Philadelphia is much, much more than old brick and cheese steak.
This week, I took my first trip to the Cradle of Liberty; Birthplace of America; Brotherly Love; etc. This was the last major city on the eastern seaboard I hadn’t been to, and I was pretty excited to photograph all the ordinary yet beautiful things in the city that make it a little different than D.C. and Boston, but little did I know how different my view would be.
The Philadelphia Coal Piers, according to Gjfoto, were used to refill ships’ supplies of coal. The ruins are covered in graffiti and progress in a staggered linear fashion, making for a disorienting and beautiful find, right off the highway.
A break in the labyrinth, halfway through.
Sunlight seeps in through breaks in the concrete walls.
Some areas are murals, plastered in detailed works of urban art.
The pier goes on for quite a ways, leading into new corridors and hallways.
Dark tunnels through the pier are covered in bright spray paint.
Secondary secession: the process by which nature reclaims spaces.
The front of the coal pier ruins. Dirt pathways run past this place, where four-wheelers and dirt bikes speed back and forth, leaving tire marks through the trash and graffiti-covered tunnels.
(Just a side note: I hate how the US is the center of most 2D images of globes.)
One of my flat mates and I were sitting around our kitchen the other night, cooking and doing what usually happens to the idle-minded: Facebooking. Yes, I’m going to condone the use of that word as a verb for the time being. After a while, she noticed that a bunch of her friends were attending an event – a small show at a little known venue back home. This prompted the question: how did people find out about things before the internet?
Before we all became so attached to this cyber snare of communication and information that we now know as the World Wide Web, events like concerts and small shows were only heard about through traditional word of mouth. Sure, flyers help, too, but for the most part, if you didn’t hear about it, you didn’t know about it. The underground music scene really was very secretive.
With the addition of Facebook’s Events application and further with the addition of things like foursquare and “check-ins” everyone knows where everyone is all the time. It’s weird. This translates to there being far less privacy (and let’s not forget to mention that we’re all willingly giving up our privacy when using the social networking site). Underground shows are now inviting people to attend via Facebook. Raves and places like the Firehouse in Worcester are now “likable.”
Underground music is all much easier to access now. With FTPs and torrent sites hosting little known artists, anyone can become immediately acquainted with small bands from around the world. Variables of time and place aren’t factors anymore; you can be anywhere and hear music that was made years ago and miles away.
With the internet has come a jarring change to counterculture and the underground. Simply put, I don’t think there is an underground anymore.