Value City Department Store

The Value City Department Store chain went under in 2008, and the two stores they had in Fort Wayne closed sometime before that. This one is on South Coliseum Boulevard, on the city’s east side. A Home Depot store just down the street closed a few years ago too, and that store had only been open a few years. I photographed the Value City this afternoon.

An abandoned Value City Department Store sits in a crumbling parking lot in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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Found in the Street

Driving down Paulding Road on the southeast side of Fort Wayne, I noticed this old, torn up, dirty American flag nailed to a utility pole. I went back yesterday evening to photograph it as the sun was setting. The man who lived in the house nearby told me that he found the flag in the street, being run over by passing cars. He didn’t want to throw it away, so he hung it from a nail on the pole.

A dirty and torn American flag nailed to a utility pole in an inner-city neighborhood.

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Abandoned Farm on Lower Huntington Road #3

Yesterday evening, I went back to a place I photographed many years ago, and made this photograph.

There is an old farmhouse on Lower Huntington Road, just northeast of the intersection of Lower Huntington and Airport Expressway in southeast Allen County, Indiana.

The house, which has been abandoned for a few years, is surrounded by a huge number of old junk trucks. This old Cadillac Fleetwood that sits behind the house with a Ford F-150 pickup is the only car there!

I made this photograph on a beautiful evening after a day of rain.

I photographed this abandoned farm for the first time back in 2005.

An old junk Cadillac Fleetwood sits in tall grass next to a broken-down Ford F-150 pickup truck behind an abandoned farmhouse in rural Allen County, Indiana. A Satellite TV dish hangs on the house.

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Taqueria Coahuila

Taqueria Coahuila looks like it was lifted from a small town in Mexico and dropped into Fort Wayne’s inner city. A taqueria is a restaurant that specializes in tacos, and this place is the real thing, not the Americanized simulation of comida Mexicana found at most “Mexican” restaurants in the United States.

Taqueria Coahuila is on South Clinton Street, a couple blocks north of South Side High School. I ate there with a friend six or seven years ago. The owners and employees were all immigrants from Mexico who didn’t speak English well (and I didn’t speak Spanish back then like I do now), but the food was great.

A young man rides his bicycle past Taqueria Coahuila, a Mexican taco restaurant whose brightly painted orange building looks like it was transported from Mexico and dropped into an inner city neighborhood in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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The largest American flag in Fort Wayne

This gigantic American flag, which flies over Glenbrook Dodge Chrysler Jeep, can be seen for miles; it is the largest flag in Fort Wayne. I thought that the company had gotten the flag soon after the September 11 terrorist attacks, but their website says that the flag was installed in 2004. It measures 50×80 feet, and flies from a 232 foot tall flagpole!

Friends in other parts of the United States have told me that the biggest American flags in their cities are also flown by car dealers. I wonder why that is? I photographed this flag today.

A gigantic American flag flies over Glenbrook Dodge Chrysler Jeep in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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Hurrah For The Second Amendment

Local activist Tom Ostrognai posted this sign on one of his properties on Lafayette Street in Fort Wayne’s inner city to celebrate the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban. The law prohibited the manufacture or import of semiautomatic assault rifles, though the millions of guns already in private hands in the United States remained legal to buy, sell, and use.

“HURRAH FOR THE 2ND Amendment 9-14-04 and to hell with the newspaper’s editorial board and the bureaucrats who lost their jobs over their self-serving vote 10 years ago. Tom Ostrognai”

Ostrognai is a local landlord who became famous in the 1990s for his cable access TV show, where he videotaped drug dealers plying their trade in the inner-city neighborhoods where he owned properties. He played the videos on his show, and mocked the Fort Wayne Police Department for their inability or unwillingness to do anything about the gangs and drug dealing that were beginning to become a problem in the early 1990s in the city. When then-mayor Paul Helmke denied there was a problem with crack cocaine in the city, Ostrognai took him out one night and the two men bought crack from one of the local dealers!

A sign in Fort Wayne's inner city celebrating the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban in 2004. The sign, put up by Tom Ostrognai, says Hurrah for the Second Amendment.

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