Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Back side of a business December 22, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 9:22 AM
Tags: , , , ,

TYPICALLY, I NOTICE the fronts of businesses. Not the backs. We all do because that’s the side we’re supposed to see, right?

But I’ve started noticing the behinds. The back sides. The alleys. What I discover can range from intriguing to ugly to interesting and more.

Last week I photographed this loading dock at Farmer Seed and Nursery, an historic building along Minnesota State Highway 60/Fourth Street in the heart of Faribault:


Farmer Seed and Nursery back loading dock


You likely won’t notice this back view while passing by along Minnesota State Highway 60/Fourth Street, the arterial road that runs straight through my Minnesota community. But if you pull into the rear parking lot, you’ll see it.

I can’t pinpoint precisely why this scene appeals to me. But a combination of muted tones and simple signage and that yellow caution strip pull me in. And then, to the right, the discarded Christmas tree boughs make me want to dash up those aged wooden steps and grab those evergreen branches for a holiday wreath.

How does this scene speak to you? Do you notice the backs of businesses? What have you seen?

Should businesses care about their back views?

Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling





14 Responses to “Back side of a business”

  1. Dan Traun Says:

    It is very tidy. I would like to see more clutter 🙂

  2. hotlyspiced Says:

    I love how you don’t rush through life missing out on what makes a town or a community – that’s a great way to live and shows your heartbeat for the land you come from xx

  3. Beth Ann Says:

    I like all sides of businesses like this—alleys are intriguing and sometimes I think the real story of a place is what is not put on display in the front. There is a story in this picture.

  4. Marilyn Says:

    For every front there is a back (is that deep or is it not?!)

  5. Audrey, I have photographed this exact scene! An image of the employee entrance door is on my Instagram….I have been known to lurk around the back of a building or two. In this case, I was picking up my greenhouse supplies that I purchase at Farmer’s Seed each year.

  6. KerryCan Says:

    I agree that there’s something arresting about this scene–maybe it’s the way it’s dominated by that big dark green door. I suspect we could learn quite a lot from looking at the backs of businesses, just like you can learn from candid photos of people.

  7. I noticed the same thing when I traveled by train up to Washington, D.C. a few years ago. It is fascinating to observe what goes on behind old farmhouses, businesses, and stripmalls. Interesting shot.

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