To the library!
April 1, 2008 3:45 PM   Subscribe

If not jumping, at least dancing (4 stories up)
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 3:54 PM on April 1, 2008

That base jump was insane! I didn't think that the 21st floor would even be high enough.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 3:54 PM on April 1, 2008

omigosh that was awesome
posted by cowbellemoo at 3:57 PM on April 1, 2008

I thought this was going to be a post about the Bobst library near Washington Square Park, aka the suicide library of New York University.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:02 PM on April 1, 2008 [2 favorites]

Try doing that in your high-falutin' online libraries!
posted by subgear at 4:08 PM on April 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I thought it was going to be about Bobst as well.

Seriously, when I went for my "admitted students" tour back in '99, the first thing they did was to take us to the top floor of Bobst and have us look down at the lobby, so show how the designers had laid out the tile to look like spikes from above, to dissuade people from jumping.

Bobst Library, BTW, should hold the distinction for "Worst Place On Earth Which Has Never Suffered A War." It's named for a monstrous asshole who repeatedly raped his grandchildren, it's designed in a way which makes you think the architects and decorators found a book on Feng Shui and decided to break every rule out of spite, and the exterior makes it look like Satan's courthouse.

Within a week of my time at NYU, everyone had - independently - just begun referring to the library as "Hell," and everyone knew where they were talking about. I had a class there, and after one session, the professor decided that we would reconvene at a nearby coffeeshop for the rest of the semester instead. It just wasn't going to be worth it to enter that place twice a week.

(Sorry if this derails, it's just that that place holds all the memories of the damned. It's kind of hard to shake.)
posted by Navelgazer at 4:15 PM on April 1, 2008 [4 favorites]

I'm going to renew this book in 90 days.
posted by subgear at 4:18 PM on April 1, 2008

Looks like good clean fun ... so long as they do it quietly.
posted by Falling_Saint at 4:34 PM on April 1, 2008

Not a library, but that second link reminds me of this BASE jumper who got stopped by security at the Empire State Building. Be sure to check out the explanation under the "more" link in the description. You gotta be quick when security is on their toes.
posted by Potsy at 5:01 PM on April 1, 2008

For years I've wanted to rappel off the 5th floor of the UNLV Library in lovely Las Vegas. It has an open area in the center, and the 5th floor (being the top) has glass guardrails instead of glass walls. I guess it's what I get for spending all those years there while getting my BA.
posted by mystyk at 5:07 PM on April 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'd love to make a Wildesque comment about the imaginative leaps that the repositories of literature inspire...but I have to make dinner. Someone else do it, please.
posted by kozad at 5:10 PM on April 1, 2008

The rap anchor on that first link didn't look very safe or redundant.
posted by trbrts at 5:29 PM on April 1, 2008

I thought it was Bobst at first, too. Also, I must be insane or something, because I really like Bobst's design.
posted by equalpants at 5:52 PM on April 1, 2008

Loved the nervous tittering at the end of the first video, and then, finally...applause.

But yes, my first thought was, "have you tested the strength of that flimsy railing?"
posted by ikahime at 5:53 PM on April 1, 2008

I kept anticipating a tasering in the first clip.
posted by Paid In Full at 6:00 PM on April 1, 2008

The library, the library,
where books are free.
posted by redteam at 6:01 PM on April 1, 2008

Oh, and don't forget the time Pac-Man visited the library.
posted by Potsy at 6:12 PM on April 1, 2008

I go to the school (University of Kentucky, Lexington) in the first link - the railing is cast iron and incredibly over-engineered (the library was inspired by a medieval fort in France, iirc). I wouldn't be afraid of it giving way at all, assuming the connection was good.
posted by phrontist at 6:24 PM on April 1, 2008

The first had good style, but the second one was just crazy. Very cool, if insane.
posted by patr1ck at 7:28 PM on April 1, 2008

The rapelling dude was totally not safe. I mean, in the list of unsafe things, rapelling is on the safe side, but not how that dude did it.
posted by smackfu at 7:44 PM on April 1, 2008

It's not the library. It's qualudes.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 10:04 PM on April 1, 2008

Library in the second clip has a card catalogue. Presumably with cards in Cyrillic.

That about makes me swoon just to consider.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:38 PM on April 1, 2008

The building in Moscow is one of the Seven Sisters, a group of Stalin-era skyscrapers of similar design.

In addition to numerous jumps off the Troll Wall, that much-circulated videomefi (music by yelp) by the Oslo BASE Jump club has a couple of ridiculously low-altitude jumps at the end, including out of a hotel window down to a busway in the middle of a parking ramp. (Oh, all the video is on the DVDs 1st Base and 2nd Base.)
posted by dhartung at 10:42 PM on April 1, 2008

I think the difference between these two videos is that the second is of a BASE jumper who wants to conquer a new building and the first is a couple of jock idiots who just want to get attention.
posted by loiseau at 1:58 AM on April 2, 2008

That first video makes me depressed. Those English students, both the rappelling and observing varieties, are about twenty times quieter than my standard, theoretically studying American college student who cannot walk up a flight of stairs without calling someone on their cell to make a date to discuss it, complete with pictures, on Facebook.

Damn kids in my damn shelves.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:27 AM on April 2, 2008 [2 favorites]

So happy this wasn't about Bobst. Second what robocop said.
posted by jessamyn at 6:06 AM on April 2, 2008

Potsy: I actually got to witness that BASE jumper from the street. (I was working by the ESB and had been sent out on a mail run. What was hilarious about it was all of the people standing around watching, and how blase they were about the whole thing. I asked what was going on, and just as if I'd asked what was holding up a line at a bank or something, they were all just, "Oh, some guy's trying to jump off the building and the cops are sotpping him. You know, must be Tuesday or something.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:39 AM on April 2, 2008

The guys in the first link should have used a rope bag, that way they weren't risking dropping it on some poor unsuspecting person down below.

I haven't rappelled it in years, but I still find my myself checking for places where I could tie off when near a tall vertical wall. In fact, I'm pretty sure I could rappel down the stairwell where I work (there is about an 8 inch gap that goes all the way from the roof to the basement, just big enough to hold a rope) if I could get myself penduluming enough to always be sliding into an open space as I went down. It would be insanely dangerous, but I still think about it every time I take the stairs.
posted by quin at 2:18 PM on April 2, 2008


Eponysterical. And I also thought about Bobst Library. I went to NYU in the days there was no glass paneling blocking people from leaping. And yes, quite a number of people committed suicide during my years there.

People said that it was the crosses on the bars of the veranda that would push people over the edge, although, given this was the 1980s and you could smoke in there at the time, the suicide rate may have had to do with drug use ... and the fact that some people LIVED in that library, slave to the books and with no life.
posted by liza at 3:26 PM on April 2, 2008

and of course, a few years ago one kid really did live in the library.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:32 PM on April 2, 2008


I feel like an oldie ... "In my days .... " they called it the Death Star, The Borg and yes, Hell.
posted by liza at 3:34 PM on April 2, 2008

robocop: That's UK as in University of Kentucky, not United Kingdom.
posted by phrontist at 3:36 PM on April 4, 2008

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