Stumbling awake, with a migraine huge enough I could carry it with both hands. Stomach acid on overload. The bathroom is right with the noontime sun blazing through the skylight. The new kitten, too small and dumb to know otherwise, tries to sit between me and the toilet. I muster just enough energy to push it away before the inevitable. Somehow I stay on target. How the hell did it come to this?
12 hours ago:
I’m not one to get sick. Colds, if I get one at all, pass within 24 hours. Somehow this one had lingered 48 hours, but it seemed to be fading, and siting around "resting" in an utterly restless state on a Friday night just doesn’t compute in my brain. Moping about illness just makes recovery longer. I have to get out there and get some air. Fortunately, there was a fowl smell in the air that night. Sleazy has indeed just blown back into town, so I wheel my boat down his street and pick that pimp brother up.
The agenda for the night is pretty open, so we discuss the potential options. He’s got a water tunnel that sounds confined, contains two feet of water of unknown coloration. I’ve got a plethora of old NYC industrial sites that and a mysterious old nursing home that according to the NYC government is shut down and recently received complaints from neighbors of it being accessible to all manner of reprobate. Given my mild sickness, the tunnel seems like a bad option, health wise, while the nursing home is fresh meat.
Abandoned just 2 years ago, the backstory behind this building remains mostly un-researched and classified at the time of writing. Located towards the ghetto parts, this was an apparently terrible nursing home for low budget clients. It was shut down, with the buildings sold to – wait for it — a real estate development company looking to either flip it for millions or convert it to condos for the next wave of Transplant-Americans from Maryland, Nebraska, and Ohio – all ignorant gentrifiers who don’t understand real estate value in the NYC area and how their mere existence living in the ghetto prices out others and increases poverty for those less fortunate.
We roll up and find ample parking. Of course. Who the fuck wants to park their car on a deserted block in the ghetto? I’ll tell you who – ME. I fucking love curbside check-in while exploring. Shifter thrusts to ‘P’erfection and we exit directly outside of the building. We look up at the old dark structure. No lights on, no windows open. The front gates and doors are locked with heavy chain. The sidewalk is covered in rubbish with weeds growing pushing through the cracks. Yeap – this is definitely the right place.
We note a huge hatch on the ground. Sloped inward containing a pool of puddle, it looks precarious at best. How many people trip over this every day? (oh wait, no one — who the hell would walk down this block?). Sleazy comments that we can’t open it — not because there’s a lock on it, but because to do so will disturb the puddle and we’ll be breaking like 500 approved ‘UE" ethic rules.
You already know what happens next. This is NYC. We could give a fuck what some assholes on the internet think. We lift the hatch.
Below, we find our thoughts of a super easy entrance vanish. Just a few feet below is a huge pool of water — depth unknown — with an entrance beyond it uncertain.
Maybe for a really paranoid person this would have served as a fucking AWESOME warning sign. But to us it was just an obstacle. How the hell are we going to get in this place?
If you think I’m going to tell you, you haven’t been reading this site for long. Please. Stop reading this now and read some other "UE" website. Figure it out yourself or find a different hobby.
We’re instantly greeted by that smell of abandonment. There’s old wood rot smell in here, mixed with a dash of lead paint dust and … something else? I can’t put my finger on it, but it doesn’t stop us. We press further and further into the building. Room after room of absolutely nothing. An employee locker room yields the first signs of life — notes from unhappy workers posted on many. Union stickers on others. Towards the front we find an office with voided checks laying out. They look like pay checks, and let’s just say they are nowhere near enough to cover the cost of changing granny’s diapers. These people that worked here are probably getting more on unemployment and food stamps than this place would ever pay them. Even that is nothing, mind you. NY State pays barely the cost of living in UI. Your better off on welfare. These workers must have been hot tempered about this shit work situation…
Speaking of temperature, did I mention its summer? And that this place is getting more humid the further down the hall we go? Finally we find stairs going up and down, and down reveals exactly what you don’t want to find: a completely flooded basement. We’re talking around 5 feet of water, in a basement that has a huge footprint in terms of square feet. That’s a lot of god damned water down there. No wonder this place is reaching sauna-status.
The paint is chipping off nearly every wall as we go up. This building looks like an abandoned mental hospital that has sat exposed to the elements for 20 years. It isn’t. It’s a very well sealed nursing home, with minimal roof leakage and few if any open windows.
Pressing on, we find a few rooms with beds, some obscure graffiti (the taggers are always in first in NYC – always). What we don’t find are squatters, or signs of scrapping. And worst of all, no stupid ‘UE’ kids to mug. I guess we can put the weapons away eh?
The rooftop proves lacking. We’re in the middle of nowhere after all, so there’s not much to see. The city skyline of course is there, in the distance… but far from impressive.
After some time poking around and looking for something of relevance in this huge place, we exhaust all hallways, rooms and options. It’s an unceremonious end to the evening, which is really a-ok by me. A climax escape from cops in helicopters is a great story to tell the grandkids but I’ve already got one of those, and enough silly photos of this place to feel content at having seen it. Sure could have done without that smell though…
Fast forward 4 days.
The scratchy throat and nose still aren’t happy. The best logical guess is some sort of mold in that building tried to kill me. Doctors appointment made (something I haven’t done in who knows how long), I can only sit here tapping out this sordid tale. Soon I’ll be feasting on some steak to recharge the batteries. My better half, on the way home, has picked up even more excellent noms. Whatever it is that’s dragging me down, like so many other things over the years, has failed.
I’m sure those UE ethics assholes out their might say ‘oh well you should have been wearing a respirator’. Yeah on my fucking cock. Here’s a better idea — next time I’ll have some Diesel before going in. Axl Rose can takes his unleaded and shove it up his candy ass — and you, sir, can take your respirator and choke on it. Unless perhaps you’re the guy passing me the jug of diesel and setting up a line of coke to snort off the volumtous ass of a latin female. You’re my kind of pimp.
Will I ever explore a place like that again? Sure. Maybe not with an existing cold though, and you know what else? Holy shit, I really rather explore subway tunnels than fucked up buildings. It’s so much god damned safer. In a subway tunnel, you know the air quality is awesome with those 600 volts buzzing in surround sound bacteria killing bliss. The dangers are really obvious, and they aren’t invisible. Yeah, you can die down their — but fuck that. If I’m going to die I want to see what’s going to kill me — not some pansy fucking invisible granny diaper mold virus shit. One way or another this hobby is always trying to kill you. 20 years on, I ain’t dead yet. So fuck you, moldy crap. Fuck you.
Oh and PS, Sleazy didn’t get sick at all. He’s too fucked in the head. Viruses go in that motherfucker and run to their oxygen suicide. And he pimps hot latin women on south bronx street corners – at least that’s what his rap sheet claims. One day I aspire to grow down enough to be just like Sleazy.