Jump to content
American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!
sit properly

Is This Concrete Highway Real?

Recommended Posts

Hi folks, it's been awhile since I've been here - a lot going on in life. However, I was recently watching the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, which is set in the 1920s. In it, a few mobsters meet on a concrete highway near a beach.

 

Now, the series is set in Atlantic City and the special effects folks did an amazing job at recreating the look of the town. There is, however, one scene in the final episode of season one that has me hopeful of its reality.

 

Here are a couple of pics.

 

01.jpg

 

03.jpg

 

Like I said, I have no idea if the road is real. It somewhat reminds me of the Old Pacific Highway near Wedderburn in Oregon, though the screenshots are clearly east coast.

 

More than likely, it's CGI, but if an old stretch of original concrete exists next to a beach, I'd sure love to see it.

 

Thanks,

 

Eric

Edited by sit properly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back! I always enjoy your postings and photos from your travels.

Can't answer your question, though (no HBO)...it certainly does look real!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks! I wish I did more traveling these days, I really miss it.

 

I also wish I could have gotten clearer screen caps. The road definitely looked real. Either that, or the CGI folks have a great eye for old roads (which is possible).

 

Luckily, in Washington, we're blessed with a lot of original concrete. Not as much as, say, Route 66 in Oklahoma, but still quite a bit. Nothing beats riding/driving on old pavement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric,

 

First, great to see your post. I have wondered what happened to you. Glad to see you back!

 

I'm going to opt for real. There appears to be a curb or edge treatment on the road (unnecessary in a fake), expansion joints, and surface wear. The brush appears to intrude as you would expect. Even some sand in a break on the left.

 

But I have no idea where it might be.

 

I hope you will take the time to share some of your road adventures.

 

I have been researching three famous transcontinental runs and I think I have something interesting to go find. I'll be posting some stuff soon.

 

Hope all goes well.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dave! I've been crazily working on a Civil War project that takes up WAY more time than I thought it would. I spend about three hours a day writing and researching for the Civil War Daily Gazette, a blog that covers the CW one day at a time, 150 years later. Quite a bit of fun. But alas, I have no free time. For the next four years. :)

 

That said, I *did* just return from a run to Utah/Nevada and hit some of the Lincoln Highway as well as the 100 mile stretch of the abandoned Central Pacific RR bed west of Promontory/Golden Spike.

 

I should do a bit of a post about it, even though it's not really a highway in the traditional sense.

 

As for the screencaps above, the shooting was mostly in and around New York. I've been up and down the Jersey shore, but have never seen anything like this. One possibility is that the road is real, but the ocean is fake/CGI'd in. Actually, that's quite probable. The grass on either side of the road isn't really specific to anywhere in particular. It could be a stretch of Route 66 concrete in Califoria for all I can tell.

 

Sarah and I recently did the Cascade Loop, with a stop by Spencer. We also hit Washing State Route 11 (Old Pacific Highway) and have done a couple of alignments of the PH up to Bellingham.

 

When will we hear about what you're researching? Odd bits of road still thrill me to no end. Can't wait!

 

-Eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dave! I've been crazily working on a Civil War project that takes up WAY more time than I thought it would. I spend about three hours a day writing and researching for the Civil War Daily Gazette, a blog that covers the CW one day at a time, 150 years later. Quite a bit of fun. But alas, I have no free time. For the next four years. :)

 

That said, I *did* just return from a run to Utah/Nevada and hit some of the Lincoln Highway as well as the 100 mile stretch of the abandoned Central Pacific RR bed west of Promontory/Golden Spike.

 

I should do a bit of a post about it, even though it's not really a highway in the traditional sense.

 

As for the screencaps above, the shooting was mostly in and around New York. I've been up and down the Jersey shore, but have never seen anything like this. One possibility is that the road is real, but the ocean is fake/CGI'd in. Actually, that's quite probable. The grass on either side of the road isn't really specific to anywhere in particular. It could be a stretch of Route 66 concrete in Califoria for all I can tell.

 

Sarah and I recently did the Cascade Loop, with a stop by Spencer. We also hit Washing State Route 11 (Old Pacific Highway) and have done a couple of alignments of the PH up to Bellingham.

 

When will we hear about what you're researching? Odd bits of road still thrill me to no end. Can't wait!

 

-Eric

 

 

Eric,

 

I am really pleased to learn that you and Sarah (say "Hello" for me) are still enjoying road trips! I hope you will share some of your experiences.

 

My great grandfather was in the Jayhawkers Union regiment (7th Kansas Cavalry) and had some tangles with Quantrill, and did some border raiding, and some bushwhacker hunting. His diary was used extensively in a book on the 7th describing their exploits in Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, and of course Kansas during the War. By accident I am probably the living expert on the 7th.

 

I invited Denny G to meet me on his way back from the Lincoln Highway trip to scout out the section I have identified because it is potentially on his route home (see my post in his LH Conference thread). I don't know if he is going to take me up on it, but I would extend an invitation to you as well, and to any other active members who can pick up and go on a moments notice to the southern Idaho area. Send me an email via the forum to inquire.

 

Of course when I get back, I will post a map and share the details with all. It might be a bust, but I get some jollies from discovering, or at least reporting, on this kind of thing. In this case we have three transcontinental trips that took what is now a long abandoned route, and so far as I can tell, no one has identified the exact route as such.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave,

 

Oh we're still road tripping, hitting old alignments and dirt roads as much as possible. I'll do a little write about about the Utah trip, it was quite a bit of fun.

 

Very interesting about the 7th Kansas Cav. I'm about four months ahead of the sesquicentennial, so Quantrill is just starting to get active, having just left Price after Lexington.

 

In doing the CWDG, I'm finding that I can still talk about and research old roads. My favorite, by far, is the Wire Road through Missouri, which somehow connected to the Overland Stage route through New Mexico.

 

I've been following Denny via Twitter and am mostly jealous. Would be great to meet up. Your discovery sound fairly delightful. Sarah and I were looking for some place to go. It's possible.

 

-Eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This scene was shot at Cedar Grove Beach on Staten Island, NY. Much of season 2 and 3 were shot on Staten Island.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh I am! This is really interesting. Looking on Google Earth, I can't find where the road would be. It's really possible that they're two shots stitched together with CGI. But that road looks real. And beautiful. You know my love for old concrete! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave,

I do not know. Just a big fan of Boardwalk Empire, and had a pretty good Idea where it was shot before I lookked it up. As Eric said above, it may be part CGI. The actual location that I think it was shot at looks like a sand road so they may have digitally painted in the concrete....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are making me feel ancient! First I had to look up CGI. I thought it was like CSI! I can excuse that because I am not a movie fan (leave that privilege to my wife), and because I was definitely fooled if that concrete is done digitally, right down to wear patches and ingrown shrubbery.

 

If that is the case, my hat is off to the digital professional. I mess around a lot with digital images, and if I had half that talent, I would be selling my stuff!

 

It is fun to identify movie shots along old roads. I enjoy the east side of the Sierra Nevada (though I seldom get there any more) and since it was accessible to Hollywood and more or less unpopulated in the “old days” it was a favorite site for movies. The road (US395) now is wide and fast, but some of the old sections still exist, and every once in a while you can match a scene in a movie.

 

BTW, Eric, do you still have the old license plate you guys found when we were exploring Spencer? I would like a photo I could include (with credit of course) in a future piece. I purchased on Ebay not long ago a late 1920's Yellowstone Trail map that includes Spencer....for reasons I'll never know. It was tiny and unimportant, and always was. The only explanation I have is that the folks who made the map never drove that section of road!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the road is CGI, they more than likely just lifted it from a real concrete road (or at least used it as their source). Such a shame though. I really wanted this to be real. Ohh well.

 

 

And absolutely we still have it! Wouldn't give that up. We could definitely get a good photo of it for you.

 

Really weird that the map included Spencer, but I guess that was the only "town" between Coulee City and Waterville (or was there another just east of there?).

 

Since we explored Spenser, we've been out to the coulees quite a lot. We'll always check out old alignments, etc., but I've become obsessed with the geological history out there. Sarah covered our last outing on her blog. Check it out if you like. There's a bit of old US 2 alignments, but mostly just horrible back roads and glacial erratics. I love it!

 

And speaking of Sarah, we're getting married in June. Heading to Pennsylvania for the wedding and then doing a three (plus) week, cross country Route 66 honeymoon. We'll be capturing the whole thing on old Polaroid cameras. The Route 66 idea was hers - I swear! I'm kind of a lucky guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric,

 

Thanks for the offer of a photo of the license plate! I don't have a immediate use in mind, but I have been doing some material for the Yellowstone Trail e-publication (The Arrow) over the past year and one of these days I want to expand on what I have written about Spencer. Be sure and let me know how you what it credited if I use it.

 

Congratulations on your and Sarah's June plans! You make a great couple and I predict great things! The honeymoon trip sounds like fun. I took tons of Polaroid shots years ago (1960's -70's) on vacations, all the way back to the days when you had to coat the B&W image to preserve it.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road

 

Readers....be sure to visit Sarah's Blog highlighted in the prior post! There are some great shots of the coulees of eastern Washington, and the roads getting there. Recommended!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric (sit properly), If you are a polaroid guy you should check out the site http://www.the-impossible-project.com/about/ .

 

Also, enjoy the Route 66 trip. The wife and I went out and back last year on out Harleys over a 3 week period, and it was the roadtrip of a life time. If you haven't done Route 66 before, check a few of the sites on the web. Lot's of great info you can use in planning your trip. So much to see you have to pick what you want to stop and see unless you have about a year to travel it.

 

-Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mike!

 

We've played around with Impossible Project's stuff and were just not impressed with the quality. It's great that they're trying to do it. It's exciting. But it might just be impossible to perfect it.

 

We use colorpack Land cameras. They're the kind that you peel the photo off the negative. No powder or stuff to coat. Fuji still inexplicably makes the film and we can get it at our local camera store (Glazier's in Seattle). We're having tons of fun with it. You can see some of my work with it here.

 

As for Route 66, there's no better way of seeing it than on two wheels. I did that (on a Vespa, no less) in 2008. Spent three months on the road and about a month on 66. I've done it three full times and still haven't seen everything. You're completely right, it would probably take a year. But then, things change so much, you'd have to start all over again. Before you know it, you'd be a hippie painting murals or something. :)

 

 

Dave, thanks so much! We're really excited about the honeymoon. Since we're getting married in Pennsylvania, we're not nearly as excited about that. Planning a wedding from 3,000 miles away is a really bad idea, which we're going to do anyway. The pay off will be worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric,

 

The Polaroids are VERY interesting. And beautiful. I really like the “feeling.” For an old road guy like myself, they look more in keeping with the feeling of the places than my straight digital shots.

 

Should I assume I'm seeing “as shot” and/or as physically manipulated? I mean by that, are these scans of actual images, or have they been scanned and then post processed digitally as with Photoshop? Either way they are great (and of course I recognize most of the sites).

 

I love what I can do digitally, but there are times I long for the old “hands on” days. I used to work hours in the darkroom for a single print.

 

And I took tons of Polaroids, and some are still in scrapbooks around here. None have the artistic quality of your work, but then none of my work does.

 

I parted company with my “inter artistic self” in junior high school, recognizing I had no art talent, as confirmed by the teacher. Technically, I'm a champ, artistically a chump. No matter, I have learned to live with my disability!

 

It would be nice next time if you posted one of your shots in the post. They are attention grabbers and would whet the visual appetite for a look at others you have done. Just a thought....

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric,

Love the pics! Many times the polaroids give the photo an Otherworldly look. WRT the mural painting Hippie comment, I could easily see myself living a Bob Waldmire lifestyle, unfortunately I don't think my wife or my debtors would go for it... :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave - Thanks! These are "as shot" sort of. It's sort of long to explain, but they're "reclaimed negatives." Basically, when you take a picture with Polaroid packfilm, you peel off the photo and throw away the back. But the back is actually the negative. If you clean it off (which includes bleach), you've got yourself a rather large negative. The weirdness of it is in the color shifts. I love it.

 

I've been taking a LOT of film shots lately (everything on my flickr page is shot from film - mostly 120). I've even started processing my own - it's a lot cheaper. I've done 25 or so rolls thus far. I don't have a dark room, but I don't need one, since I'm only processing the film, I'm not making prints.

 

The jist of the Route 66 project is taking Polaroids and mailing them to people who want us to mail them Polaroids. We keep the backs (the negatives) and they get the originals. We'll have different themes and packages for people to choose from and will even do custom shots. But all that's in the future.

 

Mike - And thank you! What I love about shooting film (Polaroids included) is how the other-worldly aspect somehow perfectly captures the moment in a way that digital (or "normal" film photography) simply doesn't. This is especially true in the desert or in really small towns. The places that already feel surreal can be perfectly captured using certain kinds of film that portray that surreality. The colors may be off, the contrast is wacky and maybe some stuff is blurred, but, while that's obviously not how it looked, it's precisely how it felt. And that is wonderful. I can't wait to get out there again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric - Odd (I think) that I would learn of your marriage here in a thread involving HBO, CGI, Polaroids, & Route 66. Congratulations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric,

 

On or off topic, thanks for the interesting road trip ideas! I want to try the Polaroid process on some historic road sites myself, and I like the idea of sending friends the originals on your Route 66 trip to maintain interest as you travel.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My other major hobby is collecting vintage cameras. I probably have 75 of them. I focus on 35 mm rangefinders and SLRs, but have been dabbling in 120 this year and also have a smattering of Polaroids.

 

The pack film cameras are THE way to go with Polaroid, because Fujifilm still makes brand new film for them. These are the cameras where you manually pull the photo out of the camera, wait for developing, and peel the photo off backing paper to reveal the print. In my opinion, the pack film cameras take better pictures than most, if not all, of the integral film cameras (the kind where you press the button, the picture shoots out the front, and develops before your eyes).

 

Some posts from my blog about my Polaroids:

 

Pack film: http://blog.jimgrey.net/2012/04/26/polaroid-big-swinger-3000/

Integral film: http://blog.jimgrey.net/2012/09/13/polaroid-onestep-600/ and http://blog.jimgrey.net/2012/04/30/polaroid-one600/

 

A list of all of the cameras I've collected and shot:

 

http://blog.jimgrey.net/about/cameras/

 

-Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jim!

 

The Big Swinger 3000 is, I think, my favorite of the pack film cameras (maybe after the 250). The single element lens pulls off some wonderful shots. I absolutely love it. I just wish they would have made a single element camera that could take color film. I don't usually shoot B&W. I've got six or seven pack film cameras. I can't believe I somehow missed out on this. Some of my shots from the BS3k are here.

 

I checked out your blog and I'll start following. Your collection is fairly amazing. Mine, here, is smaller (and missing all of the Polaroids that I now have). I think I've gotten a few others since then. They're all 120. I like big negatives, I guess.

 

-Eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone recently gave me one of the pack film cameras with the rangefinder. I forget which model and am too lazy to go into the other room, dig for it, and look. I'm planning to clean that up over the holiday and use it. I have one pack of the b/w film in the fridge still and will get some color.

 

Boy, has this thread gone way OT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×