I know I shouldn't keep shoving the old buildings down your collective throat, but Karly's out of town and I'm in charge (insert maniacal laugh here), so I shall therefore continue to post unabated on my unabashed love affair with history (but I promise to do something different for tomorrow, ok?). It probably all started with my childhood home, built in the early 1900s, which was undoubtedly uninhabitable when we moved in. I mean, peeling walls, wood burning stove, no a/c (IN TEXAS) -- the craptacular works. My mom spent most of my tender years with me on one hip and a bucket of wallpaper paint on the other. I learned to climb a 14 foot ladder at 5. It was freaking awesome. Except that we lived across from the welfare clinic, because all the old houses in Texarkana are in the worst parts of town. Anyway, the only picture I have isn't the greatest, but at least you'll have an image to fix on:
1115 Main Street: where nothing is square and wild cats eat bologna out of your hands. The outside almost always existed in this ramshackle state, as if at any minute the entire house could revert to a heap of sticks and concrete, but the inside was like a passport to crazytown. My Mom covered EVERYTHING (even the entryway tiles) in florals and damasks. Although not my taste, it was pretty freaking genius.
So when I became interested in photography, I was probably predetermined to gravitate towards pictures of dilapidated interiors. Robert Polidori, photographer of the aftermath of Katrina and Chernobyl, as well as documenter of the restoration of Versailles, in glorious, large format film, is a particular hero:
The camera loves texture. It loves the peeling bits of old paper, the elegant curve of a water stain, the shadows cast by a million pebbles, and so it loves age and ruin and decay. And I love these pictures I recently found by a photographer in Spain on a blog called Abandonalia:
As well as these lovely images from a photographer who runs The Kohrman Report:
What I am getting at here, in a very roundabout kind of way, is that I have a fantasy about living in a place like this. A place where I would just sweep the dust off the rickety floors and put a coat of varnish over the peeling walls (and the map is staying, fo shizz). It is a ridiculously romantic notion to think you can preserve layers of history like a fly in amber, and I know that the rats and water leaks and hobos squatting in the hallway are all scary, dirty things (not to mention whatever is hiding out in that dank fireplace), but I really can't help myself. I shall call my new style Derelicte, but I'll be needing some new furniture. And I bet you've already seen these pictures because they're everywhere, but this is what it's all about in crazy Erin's wildest dreams:
I love everything about it: the patina of age and dinginess, yes -- the shocking contrast of the furniture, the lack of fuss in accessorizing, even the purple bedroom, although purple is my least favorite color. Sabrina Bignami, architect and owner of Casa Orlandi, you are today's recipient of my super stalker girl crush, so don't be surprised if I show up at your door (as soon as I can figure out where it is). I promise to do my own laundry and sweep the crumbs off the table.