This is such an incredibly beautiful post. [via Marginal Revolution] The photographs are haunting, and the reflections on the remains of what was once a school books depository are almost creepy. Abandoned places have a strange impact. Either they amaze you with their ability to create a whole new world within, or they fill you with a sudden rush of sadness. The former because some sort of beauty thrives in the air thick with neglect. The latter because they mostly remind you of waste.
To walk through this ruin, more than any other, I think, is to obliquely experience the real tragedy of this city; not some sentimental tragedy of brick and plaster, but one of people:
Pallet after pallet of mid-1980s Houghton-Mifflin textbooks, still unwrapped in their original packaging, seem more telling of our failures than any vacant edifice. The floor is littered with flash cards, workbooks, art paper, pencils, scissors, maps, deflated footballs and frozen tennis balls, reel-to-reel tapes. Almost anything you can think of used in the education of a child during the 1980s is there, much of it charred or rotted beyond recognition. Mushrooms thrive in the damp ashes of workbooks. … It is almost impossible not to see all this and make some connection between the needless waste of all these educational supplies and the needless loss of so many lives in this city to poverty and violence, though the reality of why these supplies were never used is unclear.