Questions and Answers
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1)How do I join?
The nature of this hobby is that you really don't want to do it with complete strangers. We don't know anything about you, and you only kinda sorta know us from this site. How do we cure this?
First off, since we know nothing about you, we ask you to do two things:
1: Sign up for this board
2: Email us at bored (at) ltvsquad.com for 'the form', and tell us what name you used to sign up on the board. This is very important, because if you don't, you won't get access, and you'll be talking to the hand. Hello, hand.
The form is information that will never be shared beyond us. We have no interest in your personal info. We don't want your address, credit card, etc. We just want to know who the hell you are so we can decide whether or not to kill you... I mean, let you in. Of course.
The forum sign up is really just a good way to get acquainted with other explorers in NYC. All the serious explorers in NYC that matter are members, and anyone that isn't is a loser in life, so it's a good way to get acquainted with quality people.
We emphasize quality over quantity. If you want 3 dozen 'ue' friends who will stab you in the back eventually, please go join some other web board. if you want to seriously get to know some great people, we may be what you're looking for.
This comes over time, of course. If you fit, you fit. if you don't, you don't. No one will tell you. It's up to you to make the effort and figure it out. Stick around long enough though and you'll see more trust, more information, and greater rewards in all your life pursuits.
There's no dues, no solicitation for donations, nothing like that. It's 200% free to anyone that brings their A game. Honesty, openness and respectfulness rule the day.
2) But what if I'm 'pre qualified'?
To be pre qualified, you need a verifiable rep. You have to already be known to us or easily researched. You need a solid rep of knowing when to shut up, when to speak out, and how to handle yourself on a mission. If you're pre qualified, all we'll need is your name. Very few people fit this bill mind you...
2.5) I'm Pre qualified and you didn't email me back, what the fuck?
It means we looked into who you are, what you've done, and who you hang out with, and decided you're not going to fit in. Or maybe we're just lazy and taking our sweet ass time responding. That happens. A lot.
3) 'I just want to go to these places you've been to - can you give me the names and addresses of all of these fun places'?
It takes time to find such places. We don't give that information out to just anyone. if you're really interested and have money to burn, yes, we will give you our assets (information). but it's going to cost you money. A lot of money. We're all well paid outside of 'exploring', so you have to make it worth our while.
If you really want to see these places for the fun of it, you'll have to endure the really fun part: finding them on your own.
4) Is exploring a crime?
No. The concept of 'trespassing' is nonsense, especially when a location is clearly abandoned. We're not looking to sue anyone if someone falls through a floor, steps on something rusty, etc. We enter these places knowing the risks and won't cry to anyone if some bad accident happens. That's life. It's the chance you take engaging in this hobby.
The fact is, now that the Supreme Court has decided the government has a right to take anyone's property at any time for any old fabricated reason it desires (eminient domain), that we the people - the citizens of this country, really should feel free to go wherever the hell we want so long as we're careful about it and not interfering with society.
5) Is Photography a crime?
No. We already fought that battle and won it.
6) What about 9/11?
Oh you mean the universal excuse to be paranoid of our own shadows? Yeah we refuse that one too.
As GW Bush famously said after the attack, we should all return to our normal lives and exercise our freedoms to the fullest.
Before 9/11, No one cared about us taking photos of bridges, subways, weird abandoned spaces, etc. Anyone paranoid about us doing it now - years later - is a fucking idiot that should go join the taliban. Let us make this clear: Fuck You. Fear is victory for 'terrorists'.
7) No really, is exploring 'legal'?
It's as 'legal' as jaywalking. Technically you can get charged with 'trespassing' which in NYS is a violation - usually punishable by a $50 fine or 'ACD' - which means stay out of trouble for 6 months and nothing happened. You only get one of these tickets if you're a dick towards cops and/or come across one desperate to meet their quota. Hell, if it's Quota Time and you're not rocking a PBA card chances are they're going to throw whatever they need at you - 'Obstruction of Government', 'Disorderly Conduct', etc. This isn't a hobby without risks - and this is one of them. The Quota makes the exploring game especially risky in NYC. If an officer needs to make an arrest to make quota, you can and very well might be put through the system even if you've done nothing, or very little, wrong. Going 'through the system' is usually a 12-24 hour torture session with no contact with the outside world, fingerprinting, being in cells with no working toilets and surrounded by a-holes, more fingerprinting, guards that hate you, and then finally seeing a judge who'll likely tell you to scram (knowing that you were put there just to make quota - because it happens. All the time).
All in all, many of us have enjoyed this hobby for decades and have never so much as run into a cop. Hell, some of us explore with cops. Who cares? It's a job. Everyone's got to make their money somehow. Don't be a dick towards anyone and they probably won't be a dick to you in return. Exploring in NYC is like smoking weed, just don't get caught.
8) Why do some people call exploring 'urban exploring'?
Because they're stupid. There's nothing 'urban' about exploring mental hospitals in the woods. These same 'urban explorers' would probably get severely lost if dropped in the middle of Manhattan with no map and a need to get to Brooklyn. A C E? 4, 5? What are those? Jeez... Just because the train says 'Q' on it doesn't mean it goes to Queens all the time, you fat bloated idiot. (update - yes, the Q goes to queens now - very sad. I recommend all tourist explorers take the A to far rockaway... you'll have a great time there).
9) Does LTV prescribe to the 'take only pictures leave only footprints' ethic?
Sometimes. If a place is about to be bulldozed though, and clearly no one cares about the location, it's stupid not to take things out of said location and either reuse them or donate them to historic societies and nonprofits, etc. We've saved numerous awesome artifacts that would have otherwise been sent to the dump, and donated them to perservation groups.
10) What's all this graffiti stuff? What does that have to do with exploring?
Everything. 'Exploring' in NYC evolved directly from graffiti. Back in the day graffiti artists explored all the time to find abandoned places and subway tunnel spots in order to paint.
Even today you'll find a similar situation, and quite often, the graffiti you'll find in abandoned buildings consists of some amazing art - livening up otherwise boring, useless locations.
We appreciate art in all its forms. Anyone that doesn't appreciate art probably shouldn't be exploring in or living near NYC... because this town is full of amazing stuff everywhere you look. Go move to Nebraska if you don't want to see graffiti.
11) How is exploring in NYC different than anywhere else.
We're the best at what we do. it's that simple.
As a result of 9/11 paranoia, there are more security cameras, motion sensors, and suspicious people around than anywhere else on this planet. There are more members of the NYPD than there are in the entire US Coast Guard. And if they find you drinking in public or being a dick, you're in for some serious shit ('going through the system' - aka - being in jail for at least 24 hours before seeing a judge who might decide to keep you...)
Exploring outside of NYC usually entails dealing with little or no security, cops who'll give you a warning at best, and few seriously dangerous locations. Abandoned buildings can be a hazard, but they are absolutely nothing compared to subway tunnels with infinite ways to get killed in them. They are nothing compared to CSO Drains that can fill with water at a rare of 6 inches per minute (with next to no exists, mind you).
By now you should get the idea: Exploring in NYC isn't for idiots.
And if you come here for a visit and you get over once, don't think you're hot shit. try getting over 365.
12) is there anywhere undiscovered in NYC?
Everything has been seen before. As soon as a place is abandoned it is scoped out and investigated. Never think you've 'discovered' something. Chances are very high that you have not.
13) Do you list every place you go on the website?
No. We're too busy going on missions to keep up with that. This site is meant as a taste of what is out there. Nothing more.
14) Is it Safe?
Not if you're an idiot. It's all about brains really. If you've got no sense of judgment you should make take up Table Tennis or something.
Above: Members of the LTV Satanic Plumbers Union Local 666 drinking on the job, somewhere below NYC.
*Note - Biographies above are just of those who've added content to this site, which of course does not included many people involved in this, well, thing...