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Showing posts from 2024

Echoes of the Oven: The Legacy of Nicetown Freihofer's Bakery

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Six years ago, I embarked on an exploratory journey through the forgotten corridors of a place whose name was unknown to me then. Only recently, with a bit of help, I unraveled the mystery: this place, archived in my memory and on my hard drive, was the Freihofer Baking Company. This discovery rekindled a special connection in my heart, remembering my early days in urban exploration in Philadelphia. It was here that I first tasted the thrill of exploring abandoned buildings, a passion that soon had me crossing state lines in search of that exhilarating, novel feeling once more. The neighborhood surrounding the Freihofer Baking Company was a stark canvas of socio-economic hardship, a desolate space that spoke volumes of its forgotten glory. I remember vividly the day I ventured there. Agile and swift, I maneuvered over a wall of large rectangular stones – a barrier against scrappers seeking to plunder valuable metals. These stones were a gateway to the past, leading me to the nearest op

Brooklyn's Heartbeat: The Restoration of The Notorious B.I.G. Baby Mural

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  In a recent turn of events that has captured both my attention and that of our local community, The Emerald Dispensary , a beacon of progressive business being minority-owned and a bearer of a social equity license, made headlines for an action that struck a chord with art and hip-hop aficionados alike. This dispensary found itself at the center of controversy for whitewashing a mural of the Notorious B.I.G. as a baby, a piece of street art that, until its sudden disappearance, had been an unspoken homage to one of hip-hop's greatest icons, Christopher Wallace, better known as Biggie Smalls. My discovery of the mural, in March 2022, was serendipitous. At the time, its significance eluded me; what captured my eye was not the identity of the infant with the distinctive afro depicted, but rather the artistic audacity and the white backdrop against which it was set. It was only upon the news breaking on Thursday, February 15, 2024, that the true identity of the baby in the mural—and

WLIS Radio Station 1420 AM

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Stepping into the forgotten corridors of an abandoned radio station, I found myself enveloped in a world frozen in time. In my decade-long journey through the remnants of the Northeast's past, this was a first - exploring a place once alive with the sounds of music and conversation, now silent and still. As J and I approached the lifeless structure of WLIS Radio 1420, a sense of anticipation filled the air. We scouted for entry points, initially considering a second-floor window but the buzz of passing vehicles street side steered us elsewhere. Eventually, we discovered a more secluded entry at the rear - a window that ushered us into the station's gloomy basement. From there, we ascended, drawn by the allure of what lay above. The upper floors were a treasure trove, a snapshot of an era long passed. Rooms were scattered with relics of radio and telemetry, an eclectic mix of equipment abandoned. Tables, shelves, and even the floor served as resting places for these pieces of hi

The Tale of a Hidden Mural and the Legacy of Rap Icons

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  In the heart of urban storytelling, murals stand as silent yet eloquent tributes to legends who've shaped our culture. Nestled in the bustling streets of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, a masterpiece once vividly captured the essence of four American rap icons - Tupac Shakur, Pop Smoke, Nipsey Hussle, and the Notorious B.I.G. Each, a comet in the vast sky of music, their lives brutally snuffed out, leaving behind a legacy as enduring as the art that commemorates them. The Notorious B.I.G., born in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, met a tragic end in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in 1997, aged merely 24. Tupac Shakur, another prodigy from East Harlem, was killed in Las Vegas over 28 years ago at 25. Pop Smoke, a young star from Canarsie, Brooklyn, had his life cut short at 20 during a robbery in Los Angeles in 2020. Nipsey Hussle, aged 33, was shot in the parking lot of his store, The Marathon Clothing, in LA, in 2019. This mural, titled "East Coast West Coast Legends," was a visual sympho

Albany Central Warehouse Corporation aka The Cube

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In the heart of Albany, nestled amidst the echoes of its bustling past, lies an abandoned warehouse, a treasure trove of stories untold until now. This isn't just any derelict structure; it's the cornerstone of my urban exploration journey, the first of many, but forever the one that initiated me into the world of forgotten spaces. Let's call it the ultimate introduction, the genesis of a passion that has since defined my adventures. Our story begins on a crisp, cold morning that promises adventure. I vividly remember the excitement bubbling up as I set off to pick up my companion, referred to here as "A," from Queens. The journey from the familiar streets of our neighborhood to the unknown mysteries of Albany stretched over three hours, a pilgrimage to our very own urban Mecca. We arrived ahead of schedule, anticipation building as we waited in the chilling embrace of dawn, our breaths visible in the air, our spirits undeterred. Our early morning venture led us t