Lot, Detroit, Michigan, December 2012

Intersection of Aisle Palms and 5th Street, Bombay Beach, November 2011

Parking Lot, Salton Bay Yacht Club, Salton City, California, November 2011

Salton City was the most prominent real estate speculation built on the Salton Sea. Developed by the Holly Corporation of Los Angeles, the ‘miracle in the desert’ was to include a motel, restaurant, post office, convenience store, elementary school, airport, yacht club, golf course and 22,000 fully serviced residential plots, all connected by an infrastructure of paved roads, electricity, water and telephone lines. The ambition to realise such a ‘miracle’ also revealed the difficulty of occupying the harsh, flat landscape. Though pitched by the Holly Corporation as an opportunity ‘limited only by your imagination’, only seven per cent of Salton City’s 22,000 lots were ever sold. Palm trees planted to mark significant buildings, such as the once luxurious Salton Bay Yacht Club, designed by Albert Frey, now serve merely as a way of measuring the vast unoccupied desert.

Parking Lot, Exxon-Mobil Plant, Baytown, Texas, November 2014

Basketball court, Kutsher’s Hotel and Country Club, Thompson, New York, November 2013

When it closed in September 2013 Hotel and Country Club was the last of the family- owned Borscht Belt resorts in operation. Sport, most notably basketball, had been the hotel’s prime attraction – Wilt Chamberlain was a frequent guest. In 2015, Kutsher’s was demolished to make room for a multi-million-dollar ‘health and wellness’ resort.

Tennis Courts,Kutsher’s Hotel and Country Club, Thompson, New York, November 2013

Nevada Avenue, Valentine, Texas, November 2014

The principal export of Valentine used to be cattle, but since the closure of the railway depot in the mid-1950s the only thing coming out of the town has been its annual Valentine’s Day mailing – each February, thousands of letters are processed through its US Postal Service centre, if only to secure the ‘Valentine, Texas’ postmark. But the devolution of terrestrial mail coupled with the city’s dwindling population means the Valentine post office is now under threat of closure.

Kutsher’s Hotel and Country Club, Thompson, New York, November 2013

Bungalow Colony, Old Liberty Road, Thompson County, New York, November 2013

In addition to large-scale resorts, the Borscht Belt was home to thousands of smaller, often Orthodox, vacation communities. These bungalow communities were often organised around a communal swimming pool.

Outdoor Tennis Courts, Grossinger’s Catskills Resort Hotel, Liberty, New York, November 2013

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