Blogging for the Future – Documenting the Now
Blogging about the sites seen while out and about is like writing a history book in real time.
While out for a little jaunt in the sunshine yesterday, I passed through the town of Huntington here on Long Island. It isn’t uncommon for me to stop and take a look at things that I’ve visited or photographed before. Not for any reason in particular, just… because. If something was cool to look at once, it’ll be cool again. Or something like that.
When it comes to murals, art, ghost signs, things that are painted – their surfaces are vulnerable to the weather. They do change over time. I thought that sun fade or peeling is what I might encounter when I pulled up in front of the phetus88 mural. The last photos I have of it were from 2020.
Not only was there artwork on the front of the building but the side and a setback wall were also painted:
To my surprise, when I pulled up there is now a hotel and parking garage built snuggly into the space, leaving a small alley in between the two structures.
Seeing this made me think about how ghost signs are rediscovered long after being covered up. In this case, there isn’t full coverage of the walls, but the same sentiment was there for me – something cool was now largely hidden.
Over the years I’ve wondered what the use of taking pictures of these things I see is. And then I am quickly reminded of how many times I’ve searched for information, trying to find a historical photograph of how something looked like in the past. And the accompanying level of frustration and disappointment that occurs when that search turns up fruitless.
Given the times we live in and the sheer number of photographs that exist now, it’s less likely that we’ll ever return to a barren wasteland of documentation. But… if people don’t share those photos, and the photos just live in a camera roll, then it’s not much help. Keep blogging.
Seeing this obscured artwork reinforced that feeling in me that documenting and sharing the world’s unique characteristics is still important, urban, natural or whatever else. If you like whatever it is, notice it, find it worthy of your attention, then chances are good someone else will feel similarly.
Everything is fleeting and the timetable isn’t always up to us.