Beneath the busy streets of Hillsborough, Morgan, and Boylan lie dark, dirty corners of Raleigh. Large pillars of concrete rise out of packed mud ground to lift these thoroughfares and allow for rail traffic to pass beneath. The spaces created by these elevated roads are a home for the homeless, a canvas for graffiti writers, and a departure point for freight riders. Covered in graffiti of varying qualities and strewn with artifacts of all types, the underpasses hold a thousand different stories. A hobo moniker left by some traveler years ago, an empty purse with a torn strap, remnants of campfires, old trashy romance novels; each of these gives one an idea of somebody who was there before them, clues to stories never told. Once I stumbled onto a message spelled out in rocks set on the dirt telling a friend goodbye and to be careful “on the road.”
(Monikers left by trainriders Bender, Nliff, Toy Boy, and Spicer. Most monikers also contain dates written, and destination cities.)
Dirty? Yes. A bit scary? Yes. But these places have an intrinsic beauty.