Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bodie 2011 or Las Vegas 2062?

Speaking of boom, bust, recession and what not. I traveled to Bodie California a few weeks ago. I have always wanted to visit and photograph a genuine ghost town. And Bodie it is. In 1880 Bodie was a sprawling mining town of 7000 men, women, prospectors, entrepreneurs, settlers, industrialists, gamblers, robbers, swindlers, business ladies, and bankers. Today only 5 percent of the peak era settlement remains above ground. Preserved as a national park, the decaying buildings stand sprinkled over the Martian like desert landscape. It’s a beautiful, eerie and amazingly quiet place. Though we arrived late, and I only had an hour to shoot, the afternoon light turned out to be perfect. As the jeep driving park rangers bull-horned people back to their cars, I wondered do all empires inevitably end up as tourist attractions?

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