enhanced depreciation

6th Street near Girard Ave, in East Poplar, Philadelphia. One thing that has surprised me about Philly thus far is how rarely decaying structures are secured against trespassing. More often than not, all doors and windows are wide open for easy exploration.

The latest Miss Rockaway Armada project is still on exhibition in the Philadelphia Art Alliance building until the end of the year. The rafts/ships that were docked in the Schuylkill River have been disassembled and made into great a 2-floor installation, supplemented by some of Tod Seelie’s shots, and a few videos edited by different artists. Additionally, there’s a documentary screening on Dec 1st (by Nadja Kurtz), as well as an artist talk with Tod on Dec 13th. Not to be missed if you’re in the Philly area. More info here: http://rockawayatpaa.com/

The other day I happened to walk by this strip of four failed stores, one-story with basements, nearby in Philly. This particular unit, which is the second from the left, caught my attention because of the sound of running water coming from its basement area. While it is difficult to see here, it is flooded with a few feet of water, which helps to support some moss, algae, and a small assortment of weeds. The other units (not pictured) have charred cinder block walls, and currently only serve as an illegal dump for local small businesses.

• While on a bicycle tour of Paris last month, Jenn and I met a couple (Sara & Chris), whom had also moved from Brooklyn to Philadelphia (but 2-3 years prior). They helped to instill some wisdom about the city, in passing. We caught back up with them two days ago over margaritas, beer, and shrimp tacos. Great folks around here.

Mayor Michael Nutter.

Countless expanses of land in North Philly provide opportunities for weeds to thrive during the main growing season. Surprisingly the local landscape isn’t exclusively comprised of mugwort, ailanthus, and princess trees (like Brooklyn), but there’s a greater variety of wild plants, at a first glance.

• I do want to add that not all of Philadelphia is a decaying wasteland, obviously. Here are a few recent, non-Philly shots to lighten the mood:

Tichy, a well-respected dessert spot at Reumannplatz in Vienna, Austria.

Speaking of Austria, here are some Chuck Taylors powering an old Austrian Puch steel road bike, in Budapest, Hungary.

• And on the subject of old Puch bicycles, my buddy Hans (who rides one daily) is promoting an upcoming event with Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal Conservancy happening on Saturday, Dec 3, for the Brooklyn crowd: a dinner and music by three Brooklyn bands of the indie rock variety (The Suzan, Savoir Adore, and Ambassadors). More info here.