Navy Blues

Once we got out of the power plant, the rest of Amsterdam was more or less a bust. Without cars, or a solid idea of where we were going, the best we could do was guess and look around, wandering from one seemingly derelict building to another without finding any of them quite dead enough. We eventually settled for a stop at a bar downtown, and waiting for our bus to Albany and onward. The bus finally arrived about half an hour late, and thoroughly packed, besides being the last one of the day. The driver wanted to leave us,…

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Power Struggle

I've heard it's possible that sometimes everything goes according to plan. I say bullshit. We made plenty of plans, big ones, too big even -- exploring Albany, Memphis and Chicago in one crazy jet-setting weekend, taking advantage of some deeply discounted Southwest tickets. I was ready to give just about anything a try, I had a chance to meet up with a real explorer, and one coming all the way from England no less, so I aimed to impress, as much as I could at my level anyway, and went along as the plans got bigger and bolder. The trip…

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February Made Me Shiver

I chose Albany because it just seemed so appropriate after how bad Providence was. It was always where I'd escape to when things got out of control, back when I was with Laura, maybe even before that; a place where I knew I was still wanted, or at least understood, even if what happened there rarely went to plan. At the end of the last four Februaries I found myself in the capital district, and here I was again, and by odd coincidence, so was my best friend I'd gone to see all these times (which was something I wouldn't…

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Office Space

The last stop on my Albany adventure for this year, this warehouse in Menands seems to have been a casualty of the recession. While it was originally a national leader in magazine printing (Williams Press, contractor for the northeast printings of Condé Nast magazines), a decline in the print business forced Williams to close in 1999. The next tenant, judging by what still remains, must have been a moving/storage facility for Manhattan offices, containing neatly stacked regiments of furniture from the likes of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, undoubtedly hidden away, perhaps on pawn, until the recession thawed, but left…

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Scrap Pile Hospital

This was one of the few places in the Albany area I'd researched, and the only one any local explorers would help me out finding. As you might expect, it sucked. Genesee hospital was torn to shit, but this one, Seton Hospital, took it to an entirely new level. Anything of any value was missing, anything that could be smashed was, and most surfaces that would hold paint, were covered in graffiti. Making matters worse, it was a cold, rainy, February morning, an unphotogenic day for a downright ugly hospital, and I was dragging around a pounding hangover from round…

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Fallen Giants

By the time I was thoroughly fed up with my fool's errand in Albany looking for people to explore with (and had the first few of many drinks on Lark street), I decided I may as well at least explore something before the weekend got any worse. Out by myself (which never happens) and in absolutely no mood to get caught, I went back to the one place I knew I could get into, AlTech Steel, for some night photos. Even when it was still alive I'd have to imagine this place was incredibly drab. Industrial wasteland hardly does it…

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