I think there's probably a 7th Ave in the majority of towns and cities around the world. Especially in North America. This one is in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It hosts the CT (C-Train) and since that was launched the north side of the avenue has been renovated, but the south side is a block of old buildings that will probably be demolished sooner than later.
Walking around downtown on a 'let's go out and take some pictures' day a friend and I ended up walking the south side. That's where we suddenly saw bubbles coming out of the second floor window. I took a few shots and then the perpetrator poked his head out the window. That's the shot I wanted. I talked to him for a minute and then we moved on.
I took a few more shots on the street, then turned and saw the window man leaving his building and heading in our direction.
We started a conversation and found out he had keys to all these storefronts. I think he is renting some and watching over others. The photo below is from the inside of one of the storefronts he is in the process of fixing up. I think he's making it into some type of gallery or hangout space. You can't see into the space from outside because it has metal security gate.
Below is another of Jonathan's spaces. This one is visible from the street, although it's not open to enter. He created the window space to be a multi-arts exhibit, from the hand-chalked exterior signs to the movie playing on the wide screen TV complete with subtitles, pieces of art and photography stacked and a Montreal Canadiens hockey jersey hanging in the back. I shot this so that I would also be in his 'gallery' at least in the moment of this photograph. I think this picture represents the feel and history of this block.
Jonathan then suggested we meet another photographer who, like Peter, preferred to shoot with film instead of digital. We walked a couple of more storefronts down. We couldn't see in from the street and had no idea what was going on as Jonathan pull open a large yellow wooden door that led into darkness. What little I could see revealed a decayed and trashed former store, a few dark figures and a tripod with a medium format film camera.
I was intrigued by the whole space, and wished there had been enough light to shoot the interior going toward the back. I was able to capture this photograph looking toward the street and catching Jonathan, Peter, photographer Clarke Kinaschuk and his four models that he was shooting that day.