Vacant New Jersey serves as a public weblog, which through use of narrative, text, and photographs chronicles the various adventures and explorations I have embarked upon. The ethos of this website is embedded within the cheap thrills and wild experiences associated with adventure. It is certainly of no doubt that many of the locations I view as playgrounds may be shrouded deep within various historical significances, however I do not view myself as a preservation activist. I do not categorize myself as an Urban Explorer, and I'm certainly not an advocate for preservation; I am simply just an explorer looking for my next adventure. I follow no set rules and my ethics are fucked but my morals sound. I understand that progress often comes at the expense of destruction, thus it is not my goal to physically attempt save places from the wrecking ball. Rather, it is my hope that perhaps people can relate to the experiences and photographs I capture and produce from the places I wander into; if I can spark a sense of curiosity into ones mind than I feel I have reached a goal. Inadvertently, I also recognize that the memories and images I capture though photographs and words will keep the spirit of many locations alive long after they've been demolished.
When I started Vacant New Jersey in 2006, I was an awkward, bored, and curious teenager. Fast forward to recent years and much hasn't changed, except the teenager aspect. My sense of curiosity has only grown stronger and has expanded my interests into various other mediums of adventure. I like to kill boredom with adventure. I like to see the cool shit society says I'm not allowed to see. I like to take risks and do stupid stuff. And such is Vacant New Jersey, a potentially awful website name I chose at a young age to detail my adventures which at the time I thought would never take me out of the Garden State. While everything about Vacant New Jersey, from the hand coded HTML framework up to the pictures and stories represent my own personal works, I must acknowledge that along the way I have met many brilliant people, who have certainly made many of the adventures chronicled possible.
My name is Justin, I often go by Vacant NJ online and in other situations. I'm abnormally quiet, awkwardly shy, and strangely sarcastic in person. If you meet me you might think I hate you, but I probably don't. I'd rather mosey around stinky old abandoned buildings, hike through the forest, chill on a rooftop, or crawl through dank spaces and dark basements than be confronted by social situations. Cats are neat and so is the weather. Feel free to add me on any of the various social networking sites detailed below. I'd bite, but the internet doesn't currently support that protocol.
My desire to avoid social situations is what I initially trace back to my attraction with exploration and off-limit locations. A self discovery during my childhood years that places exist in the world which are essentially left to rot or associated as off-limits blew my mind. As a result I've been going on adventures and exploring ever since I could. The thrill and danger which often highlights exploring is a huge draw, but so also is the chaos significant of decay and destruction. We live in such a wasteful society and rediscovering what we as human beings deem as no longer useful is fascinating. But so also is merely just being in a space I know I have no business in. The unique sights, perspectives, and experiences one acquires from taking risks is the ultimate draw. For capturing pictures of it all is fun, but is never my ultimate goal. I explore to open my mind and take pictures and write stories to let others through.