A couple of weeks ago, I got to meet the leader of the Thursday Door Challenge himself. That’s right, I met Norm 2.0 in person!
Being the first blogger I’ve meet in real life, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, I am so glad we were able to arrange a time to meet. As a matter of fact, it was like meeting a good friend. We chit chatted away as we strolled about a section of Atlanta on a doorscursion. (What else would two photo bloggers who are addicted to doors do?)
Before you hear all about Norm though, let me tell you about the location of our doorscursion ~ Castleberry Hill, Georgia.
According to their town website…
“Castleberry Hill is a unique urban community with a strong historic identity. Many of the early 20th-century warehouse buildings have been converted to lofts and are now the predominate housing type. The population is culturally diverse and the area is continuing to grow in both the number of residents as well as retail and other establishments.
This area was originally part of the renegade Snake Nation community but by the Civil War was becoming industrial with terra cotta and other building material factories, cotton warehousing and grocers, one of whom, Daniel Castleberry, it is named for. By the early 1990s, it had fallen on hard times, serving as the backdrop for dystopic films such as Freejack and Kalifornia. Loft conversions began in the 1980s, and by 1992, there were 120 lofts with 150 residents. The 1996 Olympics saw another influx of development. Today, the area is thriving with retail shops, restaurants, apartments and condos. The proximity to all that Atlanta has to offer in a short walking distance and easy highway and public transportation options are, and will continue to be, major draws to the area.”
The Castleberry Hill Neighborhood, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is Atlanta’s eighth Landmark District, represents the most complete warehouse district still surviving in the City of Atlanta. The area is in the midst of a renaissance, with these old commercial structures being turned into dramatic loft homes for the many people attracted by the prospect of living Downtown.”
The view of the historic area was certainly interesting and full of character. There were rich colors and textures. And you could definitely see the old warehouses were put to good use, and refurbished with style.
I also noticed lovely little details as we wandered about.
So my first official joint doorscursion went well. But, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you a little bit about Norm, the host of the Thursday Door Challenge.
Norm, a born and raised bilingual Montrealer, stated blogging in April of 2013 as an assignment for a course, Writing for the Web. As someone who works in the power tool industry, he explained that he naturally wrote about sales, marketing and customer service issues. However, his blog eventually became more than he planned. “I had so much fun with it that I decided to start another blog for my creative writing and photography.”
In 2014, he came across an invitation for door photo posts by a fellow Montreal blogger, That Montreal Girl. So naturally, Norm gives her credit for creating the Thursday Door idea since it was her “brainchild.” But when she stepped away from blogging, Norm said he carried on the torch because it was fun and catching on with others. “Others were beginning to join me and we were having fun, so in the spring of 2015, I decided to make it into a link-up event and started promoting it more aggressively, on WordPress, Twitter, and later, Instagram. Today, there are consistently 50+ weekly contributors!”
Norm’s posts are typically a blend of unique and beautiful photography, for those of you who haven’t seen it. He said he enjoys the creative aspects of photography. “I like the challenge of trying to move or touch people by capturing out of the ordinary things we see every day, but presenting them in new and different ways.”
When I asked him how the history part of his door photos came about, he said it’s just who he is. “I’m curious by nature, and I do enjoy researching the history and background for my doors posts. I’ve started making lists of places I might find interesting. Sometimes, it’s the history or the architecture, but often it’s novelty or surprise too. My wife often comes up with good suggestions too. Like my recent post about the Haskell Library that literally straddles the Canada/US border. If it gets me thinking ‘How cool is that,’ then it usually will make for a fun post.”
Thanks again for the fun adventure Norm, and may your door challenge group continue to grow!