Life in progress


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One-Liner Wednesday – Abandoned

I love old abandoned buildings.


If you would like to participate in this prompt, feel free to use the “One-Liner Wednesday” title in your post, and if you do, you can ping back here to help your blog get more exposure. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL in the address bar on this post, and paste it somewhere in the body of your post. Your link will show up in the comments below. Please ensure that the One-Liner Wednesday you’re pinging back to is this week’s! Otherwise, no one will likely see it but me.

NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, like Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

As with Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS), if you see a pingback from someone else in my comment section, click and have a read. It’s bound to be short and sweet.

Unlike SoCS, this is not a prompt so there’s no need to stick to the same “theme.”

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our lovely badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

Badge by Laura @ riddlefromthemiddle.com

 


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#ThursdayDoors – More info on doors that aren’t, Kingston, Ontario

As promised, I did some more research on the wall (with a hole where a door used to be that I discovered on Ontario Street in Kingston), when I was there last weekend. Upon searching the library, I came up with two addresses on the adjacent street: 221 and 223 King Street. I still couldn’t find any information about the wall, except that it seemed to stretch across the back yards of these two homes. So off I walked to check it out. Handily, it was only a couple of minutes from the library.

Here is 221 King Street

CAM01585

CAM01584

and attached to it is 223 King street.

CAM01583

 

Here is the wall from both sides,

wall corrected

You can see the door at the bottom of the garden, below the branches of the small tree.

doors1 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and the “front” door of #223.

223

All this still didn’t give me any clue as to what the wall might have been part of, however. So I came home and did some more research. I came across this site: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=8265 which goes on to say that #223 was built in 1834 for a lawyer, John Solomon Cartwright as an addition to #221. (If you click the link, you’ll see a much better picture of the wall than mine: in 1991 it had ivy growing on it.) The only real mention of the wall is this:

The property on which the building stands is also of interest, containing a carefully groomed lawn, plentiful gardens and a ten-foot limestone wall at its rear.

which indicates that it might have simply been built as an aesthetic piece. I’ll continue to keep my eyes open; I kind of hope, in some strange way, that it used to be a structure.

This post is part of Thursday Doors, brought to you by Norm at Norm 2.0. Check out his post (by clicking on his name) for the prompt and join in!


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#ThursdayDoors – Doors that aren’t, Kingston, Ontario

On a recent visit to Kingston, Ontario, I was wandering up Ontario Street and decided to take a picture of what used to be a building between Earl Street and William Street. After doing extensive research and finding nothing in the history sites of Kingston, I think I’ve figured out it was either a shed, or more likely a stable that was demolished sometime around 1953. It could have been a house or maybe servant’s quarters, but it wouldn’t have had road frontage. I found a map that dates back to 1865, with a slider that morphs the map up to 2013. Now, the wall faces a parking lot behind the houses on the two above-mentioned parallel streets. Here’s the map: https://apps.cityofkingston.ca/snapshotkingston/ It’s actually really really neat. I found the streets by their names in the 1865 version of the map. Grab the map and move it right and up slightly, so you’re moving south west – the block you’re looking for is right at the letter “A” in “ONTARIO.” (Note: Ontario Street runs parallel, and closest, to the water.) You can zoom in once you find the right block (the +/- button is at the top left of the map). You can see the building there before 1953, but it disappears at about ’53 and then shortly after, the wall appears as a white line in the middle of the block, running parallel to Ontario Street. It’s the wrong colour to have been the the above-mentioned building, but on close inspection I can’t tell what else it could possibly have been.

I’ve always had an interest in ruins. They cause my imagination to go in both conceivable and inconceivable directions. Next time I’m in Kingston, I plan to visit the library or the town archives to see if there’s any information on what this might have been. In the meantime, I’ll allow my imagination to play.

doors1 (1)

Please forgive the odd angle…

 

...this was as close as I could get.

…this was as close as I could get.

I’m so happy and excited to finally be participating in this prompt. Kingston is just a two hour drive from where Norm took his Thursday Doors pictures. Check out his post (by clicking on his name) for the prompt and join in!


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Ruin Porn – It’s a Thing

I’ve always loved looking at abandoned buildings. I remember going on long car trips with my parents and sitting in the back seat watching the scenery go by; nothing caught my attention quite like an old house with its windows boarded up and ivy threatening to consume it whole, or a broken down barn, its walls leaning off its stone foundation as though a good wind could transport it to Oz. Such sceneries inspired me to wonder who lived there, and what ultimately caused them to walk away. Even better were the houses with the front door left open. Traveling by at 60mph my nose would be pressed up against the glass, hoping for a glimpse of peeling wallpaper inside. Did it burn? Perhaps the dog got out and they ran after it, never to return.

I think for me its mostly about the history I can’t read about in a book. I can walk around somewhere like Canterbury Cathedral and think more about all the shoes that wore the floor into ruts than I pay attention to the plaques, telling me which king or queen was entombed where. That’s what imagination is for, after all. Pure inspiration.

And so yes, for these reasons I enjoy looking at photos of abandoned buildings, taken by photographers who love to go into such places. I’d seen the term “ruin porn” a few times around the internet, but it wasn’t until I discovered photographer Seph Lawless, just yesterday in fact, that I decided to look up the term and see exactly what it means.

According to Wikipedia and another article – The Psychology of Ruin Porn I found, the term “ruin porn” refers to the concept that there are photographers out there who take pictures of abandoned places without documenting the wheres, whys and hows in which the places became dilapidated, thus exploiting them much like pornography exploits its subjects. I beg to differ. And yet, can I?

The third (and final) definition in Merriam Webster’s free online dictionary – and the only one not mentioning sex specifically, is this:

3: the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction

There is definitely something to this in regards to “ruin porn.” In seeing a picture of belongings left behind in the aftermath of disaster, strong feelings indeed are provoked. There’s nothing quite like an abandoned teddy bear left in the mud to bring a tear to the eye. We tend to sympathize inasmuch as what if it happened to us? But what of an empty, abandoned house? Must we know everything about its previous owners and what kind of devastation, whether financial or physical, caused them to leave in order to sympathize with them? Is taking a picture of the structure exploiting their misery in the same way the pornographer exploits his or her human subjects, for the sake of money and lust?

It’s a tough call.

I won’t stop looking at ruin photography; it still inspires stories within me. Does that make me a pornographer? Or is this all just another case of oversensitivity?

I’d sincerely love to know your thoughts.