But Alyssa Amori's photographic essay, Scranton The Electric City, gives a face to the name. It is those who live in a community that really see and know it the best and are able to show us the beauty of their surroundings.
I am always fascinated by architecture - it gives you such a wonderful glimpse into the history of a city or town.
Amori has covered it all, featuring shots covering the downtown area, new additions, parks and recreation, religion, statues, sports, the annual St. Patrick's Day parade and much, much more. Some of my favourites (go figure) were the Albright Memorial Library and the Lackawanna County Children's Library. Both are older, distinguished buildings, promising a suitable home for books! I was surprised by some of the pictures - great ski resort - who knew? And impressed by others - The David J. Wenzel Handicapped- Accessible Treehouse was a marvel. Scranton has a rich coal mining history as well.
There are over 100 full colour, glossy photographs. All are labeled, but I wish there was some text included. I would have liked to read the history behind some of the photographs.
"Alyssa Amori first became interested in photography while living in Redondo Beach, CA during the early 1980s, having been inspired in large part by the region's abundant natural beauty. Returning to Scranton, she eventually showed off the best of her California work in a show at the Lackawanna County Courthouse. In late 2006, Amori returned to photography taking over 3,000 photos of the Northeast Pennsylvania area with a Cannon XTI digital camera. Currently, Amori is taking courses through the New York Institute of Photography in addition to her career at Moses Taylor Hospital as a certified pharmacy technician."
What I found interesting was Amori's goal - "Alyssa’s ultimate hope is to get the book into the hands of as many Scranton service men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan as possible. The book is designed to provide the troops with a much welcome glimpse of home. Amori is looking for individuals or groups willing to either provide addresses or donations to finance the printing and mailing of the books to the troops." And her publisher - Tribute Books - is also donating a portion of every book sold to another cause close to Amori's heart - The Jakub Fund - a memorial fund for the son of the late Sgt. Jan Argonish of Peckville, PA.
Want a sneak peek? Click here.
Scranton the Electric City was a General Photography finalist in the 2008 USA Book News awards.