Ash Wednesday: Adventures in West Philly: Ditched Digs, a look at the expanding unoccupied homes of West Philly
By: Ash Catcher
There is something so beautiful about these abandoned buildings in Philly. They are some of the most mesmerizing and oddly attractive parts about the city that I live in. While I like finding cool places in the suburbs still, and in the mountains, there is nothing like finding something in your backyard. literally. I plan to highlight more abandoned buildings in my photography, as well as my artwork in the upcoming 2021 year. Here are a few shots I took of a row home in West Philly. It is for sale so technically it could be a great starter home or investment property, but given the surrounding area, many homes like these remain abandoned, but still very much “active”.
What I like most about these houses is the stillness, everything in this house, which has always been a very interesting concept for me. The thought of a perminiment home kinda sort of baffles me at times, I am pretty transient, and move around a lot. It's not ideal but it is what it is. I like these homes because at one point or another they housed a lot of souls. These houses have been the stage for weddings, funerals, fights, make ups, break ups, babies and more. A house isn’t a home until it's been broken into. These homes have been stripped of their details, and decor, and put on display. But the memories still remain. I like to envision whoever lived in this house didn’t want to part with it willingly. I am certainly not willing to part with this hobby of mine, I’ll probably continue to do things like this until I am no longer able to hop a fence, or point and shoot a camera.
It’s been super cold lately and one of my hobbies has once again taken a semi back seat due to inclement weather. I got a tip off a friend of mine about this house in West Philly. It looks nothing like Will Smith says it does so thanks Will, thanks alot. This house from what I can tell like most row homes in Philly, and I can happily say that once you have been in one Philly row home you have been in them all, was pretty cleaned out already. No sign of people squatting, it was relatively free of trash, and no squirrels much to my dismay.
I am a sucker for hardwood floors and exposed brick, I have a feeling in a few months this place is going to get scooped up and flipped for more than 3 times it’s asking price. I hope they keep some of the original charm to these houses, I see them all the time for sale when I drive around, even where I live now there are plenty of “condemned”” homes for sale. I wonder why they weren’t more popular. Aren’t we always in some kind of housing epidemic or another? All things to think about.
I really can't wait for warmer weather. There are a few places by me currently that I am trying to visit. A really cool house up the road from me is still abandoned and I am trying to get in that shit as soon as it's warm enough. Hoping there won’t be too much mold and asbestosis. I generally like to go in with as little gear as possible. My camera bag is heavy enough, and I do not want to bring too much in with me, it is always smart to go into these places with another person or thing, but I have been flying solo and doing this by myself for so long I often get super impatient with other people I am Urban Exploring with. It is a really personal thing, and taking on past energies is a big thing for me, I cant have someone blocking my signal, ya dig?
That being said, anyone who has some sweet spots that are still active please send them my way. I am always looking for my fix of abandoned shit.
Hope everyone has a good holiday. I'll be working Christmas Eve like every year haha!
Catch ya later noobs.