1/21/2009

"Local Archeology"

Posted by MJ




(Images - Abandoned Factory - Buffalo NY)


This past Sunday I had planned to shoot some Lockport pictures pertaining to a post topic but took up a friend on an invite instead to do some exploring. Hopefully I'll get back to the Lockport one this weekend.

Growing up I was always fascinated by history classes such as those about ancient Rome and Greece. I'd day dream about a future filled with time machines, only for the fact that they could transport me in time to a seemingly magical powerful place in which I could roam around and just take it all in. I was also curious to how they could just decline into nothing. The passion most likely led to filling my electives in college with History of Cities, Archeology, Anthropology, etc classes and my local planning pestering.


Growing up in a rust belt city (Buffalo) it was just as mesmerizing to learn how powerful and progressive the area used to be (shame I had to learn it on my own - why are schools so poor in local history?). Just like ancient Rome, a lot of that history has been knocked over by man or slowly reclaimed by nature. In some cases for higher purposes and in others to lay as empty fields or surface parking for decades. But also like Rome, there lay scattered many "ruins". Some of which feel like an American Pompeii, seemingly frozen in time as people were overnight locked out, never to be given a chance to say goodbye.


Old notes, novels, clothing etc rest here and there. Marked-up comic strips reveal workers mental release while dealing with a future that almost certainly was an end. Small personal touches such as strings of Christmas lights over a worker's bench makes one wonder about the character that used to work at it. The odor of machining oil, the touch of foundry sand bring old scenes to life amongst the silence. As interesting as it is to listen to blue collar worker stories from older relatives, walking amongst the ruins adds a whole other dimension.

You'll miss a lot of your surroundings in a car. Be sure to take a stroll at least once in a while even if it is just down the street.

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