infiltration.org This isn’t about corporate espionage but rather sightseeing in “places you’re not supposed to go.” One of the myriad subcultures exposing themselves to the rest of the world via the Internet is all about urban archaeology: crawling around slimy drain pipes, forgotten subway tunnels and abandoned buildings. Infiltration is out of Toronto and therefore somewhat Ontario-centric, but the articles will provide a good education for anyone who’s ever wondered why he keeps buying all those Lonely Planet guidebooks.
www.bhere.com/ruins/ Among urban adventure cultists, The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit is considered one of the best sites devoted to the more-than-curious tourist. The photos on these pages have even gained a cult following of an altogether different sort. Seems some of the large, abandoned buildings it has spotlighted have drawn the eyes of rave organizers, and there’s a section devoted to Detroit techno parties pumping some life back into these ghost dwellings.
home.att.net/~lakata/arch/ A lot of text and a few pictures chronicle visits to structures that at one time helped the San Francisco Bay Area grow up but have since been discarded. Take a look at the last whaling pier in the United States, a mining tunnel under the campus of UC Berkeley and a nearby ghost town.
www.designshed.com/images/np1.html Departing decaying cities, we now head to the Mojave Desert of the southwest United States, where we find not-so-amateur photographer Troy Paiva pointing his camera out onto the arid landscape but perched in front of one of the many wreckages brought there to rust: old Chryslers, buses, even jetliners. But including Lost America in this subculture of riff-raff does it a disservice. Troy’s photographs — all taken on the fourth night after a full moon — are beautifully eerie. This is really a serious art site.
www.rt66roys.com We’re still in the California desert, in the town of Amboy, population 20. OK, so Amboy was never really a small town as much as a lazy truck stop. That being the case, the whole town — a living time capsule from the 1930s — was bought a while back by two guys who saw that authentic 1930s is just plain good marketing. Even if it is in the middle of nowhere. Now Roy’s restaurant and hotel is one of the top tourist attractions on old Route 66, proclaimed The Mother Road by John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath.
www.jyu.fi/~raiztlin/eu_gallery.html Two guys from Finland put up this site to tell the world about their adventures in industrial ruins, abandoned saw mills and graveyards. There are also some good tips for anyone who might want to go off on their own digs.
members.tripod.co.uk/valnolan/infil.htm Val does her urban archaeology in Ireland and even provides some floor plans of ancient castles, necessary for anyone who wants to climb through some of Newcastle West’s decaying relics.