I live in a rundown town.
I’ve mentioned quite a few times on this blog how I don’t live in a particularly photogenic place. I live in a small town in Pennsylvania that had its day a number of years ago. Once the steel and glass industry disappeared the town began to fade, not unlike most rust belt cities. It was a slow fade but fade it did.
Being only a 30 minute drive to Pittsburgh, which is still doing quite well, amazingly for a steel town, and is having a bit of a renaissance with the young hipster/tech crowd, I still get to enjoy some of the perks of a larger city when I decide to venture over. Happily crime hasn’t grown too rapidly in my town and it is still somewhat of a safe city. Drugs, especially heroin are always a problem and are on the rise. Almost every day I read of an overdosing heroin user being found in a parked car or a store restroom. Pretty sad.
All that being said there still is money around. Not so much in the city proper but the outskirts of the city limits is littered with nice high income neighborhoods. There are home offices of a number of global companies within a few miles in nearby towns and the medical field is quite present throughout the southwest Pennsylvania area. So were not entirely poor and there should be plenty of tax money in the city coffers. That is what makes me angry most of all. The local government has done practically nothing to try to change the downward direction of the city. They do nothing with the streets except the bare minimum random pothole patching. The storm drains are always clogged and filth is everywhere. A street cleaner goes past my house ONCE in early spring and that’s it.
But the biggest lapse has to be what happened to our downtown area. As the county seat most of the downtown business is courthouse related and the area around it is sort of okay. But go a few hundred feet away from the courthouse and things go downhill real quick. They like to tout the Historic nature of the city to entice tourist but I can imagine any tourist would be sorely disappointed upon visiting.
I did happen to be driving through town a few months back and found the late afternoon sunlight to be fantastic. The light would have been beautiful for a nice landscape but all I had were some rundown storefronts in front of me. I always try to make the best with what I have in front of me.
These were all shot with a Fujifilm X-T10 with 18-55 and 14mm Fujinon lenses.