Mar 31 2011

urban explorers [day 308]

I love exploring abandoned houses and buildings.  A friend sent me a link to an article about “urban explorers” on howstuffworks.com.  This explained my attraction to these old, and sometimes dangerous places.  I learned a few things from this article, but mostly, it explained a lot.

“Urban exploration purists advocate only trespassing — not breaking and entering.  This forces explorers to get creative when finding an entry point into a structure.”

This is true, I have been creative on ‘entering’ some of these places.  If they’re locked up tight, then I enjoy the outside.  If the no trespassing signs are visible and well posted, I leave it alone.

“It should be said that UE is an extremely dangerous and illegal pastime. By nature, old abandoned buildings are unsafe.”

This is true, as I’ve fallen through several rotted floors.  Being careful is good, but being aware and preparing for a UE trip are necessary.

“Some appreciate the old architecture and ancient machinery. For other people, it’s the thrill of just standing still in a silent, untraveled place. Others find beauty in the type of decay that can be found only in neglected buildings.”

I do find beauty, but I’m also fascinated by the personal effects people leave behind.  I’ve found many things in abandoned houses, everything from photographs to electronics.  One house had the whole backside blown out by a storm, the closet full of clothes and the vacuum cleaner from 20+ years prior, sitting there as if the people ran out quickly, never looking back.  I can’t help but wonder why people leave stuff behind, what situation made them leave and how they determined what they did take.

“Whatever his or her motive, an urban explorer finds adventure in these abandoned sites. There’s a peacefulness in these empty, concrete caves that isn’t like the solitude found in the woods. It’s an experience opposite of nature; instead of finding reassurance in the renewal of the seasons, the urban explorer finds kinship with the past.”

This is so true, it’s a peacefulness, but very different than what’s found in nature.  It’s a serene feeling, laden with curiosity and wonder.

“These explorers usually take photos of the places they visit.”

Here’s some photographs I’ve taken in abandoned places, mostly houses.  I photograph these as a hobby, but I just can’t get past the fact that people throw away buildings, houses and cars as if they have no value.  Some of these places are structurally good and it just makes no sense that they’re thrown away.  Continue reading


Aug 30 2010

triple win!!!! [day 96]

I saw a friend yesterday doing a random act of kindness.  He was giving something away that he didn’t need anymore, and giving it to someone that could use it.  She kept insisting that she needed to pay him, and he was insisting that she doesn’t need to.

What do you do in these situations?  The person on the receiving end is really feeling a need to pay something for what you’re giving them or they wouldn’t offer several times.  You are sincere about just giving the items away, not expecting or wanting payment.  Solution?  Tell the person on the receiving end that you don’t need the money, but there are many good organizations that do.  Ask the person to give whatever money they would have given you, but give it to your favorite cause.  It’s a win-win-win situation.  You get rid of the stuff you didn’t need, your friend gets something they need without feeling like they owe you and a good cause gets some money to further their work.

Be prepared.

What is your favorite cause?  It’s not only important to have a cause in mind, but know how they accept donations.  Mine is online and they accept donations via check or PayPal.  Okay, so that’s only one of my many favorites…  Also, if the person doesn’t have the money, but still wants to do something, you can encourage them to donate some of their stuff to a thrift store or help serve others through one of the organizations.