Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

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AbNo
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Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby AbNo » Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:31 am UTC

I can't believe there isn't a topic for UE on this forum. It's mentioned in about 5 posts, but there's no dedicated thread.

Anyone have any awesome exploration stories to share? Any mediocre stories? Find any phat loot? Find and fat lutes?

I've got nothing to share, other than the fact that there should be a small UE group forming in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in the next few weeks.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby Robin S » Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:46 am UTC

Imperial's Maths department autolocks at 11pm, and I got locked in during my first week or so here. As a result, I had to spend some time exploring corridors I wasn't sure I was meant to be able to access (several high-voltage signs and a couple of heavily-locked doors, among other things) in the sub-basement before I eventually emerged into a more or less totally unexpected outdoor location through a fire exit which I later learned was also meant to be locked, and away from which virtually every fire exit sign in the 8-floor building pointed. It was an interesting experience. Does that count?
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby AbNo » Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:52 am UTC

That counts. I didn't say it had to be intentional. :D
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby Belial » Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:30 pm UTC

What on earth gave you the idea that this belonged in SB?
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:01 pm UTC

Don't be so fast to condemn, Jordan. After all, being a fucktard is serious business.

Strange... Firefox's dictionary recognises "fucktard" as a word. Oh, wait, it was set to American English (I'm not making this shit up; it really did accept it).
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby lowbart » Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:05 pm UTC

It recognizes what? Fucktard?

I've always wanted to try urban exploration but there aren't many opportunities here. If I went to a real city I'd be worried about getting arrested for trespassing or running into the Mafia or something.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby M.qrius » Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:11 pm UTC

I wish our university had steam tunnels... I like urban exploration, but haven't really found much opportunity to do so. I like combining it with my climbing hobby, ie, walking around on top of buildings and things like that. There's not all that much to 'explore', but I like being in places that hardly anyone ever gets to.

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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby darwinwins » Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:14 pm UTC

back in march of 2005, i was in brooklyn near midnight in NYC (i'm usually not scared but ... hmm). my friends and i were just finished dining at a fast-food vegan place (yeah, it exists -- caught me off guard, too). so we were walking around and found a pretty desolated building that was lit up through the window but no street light or sign. inside was a used book/record store that might just have been set up for the night. as i rummaged, i ran across an original printing of The Little Prince and a first edition of Jailbird by Vonnegut.

in Seoul Korea, my buddies and i were walking down Hana near Itaewon and found a strip club named Giant. it might sound like a not really a big deal type of thing but trying to find one of these damn things is near impossible.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby wst » Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:08 pm UTC

I could do some UE-eaque stuff in my school, if I would be guaranteed to not suffer punishment. The whole school has suspended ceilings, and removing a tile, climbing onto the supports, and then replacing the tile wouldn't be difficult (some tiles are magnetic... easy to remove and a piece of string holding a magnet will close it after me...). We also have ducting around the school for air-con.

But I'd get punished :(

Maybe next 'heroes and villains' day I would dress as a ninja. Then I'd have an excuse, though it'd be difficult to explain if I was caught, being a ninja...
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby MoonBuggy » Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:12 pm UTC

It would? You mean "look, I'm a ninja" isn't a valid reason in itself?
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby M.qrius » Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:21 pm UTC

I think he means that a true ninja doesn't get caught.

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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby MoonBuggy » Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:27 pm UTC

Ah. Methinks I just had some nerdpoints revoked...
Michael McClary, in alt.fusion, wrote:Irrigation of the land with sewater desalinated by fusion power is ancient. It's called 'rain'.

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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby darwinwins » Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:33 pm UTC

ninjas aren't nerds. just saying.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby wst » Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:37 pm UTC

M.qrius wrote:I think he means that a true ninja doesn't get caught.


That's the one, though it would be a good excuse to be creeping around in the first place.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:49 pm UTC

My god! Your right! I live in Chicago, and have found four mind blowing places thus far. Much whiskey has been drunk at all these locales:

Bridge house on webster and ashland.
Concrete factory thingy place off I-55's Damen exit.
Plastic wrap processing plant somewhere near wicker park (i biked, got arrested, don't remember where)
Paper factory (which has been torn down) right next to Hidden Peak climbing wall. Um, Chicago, about 4000 block.

Tactics for infiltration? Avoiding barbed wire? Beating guard dogs? Picking locks? Thermiting welded plates? Social trespassing (look like you belong!)?

Anyone read that zine by that ninja guy?
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby Robin S » Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:53 pm UTC

darwinwins wrote:ninjas aren't nerds. just saying.
Correction: ninjas aren't necessarily nerds, but the two are not mutually exclusive.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby dekonstruct » Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:57 pm UTC

I used to explore many urban wrecks, train yards, and subterranean tunnels back before everyone was worried about terrorism. Now my favorites are all fenced off with video cameras and barbed wire. Lame.

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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby darwinwins » Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:07 pm UTC

Robin S wrote:
darwinwins wrote:ninjas aren't nerds. just saying.
Correction: ninjas aren't necessarily nerds, but the two are not mutually exclusive.

no ... ninjas can never be nerds. they can be geeks but never nerds. pirates can and often are nerds.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby chaosspawn » Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:17 pm UTC

A nearby hospital was demolished, but was not actually cleared up for several years. Used to play paintball with some friends around the rubble. It was fun too because there were some small buildings around it that were still standing but completely hollowed out, all concrete structures. Had a rather fun post-apocalyptic feel to the whole place. Though I guess it might not count much as an urban area.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby M.qrius » Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:18 pm UTC

chaosspawn wrote:A nearby hospital was demolished, but was not actually cleared up for several years. Used to play paintball with some friends around the rubble. It was fun too because there were some small buildings around it that were still standing but completely hollowed out, all concrete structures. Had a rather fun post-apocalyptic feel to the whole place. Though I guess it might not count much as an urban area.

Why would it not count? I think it perfectly fits the description.

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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby Robin S » Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:21 pm UTC

darwinwins wrote:no ... ninjas can never be nerds.
Google says otherwise.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby Cheese » Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:28 pm UTC

I'd also participate in the school-ceiling thing, but would also get yelled at. But I don't think that there's much worth seeing up there, only the chance to get into locked rooms and mess things up look around.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby Rippy » Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:45 pm UTC

Cheese wrote:I'd also participate in the school-ceiling thing, but would also get yelled at. But I don't think that there's much worth seeing up there, only the chance to get into locked rooms and mess things up look around.

"So many pretty cables, which do I cut?"

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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby pieaholicx » Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:54 pm UTC

I would do this but there's nothing left to explore close to me, and if I tried in the closest big city I'd probably get shot very quickly.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby Robin S » Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:55 pm UTC

Rippy wrote:"So many pretty cables, which do I cut?"
The red one.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:02 pm UTC

Big cities are not places to get shot anymore then you crazy suburbanites or tiny towns are. The scariest place i've ever been in all of America was a motel in Sweetwater Texas (yeah, i have no idea). It was like a scene out of House of a Thousand Corpses, except further from the boarder.
If you can't find places to explore, I suggest following train tracks a while. If that fails, find a factory, and examine it for human activity. The key isn't avoiding humans, the key is acting nonchallant. If you get confronted, ask for directions to a fictional place and walk away. Or tell them your looking for your dad and got lost, where is building A? If you live in the middle of shitsville NoWhere, and are for some weird reason sick of the original kind of Exploration, then your in luck, because your kind of proximity disconnect with society is likely putting IN proximity to a number of derelict buildings.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby AKADriver » Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:10 pm UTC

I did a bit at RPI while I was studying there in the late '90s. Of course, in a place like that, I didn't go anywhere that hadn't been explored anyway - I'd always find stickers stuck on pipes and walls, or detritus like food wrappers. My favorite place to waste time was Old School 14 - I think they call it "Academy Hall" now. It was a public primary school before the city sold the building to the Institute, and it's never been wholesale remodeled, so there's a lot of that existence left. West Hall is good like that, too... it was a hospital before the 'tute bought it.

Come to think of it, without venturing into unsavory (or unsafe) areas, the best UE is by far to be found in repurposed buildings like that. Turn a school into offices, or a hospital into lecture halls, and a lot of the building's specialized features are going to lay vacant and dark.

A city in general isn't particularly more dangerous than anything else, but it's a question of scale. The "bad part of town" in a small town might be a single trailer park or apartment building. The "bad part of town" in a city will stretch for blocks and, of course, contain most of the good vacant stuff.

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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby chaosspawn » Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:13 pm UTC

M.qrius wrote:Why would it not count? I think it perfectly fits the description.
I dunno, I had in my mind the definition of urban involving the downtown area of a large city at the time. And that was an open field and everything.
I've wandered around the downtown area of a few cities but have yet to find anything really interesting. Most of my wandering tends to be spontaneous when I decide to see where some path ends up.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby KevorkianKat » Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:14 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Big cities are not places to get shot anymore then you crazy suburbanites or tiny towns are.


I don't know where you live, but the ratio of shootings to population rate is CRAZY higher in St. Louis than it is in buttfuck nowhere where I live.

That being said, there are a TON of buildings I pass everyday on the tram. A lot of them are broken down, lots of graffiti and generally look like the buildings themselves are engulfed in a movie style turf war. I would go exploring in them, except I'm almost 100% sure I'd run into some cracked out junkie, a gang, hobos or various other undesirable exploring partners.

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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby dekonstruct » Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:14 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I suggest following train tracks a while. If that fails, find a factory, and examine it for human activity.



Watch out on them train tracks, a few people I know have been questioned about being terrorists because they were found on train tracks. Something important must be shipped by train. Twinkies or something.

I always found the best places on just the outskirts of urban areas where all the old factories are. If it's anywhere near a coast, major canal, or shipping route watch out. They tend to patrol those a little heavier. You could always go to Poland or Russia. There's a derelict building for every citizen there.

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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:25 pm UTC

I can't really vouch this with clear conscience, but consider this a light under the butts of those to scared to venture out there. I've run into some unsavory things, and had some close calls, and found myself in situations where quite frankly, no one would find my remains for ages to come, but guys, comon, life is not about surrounding yourself with safety rails and padded corners. Yes, almost every UE place you find will be covered in graffiti and littered with busted crack vials (i found a human finger once), but frankly, deal with it.
Yes, more gun deaths occur in cities, but still, i'm still more afraid of small town mentalities. Easier to remain crazy, easier to hide someone. I'm not saying everyone is, so take a deep breath and turn off the retaliation.
Train YARDS are heavily guarded. HEAVILY. If you get caught meandering around a train yard, there is no excuse, there is no bribe, and there is no course of action other then run like hell on wheels. If you get caught, you will get beaten up. Rail bulls are notorious for not taking kindly to potential freight hoppers.

So yeah, I still recommend going out and checking out that barely used factory. Hop the fence. Just be sure to bring a friend or two. At worst, you get arrested and get slapped with a trespassing ticket. Bring a camera and a notebook, cops are more leniant on artish kids then on a guy with lockpicks and a bolt cutter. And under no circumstances should you bring cans of paint if you plan on getting off scott free. Actually, the camera excuse is almost like a free ticket "Officer, i'm just trying to take some photos for a school project".

Crazy hobos hanging out in places like factories are probably doing so to get out of the rain/cold. If its the middle of the day, chances are they'll be empty.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby Robin S » Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:28 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Bring a camera and a notebook, cops are more leniant on artish kids then on a guy with lockpicks and a bolt cutter.
Personally, I'd be more suspicious of someone with a camera and notebook.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby parkaboy » Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:39 pm UTC

Rippy wrote:
Cheese wrote:I'd also participate in the school-ceiling thing, but would also get yelled at. But I don't think that there's much worth seeing up there, only the chance to get into locked rooms and mess things up look around.

"So many pretty cables, which do I cut?"


haha, in the elevator at my old place of employment, one night someone had left the panel with all the wires and switches in it unlocked and open. I commented to my friend that it would be hideously easy to screw up the elevator by switching a couple wires because they all looked the same. I was called an office-terrorist.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby dekonstruct » Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:43 pm UTC

Robin S wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:Bring a camera and a notebook, cops are more leniant on artish kids then on a guy with lockpicks and a bolt cutter.
Personally, I'd be more suspicious of someone with a camera and notebook.


Heh, it's a crap shoot either way. I was kicked out of an abandoned paper mill with my camera, but got in later when I pretended to be a potential buyer with my father. Even got a free tour.

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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby KevorkianKat » Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:26 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:, but frankly, deal with it.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_St._L ... nois#Crime

No thanks, I'll live to a ripe old age and enjoy nature rather than potentially finding crack vials, fingers and dealing with armed hooligans who have nothing better to do than gut me and throw my corpse into the river. While the art potential intrigues me, my common sense meter says go look at trees and deer :)

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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:53 pm UTC

Holy CRAP St. Louis is bad! Bad like wow. Bad like, why the hell do you live there? Chicago's got its sketchy sides, but NOTHING makes me think of those numbers. I scouted some factories in Gary Indiana, almost pooping myself the entire time, and NEVER felt like it even approached the numbers given. Your assault frequency is 20x the national avg. (!!!)

That said, America is ginormous. Have you ever driven down a highway and seen a grain elevator complex? Thaaaat had no cars near it? And had two friends, one of which knew kung fu? Then giddyup good sir.

The appeal to urban exploration is that its a human wilderness. Its easy to find rooms that havn't been used for their original purpose for over 50 years. Its like unsealing the pyramids, except peering into a culture and people that you know, intimately. Playboy pinups dot locker room walls, fire circles with buttprints on the mouldering concrete, CJheartsNP, carved trinkets. Its like having Tom Waits blasted into your retina.

I don't really ever trespass alone. I always bring a camera. I never steal souvenirs never have paint with me, and always have a cellphone. I treat the people I meet like bears; don't turn your back on them, walk away slowly, maintain eye contact, don't appear intimidated, and speak clear, simple, deflective sentences. I don't surprise cops.
I once walked four miles down the Red lines underground tunnel system, and found a book of mormon and a checker clothed box crate with a meal laid out. It was still steaming.

There are crazy hobo's everywhere. As insane as one may be, a fin spot will get you out of trouble.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby KevorkianKat » Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:32 pm UTC

I don't live there but that's where all the explorable buildings are that I pass by on the metro (train). The metro goes all the way from Scott AFB, IL (well inside IL) to Shrewsberry, MO (well inside MO) which passes through East St. Louis (which I don't dare get off at). You also don't ride the metro past 7PM or before 5AM unless you like watching over your shoulder at the crowd of folks wearing the same color bandanna, or dodging the shady dice dealer in the middle of the floor, or sharing a seat with a clearly deranged hobo, or wondering why someone would bring a mini-scooter onto the tram while wearing a bandanna over his face (clue: it's faster than a bike, and bandanna's generally cover identifiable portions of your face).

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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby TizzyFoe » Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:38 pm UTC

wow, i really want to go now. Ive done a few minor things a couple of times, but nothing work recounting. Maybe ill try to convince a few friends to go with me.
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby AbNo » Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:05 pm UTC

Belial wrote:What on earth gave you the idea that this belonged in SB?


Mmm, because it didn't belong anywhere else, and falling 20 feet down a drainage tunnel could be pretty serious?

If that's not the right answer, then I will say "It's on the internets, therefore it is Serious Business!".
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Re: Urban Exploration ( Exploring )

Postby AbNo » Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:07 pm UTC

lowbart wrote:I've always wanted to try urban exploration but there aren't many opportunities here. If I went to a real city I'd be worried about getting arrested for trespassing or running into the Mafia or something.


The irony is, UE is just about that, the first part at least: finding and discovering new places. You'd be surprised how many neat little nooks and crannies there are even in a small town like Harrisonburg, VA.

Also, just because it's called URBAN Exploring doesn't mean you have to be in a city. Hell, I live in Virginia just off 81. There's ALL KINDS of abandoned buildings and things, hiding behind a thin veil.

Central Georgia's the same way.

*buys a camera and digs out an old notebook*
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