Captured: Rife’s Market


I visited my friend Alice in Columbus, Ohio, the weekend before last. We ended up taking in the galleries, thrift stores, and specialty shops along Grandview Ave. and 5th Ave. near the Upper Arlington neighborhood. Rife’s Market stands on the southeast corner of 5th and Grandview. It’s a real throwback – meat and produce in the front, a handful of shallow grocery aisles in the back. We went in mostly to have a look, but when confronted by a giant display of Ohio-made potato chips I couldn’t resist and bought a snack bag. I love a good potato chip. Most of what’s available at the grocery these days is all crunch and salt. You should be able to taste potato, too, and the fat used for frying should impart a slightly creamy mouth feel. I liked the little bag of Ballreich’s chips so much I went back later for a full-sized bag to take home. I also bought a bag of Gold’n Krisp chips, as the ingredient list on the back said they are fried in a blend of vegetable oil and lard! My arteries are cursing me, but holy cow are these chips delicious.

Twilight had fallen as I left Rife’s and headed for home. My Pentax ME hung around my neck, with the 50mm f/2 lens attached and some Kodak Tri-X 400 inside. That good Pentax glass and fast Kodak film let me make the most of the available light for this shot. I love how the grainy Tri-X makes this photo look like it could have been taken in 1962, not 2012.


16 responses to “Captured: Rife’s Market”

  1. traveller858 Avatar

    My first “serious” camera was a Pentax ME Super. Ah fond memories.

    1. Jim Avatar

      My ME is becoming my go-to camera. Never lets me down.

  2. J. M. Brewer Avatar

    If it weren’t for the modern pickup truck in the picture I would have never guessed that it wasn’t early 60’s. Great shot!

    1. Jim Avatar

      Thanks! I didn’t even notice the truck when I was shooting this, or I would have delayed 20 seconds to let it pass.

  3. ryoko861 Avatar

    I was thinking the same thing when I first came to the page! The photo looks like it’s right out of 60’s! You don’t see too many corner stores with signs like that any more let alone corner stores! Yes, there’s nothing like a good potato chip!
    Happy Thanksgiving Jim!

    1. Jim Avatar

      I miss corner stores. When I was a kid in the 70s there were some still in my neighborhood. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  4. Ted Kappes Avatar

    What a great place to visit. I remember stores like this were still fairly common when I was a kid. One thing I remember is that they all had their own unique smell. That tri-x does get the vintage look. There is another film that is a little cheaper called Aritsta Ultra Premium that some say is actually tri-x. You can get it at Freestyle Photo.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Thanks for the tip about the less-expensive film — I’ll order some. I like this Tri-X look a lot. I’d only ever shot modern T-grain b/w films before — they’re fine, but there’s something about this grainy look that is so appealing.

  5. davidvanilla Avatar

    I burned a lot of Tri-X 400 back in the day you referenced. Never became a photographer, but I sure liked that film. Anyway, I like your shot; and it is nice to know that there is at least one other discriminating person when it comes to chip selection.

    1. Jim Avatar

      We chip aficionados are a small but dedicated bunch.

  6. Mike Avatar

    Very nice shot of that classic shop.
    Our closest corner market was recently turned into a boutique grocery. Greatly inflated prices and hardly any real Mexican cooking ingredients remaining on the shelves. I’m told it is Progress.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Hmm, that sounds suspiciously like the trappings of gentrification.

  7. Tori Nelson Avatar

    Lard. That’s what Southern cooks keep as a secret weapon. Really cool photo. I love old signs!

    1. Jim Avatar

      Lard used to be easily available in grocery stores here, but anymore not so much. I think up here in the north we’ve become entirely too health-conscious!

  8. Lone Primate Avatar
    Lone Primate

    Prime beef pumpkins! My favourite! Keep your wussy stuffed peppers; bring on the prime beef pumpkins! :)

    I was thinking just the same thing as you. It’s impressive how much this looks like a shot from Life Magazine from the early 1960s. If it weren’t for the truck in the background, you could easily have made that claim and I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Wow, can you imagine how much beef you’d need to stuff the average pumpkin? Where do I sign up?!

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