fishing, if you can get up that early!

Topsail Beach is located on Topsail Island, just off US Highway 17, about halfway between Wilmington and Jacksonville, NC. Topsail (pronounced Tops’l) has a rich and varied history. In the 1700’s, when pirate ships roamed these waters, the pirates had an infamous hiding place  in the channel behind the island, where they waited for passing merchant ships. In time, the merchants learned to watch for the tops of the pirate’s sails, which could be seen over the rolling dunes, and the island became known as Topsail Island.

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This shot was taken at a Classic Car Show in Wilmington, NC. The name Fairlane came from Henry Ford’s Fair Lane mansion location in Dearborn, Michigan. The Ford Fairlane was introduced in 1955 as Ford’s full-size model and was available in six different body styles.

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Horse-drawn carriage tours are offered daily, every half hour, at the foot of Market Street in downtown Wilmington. This is a great way for visitors to see the city and learn about our history. I have taken the tour myself, and every time I learn something new.  The costumed driver, known as “The Carriage Man” has a wealth of information about the stately old mansions, public buildings and streets.

The folks at Springbrook Farms own and manage the horses. Each one of them are rescued Percheron draft horses, born on Amish farms throughout the Northeast. For whatever reason, the farmers were not able to use them, and they wound up at auction. Often these magnificent animals are bought by meat processing companies to make dog food or other products. These folks have saved the lives of many horses over the years and continue to do so with the proceeds they make from the tours.

These folks love their horses. They rotate them throughout the day, so the horses are allowed frequent water and rest breaks. They are out fitted with special shoes, and provided with veterinarian care. After a week of pulling carriages, each horse is given a three week vacation at the Brunswick County farm.

Many thanks to Springbrook Farms, not only for rescuing these fine animals, but for lending a special ambiance to our city!

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Hughes Brothers, Inc. is North Carolina’s oldest tire dealer, in business since 1921. The original shop was at the corner of  2nd and Market Streets, in Wilmington, NC. This interesting red and white building at 1101 Market Street has been their primary location since the 1940’s.

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I captured this photo this past summer on a visit to Wrightsville Beach, NC. It has a lot of red in it, but I particuarly like the red Radio Flyer wagon. The little boy riding in it was having the time of his life!

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This photo was taken in the sound waters near Figure Eight Island.

This is a crab cage. It may also be referred to as a “crab pot”. There are many different types of crab cages, or traps, and they all work pretty much the same way. You place some bait, usually raw chicken pieces, at the bottom of the trap  in a “bait bag,” and secure it to the bottom of the trap so that it doesn’t float away. The cage has a string or cord attached to it. When you toss it into the water, the sand comes up and conceals most of the cage, leaving the bait in plain view. This attracts the crabs, who climb in for a free meal. When the cage is pulled out of the water, the tugging action on the cords causes the sides of the cage to come up, trapping the crabs inside of the cage.

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Wilmington is a beautiful city, rich in history and natural scenery. As a Wilmington native, I am always jumping at the chance to show off my hometown.

Y’all really ought to visit the lovely and talented Pseudonymous High School Teacher today.  Pseudo, as she’s affectionately referred to, lives in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. Anyhoo, she has started a great thing over at her place called Travel Tip Thursday – every Thursday she and anyone who chooses to participate will do a little “travelogue” about a place close to home.

I found a new photo blog to participate in on Thursdays! It’s called You Capture. Every week there is new theme. This week’s was “Red” I immediately thought of these pictures – these are all from my blog, Wilmington Daily Photo. I also participate in a photo forum called Ruby Tuesday. Ruby Tuesday allows me to post photos of something red every week, so I thought I’d recycle some of my favorites. You can see all of my Ruby Tuesday photos here.

How about y’all? What photos do you have of things that are red?

Click on the link here to read about how to play along. Then, do your best to visit the other participants’ site – everyone loves the traffic, the comments and the feedback (not just you!) Next week’s photo challenge is Still Life. I can’t wait to tackle that one!