Thursday, May 17, 2012

St Elizabeth's Hospital, DC

On Sunday it was back out exploring again, which felt great. So nice to see the old crew again and hold a camera. We were visiting a part of an abandoned hospital in DC which the public rarely see. We had a guide with us who was equally intrigued and so became an explorer like us. In fact so much so, that I hardly saw him.
I found an interesting article here on St Elizabeth's.
 We were all particularly looking forward to seeing the Blackburn Lab but found out from our guide that it was off limits as it appeared he didn't have a key. We were gutted and moped around a bit after that, finding it hard to focus on the areas that we were allowed in. These were challenging as nearly the whole area was relativley bare and lacking in the typical decay that us urbexers hanker after. But we doggedly walked the corridors and peered into rooms hunting for that ever elusive shot.
 I loved this photo, beautiful lighting coming through the windows and throwing refractions on the walls.
Me taking a photo of Liz and Liz taking a photo of me.
 So it turned out that a few of us happened upon the entrance of the forbidden Blackburn Lab, and as we were scouting around for an entry point, our guide pulled up on his Harley, and the beloved guy had a key! Here we are waiting for him as he calls his  superiors to check that we can indeed enter. We could. Yay!
We explored the lab rooms and then went down to the basement where we opened a room and couldn't believe our eyes. We were in one of the best morgues I'd been in, it was amazing. Set up like an amphitheater for pathology lectures, it was almost pristine. There were racks at the back which had once held bottles of body parts but were now displaying only light circles where the jars had once stood. Yet the drawers were still labeled and the photo opportunities were limitless.

 Tyson in one of the doorways outside. All too soon our time was up and we had to leave but not after plenty of enthusiastic thanks to our guide. A few of us held back as we were minus Marjie who failed to respond to our texts and phone calls. We searched the grounds until we got a call letting us know she had been found. Apparently as we left the buildings our guide had been locking up after us but poor Marjie had been left behind in a building. Ha ha!
Of course the day wouldn't be complete without a couple of beers so Tyson, Richard, Marjie and I went to Trusty's on PA Ave in DC for lunch and catch up chatter. It felt like ages since I'd seen the crew and it was great to see Tyson again, who started with DCUE about the same time as me in 2007.
Eventually it was time to head back to Marshall and I arrived there to find out that Maggi had let out the peacocks. They were roaming around everywhere and always like coming to visit me because there's always bird seed on the ground. They have no fear of cats and Kota and Rosie both realize that these are birds that are not to be hunted.
We all hung out in the garden together, me sipping wine, the peacocks strutting and calling, and the cats casually stalking the birds or completely ignoring them. It was pretty surreal to watch but a very interesting experience. We have a few days of this until the peacocks have finished their courting so I'm hoping a few more photo opportunities will come my way.

1 comment:

Rebekah P said...

Hi, I was wondering how you got a guide to show you around inside St. Elizabeths abandoned wing. My photography concentration is abandoned and forgotten people/places and I love exploring and photographing abandoned hospitals.