A Doors-Filled Story

I like to roam, to stretch my legs in a variety of locales while checking out the surroundings. And in recent years I often have turned my leg-stretching excursions into essays for this publication. These mini-adventures, thankfully, get me away from my living room sofa, upon which I spend hours upon hours each week engaged in questionable activities. Namely, staring into space, scratching my balls and twirling the five strands of hair that remain on the crown of my head.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that I’ve mentioned that sofa routine many times before on these pages. Can’t seem to stop myself from writing about it, though. What can I say? Would you prefer that I describe the nightly visitations paid to me by space aliens, and how I cured the aliens of toenail fungus? Nah, I didn’t think so.

Anyway, this article now will concern itself with doors. That’s what I was in search of when, on the penultimate day of May, I roamed the streets of Jenkintown, a nice village three miles south of Willow Grove, the town that I call home. Both communities are in the Philadelphia burbs.

Doors had been in the back of my mind as a story idea since 2017 or so, after I discovered that there are a goodly number of WordPress writers who launch door-oriented pieces into cyberspace on Thursdays. Their leader is a guy named Norm, who began a Thursday Doors theme in 2014 (click here to see Norm’s website). And so, I’m going to follow the leader by pressing the Publish button for this story during the opening minutes (in my time zone) of Thursday, June 18.

Concentrating on Jenkintown’s doors was right in my wheelhouse. After all, on walking excursions here and there during the last few years I’ve sometimes kept my eyes on alert for specific subjects: the color green for instance, shadows, store and street signs. Doing that kind of thing helps to make life interesting for me. On a low but real-enough level, it’s like a research project or detective work. It’s fun, basically.

King’s Corner pub
Private residence

I hit Jenkintown’s sidewalks at around 11:30 in the AM and concluded my mission at a quarter past noon. I might have stayed out longer than I did were it not for a vivid Sun that was getting a thrill from making me schvitz most admirably.

Grace Presbyterian Church
My Jewel Shop

I walked along most of the blocks in Jenkintown’s business district and along a sampling of its residential streets. One thing I realized is that the vast majority of doors in Jenkintown are vanilla. That is, non-threatening standard concoctions of wood, glass or metal, or a combination thereof. Yet, I deemed some of them as absolutely photograph-worthy, because of the decorations on or near them, or because of their silent commentary upon our present times.

Uptown Event Center

Take the Uptown Event Center’s door, for example. How many ordinary, metal-framed glass doors such as this are in the world? Many tens of millions, no doubt. Yet, it looks as sharp as can be, flanked as it is by a lady singer and a sax man. Cool. Very cool.

Velvet Sky Bakery

And what could be plainer than the opened door of Velvet Sky Bakery? It stands out, though, in a major way. With a table holding disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer beside it, it’s a reminder that we live in the days of coronavirus. This is a door through which you do not enter. You place your order from the sidewalk, pay when the items are brought to you, and walk away.

Immaculate Conception Church

On the other hand, sometimes you cross paths with grandeur, such as the front doors of Immaculate Conception Church. Lovely creations of golden brown wood, they are all the more impressive thanks to the elegantly-chiseled stonework that surrounds them.

Sprinkler room door

And then, in a category all its own, there’s a sprinkler room door, which is attached to the back of a building that I otherwise didn’t make note of. As of this writing it’s my favorite door in Jenkintown. That deep, deep color. That monolithic presence. Man, the door is the definition of gravitas.

We’d be in trouble without doors. I suppose that humans invented them in caveman days. Maybe way before that. Maybe later. Whatever the case, they provide protection from the elements and from members of the fauna categories, and they help to give us privacy. Right, duh! There are all kinds of philosophical interpretations that might be made regarding doors too. But I ain’t exactly Jean-Paul Sartre, so for me to go beyond the kiddie end of the pool in those matters would be a huge mistake. I will say this though: The Doors — and I’m referring to the rock and roll band — took their name from The Doors Of Perception, a book by Aldous Huxley that praises the use of psychedelics to open the mind’s doors, thus expanding one’s insights. I’m all for allowing more of life’s possibilities to present themselves. But there’s no need for psychedelics. For example, who knows what realms you’ll travel to when, non-medicated, you listen to Break On Through (To The Other Side), the opening track of The Doors’ first album, from 1967. Let’s find out:

(Please don’t be shy about adding your comments or about sharing this essay. I thank you.)

127 thoughts on “A Doors-Filled Story

  1. sloppy buddhist June 28, 2020 / 8:46 am

    It’s wonderful doors and doors…it’s also a fun idea…once I had a whole lot of doors collected but I lost those images…I’ll start collecting local ones could be fun…have a joyful Sunday Neil … smiles Hedy ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Image Earth Travel July 1, 2020 / 6:53 pm

    Love doorways and especially in Italy or Morocco. I was considering getting together a coffee table book of door images but think it’s been done to death so shelved that idea.
    The Doors is one of my all time favourites – thanks for the share!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary Rowen July 1, 2020 / 10:31 pm

    Love this!! I love doorways and The Doors too! Had a huge crush on Jim Morrison all through high school, even though he’d been gone for a while by then. Or is he still alive 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger July 2, 2020 / 7:07 am

      Hi Mary. I remember when the first album by The Doors came out. It absolutely blew everybody away. They became huge stars pretty quickly.

      Like

  4. America On Coffee July 2, 2020 / 12:43 pm

    Happy 4th Neil to you and all the folks around the city of Brotherly love. Your. share was another wonderful excursion. I do hope you were wearing a green corona virus mask, very alien cyber trendy and protective of flying toe fungus! LOL! Your shares are totally entertaining and the images were so picturesque. Cheers!🇺🇸👋😎

    Liked by 1 person

  5. veeds July 5, 2020 / 11:51 am

    I have to say, I was wondering if you’d bring the musical Doors into this. I was half-hoping you wouldn’t, but then, how could you not? You made the right choice.

    And then, damn you, I was forced to walk downstairs to my paperback library to see if I had the “Perception” book: Ok, we’ve got Howells, Hawthorne…John irving…and tucked between …”Brave New World” (and a very strange Huxley novel, “Those Barren Leaves,” described as a “summer-long garden party in an historic Italian palazzo” which includes a character called Cardan–“the professional parasite with the face of a saint and the soul of a sensualist”). Sorry, got carried away with that last one.

    But, alas, no “Doors of Perception”!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger July 5, 2020 / 2:18 pm

      Hi, and many thanks for your input. I am impressed that your books are in alphabetical order. I should do the same.

      Like

      • veeds July 5, 2020 / 3:46 pm

        I’ve got a lot of books, organized in several ways. The problems come up when there’s no clear category — “religious/humor”? “memoir by no-name author”?

        Liked by 1 person

        • veeds July 5, 2020 / 3:48 pm

          Just realized that links to my blog don’t work in the Comments section: “My Library Would Like a Word With You” jveeds.wordpress (blog)

          Liked by 1 person

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