Thursday, March 7, 2013

Red Hook Cranes

I believe that Red Hook is a wonderful place to explore, in any aspect of the word. It has not only a great number of abandoned structures but artistic pieces and interesting sights throughout. 

I have always wanted to climb a crane, and abandoned cranes are ever-present in this neighborhood.  I had eyed them for a while, waiting for the right time to tackle my ascent (and calculating which cranes I would climb). Our only issue was that in all the pictures we had seen of the cranes at night, they were bathed in ambient blue floodlights, which would silhouette us.

 We finally decided on a freezing windy January weeknight where the deserted streets saw almost no action. Tonight there were no lights and the cranes were simply distant shadows. My friend gave me a single climbing glove to compensate for my frigid inflexible digits.

Getting up our first crane had been an intense stretch, considering that my winter layers were very heavy, but I somehow managed to pull myself up. From the darkness we heard a work truck in the distance and spotted a boat parked in the water. It felt good to be on top.

Then we tackled the second crane. which was a little less straightforward than our first. We had to climb up a series of beams and balance ourselves fifteen feet above the ground, walking around until we reached the stairs. Since the cranes were long abandoned, the iron we stepped on almost gave way under our weight.

There were many cranes to choose from but we stuck to the ones in the shadows.

Some more monkeying around got us into the crane room, with incredibly stale, dusty air.
A weeknight makes for some empty streets and the cranes a calm perch from which to watch the slowly rippling waters.

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