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Pictures! Sort of. I wanted to link the photos album-by-album from Facebook, so I hope a) everyone can see the pictures regardless if you have a facebook or not, or b) everyone has a facebook account so they can view the pictures if the "public link" doesn't work for the true public.

Anyway, there are over 400 pictures here, which is why I opted for links to albums. These are from my ADVENTURE-WEEKEND ADVENTURES! Taken over the UER Annual Rochester Mega-Meetup weekend a couple weeks ago. We began with the abandoned subway system and ended with an abandoned children's center.

The Abandoned Subway
This is Inauguration Day for UER's annual trip to Rochester. People gathered from all around the USA and Canada for this. I represented RAG (Rochester Adventure Group- "we wear dark colours because we're on the RAG"). We always go down to the subway for new members. And it was great, because I've never been that deep into the system. I came home with a railroad spike. I can't believe I never bothered to look for one before. About twenty or so people went down with me, Brendan, Boyfriend, and Troy (the remaining Rochester Adventure Group), which made the adventure much more fun, and much easier to brave the deep, dark tunnels (Charles and I have gone down alone together but were nervous about bums and other follies).

East Ave Commons: Basement
East Ave Commons: Rooftop
Two links there. After the subway, Troy took some of us to go to his current place of employment to show us the rooftop, where we had a gorgeous view of the city, and where I played around with the manual settings on my camera for optimum photos. I climbed a terrifyingly high ladder to get to the third rooftop (the first one was the at the entrance, the second a staircase away, then the high one was a metal ladder attached to the wall. So scary. I almost cried on the way up because I knew I'd have to climb down it later- which actually wasn't nearly as scary). After thoroughly enjoying the perfect rooftop weather, we went down to the basement where we found really old things like beta tapes, Charlie Chaplin reels, and impossibly old blueprints for the building. Unfortunately, because this place wasn't abandoned, we couldn't take anything.

General Foods
By far my favourite adventure of the weekend. Lofts and photo studios abound and lots of fun. Most of my loot came from one room with lots of old photos and photo equipment in it. I grabbed hundreds. The first floor was fun to trek around- had some cool stuff to look at. Got to use the flashlights. The second floor was pretty well-lit and was the most interesting floor. SO MUCH awesome stuff. And slosh! Dust and debris from the ceiling, plus leaks from the previous day's rain made a whole lotta mush on the floor. Made me glad I decided to wear my docs and tuck my pant legs into them. 3rd floor was a drag, and the roof was crumbling, but walkable. Around the time we'd about wrapped things up, we were joined by a couple from Winnipeg who had just moved to west Ontario, so we gave the building another go. And glad I did because I found a freaking nazi cookbook from 1939! Crazy! I am in the middle of scanning it. Anyway, we had a great time with the Winnies who are the coolest people I've ever met on an adventure :)

Random Abandoned House
After General Foods, we went to Jay's Diner and introduced the Canadians to the garbage plate (not the OFFICIAL garbage plate, which belongs to Nick Tahou's but most diners have their own variation- Jay's is called the Heartburn Special, for good reason). We hung out for a little while and discussed our next adventure. Do we go to the Laundry Factory or Iola Campus or what? We decided on walking a couple blocks over from Jay's to an abandoned house I'd never seen before (as many times as I'd driven by there, that house was pretty set away from the road and covered in vines and other greenery). It wasn't too exciting. We didn't spend a lot of time there, but there were a few key spots. My favourite was the basement. I found a hovel with fuel tanks in it. I didn't notice there was a door on the entry hole when I went through. I only noticed after Brendan SHUT THE DOOR ON ME!! Jerk. I would have been scared without my flashlight, and even then, I was a little nervous (thank you zombie movies). Mostly I was nervous because the place looked slightly lived-in still, and also the ground was soppy and didn't want to get my feet stuck in the floor. Anyway, we hung around outside the place for a little bit, chatted, and took a group picture, then went back to the cars at Jay's and headed to Iola.

Iola Campus
Iola campus are those seemingly abandoned buildings behind the Siemens building. Cops will most likely be there, but not necessarily for you. They train there. However, if you're INSIDE the buildings, you should still hide, and there are plenty of places to hide. Especially in the tunnels. We didn't have much opportunity to fully explore these buildings because we needed to stay out of the rooms with windows (which were most of them) and we were on sort of a mission, so we didn't get to look into the dark rooms much, either. They were all empty except for graffiti anyway. And wiring. Like, NEW wiring, and cameras (the cameras were on the outside, thankfully). Our mission was to find an open door to the basement. Basements are always key to any building adventure. When we found a way down, we were in tunnels. This is what we in UER call "backbreaker" adventures- that keep you crouched and hunched over for the entire journey. These tunnels weren't every day basement tunnels surrounded by cement walls, ceilings, and floors... it was mostly dirt. Dirt, pipes, WATER, and asbestos! Ugh. We crouched about a mile down, looking for something specific. We know there are tunnels that go all through the underbelly of Rochester, and we think we're on the right track to finding a new route to the catacombs. We found something. A cinder-block wall that is obviously blocking something. Yield and her boyfriend examined the wall and said they could see the coffins on the other side. And hit that wall... it's hollow. If we had a sledgehammer, we'd have busted down that wall. Next time. We went back up and found another down. This time, we were in an actual basement. We were in the old Traffic Control Center of Rochester. I wish it still lit up. We had a few scares, hearing sirens, both in the building and in the tunnels, but made it out just before dusk, said our goodbyes and left for home.

If anyone's interested, I also have an album of some of the graffiti I came across. I didn't take pictures of EVERYTHING, because, wow... I'd have to get another photo card and spend several days in each place. I'm not that much into the graffiti, and in fact, didn't even get a shot of all the best pieces (however, I can say, most of the best were found at the entrance to the subway).

Erica's Annual Cemetery Birthday PicnicBetween adventures, RAG took Saturday off to attend Erica (Brendan's girlfriend)'s birthday party. She always has it in the same spot in Mt. Hope Cemetery. We had a great time. Brendan took the boys to go climb onto an adjacent crypt as usual and the girls stayed on the blankets in the shade. I've always been jealous of the boys because I am too short to climb onto the crypt :( Later, we decided to get some group shots, which we never thought to do before. All the guys got on the roof of this giant castle-like crypt across the path from our spot and we took lots of pictures. And all the girls got in front of a statue near our spot and we all posed like her. Then we got a group shot, which involved me and Brendan setting the timers on a bunch of cameras and then RUNNING up the steps, and up the hill and over the parasols in ten seconds! It was all fun. I always have a great time with these guys :)


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 10th, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
You take things???

The first, and cardinal rule, of urban adventuring is to NOT take things (other than photos of course). It's considered disrespectful and it limits what other urban adventurers get to experience as well.

That said, I've never had an issue with the cops in any place. Worst they do is tell us to leave. Unless you have another reason to hide. *raises eyebrow* Are you getting back into the male sex slave trade and scoping out places to smuggle them again?
Aug. 10th, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC)
hahaha, no, no human trafficking this month.
I don't take much... things in danger of being destroyed by the weather, things in great quantity, photos (there were thousands and thousands and thousands of photos- the ones I took only made a tiny dent). And I take shoes if they're good. And my friend found a cook kid's wallet and gave it to me.
Aug. 19th, 2010 07:52 pm (UTC)
This sounds like so much fun! Are there any openings for participants in your Rochester Adventure Group?
Aug. 19th, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
There's another big bunch of adventures coming up in a couple weeks (for a whole week).
Aug. 20th, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
Awesome, thank you!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )