Archive for September, 2011

The New Stalactite

Stalactites are normally associated with caves, primarily limestone cave that had or have water movement.  Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico is one of the more stunning examples of stalactite and stalagmite formation in North America.   The keywords involved in the formation of these fantastic spires are “limestone” and “water”, the water draws the minerals out of the limestone and as it drips from the ceiling small accretions (stalactites) form as the minerals are deposited.  The floor collects other deposits which build up into stalagmites, eventually the two may actually meet form a column.

You may be wondering what this little science lesson has to do with urban and exploring, right?  I’ll just take a moment to point out that concrete is made from cement, which in turn is made from (taadaa!) limestone.  So happens to all these old concrete buildings after they have been abandoned to elements for 50 years?

They begin to form limestone stalactites.

Since the color of the stalactite is dictated by which minerals go into its composition in areas of high iron content you will even get beautiful red and orange stalactites hanging from the ceiling of an abandoned furniture store.

The Palace Theater

When you drive through downtown Gary, the first thing you notice is that the only open buildings are municipal buildings.  The second thing you’ll notice is this theater marquee:


For years this marquee has looked just like this, only recently some mysterious force has changed it to still read Jackson Five Tonite” but with all the letters and not all topsy turvy.   The Palace has been shut down since the early 1970s just like everything else in Gary.

When the “Miss USA”  pageant came to Gary one of the things done to spiff up the neighborhood was install this mural across the front the of theater.  While I like the idea, it is a little creepy as this is the only building with such a mural.

Odd random thing I’d like to, get a whole of artists together to install store front murals right down the main drag in Gary.  There would be more artistic representations of people than actual people in the city of this were done.  Also, it would be hella creepy.

The Jackson Five are indeed from Gary, though don’t ask me where the house was because that kind of information is beyond my scope of things to care about.  They never played in the Palace Theater to my knowledge.


None Are Safe

Photographs of people taking photographs.


Sometimes you just can’t resist taking pictures of your fellow photogs…






When you get right down to it, we just like to have a bit of fun.


And now, back to your regularly scheduled program.

Hold Out

We’re not quite here yet (this is from 2 years ago) and other than crazy tree last week pretty much everything is content to hint at the colors to come.

Of course while there is always that one show-off who turns color early, there is also the stubborn hold-out who waits until all the other trees are naked before turning.  Around it here it tends to be the ginkos, they’re too busy dropping foul berries all over the sidewalk to consider looking pretty.

Ghost Cat

Ghost Cat lives on my friend’s porch.His name is Oliver, but he likes to be called Ollie.




Silent Church

“I like the silence of a church, before the service begins better than any preaching.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Personally, I prefer the quiet after the preaching has ended and the pigeons have moved in.

All the World


All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
-William Shakespeare