Archive for 2013

Fuck Urbex

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Cincinnati, Fuck It Tour

Fuck urbex. Fuck UER. Fuck the scene, or community, or whatever the fuck you want to call it. Fuck all the elitism, fuck the secrets, fuck the dick waving, fuck the trolling. Fuck your meets and their invitations, fuck the forums and their flames and bans. Fuck calling it tourism if it’s easy, fuck calling it infiltration when it’s hard. Fuck fences, fuck security, fuck having to climb into a third floor window. Fuck your drama, fuck trying so hard to leave me out. Fucking shit! Whatever happened to just finding some friends, some beer and an old shitty factory and having a good time? Whatever happened to just having some pictures and showing off the awesome places you’ve been, and taking more friends there next time? Whatever happened to just getting outside for a weekend and spending some time in the woods, hot summer nights and bonfires in the cold? Whatever happened to just going on an adventure? Anyone who thinks I’m making some sense, let’s make plans!

As some of you know, it’s been my goal for quite a few years now to go to a UER meet (or any other similar one, if such things exist). It seemed like this week would be my chance, I found out a few days ahead of time — unusual enough, in its own right — about an event in Cincinnati, and not only that it exists, but at least one of the places where people might meet during the weekend. Now of course I’m not invited to such things, considering that I’ve been banned for over three years, but people seemed somewhat receptive to the idea that I could go and participate in at least a small part of the event, so I planned a trip to spend a few hours in Cincinnati. Normally I won’t go somewhere when the travel time is at least 4 times as long as I’d spend exploring, but this was a unique case, having an opportunity, finally, for this long awaited event.

Unfortunately, in the last hours before I left, things started to turn sour, and by the time I was on the bus to Cincinnati, the outcome looked futile at best. Once I got to Ohio, that had degenerated into an absolute “no”. Even the Starbucks where people might have stopped by to meet me for breakfast was off limits to the meet crowd, but I waited there all morning just in case someone might break the picket line. No one did, of course. And to add insult to insult, I couldn’t even go to Lexington to meet up with my friend, considering that he decided to take a last minute hiking trip in Tennessee.

So there I was, stuck in Cincinnati by myself. You could say it was my own mistake to even try, but really it goes beyond that. The UE scene wouldn’t leave one of their own behind. Yet they took great pride, sadistic joy even, in knowing I came all the way to Cincinnati just to see them, and they could shut me out regardless.

I refuse to explore alone, so trying to get into any places was out of the question, but I still spent the day wandering around looking for anything abandoned, particularly anything abandoned and crawling with explorers. As angry and depressed as I was, I didn’t even bother taking any photos, but I did at least find a few things to add to the map, and a few locked doors and insurmountable fences around what I thought were promising spots. The one thing I never found? Any sign of VCXP3X. Obviously.

When I finally got on the bus out of Cincinnati, it wasn’t a moment too soon. The only positive out of this is, I have some ideas of where to try next year, and I plan on coming back at least once, with a friend this time, to crash this meet in style, seeing as it’s probably the only one I’ll ever get into.

And as I said: I can’t fucking stand the UE scene. Anyone want to put some bullshit behind them for a while and just explore? I’ll go wherever I’m wanted. I’d been thinking about having a farewell tour, spending a week this spring exploring everything I could and just quitting. I know as well as anyone though I won’t quit, even though I’ve been going on for so long about a farewell tour. Look how well it’s worked for Bob Dylan, Elton John, even the Rolling Stones (in 1977)… And at this rate, as hostile as everyone has turned over my Cincinnati doings, I won’t even have anyone left to go with by April, so I’m starting now. I know mine will be about as sincere, but if they managed a comeback maybe so could I?

So, from now on, through as much of this winter as I still have places to go and people to see, let this be the beginning of the Fuck It Tour. Anything I can get to and back from in a weekend, anyone willing to spend that weekend with me, I’ll be there. I’ve hit the bottom, I’m exploring like I’ve got nothing left to lose. Fuck it!

Hudson River Psychiatric Center

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Catskills, Institutional

After last week’s legal kerfuffle, all I wanted to do is get out and explore… originally, my trip to Poughkeepsie was for a very different purpose, meeting with my prospective lawyer, who had successfully saved a few explorers from terrorism charges already, for dealing with what could have been a life changing amount of court dates, but that disaster never came to fruition, and I wasn’t about to cancel my trip! So I found a college friend and, amazingly, two more experienced explorers who were willing to show me around, and turned the weekend into a surprise adventure. There’s only one obvious thing to do in Poughkeepsie, and we were about to do it.

I’ll have to admit I was a little bit, no, maybe a lot, scared of this one. While it probably wasn’t justified, I’ve always been paranoid about asylums, as if security there is more intense, or just more of them, than any other abandoned buildings, and with the property having just been sold last week, there was potential for it to be even worse than normal. With the help of our guides, we were marched directly into the Kirkbride to explore the best known (some would say overdone) main building. After a few minutes together on the top floor, they went off to climb things, leaving us to be the tourists and take photos of everything in sight!

It immediately became obvious there was no way we could see all this in one short November day!

All this furniture isn’t cheap! Someone must have decided it was too heavy to move…

Somebody had a bad day. It’s a bit small to read here, but this was a firing (with immediate hiring at any other facility in the state, for greater pay) letter from the civil service board, for someone who wasn’t quite pulling their weight but had earned tenure…

This seemed like it would be the way to the next section of the hospital. Unfortunately, it only leads to a locked room. It seemed like a good idea at the time… but now we realized we were lost. As paranoid as I was about going back outside into the (absent) security, I sent us looking desperately for tunnels, which we may have found blocked, and trying in vain to reach the rest of the group, and we wasted an inordinate amount of time trying to get into another ward before finally going outside and just doing it. After I probably made an idiot of myself to two explorers I would have loved to meet up with again.

These are always a bit unsettling… I’m glad I’m not climbing around with the other explorers!

When you see it…

We spent a while trying to find the morgue, and eventually did find the right building, but the entrance took quite the climb, or a ladder we didn’t have. So we settled for a maintenance shed and what turned out to be the campus power plant for our last building (I hate how it gets dark before 5pm!)

Now this is how to spend a weekend! So much better than meeting a lawyer and planning for my own demise…

Washed Out

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Industrial, Rochester

Oh, how things can change in two weeks. Yes, I was just here. Yes, it looks exactly the same, from the pictures anyway. But I’m starting over, and I figured the best place to do it was somewhere familiar. Last week, someone probably thought they could stop me from exploring, once and for all. 187 counts of trespass and a year in court would do that. But it seems like I managed to escape, and if not, hell, might as well make it 188. As rainy as it was last week, this time managed to be even worse, and I was thoroughly soaked before I even got to the building — of course they didn’t have room for everyone in the cars and left me to bike there. But at least I got out exploring, and hopefully it’s the start of a new era.

One Flew Into The Cuckoo’s Nest

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Institutional, Rochester

Once I heard the front door was open, and it didn’t even take climbing, the decision was made for me. I had to go in. I’d only been waiting for this place to come down to my level since I started exploring, and for the first time in at least five years (other than a close call where all I managed was to pick the worst, wrong-est possible day to walk right in the front door, climb to the roof and see a parade of every law enforcement agency in the county!) my fat ass could fit into the Terrence Building. Of course, I would have preferred to get in during the day, but especially on a place like this, beggars can’t be choosars. We started on the roof just as night fell, taking in the expansive view and watching for any signs of security that could ruin our night (there was none).

One of the few pieces of equipment left behind when Rochester Psychiatric Center moved (to a sprawling two-story campus next door) was the operating room lamp. Probably because the OR got a lot less use with the end of the lobotomy era…

This seemed a lot more sinister than it actually is. Upon further investigation, it’s a steam autoclave for sanitizing dirty scrubs and linens.

No, we didn’t set off some giant alarm. I was just experimenting with a red flashlight.

The basement is much bigger than any other floor of this hospital, or at least seems that way… I suspect the “shelter stops here” sign represents the edge of the building, and the point past which would no longer have protected the inmates (and more importantly in those times, the employees) of the hospital from the Bomb.

That awkward moment when the world is ending and all you want to do is take a shit.

This guy is EVERYWHERE!

And finally we found it: the morgue.

And I didn’t even think to take an autopsy table selfie. I must not be a real UERer.

Washed Away

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Industrial, Rochester

Exploring the last remaining abandoned part of American Laundry Machinery in a driving rain… I was supposed to go to a few places through the day but my friend wasn’t ready to go until just before dark. Oh well, got to watch the Bills blow it again before exploring!

Located across the railroad tracks from most of the complex, and behind a massive “fence” of loosely arranged steel sheets and concrete blocks, the entrance was much more imposing than what was inside, for the most part: some of the dullest, grayest abandonment I’ve ever seen.

And perhaps the least artistic FUA tag in the city. You know a place is boring when even the graffiti crew half asses it.

Got to love leaking barrels of “something” though.

At least there’s a nice beer drinking spot up here, I might come back just for that sometime…

This reminds me just enough of somewhere I’ve been before…

And, just as we were about to leave, things got very interesting. Our somewhat holy grail was OPEN, and we were about to give it a try!

The Lapochka Scenario

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Buffalo, Religious

Recorded on my reels of tape, the trauma stops my flow, and in your suppression tastes sulfur,
and secretly, come Sunday morning, standing at the pulpit to an empty room

Things didn’t go anywhere close to plan this weekend, but in the end it all made sense: we had to go find some abandoned churches, and Buffalo was the closest place we knew we could do it.

St Mary’s Church, downtown near the Anchor Bar

Sacred Heart, in the First Ward

Trinity Baptist, where I completely forgot to take any pictures of the sanctuary (Shroomdamnit!)

And finally we stopped by Buffalo Malt for some abandoned beers.