I am infatuated with the “Borscht Belt” area of the Catskills in New York. Once a world class resort destination, time has not been kind to the area. I, along with a few friends, visited what remains of Grossinger’s Catskill Resort Hotel, one of the crown jewels of the area in its heyday. It has been closed since 1986, and unfortunately between vandalism and weathering, things are in bad shape. It is interesting though how you can walk around and figure out what things used to be based on the few things that haven’t been stolen, the foundations of buildings, etc. You can definitely tell that it was a beautiful place at one time, and in some ways, it still is beautiful.
An area that appeared to be a reception area that was being remodeled when they closed down
This bumper sticker on the service cart was too perfect
I liked the way the mirror reflected the windows
Shed off of the old green house
I liked the "American Blower Heater" label on this fan in a pretty empty building
And the amazing indoor pool!
Area where people rented skates and got ready for the outdoor skating rink
Ever since I took at class at Virginia Tech about modern city issues, and watched Michael Moore’s “Roger and Me”, I have been interested in the Detroit area. In fact, I think that was the start of my interest in all things changed drastically by time, circumstance, globalization, and economic changes. The interest was heightened last year when I took a free lecture class on a similar subject at Northeastern University, run by Barry Bluestone, who is originally from Detroit, and often used Detroit as an example of a drastically changed city. So, when I decided to take my cross country trip, I next decided that I had to see Detroit. I had some ideas of what I wanted to photograph ahead of time, but wasn’t positive.
When I got to Detroit I was immediately stuck by the architecture. I don’t know enough about architecture to really describe what it is, but I liked it. Even many of the abandoned buildings were beautiful, and it’s fun to check them out and imagine what used to be. I have included my favorite buildings that I got a good look at, plus a little welcome message.
Building on East Jefferson Ave
Cadillac Tower, built in 1927
Wayne County Building
Michigan Central Station, Opened 1913, Closed 1988
Big room on the first floor of Michigan Central Station
Main Room of Michigan Central Station
I was driving around the general area of Jacksonville, North Carolina with some time to kill before a flight back to Boston. I took a random turn down a country road and saw a very interesting looking old closed down store with an old soda machine outside of it. I stopped and took the first photo you see, and that’s when I met Michael Batchelor, who was very friendly and told me a bit about the store, and also told me I was free to photograph around the property. We exchanged emails, and he was able to provide me some more information, which I have paraphrased a bit:
The little community is known as Back Swamp, near Richlands, NC. My grandparents, Abram and Hannah Batchelor, ran the store, which was always licensed as ‘A. H. Batchelor General Merchandise’. It has been around since sometime in the 30s. It used to be on the other side of the road, approximately in the middle of the yard where the house sits. My grandfather used a winch and a mule to drag it across the then dirt road. My grandfather died in 1983, and my grandmother shut down everything except the soda machine about the middle of 1981 since taking care of him had become such a burden. So, minus the soda machine, the main store shut down in 1981. Counting the drink box (the country name for the soda machine) it’s still in operation, kept working by the tenacity of a country farmer mentality to just keep patching things back together.
The truck that you photographed is a 1965 Ford F100, which used to be blue. It is a pretty good subject. I must have 200 various shots of it.
Also, The Jacksonville airport isn’t really in Jacksonville. Its mailing address is Richlands. And it’s really the Onslow County Albert J. Ellis airport. The airport code OAJ makes more sense knowing those details.
A.H. Batchelor General Merchandise in Back Swamp N.C.
1965 Ford F100 in Back Swamp, North Carolina
Pretty fly for a dragonfly