In Living Color

The first picture below sums up Salem at this time of year:  a ghoulish figure in a shop window (with yellow crime scene tape) and the reflection of the beautiful Federal house across the street. October is a very vivid month, in more ways than one. With my general disdain for witchcraft tourism, I tend to focus on the more natural and architectural attributes of our city, but even I can be amused by clever Halloween displays–I like this one, even though it was hard to photograph. Not quite so subtle, but an easier vignette to capture on film (at least in its entirety) is the annual display in a residential alley off Derby Street:  tourists are there all day long in October.

When I was looking for pink houses the other day, I found lots of other colors as well, so this post is much less monochromatic.  The doors really popped; Salem does not seem to have any of the trendy yellow and chartreuse doors that have been much-featured in shelter magazines in the last few years, but nearly every other color is out there.  Here are just a few colorful doors, beginning with one of the most photographed entrances in the city, right across from the House of the Seven Gables.

Of course, the turning leaves are also a source of vibrant displays of color at this time of the year. You can’t really tell in a more urban environment, but it seems like the colors are particularly intense this year to me, and the trees are peaking at different times. A case in point is this pair of trees on Essex Street, one completely bare, the other just past peak. Many tree are still mostly green, quite late in the season. I love the leaves on the back of this weathered house by the water.

Now in what other city could you see a whirligig framed against onion domes?  This is the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, built in 1908 for immigrants from Poland and Russia who came to work in the leather factories of Salem and Peabody. It’s on Forrester Street, off Salem Common, but I took this shot while examining a garden one street over–hence the whirligig.

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