Doors. A Walk Through Castleberry Hill With Norm.

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!”

So now, a little over a year later, Norm has created a serious following of door enthusiasts across the globe. As a matter of fact, earlier this year, Norm had one week with over 60 submissions.

 
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.”

 Norm’s posts are not just photography though. He usually adds in some history, facts or story about the places he shares. This fact I can say, makes his posts even more compelling. Personally, reading his historical background on places has inspired me to do more digging for my own posts, which Norm says he is totally cool with. “If it motivates others to investigate further, then all the better.”

 
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.”

 Norm finds beauty in many ordinary places, but he agrees that some places just stand out. Italy is his no-doubt favorite for doors and architecture. “In the fall of 2013, we visited Milan and then went down to Tuscany. Towns like Siena and San Gimigniano, and then Florence. Hopefully I’ll be able to go back someday.”

 

 The avid door lover looks forward to traveling the globe too. He said he hopes to travel to a variety of places including Asia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. I mean, just think of all those doors just waiting to be photographed! With each new idea and discovery, Norm said his plans just get longer. “My bucket list keeps getting longer.”

 

I totally get that Norm. Since I have joined the door cult challenge, I now look at places differently. I notice doors more. I want to find out the history/meaning/story. And many times, I want to get a closer look.

 

Norm warns his followers though. Being more observant about the beauty around you is good. However, he reminds photo bloggers, especially Thursday Door submitters, to be aware of property lines and privacy too. Because from his own experience, getting up close and personal to photograph something could turn into a potential issue…

 

“On a recent doorscursion in Montreal, I was taking pictures of a lovely old little home with a freshly refurbed door and a wonderful old tin roof. I stood on the sidewalk taking a few shots and lady came flying out the door and in an aggressive tone asked, ‘Can I HELP you?’ For a second there, I wasn’t sure if I was about to get clocked with a frying pan or have the cops called on me. I told her I was taking pics of her lovely home for a blog, and offered to show her the pics, and even to delete them if she wasn’t comfortable with them ending up online. Then, I complimented her on her doors and asked her a few questions about her plans for future renovations. By the time we were done, I thought she might invite me in for coffee! So I managed to diffuse what could have been a touchy situation, but it just reminded me how important it is to respect other people’s privacy.”

 

Well Norm, I personally glad you did not get clocked with a frying pan! Had that happened, I may not of had the chance to meet you in person and wander the streets of Castleberry Hill with you. (See Norm on our doorscursion below.) But, I will certainly remember that warning:)

 

Thanks again for the fun adventure Norm, and may your door challenge group continue to grow!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For Norm 2.0’s Thursday Door Challenge and his Castleberry Hill post, click here.

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36 thoughts on “Doors. A Walk Through Castleberry Hill With Norm.

    1. Hey! An actual Castleberry Hill resident! What a pleasure to meet you via email:) I will send you an email to see if I can help. I would love to see some of the lofts myself. Not that I want to move but it would be great to see the inside. However, I know I will be hiding off at a cabin Octoberfesting that weekend! I will shoot you and email though.

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    1. We did, and it was so great to meet him in person. A very lovely gentleman indeed. Yes, the details among the district were so great. I am sure there are countless more I missed too. But hey, that just means I can always go back.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I thought his followers might like to see him in action. Seeing the people behind the camera is nice. Yet, as a photographer, I know we are the worst to photograph. Being on that side is always hard for us. Yes, that dragonfly doorbell is quite a hit! I may need to research getting one myself!

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  1. It’s great that you were able to meet in person and obviously had such fun.

    I agree that you start to look at things differently once you’ve heard about this weekly challenge. I’ve only taken part twice, but I’m always on the look out for special doors to share.

    All your pictures are great, but I especially love that dragonfly doorbell. I wish I had one of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. It was a good visit, and I really happy we could make it happen. Yes! That butterfly doorbell was so cool. I do notice doors more now too. So much that my friends and boyfriend are aware of it and point them out to me as well, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, good to know! I guess the problem may come when the lines are not real clear. Yes, it was great to meet him in person. And I look forward to meeting more bloggers in the future. That would be great to meet you:)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve developed a real appreciation of ironwork since following Thursday Doors. I’ve only ever posted one Thursday Doors post myself, but it’s fun seeing what photos other people put up (and, like you said, the back stories/ history too!)

    What you wrote about Norm really made me smile. That story about the angry lady is both amusing and heart-warming 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, ironwork can be so wonderful. After watching Norm’s blog, I too have been moved by the stories and histories of places photographed. It makes the pictures that much more meaningful. And, as a journalism major, I just could not post doors with Norm and not talk about him. It just would not be right! 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much. Yes, Norm’s use of history has inspired me to find out a little more. And in the process, I seem to be enjoying blogging even more. I am drawn to iron too, especially when it is complimented with brick or stone. It just looks so regal.

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  3. Hi Michelle – nice to *meet* you via Norm’s blog 🙂

    I loved your photos with all the little details – like the sidewalk ironwork, and the butterfly doorbell. Those wonderful little details often get lost while we are busy rubbernecking at the bigger picture 🙂

    It was so nice to finally meet Norm through someone else’s eyes!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the shout-out Michelle. It was a fun morning. I hope I can return the hosting favor if you ever make it up my way.
    You got some really great shots here, as I knew you would 😉
    I had forgotten about that dragonfly doorbell and the iron in the pavement – nice details indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

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