Abandoned America

À travers les âges, l’humanité a toujours été fascinée par les ruines des sociétés antérieures. Le désir de mieux comprendre notre passé a déterminé des archéologues, des artistes et des érudits du monde entier à étudier les vestiges de modes de vie qui ont disparu, afin de reproduire leur mystique et leur beauté.

Conçu à l’origine comme une étude sur l’essor et le déclin du système hospitalier public, L’Amérique abandonnée de Matthew Christopher n’a pas tardé à se développer au point d’englober les usines et les sites industriels à l’abandon, ainsi que des écoles, des églises, des centrales électriques, des hôpitaux, des maisons d’arrêt, des installations militaires, des stations balnéaires, des domiciles privés et bien d’autres infrastructures délabrées. En constituant ce recueil de textes et de photographies, l’auteur a passé les dix dernières années à documenter les ruines d’une des plus grandes civilisations que le monde ait connues : la nôtre. Il a exploré des lieux tels que les restes carbonisés de l’Hôtel Do De, les cellules rouillées de la prison du comté d’Essex, les majestueuses décombres de l’Église de la Transfiguration ou les vestiges inquiétants de la New Castle Elks Lodge : l’œuvre de Matthew Christopher comprend quantité de trésors architecturaux abandonnés aux éléments et bien trop souvent perdus à jamais.

L’ensemble des travaux de Matthew Christopher est un puissant témoignage sur la perte d’emploi, l’héritage culturel, la dégradation urbaine, le contexte artistique/architectural d’édifices mémorables – et sur la conservation historique. À la lumière de l’effondrement de l’industrie américaine et de la débâcle économique qui s’ensuivit, la pertinence de ces questions n’a jamais été aussi capitale pour l’étude de l’identité nationale des États-Unis.

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Abandoned Asylums

Couv Asylums

Abandoned Asylums takes readers on an unrestricted visual journey inside America’s abandoned state hospitals, asylums, and psychiatric facilities, the institutions where countless stories and personal dramas played out behind locked doors and out of public sight.

The images captured by photographer Matt Van der Velde are powerful, haunting and emotive. A sad and tragic reality that these once glorious historical institutions now sit vacant and forgotten as their futures are uncertain and threatened with the wrecking ball.

Explore a private mental hospital that treated Marilyn Monroe and other celebrities seeking safe haven. Or look inside the seclusion cells at an asylum that once incarcerated the now-infamous Charles Manson. Or see the autopsy theater at a Government Hospital for the Insane that was the scene for some of America’s very first lobotomy procedures.

With a foreward by renowned expert Carla Yanni examining their evolution and subsequent fall from grace, accompanying writings by Matt Van der Velde detailing their respective histories, Abandoned Asylums will shine some light on the glorious, and sometimes infamous institutions that have for so long been shrouded in darkness.

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Abandoned Japan

Japan is often thought of as a place where the modern world and ancient traditions meet in surprising and fascinating ways. The rapid pace of technological, social and cultural change throughout the 20th century propelled the country forward but left countless establishments, industries and entire towns deserted.

Through his photography Jordy Meow explores these forgotten places and sheds light on a lost world that was thriving just a few decades ago.

Abandoned Japan documents famed ruins (haikyo in Japanese) such as Gunkanjima, the island featured in the Bond movie Skyfall, which once had a population of over 5,000 but is now completely abandoned, and the Disneyland-inspired Nara Dreamland theme park. Beyond these well-known sites, Jordy Meow also takes us on a journey through every aspect of rapidly disappearing past: from schools and hospitals to industrial sites and night-life, including strip clubs and love hotels.

Born in France in 1982, Jordy Meow studied in China software engineering. He eventually moved to Tokyo in 2008 to pursue an engineering career and started to work on his photography seriously. His pursuits have led him to make several trips to the abandoned island of Gunkanjima and one brief visit to North Korea. Saddened by the atmosphere he was seeing in most photos of haikyo at that time, he felt compelled to share his own which were
charged-up with the feelings he experienced while exploring those places. He made haikyo his first serious photography project. Today, he continues to spend most of his free time in search of offbeat and beautiful landscapes and runs projects related to photography and software
engineering. On sunny week-days, you can usually find Jordy daydreaming in the park, listening to the wind, and taking pictures of cats. He keeps his updated portfolio on www.meow.fr.

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After the Final Curtain

After the Final Curtain

There’s nothing remarkable about a movie theater today, but that wasn’t always the case. When the great American movie palaces opened in the early 20th century, they were some of the most lavish, stunning buildings anyone had ever seen. With the advent of television, theater companies found it harder and harder to keep them open. Some were demolished, some were converted, and some remain derelict to this day. « After the Final Curtain: The Fall of the American Movie Theatre » will take you through 24 of these magnificent buildings showing what beauty remains years after the last ticket was sold.

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Chernobyl’S Atomic Legacy

On 26 April 1986, reactor number 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded. The accident released at least 100 times more radiation than the bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan, and is considered to be the worst nuclear accident in the history of humanity. It is classified as a level 7 incident, the highest level on the International Nuclear Event Scale. The only other incident to be categorized at this level is the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of 2011.

In the days, months and years that followed, over half a million civilians and military personnel (“liquidators”) were involved in the decontamination process to avert a potential second catastrophe.

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Forbidden Places – Volume 1

Exploring our abandoned heritage.

Head off to explore the filming location of 12 Monkeys, Michael Jackson’s hometown turned ghost town, Berlin’s 1936 Olympic Village, deconsecrated churches, forgotten castles, deserted train stations, prisons and mental asylums, a cemetery of rusted locomotives, abandoned steel factories, phantom metro stations, and more.
For 10 years, Sylvain Margaine has traveled the world in search of these forbidden and forgotten places.
An exceptional photographic report.

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Forbidden Places – Volume 2

Exploring our abandoned heritage.

Look around the former headquarters of the Bulgarian Communist Party, lost in the mountains; London’s legendary Battersea Power Station; a deserted amusement park in Bali; Antwerp’s extraordinary Stock Exchange, devoid of any activity; Russian helicopters abandoned in Bruges; a phantom workers’ village in Italy; a dilapidated hospital in New York City; unheeded castles; derelict prisons and asylums …

For 10 years Sylvain Margaine has been travelling the world in search of these forbidden, all but forgotten, places.

An exceptional photographic report.

“Like a graffiti artist, he uses his digital reflex camera to capture the soul of these demolished, worn-down places that are doomed to oblivion … thus revealing the forgotten treasures of our heritage.” (Madame Figaro)

“Census-taker of monuments, storyteller of our hidden heritage, Sylvain Margaine is an urban explorer.” (Le Monde)

“Beyond the magnificent images, Sylvain Margaine shares an ephemeral, isolated and condemned urban heritage that lies off the beaten tracks of the city. You, too, will discover these forbidden places!” (Le Soir)

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Forgotten Heritage

Forgotten Heritage

Rediscovering our forgotten heritage

‘No Entry’; ‘Dangerous Site Keep Out’; ‘Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted’: common sights on walls or perimeter fences around many of the world’s abandoned sites. These warnings allude to potential dangers and prove an ineffective deterrent against thieves and vandals. To the urban explorer/photographer these signs simply serve to whet the appetite for the promise of hidden wonders that may lie beyond.

For those who ignore the warnings and climb the fences, what awaits is usually worth the risks. Vast industrial spaces that feel more like an alien landscape or poignant residential settings, which are slowly surrendering to the inexorable advance of nature. Places once alive with sound and movement, now silent and still, but no less sensory. Immense and powerful beauty resides in these forgotten places.

For some, just getting inside a location to experience this alternative form of sightseeing is enough to satisfy a desire to simply go where one shouldn’t. But for some there is a need to capture the essence of a location in words and pictures, giving others a metaphorical ‘leg-up’ over the fences, to walk them through the remaining ruins.

Matt Emmett falls into the latter of these groups, travelling regularly to places in the UK and across Europe. He seeks out vast power stations and their cooling towers, steel works, mines, bunkers, tunnels, schools, engine sheds, hotels, castles and a myriad of other buildings. All have their own stories to tell in a variety of voices and without the distraction, sounds and people who inhabited them, those stories are clear and strong and the character of each location is laid bare.

Architectural Digest: « Photographer Matt Emmett has made a name for himself by pushing the boundaries to capture epic imagery of Europe’s most forgotten ruins »

International Business Times: Matt Emmett’s ‘Forgotten Heritage’ photography project uncovers the brutal beauty of abandoned buildings and derelict industry

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New York – Hidden Bars & Restaurants


A supperclub on a helipad, a dinner in a dumpster, a hidden heavy metal bar in Brooklyn, a dim-sum restaurant that turns into a nightclub, New York’s “most legitimate speakeasy”, a club “not open since 2009”, a Swiss ski chalet accessed through a kitchen, a referral-only Japanese restaurant, a grungy underground sake bar, an open- to-the-public dining room in the United Nations, gourmet donuts inside a car wash, restaurants inside freight entrances …

A hundred places with amazing decor, eccentric owners, bizarre food, old-time survivors and more that will please and astonish underground and post-industrial design buffs, refined gourmets and cocktail drinkers, world food lovers and anyone curious enough to discover the infinite possibilities to have fun in New York.

An absolute must-have guide to enjoy the amazing, hidden New York City bar and restaurant scene.

Michelle Young is the founder of Untapped Cities, a web magazine about urban discovery and exploration in New York City and around the world. Michelle holds a B.A. from Harvard in the History of Architecture and a Master of Science in Urban Planning from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where she is also an Adjunct Professor. As a photographer, Michelle’s work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, and exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York and the Venice Biennale. Michelle is also the author of the book Broadway, about the history of the famous street and she is one of the authors of 100 Ways to Make History, published by the New York Public Library. She has been interviewed for The New York Times, Huffington Post Live, and appeared in numerous documentaries. Always looking for the next adventure, Michelle has traveled to over 40 countries, always with an SLR camera in tow, and as a Juilliard-trained cellist, toured around the United States as a cellist in an indie rock band.

Laura Itzkowitz grew up near Boston and lived in Paris and Rome before moving to New York City, though she comes from a long line of (outer borough) New Yorkers. She writes for Travel + Leisure, Fodor’s Travel, Refinery29, Saveur, and is an editor at Untapped Cities. She contributed to Fodor’s Travel’s forthcoming Brooklyn guidebook, writing the guides to her neighborhood (Greenpoint) and nearby Williamsburg. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing and translation from Columbia University’s School of the Arts and a B.A. from Smith College. She has been featured as a New York expert blogger in Time Out New York and named one of Hotel Club’s Top 20 NYC bloggers. She likes her gin shaken, not stirred, and loves it when a bartender can surprise.

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Private Islands for Rent

Around the world, the owners of private islands have chosen to rent out their properties, delightfully fulfilling many childhood fantasies in the process. After seven years of research we have compiled a list of thirty exceptional islands, each of which is well worth the trip for just a few days, a week or even longer.

Whether a tropical island in the Pacific, Asia, South America, the Caribbean, or the Indian Ocean, a lighthouse on the coast of Croatia, Norway or France, or an island in a lake in Canada or the United States, these places are not just the incarnation of a multimillionaire’s dream.

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