Away from the fort into the neighborhood, I ran into what gives this town its charm. Each house is shaped, colored, aged, surfaced, built, and kept differently. The siding of this one was textured aluminum. There were some houses with clapboard, some with brick, some with cinderblock, some with stone, chipboard, logs, planks, tin, steel, all shapes of houses. Some were painted blue, bright pink, yellow, green, rust, orange, and every garish color combination you can dream up. Many had decorated their houses for Halloween or had painted murals on walls, on lightpoles, on those fake rocks you put over electric mains. People had built makeshift stairs or ramps; one house even had a spiral metal staircase painted bright yellow leading up to a newly-built door right into the wall. One house had a raised concrete parking platform built onto its side, accessible only from the street up the hill. One house had a Dumpster parked right in its front driveway. Many houses were tiny and cramped, the square-footage of their yards in the single digits, but some were huge, with lawns swallowing entire blocks and four-car garages. And this was just in twelve blocks.
Anyone who's read my recently deceased New Zealand blog will know that I have a fondness for graffiti as well as general urban decay. I had to walk almost an hour to find this. I always assume tags like this indicate that there is a group of artists that call themselves whatever is written, like Eros. But really I have no idea, and when I start wondering what the tags mean, I end up with a new story I will probably never write.
I found the graffiti on the side of an abandoned/condenmed department store, sulking miserably in a corner of this massive overgrown parking lot. I got a nice view of the tops of the town, because the lot stood on a plateau splayed out over the streets.
Chapel Hill has blue fire engines, Oswego has yellow ones. The rest of the country's are red. I personally would prefer green ones.
Did I mention I love urban decay and the juxtaposition of old and new architecture in a single area? This photo of the Gothic spire soaring above all these worn-out apartment buildings just rings my chimes.
This is a gorgeous little tunnel and a gorgeous domed building which I believe is a historic library of some sort. But the tunnel is part of a historic walkabout that teeters on the edge of "historic restoration", but since they didn't actually destory anything historic to pave this path, it's all right. Plus, who does not love tunnels?
This is only one of its kind I've seen so far, but I have seen little of the town.
This church, I believe it was, sat proudly on the corner of a residential street. There were a lot of buildings like it that I didn't get a chance to photograph because the community watch folks wouldn't take too kindly to a person in a form-obscuring hoodie with her hood up, army fatigues and sunglasses walking down their neighborhood streets snapping pictures every few seconds. But that's the beauty of it, yeah? I mean, who has Gothic churches and 1840s shirtwaist factories in their neighborhoods? It's like house house house house Gothic cathedral house house 1848 Ladies Boarding School house house house... you just don't see that in the cookiecutter Southern neighborhoods.
I went under the main bridge that marks the center of Oswego town. This bridge spans the Oswego Canal. I don't think I was supposed to be here either, but clearly folks have been here before me.
The noise from the cars going over the bridge was deafening. The looks I got from the workmen at the station off camera to the left were no less an assault on the senses.