Graffiti and Exploring in NYC have been joined at the hip since the very beginning. Graffiti writers explored tunnels to find trains to tag, and industrial areas for buildings to practice painting in.

While we document this relationship, we also specialize in following graffiti on NYC's freight trains and tracks - an aspect of the hobby that was virtually ignored by photographers and blogs until we released 'Brooklyn Queens Freight' and 'Yard Job NYC'.

The Bat Cave/Gowanus Canal Graffiti Gallery & Squat

(Writeup from spring, 2013 – Photos and original publication date: 5/25/2006)

In the mid 2000s, a decent portion of my explorations were fueled by a heavy desire to get away from the psychotic women who were desperately trying to cling to me like rats to a life raft as their broken lives went underwater. (Pro tip: never try to save someone drowning from the stupidity of their own bad decisions – they will only drag you down. No good deed ever goes unpunished.)

The first night I went to the bat cave, it was one of those turn off the phone and get away from these demented bitches nights. I was hitting up subway spots around Carroll gardens and figured that a little late night solo rooftoping might be in order as well.

Upon arrival, I found easy parking and a simple entrance to he property. Just hop off the bridge, walk along the shire down a desolate trash filled path, follow that path up to and over a wall – and boom. Your behind the powerhouse.

The amount of … [ read more ]

Revs Journal Pages

It seems like whenever I get into a conversation with anyone about NYC graffiti, Revs comes up. A few more times than I care to recall people have practically foamed at the mouth (like a ‘foamer’ railfan might at the thought of riding a Lo-V) just to discuss his work with anyone that might know a bit more about it- as if to know of it you need a secret decoder ring. When I eventually say something like ‘geez, he’s just a pretty quiet guy with a hell of a work ethic’, then comes the ‘you met him? what the hell is he like? how can I find him’ type questions, at which point I just kick myself for even getting into the conversation to begin with and walk away. I mean, crap, I live a slightly public life. Anyone with half a clue and Google ought to know we were in that same art show back in ’02 (along with a slew of other people who deserve just as many props me thinks). Maybe I’m insane that I expect people to know what’s already out there… maybe no one else reads half as much as I do. Whatever. … [ read more ]

Greenpoint Terminal Graffiti Room

Greenpoint terminal was a big enough set of buildings that you could go over and over and over and still find new things. On this night we accessed a room that looked as though a squatter was living in it. Upon closer inspection though it appears the room was used as a local hang out for kids growing up in the area in the 1980s, and judging from the style of graffiti, may later have been used by some punk rock squatters.
Get the details —>

Brooklyn City Railroad Company / Empire Electric. 5100 1st Ave, Brooklyn NY

(Original write up from July 2001 (with minor edits) – Building history & Update below)

One fine summer evening we ended our day of exploring here. As we approach the large hole in the front wall a guy that looks like he should work at a gas station emerges, grumbling to himself. Usually that sort of thing is a bad sign, but there’s 4 of us and one of him. Unfazed, we walk right in.

Curiously, Mr. hobo-asshole comes back into the building behind us, and goes past us into a dark corner. We did the usually ‘hey what’s up?’ thing, had cameras out, and made it pretty obvious we were no sort of threat to whatever he was up to. People who are drunk, drugged and fucked up though, living in such conditions as this – as a rat amongst trash piles and battered car shells, just don’t trust anyone… as we’d later find out.

Insides, 2001

The building itself was fantastic. The ceiling which once was likely composed of glass, has been smashed into oblivion. This created a nice … [ read more ]

What was it? Ruins along the SBK

Original publication date: May 1, 2001, Updated & re-posted: Feb. 16, 2014.
What was it? This new category of blog posts will feature locations around NYC that I’ve explored, but haven’t had the time to dig up good historic information on. It is my hope that someone out there will be able to comment below and let us all know – what was it?

Today’s feature is an abandoned set of buildings that were in Brooklyn. Outside of it’s address (1242 38th street, Brooklyn NY), I know little about what this facility was used for. There are however some clues to be found in the photos and the building’s location.

This place was located just south of the former South Brooklyn Railway (or SBK for short) which ran from the waterfront, along 37th street under the old Culver Shuttle, and hooked south along MacDonald avenue to what is today’s NYCTA Coney Island yard. Thus it’s a fairly good guess that at some point they received freight … [ read more ]

Honeywell Avenue Bridge

Original Write up: April 2, 2001
Honeywell Avenue is one long bridge which spans 2 rail yards and the LIRR/Amtrak mainline funnel of tracks from LI and Boston into Manhattan. This generally unnoticed bridge has been abandoned since 1979, and only recently (i.e. – today 4/2/2001) begun to be rebuilt.
Get the details —>

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