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The Inland Empire

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For those not familiar with socal, the Inland Empire is what they call the area inland/east from LA. It's a vast wasteland of crappy houses and dirt. It's also way cheaper than living closer to the water. And it gets super hot during the summer.


Pluses: we're close to the mountains and the desert. I love shooting in the desert. And mountains are pretty.


I used to live in Huntington Beach, Surf City, USA, just about 10 minutes away from the beach, so being out here is a bit of a change. The IE was one of the hardest hit areas in the nation when the housing bubble burst. The economy is really bad here. So you see a lot of this kind of thing:









Historic Route 66 runs through the IE and I live real close to it. So you see some crazy old signs and motels and stuff.






One famous spot is the Wig Wam:




The more rural areas are covered in gang graffiti, which sort of trips me out.




It's weird to see dudes on horses riding by a party supply store that's covered in gang graffiti:




There's lots of graff along and near freeways:







There is also a lot of trains. More on that later.

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nice, it's pretty rough where i'm from. we were just put on the list of america's 10 most dangerous cities. the graffiti isn't prevalent here, but there are all sorts of abandoned buildings from when we were a city bustling with manufacturing and machining businesses. i just got into photography myself and have yet to venture into the abandoned buildings and more suspect neighborhoods around here. i had an idea to tell a short story using photos of bum camps in and around my city. propzs.

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Thanks, here's some more.




Hemp is really popular around here. It appears.


This is right next door to a police station:




JEDI bridge:




I experimented with benching with my pinhole camera:






Almost stepped on the rotting carcass of a dead dog after taking that shot. Don't get me started on all the dead dogs all over the IE. For Christmas I'm rescuing a dog from the pound this year.


Also experimented with an antique box camera that uses film 70mm wide, I managed to lay hold of some spools/backing paper for the camera (film isn't made anymore) and spooled two strips of 35mm onto it:




I need to try it with B&W again soon. Tags are OMIE - GAFL - BOILS - SLUG.


I know a place that sells doors, if you need any:




This was on the other side of that first train car I posted above:




AXEL. I can stare at that forever.


This pretty much sums up the IE:




Free toilets!


More later.

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Good stuff Q.


Everything you're saying about the IE is pretty much what I've ever heard from anyone else.


That place can be fucking crazy. Agreed with the above statement as well.

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Cool. The IE... I got family in Riverside... I'm guessing that's considered part of the IE. I go out there for the Pomona County Fair sometimes. Other than that it just seems like a wasteland that I pass through on the way to Vegas or Palm Springs.


Yeah Riverside is in the IE. I haven't explored Riverside yet, but I'm supposed to meet up with a Flickr contact sometime soon to do so.


When I first heard the term "Inland Empire" it was on the news, and I thought it was some pretentious term the media had come up with recently. Turns out it was first used in 1914.


More photos in a min.

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The other day my husband and I went exploring to find a ditch that is visible from the freeway. It's covered in graff, which you can't see in this shot because the graff all faces the freeway, and I was on the opposite side.




My husband brought his skateboard and skated it.


We had to climb through this horrible stuff I call attack grass. It's always growing near freeways and just about alel the abandoned/graff covered places I go to are covered in it. It goes right through your shoes and clothes and gets everywhere and it's actually painful.




But when I'm shooting I don't really notice discomfort. Not till I'm done anyway. I still haven't cleaned out my shoes, I might just toss them at this point.




That's what I do. Hunt graff.





I love dead ends.


This is an abandoned gas station. There were some homeless camps across the street, and some RVs parked on the other side of the gas station. They must've been dumping their waste tanks behind it because I encountered one of the worst smells of my life back there.




There's an old pioneer cemetery up on a hillside that is a total trip.





Most of the graves are above ground like this--or maybe they're actually underground and these concrete caskets are fake. Someone must've gone around with a sledgehammer, because most of them had big holes like this in them. Super creepy to peer into--didn't see anything but dirt in any of them, though.





A bizarro-shaped church in downtown Rialto:




The IE is bordered on the north by the San Bernardino Mountains, which is where Lake Arrowhead is located. Also Big Bear. We live real close to the mountains, I think Lake Arrowhead is about a 30 minute drive for us. We went up there for a weekend last year. There's a road called the Rim of the World that gives you a spectacular view of the Inland Empire. Here's a few shots I took from up there:







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Roadside attractions...


A memorial:




There's a field with three dead palm trees in it. Someone took some yarn and strung it around all three trees. Kinda hard to tell how high up it was in these pics--but it was high. No idea how they did it:








(X-pro film.)


A religious hobo Andy Goldsworthy?




All are welcome:




Lots of dumping on the dead end streets near the tracks.




Message parlor (with wires).




The empire gates:




A 360 spinner shot on an old pedestrian bridge (between my knees):






909er, that's me.

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The land of dumping.




Where do people think this will end up eventually?




Tires are just going to decompose in the dirt?




Someone will haul that mattress away eventually?




Somewhere in all that trash ^ was a dead dog. I almost stepped on it. This is right next to a pet store, BTW.




Want to get rid of your trash? There's any number of empty fields and little dirt roads to dump stuff on.

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A lot of industrial stuff in the IE:




This was taken on a freeway onramp, hence the blur:




Let's party:




$10 shoes:




I know a place that'll sell you three pairs for $20 though.

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Test shot through my new Fuji Instax Mini:




Need to try the "darker" setting in the bright socal sun. Didn't know there was one. That's what I get for not reading the instructions. This picture is literally the size of a business card--tiny.




Does that mean it's frozen?




Note the attack grass stuck in my shoes and socks.


Home for sale:




Any guesses what this home is worth?

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I have a thing for gang graffiti:




And pupusas:




Mural on the side of the pupuseria:




Slide film + trains = yummy:




Hoping to get out benching today.


This place is being dismantled:




In fact it's probably completely gone by now...which bums me out because I wanted to get some shots of it when it was halfway collapsed.




Can you guess what sort of business that is?

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Still haven't made it to Riverside. This is in Fontana, aka Fontuckey:




Colton, CA:




My husband checking out graff on a train car right next to a police station (those are SWAT vehicles behind him):




San Bernardino:




The glass in the door of that building is all broken out and lying all over the sidewalk, but you can't really tell in the pic.






It's me! When I was little my older sister, who was an adult, whenever we passed by a field of cows would say, "Hey Susie, what are you doing out there?" And we lived near at least one dairy.

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Some churches I've snapped recently.


This one is in downtown Rialto, next door to it is a historical museum:






One of the displays in the historical museum--I might post more pics from here later:




Another church in downtown Rialto:




This one's in a not-so-good area of San Bernardino--note the bars on the windows:




Color shot of the same building from across the street:




There's another church down the street and around the corner from that one that is covered in graffiti. I'll upload more pics later, but here's a shot of a wall surrounding a garden in the back:



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