sewerfresh

Adventures in urban infrastructure, rooftops, sewers and metro tunnels. Motorbikes, travel and railgang. Get fresh and filthy. Read on...

Midnight wanderer

Bridge climbing in New York City

We're closer than you think, you and I. We've passed within grasp upon the streets, late at night when the misty clouds of warm breath momentarily hang in the air. The paths of two wandering strangers intersect then diverge, threading through the thick shadows which creep from every crack and crevice; drifting like ghosts through the dim yellow islands that float below the sparse streetlights. There comes a familiar uneasiness as our faint outlines bolden and we approach each other. The distance closes and our heartbeats quicken, rising with the nervous pace of our feet. Maybe you dig your hands deeper into your pockets, or puff out your chest slightly, a quick intake of breath... there are no other eyes nor ears on these lonely streets.

Our bodies pass unflinching, for all the build up there is nothing to fear. As we drift apart I consider where you are walking this time of night. Is it a midnight craving, an illicit rendezvous or something so innocent as missing the last train home? I peek around to catch a last glimpse as you're enveloped by the city and my curiosity grows stronger. Seek you not a destination but simply a journey and if so for what purpose do you roam? Your quiet, clean appearance may belie a host of secrets and ill intentions. As Tolkien penned, 'not all those who wander are lost'. These questions come unbidden with each passerby and depart unanswered.

W W

I crave to know whether you ask these same questions of me. I fight the urge to turn and yell into the empty laneways to discover where you're going what you're thinking. Are you even curious at my passing? Surely you silently query my nocturnal ambitions. I wish to scream aloud my plans, to engage the world with my bold scheme and say This Is What I'm Going to Do And This Is How I'm Going To Do It but I bite my tongue and dispel such self-destructive notions, drop my head and march through the chill. My meandering route conceals a carefully chosen path, a planned approach to the base of a towering metal spire. I grab the cold steel and begin to climb. Am I alone in embracing my human frailty to venture high above the city this night?

Sorry-Mum
Taking a quick break on top of the world, to catch our breath before a hasty descent. There are no proper guard rails, no harnesses, helmets or biners. Who brought the parachutes? I got in trouble from my Mum for this picture. She said: "WTF were you doing up there kipping on the top of the bridge? Jeeze - I think I just lost 10 years!"

On-the-up
In a city always on the up it's nice to take a moment as you climb to appreciate the view. NYC 2006.

Silver-Sliver
Far above the busy streets which sleep not a wink, some are slinking there way skyward towards the summit of a manmade spire. It's high, it's fun and someone had to break the 5 year, pre Sept 11 drought. Manhattan baby, the big M.

Brooklyn Bridge

Ain't much to say about the Brooklyn Bridge. Turn up sack up and fucking run.

Silver-Saint
3 years of waiting, pondering and questioning then suddenly I was in the neighbourhood and it could not be denied. There are plenty of other bridges but few deliver sack shriveling fear like the Brooklyn Bridge. A city of 8 million people, 123,000, daily crossings, no save points, no shortcuts and there ain't nothing to it but to do it.

Hell Gate bridge

The Hell Gate. A name alone which conjours powerful images and sentiments suited to a monolith of stone and red steel. The name, a corruption of the dutch phrase Hellegat or hell's hole, referred to the treacherous East River which claimed hundreds of ships before military blasting cleared the way in the 1880s using 300,000+ lbs of explosives. Over this piece of water a bridge opened in 1916 which naturally took on the same name.

Staunch

Rainbow
Hell Gate from track level.

Consumed
Much like our adventures with the Forth Bridge, Hell Gate is a rail only bridge and provides little coverage for those inclined to getting up close and personal. Late at night the trains are infrequent though so we took free roam of the place.

Light-show
Hell Gate bridge from midway up the arch while a bunch of police search the park for, well whatever police search for. Most probably the Hamburglars devious cousin...

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