An Old Wooden Billboard in the Catskills
I just thought this was visually interesting so I decided to shoot it. It's also mildly interesting historically because it's unintentionally emblematic of the decline of the Catskills tourism industry.
After the Second World War, the Catskills became a popular vacation spot for people from the New York City Metropolitan Area.
The resorts in the Catskills were especially popular with people of the Jewish faith and heritage, many of whom were Holocaust survivors who'd lost everything in Europe. An economy grew around providing an atmosphere wherein the religious and social traditions of Judaism were woven into the resort experience.
Many famous comedians, musicians, singers, and other entertainers got their first breaks in the Catskills. variously referred to as the "Borscht Belt," the "Jewish Alps," or the "Hebrew Himalayas," the Catskills was where some of the finest entertainers in history honed their skills.
The decline of the Catskills tourism industry began in the late 1960's, when many of its former patrons sufficiently recovered financially to be able to afford more exotic vacations. Many people believe that the New York State Thruway also contributed to the Catskills' demise, oddly enough, by making the trip there seem like less of an adventure.
Nowadays, Catskills tourism is mainly limited to fishing, hunting (which is also becoming less popular), skiing, and a few children's camps. The old resorts are all closed and abandoned, as are most of the amusement parks and other attractions. There are still some attractions that appeal mainly to people who just want to escape the city for a while, but it's nothing like it was in the days of my youth.