Tag Archives | urban decay

Presences and Absences of Chernobyl: Interview with Photographer Timm Suess

Picture: "Reactor 5 and 6, and Cooling Tower 1" Timm Suess (CC)

Timm Suess is a photographer specializing in abandoned structures. In March 2009 he went on an expedition to the zone of exclusion in Chernobyl, Ukraine and the neighboring town of Pripyat.  His Chernobyl Photographs have appeared in the Sunday Times Magazine, the Sun in the UK, and in the science journal Nature. His photographs are also featured in the book Beauty in Decay.

He lives with his wife and in Switzerland.

 Hi Timm,

I’ve been spending some time looking through your  website Many Faces of Decay. I actually have an interest in abandoned structures, as well. A friend and I explored and photographed an abandoned brewery a few years ago here in Olympia, WA where I live. It’s a very elegant old brick building. We found a black bearskin inside that a squatter had left there, of all things.Read the rest

Continue Reading

NYC’s Last Chinatown Arcade Shuts Its Doors

chinatownIt’s a sad day for lovers of underworld history, as an important slice of gritty “old New York” just faded into dust: the last video arcade in Chinatown has closed its gates. The iconic and beloved Chinatown Fair arcade perfectly embodied the cool, seedy downtown culture of Taxi Driver/Warriors-era NYC, and offered a futuristic escape from reality for teenagers and misfits from all boroughs. The arcade was minorly famous for its “tick-tack-toe chicken” booth game, which allowed customers to play an electronic game of tick-tack-toe (sometimes losing) against a live chicken. NYC The Blog offers great photos and a farewell:

Rumors started flying around New York City blogs last week that Chinatown Fair, one of the last traditional arcades left in the city, was closing. Those rumors became reality yesterday when Chinatown Fair locked its doors for good at 8 Mott Street yesterday at 12:48 am. It was in business since at least the 50s, first across the street and then at its current location for almost 30 years.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Exploring The Secrets Of Underground New York

undergroundAll above-ground metropolises harbor shadow cities beneath. A New York Times reporter spent five days on a subterranean urban hiking expedition, spelunking through NYC’s labyrinthine sewer system. His colorful travel journal details encounters with wildlife and “mole people.” Here’s how to go on an invigorating adventure into the unknown, without leaving city limits:

Tuesday, 12:36 a.m.
Exterior Street, the Bronx

We inspect our exit point — a manhole in the middle of the road. Will Hunt, a bespectacled 26-year-old who is writing a book about the underground (“The last frontier,” he says, “in an over-mapped, Google-Earthed world.”) will serve as our spotter. Will’s job is to watch for traffic: ascending from the hole, we do not wish to be hit by a car. We are to communicate by walkie-talkie. Will ties a long pink ribbon to the inside of the manhole cover. Dangling downward, this will be our signal we have reached the end.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Edgemere: NYC’s Eerie Abandoned Neighborhood

kensinger_edgemere_DSC_2035_smallIf you’re familiar with New York City, you know that space is at a premium. Dirty shoebox apartments command hefty rents, and shiny new condos have risen even in the far reaches of the city. Thus, it’s quite surprising to learn of a forgotten neighborhood within city limits. Facing the Atlantic Ocean, Edgemere in Queens is a de-mapped community, devoid of buildings and (normal) people, overrun by plant life and vicious packs of wild dogs. Photographer Nathan Kensinger took pictures of the strangest place in NYC.

In a different era, Edgemere’s seaside was a thriving resort, with grand hotels, a bustling boardwalk, and thousands of residents. Today, it is devoid of buildings and permanent residents, and “has stood vacant, except for plant life and wild dogs, for more than 35 years, when thousands of summer bungalows and stores were plowed under as part of a massive building project that was put on hold and never revived.”

Over the decades nature has reclaimed southern Edgemere.

Read the rest
Continue Reading