Beneath the Bridge

It’s like the person the items belonged to has been taken up in the Rapture. That’s what I think when I see “left behind” things around the city. Like these old shoes under Portland’s Burnside Bridge. Like a pair of perfectly good mittens by the side of the freeway or a baby stroller abandoned on the sidewalk.

under the bridge_copyright

The other day, I saw a woman’s dress – red with white polka dots and one torn sleeve – fluttering in a shrub in a fancy neighborhood. There was a porkpie hat sitting on a bench in a downtown Portland park, a layer of mold taking over it’s rain-sopped crown. This morning I saw a child’s plastic tricycle hanging from a tree branch near the bike path.

I know I’m not the only one with a fascination for abandoned items. It’s haunting and beautifully sad, like shuttered institutions and crumbling barns. And of course there’s a story — a human story — for every item that most likely will never be fully told. We have only the image and our imagination to fill in the gaps.

What are your favorite “left behind” images? Post links in the comments. I love the stark simplicity of this series by Marc Llach:


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