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.