Vacant New Jersey

U.S. Aluminum

Status: Region: Type: Gallery:
Demolished New Jersey Industrial 55 Photos

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I decided to try on for fit a fancy looking jean jacket I found on the floor of the men's locker room. I knew I was in for a great find when reaching to pick up the jacket it peeled off the tile like a bunny rolled flat by the incessant pounding of hundreds of 18-wheeler truck tires, turning its skin leather tough as it rest on an asphalt grave baking under the summer sun, traffic slowly kicking it closer and closer to the highway shoulder. Upon scrapping the caracas off, I attempted to massage the stiff denim cloth encrusted in a grimy layer of shiny aluminum powder into a more flexible form. Unfortunately, the fruits of my effort primarily worked to coat my hands and arms silver as the tin man and stain my t-shirt with skid marks of thick industrial grease, which I discovered was also smothered about the entire back of the jacket.

With continued feat I was able to stretch the jean corpse loose enough to fit me like a petrified robe stolen off a mummified Egyptian pharaoh. I sported the jacket well, I thought, it fit me more like a protective shell, but optimistically, that provided much breathing room. I thought that perhaps if I ran it through a washer and dryer I might be able to salvage the find. But at realization of probably just destroying the washing machine, I exerted one last ditch effort to save the jacket. Pouring some water from my bottle onto the tight cloth, I hoped perhaps I could loosen the rigid fibers. But as it turned out my experiment merely worked to disintegrate the delicate dried out threads, thus ruining and rendering my find useless. A bit bummed that I would not have a sweet jean jacket to add to my wardrobe of ruinous attire, I decided to just stuff my mutilated bunny friend into a locker, holding out expectations of finding better treasure later.

I walked into the next room searching for more clothes to rescue, but the tall, thin, woman inside, wearing just a polka-dot bikini, posing against a backdrop of blasted open, rusty green lockers, caught my eye instead. She was leaning against a locker door from which a heap of random clothing spilled out from. A disgusting looking shirt potentially caked in some worker's salty arm-pit sweat, slumped off a hanger just above her arm, perhaps explaining her cumbersome pose around the filth.

Generally I'm the only person that would agree to explore a quality cancerous superfund site with me and personally I quite enjoy the alone time; wandering through carcinogens, pondering dead machinery and investigating infrastructure. Perhaps emptying a fire extinguisher or twelve, writing some sarcastic graffiti, and overall just wasting time as I deem fun. With no one around to judge me I get to be my true awkward self in the ruins and it feels quite freeing.

However, occasionally I step out from my box of comfortability, and will plan adventures with others if only to exercise my weak social interaction muscles. A friend of mine who specializes in model and live band photography had expressed interest in in shooting a model (I hoped with a camera) within a grimy, factory setting. And so plans were made and a model was acquired, told too meet us at the designated meeting spot and to bring and wear I suppose what a model, wears. Having already explored the entirety of the factory I set to meet at months past, I decided I'd pass on lugging my camera along and rather just pretend to enjoy a day of conversation while hopefully finding some time to wander off alone. Maybe throw some paint cans off a roof, try on abandoned clothes, or rig up some fire extinguishers to a pallet jack or dolly with desires of zooming down a hallway on a fantastical jalopy industrial go-kart.

We all met up late one weekday morning, parked on an unassuming side street, and walked the short distance to the factory where we gathered on the sidewalk just outside, waiting for the model to arrive. Fashionably late and in through the jagged fence hole we managed to smuggle a young woman draped with an immaculate flowing white dress, balancing on high heels, and sporting an overall positive attitude, into this marvelous wasteland of grime, grease, and gross. The ten minute or so timeframe when people generally will freak or want out of the situation passed. She hadn't yet kicked me in the balls nor drenched my face with pepper spray either, so I suppose all was well and she was enjoying herself. My friend and the model walked off into a separate building to shoot photos. I wandered off to indulge in my own shenanigans.

I suppose most models are accustomed to people barging in whilst scantily clothed, for as she stood in her bikini outfit in the abandoned locker room, not a pose was broken, blush of embarrassment expressed, nor shit seemingly given, as I walked in. I mean if someone walked into me wearing a bikini while I were posing against some grimy lockers in an abandoned factory, I'd feel rather self-conscious, but then again there would exist many factors and "why" questions working against me in such a nightmare of a hypothetical situation.

Over the course of the forty-five minutes I had been wandering about on my own, I had long since forgotten the model's name and so I just referred to her with pronouns, trying not to use the word "it", but being very awkward at the same time, as I tend to be around other new humans, as to break the ice, or maybe freeze it further. And so I asked it, if she wouldn't mind moving for a moment as there were some clothes I spotted within the locker which she was leaning upon that I would like to try on. I got the "you're gross" look, but at the expense of possibly uncovering another fancy jean jacket, or discovering an even more epic find like an awesome cat shirt, such glare is quite acceptable.

Perhaps though, her and I were more alike than ever once thought. As to try on abandoned clothes, or stand around within the same environment, sans clothes, parallels a mentality exhibiting similar failures. Humans of gross nature, I suppose.