T is for Traces

I live in what is not entirely kindly referred to as the Rust Belt, which means my city used to be Big and Important, and now it isn’t anymore. Being Big and Important brought with it all the good and the bad that you would expect, and it can be  thrilling to read about our history, what with all the money and power and fancy things and extravagant events. Our history also includes plenty of bad news – deindustrialization, disinvestment, crime, poverty, and race and class conflict. (And then there’s prohibition, which is a whole other fascinating good/bad story, but that will have to wait for another time.)

We had it all, then we lost a lot of it, but still we have a lingering greatness, and there are those who believe we are experiencing a resurgence. What has always been true is that the people (most of them) are wonderful. And a lot of the great architecture still stands. And as fascinating as I find our history (and as crazy as things can be right now – did you read the news today, or yesterday, or this year?) I’d rather be alive now than any time in the past. It was a lot tougher to be a woman even 30 years ago. Forget about 100 years ago. I don’t know about you, but I really like having an education, and a job, and being able to own property.

But I have my moments of nostalgia, too. I have a soft spot for urban decay. Something about aging buildings just speaks to me. I love the traces you can sometimes see on old brick walls, remnants of ancient  hand-painted signs, or the outlines of long-gone adjacent buildings, complete with stairs and rooflines.

I just can’t get enough of that stuff.


(Restaurant advertisement photographed by me, some time in 2011. That’s all I can tell you, because it’s all I remember.)

(Posted today as my Day 20 entry in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge)

This entry was posted in Images I love, Miscellany and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to T is for Traces

  1. DMGbyrnes says:

    I, too, have a soft spot for aging and abandoned buildings. Something oddly beautiful about them. I love taking photos in them. I wouldn’t want to live in the times either, but there’s definitely a nostalgia that plucks my heart strings about certain eras past.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. James Stack says:

    Great point about women – better today than even five years ago, one year ago….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Darla Verlinden says:

    Oh, I love this one! Haven’t been keeping up on Facebook lately and what a nice surprise on the day I did. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a thing for urban decay too. There are some wonderful cities that seem to have just crumbled for a variety of reasons and it will be interesting to see if they ever get built back up the way they once were.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I write a second blog, Mainstreetrockymount.com about the exact thing your T post is about. It honors the architectural inventory and more of the historic downtown core area. A community where the railroad, tobacco, and the mill are a part of its story. With your interest, why not write more to help tell a new narrative of rebuilding a future. Take a look to see what I mean if you have time. Appreciate the clarity of your blog. So many you can hardly read. I found your blog for the first time while out blog hopping from North Carolina during the #Challenge before hurrying on to visit as many blogs as possible on Sunday, our day off. My theme on my writing blog has been about hotels and inns, the architects and settings. On the letter T day it was about tea at a lovely hotel yesterday. Join me.


  6. The picture snagged my attention like a spider’s web….entangling me in sadness and inquiry…the desire to scroll and the need to stop and read, digest and wallow for a brief moment of “days gone by” of nostalgia. That building looks like the remnants of my hometown, the skeletal remains of a small beautiful Midwestern city with grand architecture you would find in the metropolitan hubs of Chicago, Los Angeles or old New York; indicative of my life plans, goals and calling–grand, well built to withstand the weathering of doubt and fear; marred from rejection by self and others, yet still standing in a foundation deeply rooted in terra firma and ancestral fortitude that uncompromising and unshakeable.

    I love your post today…the traces of history guide me, remind me, inspire me and make me thankful for my time in the here and now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, thanks for your really thoughtful response, Lauren. I’m so glad you liked the picture and the post. I pass so many buildings like this in my daily travels, in various states of use and decay (the one above actually houses a thriving restaurant) and I know I should take more pictures of them while I can. It’s so nice to know other people find them as evocative as I do.


  7. kristin says:

    I’m from Detroit and while I like old building and faded signs, the last time I was visiting family in Detroit, continuing to find my old neighborhoods looking like a bomb dropped on them was depressing. Same thing when we drive around St. Louis visiting my husband’s old neighborhoods.

    Forty years ago. Let’s see I was 29 and being a back to the lander, things were going pretty well. Especially remember how great it was to have my knees and other body parts working. I could vote and own property and all. If I had been out in the “real” world, I’m sure I’d have a different story to tell. I’m enjoying finding and exploring your blog.


    Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved this. I lived in Detroit for a long period and I loved the old, crumbly buildings with a story to tell.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Spare(d) | True story. Really.

  10. Pingback: On the Hill, Behind a Door(way) | True story. Really.

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