Archive for January, 2014

Still Standing



honest weight

Milwaukee Industrial II

A couple of shots from a sprawling campus on Milwaukee’s south side. Most buildings here have been reduced to foundations, but the front building, still intact, had some character.


Main Hall.


Side view.






Milwaukee Industrial

Two shots from a recent excursion to the land of beer, brats, and Packers. Kudos to the Idiot Photographer for doing the internet homework and finding this place, whatever it was.






Chutes n’ ladders.


In Winter

church entrance


church nave


The paint on a door in a former community center peels away revealing that it was once


The women’s room!


You shall not pass!

The Never Ending Snow

po tree


Work Area

St. Martin Morningstar Church

The burned out remains of this church stand in a field in a semi-rural neighborhood of Gary.



St. Martin’s.




gary sign


post office caution

Boiler Room

Afternoon light filters through a factory boiler room, Gary, Indiana.


Boiler Room


The bright light and overall cheerful color palette made me want to turn this into a retro-style greeting card.




Clearly, graphic designers need not fear for their jobs.


Fern-like patterns on the wall are the ghosts of a recent blaze.







oc ghost window


A lonely bingo machine sits on a community center stage. A little Googling yielded this video, which shows this  model in all its glorious circa-1983 action.



The sport of asthmatics.


Classroom Gothic

Burned out primary school, Gary, Indiana.





Fables and Reflections

Anything can happen when you’re a child.
You don’t know how the world works yet, and you don’t know how you work. For you, magic hasn’t yet been distilled into religion, but remains diffuse, present in all things. It can make the least occurrence a cause for joy, or it can turn a shadow into an emissary of evil. So in childhood your senses are keened, for the world is all possibilities and anything can happen.

There are places in the world whose names and purposes have been forgotten. In these places your senses are once again keened, for here beauty exists along ugliness, danger with reward, and pain with peace. Magic is once again a thing of both wonder and menace, and you hope you can capture just a fraction of it with your camera.









The Oak in Winter

For all of winter’s austerities, there are riches to be found for those who look.


Frost and Fog

Words in Rooms







Just a week ago it was a raging blizzard with -30F windchills and here I am sitting with a window open because it is too warm in here.  Tomorrow promises for a new adventure, here is to hoping it is as rewarding as this one was.


Minor Drifts

Boarded Up  Perilous Stairs


I really can’t wait to another trip like this one, although I would prefer without a traffic accident please.

A Return to Gary

Though we may travel far afield geographically and thematically, it is never long before this city draws us back in. This shot from a recent excursion highlights familiar themes: abandoned schools and colossal amounts of waste. One never has to look too far for the obligatory forsaken piano.



Tidal Wave


Postal Wonderland

A couple of shots from the main work area of the old post office.  I have been trying for years to get something decent of this space and was always left wanting, not any more.

Postal Wonderland 2


Postal Wonderland



Snow Day

Many businesses in my area have proclaimed today a snow/ inhumanly cold day today after yesterday’s blizzard.  While Tabula Rasa stayed at home, all warm and toasty, Foosball and I braved the storm (honestly not knowing how bad it was going to be), had a wipe out on the expressway and generally froze ourselves hiking through thigh high snow drifts to get inside of the post office.  Were it not for the damage inflicted upon the vehicle, this trip would have been so worth it.

snow hall


The Bosphorus

The defining geographical feature of Istanbul is its position astride the Bosphorus, a slender waterway which connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara and, in doing so, separates the continents of Europe and Asia. If you spend any time along its coast around Galata bridge the constant calls of Bosfor Bosfor Bosfor from the tour barkers will become etched in your memory. These shots were all taken from Galata Tower, which overlooks the point where Golden Horn meets the Bosphorus.







Istanbul Streets

What makes a work of art great? I feel explaining the merits of a masterpiece is anticlimactic, like explaining a joke. I’ve found that my response to any art I’ve enjoyed is an ‘aha’ feeling, an emotional resonance. If the resonance is there, all else is merely commentary. It is always easy, however, to find and list faults of imperfect and flawed works. As I’ve mentioned before, all these recent shots from Turkey are several years old. I can’t help but pick them apart now with my more experienced eye; this implies that I could do better now, which is a dubious proposition.

I’m not entirely unhappy with the lot of my Istanbul pictures. That said, they needed more editing than I’d care to admit; after you’ve cropped, adjusted contrast, and endlessly fiddled with the color, you’re left wondering if you’re just polishing a turd. As always, the final judgement lies with the reader.







Istanbul Street.




Fatih Bazaar.






Istanbul Townhouses

A distinctive feature of Istanbul is a particular style of townhouse, usually three stories tall with windows that look like drawers half-pulled from the dresser. If they have a name, I’ve not been able to find it; perhaps their ubiquity makes them anonymous. The buildings, by my guess, date to the nineteenth century and are of wooden construction. They are often being rehabbed now, so that it is not uncommon to see a freshly stuccoed and painted house next to one which seems on verge of collapse. I’d like to see if gentrification has caught up to some of these neighborhoods.


Fatih Townhouses.




Building and streetlamp.