Hanging out with Pipelines, we were walking down Chestnut Street when we spotted this! The funny thing? I’ve actually have passed the building this is on a lot since it seems it was first put up, and it incredibly easy to miss. That makes the piece even better because you actually need to slow down in order to realize its even there. It also turns out its been up for a week.
When I was younger, I used to love to go to 4th and South and head over to Repo Records as well as Relapse Records. I never actually cared for 611 Records, though, but they ALWAYS had the best art on the side of their building! I took this photo back in the summer of 2005 before I really started shooting street art, but even then I knew I had to get it!
I remember talking to someone about this and they said they actually tended to change it up every few months. I still remember when they had this incredibly sick Metallica piece on there, and I’m pretty sure it was Master of Puppets! Its a shame the wall has been since painted over and no new pieces have popped up in the last few years.
This neat little sticker was in South Philly when I was going for a little walk.
At 8th and Washington, after a lot of walking, I came across a Lobster Shack. In the back were two vending machines for Coke and Pepsi. Lo and behold, it sold cans for only 50 cents! FIFTY CENTS! How often do you find that?! So as I got a can of Coke and hung out, I spotted this sweet sticker right next to the machines.
I found this in South Philly around, of all places, Pat’s and Geno’s. While little can be found online about the sign, from what I can tell its just really old, and the typography seems to indicate that it was made in the 60’s, maybe even the 50’s. It was also hand-painted. Keep in mind, this is just my opinion.
In a way, it may be the oldest installation in Philadelphia. It’s been there for decades, and I doubt anyone would want to remove it.
So I saw that NoseGo re-did his old mural on a coffee shop. It’s a nice improvement on the original, and the colors and style is just amazing! It’s located on 5th Street and not too far from South Street (next door to the Passional Sex Store) at the old Cafe Grindstone coffee house.
When you’re a kid, you imagine finding ancient ruins, lost cities, and new worlds. When you’re an adult and you accomplish this goal, a feeling of both pride and nostalgia washes over you, cleansing you of all your inhibitions and fears and it beckons you to embark on this new quest.
Against the water and hidden from prying eyes, The Pier was just breathtaking. The years were not kind to most of it, but the decay was just perfect. It was, without a doubt, the most stable and safest abandoned structure we had ever gone to. The place had to be at least 3 city blocks long, maybe more. Every single tower in the place was covered in tags! Hands, wildstyles, pieces, throw-ups. Everything and everyone was represented!
“You know what would be awesome?,” I asked Pipelines.
“I don’t know, what?”
“If you had a paintball fight here! It’s perfect!”
That was when I noticed that a lot of the towers were, in fact, covered with paintball bullets. I guess I wasn’t the only one to realize this.
Over the course of an hour, maybe even more, we were in awe of this behemoth. We ran around examining almost every inch. We even yelled and scream in joy because, for once, we could. No one awaiting the corner to possibly attack us, no cops waiting to bust us. No, none of that. All we had was the peace and joy of a new fort.
As we left, we passed someone who seemed to just arrive to take photos. We exchanged glances and smiles; we knew they were about to have the time of their lives.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, as I was going off of one somewhat promising picture I saw. It reminded me of The Rez in that there were so many detailed pieces because the place was relatively undisturbed. Unfortunately, quite a few of the pieces were faded because of rain and winter weather. Still there were many awesome ones, familiar and unfamiliar, that remained preserved.
Here are a couple of the broad sides. More to come this week.
“Where are we again?”
“We’re somewhere [redacted], but it shouldn’t be too dangerous.”
“Wait, what’s with the truck? Should we be-”
“Don’t worry, every photo I’ve seen of this place has that truck there. We should be OK.”
Myself and Pipelines had finally arrived at the entrance of the place we were tipped off about. I had helped scout out the place on Pipelines tip, and together we were going to explore it. The place was around [redacted], and largely ignored. All around us were a bunch of No Trespassing Signs, but none of them were for the property we were about to go to. “Don’t worry,” Pipelines said, “It’s mainly so if someone gets hurt that the owners can’t get sued. Instead, the blame falls on the person who enters.” Pipelines, always good for a gentle reminder that this job is sometimes easier than I think.
As we approached the truck, I soon realized there was also a guy there. In his late 50’s and balding, the man was gazing out at the vast tract of mud and dirt before him. I waved hi and smiled and he returned the favor in kind. We looked around for a [redacted], but didn’t see it. “Hey, isn’t there supposed to be a path around here?” “There is,” he said, “But it really isn’t really for walking, just cars.” “Ah, gotcha, thanks!” We took another look around and figured the best way in was by just climbing over some rocks blocking the way.
The closer we got, the more impressive the stone monolith became. Finally, we arrived at the entrance.
Covered in tags from top-to-bottom was The Pier, forgotten by time and nearly everyone. This was, by far, the single biggest playground for Philly Taggers we’d ever come across, and the incredibly epic amount of tags was staggering! From the entrance alone we saw fresh tags mixed with some rather old ones. When we finally walked by The Pier to the other side for a better look, we were floored by the incredible expanse we were about to embark on.
These are from last fall, but the fact remains that I love going to The Rez! Ever since last summer when O.D.D.Ball, Yeroc, and Eaze took us there, we’ve always enjoyed going there and back. We went back on out own last fall and got to actually relax a little and take a ton of shots. The main thing I enjoy about this place is all the years of street art that you’ll find.
Oh, and my favorite…. BURNING RABBIT HEAD OF DEATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This incredible Stickman was found pasted on the side of a box on Vine Street. Its a really interesting one compared to all other Stickman pieces we tend to find since this one is a pasteup. This is a really nice Vincent Van Gough parody, too.
Underneath some abandoned railroad tracks is some amazing street art that is hidden from most prying eyes. Another tagger’s paradise, this one has gotten more and more difficult to get into. O.D.D.Ball and Tober have been here, along with Shock, Hank, Seka, and countless others! The pieces here are incredible, and its a real treat to get to see!
About a month ago, myself and Pipelines did our first bit of going out and getting Street Art photos in a while, or as some call it “Urban Exploring”. We went to a few places, but everywhere we went it seemed some douchebag hipster was either there first or right after we arrived. We bit our tongues and tried our best to just do what we do. Nevertheless, it eventually got to us when we got to the Divine Lorraine. Now, we’re no strangers to the fact that, yes, this place is not only a mecha for street artists but also urban explorers. I can’t tell you how many tales I’ve heard of people nearly getting killed in there for one reason or another. So to see a couple of guys just waltz in kinda annoyed us since we tend to take more care when we go to these places, namely not being brazen about it. But I digress.
There are hundreds of photos of the exterior and interior, and some lucky people have gotten in and out of there over the past few years. In 2006, the building was sold and the gutting began of the interior. Sadly, that would be the most progress the building would see for a long time. Since then, the building has fallen more and more into disrepair.
But with this great beauty comes great danger. The incredibly blizzards of 2011 and the following torrential downpours that summer have wrecked havoc on this already crumbling Goliath. People have already gotten hurt. The most amazing story I heard was of someone falling 3 stories and surviving. If you go in there, be as careful as possible. With all the recent reports of the upcoming rehab, I know there are going to be dozens and dozens of people who are going to think its pretty easy and fun to get in there and walk around. Keep in mind that not only is this place over a hundred years old, its also been on the verge of crumbling for over a decade now. Over the past 5 years its had hundreds of taggers and explorers, and no one to really keep up.
So, please, be safe and respect the building and neighbors if you check it out. Thanks.