-9 Degrees / by John Mooney

It's  4 AM and it is the coldest morning in Boston since 1957. My gear has been packed since the night before and I have never been one to waver to weather. In my life rescheduling means a 1 to 2 week wait which is just simply unacceptable. Every opportunity must be met with full determination otherwise, what the fuck are we doing here? Luckily for me, my cohort is similarly minded.

Tucked away in the littlest state in the country is this incredible location. Once a school for religious studies it now sits in a state of uselessness. It's grandeur is causing delusions to none. A massive building with many, many problems; a restoration would be costly. This just being the main building on a campus of multiple large buildings in varying levels of decay. A large stone structure too intimidating to enter on our initial entry.

We decided to choose a smaller building that was used as a cafeteria and common area. Pretty trashed and boring we knew that we were not in the right place. The minimal saving grace was a modern spiral staircase but it wasn't the most interesting shot framed up. We packed up and decided to move into the stone monster.

I'm no boy-scout. I'm also not a career criminal. I would just avoid this whole point in the story if I had done anything horrible, but the backdoor was wide open. I've had some pretty easy entries before but this had to be the easiest. We enter to the sound of an alarm screeching. BEEP.....BEEP.....BEEP.....BEEP.....BEEP..... You get the point. Now most people would bolt at this point but some spots are like this in my experience. Typically the caretaker has turned off the alarm one too many times because it was set off by wildlife. 

Upon entry of the main lobby you are just taken back by it's beauty...and its warmth. A single heater in the corner of the dining room would prove to be my saviour later. Once inside the main building my accomplice and I went separate ways. Normally, this is how it goes with missions. Once entry is made, we stay close enough to be reachable in an emergency but far enough away to stay the F out of each others way. Some places seem to be more challenging than others in this regard. This place however was massive and I wouldn't see D until around the time I thought I had frostbite. 

It seemed like with every room you entered the more incredible vast spaces you found. All awe inspiring in their individual way. It certainly is a magical place to shoot. I got something I like in almost every room that heightened my interest. (I will share a few of the already posted ones below). A library, two large pseudo function rooms, multiple rooms with fireplaces, staircases, and plenty of peeling paint throughout. Basically a cream-dream. I shot like a madman for 3 hours (roughly) because I had a family brunch at Noon and I know how I get while lost looking through one eye. 

I found a staircase that seemed to go to the roof, or at least the widows walk. When I reached the top it was a room complete with plenty of dead pigeons, pigeon shit, and not as many windows as I had wished. After a couple hours inside I had almost forgotten just how horribly cold it was out. Unfortunately for my right hand I saw a shot of the grounds I needed to take. It was only achievable while hanging my hand and camera out of a 40 foot high window. Oh yeah, and i can't work my camera with my glove on.  

This, this is the image that I thought was going to cost me some skin. I have never felt a burning like the one on my right hand after hanging my hand out the window for 3-5 minutes trying (and failing) to get this shot. After my final image for a stack i sprinted back down the ladder and stairs to where I knew there was a heater. I viciously rubbed my hands together trying to get feeling back into my fingers, It seemed like forever until i could feel the heat of my blood circulate back into my appendage. Would I do it again, Fucking right I would. This is what I do. Nothing will change that. No rest for the wicked.

Solid Accomplice