Vacant New Jersey

High View Homeless Shelter

Status: Region: Type: Gallery:
Abandoned New York Prison 30 Photos

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Our guide for the day snuck us around the back of the campus where we followed the perimeter of a barbed wired lined fence. After walking for quite some distance we stopped and our guide pointed us to walk through a swath of low lying thorn bushes. This time of year the barbs on these baleful plants were healthy, strong, and seemingly extra sharp. Walking through the brier patch I could feel the thorns tearing at the thin layer of denim covering my ankles. Every now and then a spike would rip off and embed itself into my jeans and as I walked it would prick my bare skin relentlessly until I stopped to remove it from the fabric. A few members of our group made the unfortunate choice of wearing shorts. Upon exiting the prickly shrubs their legs resembled the bloody mess of a defeated mouse left to live by a bored house cat.

At this distance we could make out the brick facade of the vacant buildings which lay just beyond the tall green fence separating us from their enticement. We crawled through a breach in the meshing, ducking low enough to avoid the jagged metal from lacerating our backs. Walking out onto a stretch of tattered pavement we were free from the cover of the forest and now exposed to the high perched mid-afternoon sun. The heat beating down on us activated our pores to expel dirt polluted sweat into our thorn obtained wounds. The salty liquid seemed to cure the bleeding but not first without a great deal of stinging.

We followed our guide and quickly made way inside where the allure of the buildings soon faded into the emptiness of the hollowed structure which enveloped our excitement. Bare rooms led to locked doors; where at best sight of decay a single flake of paint began to peel from the naked walls. Hallways echoed with the sound of our footprints and only imagination could work to fill the desolate rooms and corridors. Tempting signs such as "chapel" and "administration office" led to lonely rooms of past occupancy. The basement held a few artifacts of yesteryear, exciting to perhaps only a newborn. As so often with exploring it's usually the journey which can yield the most fun. Certainly our group made the best of the blandness. And the water tower sure did provide a beautiful view.