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.)

130 thoughts on “A Doors-Filled Story

  1. George June 18, 2020 / 12:43 am

    Fab photos as always, Neil. If I ever visit your neighbourhood, I’m going to know my way around.

    That track takes me back. I must have played the Doors debut album until there was hardly a groove left on the record, in my late teens.

    I have come to the belief that doors were put on this planet so that we humans can fulfil our ordained destiny, which is to perpetually open them for cats.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Audrey Driscoll June 18, 2020 / 12:48 am

    “Gravitas.” I love that word! Never seen it applied to a door, although I get it, looking at your photo. And the King’s Corner pub door looks downright medieval.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 18, 2020 / 12:36 pm

      I have a feeling that, unconsciously, I’d wanted to use the word “gravitas” in one of my pieces. It finally has happened.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lynette d'Arty-Cross June 18, 2020 / 1:29 am

    I follow a blogger who lives in Rome and periodically posts photos of doors. Doors are interesting. From the boarded up to the very humble to the grandiose, they imply a sort of metamorphosis, the passage from one state to another; or, they just mean that you’re home. 😉
    Great post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sniderjerry June 18, 2020 / 1:39 am

    “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Milton Berle
    Have a great day – Jerry

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 18, 2020 / 12:40 pm

      Hey there, Jerry. Milton was a clever guy. I wonder how many people under 50 ever heard of him.

      Like

  5. James June 18, 2020 / 3:26 am

    I would be a bit interested in your extra terrestrial medical practice…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Sheree June 18, 2020 / 4:08 am

    What could be better, a story plus some splendid doors!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 18, 2020 / 12:46 pm

      The space aliens will be very displeased with me if I say anything further. I don’t want to anger them!

      Like

  7. melissabluefineart June 18, 2020 / 9:06 am

    I wonder what kind of doors space aliens use? I just read about a tribe of native Americans that used to live in houses they built out of planks of redwood. Their doors were beautiful~perfect circles. They were low, though, and it looked like you’d have to crawl to get in. I found that interesting. The typical American today would be way too proud (let alone fat) to bend over and crawl through their front door.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cindy Bruchman June 18, 2020 / 9:08 am

    I think a lot of people love doors. They are symbolic, beautiful, even the decrepid ones are wonderful. They are a photographer’s treat and you took some fine pictures of them. I like your assignment and glad you got off the couch!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. rivertoprambles June 18, 2020 / 9:13 am

    Thanks for the tour of doorways in your neighborhood & beyond, ending with an entry into some music as pertinent today as it was in my formative days. As always, when it’s over, don’t forget to “turn out the lights.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 18, 2020 / 12:52 pm

      Hello there. You’re right about the music. In fact, the entire first album by The Doors still sounds great. It’s fabulous.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Laurie Graves June 18, 2020 / 9:15 am

    “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.” A beautifully written description of our times, with the door as the center.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Helen Devries June 18, 2020 / 9:26 am

    I wish i could put up a picture of my favourite door of all time….the pied de biche at Thouars. The knocker was the doe’s foot, as the name suggests, on a door which was at the end of a tiny lane in the old town and it gave access to a real gentlemens’ club in the best sense of the word, a place where men got together over a glass to play cards and put the town to rights. The club’s articles required of its members honesty, a quiet nature, mutual respect and friendship, so, not surprisingly, the local politicians were not admitted.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jacqui Murray June 18, 2020 / 10:33 am

    There is something oddly appealing abouit doors, isn’t there. A metaphor for decision making maybe? An allegory to rival Moby Dick? Dunno but I do like them.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jane Sturgeon June 18, 2020 / 10:47 am

    Great photos, Neil, alongside your entertaining commentary. I have always loved doors, as they are full of possibilities I feel. X

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Debra June 18, 2020 / 10:57 am

    A doors story was a great opening for your creativity. It really gives us a window on your mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Robert Parker June 18, 2020 / 11:18 am

    I just posted a picture of a door yesterday, I love ’em too, even more than tales of alien toenail fungus! I like the shot of the private residence, with the straw hat & flowers. But I’d be more likely to use the one before it of the pub. And thanks also for the jolt of Doors, I was just going to make a cup of coffee, don’t need it now!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. loristory June 18, 2020 / 11:47 am

    I love the idea of themed photo explorations. I put together a little group of windows photos once. And I wrote a blog post about bridges. There’s an infinite number of topics to capture with pictures. P.S. I was hoping you’d mention The Doors.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. tylerus June 18, 2020 / 12:21 pm

    Always liked the Doors and doors (both have quite the artistic appeal) . . . you have, as always, fantastic photos. 🙂 Take care, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 18, 2020 / 1:10 pm

      Hey there, Tyler. I’ve never thought about it too much, but I suppose that a sizeable number of people are door-lovers. Subconsciously, if not consciously.

      Like

  18. eden baylee June 18, 2020 / 12:45 pm

    We need a new front door and were going to get it this spring until Covid.

    They reflect the personality of the homeowner, so it’s interesting to see what people choose.

    Hope you’re well,
    eden

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 18, 2020 / 1:42 pm

      Hi. Speaking of Covid: My wife just got home from a brief visit to a shopping center very near our house. She says that all the stores there now are open. They’d been closed for three months. Masks are required, though. And distancing, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

      • eden baylee June 18, 2020 / 2:02 pm

        We are still phase 1 given our high density and city life. Certain shops/eateries are open if they have curbside pickup or have a patio. We can now increase our bubble from 5-10.

        What a strange life this is!

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Paddy Tobin June 18, 2020 / 1:36 pm

    I think you would be an excellent botanist; you have the enquiring mind and the sharp eye!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 18, 2020 / 1:48 pm

      I enjoy nature a lot, but my knowledge of what precisely I’m looking at has loads of room for improvement. That’s an understatement!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. JT Twissel June 18, 2020 / 2:48 pm

    Alien toenail fungus … is that what did in Jim Morrison? Happy Doors Day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 18, 2020 / 3:41 pm

      Hi there, JT. You know, I wonder why Thursday is the “official” doors day on WordPress. Maybe there’s a true reason, or maybe it’s just one of those things.

      Like

  21. Ann Coleman June 18, 2020 / 3:40 pm

    I’m glad to see you included the musical group! But those are actually interesting doors you found on your walk. I’ve seen other blogs do the door theme, and it has made me realize that some really are unique and quite interesting. Sometimes we just need to pay attention, I think! Thanks for helping us do that.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Ann Coleman June 18, 2020 / 9:01 pm

        I think the King’s Corner pub, because it’s so unusual. Although I also like church doors…so solid. Possibly because I spent four years of my childhood on the campus of a seminary, and the doors to our apartment building (student housing) were solid wood and very, very heavy!

        Liked by 1 person

  22. andrewcferguson June 18, 2020 / 4:50 pm

    Doors on a Thursday? I knew not – might join in. Anyway, great piece on doors. And The Doors…

    Liked by 1 person

  23. K E Garland June 18, 2020 / 5:41 pm

    Neil, you’re the only blogger I know who can make doors sound interesting ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 18, 2020 / 7:54 pm

      Maybe I’ll put The Doors Of Perception on my to-be-read list. That list is already 50 miles long, though.

      Like

  24. Carmel Bendon June 18, 2020 / 9:37 pm

    Doors, portals, barricades, opportunities … you’ve hit upon an important item here. Another great post, and I’m inspired by your “themed walks”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 19, 2020 / 7:15 am

      Hi Carmel. Many people and some nations believe that open doors/cooperation result in a better world. Mankind’s got a long ways to go in those respects, though. Thanks a lot for your input. Much appreciated.

      Like

  25. lookingforthehigherself June 18, 2020 / 9:49 pm

    Nice photos and I like the depth you bring to this eulogy on doors…. I have an interest in facades too but only for aesthetic reasons 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 19, 2020 / 7:20 am

      Hello, and thanks for entering your thoughts. You know, it’s about 7AM where I live. A few minutes ago I opened two doors at the rear of the house to let in some cool morning air. Take care, and enjoy the weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. johnlmalone June 18, 2020 / 10:57 pm

    great post, Neil; love that lady singer and sax man; we have a cafe with similar figures down our way called ‘Louie’s with a life size statue of Satchmo 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 19, 2020 / 7:23 am

      Hi. Armstrong lived in a modest house in the borough of Queens, which is one of the five boroughs that comprise New York City. It’s been turned into a museum. I’d like to go there some day.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. johnlmalone June 18, 2020 / 11:47 pm

    Hey Neil; took your advice, visited the website and am hooked. Left a comment and am now a follower !

    Liked by 1 person

  28. throughrosetintedglasses54 June 19, 2020 / 4:24 am

    Really enjoyed reading this today. What a great array of doors and Im sure an interesting walk. A great encouragement to get off that sofa and all its trappings I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Norm 2.0 June 19, 2020 / 7:00 am

    Welcome to #ThursdayDoors! So glad you found our little group of door lovers.The King’s Corner Pub and Immaculate Conception are my two standouts from this batch. Thanks for the tour of Jenkintown. Do feel free to share your future doorscursions with us as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 19, 2020 / 8:54 am

      Hey there, Norm, and thanks. You know, the door from King’s Corner is growing on me. I like it a lot. Keep up the good work. You started a movement!

      Neil Scheinin

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Alyson June 19, 2020 / 8:44 am

    Some interesting looking doors there – I used to collect fridge magnets of doors as very different depending on the country you visit. Dublin’s Georgian doors very nice but also Greece’s rustic ones. Had to stop the collection once the fridge went inside a kitchen cabinet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 19, 2020 / 10:15 am

      Magnets of doors. That’s a cool collection. Whoever came up with the idea of making fridge magnets was a genius of sorts.

      Like

  31. Des June 19, 2020 / 9:15 am

    Doors are interesting for sure, and so is the band. I still have The Doors debut album, the first one I ever bought with my paper route money.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 19, 2020 / 10:12 am

      Morning, Des. That album really holds up over time. It took the world by storm all those years ago, and still sounds great.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 19, 2020 / 4:15 pm

      Hello, and thanks for the visit. Online, I took a look at some of those posters a few minutes ago. They’re nice. I hadn’t known about them before.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. viewfromoverthehill June 19, 2020 / 10:25 pm

    Hey Neil: Before I read this post, I thought you would be writing about a musical band called ‘The Doors’. Isn’t there one??? I don’t follow them I must say. But, I AM fascinated by doors and the last time I was in France, I photographed dozens of wonderful and unique old doors, so I really enjoyed these. Thanks, Muriel

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 20, 2020 / 8:16 am

      Morning. Right, The Doors were very popular in the late 60s to early 70s. Their most famous song is Light My Fire.

      Like

  33. Julie Holmes, author June 20, 2020 / 12:27 pm

    Love an ode to doors! The colorful ones always make me wonder why the owners chose the bold over the mundane.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. snakesinthegrass2014 June 20, 2020 / 3:55 pm

    A great post with wonderful pics. I did one Thursday Doors post, thought for sure I’d do another one, and then promptly forgot. 🙂 But I do like your ending for sure — probably the best Doors tune, IMHO. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  35. selizabryangmailcom June 21, 2020 / 2:09 pm

    I think it’s called character. That’s what’s lacking in everything these days. But I guess every single thing we create or build can’t be unique: not enough time or resources? So it’s a special treat to see big red doors and impressive stone carvings.Thanks for the peek.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 21, 2020 / 4:03 pm

      Right, it’s hard to compete with mass production. Still, there are many people//small firms that make hand-crafted ceramics, furniture, glass ware, clothes, etc. The world is better for all of that.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Brockelman June 21, 2020 / 4:01 pm

    What a wonderful piece. Thanks for writing it. And, I agree, “We’d be in trouble without doors.”

    Like

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 21, 2020 / 6:19 pm

      Hi, and thanks. I hope you’re staying cool in these recent hot days. Keep your doors closed!

      Like

  37. annieasksyou June 21, 2020 / 10:55 pm

    The gravitas door looked like a cleaned up version of something found in Peaky Blinders, which my husband and I are wending our way through at the recommendation of you and some of your commenters. So I expect something awful to either emerge from it or be taking place behind it. No ordinary sprinkler there.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. ckennedyhola June 22, 2020 / 10:25 am

    Great photos! Focusing on doors, I think, helps us to remember to look at things more–to take notice–to see signs around us every day. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 22, 2020 / 2:07 pm

      Hi. Thanks for your input. Right, there are all kinds of fascinating things around us. Pretty much everything, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  39. cath June 23, 2020 / 10:47 am

    I’m with you on the fascination of doors, Neil. Especially that open one, at the Velvet Sky Bakery. Despite the block from actually entering, I’m drawn to imagine the kinds of cakes that might be inside a shop with a name like that. I did enjoy this post, I feel I’m getting a kind of patchwork picture of your neighbourhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. notesoflifeuk June 25, 2020 / 12:11 pm

    Some doors are just wonderful and you’ve got to wonder what might be found the other side of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. yvettecarol June 26, 2020 / 5:21 pm

    I’ll be looking at doors everywhere I go now! I loved the different colours. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 26, 2020 / 9:02 pm

      It was a fun walk. I’ll probably do another doors story some day. Enjoy the weekend. Take care.

      Like

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