The New York Times recently posted an article about dying alone in New York City. Just a few days ago I photographed this house filled with the contents of its last owner. I have no information on why the house is abandoned or what happened to its last owner, and there could be any number of reasons why so many personal possessions were left behind. Even if the last occupant is still alive and now living in a nursing home or elsewhere, the financial burden of property maintenance and taxes, and the physical task of combing through and disposing of another person’s, even a loved one’s, belongings could be too heavy to carry, even for family. Although it does not appear that anything truly valuable, in terms of dollar value, is found here – likely those items would have been easily and quickly retrieved by offspring or relatives – all of the other accumulated items must have had some value to their owner, be it a favorite pair of shoes, or a nice shirt that was worn into town or to church, or a cute stuffed animal.
Finding filled-to-the-brim abandoned houses is not terribly uncommon – I’ve photographed several other such homes – but empty homes are a far more regular occurrence. I found this house to be especially photogenic. The rest of this post is left to the photographs, but please do read the New York Times article entitled “The Lonely Death of George Bell.”