A Walk through Orchard Park

November 29, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

I am sharing a little different post with you today. Instead of the usual introduction of a photo or two I am sharing a selection of photos from a whole roll of 35mm film. That's right, 36 pictures to start with edited down to a more manageable number that still shows some hallmark locations in the village of Orchard Park, NY.

Minolta XG-7 and ManualMinolta XG-7 and Manual Support this blog: Do you like my free content but are not ready to buy a photograph yet? Using my links (Amazon) to do your shopping helps me share more photographs and write the stories behind them.

The reason for this walk and for going through a whole roll of film was a new camera test. After couple years of holding back and not adding to my film camera collection I have had a few momentary lapses of reason in 2021 and entered the world of Minolta cameras. It was hard not to as many can be had under $20 - $30 with a lens. The one that started it was a Minolta XG-7. Nothing too special about this particular model, it just happened to be available couple miles from where I live, came with a 45mm f/2 Rokkor.X lens, and even a bag!

I loaded the camera with a Kodak Max 400 expired over 10 years ago. I was not sure whether testing a "new" camera with an expired film was the best choice but I had good luck with this specific batch before so I figured why not. The camera's shutter speeds sounded ok and everything seemed to work but one never really knows until a test roll goes through. I did make one slight adjustment and set the camera's ISO dial to 200 instead of 400. And since I still have couple more rolls I'll go with 100 next time.

But enough of the technical mumbo-jumbo, let's take the walk, starting at Terry Young's Auto Plaza heading south. It's a little counter-intuitive as south is up the hill from this spot and and south is supposed to be down (on the map), right?

Terry Young's Auto Plaza, Orchard Park, NY. Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on expired Kodak Max 400 film.Terry Young's Auto PlazaUnited States Postal Service Trucks awaiting repair at Terry Youngs in Orchard Park, NY.

Terry Young's Auto Plaza, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film

Just across the street is a gas station that has recently changed hands and went from Noco to Speedway. However, Charlie the Butcher's Express stayed and even has a nice bright sign now.

Charlie the Butcher's at Speedway in Orchard Park, NY. Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on expired Kodak Max 400 film.Charlie the Butcher's at SpeedwayCharlie the Butcher's Express at the Speedway Gas Station (used to be Noco until recently) in Orchard Park, NY.

Charlie the Butcher's at Speedway, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film

The village of Orchard Park struggles to keep small businesses open and to have enough to attract a walking crowd. There are some businesses but the wrong type to get general public in there. I feel there are not enough cafés, bakeries, restaurants, and other small shops to make it worth parking a car and strolling along. That is one big and not so positive difference compared to nearby East Aurora, and Hamburg. I have heard that rents are too high and there may be other reasons too. Unfortunately, this is just another example when a recently opened small business, Kaylena Marie's Bakery, closed down its doors in he village and moved furthter out beyond the walking reach.

Empty Kaylena Marie's in Orchard Park, NY.Empty Kaylena Marie'sIt was great to have a small artisan bakery right in the village of Orchard Park, NY but it moved out.

Empty Kaylena Marie's, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film

Judith Krantz Salon & Boutique, Orchard Park, NY. Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film.Judith Krantz Salon & BoutiqueJudith Krantz Salon & Boutique in Orchard Park, NY

Judith Krantz Salon & Boutique, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film

Mangia Ristorante has taken over one of the four corners and has been steadily expanding over the last few years. Each summer they have a beuautiful flower garden in front, which definitely cheers things up.

Mangia Flowers, Orchard Park, NY. Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film.Mangia FlowersThe always beautiful flower garden in front of Mangia Ristorante in Orchard Park, NY

Mangia Flowers, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film

I love vintage items, including old gas pumps. We even travel to Route 66 to get the does of nostalgia that comes with a more old-fashioned travel. But I was unaware of this gem right here in Orchard Park until very recently. Doesn't this analog dial of a vintage Mobilegas pump look awasome even if it's now located at a Kwik Fill gas station? I am glad they kept it!

Vintage Mobilegas Pump, Orchard Park, NY. Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film.Vintage Mobilegas PumpVintage Mobilegas gas pump at the Kwik Fill gas station in Orchard Park, NY

Vintage Mobilegas Pump, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film

Now we are starting to talk real vintage. And having mentioned how small businesses struggle in Orchard Park, here's an example of one that has lasted for a while. The Anthony Brown Pharmacy opened all the way back in 1880! And with so many Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS locations around, I don't think pharmacies have it easy.

Anthony Brown Rx Pharmacy, Orchard Park, NY. Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film.Anthony Brown Rx PharmacyA unique family owned pharmacy in Orchard Park, NY

Anthony Brown Rx Pharmacy, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film

As I was scanning the photos from this roll of film, all looked well so far. But with the next photo I saw the first signs of troubles. See that faint vertical stripe all the way from top down crossing through the "THO" letters in Anthony? I've seen that before and it usually means the camera needs cleaning and lubrication to insure the shutter curtain moves smoothly and evenly across the whole frame. Here, the opening hesitated a bit and created a ore exposed stripe. Call me strange, but I actually like that imperfection in this photo.

Anthony Brown Rx Pharmacy, Orchard Park, NY. Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film.Anthony Brown Rx PharmacyA unique family owned pharmacy in Orchard Park, NY

Anthony Brown Rx Pharmacy, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film

The next photo is of private residence that I usually shy away from taking pictures of. I do not want to spook anyone and neither do I want to trigger a confrontation if challenged. But once in a while, I feel like it has to be done. And this unique house is one of those situations. There's none other in the village that I know of and I really like it. I call it the Castle House. Unfortunately, it's in a bit of disrepair at the moment and I hope it can make it.

Old Castle House, Orchard Park, NY.Old Castle HouseA small unique house in the village of Orchard Park, NY

Old Castle House, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film

Yes, it's a public library in the next photo. In this digital age of do everything from your couch they are often overlooked and I have run into young people that do not even know public libraries exist. Yet, in my opinion, they remain very relevant. They provide "free" access to an almost unlimited library of books. And since the whole county is interconnected you can order material from any library in the system and pick it up in your local library. Isn't that convenient? And it's not just books. You can get music CDs and movies on DVDs and Blueray too!

And guess what! The libraries are also going with the times and if you have a library card you also have access to free e-books and even audio books right from your couch after all. With the price of audio books, who would not enjoy free? So head out, check out your local library, and their website too to see what's available to you.

Orchard Park Public Library, Orchard Park, NY. Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative FilmOrchard Park Public LibraryMaybe old-fashioned but still a great source of books, music, and movies.

Orchard Park Public Library, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film

Next we're stopping by one of my all time most favorite locations in Orchard Park, the historic train depot. It has recently undergone a renovation and looks better than ever, as you can see with the beautiful new platform. What could be better? Well, a steam locomotive rolling in and stopping next to it certainly would not hurt.

Orchard Park Train Depot, Orchard Park, NY. Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film.Orchard Park Train DepotThe Historic Orchard Park Train Depot, Orchard Park, NY

Orchard Park Train Depot
Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film

Just a few steps down the tracks is a bridge I have also photographed quite a bit. In the past, I enjoyed its old rusty look but I have to admit this new black paint is not too shabby either. And while you cannot see that here, it certainly looks much better from the street level below.

Railroad Bridge at the Train Depot, Orchard Park, NY. Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film.Railroad Bridge at the Train DepotThe recently painted railroad bridge over South Buffalo Street in Orchard Park, NY.

Railroad Bridge at the Train Depot, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film

If you visit my website regularly, you must be familiar with Green Lake, or Yates Park. However, I usually focus on the natural part of it trying to hide the signs of civilization. On this occasion I did the opposite and went for the park's sign throwing the lake itself into the background. Yes, this is what you will see right from South Buffalo Road.

Yates Park at Green Lake,Orchard Park, NY. Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film.Yates Park at Green LakeThe Yates Park and Green Lake wooden sign by the South Buffalo Street in Orchard Park, NY

Yates Park at Green Lake, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film

The future of the Custard Lite ice cream stand is uncertain after it being in business for decades. While the business itself may go on the building's years may be counted, we will see. I have always photographed it and even more so recently while it is still here. And yes, that shutter problem creeped right back in here. The curtain's travel was even more choppy here as it created couple hard edges. Yet again, I like what it did for this photo of a vintage ice cream stand. I actually excluded couple photos from this walk where the shutter problems were really severe. Needless to say, this test roll resulted in me liking the camera but needing to send it out for a CLA (Clean, Lube, and Adjust). I am hoping that it will be back in several weeks working like new.

Custard Lite Ice Cream Stand, Orchard Park, NY. Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film.Custard Lite Ice Cream StandA favorite local ice cream stand in Orchard Park, NY

Custard Lite Ice Cream Stand, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film

We're now nearing the end of this day's walk and are stepping into the jungles of Orchard Park. I am very grateful for some of the nature trails available here, whether it is this wetlands area or the Chestnut Ridge park no too far. And anytime I walk or run along this trail I always look forward to this section. There's something different about it than the rest of the trail and I admit, I refer to it as the jungle section.

Wetlands Jungle, Orchard Park, NY.Wetlands JungleThere's a wonderful trail through the local wetlands in Orchard Park, NY.

Wetlands Jungle, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film

The wetlands also feature three ponds. They're actually part of the flood control system but make the wetlands look even better. And they provide nice progress markers especially for runners. We have creative names for them all: first pond, second pond, and third pond. Here, you're looking at wildflowers by the third pond.

Wetlands Pond Wildflowers, Orchard Park, NY. Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film.Wetlands Pond WildflowersWildflowers Just off the wetlands trail, Orchard Park, NY.

Wetlands Pond Wildflowers, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a 35mm Minolta XG-7 on Expired Kodak Max 400 Color Negative Film

Alright, that's it for today's visit to Orchard Park, NY.

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

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