Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lost places remembered

BLDG Blog excerpts an interview from Ballardian with photographer Troy Paiva, author of the Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration. Here's a bit that has really stayed with me:

When I was 13 my family went on a road trip, one of many, and we somehow found ourselves bouncing down 15 miles of bad dirt road to the classic "wild west" ghost town of Bodie, arguably the most authentic ghost town in America. Today Bodie is kept in a state of "arrested decay" and is a major tourist destination. Much of the road is paved and the parking lot is filled with tour buses, and in the summer the town is crawling with thousands of tourists from around the world. But back in the early 70s you could drive right into the center of town and park. When we climbed out of the car we found we were the only ones there! I wandered that town alone for hours, slack-jawed at the thought that people would just walk away from furnished houses and businesses, a whole city, and never come back. I was hooked for life.

[Image: ‘Joshua Says GO!’ by Troy Paiva. ‘A 30s twin-tail Lockheed Electra does the big sleep at Aviation Warehouse. Night, full moon, red-gelled strobe flash. Canon 20D.’]

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