16 Jan 2009
5th street is home to one of my favorite abandoned warehouses. Across the street is a playground. Like most Philadelphia playgrounds, it is rarely used. Much of the jungle-gym is rusting away, covered in graffiti. The theme of abandoned childhood stands out to me. We live in a world that scolds kids for being kids, and we are forced with the reality that we do not live in a safe place, we must grow up. There's no room to be child-like. No laughing, no jump rope, no running around the pool side. Most of what I hear from my window are angry parents scolding children, and the only fun kids seek out is scheming about what they can get away with without getting caught by the police.
I dont see many children around north philly. I see them, yes, sometimes sitting on front steps of houses or two kids might be playing basketball... but they're not really out-and-about. Maybe it has something to do with the dangers of our city, the callousness of hearts, the ever-growing murder rate. These kids aren't living with the same carefree spirit as I did growing up.
One particular playground I visited had a quiet homeless man with a shopping cart collecting cans and bottles from the trash bins. Where are the children at play? Where is the laughter? Winter is among us and I think it will be a cold one indeed.
These playground shots are my ode to this abandonment.