All posts in March 2016

  • Quick stop in Philly/Asylum in the snow

    ←Days 1-2

    After staying up editing photos from Friday and listening to Sergio snore until almost 3am, waking up at 5am on Saturday didn’t happen easily for me. Nonetheless, we got up, stopped to pick up Ron as the sun was coming up, and we were on our way to Philly for the day. We got there around 9am and our first stop was an old boxing gym. I had seen pics of this place before and instantly knew I had to go here ASAP. Although it was basically just one room, it didn’t disappoint. I’ve been to a church with a boxing ring in it, but it was nothing like this. There’s a guy that lives there and provides security to the place, so it’s remained really well preserved. I assume they have done or will do some filming here before they rebuild or tear the place down.

    front row floor seat the ramp top row

    Next, we went to an old school that I’d been to about 3 years ago. Not much there has changed, but the place is pretty awesome, so I guess that’s a good thing. We started from the rooftop basketball court and made our way down through the building, taking probably way more time than we should’ve, knowing we had several other places we wanted to go. Regardless, we had a good time and worked up an appetite, so we headed over to Pat’s to grab a quick bite and figure out where we’re going next. Here are some shots from the school.

    rooftop court hallway classroom restroom Divine sighting classroom

    We decided to go check out an old bank after lunch, but I got a text from Ramy, saying we should check out a church that’s wide open, so we change direction and head there instead. Ron had been there before, so he immediately knew something was different when we pulled up. The place had been very recently boarded up. Luckily, we saw a few places on the way. We tried to find this big fortress looking building, but when we found it, it was obviously in use. Instead, we went for the sure thing and stopped by an old factory we knew we could get into, which also happened to be the size of a small city. We ended up just staying there for the rest of the day.

    passage reflection huge open space pallet tracks desk lines doorway electrical pillars skylights

    We took Sunday off from exploring and drove to Brooklyn for some BBQ (not that great), then we rode the train to Chinatown to shoot people on the streets. Eventually, it started snowing, so we went back to the hotel to meet up with Pun from Dealers NY and get some product to shoot back in Atlanta. We set alarms for 6am and planned to hit one more place Monday morning before we turn the rental car back in and fly home. Apparently we needed sleep because none of woke up until about 8. We packed up our stuff, checked out of the hotel, and headed to one last abandoned hospital to hang out until we had to go to the airport. The approach to the building was awesome. The sun was shining but there was still snow everywhere. After some a brief search, we found our way in and explored every floor and wing in the building. At one point, all three of us were each just roaming around and taking pictures all alone. We ended up finding each other and the exit pretty easily, and got the rental car back just in time. We didn’t go everywhere or see everything that we wanted in the amount of time we had, but it all worked out pretty well.

    sofa sink bathroom crumbling bathroom entryway graff attic stairs bench  dishwasher tiny room hallway empty room  basement graff cardiac basement windows

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  • Unprepared for NY

    For the first big trip of the year, Sergio, Belina and I decided to skip the 13 hour drive and fly up to New York for a few days. As soon as we landed, we grabbed the shitty Kia Rio rental car (no arm rest or cruise control!), and headed straight to pick up Ron somewhere in the streets of Queens to head to an abandoned hospital that none of us had previously been to. After a short, traffic-filled drive, we park and head in. First thing we notice when we walk in are the lights that are on in the bottom floor, construction drop lights hanging throughout. We decide to head to the top and work our way down. After a quick stop on the roof to get a few snaps for Snapchat, we go down a level and start looking for anything we can shoot. There wasn’t a ton of stuff left behind, but we were able to stay busy there until the sun went down. It worked out pretty good for the first quick stop on day one.

    lighted hall desk light bed chair high chair patient room phone paperwork doors

    After dropping Ron off at home and grabbing some tasty burgers from Petey’s, we went back to the hotel to rest up for Friday. We got up early and returned to a location we explored before, but we wanted to find a few new specific areas (most of which we couldn’t find/access). It turned out to be quite the adventure trying to navigate dark, underground tunnels and it quickly became evident that we came to this place completely unprepared. After doing our best to keep our socks dry (mostly unsuccessfully), we enter a group of buildings we’ve never been to, all connected by these tunnels. We didn’t get many photos here, but it was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. We had to get creative in building our own bridge down what seemed like never-ending dark tunnels, only to find out that we went the wrong way! Now we needed to backtrack through that long tunnel filled with water and actually go the opposite way down an equally long, dark, and water-filled tunnel to the other side of the complex. This was a much more tiring process than we anticipated! Eventually we made it, and found out we’re still not in the correct building we were looking for. Aside from having to go back down the same tunnel again, the place we’re looking for isn’t even connected to these tunnels! We then make the brilliant decision to forgo the bridge idea that’s kept us mostly dry, and try to find bags to cover our shoes. One of the first rooms we find is full of big, very thin plastic bags of adult (like XXXL) size diapers. I joked about putting the diapers on our shoes and Belina came up with the idea to just use the bags that the diapers are in, so we each grab two, pull the diapers out, stuff our feet in the bags, and try to find/think of a way to keep them on. First thing I see is a telephone cord, so I pull that out of the floor and tie it around a leg. It was long enough to tie both of mine and still leave enough room in the middle so i can walk (basically like a prisoner in shackles). So, back down the stairs and into the water we go. I went first and realized after a few steps that this was a terrible idea, and my right foot was already filling with disgusting tunnel water. I basically just started running and got to the dry area pretty fast, but both feet were completely soaked. Actually, I’m pretty sure all six of our feet were drenched by then. We make our way back to an alternate exit and walk back to the car to regroup and to go grab some lunch nearby. Turned out to be perfect timing, because security drove by just as we were putting our stuff in the trunk.

    After finding out exactly where we needed to go, we finished eating and drove back around the other buildings. There were a few people walking around and the security SUV was sitting right where we needed to go. We decided to go to another place nearby and see as much as we could before it got dark on us. The next place was definitely easier. When we got there, there were people walking their dogs all over the property, so we just parked and started walking around. The first couple buildings didn’t yield much in the way of photographs, but the last ones were decent. We were actually about to leave and we ended up stopping and going in one last building. We ran into some kids there who said there was a building with a morgue and other stuff in it, but (of course) we missed it because the sun was starting to go down. We also had to wake up at 5am to go to Philly on Saturday…which I’ll post about next.

    top level doors tunnels caving in sky light exposed messy sink stairs hallway pipeline crumbling bed rusty

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