Astoria Mountain Park: An idea whose time has come.

March 10th, 2014 by

On the northeast border of Astoria, there is a forest covered urban mountain whose origins are shrouded in mystery. This would make a great location for a very unique new park. Unfortunately though, this forest and 'mountain' may be bulldozed soon.

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The LTV Guide to Looting Heat

January 19th, 2014 by

AYE IT’S FUCKING COLD IN NYC IN THE WINTER. POLAR VORTEXES WILL FREEZE YOUR BALLS OFF! FUEL COSTS TONS OF MONEY, CON ED WANTS YOUR FIRST BORN CHILD, AND IF YOUR RENTING YOUR LANDLORD IS PROBABLY A CHEAP FUCK THAT WON’T GIVE YOU NEARLY ENOUGH HEAT.

FUCK ALL THIS SHIT – LOOT THE HEAT IN THESE 2 EASY STEPS.

LTV RULE NUMBER 3: IF IT EXISTS, IT CAN BE LOOTED!

The abandoned Willow Lake trail, in Flushing Meadow Corona Park.

May 15th, 2013 by

(Scroll down for the complete report) - with update!


You're probably asking yourself why The LTVSquad, a group & website dedicated to sneaking into abandoned buildings and tunnels - is featuring a post about an abandoned park trail in Queens. Why would we spend our time at such a place? The answer is simple: we're looking for the money, and we're looking for answers.
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‘Queensway’ – So much for democracy?

December 26th, 2012 by



Here is a story that will frustrate anyone who has ever been tasked with trying to get to JFK airport from anywhere in NYC. Instead of reusing a branch of the LIRR which was shut down back in the 1962 (when LIRR was the red-headed stepchild of the Pennsylvania railroad - which looted its cash), the current governor of New York is backing a plan to convert the tracks into a park.

These tracks run from the current LIRR mainline in Rego Park (connecting to Penn station and soon Grand Central) south through Queens to Ozone Park, where the tracks continue south as the present day 'A' subway line (NYCTA took over these portion of the line from the LIRR back in the 50s to serve Rockaway Beach).

In a transportation idealist's world - these tracks would be reactivated and extended from Howard Beach into JFK - providing a one seat ride from 2 major rail hubs in Manhattan direct to JFK. This would wipe out a significant amount of automobile traffic on all major highways through Queens and Brooklyn, and cut the time to get to the airport from Manhattan from 1-1.5 hours to a half hour.

NYC is one of very few world class cities that do not have a direct rail link from their major international airport to their downtown.

Instead of this vital rail link, some people (including apparently the governor) are now backing a 'High Line' style park - which would eliminate any chance for future transportation reuse. The cost of this project is also completely unmeasured:

But the Queensway plan favored by park advocates and local groups faces significant hurdles: Is the site contaminated? Can elevated tracks abandoned for 50 years still support walkers and cyclists? Will a project stretching from Rego Park to Ozone Park attract the Chelsea-size checks that helped bring the High Line to life?

The proposal for an elevated park paired with bike trails, fitness zones and ethnic-food stalls got its first nod from the state when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday gave the Trust for Public Land a $467,000 grant to study the project.

"That is the first step toward making the Queensway a reality," said Christopher Kay, chief operating officer of the Trust, the nonprofit group helping spearhead the new park.

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324461604578193983027166730.html

In a post-Sandy Queens, I can think of a lot of better ways to spend half a million dollars. A lot of people could be given actual work for that money, instead of a tiny few high paid consultants who'll come up with a plan to - you know- spend more of your tax money. On a park... Queens has many parks, though very few of them are maintained very well in comparison with those of Manhattan or Brooklyn. Who would pick up the costs of this new park maintenance in the long term??

I would be willing to wager a nickel that the cost of converting these tracks to a glitzy 'high line' style park would be similar to those of reactivating it as a rail line.

Who would stand to actually benefit from this new park? Likely the very same people that benefited from the construction of the High Line in Manhattan: Real Estate Developers. What was once undesirable property is now worth billions of dollars.

There is a fundamental difference though between 'Queensway' and 'The High Line' - the high line passed through a former industrial area without many actual residential neighbors. The old LIRR rockaway branch passes directly along the backyards of dozens of homes. How many people want an actual public park directly in their back yard, where one never existed before? The NIMBYs will certainly not be pleased. (They wouldn't be pleased with a rail line either - but the rest of the city might outvote them on that if given the chance...)

What would the actual effect of building the park be on air quality across the entire region, as compared to removal of a significant amount of road traffic? You might think a park equals trees, but in this case, the old LIRR rockaway branch is currently a forest with large 50 and 60 year old trees growing tall throughout. Building a 'park' here would actually necessitate the wholesale slaughtering of hundreds of trees.

If we're going to fund a study on converting this land to a park, why not have a study on the impact of reopening it as a direct rail line to JFK? Why can't both be studied in parallel and the citizens of NYC be allowed to decide what they want, instead of this decision being made for them via some shady land grab with no public input whatsoever?? The way this is being handled is much more like something you'd expect in China, not the U.S.A.

Clearly we're a little bias in this matter, but that is by design. I've seen very few people speaking out publicly against the park plan and for better public transit. This is something that should be openly debated, studied, and decided upon by the citizens of this city. I suspect there are more people that would like the rail line reopened than those who want what would be a very small park.

Freight Rail ‘detour’ in Queens: A Bad Idea.

November 25th, 2012 by



Over the last few years a group of NIMBYS in central Queens have been basically advocating for the eradication of rail freight through Queens. The people behind this campaign seem to live close to Fresh Pond Yard (which has been a rail yard since at least 1906). After years of freight rail decline and the lost of the large 'Yard A' classification yard in L.I.C. (which will become a passenger rail yard in support of the ESA project) the LIRR outsourced its freight operations to a small startup railroad (New York & Atlantic) which has aggressively and successfully marketed its services. The growth of their business has made Fresh Pond yard busier than it has been in the last 20 years.
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Hurricane Sandy Part 1

November 17th, 2012 by



On the one hand you could say these are not 'exploring' photos. On the other hand there is the fact that they were nearly all taken in Rockaway just after the sun rose on the Tuesday morning after the super-high tide brought in by Hurricane Sandy caused so much destruction. At the time, NYPD was blocking all non first responders from entering the peninsula. Quite literally we had to sneak onto the peninsula when there was a momentary shift change at the bridge checkpoint.

What we found you can see in the photos above, though photos can never grasp the smells of still smoldering fires, the eerie silence only being broken by harsh gusts of wind tossing debris through the streets and the sirens of fire trucks racing to and from the main land to refuel.

Rockaway, as we knew it, is no more. What reminds is a flooded out mess. Residents will have to decide if it's worth the thousands of dollars to fix each home, in face of the scientific fact that the ocean is rising and global warming will eventually put the entire peninsula under water - perhaps sooner than later.

Post-Sandy Ft. Tilden exposes old WW2 Relics

November 11th, 2012 by



As a thank you to veterans I offer this photo: what you're looking at is most likely a very very old (WW1) machine gun placement I stumbled across today at the old Ft. Tilden (on Rockaway) - This concrete foundation has been under sand for decades, and Hurricane Sandy washed away all of that sand covering it. It lasted through the storm (along with all the other old bunkers) even while the road along the beach crumbled away and is now completely destroyed. The dune that separated the road from the beach has also completely washed away.

As for this gun placement - let's just say it was built to last by men that didn't compromise.

This gun placement was one of two, connected to the bunker seen in the above photos - and was known as 'Battery Kessler'. We'll be posting a whole lot about Ft. Tilden sometime in the next year.

The bunkers at Ft. Tilden also survived, all very much intact. As you can see one of them (directly behind the gun turret) now has trees stuffed in it from the water that flowed through.

The storm also up/uncovered a long stick of railroad track. This likely came from somewhere on the Tilden property, given how old it looks and the fact that Ft. Tilden once had it's own military railroad. In different areas this long buried track is also now exposed, revealing rotted out cross-ties and rusted railroad spikes.

More on that in the coming months when we give a deeper dive into Ft. Tilden history.

Reading Viaduct

September 24th, 2012 by


Chartered in 1833, the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad was constructed to provide service between the two namesake cities following roughly parallel to the Schuylkill River.   Full service to Philadelphia began in 1839 operating out of a depot near Broad and Cherry Streets.  This was replaced in 1859 with a new terminal at Broad and Callowhill.  As the railroad grew in the late 1880's, expanding to Harrisburg and leasing lines that allowed connections to New York City, the P&R was in need of yet another new terminal.
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Hurricane Irene Aftermath Part 4: JetSki LOOT

August 30th, 2011 by



"The Mayor also addressed the possibility of looting: "This is New York. We don't have that sort of thing...That's just not the New York of today."

Sure. I just sold this thing for $300 cold cash!

Hurricane Irene Fri/Saturday – Pregame special

August 27th, 2011 by

The air is still, the humidly, oppressive. The 24 hours leading to Hurricane Sunday have been interesting in an urban observation sense, though not really all that interesting from an exploring sense or graffiti sense.

For exploring, with the NYC Subways shut down and being watched over by workers and police, it's actually significantly harder to pull off an underground mission. Also, since you basically have to break into the system to do it, the charges for being caught down there increase from minor transit violation to felony B&E.

Trains are being stored more on elevated lines than tunnels, so the painting opportunities are few. Painting anything, for that matter, is hard in the rain, unless you've got really good paint and it's not downpouring - so while the empty streets are awesome, the rail kills it.

By the time the storm gets here, it'll probably be weak, and all this shutting things down will clearly be overkill. Maybe Bloomberg shouldn't bother trying to play mayor and should have gone to his stupid fucking Bermuda beach house instead. I'd pay good money to see him get washed out to sea.

Given the above, I've resolved to just observe the odd sights, and post photos of what's out there. Here's round one:

[caption id="attachment_3188" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="L.I.C. waterfront - a 'zone a' flood zone - all is calm friday evening, few people leaving"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3189" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Costco Traffic Friday Night. Insane"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3190" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Costco Traffic Friday Night. Insane"][/caption][caption id="attachment_3191" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Costco Traffic Friday Night. Insane"][/caption][caption id="attachment_3192" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="best buy ever"][/caption][caption id="attachment_3193" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Saturday Morning, and grandma is bailing this sinking ship - Zone A, LIC NY"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3194" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="112 in the 108"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3195" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Zone A, L.I.C. NY"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3196" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Subway vent plant, covered up and being guarded (employees out of photo)"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3198" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Waterfront crabhouse boarding, Zone A, L.I.C. NY"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3199" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="ASPCA RMPs moved from their Zone A garage to one of few high points in the area, atop the bump that was the vernon blvd bridge over the LIRR Float Yards"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3200" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Comminity Policing, or something. "][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3201" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Whoever lives in this camper should move it away from Zone A... maybe?"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3202" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Normal Traffic, second ave, NYC Saturday morning. "][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3203" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Join Con Ed NYPD stationg area. 'pete's field, 20something and 2nd ave."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3204" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Water Gone"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3205" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Bread Gone"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3206" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="NY1 @ South Ferry"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3207" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Japanese TV Crew Runs for their lives now that it's actually raining."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3208" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Freedom Tower takes shape"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3209" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Battery Park City, dead streets in this 'madatory evac zone A'"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3210" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Empty FDR"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3211" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Not sure what was wrong with this car. Someone was in it. I'm thinking ugly breakup myself. 'Rican flag+Latin Women = Drama"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3212" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Best Boardup Art of L.I.C."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3213" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Streets in LIC Zone A, now kinda empty. "][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3214" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Boards on the INSIDE of the windows = not so smart. Abandoned ladder to power lines - even smarter! Lost Brain Cells Zone, L.I.C. NY. Saturday midday."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3215" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Box Store Boxes Up"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3216" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="MTA Shut Down. Not sure the lot has space for all of the buses to be OOS at the same time. NYC Transit never shuts down."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3217" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Stored Buses"][/caption]