The Places That Scare You

The Reading Pagoda
The Reading Pagoda

Reading, Pennsylvania is a beautiful place to visit, during the day. Around 3:00 this morning I decided to go see the Pagoda all lit up and take some photos. I was hesitant, possibly a little scared about going there alone at that time but I went anyway.

I headed up the steep, curvy road to the top and was pre-visualizing the composition (you’re supposed to do that). What I hadn’t pre-visualized was the twenty five, let’s say derelicts, let’s say, behaving badly.

I got out to look around and suddenly they all began to leave. One guy looked at me and said; “Yo you snitched!” I didn’t answer because I wanted to see if he was going to shoot me, but he didn’t, obviously. So far so good I thought, now I have the whole place to myself.

Then thirty seconds after I got my tripod set up two cop cars pulled in with lights flashing. “Parks closed-these people don’t know how to behave-it happens every night,” one announced. I considered arguing with him but the last time I fought the law the law won.

I asked if I could just take a few photos, he sighed and said to make it quick in his best Joe Friday voice. Then I told him that I wanted to climb up the path to get a better view and he just laughed.

Luckily I got a decent shot, and luckily the cops came when they did because I really wanted the gang in the photo for foreground interest, although that probably would have ended badly.

The lessons I took from this are to go to the places that scare you, except for the Reading Pagoda alone in the middle of the night. And to bracket, even with angry cops waiting for you to finish and go home.

7 thoughts on “The Places That Scare You

  1. I’ve read your Post about the Pagoda. Yes, Mike, I would advise you not to go there at night. It is NOT a very nice place during the dark hours, even though it is a very well visited area. There have been a number of bad incidents that have taken place there. I have been there many times, but never at night. The City of Reading has changed and not for the good. This is why the Reading Police patrol the area. Too many “derelict” people. It’s a darn shame that it is this way and I’m sorry to see this. Many years ago, we used to be able to go up there and fear nothing. These “derelict” people have nothing else to do but create crime. When I go into the City, I carry a weapon, for self-defense. I do have a “concealed carry” permit and I will use it, if necessary. Be careful, Mike.

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