Friendly Friday – Abandoned

painting on derelict house

Amanda from Something to Ponder About was thoughtful to reach out to me and suggest that my recent photo of the painting at the abandoned house would be a good entry for the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge.

Below are two more photos of the abandoned house that hosts a painting of mysterious origin in one of its second-story window frames.

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Last Known as YWCA, Lima, Ohio

Painting in Window of Abandoned House

painting on derelict house

The image in the window looks like a painting to me. I hope that in calling it a painting that I’m not making myself look foolish. I’m so out of touch with mainstream traditional media like TV or magazines that I could well have missed that this painting was a brand image or part of an album cover that millions of people recognize. Then again, I think we are past the era when an image created by human hands would be published so extensively. If it can’t be reduced to vectors and easily scaled through digital illustration, it’s not used to sell anything in mass production.

It seems that posters have become passé, too. Back in the stone age of my youth, hanging a poster reproduction of a painting was a cool thing to do. I had a copy of Marc Chagall’s I and the Village on my bedroom wall when I was a teenager. I’ve yet to see a poster of a painting for sale when I’ve went mall shopping with my teenage daughter.

I spotted the painting in the photo above when I rode past an abandoned, boarded-up house over the weekend. I only had my kit lens (18-55 mm), so I couldn’t zoom in on the details. Did the last resident of this house leave it as a parting statement? Or has some refreshing trend arose of leaving paintings in unexpected settings?

Update: Downtown Lima Church Demolition

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South view of the church in March 2019

Back in March, I wrote a post about an imminent downtown church demolition. Today I revisited this site and took some more pictures. I’m not sure why the rubble is still there. While I cannot confirm this rumor, I heard that the debris was meant to linger for a while to give people a chance to retrieve mementos from the site. The building was in such a precarious state when it was slated for demolition that no one could go inside to rescue anything valuable that remained in the building. According to a local news story, the building had not hosted a congregation since July of 2017.

At the demolition site today, there was a cryptic, hand-painted sign which read “Thank You” and listed a mobile telephone number. Thanks for what? I blurred out some of the digits of that phone number because it is likely someone’s personal number.

I’m tempted to call that number and discover the reason behind the sign, but I’m the shy sort who lets some things remain a mystery. Years ago, there was a local business whose marquee sign proclaimed, “I will never understand such hate.” I was very curious why a business would devote their prime advertising space to such a message, but I did not find out what incident inspired it. To this day, when I see news stories about hate, I think of that marquee sign.

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Lima, Ohio in the Year 2000

I have bittersweet feelings in looking at these photos. I was 27 to 28 years old and lived in a fantasy land that made me bold enough to take the sort of pictures that no one else was taking at that time. My aesthetic for urban photography was born then, and the heart of it hasn’t changed much over the years. I don’t do enough of it now.

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My photo archiving project continues. I decided to make albums of some of the photos on my Facebook page. The images for this blog posts are screen shots of an album that features photos I took in Lima in the year 2000. Back then I used one of the Sony Mavica cameras that recorded images onto floppy discs. I could fit just 10 images per disc, so I had to carry a baggy full of a dozen discs to make it through a photo walk.

Alas, I don’t have the originals files of these photos. All I have now are online copies, and the website where I uploaded them 19 years ago only has 500×375 or smaller versions of the images. I know that some of the photos had an original resolution of 1024×768 (if I felt bold enough to just take five pics per disc!). Lesson learned: back up photos in multiple ways. Burn them on discs or put them on a portable hard drive. Then back the most important ones up online, in more than one place.

I have bittersweet feelings in looking at these photos. I was 27 to 28 years old and lived in a fantasy land that made me bold enough to take the sort of pictures that no one else was taking at that time. My aesthetic for urban photography was born then, and the heart of it hasn’t changed much over the years. I don’t do enough of it now.

By the way, I’d be delighted if you followed me on Facebook. It has unlimited bandwidth for photos, and who knows what photo albums I may make from my archives.

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