The third (sort of unpunished) summit bid this summer of the New York Times Building, NYC suggests some very important conclusions about the instability of the climbing scene in Manhattan.
First of all, would someone tell me why everyone is doing the same route? After Alain Robert sent the North face of the building why did two others put in summit bids along the same route, apparently so very easy that David Malone–not a climber, not even really athletically inclined since playing b-ball for the Kingswood-Oxford high school’s griffins (vincit qui se vincit: which means something like–I always lose, even to myself)–said, “It was like climbing a ladder and I knew I could climb a ladder.” Photo here.
If it’s so goddamn easy that you train for the climb on a stairmaster then why are these bulbous porcelain rods inviting so much attention? Why is this the holy grail of the Manhattan climbing scene? Are there no other slippery apartment complex windows to suction up or fast food arches to scale or trump towers into which one might pound a piton? The Manhattan climbers have lost all real street cred. In 2008 they aren’t pushing the limits anymore. They’ve sold out like a bunch of hookers in harnesses (except Ivan Green–he doesn’t wear a harness, and that new Rat Rock eliminate is sick enough to absolve him).
The first two climbers were human ad campaigns for, like, malaria and global warming or something, see web logger Frank Giles’s incisive reporting on the first two summer climbs and then Malone, not even a real climber here, people, just a “stair-climber” goes and does it in the name of his fringe self-published nonsense about Osama Bin Laden winning “a long awaited chess match” with George Bush.
Then they leave trashy ads up on the wall: “Bin Laden’s Plan.com–Why doesn’t Malone just set up a climbing gym with American-flag and chess-piece-shaped plastic holds all the way up the NYT building? If his book is so bad that he needs to go knocking on the 11th story windows (he never reached the summit because he was talking on the cell phone trying to get an interview with someone, anyone on the other side of the glass) of a newspaper building then he should begin looking for another career.
The reasons the new anti-Spiderman laws set up to discourage this sort of thing in NYC did not put him in jail, are likely: a) they could not slap a Frenchman on the wrist for doing something and then arrest a good anti-terrorist American patriot for the same thing; b) he is a good anti-terrorist American patriot. I think Alpinist should consider doing an in-depth profile of the deteriorated, nearly non-existent, climbing situation in NYC fraught with laziness, high-rolling sellouts, politics, and Spiderman lawsuits. That’s my kind of feature.