Random Places I Have Been in 2015

When I originally conceived this annual feature, the idea was to link pictures of the places I visited with ideas for stories, favorite movies or strange/funny anecdotes.  Well, have I got one for you folks this year.

While spending some time at Big Bass Lake in the Poconos Mountains, jaunts through Gouldsboro to grab provisions were inevitable.  It was on one fateful evening when we first got a glimpse of this saucy mannequin gracing the roof of a house like a pin-up model atop a Corvette’s hood.

Mannequins 6

We laughed, but then noticed that mannequin was not alone, and a whole family of mannequins were strewn about the yard in various poses, like they were a family.

Mannequins 8

We laughed nervously now, and then on the way back I tried to convince the others to stop so we could grab some pictures.  Suddenly, to our horror, a man (who looked like he walked off the set of True Detective Season One) was coming out of the side of the house (likely for the nightly inspection of his Mannequin Family) just as we were passing…prompting us to keep on passing (praying he didn’t see how slow we passed, with our shocked gawking), only to  pass a few moments later an abandoned double-wide trailer in the high weeds out of which came stumbling three tottering, torn-up, turned-out characters who looked like they wanted to hitchhike if only they could find the road five feet in front of them.  I imagined the trailer as part of the same Mannequin Cult Compound where meth-heads and drunks were lured by the Yellow King of Carcosa to be murdered and turned into mannequins to join the family.  The next morning I forced my significant other to pass by the site again, and this time we noticed another shop that had a creepy mannequin in the window (clearly the other boundary of what I was now referring to as The Poconos Mountain Mannequin Murder Cult Compound).

This time we got some pictures (like the ones above) – and narrowly escaped by the skin of our teeth (alas, no shots of the double-wide trailer were taken for fear of our lives).  And one day, a screenplay will be written.

Oh, and there were also more mundane, relaxing, less horror-movie-like trips to Saratoga Springs, NY (which included a stop at the lovely Yaddo Artist’s Retreat); Washington DC; and as always Cape May and Wildwood.

With a big trip to France next month (and an excursion to Chicago already in the past), it’s been a wonderful, weird and wild traveling year, with the best hopefully yet to come.

Enjoy the photos (presented in chronological order of trip):

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Random Places I Have Been in 2013

There’s no rhyme or reason here, folks, just a collection of photos from random places I have been in 2013.  I’ve been all over the map (with Europe still to come later this month!) from the Caribbean to Canada and with plenty of local tri-state faves here on the Eastern Seaboard in between.

Bet you were expecting a story here or something, huh?  Well, some shots from the Cape May Lewes Ferry did inspire a short story about an elderly lady turned drug dealer.  And another creepy abandoned industrial building in Toronto is sure to inspire a story about dead bodies most certainly hidden there at some point in my near future.

But I’ll say nothing more and allow you to choose your own adventure with these shots.

Photographs and Story Ideas by David H. Schleicher

It’s Oh So Quiet

It’s oh so quiet…and peaceful until…the tourist season.

I could hibernate all winter and all summer long.  Give me the mountains in the fall and the shore in the spring when the noise is low and natural, the locals are talkative and happy to see you, and the hushed streets lay out before you waiting to be strolled.

Spectral Victorian houses taking deep breaths and creaking in the gentle breezes.  An empty beach on a Saturday.  The sun shining.  60 degrees.  Perfect. 

Here are some pics from a walkabout through Cape May, NJ.   Continue reading

Weekending in Wildwood and Cape May

With the family renting a house for the week on Wildwood Crest, I spent the weekend at the Jersey Shore.  The Wildwood/Cape May area can be reached in about two hours from the South Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia for day-tripping or weekend escapes — though on any given day during the height of summer, traffic can be backed-up on both the expressway and back roads, so be patient.  While modern resort-style over-development threw-up all over the signature Doo-Wop hotels in Wildwood proper, the Crest is home to blocks upon blocks of rental houses that offer some quiet and removal from the hustle and bustle of the world famous Wildwood Boardwalk.  Meanwhile, neighboring Cape May continues to offer a more refined but no less in-your-face quasi-European Victorian Era feel for travelers.  Both “cities” (and their sprawling outliers) pride themselves on delivering different kinds of time warps while boasting some of the oldest inns and lighthouses and largest beaches along the coast of New Jersey.  But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of room for all the stereotypical Jersey Shore mainstays…the boardwalks, the rides, the tacky souvenir shops, the New Yorkers, the screaming children, salt-water taffy, fudge and the wonderful smell from the marshes that can only be produced in the Garden State.  Continue reading