Monday, November 22, 2010

NYC/urban exploration!/the woods

I recently spent a weekend in NYC skateboarding, getting tattooed, visiting friends, pizzaing and suicidal tendenciesing. I took this pic and then remembered I hate taking pics of skateparks so I put the camera away and just skated.

you couldn't pay me to be stuck underground in the subway on a day like this

south on the Hudson River Greenway, left on Canal, through China Town, over the Manhattan Bridge, south on Jay, round the corner to Smith...a 5 mile push. glad I opted for the cruiser (and remembered my maps)

tight crew for the weekend. My attempts to convince Don to get a crucified skin on his chest were to no avail.

if the term "valley day" had a definition, it would read: A term commonly given to a 24 hour period consisting of the following activities; death metal, the plaza, pizza at Westgate, the trench, Double Decker, Yocco's (next 3 pics by Steve Dyer)

weather like Sunday's was begging for a lengthy pedal. spot check on the main line.

Thankfully, Dave and Kim have pretty much become my partners for getting into places we're not supposed to be in. No way I was going in this one alone.

Kim had my back with the blade. This part was easy

I'm not gonna lie, getting in was scary. squeezing headfirst through a hole into complete blackness with no idea what was in the room I was pulling myself into. I extended my arm to snap this self portrait. the split second of illumination the flash provided only made it scarier. It reminded me of that game at Halloween parties when you're little where you stick your hand through a hole into a box labeled "GUTS" or something and it's filled with spaghetti. In this instance however, the box probably would have read "PISS IN YOUR PANTS"

here's what it looked liked without the flash

we were on strict time/daylight constraints so we hightailed it straight to the roof

a low, red moon in the northern sky. Where's Aunt Beru?

back inside I was just holding my hand out and clicking the shutter. it was so dark I couldn't see what I was taking a picture of.

It was like Vincent Price's laboratory in Edward Scissorhands plus the hospital in 12 Monkeys plus a zombified Grand Central Station


a little TLC on the escape route. see the door that's ajar behind us? let me tell you how fun it was to unlock and open that when I first got in.

thankgiving eve cassette organization at JB's. The unreleased Pinstripe songs may finally make it to my college playlist

Thanksgiving morning. Dad inspects my handling of the burn pile.

Obviously only one match was utilized.


ps I'm glad we got our spelunks in when we did.

Read the article here. I hope they weren't stuck in the vampire bat cave.

Monday, November 08, 2010

spelunking/some skate/more spelunking!

Este día pasa nada, cuerpos ardiendo colgando de los postes. Me acuerdo de Halloween.

hooray! actually I was psyched for this day. meeting up with Brian and Matt to check out some caves we had been hearing about since high school.

33˚as I was lacing up the boots. I fear summer may truly be over.

"hmmm, I think we found 'em"

looking up as I was trying to get to the bottom without slipping to an untimely death

without rope we couldn't safely descend into a lot of them. as you'll see, we came back to this one on our return trip when we were better prepared...well "prepared" may be a stretch.

there's really only one way to test out a log walk


it got to be close quarters real quick

can't really see it but this is the bottom where it was filled with water. surprisingly, nobody volunteered to swim the 20 feet in pitch blackness to see what was around the corner. next time we'll dress accordingly

climbing out

we were under time constraints and sorely under equipped
that day but we left knowing these pits weren't going anywhere. we'd be back.

next weekend. got to check out the new chamber. thanks dudes.

the following morning it was right back to the woods for another spelunk! I stayed above ground on dog duty while Brian and Matt took the first ascent. "Remember, whistle twice for a cave-in."

"looks safe enough. who brought the canary?"


We tip-toed so as not to wake the bat

we decided shining a huge light on him was the best way to make sure he stayed asleep

this is how I looked walking under it

opened up into this room. I'll give you 3 guesses what we found sleeping in there.


I made this diagram in case you're having trouble seeing them

"how long do you think we have 'til they wake up, start flying around the room and buzzing us?"

welp, that answers that question.

needless to say we shifted into high gear getting out. since the bats were awake at this point, I could scream like a little girl freely

phew, made it out alive. only lost a couple pints

off to the next pit. "the rabbit goes through the hole, around the tree..."

If you're gonna need a lifeline, might as well have it tied by an Eagle Scout

"On belay"

Everybody was anxiously waiting by the edge

For a good gauge on the depth, Matt is the black shape above Hawkeye's right ear.

my turn on the rope

we chose to worry about the little details such as "how are we going to climb up the smallest rope ever made to get out?" at a later time

2 points of entry

obviously, we went for the smallest most awkward one. hard to tell but he's flat on his stomach at this point. If your army crawl is lacking, don't even bother


it got a little tight in spots. I'm bringing a little spelunker's sauce next time.

traversing a steep grade in the first room to get to the next tunnel. if you slipped you were getting dunked in the dark about 20 feet below.

we checked the time, calculated our pace and figured we were just shy of the Mesosphere

flash on, lights off

flash on, lights on

flash off, lights on

the tunnel seemed to keep going and going but we decided to turn around and head out and return again when we didn't have to worry about leaving one man outside with the hounds

I mean, we haven't even scoped this one out

we found a way to avoid climbing the rope to get out

just had to mind your step when you bridged the gap

turned into a heated session

"You know what we should do?"


for as great as this precise moment felt while I was living it, I can't help but feel a wave depression wash over me when I realize I've become one of "those dudes" that does frontside grinds in ditches. The inner, hidden meaning is deeper than I could have ever imagined.

Matt's back D's are locked. where's the closest 12 stair?

I'm a fan of multiple angles

"I didn't know old men could skate", a little kid whispering to his friend as I rolled by them.