Spending some quality time in a prison

I was just a tourist - I promise!  :-)

As a photographer and generally curious nomad-type, I love to check out the big, well-known touristy spots in cities that I visit.  That comes with the territory, so to speak - and it's quite fun.  But equally fun is hitting up the off-the-beaten-path destinations, those lesser-known spots in cities that don't attract as many visitors.  I often find just as much to shoot in those types of spots, and sometimes more.

One such place is Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA.

I was there several years ago (this was Sept 2011, to be specific) and had seen various pics of the place online.  It's well-known among the photography community as a great place to shoot some grungy, beat-up old stuff.  That's always fun.  So I had to go see it.

It's awesome!

Lots of people may not be interested in grungy stuff like what you are seeing here today, but surely an equal number of folks are.  I sure love it.   I'm always looking for grungy scenes when I am wandering the streets of some town, but they are not always easy to find.  That's what was great about this place - everything is decayed, crumbling, and grungy.  You don't even have to look for it - it's literally everywhere you look.  Makes it easy almost.

Eastern State Penitentiary (or ESP, for short) is an old prison that has (rather obviously) fallen into a bit of disarray, and now functions as a museum.  Yes, you actually pay to enter here.  :-)  It's now a US National Historic Landmark, and is probably best known for being the home of Al Capone at one point.  His cell is the one in these pics that is NOT all jacked up.

A lot of this is repetitive, photographically-speaking, but then again you literally walk down the cell block halls, poke the camera through the bars into each cell, and fire away.  It was no luxury hotel, that's for sure.

So enjoy the photos and if you ever get to Philly, swing by this place - it's quite fun!