Invisible Frontier
July 28, 2003 2:43 PM   Subscribe

Consider: a man in a suit on the roof of the Pan Am/Met Life Building. Yeah, that's a real photograph. Continuing the ever popular theme of urban exploration, the Jinx Magazine guys have documented some of their more audacious adventures. (warning: flash on the last link)
posted by sodalinda (19 comments total)
The first picture made me run for the Klonopin. Just ... wow. (But their dry-cleaning bills must be astounding.)
posted by swerve at 3:08 PM on July 28, 2003

Okay, the first link is a jpg, albeit a great one, and the second link is just to a relevant post on Mefi, but the third link, which seems to be the point of the post, is just to a publicity site about the book with a link to how you can purchase it and a brief excerpt?
posted by jonson at 3:10 PM on July 28, 2003

Uh, is it just me, or are that guy's legs, um, bent? (At the bottom, near his ankles)
posted by thebabelfish at 3:14 PM on July 28, 2003

thebabelfish, I'm pretty sure what you're seeing there is the curve of the back of his pants leg as the wind whips at it. You see similar things in photos of para-jumpers.
posted by anastasiav at 3:40 PM on July 28, 2003

He's like those alien dudes in that horrible Charlie Sheen sci-fi movie whose name escapes me now but which featured aliens who looked like humans but whose knees bent the other way and boy, it sucked.
posted by xmutex at 4:18 PM on July 28, 2003

The Arrival
posted by jonson at 4:30 PM on July 28, 2003

Weird! I used to play exactly where that photo was taken.

I changed subway lines, from the 6 to the 7, at Grand Central coming home every day of junior high and high school. At some point when I was in 10th grade - this would be 1981 - a friend of mine who doing his senior year work-study on the fifth floor of the Pan Am building discovered that we could get into the VIP club that had served the rooftop heliport until a Sikorsky crashed up there in '77 and they closed it. All we had to do was take the elevator to 58 and walk up the fire stair two flights.

We started exploring the vast empty club daily after school - the "Sky Club" had filled the top two floors of the building, which were connected by a long escalator, now stopped - and another escalator, even longer, led to the heliport's empty waiting and control room, where an abandoned air-traffic radio still squalked.

From there it was easy to push open the sliding glass doors to the roof, and that's where we spent many afternoons - even in winter, since the huge ventilation grilles blew warm air year-round. It was a great place to take a girl.

We revelled in the view, particularly of the Chrysler Building's fabled spire just across Lexington Avenue. I don't think those wire gratings were there then - you could lie on the roof with your head over the edge and look straight down the side.

I remember taking a lot of leaks off whichever was the lee side of the roof. The west half of the roof is sunken about 30 feet and holds the A/C and ventilation fans in huge ducts and boxes that we crawled all through, but there's a catwalk around from which the views of the Hudson and Jersey are... well, about the same as those from the public deck at the Empire State Building.

And I remember my friend Shep on some drunken afternoon throwing a length of chain off the south side, where it might, I think, easily have broken through the glass roof of Grand Central's waiting room - what a dick.

I don't think any of us ever stood on the rail though. I guess I'm going to have to read this book...
posted by nicwolff at 4:33 PM on July 28, 2003 [1 favorite] Temporarily Unavailable
This account has surpassed its bandwidth allocation at the present time.

Damn click-hungry MeFites.

Your search - cache: did not match any documents.
Grumble grumble, snarl, whine.
posted by dg at 4:41 PM on July 28, 2003

I have a copy of the image if someone has a server... (sorry, but any I have access to are small, shared boxes).
posted by thebabelfish at 5:21 PM on July 28, 2003

Here's the picture. I hope they get the site back up soon. It was cool, and I'd probably buy their book.
posted by swerve at 7:00 PM on July 28, 2003

I don't think those wire gratings were there then - you could lie on the roof with your head over the edge and look straight down the side.

*shudders* *retches* *toes curling in*

It's like that recurrent dream I have about the suspension bridge... *shudders again*
posted by jokeefe at 8:20 PM on July 28, 2003

hmm.... i have some base jumping friends that would love to be there...
posted by ig at 9:05 PM on July 28, 2003

Christ, nicwolf, that's exciting and all, but weren't there some fierce winds up there? I've got no problem hanging out on the ledge of a building when there's no wind, but at that height, you can easily get a huge gust that could either throw you off balance, or simply push you off altogether.

Looking at the photo, it appears his feet may be tethered to the grating (notice the two small black ribbon-like objects directly below his feet).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:34 PM on July 28, 2003

Every day I see examples of things that people do for fun that I could not be paid an obscene amount of money to do.

Standing on top of a rail, which is on top of a skyscraper, is certainly one of those things.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:44 PM on July 28, 2003

Heh. Anyone see "Fearless"?
posted by swerve at 9:47 PM on July 28, 2003

the jinxmagazine link is down b/c bandwitdth usage.... but nicwolf, your post made it more than worth it.... wsounds like that was a great place.
posted by bluno at 10:15 PM on July 28, 2003

Wow, nicwolff, what a cool only-in-NYC story! You paint a very vivid/memorable picture.
posted by gen at 12:52 AM on July 29, 2003

Yikes. Mustn't have been much wind that day...
posted by dyaseen at 6:16 AM on July 29, 2003

Looking at the photo, it appears his feet may be tethered to the grating (notice the two small black ribbon-like objects directly below his feet).
Yeah, I noticed that too, Civil_Disobedient and wondered if there had been some PhotoShoppery to remove traces of some form of safety device. But then I am an old sceptic, so what wold I know?
posted by dg at 3:13 PM on July 29, 2003

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