Return To Sender

We started off with some lofty plans for Gary, seeing the schools and Screw and Nail that I hadn't been to yet, but between the late arrival, the surprising September heat, and not having slept much all weekend our eventual strategy consisted of exploring everything in sight. The next thing we saw after the half theater was the post office, and the door was still open, so in we went. Either I didn't notice all this last time or it's new: ...and perhaps still in progress? The robots came and destroyed any need for this facility. At one time there…

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All Things Go, All Things Know

After the hospital, with my camera completely useless, we didn't even try to explore anything else in Memphis, and just wandered back toward Beale street for some blues halls. Which was much easier said than done, in a typical city in the American South: not particularly designed for pedestrians, or even supportive of those who chose not to drive around for whatever reason. At first we thought it would be a pleasant walk along the river, but all we found there was steep slopes, thick brush, and the scattered flour of hashers, which of course Ben wouldn't follow even when…

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God Is Not Dead, Nor Doth He Sleep

...but then, what exactly was this place? God's Rest Home, I must say, seemed like an absolutely dismal place to live out one's last years, in a rotting brick building in the midst of a decaying city battered by the bleak Midwestern climate. After that place, our fifteenth successful explore of the day, we finally lost our daylight and got up to a roof for a few last shots of the city ...and eventually returned to our parking space from which we could wander around to all of this, right next to the church where it all began I decided…

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Where The Stores Are All Closed

[continued from part 5] Just like everywhere else in Gary, all it took was a quick look around the block to find yet more places to explore. Above and next to the theater there were more storefront-type places that weren't all that interesting on their own, but did still have a few products left, and this idyllic mural -- could this have been Gary in its early days? There isn't much of a village left here, but who knows, maybe Gary will rise again someday... I didn't have to go far to find still more abandonment, this time an entire…

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The Aristocrats

The environment for exploring here is truly unlike anything I've ever seen... we saw this building from the roof of the Methodist Church and thought it looked interesting, so we walked down 6th street toward it. A local saw us and our cameras and, instead of being suspicious or avaricious, asked us if we were going to see "the Aristocrats". I said, maybe -- we didn't know where they were -- and he told us that it was the abandoned hotel we saw, and that it was once the residence of U.S. Steel executives when they spent time in Gary,…

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Common Knowledge

When looking for a place to explore, never discount the obvious. Anyone who has seen this building enough times would notice the lights are never on, and the windows are broken, on the first two floors. This one is only an elevator ride away from me - the building where I live, 111 East Avenue, used to be the Sagamore Hotel, one of the most luxurious places in the city in the 1920s and 30s. Among the more interesting historical uses of the building, the penthouse once housed W2XRT, among the first television stations ever built, going on the air…

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