First of all thanks for your kind comments.
As I find myself becoming more & more involved in the art, I really appreciate observations from all fellow photog's, but especially from those on your level. (how's that for schmoozing):-)
It's funny, but I didn't want anyone in the scene at all. Everytime I thought the scene was clear, people would wander into it.(smile)
The original extended out to the right and included a good deal of the side street. This wasn't so bad as the houses were picturesque and the street ran off into a tunnel of trees loaded with leaves in full fall colors.
I felt that this added length to the side of the tavern, and overall depth to the scene. However right near the corner were two delivery vans which broke it all up, thus I cropped!
As to the filter, I wanted to add something to the final picture to make it a little bit more than just a street shot. The canvas felt good!
Seriously...I want to thank you again for taking the time to comment on my work. It really helps, as for example, regarding the woman in the pic, "I really didn't know that" (smile)
Peace & happiness