Thursday, October 3, 2013

World's Fair Observation Towers

     The Observation Towers appeared to stretch from the ground into infinity. I have climbed bridges before, but on bridges the walkway boosts your elevation by about a hundred feet. From my angle, however, I saw the more-than-200 feet of the structure before me extending skyward, my neck and spine arched back so I could fully view the towers from the base. And I suddenly felt very small.
     It was about 1 am. After spending some time underneath a storm drain in a park, I had the idea to continue exploring parks, but this time I wanted a different perspective - one from above rather than beneath, one from the nearly 50 year old towers. I slid my backpack through the barely accommodating hole in the fence, and then squeezed my body through. My jacket got caught on the bottom of the fence, but I eventually pushed through.
     I was incredibly fortunate to have made it through. Previous access attempts by other climbers have been very complicated - sometimes involving grappling hooks. However, when this site first opened, the view was public. Now, it requires some sneaking around. I was a bit deterred by the cameras that I found nearby during the day, but ultimately made the ascent. As I stepped through the blasted-open door with my partner (that door is now tightly sealed), some graffiti greeted us, which read "Now or Never"

     We snuck very carefully around each tower, only occasionally letting our cameras peek over the barrier, and stepped as lightly as possible on the deteriorating staircase that donned the interior. Fortunately we made it up to the top floor without incident, with only a busted out staircase preventing further entry.

     Despite the night being windy and wet, we ascended to the very top level of one of the tallest abandoned structures in NYC. I could almost touch the red light blinking at the very top. We saw bikers taking a late night ride, and the Unisphere glowed in the distance. Here are some more photos from that night.