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Interesting Spaces

Sometimes you find yourself in an interesting spot.

Here we were exploring the powerplant at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital.

The boilers were nice and crusty, peely brick and rusty.

erie city boiler-11

Found a door that opened and decided that light painting would be fun.

so i set up a remote speedlight just inside the door way to light interior, and painted exterior w flashlight.

Unfortunately when i reached to get it, i managed to knock it over and it dropped down inside the boiler itself.

Leaning in to try to reach it i discovered that the opening was just wide enough for my body…

So I wiggled thru to get my speedlight, then looked about and realized what a cool space!

so decided to paint some more, with gels on my flashlight.

boil boil2-11

had my wingman shine a light in the square observation portal on the wall.

It kinda gets lost in my bright lights.

boil boil-11

Don’t know what was inside, but it was pretty deep with flakes of some metal…

Fortunately i wore gloves… and a mask…!  😉

Now, would like to learn how these things worked!  Guessing flames came from the round openings, warming the water in the pipes that ran across the wall and ceiling..

??


The “TUNA FACTORY” of Alameda

Two abandoned warehouses sit in a fenced-in NE corner of the former Naval Air Station, which closed 15 years ago. Driving by a week ago I noticed the number of tractors and cranes at work tearing down the wooden roof and walls. As they did, the demolition exposed a bunch of graffiti on the concrete walls that remained. What caught my eye was “Swappy’s” giant iconic yellow horned-skull thing. I’ve seen his work in Detroit, New Orleans, Buffalo, Salton Sea, NYC, and all about the bay area. I had to get a snap of it.

I learned that this activity was set in motion when Alameda’s Planning Board approved the subdivision of the base parcel allowing actual building to start on a 10.2 acre pad (Parcel 1), which is the area where the warehouses are located.  This was in order to make way for a new Target store and some housing. Wednesday July 18 marked the  groundbreaking for first phase of the Alameda Landing development, and demolition of the warehouses began soon after. Amazing that after all these years of talk, there is activity on the base! But sad, as these vintage bldgs and urbex locations are disappearing…  (Interesting too is that this parcel includes that base hospital which mysteriously burned down a few years ago, where the AFD responded to three separate calls to put out fires, all in the same night, finally letting last one go due to the “presence of accelerant” and crew safety issues. How convenient the developers don’t have to deal with all that asbestos and lead paint… but i digress).

So it appears that for at least the last 5 years or more artists have been sneaking in to paint the interiors with large works of art, aka burns. The graffiti inside these huge structures was wall to wall, floor to ceiling in most places, 2-3 stories high. The floor was littered with empty spray cans, disposable gloves, and dried up rollers. The volume of work was amazing, perhaps comparable to SF’s old Tuna Factory – which met with a similar fate.

Here are some images from a few day and night visits I made in the last week, hoping to capture as much as possible before it was all gone.  Art on the wooden walls and giant sliding fire doors of the eastern-most warehouse were long gone, but i got most of what was left in the other bldg. See if you can read them. I’m sure this place had a real nickname. If you know, please share. Enjoy!

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Going down the tracks to the Junction…

A evening visit to wine country. Intention was to visit an abandoned location, but it required navigating some railroad tracks. Got there at dusk. Amazed by all the great graff, started to snap with some nifty ambient lighting the cars. Was just able to get these few snaps when a trio of powerful, tight-beamed flashlights started coming towards me, and then a shout of “Stop right there!” So I did, no sense running. (The last photo was lit by the police flashlights – thx..)

Napa Police had us line up against the train, drop our gear and face the rail cars. Standard line of questions and scare tactics ensued, followed by the gathering of ID and info. They soon realized we were neither the scrapper-thieves the locals have been dealing with, nor the ones painting the cars.

Cops then actually became quite cool. We started talking flashlight tech, and about famous/notorious painters we’ve seen around the bay and had spotted around that yard. We showed them some in-camera snaps. Then they even gave some suggestions of other places with great graff. We were then escorted out of the yard with no further action taken. Bummed our plans were cut short, but we’ll go back again, via a new route, of course…

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