When I began this photographic series I was principally drawn to the region’s history and the concept of what had been. Driven by an intrigue for history and my own memories, it was quite obvious the Borscht Belt era had passed.
Growing up in the region there was always a family member, friend or local quick to conjure up a story about how booming the area once was. Tales of the Borscht Belt were practically unavoidable in car rides or dinner table conversations as a kid.
While I primarily define myself as a photographer, within this series my actions are akin to those of an archaeologist, searching for clues and remnants of a former time.
One of my first jobs was as a lifeguard at The Concord, which closed a couple of years later, in the fall of 1998.
I still can recall visiting the hotels on weekends with my grandparents, who met while my grandmother and her sister were hitch hiking the county’s windy roads.
Growing up in Sullivan County I hold an indelible connection to the region and as a photographer I felt inclined to document its history, decline and what of it remains.
My family and I would go to Kutsher’s or The Concord to visit my grandfather in card rooms infused with the scent of cigars and afterwards take a swim in one of the massive pools or play a game of bingo.
Using my research into the past as a map, my expeditions led me to discover each site lying entangled within a resurgence of nature, with residuals from squatters, paint-ballers and scrappers fueling each encounter I had with a ruin.
I find myself enamored of these leftovers, abandoned and forgotten within the mountainous landscape of their former pasts, lying in a state of exquisite and captivating entropy.
For more of Marisa’s photography, visit her site.