Thursday, January 15, 2015

Blind Whino and a Cold School

On Saturday I drove down to DC for my first urbexing trip after returning to the U.S. I was feeling a bit down and not really looking forward to the venue, I was more interested in catching up with friends. I'd been to this church before and taken photos of the outside but today we had paid to be allowed inside.
The building is now an art space which will put on shows, workshops and performances. It isn't an old building, built in the early 1900's so I wasn't horrified at the way it's been defaced. I really don't like the paint job on the exterior, it looks like it was done in haste, but it certainly is eye catching and easily visible from I395. A link to the website is here.
It was incredibly cold when I stepped out of Stuart and ambled over to the entrance. I had bundled up and was about to crack open my hand warmers when I realized that I could feel warmth when I walked through the door. There was heating inside! How great not to be puffing on frozen fingers while setting up a photo. There was already quite a few folks inside and I cheered up immensely when I received plenty of huge hugs and "Glad you're back!" comments. After a few chats it was down to business and shooting the colorful graffiti artwork that covered walls, floors and ceilings.
It was quite luxurious being able to walk around an empty building and take photos with heating on, something I kept marveling over, and we were all very grateful. But after about 90 minutes we were all done and so it was time for the group photo, taken here by Richard, and then we turned our attention to making a very important decision, where we would go for lunch and beer.
We ended up at a nearby bar where we could all sit together and food was brought out. Liz took the photo above. I wasn't overly impressed with the beer. I think I was having a hard time converting back to american beers, flavored with many fruits and flowers and spices, compared to English beer that's mostly flavored simply by hops and water. But I kept working at it and the task was made easier by the accompaniment of the most awesome fries I've had for a long time, (excluding English chips of course). These were straw fries loaded with parsley, salt and fresh garlic. What a heavenly combination and we were all quaffing them down rather rapidly, I tried not to think about how bad our breaths might be the following day...
After we left the bar, Emily, Richard and I decided to try out looking in an abandoned building nearby. It used to be a school and as we got inside it felt as cold as a morgue. We got a fright when a guy suddenly appeared and started rambling on about how he'd been in here before and had knives pulled on him by prospective scrappers. He warned us to be careful, telling us he was a 'friend' of the building and kept a frequent eye on the place. He wished us luck then walked off. We three all looked at each other then continued setting up tripods. But the afternoon was closing in and the light was fading so after a short while we called it a day and decided to go home, saying we'd return another day. The photos below are the only ones that were worth posting.

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