A Bedtime Story for Young Urban Explorers


Source for image: Jenny Lewis

When I was a kid I had a picture book called `The Lonely Skyscraper`. It was a haunting and beautiful story of a skyscraper who felt empty in the city, because nobody truly lived inside him. Sure, he was full of bustle and noise during the day, but at night he was left dark and alone, but for a few security guards patrolling his floors.
So he uprooted himself and ran away to the countryside, where gradually animals came to live in him, with dormice and birds making nests of his paper supplies, bears hibernating in his basements, and deer grazing the grass that shot up through his forecourt. With so much life inside him, he finally knew peace and happiness.

Source: The Prada store that got left behind | Michael John Grist

Lion City at the Bottom of a Lake in China

A real life version of Atlantis can be found at the bottom of a man-made lake in China. In 1959, the Chinese Government decided that they wanted to build a new hydro-electric power station and so made the call to build a huge lake in the Eastern Provence of Zhejiang. The lake was built between the Five Lion Mountain and the ancient city of Shi Cheng (Lion City), that was flooded in order to make way for the power station. The city has been untouched for over 50 years. A dive team has recently rediscovered the remains of the city but there are now plans to turn it into a dive site. Incredibly, the dive team said that nearly every structure in Lion City was still intact, even after lying underwater for over half a century!

Lion City, China

Source: 20 Underwater Wonders of Our Blue Planet | EarthTripper

The original source link for this photo is 404.  Loved the photo too much to not repost it.

Shard Yards?

I hadn’t heard the phrase “shard yard” until reading it here (this post from Winnipegger on Facebook). I guess Guildwood Inn could be a shard yard, here in Scarborough, Ontario. What a great place for urban explorers to try to find and photograph! I’ll be looking for shard yards online. They could include remnants from cemeteries as well as demolished buildings.

The remnants of important buildings demolished 40 years ago may see new life following Monday’s approval of a transfer of stewardship to Heritage Winnipeg.The city’s downtown development committee voted in favour of declaring as surplus historical “shards,” or pieces of building construction materials and artwork, and transferring responsibility for them to Heritage Winnipeg.Cindy Tugwell, the group’s executive director, said this plan is a result of two or three years of work between the City of Winnipeg and Heritage Winnipeg.

Source: Old ‘shards’ may see new life with Heritage Winnipeg | Metro

shard yard

Photo from CBC Manitoba on Facebook.

Near the Town of Primrose

This house is only boarded on the lower level. One of the upper windows is smashed, both panes of the glass. Other than that it is just neglected looking. Too bad it is likely to be pulled down so something else can go up. It is a busy intersection, on #89. But already covered by enough restaurants I would think.

One thing I noticed and wished I could have dug up were some very scarlet and very deep neon pink sweet williams. There wasn’t much else there remaining of the garden. Tons of weeds and only one groundhog (or some other rodent-ish creature) hole in the yard.

Rural Ruins – by Laura (me).

Suspense and beauty in torn brick, shattered glass, mouldering wood and old craftsmanship, weathering, falling into ruin.

Relinquished by those who made them and neglected by those who could reuse them. Now just an old house in the way in a world of strangers.

Wooden sheds and barns grey with age lean against the Earth waiting to fall into the dirt they grew out of.

Garden perennials struggle in the lawn poked by groundhog holes, roof shingles, glass, bricks and wildflowers.

History and life forgotten in each dusty, spidered window pane, each strongly holding brick and each door with crackled paint.

Mystery shines at the partially open doorway. A touch of things that once were. A whisper of things inside with rotting floors and peeling paint.

Rain, sun, wind and snow the house stands, holding itself up, majestic, keeping it’s secrets. A home to only the wild creatures now.

Abundant Weedery

For the update, I failed the road test. I had a feeling I would as soon as I met the tester. He was one of those narky, pricky types who always wanted to be a cop but didn’t get there for some reason. Now they feel it is their mission in life to police everyone to death, to be so anally nit picky that no one is ever ok about anything. Anyway, that’s $75 I won’t see again.

Uploading some photos from the new camera. Still kind of in amazement at the excessive file size for each photo. Still trying to find a good way to deal with it. I went to an abandoned house in Holland Landing, one of those black dirt fields still full of carrots. No carrots were harmed in the making of these photos. I carefully only stepped on the dirt (very coal black and soft) and abundant weeds. Photos to come. Likely on Flickr later today.

Boarded House on Woodbine, GTA





These are in whacked out order here. But they are from the front, back and at least one side view. I couldn’t get all the way around the house and I did not go inside. In the backyard where they would have been a barn (and I did see wreckage of a swingset) were two big crane bulldozer things. I don’t think this house can look forward to a long life. It was bigger than I thought it would be from the street side.

Time for New Things

I was downtown again today. Just a trip out for coffee and a stroll around. No photos this time. It’s funny how you can get intimidated and not take photos at times. I saw a few things and I thought about how I would take the picture but there were several people around and I let the chance pass by. I don’t know why I cared that anyone was there. After all, what would anyone do, stop me from taking a picture. Not like it’s illegal or immoral. I’m going to try to work on that.

Yesterday I read a good article in another blog about writers who have blogs. She said most of us just write blogs about writing. I guess that is what we think we know and have thougths about most often. I think anything to do with blog publishing and SEO (search engine optimization for sites) comes a close second if not first even. But it is true that writers tend to make their blogs pretty predictable, topical blogs. I’m not counting this as a topical blog it doesn’t have any real focus.

She said we should write about something else, a personal interest, hobby or cause. I think that is really a good plan. For myself especially as I really do like having a project on the go and I really do need to have a plan and keep myself stuck to it. So, I am coming up with ideas. I do have plenty to choose from, lots of things I am interested in. Too many and some which turn out to be short term or abandoned along the way. I am thinking most about a blog with photos of old things in Toronto. I really do like taking the photos of old buildings and there isn’t any shortage of places and bits of places to choose from. I could have a backlog of photos on hand and just post one a day for a very long time. So that does seem like the idea with the most potential.

Makes me think about Skye and her blog for the town she is in. I check on her now and then. I would be lucky cause Toronto is massively big and a centre for a lot of events and traffic of people in general. I think she is finding that a problem for her smaller area.

Other topics I could write about are Pagan or women’s issues/ culture/ something or other. I think the Pagan would be good for drawing traffic BUT I don’t think I really have enough I want to say to make that a weekly column let alone a daily thing. Unless I added a wider focus for it, including some history and culture which would be borderline on focus for the Wicca/ Pagan topic. Still, it is something I am not passing off on. The women’s thing I am passing on. I really don’t want to blab on and on about online dating, periods, being a grrl or whatever else that direction would take me. I don’t see that being a direction I want to go in. Besides, I see a ton of sites like that which are submitted to Dmoz and most of them are pretty trashy with spam and light/ lame on content.

I am still going to put thought into the Pagan thing. Even though I can’t see it as a weekly column I wonder if it wouldn’t be a good idea. It’s important to have someone out there talking about Paganism from a real prespective, not all about quick fixes with spells and worshipping gods. I don’t believe in any gods and I am anti-spellcraft. Both seem really phony to me. You can’t say you are for life and free choice and such and then try to force things to your will with ‘spells’ and blame it all on ‘gods or goddesses’. Of course it is more complicated than that. I might try it and see how it goes. If I get into it or get wound out and have nothing left to say after a month.

I think I will keep the writing blog going. I renamed it Word Grrls this past week. So far it just has all my old articles with another dozen or so still in drafts to be stuck out there. I’ve been updating it each Monday. I’m not doing anything else cause I don’t feel right to really grow it till I’m out of old content. For now it is fine. As with the Pagan plan, it gives me time to decide if I want to keep it going as a weekly thing. To see what committment I really have to it all.

I do think the Something Old in Toronto idea is good, good for me as well as something I could turn into a popular site. People do seem to enjoy the photos I have done of old buildings. Although most are still the farmhouses from outside of Toronto. Anyway, it seems like a good plan.

Daylight Abandon at Flickr

Daylight Abandon -MrCal at Flickr

My ex-husband has taken up photography. I really like this one with the little house hidden in the bushes and trees, along the road. Have a look, some of his photos are really good. He likes a little urban exploration and graveyard haunting too.

There are groups on Flickr geared to urban exploration:
Urban Decay
Rural Decay
Urban Fragments
Wonders of Oxidation
Weathered Wood
Nautical Decay
Vanishing Beauty
Graffiti Archaeology
Gargoyles, Grotesques And Angels
Graves, Tombs and Cemeteries
Rocks and Geology
Natural Art
Stone Faces
Cemetery Stone
Stones and Rocks
Paths and Trails
Old Walls Stories
Stones Cobbles and Pebbles
Stone Shields
Outdoor Steps
Old Stones
The Abandoned Coastline
Parting Gifts
Castles Castillos
Castles of Europe
Palaces, Castles, Towers, Fortresses and Ruins
Ghost Towns
Ghost Signs
Ghosts from the Machine
Ghost Rails
Monsters Live Here
Maximum Urban Photography
Suburban Hell
Urban Negative
Gotham Cities

OK, not all of them were on topic for urban exploration. I just like a lot of things.

Things like night photography…

Night B&W
After Dark
Night Images
In the Dark
Nite Lites
Urban Night Shots
No Flash Night Shots
A Shot in the Dark
Sodium Vapor Dreams
Outstanding Night Shots
Lowlight Gallery
Storm Light
Black and White
Black and White Photography
Photography . Imagination . Creativity . Community . Challenge
Nature Morte- Still Life Photography
Open Shutter Photography
Long Exposure
Closer and Closer Macro Photography
Macro Madness
Depth of Field
LOMO Lomography
Red Rule

I don’t think I can really explain this one. I just like it.
Doll Photography