October 16, 2002

One of my longest-standing obsessions is urban exploration -- you know, discovering abandoned buildings, railways, things left to rot and decay because there wasn't the money or the interest to maintain them. I don't know why I'm so drawn to abandoned things (draw your own "abandonment complex" parallels if you must), but I find a certain romance about structures that were built by humans, neglected by humans, and left alone to be slowly and peacefully absorbed back into nature.

Found a great link tonight -- DetroitYES: Home of the Fabulous Ruins of Detroit. It's a very comprehensive photoessay about what decades of poverty have done to a city filled with beautiful architecture and evocative factory buildings. I've never been to Detroit, but from the photos, it seems a bit like the Bronx (which has some gorgeous old structures amid the devastation and burnout). It's nice to see that there's a small effort being made at restoring the more touristy parts of Detroit, but considering the recession we're in, I doubt they'll get terribly far before they run out of money. (I've seen this happen a lot in New York, and it's a depressing reminder of every crackpot good intention that shot its wad before completion.)