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03-17-2019, 11:41 AM - 1 Like   #16
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Some fantastic images to be seen in the link. Decaying inner cities cities are not uncommon in my part of the world. Here is a picture taken last year in Johannesburg CBD. It seems that the auction advertised on the sign did not yield any bids. The building still looks exactly the same.

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03-20-2019, 07:26 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
Have you ever been in Detroit. I've never been in a part of the city that looks clean or feels safe.
I stayed in Detroit last year in an Inn on E. Ferry St at Woodward, next to the Institute of Art & Wayne State University. The area around the Inn was clean and safe, even at night. Lots of places to eat, with the University close by.

I expected the area to be worse when I booked the room, but my wife and I were pleasantly surprised.

04-02-2019, 04:27 PM - 1 Like   #18
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History shows that cities evolve. I look at the degrading cities and I see visions of cities I've seen elsewhere that have degraded and have come around.

I don't doubt that some day Detroit will evolve as the earliest post suggested. Of course the majority here think its crazy, and I certainly wouldn't move there for many reasons the naysayers have suggested. But, the world and the U.S. are full of lots of people, and it only takes a small percentage of them to see a place like that as an opportunity and to have the bit of craziest and willingness to gamble on that.

I live in California, a state that is full of its overpriced real-estate. The worst parts of the state are redeveloping like crazy on account of being relatively affordable. On the negative side, this evolution removes a lot of character and history, but it will create a new history. Then, the redevelopment only further raises the cost-of-living and makes the richer cities less affordable. And it's the affordability that makes people look elsewhere, including businesses. In a place like Detroit, it only takes a the city or state to make incentives for businesses to fall into place that then bring in the money to rebuild.

For photography, it's a lot of opportunity to chronicle change.
04-02-2019, 04:52 PM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
it only takes a small percentage of them to see a place like that as an opportunity
Gentrification is inevitable...
I assume it's already happening.

04-03-2019, 08:11 AM - 2 Likes   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by brightseal Quote
Gentrification is inevitable...
I assume it's already happening.
It is.

I see it in San Francisco and now even more so in Oakland and the East Bay. I have mixed feelings about it. It revitalizes areas that are obviously on the down at of course the loss of the character that made it what it was. Cities in California aren't really that old, so it is rare to have a piece of history, and the tough part is seeing gentrification overtake what little history we have. Plus, by its nature gentrification (especially at a rapid pace) gets a bit monotonous. Architecture is essentially prefab and of its era. It will all look old together and have a character that probably won't be unlike the population boom of the 1950's and 1960's.

Oh well... this is why photographers should document this history for better or worse.
04-03-2019, 09:01 AM - 2 Likes   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by brightseal Quote
NYC is dead
Always seems very alive any time I'm there...
04-06-2019, 04:17 AM   #22
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Eye of the beholder aside, those pix are not great examples of street photography. Few of them lack even good composition, let alone a subject or theme to focus on.

As for architecture. for the most part, Brutalism destroyed the aesthetics of most buildings and cities after WWI. I really appreciate the design that was prevalent in late 19th and early 20th century art and architecture, and I appreciate the effort of those who will keep the old facades and adornments even if they gut and modernize interiors. Though the modern skyscraper is a marvel, it does not have the style of the Chrysler building.

QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
But, the world and the U.S. are full of lots of people, and it only takes a small percentage of them to see a place like that as an opportunity and to have the bit of craziest and willingness to gamble on that.

It is a shame that the trend is towards megacities, Manhattan, San Francisco, Seattle, etc, though that is hardly a new thing. I hope the teleworking world and other factors would revitalize some other great cities that have plenty of office and living space, but lack people because of a lack of jobs. For example, I enjoy visiting Richmond, Virginia, a city that has a great mix of old and new, with distinct neighborhoods and unique or quirky architecture, and if I could work there rather than DC, I would.

Last edited by robgski; 04-06-2019 at 04:26 AM.
04-07-2019, 04:43 PM - 2 Likes   #23
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I somewhat agree with the sentiments espoused in brightseal's link. NYC today isn't the NYC I used to know. It's become quite different due to gentrification. In some parts, the changes have become much more apparent than in others. That said, I'm happy the city is evolving. There were a lot of shady neighborhoods back in the day... places you wouldn't want to be out taking pictures during mid-day, much less at night. On the other hand, the demolition of historic buildings saddens me. Older establishments such as those erected in the late 19th century give the city a seasoned smorgasbord of architectural variety that can't be replicated by modern designs. Modernity can be so boring sometimes; bland facades with bland interiors.

There's a reason old cities hold such value to photographers; they're a glimpse into the past of where we came from. I was walking around Buenos Aires a couple of weeks ago, and the city had a mix of old and new, but mostly old. It gave me the impression that BA was a South American version of Paris due to its predominant architectural symmetry. Replace those buildings with modern designs and the city would lose its entire sense of self... at least in my opinion.
04-08-2019, 06:57 AM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
To quote Monty Python: "I'm not dead yet!"

Detroit still has 670,000 people even if they are rambling around in a space built for three times that number. What's interesting is that all that "land of little value" in the midst of a decaying city is synonymous with affordable properties ripe for redevelopment by young people who tend to have little money but lots of energy and vision. Decay is opportunity!

Detroit can have a future if it wants it. Those grand old buildings can be remodeled to house start-ups, artists, and young people who don't mind buildings with "character" as long as the rent is cheap.
Detroit has a burgeoning young population of entrepreneurs and artists. It has blossomed into the designer drug capital of the mid-west.

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