At the station in Buffalo I met a father and son scrapping team. We laughed for a bit about our rivalry until I realized that they where downright retarded and probably dangerous people. I boarded my train to NY making sure I didn't sit anywhere close to them.
I arrived in NYC around 11pm. I had plans with Ray (Aerofennec) to crash at his house in Long Island and explore a ton of places he knows well. Ray picked me up from Penn Station and took me to one of the funnest entrances to any site I've ever been to.
We make our way in and head to the roof as it's too dark to shoot anything inside. I'm kinda amazed that I'm in NYC for the first time in my life and I'm on a rooftop within 1hr of arriving.
Ray's camera has some super ISO magic shit going on so he decides he's gonna shoot some no light stuff. I give it my best shot.
After stopping at McDonald's for some 2am burger and fries we head back towards Long Island to get some rest for the day ahead of us.
Kings Park is a place some people love and some people love to hate. Love it or hate it it's something every explorer should go through before it's gone for good. The graffiti and vandalism is staggering, but I implore everyone to try and see this place.
We started with Building 93, the tallest and most prominent building in the park. This building has the most graffiti and vandalism of all the buildings. Most recently some one knocked one of the walls on the roof into the kitchen below.
We moved onto Group 2, across a street and deep in some woods. These are the most decayed of all the buildings. Really they are just ruins being reclaimed by the earth more and more with each passing day. I think this was my favorite spot at KP.
I wasn't able to find any information on this Morose artist but it was the only graffiti in KP that I enjoyed
We went over to a group of other buildings and easily got into one. There wasn't much to see here...
...but as we where going through we noticed some kids outside with cameras poking around. I beckoned them to come play with us in my best creepy little boy voice. They got noticeably spooked and we laughed.
After taking a bunch of complicated tunnels under the buildings we arrived in what Ray assured me was where the morgue was. True to his word it was here, but it was so horribly vandalized I didn't want to use any of the shots I took of it. Maybe if I had seen it a few years ago....But no matter cause those kids are right outside the window!!!
"Hey kids, come play with us!"
Eventually they spot us and we chat about the buildings. I shared a bowl with one of em through a hole in a small window, Ray recruited more members for his awesome local site and we left our new friends to their exploring.
It's getting later in the day but we still have a few hours of light left. We happened to be poking around York Hall earlier in the day and noticed that there was a pretty easy entrance into it, but first we gotta meet up with Sean. Sean's a cool kid who loves big trucks and firefighting......and he shoots with Olympus. I shoot Olympus.....do you? OF COURSE YOU DON'T! We're the only 2 in the world! Sadly he didn't have any glass to share, but we bonded in that no body has anything to share that we can use on our camera's.
So Sean, Ray and I head over to York Hall, this is my second favorite spot at KP
By the time we're done shooting this I need to go get some food, Ray seems to survive off Skittles and Soda but I need some protein. We grab a bite to eat at a pizza joint, I grab a six pack from the nearest gas station (this is the only thing I LOVE about NY) and we head over to Central Islip.
I don't know much about this hospital (Ray knows enough about all of these hospitals for all of us.) but the building I saw was full of shots I had seen before and it was kinda exciting to see all the spots I felt I knew.
I kept shooting until it was pitch dark...
...and the red street lamps came on (wtf?)
Finally I wrapped it up, Ray wanted to explore some tunnels he had found in the basement. These tunnels where very small and didn't lead anywhere interesting. one was a dead end, but we encountered asbestos eating squirrels with bad attitudes and the other end went down some stairs into about 3 feet of water. After some talking about who could or couldn't cross the water by hanging from the pipes on the ceiling we decided to head back.
Does anyone know what the Federal Courthouse on Long Island looks like? It's kind of a landmark I think. Well, I could see it from where we parked near CI. It was covered in scaffolding and super climbable, except for the fact that there's a bazillion cameras as well as stationary and mobile security. I kinda got excited, but other people where throwing around words like suicide, terrorist, crazy....idk, but someone mentioned an Eric and said he might do it with me. Sadly (or not) this climb did not come to fruition but I'd be lying if I didn't say that I got excited at the thought.
Sean had to call it a night and we said our farewells. Ray suggested we get some night shots from the roof of the old Pilgrim hospital. Sure, why not. He informs me this is OMH territory so we have to be ninja....I am totally ninja.....well not so much, but we managed to not get caught.
Old and New
It's late and we have a ton of stuff we gotta get to tomorrow. I take a shower to get all the asbestos from the tunnels off me and pass out cold.
The next morning we're on the road by 8am, there's too much to do and not enough time. Our first destination is Creedmoor. Legends of the Creedmoor Bum are told to me on the way. He's chased kids with baseball bats and threatened to murder people.....we need to be careful. We arrive and park in the parking lot of a local police department. There's large almost unclimbable fences around all the buildings. This place looks like a fortress but I'm told that no one cares about it and you can walk around the campus without any worry about being busted. Sure enough we walk right up to our target and walk right in.
On our way out we hear some talking by our entrance. Ray gets all worried that the Creedmoor bum is waiting for us outside. With tazer readily available I make my way out the entrance, I see the Bum, our eyes lock, he reaches out his hand......and asks me if I can spare a dollar. I tell him I don't have any cash but I do have some cigarettes I keep for just this occasion. He's grateful. The Creedmoor bum is tamed by cigarettes.
Our next stop was Yonkers Power Plant. We had to walk through this park by the river where there's a good ole' fashion block party going on that day. It looked like a blast and I kinda wanted to mingle with the folks, but a relic from WWII was looming overhead beckoning for us to enter.
Ray and me in the smoke stack
While I was climbing around the crane track at the very top of the plant the block party next store starting bumping Jump Around by House of Pain. I couldn't help myself and started breaking it down forgetting for a moment that I could plummet at least a 100 feet to my death. This was a super fun place to explore and if you haven't done it yet, you should try to get out there. On our way out one of the block party people stopped us to ask if we had just come from the building. He looked disappointed when we said yes. Apparently he would have loved to tag along so we told him where the entrance was and warned him to be careful and to not bring the kids.
Next stop Rockland. I'm told of bowling alleys and tissue samples. But alas OMH has this building staked out and the closest one we can get to only has a bunch of clothes, a few bikes and beds in it. Still it was fun to see another hospital and I'd like to see the rest sometime.
We ran outta light really fast, so we called it a day. We stopped at Fridays on the way back to Ray's for some less than good food, and a better than great margarita, that hit the spot!
The next day I had to wake up early, so I was hoping to get some sleep, but as we arrived at Ray's house we learned that his black poodle had gotten out and was missing. We spent the better part of the night looking for it. I learned later on that it was hit by a car that night, I'm sorry for your loss Ray.
I woke at 6am, showered and let myself out without waking Ray, he had a big day of his own planned and needed some sleep. I walked down to the 7/11, grabbed a Red Bull and a pastry and waited for Adam (Caligula) to arrive. I was on my way to The Catskills.
Part 4 (The Catskills and Po'keepsie)