Flying Fish Hospital

Genesee Hospital closed in 2000, and most of it was either demolished into a vacant lot, or renovated into offices, medical and otherwise. One building in between escaped either fate, and is sitting there wide open. It seems there was some effort to scrap and demolish it already, as almost all signs of being a hospital are gone, but for the time being it's still that rarity of an accessible new building right in Rochester. At some point I need to go back here during the day but it just gets dark too damn early here... This "tunnel" is on…

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Housing Is A Human Right

Almost a year after Occupy Rochester fell apart, we're at it again! Marching to City Hall to address the problems with housing in this city, and let them know how defective of an institution it is. Did you know that Rochester has more abandoned, foreclosed or simply unoccupied houses, than it has ever had homeless people? What about that Rochester has slum lords, and the city does nothing about it, even though they hold onto abandoned and underutilized properties as investment, evict rent-paying tenants, and try to sell the houses for a profit? Or that it is illegal in parts…

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An Evening Of Culture

Bernar'r Macfadden, eccentric fitness guru of the last century, was arguably the inventor of the culture of diet, exercise and weight loss for health that is so prevalent today. Before the actual health benefits were known, or even suspected by the mainstream medical community, Bernar'r promoted alternately vegetarianism and a predecessor of the Paleo diet (raw food, including red meats) as the natural diet of the human animal. This, combined with strenuous outdoor exercise, became the foundation of Physical Culture, and the beginning of a lucrative career for Macfadden as America's first fad-diet shiller. Promoting his Physical Culture, Macfadden created…

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Bluebird Of Friendliness

Once we finally found the stairs (which are not obvious in any way), we arrived in the iconic pool. The only resort with a full-size Olympic pool indoors, Grossinger's used it not only for recreation, but also for championship competition, hosting Olympic qualifying in swimming in 1956, as well as championship boxing, and early development of Alpine skiing, having been held in the resort's glory days. The pool area itself is a relic of its time, built in space-age modern style. Unfortunately every year nature and vandals eat up more of it... although it was always unlikely at best anyone…

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Lives of the Rich and Famous

When it closed abruptly in 1985, Grossinger's Resort had just began its sixth major expansion, and attempt to reclaim the title of "World's Largest Hotel" from the Concord and a few up and coming contenders in Las Vegas. With a declining tourist business in the Catskills already, and the scattering of Jewish families out of Brooklyn and into the rest of the northeast, the Borscht Belt's days were numbered, and the few remaining resorts intensified their competition, building unsustainably to build market share and go down in history as the Greatest. Among frequent guests in the 1980s, vacationing here as…

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I Walk Along Darkened Corridors

This was my second try at what is without a doubt the creepiest place I've ever explored. I'm still not sure why, but something about the Paramount Hotel is about as "haunted" as an abandoned building can get. Its history isn't particularly dark; the hotel expanded and contracted from 1905 to 2000, run for 93 of those years by the Gasthalter family, before burning partially in October 2000, while full to near capacity with 350 guests of a conference on Judaism. While everyone evacuated the hotel without casualties, 1/3 of the hotel had to be removed, including the lobby and…

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