Wednesday, July 25, 2012

RIP Dock1 Original Montreal King

Dock had already been a force on the streets well before I got into following and documenting the subculture back in 2003. Pretty much any major spot I went to Dock was way up on top of everything else. He was a writer who had proved himself through his dedication to his craft and through the mastering his style and form. He could bang out a solid roller or drop a sick multicolor piece, many of which still grace spots along the tracks and around the city to this day. I didn't know the man but I've heard that he was pretty fearless, and stuck up for his homies whenever they needed it. There is so much I never had the opportunity to capture, and a whole lot more that I was never privy to, but for what it is worth here's what I've been able to pull from the vault.

There are lots of RIPs being done throughout the city showing how much Dock meant to those in the subculture. These just above are from the TA Factory a few days ago. Lots of stories being told about how crazy he was and all the close run ins with rail security and other wild times. Mook-Life had a great write up and photo spotlight on Dock not too long ago paying homage to his time and dedication in the subculture. Check it out here if you haven't already. I'll be posting more as time goes on too no doubt.

RIP Dock, original Montreal writer & King.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Ruins of Fort Amherst

A couple of weeks back I attended a conference at Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland on research methods. It was a great conference. I got to present a paper, got some solid feedback, and made some new friends and contacts. I also took the opportunity to check out the city, some historic sites, and what I could of the local scene. As it turns out, some of the nicest spots in St. John's are historic sites or have some historic relevance. There are numerous abandoned military installations all around the harbor and along the cliffs of Newfoundland. Back after the WWII there was a 99 year lease that was made allowing the United States to build strategic air and radar bases. But before that there were a number of fortifications built during the colonial wars.
One of which was Fort Amherst, the foundations of which were laid down by the British in 1777. It was named after the general who retook St. John's from the French in a decisive battle in 1762. Originally it was intended as a defensive line to protect boats unable to enter the harbor because of high winds. Over the years it has fallen into terrible disrepair, but throughout the fort has been used as a defensive position by the military.

I decided to take my own unofficial tour of the location. The ruins of a few bunkers and cannon emplacements are all that is pretty much left of the Fort. Steel fencing is piled up and strewn messily about. Crushed stone, chunks of cement, and rocks litter the grounds. The remains of two large, rusted cannons are on the North and South emplacements. Graffiti is all over the walls and inside the bunkers. Various forms of signature graffiti are present, but also general rantings and written messages.
The Fort was built right on the southern tip of the entrance to The Narrow's leading into St. John's harbor. It's surrounded by these massive rock formations with some pretty dangerous crags that go quite the ways down and into the constant crashing waves of the North Atlantic Ocean. Sitting on the rocks and  just taking the ocean air, I watched the fog roll in further down the shore, I had Signal Hill up on the opposite side riding high on the horizon, and the mouth of the St. John's harbor inland. Great spot. Here are the rest of my shots of the Fort.
I've got some great pics from the abandoned Red Cliffs Radar Base that a couple of the locals were nice enough to guide me about. Also more from the streets of St. John's and a lot of catching up to do on the local scene back here in Montreal.  Stay posted lots more to come.