The Fireladders of Soho
March 20, 2007 3:21 PM   Subscribe

The Fireladders of Soho. (New York, that is.) [via]
posted by Armitage Shanks (26 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Click on the right side to switch between drawings and pictures. I don't think there's any way to jump directly between a picture and its associated drawing, unfortunately.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:23 PM on March 20, 2007

When I first moved to Chelsea as a 21-year-old from horizontal San Diego, I'd never even SEEN a fire escape, (except in the posters for "West Side Story" or "East Side, West Side").
The first night I moved into my apartment it was muggy and loud and everything I had dreamed of since I was 12 and and and my little iron platform was coated in decades of pigeon poo.
I was a real New Yorker!
i bought a couple of six-packs of Lowenbrau (such an "Eastern/Urban" brew, to my silly little mind) and drank 'em one by one.
After I drained a bottle, I stuffed a candle in it.
Straight out of "Cactus Flower".
Soon I had a little blazing shrine four flights in the air.
My Walkman dripping Gershwin, my greedy eyes scanning the swarms on 9th Avenue.
That night on the fireladder was one of the finest of my green days.
Thanks for the post, Arm!
posted by Dizzy at 3:36 PM on March 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

Very nice. Really gives the feel of the place. I used to live in SoHo, back when that was still an economic possibility!
posted by xammerboy at 3:48 PM on March 20, 2007

A cool little project. But I've never heard them called anything but "fire escape". Is "fire ladder" often used?
posted by oneirodynia at 4:02 PM on March 20, 2007

Very cool. I recognize many of these! I was hoping to see my old place on West Broadway but he didnt go that far West it seems...
posted by vacapinta at 4:19 PM on March 20, 2007

Cool armitage. One of my first memories of NY was walking down Mercer in January and seeing 10 foot long icicles hanging off of the fire escapes. It would have been one of the clicks on the top right hand corner.
posted by vronsky at 4:24 PM on March 20, 2007

Never been to SoHo, or New York for that matter. But I enjoyed living vicariously through those pictures. I approve of this post.
posted by nola at 4:36 PM on March 20, 2007

These are great sketches, the varying perspectives is great.
posted by pithy comment at 5:00 PM on March 20, 2007

"...Soho. (New York, that is.)"

Is there another?
posted by Eideteker at 5:03 PM on March 20, 2007

The artist's polar bear animation is really cool too. At first I thought it was a short loop but it is actually a few minutes long and tells a little bit of a story.
posted by pithy comment at 5:04 PM on March 20, 2007

I work here, and look out at this one... which is the prettiest building in SoHo.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:05 PM on March 20, 2007

Is there another?

posted by R. Mutt at 5:07 PM on March 20, 2007

"...Soho. (New York, that is.)"

Is there another?

In London. England, not Ontario. That's Ontario Canada, not California.
posted by CKmtl at 5:07 PM on March 20, 2007

So the answer is no, then?
posted by Eideteker at 5:23 PM on March 20, 2007

Actually, Soho isn't a neighborhood in NYC anymore, it's more of a shopping mall.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:35 PM on March 20, 2007

Thanks, Armitage Shanks.

I love variations on a theme.
The drawings are like music, ZZZ, 777, better than the pics.
posted by bru at 5:40 PM on March 20, 2007

true dat r mutt.
posted by vronsky at 5:50 PM on March 20, 2007

Yes Soho is a shopping mall, but sadly this doesn't include (unless I miss-browse) where I grew up in the now shopping mall, one great New York neighborhood, at 431 Broome, which is Soho for sure, one block over from where the map seems to cut off, at Broome and Crosby. This was the heart of Soho, as far as I was concerned; Artists, skinheads, Chinese vegetable importers, drug dealers, kidnappers, dead bodies, crackheads, the pioneering Korean grocers of Manhattan and every kind of rambling gambling weirdo besides. Never forget, dear friends one of three, you can wander off one day and return to find your old stomping grounds to be nothing but a mall for Europeans and your home a hotel for the same.

My fire escape was the best, opening with double windows off my bedroom, cast iron, flaking paint, rusty and dangerous, locked with a krypto so no motivated junkie could pull it down and God help us if there was a fire. It not only supported many youthful adventures with water balloons, cigarettes, reefer and the fairer sex but plain old camping out and sweating and talking shit when there was nothing else to do.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:03 PM on March 20, 2007

Fire Escapes and Firefighters [pdf].
posted by mlis at 8:29 PM on March 20, 2007

I can't believe I almost missed this. Excellent post, thanks.
posted by OmieWise at 8:38 AM on March 21, 2007

"So the answer is no, then?"

The answer is yes. In west London.
posted by whoshotwho at 3:18 PM on March 21, 2007

West London? Never heard of it. What borough is it in? Queens?
posted by Eideteker at 4:45 PM on March 21, 2007

Yes, but in Queens they refer to West London as "WeLo".
posted by R. Mutt at 5:59 PM on March 21, 2007

And Jamaica is "J-Lo".
Poughkeepsie is "Po-Go".
The Sugar District is "Sweet-N-Lo".
Cranford is "Cono-co".
Baseball City is "Can-Se-Co".
Chinatown is "Su-Do-Ko".
Lotsa guys hang out at the bus station in "Fe-Lla-Tio'.

I'll just flag myself.
posted by Dizzy at 9:05 AM on March 22, 2007

So if the nyc soho is south of houston, what does the west london soho stand for? curious.
posted by vronsky at 3:00 PM on March 22, 2007

According to the ViewLondon website, Soho comes from Charles I's bastard son the Duke of Monmouth, who had a habit of bellowing "So-Ho" when hunting or entering the field of battle.
Soho was originally built as "King's Square" around 1677.
posted by Dizzy at 3:12 PM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

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