Hello, my name is Vince. I’ve been a professional in film/television/performing arts for a few decades. I write poetry & prose largely for my own well-being. Here I’ll share some thoughts about exploring glimpses of the natural world in our urban landscapes. Started back in 2011, under this same name, Wild, Abandoned, sat untended for quite a while.
I’ve cleared the metaphoric kudzu from the blog. I have an inkling that there are others who enjoy experiencing the same kinds of places in their own cities. When I started this there was no Atlas Obscura. The Atlas is a fine reference for those who want to explore the weird world around them otherwise unreferenced by Google Maps. But the Atlas generally catalogues fantastically scaled abandoned and usually previously inhabited places. Atlas Obscura is also often finely tuned to cite places you can visit to get yourself a dose of creepy. I’ve mad respect for its editors. But this is different.
kudzu: invasive vine
I’ll speak more about marginal micro-habitats inside the cities and suburban worlds in which most of us live. These are “micro” only in relation to sprawling urban regions. Some can be very large, like the Forest Preserves in the Chicago area. Miller Meadow, within which I rambled growing up on the far west side of Chicago, is alone comprised of 316 acres. The Forest Preserves are premeditated public projects brought on by intentional conservationist motives to serve the public good. Others are simply “preserved” because development of them is too difficult or expensive. They are left alone. There also is a more committed movement toward open space conservation and development across the country.
Sure, what we call the natural world is shrinking. Civil engineers will certainly continue to discover methods to overcome construction challenges involving difficult terrain and availability of optimal land mass. Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Falling Water” is a classic example of building upon difficult, even unstable, terrain and incorporating it into the structure. The verdict is out on whether the home, now museum, can be maintained indefinitely. For more on Falling Water check out the Guardian’s wonderful piece: “Falling Water is Falling Down” (link below). https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2001/sep/10/artsfeatures .
But development can’t effectively (read: economically) conquer every natural border. Good for us urban adventurers, who can visit:
- canyons too steep and rugged for constructed foundations
- intermediate wetlands left for drainage
- intentional preserves with limited human design applied
So, if you please, visit a post or two and better yet become a para-naturalist of your own Wild, Abandoned world. Be advised, that I’m fond of light-footed trespassing and may sometimes find myself accidentally on private lands (never secured, government, nor protected lands). I’m not recommending the practice. So, don’t go chasing waterfalls.
In the same way that I lightly trespass and willfully go off course out there, I’ll also liberally drift from pure reportage of urban wild areas. Expect deviations as I wander off to alledgedly related topics such as music, literature, art and matters of the spirit. Everything but politics. I’ll also update and correct posts often, add images from time-to-time. They may grow like cultivating kudzu.
I’d love to hear from you anytime on these posts and/or your experience with nature in the margins of your urban territories. You have the option to post anonymously (e-mail/real name not required). It’s administered, but, why not be be polite? I’ll do the same. Otherwise: Let’s Go Wild.