Friday, June 24, 2011

Longshoreman's Lament

I woke up at 4:30 in the morning to take my roommate to the airport. I had just gotten back from work and gone to sleep two hours earlier. CVG is right down the road, but Dayton is quite cheaper. The catch is that it's pretty far away, not really, but on two hours of sleep - it's an eternity despite a breakfast of beef jerky, coffee and nicotine. On the way up to the Gem City, as I passed through downtown Cincinnati, the fog was crazy. Great American Ballpark almost looked as if the field was on fire, as the lights atop their towers cut through the fog. The sun came out on the drive home and the fog remained. I left Dayton, passed through Middletown, avoided an accident near West Chester and then slugged my way into downtown before stopping on the shore of the Ohio River right by the Roebling.

Three men boarded a boat further down from where I parked, they cut under the bridge and then boarded the remains of Jeff Ruby's floating "boatraunt" as if they were pirates clad as construction workers.

Joggers coming across the Roebling then ran down the stairs, noisily stirring the barefooted homeless who slept below the path of the unknown morning exercisers.

The sun was trying to fight its way through the clouds and fog, the humidity was already there. Out of the gray haze in the skies above, drops of rain began to come.

- The reflections of Atrium II and Great American Tower as seen in the rainy river.

Camera in hand, I walked down the river bank taking in all the smells that waft up on that shore. The senses passing through my nasal cavities weren't exactly pleasant, but the experience of being there that morning was the best I had felt in a long time.

I got back in my car and followed one of those faux streetcar trolleybusses before crossing over the bridge I had just been under. I was awake. I was exhausted, but I was awake. I wanted to go to the Diner for breakfast and by breakfast I mean a chocolate shake and cheeseburger. They were closed. I settled for McDonalds, my stomach didn't. I got home, put the camera down, fell asleep and woke up at 2 in the afternoon. I put on my uniform, went to work and that was that.

If anyone is out there, if anyone is still reading - you might be wondering what the hell happened to this website. I'm wondering the same thing. Every year I start off the Summer writing about how I get behind writing and shooting photos because of work and other things in my life. This year, things have been worse though. I haven't updated it since April, my web host got infected with malware (I can't seem to fix it, no one I know can seem to either) and I work. I work to an unhealthy degree. When I stop to think that I need to slow it down and take a break from working, then I realize I just worked 70 hours in one week. My bills are paid, my projects at work are done and I like to think that those who take my orders like me. At the end of the week though, despite the paycheck, it doesn't matter. The lack of sleep, the messy apartment, my trashed car that I've been living out of and the stress, not a day goes by anymore where I don't think about how I'm burn out.

That's not to say I haven't shooting photos or documenting abandoned locales. I have been. They just may not have been the most interesting ones. Things have changed since I started doing all this. I'm a pseudo-adult now, many places are gone, boarded up or trashed etc. etc. etc. excuses, excuses, excuses.

I've been photographing abandoned places still, just in a different area. Even the exurbs in all their "glory" of Buffalo Wild Wing anchored strip malls have abandonment.

- A former Shell station and carwash in Mason, complete with the graffiti lined walls of the suburban wannabe hoodrats.

- The reflection of the setting sun on the dining room of an abandoned Pizza Hut.

I also went flying:

...more on that later.

I'm not dead. I hope to not be anytime soon. I've got lots of cool stuff for this website and a vacation (or whatever a guy who works 70+ hours a week calls a day off) coming up. I need to fix it first though. If you have any idea how to, drop me a line (queencitydisco[at] and let me know.

Thanks, hope you're doing well, but that depends on who you are.

Go Reds.


  1. I still read your blog and appreciate the photographs. You are a great photographer and I enjoy seeing the random places this city has seemed to left uncared for.

  2. these photos are beautiful! keep it up!

  3. I just recently found this blog and will say it's got some great stuff and some excellent pictures. Keep it up as long as your enjoying yourself! I still have some older posts to catch up on so you got some time before I demand more content!

  4. Ole Chicago way when we all get the time again buddy.


  5. I've always enjoyed reading your blog, but blogging is like having an extra part time job. If you're already working 70 hours a week that's too much. Take a break sir, relax, get your bearings, take long walks, clear your head, enjoy your summer, and we will see you again when things have calmed down a bit for you.

  6. Glad to see you back, I really miss the photos and commentary. For this former Cincinnatian, you are my link back home. You really seem down in the dumps but I hope it's only temporary. Keep your head up!

  7. Enjoy your site! Rest a little but stick around! :)

  8. I'd say lets go take a break a Kings Island... But I don't really think that'll help huh? ;) summer's summer... who still reads blogs in the summer? :P And just because you don't think something is cool and interesting, doesn't mean other people wouldn't mind a few photos thrown up every now and then.

    Sure you take pride in your posts, and some of them take me quite a while to read. but i'm just as content with them as I am with the random ones that take me maybe 5 minutes. It's all of what you make it sugar.