Zi Yang Lai

Landscape & Cityscape Photography Portfolio

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Skyline Blvd Abandoned Ice Cream Parlor

An abandoned ice cream parlor decorated with a brightly lit Christmas tree and lights
Abandoned Ice Cream Parlor/Burger Joint. Forest Park, Portland, OR

This ice cream parlor/burger joint in the Forest Park area of Portland has been abandoned for quite a few years now. While I've always found it to be interesting and wanted to photograph it someday, it was never at the top of my list. However, this all changed when I drove past it one winter night by coincidence. What I initially thought to be just a "regular" abandoned building turned out to be more exciting - this one was apparently still being maintained. It was brightly lit with colorful lights and even had a Christmas tree inside.

Not knowing whether the lights and tree would only be there for the holiday season, photographing this building quickly became a priority. I returned the next week during dusk and captured the shot shown above. Some light fog rolled in halfway through the shoot, giving the atmosphere a more mystical feel.

Framing the shot was particularly challenging, as the building was surrounded by a fence. There were only a few openings that would allow my 62mm lens (in filter diameter) to poke through, thus severely limiting my options when it comes to composition. I would have preferred a wider-angle shot to showcase more of the surrounding environment; such as the empty parking lot in front and the busy street just off to the right. However, the XCD 30mm f/3.5 has a filter diameter of 77mm and it would've been impossible to get a clean shot without vignetting from the fence.