Urban Exploration to New York’s Off-Limits Places

UrbExers are explorers who go where normal people aren’t allowed to venture. Subway tracks, steam tunnels, rooftops, abandoned buildings: nothing is off limits. Also referred to as urban spelunking or urban exploring, UrbExing has been around for decades, and there are practitioners across the world who have explored the catacombs of Paris and storm drains of Australia.

This video profiles Vic, an UrbExer from New York City who documents his exploration and adventure on Instagram. “I feel like I’m liberating the views,” he says. “That’s something that every New Yorker should be able to see, but can’t see because not everyone has the money and not everyone has the understanding of how to get into these locations.”

Most of the locations explored by UrbExers are off limits for a reason: they’re dangerous. Vic has been arrested before. “I know I trespass, but I don’t necessarily want to call it that. It’s just like more of an artistic conquest,” he says. Growing up in Brooklyn, Vic likens himself to the “Robin Hood of photography,” sharing the incredible views, reserved only for the rich, with everybody. No matter where you stand on the issue, it’s hard to deny the breathtaking power of Vic’s photographs.