Friday, December 12, 2014


PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNAL:  Out on the boardwalk we learned that Donald Trump’s first casino hotel had closed in September. The sign at the top had lost it’s T-R-U, and both Gary and I gave a few bucks to a guy who told us he was out of work as a result. He said he was hungry, and we hoped he used our pittance for food. He told us Trump’s Taj is also set to close, but we didn't find it until early Wednesday morning at the far north end of the boardwalk; the photos I took all failed.

Everywhere its scale is intended to overwhelm but winds up looking merely cheap. It is a hyperbolic, gaudy, monstrosity, as it is supposed to be, I guess. Oversized, grand, empty stairways lead to terraces where nobody was drinking cocktails around tables with folded red umbrellas. Above were plastic spires, sprouts and minarets in vague imitation of Eastern architectural forms. I thought it’s grotesque excesses might make for good images, but looking at them later, I was back at a mall. Perhaps its sad folly will make good pictures after it closes this month, and it is left to become another shabby, dark relic beside neighborhoods swept away to give casinos room. 

The jobs gambling promised are gone, and the men eking out a living pushing chairs along the boardwalk in December’s rains are dressed like the homeless; they huddle in casino lobbies, waiting for fairs along the boardwalk that made Miss America the queen of beauty pageants.


Ginnie said...

And to see one or two lone stragglers says it all, Ted. I guess this is just another place waiting for your camera, to tell the stories of bygone days. (sigh)

Emery Roth II said...

It's the sigh that is most important, maybe.