Archive for the 'Urban Exploration' Category

Kwik Hits

Random interesting things I’ve spotted recently:

Oh no, alert the media, someone stole two flags from atop a vacant brewery. Any local urban explorers want to fess up to this heinous crime?

Pravda has an interesting article about the illegal arms trade here. I guess, being an American, I can’t help but be amused by the oh-so-terrifying haul of weapons recently recovered in Dagestan, according to the article: “six hand-built guns with mufflers, a TT-type gun, four Nagan revolvers, a Margolina pistol, a submachine gun, and an 8 mm foreign-built gun”. That’s six homemade zip guns with homemade silencers, a Tokarev semi-auto pistol, four 100-year-old revolvers, a .22 target pistol, some sort of “submachine gun”, and what is almost certainly a Mauser bolt-action rifle. I don’t know what the submachine gun was, but the Tokarev is really the only other seriously credible weapon in that group. When you consider the average multi-gun haul in the U.S. probably includes at lease one AR-15, SKS, or Kalashnikov, it’s hard to get excited about these personal museum collections…
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Published in: Geekiness, General, Urban Exploration | on December 8th, 2009 | Comments Off on Kwik Hits

Save Teh Sewers

Consider, if you would, the humble sewer. It’s small (generally), dark (mostly), and damp (usually). Unless you’re an urban explorer, a wastewater-management engineer, or a student of urban planning, you probably rarely give sewers a second thought. They’re there, they serve a valuable purpose, and they’re pretty often overlooked and unloved.

That, however, could change.

See, the State of Iowa thinks some sewers might qualify as historic structures which not only deserve but require preservation.
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Published in: General, History, Urban Exploration | on July 30th, 2009 | Comments Off on Save Teh Sewers

Neverland at Night

Not that I care, or cared, for or about Michael Jackson, but I have to admit these surreptitious nighttime photos of Neverland are damned cool. I’ve always wanted to explore an abandoned amusement park; the closest I’ve ever gotten has been the one in Hove Beach in GTAIV, alas.

Published in: General, History, Urban Exploration | on June 30th, 2009 | Comments Off on Neverland at Night

Sewer Cops

In keeping with this month’s inadvertent and unintentional “poop” theme… there’s an interesting article in the (Saint Paul) Pioneer Press today, on the “waste technicians” – or “sewer cops”, if you must – who monitor the hundreds of miles of sewers beneath the Twin Cities area. It’s an interesting look at a big part of the urban landscape that goes largely overlooked – except by urban explorers, anyway.

The most surprising thing they have found?


St. Paul’s oldest sewer tunnels were built in the 1870s. Some of them are 15 feet tall, with arched ceilings — underground hallways lined with tiles of granite.

The worst smells, she said, are from sewers by hospitals; she isn’t sure why.

The most surprising smells?

Sewer cops become accustomed to the foulest odors imaginable. Stinky becomes normal.

But when they check the sewers under plants making Softsoap or Aveda products, it smells — ewwwww! — good enough to wash your hair in. It just doesn’t seem right.

I wonder if the local rats around those plants have sleeker, glossier fur, as well? 🙂

Published in: Geekiness, General, Urban Exploration | on June 8th, 2009 | Comments Off on Sewer Cops

Ian Talty, 1978 – 2009, RIP

I just received word that a Twin Cities photographer and urban explorer named Ian Talty drowned this morning after rain swept him and a friend out of a storm drain they were taking pictures in on Saint Paul’s west side.

A WCCO article is here, and you can see the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s coverage here.

Urban exploration is, in large part, about breaking the rules and getting away with it. Alas, it’s very easy – and very dangerous – to get complacent from this, though. Some rules and guidelines are meant to be broken; others pretty emphatically are not. Among the latter is the trite-but-true “when it rains, no drains”.

Ian’s not the first urban explorer to be swept to his death in a drain by rainfall; here’s hoping he’ll be the last.

Rest in peace, dude.

Published in: Urban Exploration | on April 26th, 2009 | Comments Off on Ian Talty, 1978 – 2009, RIP