Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Gone but Not Forgotten

I was recently inspired by an episode of Parts Unknown (Anthony Bourdain's latest show, on CNN) to photograph and document something that has become a bit of an obsession. For lack of a better term, I call it "ruin porn". 
The episode I'm referring to here involved Detroit, and a tour of its existence long after its downfall. It reminded me of the area where I was born in Northeast Pennsylvania. The big businesses gone, faithful locals holding on to a place they call home, finding happiness and prosperity amidst the wreckage from massive industries long departed.
I mentioned to my dad that I wanted to take some pictures of deserted buildings, namely a coal breaker that is barely a pile of steel at this point, but the snow prevented that adventure (at least for this visit). But where he ended up taking me to snap a few pictures seemed even more surreal- the ground on which had stood the sewing factory where my grandmother sewed buttons onto Leslie Faye dresses.

We ventured to a few other locations as well, and I'm working hard to put together some semblance of a collection of photos from the entire trip. This stop, although it was the least visually interesting, felt like the best one. I imagine that it is the energy that keeps cities and towns and neighborhoods in existence long after the jobs are gone - that intangible feeling of what once was, and what cannot be forgotten. 


  1. Building ruins always make me a little sad- they're so blunt in the message that eventually everything moves on. But that's part of their beauty and appeal. Awesome idea for a series :)

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin


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