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Bridgeport, Connecticut may well be the street photographer's dream. It's a poor city; "hardscrabble" is a term often used to describe it; along with "blue-color", "down-on-its-heels", "seedy", and "shaky". Let's face it, it's not dolled up nor is it sanitized - it's really ugly and it's real. It's a perfect laboratory for the fan of grit and those who search for the sublime amidst the mundane. But even a place as seemingly hopeless as Bridgeport is subject to gentrification and revitalization. Enterprise zones, development projects, eminent domain abuse - all are rapidly working their protean magic across the cityscape. Many of my favorite places for shooting have already mutated and changed; the television graveyard, the old trucks that dotted the vacant lots - all are gone. Former factories are turning into offices and loft condominiums, so you got to get there soon. Owners of blighted lots and abandoned warehouses are suddenly taking an interest in their property, chasing off itinerant photographers and locking the gates behind. You can still catch some unusual graffiti - at least if it's on public property.

Bridgeport, Connecticut may well be the street photographer’s dream. It’s a poor city; “hardscrabble” is a term often used to describe it; along with “blue-color”, “down-on-its-heels”, “seedy”, and “shaky”. Let’s face it, it’s not dolled up nor is it sanitized – it’s really ugly and it’s real. It’s a perfect laboratory for the fan of grit and those who search for the sublime amidst the mundane. But even a place as seemingly hopeless as Bridgeport is subject to gentrification and revitalization. Enterprise zones, development projects, eminent domain abuse – all are rapidly working their protean magic across the cityscape. Many of my favorite places for shooting have already mutated and changed; the television graveyard, the old trucks that dotted the vacant lots – all are gone. Former factories are turning into offices and loft condominiums, so you got to get there soon. Owners of blighted lots and abandoned warehouses are suddenly taking an interest in their property, chasing off itinerant photographers and locking the gates behind. You can still catch some unusual graffiti – at least if it’s on public property.

If you go, go soon. And lucky for you there is one former factory/warehouse complex that I can recommend as being friendly to artists and photographers. The former site of the never famous (don’t laugh) Casco Corporation, manufacturers of… something, is now known as the NEST (which is North East Space Time). It still houses a small sock company, but the owner of the sock company also owns the building and furthermore this sock-company-owning person is an enlightened supporter of the arts. Stop in on the second floor and say hello to Vic, tell him you’re glad he’s doing what he can. Then tell him you’re looking for the “Indigenous Man” and see where he sends you.

Scattered throughout the buildings are messy, honest-to-goodness, real work occupied intermittently by actual painters and sculptors. And where there are no tenants there is only glorious industrial decay and decline, just begging to be photographed. It’s a visual playground, and you don’t have to worry about drunken guards armed with shotguns.

But, you ask, how do I find this wonderland ? I don’t know my around Bridgeport and I am fearful of the well-being of my self and my expensive and irreplaceable Lomo kit. So I will tell you; it is easy, get your map, it is a mere block from Interstate 95. Take the Wordin Avenue exit. Go to the corner of Railroad Avenue and Hancock Street. Look for the gate that takes you into the inner courtyard. Follow handpainted signs and enter quietly through the red door. Don’t fear the dungeon. Stay cool and smile.

http://ci.bridgeport.ct.us/

written by lomography

1 comment

  1. majorted

    majorted

    My dad grew up in Bridgeport and most of his side of his family live in the outer limits of the city or the surrounding area, so its hilarious when I found someone did a location on this somewhat fair city. My grandmother would be so proud!

    almost 5 years ago · report as spam

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