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entry by Slim Jim
8/14/2004 4:16 AM
|I just came back from an exciting, fun and adventure-filled trip around the east coast. Went to Boston, picked up an exploring friend (Didley-Boo is her new UE name), we attended the NEOPEX convention in NY State, then visited a few sites on our own to the north, stopped by Montreal, went hiking at Acadia NP in Maine, and visited Danvers State after arriving back in Boston. It was a great time, I'll share the UE parts of the trip in 3 different logs - one for NEOPEX, one for the stuff we did afterwards (and almost getting arrested!), and one for Danvers. Since this was a long trip, and there's a lot to say, most of the trips were large group events, and many others have shared pictures of the NEOPEX events, I won't include many details, just the basic idea of where we went, and maybe elaborate some on the more eventful parts of the trip. I often end up writing really long sentences.|
If anybody that was there sees anything you don't want on the public forum, send me a PM and I'll remove it. I tried to write this in a way that most UErs wouldn't mind publicizing.
A few pictures may be added as time permits, if I can remember how to get Adobe to mass-photoshop the image size.
The first day, Didley-Boo and I met Caveman6666 at Harlem Psych. I had been by the complex before, but hadn't stopped to look for a way in. Since we knew we'd get a chance to visit the rest of the complex with Snows in a couple days, and the entrance that we knew about was in a very visible area, we opted instead to visit a large, low building across the road from most of the complex, and next to the power plant. This building consisted of one long hall with meat freezers on both sides, a few larger rooms, and a smaller upstairs. The roof was secure with the exception of one small area, which we went out on. Unfortunately, the tunnel leading away from this building was flooded, and since we didn't have waders we didn't explore it.
We left without any problem, stopped by our hotel, located in an out-of-the-way wooded corner off the parkway (which had a strange, overly friendly, owner who didn't seem to be well-versed in how to run a hotel, and a couple dozen cats, half tame and half wild), and headed over to the barbeque, where we met an interesting group of explorers, watched Mike Dijital attempt to flip burgers (he's a really cool guy), and talk about past adventures and plans for the weekend.
The next morning, I awoke to find a phone message from Starman that the rest of the group had gotten up at the ungodly hour of 6:30AM to get ready and head over to Hudson. We weren't as motivated as them, waking up right before the scheduled meeting time of 9:00. But we got up quickly, and raced over to Hudson, meeting the rest of the group as they were ready to go inside.
We followed the group through a maze of steam tunnels and emerged into the largest building of the complex - a 13 story (?) building much more modern than the rest of the complex, and most of the mental homes on the East Coast. I wandered around, sometimes with others and sometimes alone, but generally following the group as they went from floor to floor. Although we were there for several hours, we only had time to explore the top 3 or 4 floors. Most of the floors had a symmetrical floor plan and consisted of several wings with a large room full of windows at the end of each wing. There were about 6 dead-end wings on each floor. One feature that I thought was particularly interesting was a door that led between 2 parallel halls that were only across the wall from each other. One hall would dead end, but a dozen paces back from the dead end was the door that led to the other parallel hall, which started a dozen paces before the door. There were a couple of these doors connecting 3 different sections of hall on each floor. I thought that this was interesting because it was nonobvious that that one particular door was the one that led to the rest of the floor.
One of the lower floors featured a Jewish synagogue/chapel, and there were some interesting books in the rabbi's office. We didn't explore the lower half of the building due to time constraints, but instead headed off to Applebee's, and then to...
This almost has to be the most picturesque abandoned building I've seen from the outside. It's in the perfect state of disrepair for a "haunted" place in a scary movie, or what have you. Unpainted and dilapidated. And the inside certainly lives up to the image that the outside portrays. And even more - there is no direction that you can see the building from the outside which shows all of its wings and sides. Most of the older part of the building is arranged around a semi-courtyard, with an auditorium leading through to a newer wing. The building was built on a small hill, so the level that was the basement in one part could be the second floor in another. I think there were four different straight sections of building surrounding the courtyard, with a smaller wing running off to the side that ends at the round tower visible from the front. The building had been abandoned for a long time, so there weren't really any artifacts left, but it was incredibly photogenic. Miss Molly was kind enough to let me borrow her camera when my battery went dead.
The Pines Hotel
This site was the farthest that we visited from the epicenter of NEOPEX, but the drive was well worthwhile. Didley-Boo and I were running a little behind the rest of the group, who had again gotten up far too early to head over to the place, so we skipped breakfast with the group and headed straight over there. We arrived at the Pines a few minutes before everyone else, wandered around the basement rec area, heard voices coming from upstairs, and went up to join the rest of the group. Drie had given everyone maps of the complex, which was made up of the main, elaborate and spacious lobby building, pool building, conference area, and 5 hotel wings, all connected by corridors or enclosed bridges. While we were looking around the main building, I stopped to take some pictures and lost the rest of the group. It's hard to believe how quickly one can lose people in an abandoned building. After wandering around for a while looking, I ran into them again heading out to the conference area.
Among other things that we saw in the conference rooms/ballroom/auditorium area, there was a ladder leading above the stage. One guy (and forgive me for not remembering who did what) climbed up the ladder, but reported that it didn't lead to anything. I didn't quite believe him, so I climbed up it myself. A narrow trail of boards led off to a point where you could look down on the stage and control the lights (back when they were working). From here, I continued across the ceiling of the auditorium to a hole looking down into the room. I took a picture of the group on the ground from there, and Servo took a picture of me looking down.
I hurried off across the ceiling beams to try to find a way down to the ground closer to the rest of the group, but ended up climbing through the studs between different sections of attic and eventually finding a way down through a mechanical room accessible by a narrow stairway. When I emerged into the ballroom, the rest of the group was nowhere to be found. They had mentioned heading over to Savoy, which had some of the larger rooms and honeymoon suites, so I headed over that way. Savoy was accessible through two other sections of hotel - Essex and Hampshire. I found my way through Essex and thought that I was in Hampshire, but the hallways were ending with no connection to Savoy at the place I thought there should be a connection. I headed back down the hall, and at the far corner of Essex which should undoubtedly be near Hampshire, I heard voices approaching behind a door that I had earlier dismissed as leading to a closet or storage room. I briskly opened the door, and out popped a startled Servo, who just happened to be right behind the door when I opened it, followed by the rest of the group. They were on their way back from Savoy, but Drie was kind enough to show me the correct way through Hampshire to Savoy (which wasn't hard to find, I was just stupid to think that door didn't go anywhere), the honeymoon suites, and another interesting roundabout way of going through Hampshire and back to the main building.
Next, on my suggestion (which was rather poorly timed), we headed across a long elevated walkway over to the Regency building. I was mostly interested in seeing the walkway itself, and it was indeed interesting. One ramp that was as long as the bridge itself led up to the upper story of Regency, and one led down to the lower story. We did the tour of one floor of Regency. I headed upstairs briefly to see what was there while the rest of the group left via the ramp, and I arrived at the door at the top of the ramp to find the rest of the group knocking at the other side with urgency. Apparently it was locked, so I let them in and found out that they had been seen by a vehicle with a security emblem on the side while they were walking across the ramp. So we all hid in a room while Drie explained the best escape route. A minute later, we left, and proceeded to crawl across the ramp to stay out of view of the windows. Didley-Boo had recently had knee surgery, and the crawling left her knee black and blue 3 days after the fact, but we all made it across the bridge rather quickly, walked briskly through the main building, through a tunnel to a far wing, down a fire escape, over a fence right into the neighbors' driveway with the couple that lived there staring in disbelief at the group of 10 or so people who just came rushing out of the hotel (I wish I would've paused to take a picture of them!), ran over to our cars, and got the hell out of Dodge.
A couple hours later, we arrived at Harlem. This has to be the largest abandoned building complex that I've explored in a long time. We started out at a brisk walk in full view on the public road, hoping that security wouldn't see us and stop to ask what we were doing. Surprisingly enough, we made it about 1/4 mile to our entrance without being stopped. Inside, we did a brief tour of the building we had come in through, and hit the tunnels. The tunnels, and most of the complex above ground, were arranged in a semi-concentric pattern. The central building had 6 wings, 4 of which had tunnels and first-floor enclosed walkways leading to neighboring buildings and wards. In one other direction, a pedestrian tunnel led uphill to more buildings. We explored the central building and a representative ward, to get a feel for what the others were like, and then went on to a destination that I won't mention by name right now because a) it's getting late and I'm tired; b) it's a touchy location, and I'm not sure whether those familiar with Harlem would want it publicized.
After visiting said location, we walked through the upper row of buildings, connected by indoor walkways which effectively made the buildings one long hallway at least 1/4 mile long, and headed up the hill to the giant hospital that towered over the complex. It was getting dark and we were running out of time, so we headed straight for the roof, stopping on the top floor to look at some interesting operation rooms. The view from the roof, about 13 stories up, was absolutely fantastic - you could see the entire complex below, and pinpoint the security van driving around. For those with digital zoom, there were numerous opportunities to get a good shot of security cluelessly driving past the front of the hospital and up the hill.
While we were on the roof, another group of 6 or 8 explorers showed up, bringing the total number of people on the roof to 12 or 14. With the exception of NZero refusing to duck down right away so we wouldn't be spotted by security, it was a great time. It was interesting to see that many explorers at the top of one of the most extensive UE sites I've been to.
Leaving the building was a little tricky, as we didn't know where security was at the time. Our first guide also ended up ahead of the group, so we had to do some guesswork as to which way was the most inconspicuous way through the woods and back out onto the public road, but we made it out without being seen. Ate dinner at a local diner, went back to the hotel, got up the next morning and drove to the scenic but touristy Lake George region, where we explored some smaller mines, rented a (very slow) boat, and explored a larger graphite mine. More details in the next mission log.
New York state has an incredible number of larger rural abandoned sites, when compared to almost every...hell I'd have to say every, other state that I've explored in the US. Local explorers are very lucky. I'll be back some time in the not-too-distant future for more.
More stories from upstate NY, including almost getting arrested, and our trip to Danvers State with Mike Dijital, to follow. Keep your radio tuned to Slim Jim's Mission Logs.
Comments: (use Reply to add a comment)
|Slim Jim |
Location: St. Paul, MN
Total Likes: 101 likes
Maze is 100% done now!!! Someday when it's -10 out and the generators won't start I might upload th
< Reply # 2 on 8/15/2004 10:58 PM >
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Really!? Same spelling? I can explain why she came up with that name. It was while we were driving back from Maine, it didn't really come from anywhere. She saw a road named Gidley in NY, and thought it sounded cool, Boo is because she gets scared easily. She had a list of about 16 different potential names, and Didley, Boo, and a couple others were left. I asked, what about combining them to be Didley-Boo, and there it was.
I want to be different. But I want to be different just like everybody else, because if I really were different, everybody would think I was crazy and weird.
Iowa is Minnesota's bitch. There's an art to pooping.
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