What Once Was

I’m drawn to empty storefronts.  Others may walk by a darkened window without noticing, but I have to stop and press my nose against the glass.  I need to see what’s left.  Sometimes it’s a lunch counter.  Sometimes it’s a dairy case.  Sometimes it’s nothing but dirty carpet and dim fluorescent lights.

An empty storefront is a sad thing, of course.  It could be the abandoned remnant of someone’s lifelong dream gone bust, or a once-mighty retail giant fallen to ruin.  On the other hand, an empty shop is a new venture waiting to happen.  Maybe the next lifelong dream will be the one that lasts for generations… “and it all started here,” they’ll say with pride.

I like the feel of big, empty rooms – the hollow echo of every step, the exposed corners, the harsh light and weird shadows – but the closest I can get is up against the window, so I take photos.  Here are some empty shops I’ve discovered in Sacramento, Auburn, Folsom and Virginia City.

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