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October 12, 2013

Worcester By Night

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Last night I did something I’ve never done before.  I got in a car with my friend Paul and drove around Worcester for hours, watching him shoot his photographs.  Paul has always been interested in the buildings of Worcester – he calls them ‘monoliths’ and sees something in them that, to be perfectly honest, I haven’t always.  I’m from the Midwest, remember, and I like my buildings to be, well, midwestern.  Not industrial and gray.

But Paul sees something beautiful in them.  And as I’ve watched his photography grow and develop over the last few years, I’ve come to see something beautiful in them as well.  And so I thought I’d come with him to see those buildings in the flesh.  And we saw them all over: on Plastics Street, on Gardner Street, by the Worcester Airport, up on top of factories, inside some of them, on the roofs and underneath parking garages.  We went everywhere.

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And it was beautiful.  There’s no getting around it.  The city that I’ve been a part of for four years has a history and a past to it that I knew nothing about.  There’s a backbone to it that’s there, and dark, and beautiful.  I absolutely loved getting to see a small bit of it this week.  What surprised me more than anything is how alive the spaces are.  Abandoned factories aren’t what you usually imagine to be living spaces, but as I listened to Paul talk about the changes he’d seen in them in only four years there – purchases by the Main South Community Development Corporation, guttings, rebuildings stopping and starting, I saw a vibrancy to them that I never expected.  I’ll be out again, this time with a better camera.

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