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Steampunk: What lurks in the dark?

This past week photos were released of the abandoned subway in New York.  I

New York Subway

found the pictures on Huffington Post rather inspiring as a writer, so I wanted to share.

There was something reminiscent of Steampunk. The whole affair got my grey matter’s cogs turning.  Wouldn’t it be neat to see what other subterranean areas there are lurking beneath our heels?

If you are a fan of Steampunk fiction you are already aware that there is usually a tone of slight creepy abandonment that lies somewhere within most novels.  Thus abandoned subterranean exploration is making its début on The Top Hat Exchange.

New York Subway Tunnel

Apparently the world is riddled with underground abandonment, living tunnels, roads and workstations that look like they have jumped right out of the pages of epic Science Fiction.

I narrowed my results to the following:

Budapest, Hungary

Caves and tunnels run the gamut under Castle Hill.  Word is the

Budapest Tunnels

labyrinth dates back several centuries and it was created for military use.

Civilians used them for shelter during WWII.  Now tourists and visitors can visit the breath-taking tunnels.

If you are a glutton for the creepy you can take a flashlight tour  (I shudder to think how frightening that would be).

OR you can take a fully lit tour.  I would personally opt for this.  Hey, if I’m going to visit century old caverns I want to see what it is I’m paying for.

Now the next stop on the subterranean tour is for all you Gothic kids out there.

London, England

West Norwood Cemetery has tunnels full of coffins stuffed into crevices, man-made shelves, and simply laying out on the ground.  Exploring the deteriorating pine coffins and sturdy mahogany resting places of the dead might appeal to many out there, I think I will pass.

The spectre of ghosts and goblins still scare the wits out of this writer.

Moving on to the Magic Kingdom

Orlando, FL, USA

That is correct, the Magic Kingdom has a whole system of underground tunnels that their employees use.  Not only do Disney employees walk through the passages connecting kitchens, dining areas, and offices but the tunnels are large enough for motorized vehicles.

So as your little girl poses next to Cinderella for a Kodak moment, somewhere beneath your Birkenstocks lurks a truck creeping through the underground tunnels delivering  chicken the Disney cooks will prepare for your lunch or dinner.

Pembrokeshire, Wales

Real life Hobbit House anyone? Yes please.  This fantastical home has fresh

Welsh Hobbit Home

water running into it (by gravity only) from a nearby spring and all the materials are local.  The exception is the plumbing.  Recycled materials were saved from the bin for that…seriously.  I love this house and the minds that put it together from renewable and recyclable materials.

Tokyo, Japan

Japanese researcher Shun Akiba found an old map of the Tokyo tunnel system.

Japanese Spaces

The old map did not match the current maps.  As he researched further more and more inconsistencies were found.  It all points to hidden spaces underground.  Sounds like the beginning of a novel doesn’t it?  Well the Japanese government denies any hidden underground spaces.  But check out these pictures of acknowledged Japanese subterranean spaces.

Subterranean Japan

There are many, many more subterranean wonders around the world.  I could easily ramble on but I will refrain.

I mention these because I found these particular  wonders awe inspiring as an on-looker and as a writer.

Anything that sparks my imagination is (of course) interesting to me and deserves more research.

As much as I find all these wonders awe inspiring there is something almost suffocating about them.  C’mon it’s all underground! I could be buried alive!

If you would like to explore under the earth further please follow the links below for more eerie underground wonder.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/10/the-hidden-abandoned-city_n_781669.html#s179141

http://weburbanist.com/2007/10/15/7-more-underground-wonders-of-the-world-lost-caverns-and-cities/

http://weburbanist.com/2007/09/30/7-underground-wonders-of-the-world-labyrinths-crypts-and-catacombs/

All photos used are from the above websites.

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Steampunk: Walt Disney’s Mechanical Kingdom

As I was looking into Steampunk New Year’s Eve parties I happened upon a very fascinating thing: Walt Disney’s new line of Steampunk merchandise.

I guess it was only a matter of time.  With Steampunk novels, movies, music, fan pages and the very real subculture movement towards all things ‘Future Past’ Disney of course would know a good thing when it sees it.

The Mechanical Kingdom was originally created by Disney Design Group Artist Mike Sullivan as a set of pins.  Each pin depicted Disney characters in Steampunk style.  

They caught on quickly with internet fans, and with very little hype they have announced a new line of limited edition Disney Steampunk merchandise.

The limited edition Vinylmation Steampunk set will contain six figures and will be released in early 2011.

On April 1 Mike Sullivan will be at Disney’s Pin Traders from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. to sign limited edition pins and his newly designed figures.  

 

This store is located in the Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort.  Steampunk attire is much welcomed.

 

 

 

 

http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2010/03/the-mechanical-kingdom/

 
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Posted by on 20 December 2010 in steampunk, Uncategorized

 

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