The Borscht Belt: Abandoned Sites In The Catskills Region

March 10, 2017 | BTSNYC
Shop Specialties The Borscht Belt Book by Marisa Scheinfeld Catskills NY Green Bar Stools

“The Borscht Belt: Revisiting the Remains of America’s Jewish Vacationland” is a great book by Marisa Scheinfeld! It shows gorgeous shots of ‘abandoned sites where resorts, hotels, and bungalow colonies once boomed in the Catskill Mountain region of upstate New York’.

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We love the Catskills region of upstate New York. Moreover, we are also fascinated in exploring abandoned spots where there once was an entire booming scene of people and life!

It’s incredible to learn what happened to these places. Why it became forgotten and to be able to walk through and register what it has transformed into.

If you L-O-V-E photography books and these abandoned locations, then you’ll love this book! It’s called “The Borscht Belt: Revisiting the Remains of America’s Jewish Vacationland”, by Marisa Scheinfeld.

It takes place in the Catskills Mountain Region, in upstate New York. In addition, it has some of the most intriguing images that will entice your curiosity.

Below is an excerpt from Marisa’s website where she explains with more details what this project is about.

“Today the Borscht Belt is recalled through the nostalgic lens of summer swims, Saturday night dances, and comedy performances. But its current state, like that of many other formerly glorious regions, is nothing like its earlier status.

Forgotten about and exhausted, much of its structural environment has been left to decay. The Borscht Belt, which features essays by Stefan Kanfer and Jenna Weissman Joselit, presents Marisa Scheinfeld’s photographs of abandoned sites. There, resorts, hotels, and bungalow colonies once boomed in the Catskill Mountain region of upstate New York.

The book assembles images Scheinfeld has shot inside and outside locations that once buzzed with life as year-round havens for generations of people. Some of the structures have been lying abandoned for periods ranging from four to twenty years, depending on the specific hotel or bungalow colony and the conditions under which it closed.

Other sites have since been demolished or repurposed. This makes this book an even more significant documentation of a pivotal era in American Jewish history.

The Borscht Belt presents a contemporary view of more than forty hotel and bungalow sites. From entire expanses of abandoned properties to small lots containing drained swimming pools, the remains of the Borscht Belt era now lie forgotten, overgrown, and vacant.

In the absence of human activity, nature has reclaimed the sites, having encroached upon or completely overtaken them. Many of the interiors have been vandalized or marked by paintball players and graffiti artists.

Each ruin lies radically altered by the elements and effects of time. Scheinfeld’s images record all of these developments.”

Take a look at Marisa’s countless upcoming events. These are great opportunities to meet her and get your book signed!

She is an extremely sweet person, besides obviously, extremely talented.

You will love her!


Text and Photo Credits: Courtesy of Marisa Scheinfeld
*Last Update on March/2020.*

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