Riding through Camden along the boulevard of broken dreams

I've been riding my bike home from Philadelphia, over the Ben Franklin Bridge and through Camden, New Jersey for a few months now.  I haven't been riding this route every day, usually it's once or twice a week.  Generally, I ride to the Patco station, get on the train with my bike and get off at 8th and Market Streets and then ride up to 18th and Spruce.  When I have the time, I like to ride home, but it takes me about 44 minutes to do this ride, prohibiting me from biking this route more frequently.  I hope this changes as my job switches to what we call, "Summer-Hours" in the office; leaving earlier each day, taking advantage of the quieter days and slower pace in our office.

My rides through Camden are solitary affairs, the city is largely abandoned and full of decay.  Occasionally I'll take photos when I feel it's safe enough to stop and I know that there's enough day light to allow me the freedom to snap a few pictures or take a quick video.  I can see a few places of interest as I'm whizzed by on the Patco train, so I've been eager to explore these areas by bicycle to get a closer look.
A few of these places are being torn down and the construction site debris will be gone in a few more months.  I knew I needed to get a few of these images before the locations vanish and all that's left is a trash strewn lot full of weeds and blight.

This video montage is a small compilation of what I've been seeing as I commute my 6.5 miles home - the ride through Camden is about 3.5 of my miles, and it has provided me with the most striking images.  The scenery is so neglected that it breaks my heart.  Camden was once a vibrant industrial city.  Like so much in America, it is now broken beyond repair.  "Close enough to start a war..." as the words in the Adele song, Turning Tables, I've used to narrate the video.

Riding through Camden, New Jersey, is like taking a ride along the boulevard of broken dreams; you can see what hopes once prospered but it's difficult to imagine a successful future.


Popular Posts