We are fashioning this life from scratch. Go, find a stick, and make something. – Nikolai Polissky

I’m moving to NYC in a couple weeks.

This video below documents what is known as “Freedom Tunnel” Located on the upper west side of Manhattan, it was first constructed in 1930 for Amtrak trains, but was quickly deserted by the company. Shortly after, the city’s homeless moved in, creating an underground civilization that no doubt created its own social mores, rules, and ultimately culture.

Aiding in this was the graffiti happening down there. Starting with Chris Pape, aka Freedom. His was some of the first work in the tunnel, thus earning the namesake of the passage.

There’s a lot in this for me, both from the perspective of the homeless who set up shop there, and the artists who bombed the walls. The notion of creating something from nothing. Starting over in a new, undiscovered place. Using what you have to make an imprint on the world around you. The possibility of discovering something new in your own back yard. The first of what I hope will be a lot of interesting shit in the new town.

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One thought on “We are fashioning this life from scratch. Go, find a stick, and make something. – Nikolai Polissky

  1. David Gunn says:

    Good luck in the city and with your move.

    Just to clarify a point, Amtrak was created in 1971. These tunnels were created by the New York Central Railroad, and have been in continuous use since their creation.

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