I’ve always had a curiosity for abandoned buildings. Driving past them, I wonder what’s inside. As a teenager growing up near the St. Clair River, there was an abandoned railroad shed that captured all of our imaginations, known to us as “The Sheds”. For the most part it was boarded up quite tight, but there were a couple of occasions where we were able to get inside.
It was thrilling to walk through the near-empty warehouse, leafing through shipping waybills from 20 years prior. Being young, inexperienced and slightly drunk, we allowed our imaginations to get away from us and scared ourselves from exploring for any length of time. The last time I explored the sheds, it was with my best friend; we walked up the spiral iron staircase to the second floor. Walking arm in arm in the dark, we came upon a short hallway with a mirror at the end. We both swear we saw something flicker in the mirror. Needless to say we booked it out of there, slightly out of breath after we crawled through the point of entry.
Almost 20 years after exploring the sheds, abandoned buildings still capture my imagination. I’m not usually one to declare New Years resolutions. However, if I were to, I’d make a resolution to explore urban exploration.
Until I’m brave enough to explore on my own, I will continue to live vicariously through my favourite urbex websites.
Urban Exploration Resource: http://www.uer.ca/
UER is an amazing database, with user-submitted photos and stories from sites around the world. Of special note are the abandoned castles that have been documented throughout Europe.
Jerm IX: http://www.jerm-ix.ca/; @Jerm_IX
Jeremy is a regular contributor to UER, but it’s his personal website that is most fascinating to browse. Jeremy’s nearly poetic prose that accompany his photo galleries are captivating.
Moses Gates: http://mosesgates.com/; @MosesNYC
I’ve only recently been introduced to the work of fearless NYC explorer, Moses Gates. Recently, Moses took Opie (of Opie and Anthony on SiriusXM) on a tour of the old Amtrak tunnels, deep below New York’s busy streets. They capped off the day with an amazingly unique tour of the Empire State Building, ending on the 61st floor, where the iconic steel eagles are perched (click to view the YouTube video). I can’t wait to read his new book “Hidden Cities”.