el ganeden d'esmareldas

the garden of emeralds



 Good question. I suppose this sort of excuses the appalling amount of time I spend on Google Earth? No? Maybe? Anyways, I thought it’d be cool to post so I could easily search my images and so could others because who knows what you guys like.

Have you been to any of these places? 

Short answer: no. Long answer: one of the places I’ve yet to post, I’ve taken some real life photos of abandoned buildings from the outside. I’ve never actually been in an abandoned building because I’m a big scaredy-cat and I’m afraid I’m gonna get caught for trespassing or someone’s gonna come out and yell at me and then I’m gonna cry. Also. The place where I live…. doesn’t have many old places, also like I said in my about, I can’t drive so I’m kinda stuck here.

What language are your blog titles in?


What does your URL mean?

My URL is also in Ladino. It’s a combined form of ‘ishalla avrigo’ (אישאלה אבריגו) which means (roughly) ‘If G-d allows shelter’. If you are familiar with Arabic or Spanish, you may recognize this as it came from insh’Allah and ojála.

What is your favourite place you’ve seen? 

Hmm, my prettiest places I’ve seen and my favourite pictures are in my little djoyas flipbook, but I don’t think I’ve seen my favourite places yet. I’m super excited to do the former Soviet Union as well as the rest of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. My favourite architecture is there; I find US brutalist architecture is boring but Soviet brutalist architecture is so cool, especially when abandoned. Also when it’s painted over with bright colours!

Why haven’t you done any places from x?

  1. Haven’t gotten to it yet (I have A Method. If there’s a specific place you’d like me to photograph, send me a message and I’ll get to it!)
  2. Google has no streetview there because the roads aren’t very good/the place is hard to access/whatever
  3. Google has no streetview because it’s a small town/country and not worth their time apparently
  4. Google has streetview but it’s so bad you can’t see a thing
  5. Google has no streetview because it felt like having no streetview


What’s with the weird blurs on photos?

Google attempts to blur out faces and license plate numbers. This usually works, but not always. Google also appears to be trying to blur out house numbers (which seems hilariously pointless and contradicting to me) which goes absolutely awfully. Also if you go on Google Earth, you can see entire houses blurred out. This is because people can request to have their house blurred out. All the other blurs are just there for Funsies or something.

[Something about architecture categories being wrong]

I’m trying. If you have a correction for an architecture style, let me know!

Why is town X categorized as ‘not abandoned’ but also categorized with an abandonment date?

This means that this town may not be abandoned or even semi-abandoned but still meets the requirements for a ghost town or has in the past. A ghost town is not only an abandoned town, but also it can be a town that has lost a large part of its population in a short amount of time.

Where is the information on the towns from?

Most of the information comes from the town websites, archived newspapers, and (yes, sue me) wikipedia. Occasionally I also use gazetteers and sometimes I’m lucky enough to find a collection of the town’s history on google books. It’s extremely hard to find information on towns outside of the United States though, especially in places where many small towns are common and aren’t really documented.