Urban Spelunk: The Freedom Tunnel (Episode 2)

The Freedom Tunnel is the popular name for the 2½-mile train tunnel under Riverside Park on Manhattan's West border. In the 1970s and 80s the tracks were disused and the tunnel became home to countless displaced and destitute people. Eventually entire elaborate shanty towns developed, some availed of electricity and running water siphoned off the tunnel's infrastructure. In the early 90s the inhabitants were removed by the city with the advent of the new HUD Section 8 programs, and the habitats (mostly) cleared out. Due to its hidden location, restricted access, and extraordinary lighting, the tunnel had become a veritable gallery of large-scale and elaborate graffiti art. Though the tunnel is in use again by Amtrak trains to and from Penn Station, installations continue to be added to this day.


Urban Spelunk: Boat Graveyard (Episode 1)

The Witte Marine Scrap Yard, also know as the Arthur Kill Boat Yard, or colloquially the Staten Island Boat Graveyard is a region of the channel between Staten Island and New Jersey harboring the scuttled and deteriorating remains of hundreds of marine vessels from the early 1900s to the present. Destined for repurpose, salvage, or destruction, the ships sit marooned in the mud of the harbor until they are bought and refurbished, dismantled for parts and scrap, or deteriorate and sink.

One fine August morning a band of amateur urban spelunkers gathered together some makeshift floatation devices and swam out to (a part of) the site to explore.