Friday, January 6, 2012

Urban Exploration: Why?

Why not?

There is something about walking around the hollow interior of a gutted out building that brings peace and mystery at the same time, much like cemeteries. They make you stop and think about the people who are buried there and their lives, but at the same time, it is so tranquil and quiet that it is like a memorial.

Those who enjoy urban exploration (URBEX) appreciate both the statement of what the place once was when it was filled with the living, but also revere the quiet afterlife of occupants, rusted hinges, peeling signs, broken furnishings, vines clinging to window frames and bits of handwritten papers curled up on the floorboards. Sometimes, the remnants left inside are more fascinating because they are surreal in that they remain, but with no one to give them purpose anymore. It is that forgotten aspect we most love to photograph.

Sometimes, you look at something that was once a big attraction in its heyday and now just a sloppy ignored roadside sign and reminder of a time when babyboomers were hitting the road and making car trips. These places stir nostalgia.

Upon occasion, these places are humbling, like silent cathedrals to man's influence on the earth. It was a shelter once for the living, now for the creatures and the homeless.

To one generation, these places represented dreams. To another generation, scars up on the land. You can't help but wonder what they were like in their heyday.

Sometimes, I go to cemeteries and read the names out loud of people whose name has not been uttered in a hundred years. When I go to an abandoned place I have the sense that the building for just a few moments when I'm inside of it, exists again while I make use of it for its original purpose.

Why do we urban explore? How can we not when we see magnificent buildings beckoning us in? It is truly modern day archaeology.


  1. One of my favorite things to do is to urban explore. I get the best pictures and have the most fun when we hit the road.

  2. Agree wholeheartedly and love the pic with the tv!