New York City, New York State

The Manhattan Project

Date September 2009
Posted December 2010
Further span scaling above the Lower East River
As we kicked our way through the streets Shane voiced his concerns again: "Nah Man, this doesn't feel good". Ahead of us traffic continued to pour out of Brooklyn and into Manhattan, spilling off the bridge and streaking past in a blaze of light and slamming horns. Yes, they sure like to make themselves seen and heard here. A passing Q Train clattered to a halt at a signal, it's lights casting a glow through the latticework of the bridge and onto a gaggle of drunk wayward goth kids drinking Cobra. It takes all sorts at this time of the night, and shortly we were to encounter another fine specimen of oddity - some Chinese guy holed up on the bridge with his buddy, smoking Christ knows what and apparently oblivious to our laughter. Save for the occasional bag lady hobbling along with a shopping trolley of junk, it seemed that it was just us. And the bridge.

In this so-called land of opportunity there does happen to be a large contingent of closed-circuit television cameras. Just on the off chance, so I'm led to believe, that the particular opportunity you are seeking doesn't happen to mesh with the approval of NYPD's finest. Too bad then that tonight's watchman probably had his feet resting on the control desk and a bag of donuts obscuring the better part of the monitor bank. That's right chump, while you were feasting on the strawberry icing and sprinkles two sauced-up good-for-nothing clowns were clambering past your camera and up into the bridge structure above. True, a dose of the old malt liquor before bridge climbing can make you pretty off-balance and lead to an early death but it certainly boosts the bravado.

Hauling ourselves up the endless array of rivetted steelwork there was nothing to it but to ignore the onslaught of headlights coming either way across the bridge. Either you're seen or you're not, so up you go until the sound of the traffic is replaced by the thudding breeze up on the lofty pylon. Now inside part of the upper bridge structure we had to negotiate an almost horizontal ladder, peering with semi-fearful nervous laughter through the gaps between the rungs and down to the sodium-cast road deck way below.

Shoulder on the heavy hatch and a clang as it fell open. Finally a starlit sky was all that remained above, Orion and his belt watchful over the night travellers. We'd made it up to the top of the ornate bridge pylon, and since we were on the Brooklyn side we had the twinkling lights of downtown Manhattan at our disposal.

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

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

Manhattan Bridge, New York City, New York State (2009) courtesy of
Show a little love!