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UER Forum > Archived UE Main > Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment (Viewed 1666 times)
thparkth 


Location: Bedford, NS
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Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
< on 7/19/2008 7:59 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I think that living in an area with healthy, expanding economy is the worst possible thing for an urban explorer.

When I lived in Scotland, I was in the Greenock/Paisley area which until the second-half of the 20th century was a major industrial part of the world, with shipyards, warehouses, ironworks, you name it. By about the 80s these industries were in terminal decline, and I grew up surrounded by the decaying remains of abandoned industry. Kind of sucked for the economy (for a while, until electronics and computer manufacturing came along) but for a nascent urban explorer it was perfect.

Everywhere you went there were abandoned rope factories, warehouses, offices, even schools. These buildings weren't just vacant; they were positively forgotten. Who guards an empty warehouse when there's no realistic chance of it ever being needed again? Who guards an empty school when the building is unsafe, the council can't afford to fix it, and all the families are moving away so there are no kids to send there anyway? Who guards a church when the locals reject God (and perhaps vice versa) and it has been abandoned so long that trees are growing from the roof?

Entry wasn't hard either; what a few years of being exposed to the Scottish climate didn't open up, the local teenagers inevitably would. Some of these buildings were beautiful, cathedral-like works of Victorian (and even older) industrial architecture.

But now I live somewhere else - in Halifax, NS. Halifax doesn't have a rich history of heavy industry, or a legacy of dirty, polluted, wonderful abandoned structures. There's a little of that, but not a lot. Instead there are houses and offices that are the first thing ever to be built there. There is growth. There is development. Buildings don't get to remain abandoned very long; the land they are on is too valuable. More things are going up than being pulled down. Most things are new.

All of this is very exciting. But from the point of view of someone who itches to find the open window, to walk up the rusty stairs, and wonder at the mysterious machinery in a factory that closed its doors a decade ago, it's a little unfulfilling. Not to say that there aren't interesting places to go and see around here - there certainly are - but I think it's fair to say that the pickings are slim relative to larger urban centers, with their more varied industrial histories.

Some of the most amazingly interesting places, like the old military forts around here, would be absolutely fascinating to explore - but of course they are heritage sites now, run by Parks Canada, and hence made safe (and boring) for the benefit of the tourists.

And so I find myself driving past some of the interesting business around here, and a small part of me, which I'm not proud of, is thinking, "Why can't that place there go bankrupt? That would be really interesting." Of course I really don't want them to. But if the world economy DOES collapse... hey, there's a bright side, is all I'm saying ;)


monster 


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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 1 on 7/19/2008 9:25 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I know what you mean. Sugarland, TX is in Fort bend County, which is one of the fastest growing places in the nation. Everywhere I turn, something new is being built. I have to drive at least 6-10 miles to find something abandoned.

fedge 


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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 2 on 7/19/2008 9:55 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I agree, thparkth - my area (Clarington) is doing well enough that there's nary an abandoned anything... LOL...

As I went walking, I saw a sign there and on the sign it said “No Trespassing”. But on the other side, it didn’t say nothing. That side was made for you and me. - Woody Guthrie
DeadBunny 


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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 3 on 7/19/2008 11:28 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Buffalo NY is a dying city and I couldn't be happier.

Do not proffer sympathy to the mentally ill. Tell them firmly "I am not paid to listen to this drivel. You are a terminal fool".
thparkth 


Location: Bedford, NS
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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 4 on 7/19/2008 11:32 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Fedge: At least you can feasibly reach Toronto or Oshawa without requiring an airline ticket ;)

Around here Halifax is the Toronto, if you see what I mean.

There are probably UER members in rural Nova Scotia sitting around saying to each other, "Nothing to explore in this dump. We should take a trip to Halifax some time, see some real excitement."

If so, bad news guys...
[last edit 7/19/2008 11:33 PM by thparkth - edited 1 times]

trent 

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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 5 on 7/20/2008 1:03 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by DeadBunny
Buffalo NY is a dying city and I couldn't be happier.


That's so interesting (but not surprising) as I grew up in Buffalo, but now I live In Rochester. The ROC is so progressive and growing, while Buffalo is in never-ending decay. Yet, they're only 45m-1hr apart from each other.

But to the thread starter's concern, yes that sucks. Abandonment are far and few between. My radius of new locations is slowly expanding. Soon I might be driving to neighboring counties to do what I do.

He who rules the underground, rules the city above.
hatsumi 






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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 6 on 7/20/2008 1:57 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 


on the flip side, buildings become vacant, even if momentarily , as developers look to tear down and build bigger and better buildings to accomodate said progress....

...and with new development sometimes comes new opportunities such as cranes, rooftops, new drainage and service tunnels..... perhaps it's just a matter of adapting to the environment you're in and having to travel a bit to catch some historical urbex action..



drainasaurus maximus
steph yo 


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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 7 on 7/20/2008 2:00 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I can't even count how many neat old buildings have been torn down to make way for huge supermarkets, my township sucks.
When i was growing up there was nothing here, Downingtown was practically the middle of nowhere, but it has just been developed and developed until there's pretty much nowhere to even go to blaze, haha.
And now Pennhurst, probably the neatest place around, is approaching demolition soon. ]:]:]: LAAME!

trent 

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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 8 on 7/20/2008 2:07 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by hatsumi


on the flip side, buildings become vacant, even if momentarily , as developers look to tear down and build bigger and better buildings to accomodate said progress....

...and with new development sometimes comes new opportunities such as cranes, rooftops, new drainage and service tunnels..... perhaps it's just a matter of adapting to the environment you're in and having to travel a bit to catch some historical urbex action..




Ah ah, that is also where the ethics come into play. (OMG, what did I just do? Sorry to kill the thread)

But with turnover, usually either the old owner or new owner will be more inclined to keep the place locked up nice. Then entry might consist of a B&E unless you posses mad ninja skills or ancient Jedi mind tricks.

However if it really truly is abandoned then security of the building is usually more lax and B&E may not then be required.

---

Not to say your point isn't valid and well taken though. Just today I saw a building in my city that was torn down this week. If I had known I would have at least tried, but I wasn't aware of it changing hands.

He who rules the underground, rules the city above.
nightbird 

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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 9 on 7/20/2008 4:11 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by DeadBunny
Buffalo NY is a dying city and I couldn't be happier.



Depending on which report you look at, Buffalo is currently ranked as the second poorest city in the United States. On Friday I did a count; in the 5.5 miles it took for me to get home from work (entirely within city limits), I counted 80 abandoned buildings including business and residential. This was taking my normal route. If you think this number is crazy high, consider this: Buffalo has somewhere around 18,000 abandoned houses. Who knows how many abandoned businesses there are.

This is where I disagree with Deadbunny. Living in a dying city like Buffalo and experiencing everything that goes with it sucks. Seeing an abandoned structure no longer has a thrill for me. Maybe because I see 80 of them twice a day five times a week. Maybe I've just become desensitized, viewing each building as another piece of Buffalo nobody gives a shit about, not even city officials. They're just happy to have a job, unlike a quarter of the people that live here. In the past few years, seven bodies have been found in abandoned houses, and each day is countdown until the next is found, or until a woman is raped in one.

Abandonments are what feed our hobby, but in places like Buffalo where they're more prevalent than there are Mcdonald's in all of the U.S.,the decay is sickening. After a while I've tried to justify the decay, to tell my self it's not that bad living in Buffalo. But every time I visit another city, reality slaps me in face and reminds me that yes, it is THAT bad.

I may get shit for this, but I really don't care. I would happily give up exploring *anything*, ever again, If I could feel safe walking around my neighborhood at night, or even to the local library alone.

The one positive I can take from this is that I only plan to stay in Buffalo temporarily. You can have your decrepit playground, I'm sure that's your view from Amherst anyway.


Buffalo: 54% white, 37% black, $24,536 median income.
Amherst (suburb of Buffalo): 89% white, 4% black, $55,427 median income.


# of abandoned houses in Buffalo: 18,000+
# of McDonald's in the United States: 12,804



edit: fixed grammar

[last edit 7/20/2008 4:19 AM by nightbird - edited 1 times]

WTF indeed.
Charlie_Dunver 


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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 10 on 7/20/2008 4:21 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Horrible numbers (even if I would have guessed there was more MacDonaldses than that in the US). Here is a guy who has been blogging about "fixing Buffalo" for a few years. Might be interesting to some of you.

http://fixbuffalo.blogspot.com/

CD

http://neath.wordpress.com
Beta 


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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 11 on 7/20/2008 4:27 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 

Yet it's also ensures the future of places to go.

*rimshot*
micro 


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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 12 on 7/20/2008 4:49 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by nightbird


Thanks for posting this. I was just going to make some quip about how he lives in Amherst but you did a much better job.

TurboZutek 

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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 13 on 7/20/2008 10:52 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
You moved from somewhere that's a decrepit shithole (Greenock*) with a history dating back hundreds of years to somewhere in a good country that has its act together, with a history of about 200 years; that never had to suffer Thatcher.

So... Your findings come as no surprise, really.

Chris...

*Also, if you thought Paisley was dead before, you should fucking see it now. Just 3 operational night clubs, no shops, no facilities and the proud owner of the worst shithole scheme in all of Scotland (feegie)... Nice for a town the size of a city, hey?

[last edit 7/20/2008 10:53 AM by TurboZutek - edited 1 times]

We all had ostriches. My dad had an ostrich farm! I remember one day someone came in and said the high altitude bombing of Kosovo had been a limited success, so we all went out and celebrated… by killing an ostrich and boiling it in kiwi fruit.
thparkth 


Location: Bedford, NS
Gender: Male


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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 14 on 7/20/2008 12:19 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Buffalo sounds awful. I didn't mean to suggest that living in a place like that would be a desirable thing. I can see the bright side of a few abandoned buildings, but I wouldn't want to live in an abandoned society.


yokes 


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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 15 on 7/20/2008 12:37 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by nightbird





Very well put.

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Roadwolf 

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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 16 on 7/20/2008 12:39 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Buffalo is a shithole. I am sick of seeing abandonments... ya know, UE was more fun when there was a challenge to find something new. Here it is more so depressing. Leads one to think about how the 'american way' is falling apart. and no one really cares - the american public is too worried about the next american idol to pay attention to whats happening in their country.

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Steed 


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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 17 on 7/21/2008 3:10 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I'd have to disagree somewhat with the OP. I live in a fairly prosperous country with a growing economy. Most of the UE sites around here are abandoned for urban renewal, leading to gentrification rather than dilapidation. Of course, Korea was recently a second world country which accounts for this.

fedge 


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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 18 on 7/22/2008 2:01 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Regarding Buffalo, as long as the Walden Galleria isn't abandoned, them there's still hope. Nice mall for cross border day trips.

As I went walking, I saw a sign there and on the sign it said “No Trespassing”. But on the other side, it didn’t say nothing. That side was made for you and me. - Woody Guthrie
nightbird 

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Re: Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment
<Reply # 19 on 7/22/2008 2:32 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by fedge
Regarding Buffalo, as long as the Walden Galleria isn't abandoned, them there's still hope. Nice mall for cross border day trips.



Hardly. The mall is in Cheektowaga, not Buffalo. The city sees no benefit from suburban sprawl.

WTF indeed.
UER Forum > Archived UE Main > Prosperity is the enemy of interesting abandonment (Viewed 1666 times)
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