The Old Essex Street Market, at the Edge of Civilization

It’s already dark. I enter the space from an old entrance and am told by the curator (Alessandro Facente) that I can wander anywhere in the space, and that I don’t need to worry; he will be other only other person here. I take the offered flashlight and make my way into the unlit, cavernous space of what used to be Essex Street Market. Things here are slowly moving toward entropy.
Fixtures are rusting; cabinets are empty; glass displays are askew; storage closets are open and distended. And then there’s a countdown clock displaying red digital numbers that tell me there are perhaps 5 hours left until something (momentous?) happens. Everything is so quiet I feel all the physiological alerts come online as I look. My eyes go as wide as they can. I want to step into a closed, walk-in freezer just to see what’s inside, but then I think if I do, I won’t be found again for days or maybe weeks. Everything here is dying or dead, abandoned as if had pestilence had swept through and scooped up all the life forms mid-sentence. It’s like the set of a dystopian film, I Am Legend, or some such, a husk of civilization. Creatures I can’t describe or fully imagine likely wait for me in the darkness, up a winding staircase I don’t attempt. I keep walking. Then I see Facente still standing sentinel by the door and I hear nothing else move, so I keep going.


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