Showing posts from 2023

Maas & Waldstein Lost Archive Recovery

In the digital labyrinth of my archival exploits, the rediscovery of Maas & Waldstein's lost files proved to be a journey through the annals of my urban exploration saga. Over the past decade, my collection of portable hard drives, scattered across time and space since 2013, became a tapestry of hidden gems and misplaced memories. In the early days, navigating the sprawl of unidentified buildings (aptly marked 'UBxx') took precedence over meticulous cataloging. File folders were a chaotic mosaic, each holding snippets of history waiting to be unveiled. Today, armed with experience and refined tools, the obscure 'UBxx' pins on my maps unfold into rich narratives, revealing the untold stories of Maas & Waldstein. The bottom floor of the former lacquer building. The lost archives, now resurfaced, illuminate the trio of structures that once housed the essence of the company. The Enamel building, a soaring three-story testament, stands proud. The Laboratory, a tw

Urban Explorer's Must-Have Essentials for 2024

Urban exploration, the art of uncovering the hidden and mysterious, demands more than just a curious spirit. As a fervent and dedicated urban explorer, you know that being well-prepared can be the difference between an unforgettable adventure and a regrettable mishap. While your checklist may vary depending on the nature of your missions, there are a few indispensable items that every urban explorer should carry with them, no matter where their journey takes them. 1. Toilet Paper - An Unexpected Essential You might wonder why toilet paper ranks among the must-haves for urban exploration. The truth is, when nature calls during one of your upstate expeditions, you'll be grateful for this simple necessity. You can't always rely on public restrooms or the quality of their supplies. Restaurant toilet paper, often thin and abrasive, can leave you less than comfortable in the rear area. To avoid such discomfort, stash a roll or two in your trunk. Trust me; restaurant napkins are no ma

Doorway on the Passaic River

In the realm of industrial history along the Passaic River in Northern New Jersey lies a captivating tale of an oil company's struggle for survival against the evolving landscape of progress. Amidst the modernization of Route 21 in the 1950s, the Riverbank Petroleum Company later renamed to Northern New Jersey Oil Company stood as a fierce opponent to the development. Their existence pivoted on the river's access, a lifeline for their business. Relinquishing it meant demise, so they fiercely contested the eminent domain battles. Ultimately, a compromise was reached: a tunnel beneath McCarter Highway, enabling oil transportation without disrupting the flow of the newly expanded route. Riverbank Petroleum Company Wharf had its last recorded shipment of under 2,000 tons of fuel oils in 1997. Time has seen the oil company fade into history, leaving behind an abandoned, flooded tunnel. However, a peculiar sight remains – a doorway, a relic from the past, etched onto the side of Rou


Nestled discreetly behind an unassuming fence line, the facility stood as a quiet sentinel of bygone experiments and chemical innovation. It was a place where the unseen battles against pests and pathogens played out, away from the public's prying eyes. I remember the day I ventured there with two curious friends, a forgotten piece of the past awaiting our exploration. From the road, this place appeared like any typical business establishment, revealing no secrets. But as we rounded the back, it revealed itself, an open invitation to step into a world shrouded in history. The facility's landscape consisted of three main structures: an office building, a series of imposing greenhouses, and an enigmatic garage-like structure that eluded our access on that particular visit. That garage still stands to this day, a silent sentinel to the mysteries held within. The year 2018 marked a turning point when the greenhouses and the office building met their end, succumbing to the inexorabl

Qualimax Car Wash & Lube

Rolling up to this once-vibrant car wash, I couldn't help but reminisce about the blunder from my last visit. Okay, so, note to self: never neglect the basics. My camera’s autofocus was off and, embarrassingly enough, my photos turned out blurrier than the city's morning haze. You'd think after all this time behind the lens, I'd catch something so obvious during a review. But hey, even seasoned shooters have off days, right? After a short hiatus from photography, I probably was a tad rusty. This time around, I made doubly sure I got it right. The site, a casualty of fire damage, lay exposed, its innards spilling out for all to see. An odd mishmash of household clutter and heavy-duty waste was thrown about as if the place had held a garage sale for discarded items. The scene hinted at the handiwork of unscrupulous contractors using this dilapidated garage as their personal landfill. In its heyday, the lube bay was buzzing with activity, with workers navigating beneath a

Ross & Roberts, Inc

I still recall my solo expedition to this place during the early days of my urban exploration career. I strolled past the ubiquitous Dunkin' Donuts, and with surprising ease, found myself inside the property, likely through an open garage entrance. I remember the anxiety, the fear of encountering someone inside who might be interested in my camera gear and wallet. But I pushed those thoughts aside and got to work, exploring every nook and cranny, save for the roof. The constant clatter from the neighboring recycling redemption business reminded me that I wasn't alone, and I didn't want to draw attention from anyone who might spot me from the adjacent property. Masked against the dust, I delved into the exploration, avoiding the roof to stay out of sight. This was back in September 2016, when I ventured far and wide across Connecticut's cities and towns. The building was mostly empty, save for a few metal containers on the top floor. The walls, however, were a canvas of