The following is a bit of a rehashing and expansion on a subject already covered by the Idiot Photographer here. This is my turn to throw in my photographic two cents’ worth.
There is a ravine that runs through a part of southwest Cleveland which kept two racially disparate neighborhoods separated. The city built a 680 foot long suspension footbridge spanning the gorge in 1931. Amidst racial tensions in the 60’s, someone burned the wooden deck of the bridge, leaving it unusable. Ever since, it has been completely forgotten. Now, it is so overgrown it can’t easily be seen from the streets it once connected, and most Clevelanders have not heard of it.
There is a certain feeling one gets upon finding an object of which landscapers working mere yards away were wholly unaware. That feeling, for me, is the essence of urbex.
A stroll down a closed road into a disused public railway reveals the nearly forgotten footbridge that was set fire during the 1960s because of racial tensions. It was only later I found out that the site was also where many of the bodies of the Torso murders were found.
The Idiot Photographer has for some time been posting shots from our recent trip to Ohio, so it’s up to me to catch up. We spent most of our time in Cleveland, so it’s fitting we begin here. Below: Carnegie Avenue bridge over the Cuyahoga River.
Two shots of this bridge from opposing sides.
The Buenos Aires neighborhood of La Boca is famous for two reasons: first, it lays claim to being the birthplace of the tango; second, it is home to Boca Juniors, the soccer club on which Maradona played. It also has the most color, both literally and figuratively. My experience there was mixed. The bus dropped me off a block from el Caminito, which is the exact area where tango was said to be born. It’s pretty, sure, but it’s also tourist hell, with buskers everywhere and maitre ‘d’s falling over themselves to pull you into their restaurants.
I chafe in these places when I feel that just having a camera on me makes me a mark. So I kept walking. And soon, I found a friend. Or rather, she found me.
This dog followed me for almost an hour, to the point where I was worried about what I was going to do when I got back to my hotel. I stopped, she stopped; I went into a store, she would wait outside. I think it was the initial petting that made me such a fast friend. Having a companion made for a lively walk. As I said, La Boca is colorful.
I had read in the guidebook about the neighborhood being a bit dodgy, but I kept walking along and shooting until an older woman began speaking to me. At first I protested with my standard No tiendo (“I don’t understand”), but she persisted, using body language and a few words of English to make herself understood: put the camera away or else you’ll get robbed, or worse. I took her advice, happy I was able to get at least some decent shots of the neighborhood.
This pedestrian bridge connects central Buenos Aires with Puerto Madero, the city’s newest neighborhood. The name literally means “women’s bridge.”
We all feel a sense of limitless wonder when gazing into the eternity of the night sky. But what are the myriad celestial objects to be seen high above our fair city? This handy guide will list them all, as seen in the photograph below from left to right.
1) Lens flare.
3) Dust on camera sensor.
Now, with the encyclopedic knowledge of the heavens at your fingertips, you’ll be able to amaze your friends on clear evenings. Won’t they be jealous! Who knows, you might even “catch the eye” of the lissome neighbor girl you’ve been ogling lately. What are you thinking? She doesn’t like stupid stars! She like Arnold, the rowing team captain. He’s got everything… muscles; a crew neck sweater from his uncle in Portugal; they say he’s even going to get his own car next year. You are so lame, and the neighbor girl knows it. To think you had a shot with her! What folly! Gee, you should just get beat. Nobody cares about your stars.
From Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood, a vertical lift rail bridge. Serves primarily (as far as I could tell) Amtrak and the local commuter rail service Metra.
A tugboat pushes a barge south through Chinatown.
During our weekend in St. Louis we spent a bit of time contemplating the bridges of the region. In the city they are not the prettiest structures around which I found a little peculiar given that I am accustomed to bridges that have been gussied up a little bit and not left looking totally utilitarian and industrial. Our river is no where near as impressive as theirs, but generally our bridges have generally been painted or lit to be visually striking to those using them or passing by. It wasn’t something I noticed right away, but after a discussion with our bartender at Bailey’s Range (they make the best hipster burgers I’ve ever had. Seriously, if you’re ever in the area go there, get the Korean BBQ duck burger and tell James we say hello. You won’t regret it.) we got a tip on a rather striking bridge not too far from town. You’ve seen the view from it in TR’s most recent post so I decided to share the bridge itself.
I don’t have an ultra-wide angle lens, so rather than trek up the bridge on foot for a view of Alton I chose to go the other direction and scurry down the riverbank for a view of the bridge.
While fighting the brambles and spiders I decided to go ahead and attempt a pano of Alton itself since I thought the gaudy casino riverboats made a nice contrast to the industrial and stoic character of the town as seen from the far bank.
The people watching in Istanbul was fun. We Americans tend to congregate only in designated areas, and then mainly for consuming something or other. So I was delighted my first night to see a group of people in the street, dancing. Near as I could tell, they were all passers-by that were sucked into the music.
One of my favorite scenes was at Galata bridge, where scores of fisherman lined up to fish. At night, with the lights of the city catching their fishing lines, it was a sight to behold. Unfortunately, without a tripod, this was the best I could do.
The Grand Bazaar is a great place to wander around for a while, if not to shop.
A boat tour of the Bosphorus was a great way to spend the final afternoon.
We do a lot driving through industrial areas, not often stopping. But sometimes you see something that stops you in your tracks.
Like the Cline Avenue bridge.
Then you suddenly realize that the power lines for this neighborhood are not your standard lines.
On the other side you have a veritable industrial wonderland of bridges.
As well as an uneasy reminder that all those puffy white steam clouds aren’t just steam.
We’ve got plans to go back to this one on a not so grey day, perhaps in the spring so the trees are just starting to put out leaves. You see, this is one of those rare outdoor places that kind of snuck up on us.
This is the old Gary Greyhound depot; nature has turned it into a garden sculpture of trees and metal.
Running right along behind it? A disused train track.
We stopped for a moment to get out of the rain, and even the looking up found a pleasing view to the eyes. I really can’t wait to go back next year. However our time here is done and we’ll be leaving the Anderson Japanese Gardens now.
So since I am suddenly back into a photo editing mood I figured it was time to tackle those Utah pictures I had promised. Thus I give you Bryce Canyon!
I don’t know what it is about the sandstone at Bryce that makes it just glow, more so than other place I saw in Utah, but glow it does.
Here is Natural Bridge
I had a good deal of fun at Natural Bridge watching a little family of ground squirrels moseying about their business on the ledges. One day I shall have a lens powerful enough to document an event that tiny and far away. Oh yes, one day!
I’ve had my little ups and downs and this week I finally got my arse and made plans for a photo trip with a couple of friends. We planned on going out to the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford Illinois. Of course, when you make plans that are basically a full day trip the weather must intervene and despite the crushing drought the Midwest has suffered it was supposed to rain all day. And it did.
I refused to bow down to the whims of nature and said to my friend “Let’s go anyway, I kinda like shooting in gloomy, overcast weather anyway.” I’m glad she agreed because the gardens were absolutely phenomenal in their fall colors. We didn’t even make it to the visitor center before we were bemused and had to stop for some picture taking.
The Strolling Pond Gate:
Japanese gardens are designed for reflection, contemplation and to inspire a sense of serenity. This one did exactly that in spades. Everywhere you looked there were little moments, little windows into a new perspective. You would see the same thing from 10 different angles and it would seem new and beautiful each time.
It is actually 3 different gardens, my favorite of which is done in the style of the 13th and 14th centuries. It is complex, dense and you simply cannot see everything in one visit. It begs you to come back and explore over and over.
I suspect we’ll be making this trip again, hopefully this fall, but certainly next spring and summer!
So while on a wander through Millennium Park the other day another awesome fog bank came rolling through. I just happened to be on the foot bridge when it enveloped us.
Of course, I would have preferred some sunlight on the bridge when I was shooting but you just take what you get. There is usually tomorrow.
Like some giant serpent swimming through the park, over the street.
Of course, when you have something like this, it kind of screams “Play on me!” most people follow the unspoken rules and don’t but every now and again you find someone who just goes for it.
Or two someones.
They just wanted to see if they could run up the side of the bridge, first attempt failed but they were undeterred! Like all good adventurers they went again, and failed. Another attempt finally got them to the top. But once you have conquered the mountain what is left?
Take a ride down the side!
It was so much fun their friends had to join.
As one passerby put it, “It looks like a lot of fun, until the cop writes a ticket for a 75 dollar fine.”
However all is well that ends well, and no officers of the law were present, the bridge was undamaged and everyone had a good laugh. As it should be.
While we are enjoying a break from the warm and muggy weather that typifies Chicago summers I figure I’d remind myself why I detest winter so much and go back to pull a few pictures from last winter’s Milwaukee trip.
It was 14 degrees out and the windchill was negative something-or-another-godawful. The whole day was spent combating hypothermia and wondering if we were crazy to be doing this. In my book, yes we were crazy, but it was so worth it.
Every one has heard of Michigan Avenue, everyone has heard of Lower Wacker Drive. What a lot of out of town people don’t seem to realize is that there is a Lower Michigan Avenue, thus a Lower Michigan Avenue Bridge. The lower Loop streets are pretty interesting even though they mainly serve as service entrances to the skyscrapers and shelter for the homeless. The weirdest part about them is how very dusty they are just one block in from the river. I know the why of it, but it is still a little odd.
I’ve moved my blog to WordPress and am hoping the flexibility in formatting will showcase my photos better than Blogger. I was using Blogger out of laziness, I had the account since 2008 and didn’t even bother looking at other blog hosting sites. Of course, I still have to compete with the demands of life in the real world and kittens who know how to do more on my keyboard than I do.
Tomorrow I’ll be back to posting more of the Drag Queens in Gary, in the meantime I’m going to poke around here and see what kind of shenanigans I can get into.