Thursday, September 27, 2012

Prypiat, the ghost town of Chernobyl

When the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster took place in 1986, a large area of land was heavily contaminated by radioactivity. The Soviet government ordered the evacuation of over 90,000 people living in proximity to the disaster area. Inside the so-called Chernobyl Exclusion Zone lies the now abandoned city of Prypiat.

Pripyat was founded in 1970 to house workers for the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Officially proclaimed a city in 1979, its population reached 50,000 people before the accident. Pripyat was a fully functional city with 15 primary schools, one hospital, malls and restaurants and a primarily young population of factory workers. 

After the Chernobyl disaster, the residents had 2 days to evacuate the city. They were told to carry with them their documents, a few vital personal belongings and some food. Everything else was left behind. Today, the levels of radioactivity have decreased significantly and the city, although still excluded and guarded by the army, is visited by guided tours. 






The fourth reactor of the former Chernobyl Nuclear power plant in the background







Friday, September 21, 2012

Surfridge, a ghost town within Los Angeles

Inside the city of Los Angeles, right next to the LAX airport, lies the ghost town of Surfridge. It all began in 1921 when Palisades del Rey neighborhood land, what later came to be called Playa del Rey, was development by Dickinson & Gillespie Co. All the houses in the area were custom built and many among them were beach houses of Hollywood actors and producers. 

In the 1960's however, parts of land in the southern part of Playa del Rey, which was known as Surfridge, were acquired by the city of Los Angeles to facilitate the expansion of LAX airport and to address concerns about noise from jet airplanes. Some home owners chose to remain in the area but eventually all houses were either demolished or moved. 

Today, the abandoned land of Surfidge is protected by barbed-wire fences. People have long gone from what was once a beachfront paradise, however the lamp posts in the empty streets still light up every night. 

More deserted places in the United States

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

An abandoned railway station in Abkhazia

This is an abandoned railway station in the former Russian territory of Abkhazia.  It is unknown since when this station has been inactive but the railway system of Abkhazia was isolated in the 1990s, due to the blockade imposed by Russia.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

An Abandoned Japanese Strip Club

This abandoned Japanese strip club was discovered somewhere around Okayama prefecture by blogger and urban explorer abandonedkansai. Little are known about the place besides its name "Sightiseeing Theater", an euphemism. The photographer describes his exploration:


It seems like the entrance fee was 3000 Yen [...] To the right was a side entrance that lead directly to the oh so known strip room with its orange stage and the countless tine stool bolted to the ground. Well, countless, I guess there were about 150 of them, sometimes as little as maybe 15 centimeters between them. [...] Behind the stage was a small room with a bed and from there a dark, narrow hallway with an uncomfortably soft floor lead to another part of the building, a part that was actually even closer to the locked main entrance. When I got out of the dark I stepped directly… onto a stage. A stage way bigger in a room way bigger than I just left. While the first location was a little bit shabby and tacky with plastic flowers everywhere and gigantic eagles painted on the wall the second room was… actually pretty similar; just bigger, more spacious and in better condition, probably thanks to the wallpaper that was missing in the other room. Close to the stage were the same tiny little stools bolted to the ground, but with a little bit more distance between them. The last three rows reminded me of old cinema seats – of way better quality [...] This room was so cliché 70s porn it was tough to wrap my mind around it. The cheap pink plastic decoration was so horrible I felt a little bit embarrassed just looking at it, but I guess when it was dark and you focused on the stage it didn’t matter. Sadly it wasn’t completely dark in there. Just almost, with bright light coming in from a door leading outside.
More deserted places in Japan

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Secret Train Platform Under the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan

Track 61 is an abandoned, once secret train platform beneath Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. It was once used by VIPs -most famously by Franklin D. Roosevelt- who wanted to make an entrance or exit the hotel without being seen or having to go through New York's traffic. A private elevator, existing even today, was large enough to to fit Roosevelt's armored car and lead it to the hotel's garage.



The secret platform was first used in 1938 and in 1965 Andy Warhol threw a fittingly named 'Underground Party'. By 1978, the platform was known as one of the many places in Grand Central Terminal where squatters lived. Today, the train car which used to carry Roosevelt is parked abandoned in the track which is not accessible to visitors. It remains however a "holy grail" for many urban explorers.

More deserted places in the United States




The Franklin D. Roosevelt car




The elevator constructed for Roosevelt's limo




Stairs leading to a subbasement