Monday, April 1, 2013

Belated Happy Easter (from Thumper, the Easter Bunny)

...from a photographer's notebook

  Detail from "Welcome to Thumper's Lounge and Nightclub"                                       ©2013 Steve Ember

Perhaps a bit different from images I typically share here, but I found this motif irresistible. It has to do with loving the distinctive neighborhood cultures of my old hometown of Baltimore. I enjoy getting back there whenever possible, for its rich variety of photographic possibilities, among other attractions.

It also has to do with the fact that I saw this place for the very first time on Easter Sunday and I’ve always thought “Thumper” was a great name for the Easter Bunny

After an exciting afternoon of shooting around the impressive CSX Coal Transloading facility at Curtis Bay in some great late afternoon winter-type sunshine, the unexpected sighting of Thumper’s immediately suggested a quick stop with the cameras before heading for a vantage point for photographing the Francis Scott Key Bridge over the Outer Harbor.

Thumper’s Lounge and Nightclub is on Curtis Avenue in the Brooklyn Park neighborhood of Curtis Bay, a mainly industrial/railroad/maritime section of Baltimore. Very much a working class community, with some obvious, often playful, manifestations of civic pride. Nuthin’ fancy here, Hon. Just daown-haome Bawlamer, wifout any-o-dem-dere frills. (By the way, outtataowners, yew’ve just had a llesson in Bawlamerese. More can be found here and here.)

Sure, Baltimore has its upscale jewels, like the Inner Harbor, but the “real” city can be found in its many blue collar neighborhoods, often close by the city’s industrial areas. Not sure the concierge staffs at those high rise hotels along the Inner Harbor waterfront would make a point of sending out-of-town guests over to Thumper’s in “Curtis on the Bay,” but nor am I exactly sure that the clientele at Thumper’s would feel any great loss at the absence of such a taxi-borne influx from downtown.

Just speculation of course, and should you get over this way, look me up, and maybe we can make a night of it at ol’ Thumper’s joint.

©2013 Steve Ember

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Blogger Susana Miguel Rebela said...

These notes from the photographer are very interesting:
On one hand now I found out your hometown in Baltimore, a town I have come to know a little better thanks to the Charm City Cakes Bakery ( and their sweet art, and thanks to a very interesting TV report on how the city managed to reinvent itself with self-help of committed citizens.
On the other hand, we get an insider's view on the city, on the city's Bawlmerese and on a striking façade with those bright blue trimmings.

April 2, 2013 at 2:40 AM  

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