This past weekend, fellow photographer, Pat Ryan, and I took a road trip to Dubuque, Iowa. The trip is part of our ongoing photo documentation of places we visit with the final result being a photography book slated for 2022. We have never visited the oldest city in Iowa so this would be an interesting experience. As we drove into downtown, we were greeted by a series of large scale murals. My eyes opened widely and my mouth dropped. It was not what I expected. The murals were organized by an arts advocate group called Voices Productions.
We arrived a bit early so we could not check into Hotel Julien. So what do two photographers do? They grab their cameras and explore the city. Having no agenda is the best way to navigate the streets. This encourages impromptu conversations with the locals.
A local coffeeshop that we visited was Charlotte’s Coffee House. For lunch we ate at The Vault. I asked the waiter where the murals were located and he said all over the city. Murals have become an interest of mine for the past decade or so. After lunch we continued our exploration, which led us to the tram called the Fenelon Place Elevator. The Fenelon Place Elevator is a 3 ft narrow gauge funicular railway located in Dubuque, Iowa. Also known as the Fourth Street Elevator, it is claimed to be the shortest and steepest railroad in the world. A $4.00 roundtrip gave us the best view of the city.
After a short rest, we hit the streets once again. Except this time it was dark at 6pm and a bit chilly. The best way to warm up is with food in our bellies so we ended up at Brazen Open Kitchen in the Mill Works District. The morning after we stopped by Wayfarer Coffee before hitting the road back to Wisconsin.