The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #10


A reader writes:

Hmmm that’s a tough one.  Could be a number of American cities.  At first glance, it reminded of my old Atlanta neighborhood of Inman Park, but the houses are a little too close to the road.  I just got back from Rochester and it looks similar to some neighborhoods there.  Or it could be in Midtown Memphis, or Savannah, GA or just about anywhere.  Well, let’s just go with Rochester then.  It’s kind of a randomly nice place.

Another writes:

I think I’ve been down this street.  My guess is Washington, D.C. – Takoma Park.


The moment I saw this I knew exactly where it was.  The 19th Century French Architecture turned into cheaper apartment housing, the narrow streets, low hanging power lines, sleepy trees, tropical looking plants on the bottom right of the screen – all of these clues point to New Orleans.  Just imagine some beads hanging from those power lines to complete the picture.


ADT sign – USA
Ditto the huge, roll-away trash can
Ditto the architecture.
Big front porches – warm climate
Apparent lack of basements – high water-table, ergo seaside.
Palmetto trees.
Palmetto state?
South Carolina.


The “free classic” Queen Anne architecture is typical in the U.S.  (This style of architecture was popular in the U.S. from the 1880s through the 1910s.)  One of the houses has, at one time, been converted to have an apartment upstairs.  This was commonly allowed for in U.S. cities through post WWII zoning changes made to address the housing shortage at that time.

The one item that narrows this down is the plant material.  I think that is a small palm tree in front of one of the houses.  This limits the search to the coastal areas of the Carolinas Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.  It also includes most of California and all of Florida.  I’m going with Jacksonville.


Palm tree suggests southern or possibly West Coast. There appears to be a crepe myrtle, which we have a lot of here in Texas. It’s been over 30 years since I was in Galveston, but I seem to recall that it had lots of similar cool old houses. My guess is Galveston.


Okay, the first item to narrow the search is the Live Oak, which is present from Texas to Florida and up to Virginia.  The next clue would be the Sabal Palms, which would suggest the Southeast.  Palms are typically present in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.  Live Oaks, however, aren’t present in South Florida, so these two clues narrow things down to Central Florida up to South Carolina and west to the Gulf Coast. (What appears to be a maple leaf doesn’t help much because maples are present in too many places.)

On a hunch I’m going to narrow the area down to either Savannah or Charleston.  Given the age of the homes, it would likely be in South Charleston but the topography would indicate not on the water. Radcliffeborough neighborhood of Charleston is my final answer.


Ah, if only I’d seen this sooner.  I’m sure I’m the thousandth person to email this: Savannah, Georgia. I only know it because you’ve run a photo from the same window before.

Great memory (a better one than us) – and among only a few readers who noticed.  Others were more intuitive in their search:

The obsession item in this pic for my wife and I became the black recycling bins with the yellow lids.  Throwing in search terms yields a ton of results for Australia, which would have been a nice curve ball, except for the car and street sign giving away right-side drive.  No  front license plate either, so cross out Virginia.  So you’re back in the Deep South and googling municipal recycling programs on a Saturday night  (thanks for that, by the way).

I don’t love love love this answer, but based on what I can tell, a little location bias, and their use of black recycle bins (although I couldn’t confirm those stupid yellow lids!), I’m going with Savannah, Georgia.


My first instinct is that this photo was taken in Savannah.  And after Googling “yellow trash Recycle Savannah: Curbside Recycling_1281428759944can lid,” I found this article about a new curb-side recycling program in … Savannah!

This one wasn’t so difficult.  And I’d love to while away the afternoon searching Google Earth for the specific address, but instead I’m going to go enjoy this beautiful day, confident in the belief that — even though one of your readers will no doubt be more specific — I finally got one right!


I’m going to go with 21 E 39th St, Savannah, GA.  My first thought was a street somewhere on the Charleston, SC peninsula, but Spanish Moss isn’t very common in the heart of Charleston.  The architecture and foliage still indicate somewhere in the South though, so Savannah was my next guess.

But I figured I wasn’t going to be the only one to guess Savannah;  I’d have to find the exact location to have any chance.  So a brute force attack using Google and Bing maps was the plan – Bing’s Bird’s Eye turned out to be the most useful.  I had some clues from the picture: a south-facing two story, adjacent to another two story, close to the street. The style of roof helped as well.  Having visited Savannah before, I knew a little about the city’s layout and started my search south of Forsyth Park and somewhere between Broad and MLK, thinking that was the area most likely to have homes like the ones in the picture.

Bingo. Found them on E 39th Between Drayton and Bull.  Only took up about 45 minutes of my lunch.


Aargh!  This contest is as frustrating as two weeks ago, when I nailed Lausanne, but couldn’t find the exact spot in town on the ‘net.  I wonder if a decade from now there will be VFYW Anonymous groups spread across the country, helping each of us overcome our obsession.

So this week I’m using Google maps to virtually “walk” up and down street after street, crossing my fingers that A) I’ve got the right nation/city and B) I’ll come across the exact address before someone else does (probably someone who lives on the flippin’ block or something).


Oh, you couldn’t of made this any easier!  A couple of hours in the car looking in the Victorian District of Savannah and I finally found the house. The blue house is located at 16 East 39th Street, between Bull and Drayton Streets.

The house is in an area that has become know in recent years as the Starland District, owing to the fact that a dairy, the Starland Dairy, was located on Bull between 40th and 41th street. I grew up just south of this area. My earliest memories are of the horses and milk wagons leaving the barn and clopping down the street outside my bedroom window in the morning and returning in the afternoon. My brother went to the movies at the Victory theater, we brought gas at the Gulf station and I loved going to the Franklin 5&10 cent store all on Bull Street. Good memories from a long ago place. Thanks for the challenge and the stroll down memory lane.

Thanks to you – and everyone else who played this week.  As far as the winner of a free window book from Blurb, we have to go with the admitted VFYW addict who also correctly guessed Lausanne (one of our most difficult contests to date). Congrats!