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The Old Albany New York Road Trip

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The past of new beginnings.

It almost seemed like yesterday that I could remember my first trip to Albany New York. The long three-hour cold drive up the highway. Waiting in the car as our local guide took forever to meet up with us. Venturing inside my first abandoned building. Exploring around downtown. Grabbing a quick bite from the local dingy McDonalds. The unpleasant drug-fueled essence inside the bathroom. It was an unforgettable experience that I would never forget.

Dug into the archives and remastered some old photos that were unlikely to see the light of day.









Former Conty's Drive-In (Salt & Pepper Restaurant)

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Where the cuisine and customer service was lacking. Yelp reviews.

I came across this sad sight on my way to the nearby Seaside Park for sunset where I learned I needed a permit to enter the park. I made a furious u-turn and pulled alongside the defunct Indian cuisine restaurant. It seemed this halal restaurant did not function very well during its two-year tenor whilst it was opened (around 2009). The property sits at a two-way street intersection in a prime location for park-goers. This property was once slated for a high rise development but as of now, no action has been taken to proceed to that goal. Currently zoned for office and retail use whilst many hungry travelers pass by unperturbed by its vacant status. Not even the late-night hungry hoards of students at the University of Bridgeport could save it.

Before it was known as Salt & Pepper, this former place of business was originally known as Conty's drive-in. Built-in 1961 and family-owned, it served burgers, seafood,…

2019 Year in Review

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The withering dying days of another year and a new decade.

I explored as much as possible this year but did not break 100 or 50 spots. So much going on in one year that time seems to melt away and before you know it its the end of the year. Work, bills, and bouts of depression mixed in. It was an upside topsy turvy year.

The biggest loss of the year was losing my DJI Phantom 4 drone. Just as I was getting into using it more, new projects in mind and learning to manually maneuver without getting into the automatic settings, I lost it on a cold windswept park shoreline near the water. In hindsight, I should have packed it up and drove home. Instead, I took it up again and pushed it hard towards the water and turned. Pushing it again, I came back to shore low and fast. Before you know it, it came in to close to a tree, reacted to the near object detection pulled up before I could throttle back hard it went up, clipped its rotors and fell into the water. I had lost my three old drone due…

Wildcliff Mansion (Cyrus Lawton House) Revisit on Anniversary of Fire

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A revisit on the anniversary of the arson that claimed this National Historic Place.

A few weeks ago I was in the area and headed up to the now destroyed Wildcliff mansion in New Rochelle, New York. This unoccupied mansion was torched on November 26, 2018, by four middle school minors. All four teens were caught and found guilty of criminal trespass and one charged with arson. The fire completely destroyed the 1852 mansion that overlooked the Long Island Sound.










Built as a wedding gift for the couple Sarah Marie Davenport and Cyrus Lawton, the cottage villa was designed by architect Alexander Jackson Davis. The historic residence boasted 20 rooms and has the advantage of facing the spectacular scenery of the open water save the now public park structures (Hudson Park) down below the property. According to City Historian Barbara Davis, “Wildcliff, as the Gothic cottage was later renamed, was gifted to the City of New Rochelle by the Julius Prince family in 1940. After having been utili…

Bayside Fuel Oil Depot Corporation (Astral Oil Works) Demolished Part 3

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On a more lighter note, with a long road ahead before being incorporated into the existing Bushwick Inlet park, the site played a pretty epic part in the 2014 crime thriller, A Most Violent Yearfeaturing Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Jessica Chastain (It: Chapter Two)





Finally, we explore the remaining building whilst excluding the front garage in the front. The upper floors contained a healthy mix of small compartmental rooms and bathroom areas. Per usual, graffiti adorned all available walls found within.











Status: Demolished

Address: 1 N 12th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Sources:

Brooklyn Relics


Bayside Fuel Oil Depot Corporation (Astral Oil Works) Demolished Part 2

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Before the Bayside Company was fully known as the Bayside Fuel Oil Corporation. It was transferred by Standard Oil, its previous owner, in the 1940s. Its primary use before that time was mainly for storage and refinery purposes. Later on, it became a wholesale distributor of heating oil. Founded by Charles Pratt, it was one of about fifty refineries operating in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. During the 19th century, Williamsburg was the center of oil refining along the East River & Newton Creek. Fun facts, "some of the largest industrial firms in the nation were started in this area (inland & along Newtown Creek), including Pfizer Pharmaceutical Corporation (1849); Brooklyn Flint Glass (later Corning Glassware); and the Havemeyers and Elder Sugar Refinery in Williamsburg (later Amstar and then Domino), once the largest establishment in the world."







In the early 2000s, Bayside Oil was proposed to be demolished by a company called Clean Point Energy which proposed demolishin…

Bayside Fuel Oil Depot Corporation (Astral Oil Works) Demolished Part 1

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The end of Bayside Fuel Depot has come to an end.

During the month of July - August 2019, the last vestiges of this waterfront property located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York came to end. All that is left is the concrete base that will be assessed and remediated for the toxic contaminants in the soil. It brings to an end a swirling debate among locals and preservationists who had competing ideas on how the park (Bushwick Inlet Park Extension) should be redeveloped once cleanup was finished. Locals wanted the tanks removed because it would spoil the views of Manhattan across the river. Preservationists wanted to incorporate the empty 50-foot tanks into the design of the new park which would respect the storied history and architecture of what was once an industrial oil transfer station. To learn more details of their proposal you can read them here.





It even seemed the city sided with locals on the removal of all the tanks contrary to an environmental consultant who established re…