One morning in late November, I took a drive along Reynolds road. The road runs north-south between the cities of Maumee and Toledo in Ohio and is home to residential communities, local businesses, and organizations from all walks of life, both in profile and interest.
The contrasts hit me hard every time: the strange and varied assortments of buildings in decay, motels charging by the hour, cheap pizza places, check-cashing joints, and strip clubs abutting family-owned restaurants, college-preparatory private schools, and upscale suburbs of white collar professionals.
There are many reasons for the differences, from the closing of a local mall that eliminated hundreds of working class jobs, to nationwide economic downturns hitting small businesses particularly hard in the Toledo area.
This morning I wanted to see what the decay looked like up close. The photographs below capture images of the those places.
The flatness and emptiness of the spaces felt like Ohio, but they gave off an eerie stoicism and loneliness that ran counter to the otherwise friendly and hospitable culture of the midwest.
The images remind that there are places in the United States that need our attention. They are the places we ignore. They are ubiquitous, not just in Ohio but all over the country in areas where need and poverty live alongside prosperity.