Friday, April 16, 2010


So today I volunteered to accompany Ex-Roomie to Gary, Indiana. Easily the shittiest 'hood I've ever been in. Had I known what an industrial wasteland that place is (and I had an idea but wasn't prepared for it to be worse off than Detroit or East St. Louis) I would have worn my steel toed/heeled boots and perhaps brought my new bike helmet.

That's an old hotel, located in the historic downtown quarter, converted to apartments and frequented by crack heads. I gave a quarter to some guy asking me why in the hell I'm taking pictures of this old place. I answered that same question 3 times in the space of 2 minutes.

That modest dwelling you see there? None other than Michael Fuckin' Jackson was raised there! Along with his less famous siblings. The place is even smaller in real life. Note all the comments left on the street sign.

This cracked out former hotel isn't even boarded up, nor fenced off. More images would have been taken by me, had it not been for the presence of many, many people burning holes through me/getting eye-fucked. I was also legitimately concerned I would step on a used hypodermic needle.

The Casket Showroom...I assumed it was once a lounge of some sort, but it used to be exactly what it's name is (next to a Church). By this point many of the street people noted ourpresence, and I had to piss like whoa...but didn't have the nerve to do so in an alley.

Urban blight like none other I've ever seen or experienced. This is a shot looking north towards the old steel mill(s). Vacant lots abound in amazing quantity, especially right near the formerly thriving city center.

Indiana limestone son! There were at least 7 or 8 crumbling churches of various denominations. This one was notable for being totally and completely hollowed out, a gorgeous architectural work of art left to decay before it's time. Such a shame. Note the trees growing from inside.

PS - Today is the first time since early June of last year that I properly left the city limits. NYC/Fire Island then...Gary, IN now. Quite the contrast, to say the least.


Dean Grey said...


I'm happy you and ex-roomie made it in one piece!

There's something terribly romantic about the last shot, especially all the plant-life growing through the cracks.


jason said... apolcalyptic almost.

But the Casket Showroom would be a cool name for a lounge, I think.

Windy City Sex blog said...

Are those weeds or trees?

Meeting Neil is Easy said...

"If you are going through Gary, Indiana, keep going."

JUSTIN said...

@Windy: Yes, those are trees growing out of the building(s).

Sx3 said...

I passed through Gary last year and I could not wait to reach the city limits. Such a depressing dirty place much like Cleveland and Detriot, but without baseball!

JUSTIN said...

@Sx3: You must not have seen the brand spanking new minor league bseball stadium.

dan said...

just glad that you and the camera got out alive!... a midwest bible belt suburb boy like me can only think,wow...culture! talk about getting out of the city. ha