Street Photography, Kinston, North Carolina

The Boiler Room

“The Boiler Room” is the second restaurant founded and operated by acclaimed chef Vivian Howard and her husband, Ben Knight. Their first, “The Chef and the Farmer” was the catalyst that has led to the rebirth of Kinston, a small city in southeastern North Carolina. The entrance to “The Boiler Room” is via the alley shown above. It gives the restaurant a gritty, blue collar feel.  Howard’s Peabody Award Winning television series,  “A Chef’s Life”, is on PBS.

Mother Earth Brewing Tap Room

Mother Earth is another major player in Kinston’s second coming.  Entrepreneur Stephen Hill has turned Mother Earth into a powerhouse in the craft brewing industry.  He’s also behind the second coming of a major section of Kinston with two hotels, a motel and several homes to his credit.  The rub off has been amazing with an array of eateries, shops, galleries and now in the works, a vodka distillery.

I do a fair amount of street photography in Eastern North Carolina, most of it is stock for Getty Images.  My usual practice is to shoot street scenes in black and white ,  but I decided on color for this batch because of the richness of the textures, tones, and hues involved.  I used a Nikon D800E and a D750.  More next time.  Thanks for the look and have a great week ahead.

Photo Of The Day: The Boiler Room

_DSC0748Nikon D600/ 24-120 F/4 lens.

I was casing the alley on a rainy, overcast, foggy morning  in order to return for a night exposure but I figured, why not a test shot.   This is it,  the just opened Boiler Room Oyster Bar in the up and coming alive  Downtown Kinston, North Carolina.

Not Kingston, KINSTON!   The story is the locals were so pissed at George The Third that they ditched the G.  If it’s not true, it ought to be.    Kinston came close to going the way of the  “G”.  Left for dead in the wake of the great textile exodus,  and nearly buried in the wreckage of the financial collapse of 2008,  the city looked like death on a cracker, terminally ill with a serious overdose of Nothing New will ever happen here.   Now Kinston has seemingly turned the corner and seems on the precipice of finally acknowledging that better times are here without having it curse the city again as it has so many times in the past.

Kinston’s rebirth rode in on a “Mother Earth Brewing Company” Bus (there really is one ) and pulled up a chair at the world class Chef and The Farmer Restaurant.  Now, the young entrepreneurs  are not just picking up awards for beer and getting raves from the New York TImes, their success has become a catalyst for a legion of hip new establishments:  eateries, shops, Bars, and a new art gallery.   Old decaying shells of classic brick buildings are being rejuvenated and re-purposed, even an old Kinston residential neighborhood is getting a do-over.  Nobody misses that “G”!

By the way, “The Boiler Room”, so named for an old boiler restored in the building, is a Chef and the Farmer Project.  So is a new television show on PBS.  “A Chef’s Life” airs on Thursday Nights at 9:30PM.  It’s really about the dogged determination of Ben and Vivian Howard to make a go of a five star restaurant in Eastern NC.  But in a way, it’s the story of Kinston itself.

Check your local listings for Time and Channel in your area.

Thanks for the read and have a great evening. .