Books: Beautiful decay in the Borscht Belt

A coffee-table book provides a peek into the rundown, abandoned ruins of the Borscht Belt.

December 1, 2016 11:55
3 minute read.
Indoor Pool, Grossinger’s Catskill Resort and Hotel, Liberty, NY

Indoor Pool, Grossinger’s Catskill Resort and Hotel, Liberty, NY. (photo credit: MARISA SCHEINFELD)


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What once were swimming pools for happy and relaxed vacationers are now cement gaps in the ground, some filled with debris, others turning green and damp with moss. Plastic lawn chairs where women once sat to chat and gossip are ripped and cast aside, plates that once served delectable meals have been left behind haphazardly on an empty kitchen counter, paint is peeling off buildings that once housed hundreds of guests.

These are just a few of the images captured by Marisa Scheinfeld, the photographer behind the poignant photographs in The Borscht Belt: Revisiting the Remains of America’s Jewish Vacationland. In a photography book that is striking in the stark realism of its images, Scheinfeld pays tribute to the Catskill Mountains, which was known to many as the “Borscht Belt” and sometimes called the “Jewish Alps.”


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