Things That Used To Be; City Style

When you look at the neighborhood around you, do you wonder what it used to be?

Did it used to be busy, or was it quieter? Is it safer than it was or a tad seedier? What kind of people roamed the road and what kind of wheels rolled down your street? Do your views today make you long for the past or yearn for the future?

Old Philadelphia, courtesy of thingamababy.com

We took a stroll around a pretty neglected area of Philadelphia over the weekend. We had no real destination. My pictures fail to capture the atmosphere unfortunately.  It’s something I’m learning to figure out as an amateur. I like to find the beauty in what “was”, and I like to dream about what used to inhabit the buildings and sidewalks that I walk.

When I see areas that are abandoned and half demolished, I wonder if the area is going through a transition to be rebuilt again or if the crumbling bricks are a true metaphor for the neighborhood. Time will tell.

I’m not foolish enough to think that the past was glamorous. Crime, corruption, drugs and heartlessness have always lurked in corners of every time period. There are still sights to be appreciated and customs that are appealing, particularly when we don’t know the pitfalls. The revolutionary buildings that I admire may not have seemed so beautiful with excrement being flung out the windows out into the alleys below.

There are times we can’t experience and life to be enjoyed today.  Generations will pass on, scenery will continue to change and traditions will be altered. That is how time works and it always will.

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2 thoughts on “Things That Used To Be; City Style

  1. Excellent Shannon. Despite what you say you have really captured a sense of the past here. I particularly like the green windows with the old brick lintels and it’s sad that they’ve been let go, but all the pics are all very good.

  2. Great shots! You really did capture the essence of a time forgotten!

    I find that there is a trend with big cities. Most historical areas are let go for bigger and “better” things. Small towns on the other hand tend to hold on to their historical architecture with pride, at least a lot of the small towns I’ve been through. I am originally from Cleveland and the pics you took of Philadelphia look so much like Cleveland these days. It is very sad.

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