Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bastille Day

So I knew it was going to be coming down any day now completely, and I dragged my sick and burnt carcass out of the house to try and get some shots before it was all the way non existent. I don't know why, but I assumed that everyone would make the Bastille Day/ Cold Storage connection, massive fortresses coming down by the will of the people ect, and while I was talking to this photographer out there I mentioned it too, like "so everyone should have some good shots up tomorrow, right?" and she was totally confused. But still nice. We stood precariously on the tip of the concrete barriers, to lean cautiously out over the fence. There were tons of people there taking pictures with their cell phones and cameras. When they first started tearing it down, I had thought about going out every day at the same time to the same spot to take a picture. But then it took SO long. And someone else for sure did that right? Like, someone's going to send me the link to those right?

Dear Cold Storage, this is how I will remember my 32 years staring at your visage.

- Coming home on family trips when I was a kid, seeing you hovering over 90,and thinking I had to know what exactly they did inside you, and also that it was tacky they let other people paint ads on you.
- Using you as the landmark to navigate my way down into the Flats to go to Nate's houseboat.
- Walking past you on my way home from the Rapid station, when my first apartment was in Tremont.
- Being scared of you because Boots told me that's where all the homeless people lived, when I lived that place briefly with Zelda and Dan and him, and it was right there behind the highway bridges, the fortress of the Bridge People.
- Hanging out staring at you while I waited in the parking lot of the Gateway Clinic with a stray cat in a box, cause they opened at 9am and it was first come first serve and I had to be at work at 10.
- When they knocked your smokestack down and Allison and I loaded a bunch of the bricks from it in the backseat of my car, to make a fire pit out of. Since they were curved and fire proofed. Then those bricks sat in the back seat for like a month, because I was too lazy to unload them all myself, until one day my landlord and I took them all out and set them up in the backyard.
- Watching fireworks next to you July 4th, with all the neighborhood people crowded around on the railings, and the cars all playing radios, and freaking spiders everywhere. Then driving home the first year we did that, and W. 25th was this dense thick smog of firework ash, and in the distance you could hear them going off like a war, and we thought for sure that there had to have been a giant fire somewhere to cause all this.
- stopping by you on the first day of me going out with my new camera to take pictures of the graffiti along Columbus Rd.
- later using that same picture for Nate's 30th birthday present.
- Trying to go inside you and finding everything so pitch black of course, there was no point in endangering myself on your crappy staircase. You remained completely unfriendly to photographers, a belligerent old cranky elephant of a building.

I'll miss you. The fact that so many people come down day after day to take photos of your demolition in stages is testament to the impression you have left in our minds of the Cleveland landscape. You were the guard at the gate to the West Side, our own personal fortress. Nothing is ever going to look the same again in Tremont, or Duck Island. Abbey Rd, which has for so long been the predictable same old street that I drive down at least once if not 4 times a day for the 10 years I've been driving (or taking that little RTA shuttle they used to have back and forth), is going to be completely alien, will be fucked up, like visually, forever. I can't even process that. It's sort of like if they took down the West Side Market. No, actually, it's exactly as if one day they just tore down the Market. Or the Masonic Temple. Or the Guardians.

But anyway, Old Thing, there you have it. Them's the brakes. You were totally loved.


  1. It was nice to meet you last night!

  2. Alana, you too!

    Sarah - there's a lot of places that seem empty, but then they turn out to be chock full of copper wiring and rebar. I think rebar is like, the scariest thing to me now. Like, if I get tetanus, it will be from a piece of rebar for sure.


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