URBAN SETTING


A SILENT FILM @ UNION TRANSFER
April 8, 2012, 12:20 am
Filed under: ART, CULTURE, MUSIC, PHOTOGRAPHY | Tags: , , , ,

Englands own A Silent Film just made their return to Philadelphia, PA to perform at Union Transfer. This was the first time I saw them since the Radio 104.5 Summer Concert at The Piazza. This show was a lot more intimate and personable. The band was incredibly grateful and expressed their love for Philadelphia, and that we brought them their biggest club show on their US tour.

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A Silent Film’s sound is addicting. The singers voice is perfect and when accompanied by the rest of the band creates a unique and intriguing sound. No instrument over powers any of the others, and they all seem to always play with each other. This is band isn’t nearly as big as they should be.

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If you have any interest in Coldplay, Keane, Arcade Fire, Of Monsters and Men….indie rock in general…then please check out A Silent Film.

Take a second and check out their single at the link below…

A SILENT FILM – YOU WILL LEAVE A MARK

Til next time.



MISSION #10 – Welcome to Centralia, PA

LOCATION: Centralia, PA

Here is a brief bio  of Centralia, PA courtesy of Wikipedia –

Centralia is a borough and ghost town in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States. Its population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 12 in 2005,[1] 9 in 2007, and 7 in 2010[2] as a result of a mine fire burning beneath the borough since 1962. Centralia is now the least-populous municipality in Pennsylvania, with four fewer residents than the borough of S.N.P.J.

Centralia is part of the Bloomsburg–Berwick Micropolitan Statistical Area. The borough is completely surrounded by Conyngham Township.

All properties in the borough were claimed under eminent domain by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1992 (and all buildings therein were condemned), and Centralia’s ZIP code was revoked by the Post Office in 2002.[1] However, a few residents continue to reside there in spite of a failed lawsuit to reverse the eminent domain claim.

..the full article can be found here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania)

PERSONAL STORY

This adventure happened sometime ago so a few of the details are a lil fuzzy. For some reason the photos have never been posted. Nevertheless I am bringing them to you now.

I first learned of Centralia through a documentary/exploration from Palladium Boots. You can watch the video at this link (http://www.palladiumboots.com/exploration/centralia).

Since I lived in PA I knew I had to make the trip to see this town for myself. Centralia was a bit of a distance from where I was living at the time, so the adventure was an entire day affair.

One would think that finding a ghost town would be easy, but every road I took seemed to diverge me away from where I wanted to be.Eventually I found Centralia and immediately noticed reminance of a town that is no longer standing.

Driving down what was once neighborhood streets all that could be seen was driveways which led to nothing. Some of the driveways were covered by brush most just led to open fields. Below is one of many driveways which now lead to nothing.

I decided to park my car in of these driveways to hide my car from people passing by. Except for handful of people the town is abandoned. At the moment I was driving a blue volkswagon beatle, and that would stick out like a sore thumb.

I left the car and took off on foot. I instantly smelled a strong presence of sulfur. I followed the smell til I found where it is was coming from. The sulfur was escaping the ground through several outlets along a hillside

The heat under my feet was intense and after exploring the hills for several minutes I became noticeably dizzy. My visions became blurry and I realized it was time to move on. As I was about to leave the area a large black drove up and I stood still as I figured that would be better than running. I was glad I stayed because I had the honor of meeting Charlie. Charlie was a large man who was once a resident of Centralia. He immediately greeting me with a smile and hand shake and asked if I had saw anything interesting. He continued to tell me about his past with Centralia and other places that I need to see before I leave. Charlie then brought me to his parents graveyard just 20ft from where the sulfur was escaping the ground. I was worried for his parents resting place being destroyed by the far, but he assured me that they would be alright. Just as we were about to part ways he handed me a souvener, two shiny pieces of coal.

As Charlie began to drive off in the truck he stopped and pointed me in a direction I should travel. He shouted towards me that I need to see two things before I leave; the time capsule and the abandoned highway. He waved goodbye and was gone.

The time capsule was buried in 1966 and is to be opened 2016. I tried to research the contents of the capsule, but was unsuccessful.

The abandoned Highway 61 was once the main entrance into Centralia, but was abandoned due the coal mine fires. The roads have since been warped by the fire and in some places severly cracked. You can see steam, sulfur and smoke escaping through several parts of the highway.

As the sun finally set, my day in Centralia came to an end. I saw how a man made disaster could affect thousands of people. I met citizens of Centralia still in high spirits after dealing with a terrible situation out of their control.

Thank you again for reading.



RANDOM ABANDONMENT ON LANCASTER AVE

LOCATION: Reading, PA

So as of late my license has been getting worse and worse. The plastic is cracked, the film is peeling, and the picture is faded. I took a trip down to my local DMV and had it replaced. I got all nice and clean and was expecting to get a brand new beautiful/ridiculous photo. Apparently they just give you a new ID with your old photo. Oh well….I didn’t feel like sitting in that DMV for hours anyway. I was in and out within 10 minutes.

As I was heading home I was driving east down Lancaster Ave. As I came over a slight hill a beautiful sight appeared off in the distance. It was a giant rectangular building with busted out windows, do not enter signs, and a half assed fence surrounding the property. My eyes lit up with a hope of a new abandoned building to explore! I quickly turned down the following street and circled the building a few times. Yep….it was definitely abandoned.

I had a few errands to run so I decided to wait a few days. I returned a week later ready for action. I parked the car and checked my camera and prepared myself to find an entrance to the warehouse. I noticed a piece of wood that has been peeled away from the door and decided to enter through there. There was one problem…the entire building was surrounded by busy streets and businesses. No matter where I went to jump the fence, someone was going to see me. So I circled the building a few more times finding the best spot to enter. I found a somewhat hidden corner where the fence was next to a higher than normal curb. This was perfect cause it allowed for a quick one hop and I would be in. I waited for the traffic to die down and I leaped over…..and landed directly into a thorn bush! As the thorns scratched their way up my bare shins…I silently shot off a few expletives to myself. I sucked it up and dove into a shadowed corner and once again waited for the traffic to subside. My entrance was now 20ft from where I was waiting. When my chance finally came I took it….I quietly sprinted and jumped in the exposed entrance. I was in!

Once I was in I noticed that there wasn’t that much to see. The floors were massive and besides for some interesting stained glass and color choice for the beams, the rest of the building was empty. I explored each floor and found mainly the same thing…empty rooms and massive amounts of beams and stained glass.

While the majority of floors were boring there were other aspects which made the building interesting. There were doors that led to 50ft drops…I called them suicide friendly exits. There were also large chunks of wall missing that led to 50ft drops. Im sure these are used for when the suicide friendly doors are just to much of a hassle to deal with. I mean…come on…when you have to full around with turning knobs and opening doors…killing yourself just seems like a waste of time.

There was also the common distressed stairs….which I always enjoy.

While climbing the stairs I noticed what I consider to be the grail of any of my adventures…..it was the access to the roof….and the door was practically half open inviting me out.

Sadly the roof wasn’t that interesting. I’ve been on more interesting roof tops. This roof was just flat and not much to see. There were decent views of Reading, PA…that was about it.

I made my way out of the warehouse. I kicked my way out through a rusted exit in the basement. I thought I was done for the day, but what was directly in front of me said otherwise. I was staring at a slightly smaller building with mostly all windows boarded up. It looked as if it was an office building….when I crawled through a window I noticed it definitely was an office building.

The building was torn to shreds. Im suspecting a group of rowdy kids got inside and tore the place apart. Phones were thrown in every direction. Paper was tossed in the air and littered the ground. Every computer screen was shattered.

The place was filthy, dusty, moldy, humid, and I felt sick walking around and breathing the air. I walked around the office with my shirt and hand over my mouth. Im positive I was breathing in asbestos and bird flu from the pigeons that made this building their temporary home.

The pigeons were also incredibly entertaining and dumb. I would scare the hell out of them when I would enter a new room. With every room I entered I would see a few pigeons try to fly away. There main plan of escape would be to fly through the windows, but would mainly heading beak first into glass. Then they would try to exit at the same area. So I would end up just watching a pigeon slam into a window pain over and over and over and over again. I got one of the birds on video….I’ll upload it onto youtube and attach it soon. The pigeons finally escaped and I went back to exploring the second building.

As I saw all I could have seen…I then decided it was time to leave. I once again decide not to exit the way I came, and just muscled through a rusty door. I hopped over the fence and left the property. It was once again a successful exploration and a great use of my time. Thanks for reading!

SIDE NOTE: To anyone who is interested in exploring abandoned buildings I suggest buying a respirator.

I bought one similar to this from home depot for $25. This last adventure I most likely encountered the nastiest building I was ever in. Im almost certain I was breathing in paint chips, dust, asbestos and pigeon shit. It was awful and had my shirt over my mouth almost the entire time. I realized a respirator is a necessary item for exploring abandoned anythings. BUY ONE NOW!