“Urban exploration” is nothing new—people have been poking around in abandoned factories ever since there were factories to be abandoned—but the illicit activity seems especially relevant in our post-industrial, post-capitalist, post-everything times. Milwaukee, too, seems ripe for the urban exploration trend, stuffed as it is with oodles of new shit and oodles of decaying shit. OnMilwaukee‘s Bobby Tanzilo has a terrific regular feature called “Urban Spelunking,” and there are plenty of videos out there of abandoned Milwaukee stuff.
Now, YouTuber Andy Rusin has tossed his hat into the empty, creepy, and graffiti-strewn ring with a series of videos exploring long-forgotten Milwaukee (and Wisconsin) factories, warehouses, and motels. Oh, and the Shops of Grand Avenue. Together they form a stark and oddly hypnotic view of the world we live in—a world of lost jobs, broken dreams, and the occasional out-of-business KFC. Watch a few of Rusin’s trespassing trips below. (Reminder: It’s illegal to mess around in these buildings, including the Grand Ave.)