Thursday, November 29, 2012

Abandoned House in Far Rockaway

Short little writeup.

During the summer I planned a 45 mile bike ride, round trip from my house to Long Island.

This first shot was somewhere in the Rockaways, which, since the hurricane this October, has seen better days. What strikes me about it is how this could be Miami or Virginia Beach yet it's right here in NYC.

While biking to Long Island, which I had only explored once when I went to Kings Park Psychiatric Center, I found a small abandoned building. Glass littered the floor and I entered with caution.

I went down and found a man scolding me; I didn't remember or care much as to what he said, I was glad he wasn't a squatter or gang member. I hopped on my bike and left for Long Island.

The winds whipped up the salty air blowing from the mighty Atlantic Ocean. After crossing the bridge, I realized how greatly different NYC and the rest of the world are. After staring out into the mighty Atlantic, I biked around, friendly folks all smiling at me. This amity is something I do not encounter on a daily basis here at home. I would love to tell you this is where the story ends, but as we know, life isn't that simple.

Back in New York City I ran over a metal umbrella part that someone had littered across the road. It punctured my tire and I ended up having to carrying the bike 8 miles from Queens to a friend's house in Brooklyn, chilling there for a while and then calling it a night, taking the subway back the rest of the way home.

The next day, as I walked across the bridges of New York City, a sense of great soreness spread through my legs and arms from how much I had strained them from all of the biking, running, and carrying I did the previous day.

To redeem this failure, I later went on a successful 50 mile bike trip to Fort Totten.

And keep posted; I plan to have many more of these long biking journeys in the future.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Coney Island Playland Arcade

     It is a sad but necessary fact of life that structures deteriorate. It is often best to see an abandoned building in its prime: walls of pristine paint before vandals can get to them, metal fans, hypodermic needles and ancient books before looters can get to them. Unfortunately, in the case of the Playland Arcade in Coney Island, I had arrived much too late.
     Many interesting items could once be found within the Arcade, such as disco balls or carnival prizes, left alone by the explorers who silently photographed, and went on their peaceful way. I arrived in Coney Island a few days after the hurricane, and the Arcade was nearly utterly demolished, a shell of its former self. Apparently the wind and the waves tore the boarding down, so anyone could come in.
     Coney Island is based on a principle of pleasure, stimulation, Hedonism. The makers wanted those who came to lose themselves in the sounds of the pounding music, the flashing lights, the smell of hot dogs wafting through the air. In contrast, I got sparse sunlight climbing down a collapsed rooftop, the scent of a ruined abandonment, and the lonely sounds of the wind pushing the waves onto the shore.
     The only remnants that hinted of the Golden Age of Coney Island were the festive and funny decorations on the wall, once so vibrant, left to pathetically fade into the walls.
     It is a sad but necessary fact of life that people deteriorate. Perhaps this is what I find interesting in the Playland Arcade. It reflects our inevitable fate, the one that you and I must endure.

                                This next series of shots assesses the hurricane damage.

                                 In a city that never sleeps, the busy station had to be shut down.