Which path would you chose?
It would be nice, after as long winded post as the previous one, to get back to doing what people come here for: posting nice pictures. Of course, ‘nice’ is a subjective term, and many would disagree that there is anything ‘nice’ about a phone pulled out of the wall and left to moulder on the floor of a military installation, but we don’t worry about those people here at the Sublime League. For the rest of you, here’s a delightful picture of a phone. Phones were a major theme in the last place we visited, and this shot will surely not be the last on the subject.
A slow, snow filled drive, hours long through an early Sunday morning left us wandering the halls and rooms of a rambling maze, formerly a military installation. Turning and twisting, the halls all look the same, and empty echoing room after echoing room I wandered further from my companions as we lost ourselves in the eerie silence of a place shunned.
Subtle evidence that we were not the only creatures to visit this place abounded for those looking, and I was glad that I did not cross paths with any but the smallest inhabitants.
I’ve got my beige rotary phone, radiant heat, and a Tandy computer. Bring it on, ’94!
20+ years and still sitting there like it was yesterday…. Can’t imagine why.
Today, Moribund brought myself and the Idiot Photographer on an exploration of a decommissioned military base he visited a couple weeks ago. I think we’ll have fodder for a bristling handful of posts in the days and weeks to come, and tonight’s entry will serve as a general intro.
The main remaining structure is the academy, an uncannily deceptive building which frustrates attempts at mental mapping. It is essentially a series of jointed hallways with offices and classrooms nestled within. The shot below gives a good idea of what a lot of the campus looked like.
I recall it was enough, in high school, to mention you were going to the “Southside” to cement your badass cred. It would suffice to say you had driven past a numbered street (most east-west streets south of Madison are numbered in Chicago, as opposed to their conventionally named counterparts on the north side) to get a wide-eyed stare of fear and respect. When I had gotten lost as a freshly-licensed sixteen year old and wound up in a fender bender on 111th street, my friends acted as if I had walked into Mordor and back out again.
When I began work at the company I’m still with, I wound up having to drive around the Southside as part of my job. As I got to see the vast swaths of industry, housing projects and rusting infrastructure, my interest in urban exploration was born. Not yet urbex, in the sense of exploring the abandoned, but just visiting the less traveled corners of the city. There was a fascination in coming across the loneliest intersection in Chicago, or a former Nike missile launch site. Early on, this particular vista made a big impression on me: the bend in the Calumet River around 130th and Cottage Grove, looping around a massive factory. I’ve never been able to get a shot which captures the impression this peninsula makes on a passing motorist. I think one would have to get closer, maybe shooting from a boat on the river. But here’s my last attempt from a recent visit, all gussied up in High Dynamic Range and melancholy colors. Perhaps you’ll give me points for style.