Windows Shopping

I don’t know about you, but in my neck of the woods (I live a bit outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA) there aren’t too many towns that look like towns. Mine sure doesn’t, though I suspect it did up until 70 or 80 years ago. Today it’s a mess, a hodgepodge of neighborhoods interspersed with shopping centers galore. And of those towns that do look like towns, few have thick roots going back many years. Which is one reason why I’m pleased that the borough of Doylestown, Pennsylvania lies a mere 15 miles from my abode.

Doylestown, large in size and containing a high percentage of structures erected between the mid-1800s and the early-1900s, somehow combines stateliness, quaintness and chicness casually and seamlessly. I find it to be a swell place to hang out in and to stroll around, and have been doing just that pretty regularly for decades. I dig its well-kept houses, its arthouse cinema and museums, its record store (Siren Records), its bookstores, its big collection of eateries. On a recent Monday I spent two hours on the streets and alleys, and within a few shops, of this estimable hamlet. I had a specific purpose in mind, one I hoped would result in a photographic essay for Yeah, Another Blogger. Hallelujah, my hopes have been realized!

I arrived in Doylestown at 11:00 AM under skies glowing happily in blue and white. The temperature was 50°F (10°C), quite pleasant, though not warm enough for me to wander without my winter coat. You better believe that I, an old f*cker, chill easily. Anyway, with my trusty phone’s camera at the ready, I immediately began checking out the town’s windows, as windows were to be the stars of the hoped-for story. Windows? You bet. I’m into themed walks and have reported upon any number of them for this publication. Now and then, for instance, I’ve gone in search of well-decorated motor vehicles (click here to read my latest opus about the subject). That’s the way I roll, wobbly as it may be.

Now, I’m not going to tell you that I saw any Doylestown windows with design elements that completely knocked my socks off. However, a number came close. For example, there was no denying the power of the tall, narrow windows, pointing skyward, that adorn the Doylestown Presbyterian Church. Some of them depict Biblical scenes. In retrospect, I’d have loved to view them from inside the church too, but the idea didn’t occur to little ol’ me at the time.

And I was taken with the asymmetrical positioning of the windows on a lovely mustard-colored home. Unbalanced though it may seem at first glance, to my eye the arrangement makes perfect sense. It demonstrates how components big and small can work together in harmony when the will is there. The nations of Planet Earth have yet to learn this lesson fully.

The coolest thing about windows is that they usually are reflective, and many were showing off their talents in that regard. Reflections often blow my mind, as they are real and not real simultaneously — real in the sense that they do exist, and not real because they are weightless representations, often distorted, of the physical world. In any event, I couldn’t get enough of the reflections proudly displayed in the windows of the Bucks County Administration Building, a sharp red car parked on State Street, and the Doylestown Inn.

Very cool, too, was a window I photographed while inside Siren Records, where I browsed through a box of used CDs (I bought five of them). As ordinary as the window itself is — billions upon billions of its type populate the world — the scenes surrounding it and seen through it grabbed me. The window, delighted to be trimmed in yellow and to be adjacent to a wide array of colors, provided a shimmering, kaleidoscopic view of the outside world, courtesy of a sun that glared as if there were no tomorrow.

Well, the time to leave Doylestown has arrived. But I’ve still got windows on my mind, and I’m also ready to be rocked. So, I’ll end this story with one of the best windows-centric recordings I know of. The song, written by the late Tony Joe White, is titled Steamy Windows, and has been recorded by several artists, including Tony Joe. Tina Turner more than did the tune justice, releasing a bluesy, full-steam-ahead version in 1989 that is strong enough to shatter glass. Go, Tina, go!

139 thoughts on “Windows Shopping

  1. Linda Pearce Griffin February 27, 2023 / 11:37 am

    Steamy Windows!!!! I love it. Well, how can you not love anything Tina does, right? I had never heard this. So thanks for hooking me up. I’ve had some steamy windows back in my youth. LOL
    Really liked your themed post. I’ll be noticing windows for the rest of the week. And if I end up with an ear worm singing Steamy Windows I won’t mind a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rkrontheroad February 27, 2023 / 12:39 pm

    I too am drawn to reflections in windows or water. A few interesting pieces of architecture in that town. Loved the video – I didn’t know that song, and quite a steamy video!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 27, 2023 / 3:17 pm

      Greetings, Ruth. Reflections really can be something else. When I wander through downtown Philadelphia, for instance, I’m totally amazed by the reflections in the glass-sheathed skyscrapers.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. alhenry February 27, 2023 / 12:49 pm

    Great window choices! Doylestown reminds me very much of Northampton, MA and Brattleboro, VT. Beautiful old houses with incredible architectural detail and real downtown areas–streets lined with cafes, bookstores, restaurants, and shops. I live in the one and visit the other often. Here’s to towns with histories that haven’t been replaced by shopping centers (which I hear are themselves dying out now, after the plague sent everyone online).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 27, 2023 / 3:20 pm

      Right, New England has loads and loads of towns that look like towns. Many moons ago I went to college in one of them (Middlebury, Vermont).

      Liked by 1 person

      • alhenry February 27, 2023 / 4:04 pm

        Beautiful area, Middlebury–and so close to another favorite place, Montreal.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. stargazer February 27, 2023 / 6:32 pm

    What a great collection of windows. I too love reflections, sometimes you can get som really artistic photos. The County Administration Building looks nice!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ccerebrations February 28, 2023 / 4:58 pm

    I love that mustard-colored home. And I feel you about towns not feeling like towns anymore. I will have to pop over to Doylestown some time soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 28, 2023 / 7:23 pm

      Hi, and thanks for dropping by. If you live not all that far from Doylestown, it’s definitely worth visiting.


  6. gjef2871 March 2, 2023 / 4:24 pm

    I really like your pictures. You seem to have the camera angle just right for looking up at a beautiful building.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Velva-Evening with a Sandwich March 3, 2023 / 10:26 am

    I came over from Jeff the Chef food blog. I enjoyed post on windows. Windows are fascinating when you go beyond the pane-philosophically, spiritually and examples of beautiful architecture. My children live in Pittsburgh so I get the feel for your descriptions-living in Florida, it has a completely different feel. Most old buildings date back to the 1920’s.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 3, 2023 / 12:48 pm

      Hi, and many thanks for stopping by. You know, I’ve never been in Pittsburgh. I know that it’s a fine city. My wife and I should go there for four or so days.


  8. Pam Lazos March 3, 2023 / 5:14 pm

    Neil, you need to come hang out in Lancaster or Lititz, the latter of which was founded by Moravians circa 1750s and which continues to be a quaint and lovely walking around town experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. andrewcferguson March 4, 2023 / 10:36 am

    Neil, you’re welcome back over here to look at our old buildings any time! Meantime, good job – and great choice of track.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 4, 2023 / 2:01 pm

      In re music: I saw The Richard Lloyd Group two days ago, in a club. RL and the late Tom Verlaine were in Television years ago. The RLG rocked ferociously the other night. Great show.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, Another Blogger March 5, 2023 / 4:55 pm

          Hey CB. Eliane Elias — Plays Jobim. Mary Chapin Carpenter — State Of The Heart. James McMurtrey — Candyland. KD Lang — Watershed. Kim Richey — Glimmer. I’d never heard any of these recordings before. I like them all.

          Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead March 5, 2023 / 12:25 pm

        I caught RL and Butch Hancock years ago and it was also a great show. Different combo but it worked. Lloyd was calling his group The Health and Happiness Show at that time.
        You know I have to do it Cleaning Windows by Van. Great tune. Small Town by JM is also a good one

        Liked by 1 person

  10. J P March 8, 2023 / 10:47 am

    I love that part of the country. My grandparents lived in Montgomery County and later I had some in-laws in Exton. Doylestown sounds like one of those places I wish I had explored when I used to visit the area.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 8, 2023 / 1:23 pm

      Hello J P. I’m sure you’d like Doylestown. I’m glad it’s pretty close to where I live. It’s the best town I know of in my general area.

      Liked by 1 person

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