You’re reading a blog that features underground (and sometimes above ground) documentations of the urban structures often overlooked. This blog will briefly describe some of the past and present excursions that I, my resources, and colleagues have discovered in our pursuit to better understand the cities in which we live. This, of course, is nothing new. We approach our observation in a lay manner. That is to say, we are not pipe builders, civil engineers, urban planners or necessarily participate professionally in city building.

We are fascinated by how humanity changes the natural landscapes in order to suit our needs and preferences. In some cases, this is something that needs to be fixed. For example, many waterfront cities have seen their rivers and ravines disappear due to pollution or urban expansion.  But in other cases we can marvel at the great lengths we go through to make our city work. We shouldn’t think of the place we live, work and play in as something static and meaningless, but see it as a gigantic, functional, and beautiful machine that is waiting to be explored.

Many similar sites and blogs have disclaimers about the dangers of exploring drains or abandoned buildings. While it is an activity that can be very dangerous, educating yourself is your best defense. For example, one shouldn’t enter a storm drain without knowing their function: they carry water collected in the gutters of the streets when it rains into larger pipes that outfall back into natural waterways. With that knowledge, a logical conclusion would be not to enter them during a storm. This blog isn’t a resource by any means but a place where I can join the numerous voices who share the secrets of the city.

In December 2010 I released a book, Rivers Forgotten, published by Koyama Press, that features my underground photography.