The Pepsi sign on I-83 in Baltimore once glowed red, white, and blue with a digital clock and thermometer as I drove by on my daily expressway commute. But a two-cent bottle tax to support Baltimore City’s ailing schools led Pepsi to abandon the area.
Pepsi brought to mind memories of high school, walking with friends at the end of the day to my father’s liquor store for cold sodas and potato chips. I assumed that exploring the deserted 16-acre site would at least generate nostalgia for the “whole new way of living, coming alive and feeling free with Pepsi” idea. Instead, I was a voyeur into an exotic space/time long severed from the disconnected, dispassionate, and hyperreal present.