New York City, New York State

The Fifth Deadly Venom

Date October 2009
Posted April 2011
Climbing NYC's Queensboro Bridge
Taking five bridges in New York City had always been a quiet personal objective. With four down, the fifth seemed like an obvious choice. Unlike the steel arch of the Hell Gate or the suspended spans of the Williamsburg, Brookyln and Manhattan, 'The Q' was of a different design entirely.

Queensboro Bridge, New York City, New York State (2009) courtesy of

This cantilever construction was, I seem to remember, discussed during that first meeting with Shane and Moe back in September. Later, shortly before he left, dsankt had joined me to look over it. The pedestrian path sits right beside the roadway, watched over by a series of ball cameras. Clearly securing a way up was going to be an 'involved' enterprise, and not one worth sacrificing a trip to Canada for.

On arrival back in NYC and with my imminent return to Blighty drawing ever-closer, the risks of being caught trying something like this seemed lessened. Sure, I'd never be let back in to the US, but since I was going home soon anyway what would it matter if I were to be deported? Unfortunately this gung ho attitude was not matched with good weather: it was overcast and drizzly, those clear warm summer nights over. In this murk and gloom I was joined by Shane, who'd accompanied me on all the other bridge ascents. It was apt that together we would fix our path to the top of the pylons, therefore claiming this last prize. Fittingly I named her my Fifth Deadly Venom.

Queensboro Bridge, New York City, New York State (2009) courtesy of

Several hours later and our work was done. Now we would need drink to calm the nerves. This time we drank cans of PBR, pushed across the bar by the smiling waitress who knew us only two well. We'd become semi-permanent fixtures now, and of course Ol' Mate Cash was already stacked up on the jukebox. Hours later we trudged along 59th Street once more. And being New York City, the traffic was just as busy, but of course in half-cut configuration we no longer gave a damn.

Somehow resilient to the effects of the weather, and with a fortunate break in the rain, our attempt began. From the bottom until the top we wondered if our dark forms had been sighted and the whole adventure consigned to doom as a battalion of cops were informed of our antics. No such thing appeared to have happened as we finally stood on the top of one of the pylons staring down at the upper deck traffic continuing it's relentless flow. The rain began again and save for taking a few pictures all that we could do was gaze out once more at Manhattan's unique skyline with wonder and appreciation.

Queensboro Bridge, New York City, New York State (2009) courtesy of

When it comes down to stuff like this there's a simple decision to be made: go big or go home. You know the consequences of a bust, you know you're playing with fire, you know what it could lead to. You accept it, so that even if the shit hits the fan, you'd still rather have gone through it all than been one of the braindead droids playing it safe, never achieving anything of note. This one goes out to the LCC, who went big.
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