Ephemera

Anything and everything else related to Opacity.

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Resurrection

Well hello again! As some of you have known, I needed to take a much-needed hiatus from working on photography and this site. Finding a full time job again, having to move, renovating homes... the list goes on and on. I was never in a European prison - some people have nothing better to do and try to undermine others to feel important.

Now that things have settled a bit, I hope to clean the place up a bit and start posting again on a regular basis. I hope you've all had a good 2012!

-Tom

Red Velvet Paradise

A few recent photos of the Lowe's Kings Theatre in Brooklyn NY, which closed in 1977. It is slated to become a performing arts center by 2014, and restored to its original 1929 appearance.

Cemetery Safari: Moonstones

We passed by a small cemetery just south of Geneva NY (by chance) as the sun was setting, and spotted a small chapel-like structure that seemed a bit worse for wear. A quick peek inside revealed spaces packed full of junk; the tight crawl inside didn't seem worth it. We wandered into the cemetery, which was full of deer, darting back into the woods upon our presence. Some of the stones almost began to glow as the moon rose... so we grabbed our cameras.

Desire

We stood in an empty street among an expanse of empty apartments in New Orleans, listening to the stillness that surrounded us. The Desire neighborhood in the 9th Ward was almost completely obliterated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. From some vantage points it was possible to have a 360° view of absolute vacancy. A shiny barbed wire fence stretched along the blight, but the gates were left swinging in the cold January breeze.

Cemetery Safari: Funerary Art at Greenmount

Officially dedicated in 1839, the Greenmount Cemetery in Baltimore is the final resting place to over 65,000 people. It was modeled after the Mount Auburn cemetery in Boston, which started the rural or garden cemetery movement in the United States. Rural cemeteries were intended for public enjoyment before the widespread development of public parks. Greenmount is a fine example of funerary architecture and sculpture that has been long lost in contemporary times...

Industrial Reuse: Just a Pipe Dream?

Visiting some of the large industrial sites in Germany left quite an impression on me, as many had been converted into parks and museums open to the general public. I remember asking, "how could this be?" I was astounded to see these massive, decaying brownfields turned into centers of culture, amusement, and thriving businesses. In the United States, it seems like most of these kinds of places are the exact opposite, unless the existing structures have been completely leveled and remediated.

Royal Land

While exploring some places in Mississippi, we came across this decrepit sign for Royal Land - an amusement park that has been closed since the 1970s. When I returned home I wanted to know more about it, and found this wonderful history...

Cemetery Safari: Baltimore's Sinking Stones

We had planned to hit up the old American Brewery in Baltimore a few years back, but sometimes it's a wiser decision to stay out. The exterior of the building was beautiful, but upon stepping inside one of the gaping holes, it was clear we were not alone... some murmuring was silenced, and a shuffling sound emanated from deep inside the black space. Bad vibes. Never made it back to shoot the inside... ah, well. Heading down the street, a dark castle-like facade rose from the top of a nearby hill. Bright white letters read "Baltimore Cemetery" across the stone, but the cemetery definitely looked very old, and appeared a bit "distressed" as we cruised through.

Cemetery Safari: The Millionaire's Mausoleum

Old cemeteries can be somewhat similar to abandoned places; I find these quiet and secluded areas dotted with moldy stones and musty tombs are fun to explore and photograph. Curious symbols such as anchors, tree trunks, acorns, and hand gestures have deep spiritual and sometimes cryptic meanings. Ornate crypts hearken back to Egypt's Valley of the Kings; in fact, many Egyptian-styled crypts can be found from the 1920s when the world turned their heads to the discoveries being made in Africa. Beautiful statues carved from the skilled hands of stone workers are relics of the past, as simple plaques become more popular due to constraints in cemetery space, budget, and maintenance. I hoped to capture a few of these unique places while traveling around, and I think they fit perfectly into ephemera on this site.

This particular cemetery is private - used, although very rarely. Sliding past thick brush and a tall fence leads us to a dead-end road, with a small family crypt on one side. A larger crypt can be seen up ahead through the fall foliage - it is the final resting place of a 19th century railroad tycoon and his family.

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