Dreams and Dust

Jan. 21st, 2019

Owning a home is a fundamental part of The American Dream - yet it remains something that millions of Americans never attain. For those who do attain this goal Paying the Mortgage can be a life-long endeavor that usurps ones youth and money until nearly everything one has ever worked for is wrapped up in their single most prized possession: their house.

"Home is people. Not a place. If you go back there after the people are gone, then all you can see is what is not there any more."
--Robin Hobb

So then why, in practically every town in America, are homes abandoned and left to decay?

Every time I stood before one of these houses I thought the same thing: somewhere this house appears in somebody's photo album... somebody's home movies. Somewhere there are people who grew up here, who raised a family here and called this place home. Home: the basic unit of the nuclear American family, now discarded like Friday night's trash. How? Why? Well, there are many reasons I suppose and if it can happen to places like Bethlehem Steel it can happen to anybody.

I recently watched Springsteen on Broadway on Netflix. In it he talked about returning to the street he grew up on to "commune with the ancient spirits". He said "The soul is a stubborn thing. It doesn't dissipate so quickly. Souls remain here in the air, in empty space, dusty roots, the sidewalks I knew every inch of when I was a child..."

Without delving into things paranormal let me just say I tend to agree. I found most of the material for this video in a single abandoned neighborhood. It was cut off from the rest of its town by a simple yet effective road barrier. My first couple visits felt like intrusions and, although there wasn't a single person there, I felt glaring eyes upon me. By my last visit (there were approximately ten) the neighborhood felt like home. Me, the stubborn souls, even the orange and white tabby who inhabited the white clapboard house all became accustomed to one another. Do spirits continue to inhabit these places? I don't know... but maybe.

Since people always ask "where", I will say this: This video predominantly features an abandoned neighborhood on the outskirts of Trenton, NJ, a since-rennovated fieldstone mansion in Yardley, PA, and a brief drive through a couple Detroit, MI neighborhoods. Detroit is coming back from the brink, but as of writing this it would be difficult to find more post-apocalyptic neighborhoods anywhere than you will find in Detroit. I could have (and just might) make a video entirely about them, and if I do you can bet I will use the beats of Jamal Beatnerd Gainey again.

It's been a good long while since my last post here. When it comes to writing blogs I waver between "I need to do this more often" and "I will never do this again". I do post slightly more often on my Tumblr (usually just an occasional picture). I don't have a Facebook just for my art... if you think there are other social media platforms I should use shoot me a message and I wil definitely consider.  Please leave comments. I like receiving them.  Plus, I snapped a few pics along the way.  Thank you for watching!

Dreams and Dust
Add a comment:
Your Name: *
Your Email:
(Optional. will not be posted here)
Your Web Address:
(Optional. will be posted here)
Your Comment: *
(Required. Limited to 300 characters)   

please enter the text from the image on the left: