Friday, 26 September 2014

Abandoned Places VIII: A Malt Brewery

This post is more just a collection of photos I wanted to share, I love old factories and this one was an interesting explore. A generous friend from 28dayslater took me for a walk through the remains of this place...

 Yes, we did get up on that ledge...!

It was one of those days where the sky was totally colorless and white, always amazes me how devoid of color the sky can be...

Monday, 8 September 2014

Abandoned Places VII: Longbridge Tunnels (East Works)

So after spending a month cooped up inside writing for university, I celebrated by heading to the Midlands for a well needed break, and met up with a very lovely and helpful guy who took us all over to stake out some really interesting places. So many in fact, that it deserves multiple postings! The first was this place, and the cause of me totally scabbing up my right leg- all part of the fun though eh? If you ain't broke by the end then you haven't worked hard enough  guess!

These are the first photos I have attempted to take underground, so whilst they aren't great, I am pretty proud that you can actually see things in them (the Paris catacomb photos were so bad I couldn't bring myself to share them). 

The first place our fantastic guide took us was this tunnel, part of a system under Longbridge that was used to house and assembled aircraft engines and components during WWII.

These were in one of the little rooms off the main tunnel.

It was incredibly dark down there, and rather wet and gooey. Really it was just as well I had been down the catas twice before as it meant that perpetually damp feet didn't bother me as much as it would have before...

Some truly grotty toilets...

Below are some shots of the tunnels close to the entrance and so lit naturally.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Abandoned Places VI: Goussainville-Vieux, a French Ghost Town

Just outside Paris in the north, under the Charles de Gaulle flight path lies the remnants of the town Goussainville-Vieux. A few months ago a friend and I went to check it out, and last week Atlas Obscura asked me to write about it for them. The article is here with some photos I took whilst there.

For more photos of this truly eerie place, see my gallery here. I took so many photos it was almost unreal! I am hoping to go back again at some point, better armed with flashlights etc so I can take more pics in the slightly darker rooms that my poor ol' camera couldn't handle last time (rookie mistake!).

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Paris Street Art: In Situ at Fort d'Aubervillers

On what turned out to be an extremely hot day (even for my Italian accomplice, it wasn't just my mainly British-conditioning) and the final day of In Situ, I went to go check it out before it was closed. And I am mighty glad we braved the heat because it was well worth a visit. 

One of the first few pieces.
The entrance gate to Fort d'Aubervillers.
This was one of my favorites, though a little unnerving with all the eyeballs, I loved the contrast of textures between the slightly rusty corrugated iron at the back and Victorian-esque angel perching among the rocks and eyes.

Ram-skull..? I am sold. I have a minor (major?) fascination with these...!

What really struck me about the exhibit was location combined with the colors. Though it felt a little like we were attending an exhibition in the desert at times (the foliage in these pictures are deceiving as most of the land was barren- owing to the concrete), the sheer brightness and power of the art in a somewhat neglected grey space was very effective. Also put me in any abandoned place that has been reclaimed by humans and I am happy...

My friend that came with me also commented (and I agree) that more ugly warehouse type buildings ought to be spruced up like this. Like William Morris said, 'Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or beautiful', or in this case, outside..!

This one below was a tribute to the punks that occupied the space after it ceased to be of use to the military.

Several burnt out cars had also been reclaimed as an unconventional canvas, I recognized the handiwork of the one below from some art in the 13 arrondissement of Paris.

 And this one reminded me of the picture I saw in Strasbourg, I think its the same artist.

 This was one of my favorite areas, where the artists were each assigned an alcove to fill.

Gagged chicken, just 'cuz.

Catacombs anyone??

 I adored this one, with all the butterflies, it deff struck a cord- books can indeed inspire dreams.

This one below is just stunning, "Open your Eyes".


And finally, I leave you with Superman.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

First Article Published on Atlas Obscura


A few weeks ago I went to check out La REcyclerie, a re-purposed train station on la petite ceinture, now a cafe, at the request of a friend from Atlas Obscura. You can find the article here. Of course it being part of the abandoned railway, and also serving decent herbal tea/coffee/hibiscus juice and homemade food, has made it an instant fav and I WILL be dragging many more friends up there soon... 


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Abandoned Places V: La Petite Ceinture Gare de l’OrlĂ©ans-Ceinture (Bercy)

I have been rather busy of late, working on my MA and kick starting this photography thing and finding various freelance jobs that I could do to support myself longer living in Paris. As such I have opened a DA account here. In doing so I have started to learn the basics of photo editing to give my pictures a bit of extra oomph, so even though the pics there are the same as here, they are in fact better version. Subtle but necessary. But for now I give you another piece of the railway puzzle.

The hunt for this bit all started with a photo on instagram of a bridge I was dying to see, the only problem was it gave no indication as to which part of the railway it was actually on and so the search was on to find it. Crawling along Paris on google earth and maps, comparing what I saw with what I could see in the background of the photo, I narrowed it down to two places, here and somewhere else. It wasn't here, but it was not a wasted trip, I always enjoy uncovering a new part of the railway.

It turned out that a lot of the tracks were being ripped up to make way for new buildings, something that I find rather sad, though as my friend keeps reminding me- these places are transient and I need to make the most of it whilst it still exists. We do our best! 

I have a feeling that people don't come down here as much as the other parts, true it is much shorter than the other parts and there are no extra draws like entrances to the catacombs... But there was a lot of uprooted tracks, signal posts and other gear.

The truncated railway is shown above, alone with the signal point which I climbed up for no real reason other than I could. We also saw a little pink panther on our travels.

The best bit however was probably the rail station itself. Though getting in was not an option (it bordered an active construction site), I still enjoyed walking around it and taking a few pics. I also had a very difficult conversation with a local, my substandard French was met with his awkward English and in the end we just laughed and gave up.

I would imagine that this station is on the brink of destruction, though this is not as sad as finding out that the one by where I live is being flattened. Having spent many hours down there I know I will mourn its death.

The next part on the hit list is Pont de Flandre and the elusive cage-esque bridge.