Archive for April, 2013

I Love The Smell Of Asbestos In The Morning

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Institutional, Long Island

And what a view it was to wake up to Sunday morning!

We didn’t even really explore this building much during the night, but in the blazing morning sun, it was a sight to see.

This building was in even worse condition than the state park ones, but I don’t even care, I like the further extremes of decay more than I ever would a pristine place that looked like it just closed last week.

After this building, with it still only being 8am, we wandered back along the bike path into town for coffee and breakfast (bagels with lox and schmeer at a delicious Jewish deli, for authentic Long Island flavor). Just as we were leaving the bagel shop, I felt a horrendous crack! come from my foot, at random, on a step that seemed just like any other. I thought maybe I’d just pulled a muscle and cracked a foot like one can a knuckle or jaw, and tried to walk it off on the mile and a half back to the asylum. It didn’t work, and just hurt more and more. But I wasn’t about to lose a chance at an asylum, even if I had no chance in hell of running or even quickly walking away from trouble. And building 93 was right there for me to hop and stumble through!

We started in the mechanical rooms at the top, looking out at Long Island Sound

As you can kind of see in the center of this picture, the flywheel on the blower is still spinning rapidly, I would assume from the temperature or pressure gradient through the building, since the air conditioner has been off for decades!

Building 93, as the iconic tower, seems to have taken most of the human damage out of anywhere in Kings Park. There is something to be said for following in the footsteps of so many past explorers and non-explorers though.

These oddly angled chairs are something of a theme in downstate NY exploring. I’ve seen them in two Catskill resorts, and apparently there are some at Hudson and Rockland too.

I didn’t go into most of the rooms with my foot bothering me more and more through the afternoon, so there’s lots of pictures of asylum corridors instead.

I brought the foot into urgent care yesterday when it refused to get any better — X-rays were inconclusive but I probably got a cuboid stress fracture. Which sounds much worse than it is. It should only be 2-3 weeks until it’s back to normal as long as I try to stay off it and don’t do much hiking or climbing or jumping (i.e. exploring). So, yet again, I won’t be going to Detroit this weekend.

Many more photos here

Kings Among Runaways

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Institutional, Long Island

While I was in Zuccotti Park, I got an admittedly very unexpected call from one of the people I’d desperately tried messaging through the night, Yossi from Urban Odyssey, who was completely interested in spending a weekend at Kings Park! So we met in Brooklyn, waited a few hours for people we hoped might show up, and took the ride out there on the Long Island Railroad. Getting in was easier than we expected, with open doors on a building right in a state park!

I felt right at home among the peeling paint, and thoroughly amazed to be in my second asylum, and just a month after Willard.

We quickly figured out we weren’t alone… this critter built a nest in a window frame and watched our every move through the ward. We thought about trying to free him, but couldn’t find a way without risking a rabid raccoon bite.

The place wasn’t in the best condition, but we weren’t expecting much, and got far more than we could have imagined.

As different as we might have seemed at first, it turned out we have a lot in common – two recovering engineers out traveling and exploring. Admittedly, he’s gotten farther than me; I still hope I can live that way someday, escape from society and spend a year wandering around. Until then I’ll settle for this though.

Take only pictures, leave only… shitty URBEX tags? This is not how you urbex.

Neither is this.

Or this.

We stopped in the cafeteria for lunch. They didn’t have what I was looking for. I didn’t expect them to, so I brought my own food from Chinatown. (And no, it wasn’t the durian. That went straight into a dumpster on Bayard St after I took a few furtive bites!)

From there we continued on into the other buildings in the state park section, more of the older patient wards

These corridors connected one building to another, a sign of at least a partial Cottage Plan asylum.

We couldn’t get into this one. It was probably some sort of administrative building, but it’s in full view of the parking lot and park office.

These boards blocked off the next corridor, so it was time to search for alternate methods. It didn’t help that security was onto our case too and waiting for us outside this building.

We eventually got into the tunnels, and fought with the half-flooded labyrinth for over an hour, only to come back out right where we came in. At least the cop was gone… that being said, as soon as we got outside, there was no question that we’d just come out of the asylum, so we had that going against us.

By this time it was almost dark, so we wandered back into town for some pizza, and brought some beer back. After a bit more of a struggle than we’d hoped, and another failed bid at the tunnels, we decided to camp out on the roof of the Quads instead, got drunk on Brooklyn Pennant Ale, and passed out under the clear ocean sky!

I Want To Wake Up In The City That Never Sleeps

Written by Concrete on . Posted in New York City, Not Abandoned

If it wasn’t for the last minute, I’d never get anything done. I’d been planning to go to Boston this weekend but obviously it’s not the time to do anything suspicious out there. So I figured it was as good a time as any to try the Catskills again and maybe actually make it to my first Kirkbride asylum. I thought I had some solid plans, but once I was already on the bus to New York, everything fell apart again and I was left scrambling. I sent out a bunch of messages to any explorers I knew in the area, and as usual got blocked by most of them before anything happened, but I wasn’t about to give up until everyone had either blocked me or given me a chance, seeing as I was past the point of no return and the usual strategy of throwing away the tickets and hemorrhaging money on repeated non-trips wasn’t even an option. The bus pulled into Port Authority (the reeking asshole of New York City!) at 6am, and I still had no idea what was next.

So I did the one thing that seemed to make sense at the time, and wandered toward Brooklyn.

Just a little mobile lobbyist – this is referring to Bloomberg’s soda laws, which limit sales of sugary drinks in New York to 16 ounces. Obviously, Pepsi doesn’t approve.

I think this is the work of Christo Jean-Claude?

Getting closer to Brooklyn…

I couldn’t resist. One of the shitty flavors was onion garlic. It was shitty. Mind you, this is a pudding shop. Garlic pudding is shitty. Truth in marketing works.

The street markets of Chinatown were more my flavor.

Durian. It smells like athlete’s foot, and tastes an awful lot like onion garlic rice pudding. Oof!

Finding the Brooklyn Bridge was actually a lot harder than one might expect. The road leading to it isn’t where the sidewalk is, for one thing. I wandered around some more, and next thing I knew I was in Zuccotti Park. I’m still amazed what this place looks like in person. It’s not at all what I thought it would have been; so much smaller, and barely even a park, just a slab of concrete with some awkward benches.

The Underground Art

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Rochester, Underground

It may be trivially easy to access, and everyone’s been there, but one of the best things about the Rochester abandoned subway is that every few months, the graffiti changes like the exhibits in a gallery. This time, we were here to remember Seth (HIAR) who took his own life last winter, and try to get pictures of as much of his art as is still around…