The Big One (pt.1)

←Trip 1

←Trip 2

This October trip was actually one that Tripp and I had planned several months earlier, but due to unforeseen circumstances, Tripp was forced to stay in Georgia, while Sergio, Belina, and I came up with an itinerary that included 4 cities in 5 days. This was going to be the big one we’ve been waiting a while for and it didn’t disappoint. As always, we had a bit of a game plan with reserved hotels, but we just hit whatever buildings we can find and get into, once we get into town. The first stop on Wednesday morning was Cleveland. I’ve seen a ton of pictures from a popular church there, so we go there first. I was told that it was sealed up and it certainly seemed that way, new boards everywhere. I wish I could share details on how we got in this one, but I’ll just say we ended up finding a weak spot and we get in with relatively no issues. Solid location, with tons of damage inside, but still holds an old organ. After 30 minutes or so, I’m pretty sure I hear someone with a weed-eater right outside. Nonetheless, we get our shots and get out, but not before I somehow stab myself with a giant chunk of rusty metal, right through my glove. Sure enough, there are landscapers there, mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges and shit. We quickly bounce and it starts to rain pretty hard. We decide to make use of Yelp and go for a much needed meal (and restroom) at a local spot called Tastebuds. We lucked out. One, by not having Term (terrible luck) with us and two, by going on Wednesday which is apparently meatloaf day. It was pretty fantastic. Aside from the bloody glove, it’s a really good start. Here are some photos from the church.

church side view organ ceiling

After stuffing ourselves with meatloaf and garlic mashed potatoes, we head out in the rain, looking for the next spot to explore. We find a building that I had on my list from previous research and try to decide whether we want to stop there or try one of the several surrounding abandoned (looking) buildings. We find a place to park and walk (still raining) to the building. It wasn’t really anything special. Some graff and decent views of downtown Cleveland. We didn’t spend a ton of time there, but it was finally no longer raining when we left. We figure we have time to hit one more spot before we head off to Detroit, so we try a nearby Masonic Temple. Not a bad spot, much bigger than it looks from the outside, but probably the most interesting thing we saw there was a gopher (not really even sure if it was a gopher…some rodent-like creature with a big tail) outside. Here are some shots from the warehouse.

views empty in the open potty

And the temple…

temple open book behind the curtain silent

After entertaining the thought of stopping in Toledo to find some buildings to explore, we decide to just head on to downtown Detroit, stop at the hotel, then head to Small Plates for dinner (and so Sergio could get a Ghetto Blaster). Up late editing photos (and listening to Sergio snore insanely loud), then early again Thursday morning to meet up with C2X  to explore new places around Detroit. We agree to meet with him around 8am, maybe 9, because he still had a few hours to drive. I text him at 7:45 saying “we’re headed to southwestern high first”. No reply and doesn’t show delivered, no big deal, we head to Southwestern. Last time we were here, a cop was sitting out front. This time, we get there and there’s full construction going on, people everywhere. We missed it. But that’s how it goes – there one day, gone or sealed up the next. We head north to try another school. This one is in what seems to be a pretty bad part of town, but we drive around a little, and find another huge school and a small church right around the corner. We find the street with the nicest cars and park there. We walk over to the first school and in we go. The school was pretty empty, but had a few decent rooms downstairs. Finally hear from C2X around 9:15, who says “dude, worst morning ever. give me a call…”. I’m already thinking “damn, something probably happened and he isn’t going to make it”. Instead, he’s actually already made it to Detroit. His phone just completely took a shit and was not working, contacts and all. He had to stop people downtown and ask to borrow their phones, so he could find the closest AT&T store to get a new phone. While it was a shitty situation, it was still pretty hilarious to think he had to do this. C2X is a super clean guy, but be has a huge beard and wasn’t exactly wearing a 3-piece suit, so I’m sure people thought he was going to rob them or run off with their phones. Nonetheless, he was able to find a store, buy a new phone, then finally make contact with us. Luckily this is the only bit of bad luck we’ll have. We meet at the first school and shortly after, walk down to the big school down the street. The second one was way better (and was actually the one I was looking for to begin with).

classroom hallway love jelly organ divider stairs light

Second school…

window 3D pool seats hallway gym get out library

On the way back to the car, we take a look around the small church, but figure it’s not worth the trouble (we later found out, we probably should’ve gone in). We head out to make a quick revisit by the synagogue, then go to another church that’s attached to a small school. The school was pretty lame in my opinion (and I didn’t even take any photos there), so I head over to the church. Another half-decent spot, but now I’m starting to realize we’ve seen most of the best of what Detroit has to offer.

synagogue synagogue angle church art seating overview piano knife

At this point, we’re not doing great on time and the weather seems to be getting iffy again, so we coordinate a quick meet up with Tony and Nathalie at Packard, basically to just hang out and talk, and play a bit with Tony’s new (at the time) drone. I didn’t even go in or take and pictures, but it’s always good to see old friends while in town, even if it’s only for a few minutes. After the others shoot a little inside, we decide if we’re going to hit one last spot, we’ll do a big one and stay until we have no light left. Really glad we left when we did. The rain finally stopped and we roll up to a huge (and heavily patrolled) abandoned psych hospital. After getting in, it was clear that this was going to be a highlight of the trip. The place was massive. We didn’t have much time, so we quickly breeze through one building (where C2X swears he hears voices) and go looking for a way to the tallest building through the underground (pitch black) tunnels. C2X and I ended up scaring the shit out of a couple kids down there and they took off running, not knowing they scared the shit out of us (me) too. After that quick “WTF just happened?!” moment, we proceed to the stairwell and head to the top. Several floors up, we hear other voices and foot steps, so we hang out for a sec and end up running into the kids we scared in the tunnels. We talked to them for a few minutes and we’re told the pool and bowling alley, etc is in the rec building. Without asking where this building is (like dumbasses) or if there was a morgue, we head back down to find Sergio and Belina. After finding them and a quick look at the satellite map, we head towards (what we guessed looked like) the rec building. Luckily, we guessed correctly and stayed there until the sun was going down. I also just realized this post is way too long, so here are some pics from the hospital and the rest of this trip will be coming soon….

theater seats theater entrance bathroom tub office mail room mail tubes   bowling alleys pool gym deep end

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