Update: Wednesday June 13, 2018

Essex Generating Station

As the Passaic River flows around its last oxbow bend before converging with the Hackensack River and forming the mighty Newark Bay, a ravaged industrial elbow of land bordered by The Pulaski Skyway and The New Jersey Turnpike juts out like a throbbing thumb, shoved too far up ones ass. A lifeless peninsula of barren cement referred to by some as Point-No-Point. This toxic little chersonese, named after the nearby railroad swing bridge connecting Newark with Kearny NJ, remains as wasteland populated by electric substations and massive oil and gas tanks. However, a curious abandoned substation, a remnant from the once larger Essex Generating Station which was demolished many decades ago also remains rotting away situated along the northern tip of the impoverished land. Because The Passaic River is very much tidal at this point access to the substation comes and goes with the ebb and flow of the tides. A thicket of reeds and a battered barb wire fence separates the the old power plant from most humans. However if one times the tides right and wishes to slump through the oily muck, a playground awaits.

Update: Monday January 1, 2018

McMyler Coal Dumper

Rotting along a beat up wooden pier barely balancing upon the industrialized river bank of the Arthur Kill in Port Reading, New Jersey a decrepit monolithic structure battered for decades by salty sea swells and powerful gusty winds remains as a a hunk twisted steel and corroded metal rising tall against the unassuming Staten Island, New York skyline in the foreground. A thicket of reeds and nautical debris washed ashore from wicked storms past form a sort of natural fence barrier between the polluted river water and the clobbered McMyler Coal Dumper, making access difficult. Constructed in 1917, Big Mac, as the coal dumper became nicknamed by its crew of twelve, could unload a railcar full of coal in two and half minutes, sending the product onto barges to be shipped to coal burning power plants all across the north east; a massive industrial feat for its time. However as alternative power generating fuel sources became more popular the need for raw coal was diminished, thus Big Mac became more of a liken to Big Useless Mac and was ultimately shuttered in 1983 for good. The steel ruins of the coal dumper have been rotting and corroding away into the Arthur Kill River ever since. Even despite the historical significance of Big Mac's industrial unloading feats, little effort has been made to recognize the structure or brand it as a historical landmark. As a result, Big Mac will undoubtedly continue to rot away until the forces of nature collapse the remainder of the structure and the ever flowing yet fierce Arthur Kill River swallows Big Mac for good.

Blog Update: Sunday November 26, 2017

Images of America: Essex County Overbrook Hospital - A Book Response

I have a bit of an issue in my life in which buildings, well specifically those of which are currently void of humans, often resonate with and speak to me more than people. I will even go as far as admitting that certain buildings mean more to me than people and physical human connections at times. Now perhaps that's a bit of a fucked-up introvert fueled emotional thought process to admit too, yet it's completely true..

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Blog Update: Saturday August 12, 2017

Photostream Introduction

The process of editing photos, putting together a location gallery, writing a complementary short story, conjuring up some sarcastic photo captions, and hand coding then editing the HTML/CSS is a process that takes time. Yet for many, many years I had the process down to a ritual; the first of every month I made it a personal goal to have a new location posted up and I succeeded at that for quite some time. But over the past couple of years the stories I enjoy to write have become more complex and thus time consuming to imagine, prepare, and edit, which has led to updates on Vacant New Jersey to become far and few between...

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Update: Tuesday February 14, 2017

Delaware Generating Station

Along the banks of the Delaware River in Fishtown Philadelphia, a cement monolith sits. Its austere concrete walls surrounded by tall razor wire topped chainlink fencing creates an illusion of a caged monster. Eight forbidding rusted smoke stacks reaching toward the sky can easily be imagined into a serpentine creature of biblical proportions. Inside the beast's cold blooded body an empty industrial soul remains. Its heart has long been captured for just a vacant hall of a ribcage remains, yet within the echoey darkness its secret powers still lurk. This desolate demon I speak of is better known as the Delaware River Generating Station. A massive coal burning power plant seemingly carved from a block of solid cement way back in 1917. This Beaux-Arts beauty takes up an astonishing 223,000 square feet, yet its footprint seems to be hardly noticed within the bustling Philadelphia metropolis. Shuttered in 2004 this behemoth of a power plant is perhaps best recognized as the first cement reinforced power station to ever have been built. Today however, its only claim to glory is perhaps its designation on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. But despite such an honor the building sits empty, attracting only those brave enough to tame monsters before redevelopment slaughters them.

Blog Update: Tuesday January 17, 2017

The Duchess of South Somerville: A Book Critique

I never gave a shit about Doris Duke. To me she was nothing more than an over exaggerated, dead celebrity. A have-done-nothing human who reached a status quo of fame through inheriting her father's riches. Because of such an opinion I never bothered to further research Doris's legacy or fame beyond what could be read within the first paragraph on the Wikipedia page dedicated to her name...

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Blog Update: Monday December 19, 2016

North Tarrytown Assembly

A sea of cement blankets a massive expanse of vacant land jetting out like a deformed elbow into the Hudson River within a sleepy Upstate New York town. Just past town the stately river begins to narrow from its widest point a few miles north, before snaking below the span of the Tappanzee Bridge and flowing south past New York City. From an aerial perspective on Google Maps this cement sea appears more as a desert; void of any forms of life...

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Update: Sunday October 23, 2016

DuPont Cladding Tunnel East (Tim's Tunnel)

Often hidden below the surface adventures can exist which would otherwise be invisible to an untrained eye. Such is the case with the eastern most portal of the DuPont Cladding Tunnel. The DuPont name has roots which trace back all the way to 1802 when it was originally founded as a gunpowder mill. DuPont quickly grew and expanded to have gunpowder factories situated all over the country. However my interest parallels with the former DuPont Pompton Lakes Works Manufacturing facility which was in operation for over 92 years before ceasing in 1994. During the sites time in operation it produced various explosives and blasting caps for the United States Government during both World Wars. But today nothing physical remains on the former site except for some empty cement slabs and foundations where buildings once stood and overgrown fields. However curiosity began to prove me wrong upon learning about a series of tunnels blasted through a mountain which supposedly still existed on site. The tunnels were officially referred to as Cladding Tunnels and were utilized as hidden/secret areas to both coat materials with explosive powder as well as to test explosives outside of the public's eye. Supposedly the tunnels had been sealed since the 1970's. Currently the site remains as a massive brown fields, 576 acres of undeveloped land for the area is deemed by the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) to be extremely contaminated. Environmental restoration efforts have been initiated but the site will undoubtedly remain polluted for many decades to follow.