Rooftopping Versus Skywalking

Rooftopping is not about hanging yourself from the edge of a building.

Skywalking has been promoted in the media as rooftopping, incorrectly.

Urban exploration is not about taking silly risks with your life. Urban explorers take photographs, are careful as they explore, don’t litter or vandalize and they make it home again to upload their photographs. Taking photographs is not to prove you were there, or show how much of a thrill seeker you are. The photos document the place you visited, not the fact that you, in particular, were there. Rooftopping is not performance art.

Some explorers like to be underground in tunnels, drains and other types of big holes in the ground. Some (maybe the same people) like to be far above ground, to see everything from a new angle and look at all the city lights.

The first rooftopping photo was taken in Toronto, Ontario. The photograph showed the city far below with the photographer’s shoes hanging over the edge of the tall building they were sitting on. (Note, sitting on, not hanging or dangling from).

If you enjoy dangling yourself from a crane join a circus or take up construction and learn how to do it safely. Have some care and respect for yourself and be here (relatively undamaged) for your own further adventures, tomorrow.

Missing Buildings

I often get a haunted feeling when I notice these ghosts left on the side of a building from one which was there but demolished now. I was happy to see someone else thinking about them and even getting a collection of photos. These come from London, UK. How many have you seen in your own area? Did you ever stop and get a photo? Or, see what you can find out about the building no longer there?
Source: London’s ‘Missing Buildings’ by Thom And Beth Atkinson | Amusing Planet

Urban Exploration Ethics and Standards

I haven’t written a well thought out list for myself. Mainly I already know what crosses the line for me and the rest I decide at the time as things change. I seldom enter a building. That feels a bit too law breaking for me. Not very safe either.

I stick closely to “leave only footprints – take only photographs”. I’ve never vandalized a site, including leaving litter or moving anything to pose it for my photograph. In that way I think photographing derelict places should be like a game of golf – play it where it lies.


Source: Urban Adventure Org

Lovely Old Place in Edinburgh, Scotland

at risk edinburgh


Found on Buildings at Risk.

Such nice work on this building. I found it with Google Street View for a better look. There are birds on the sides of the building. I hope someone takes care of this place. On Google someone had garbage leaning against one of the main doorways. Tried to get some nice images with Google to show it off. As always, wish I could be there to see it and photograph it myself.

This building also has images of the original owners. I wonder if the families still own the building and know who the faces on it are.atrisk0atrisk1atrisk2atrisk3atrisk4atrisk5atrisk6atrisk7atrisk8atrisk9atrisk10atrisk11atrisk12atrisk13atrisk14atrisk15atrisk16atrisk17atrisk18 Continue reading Lovely Old Place in Edinburgh, Scotland

An Urban Exploration Directory is Too Much Work

I had wanted (and tried!) to build an urban exploration directory of sites. I have experience building and maintaining a web directory, for years. But, I’m finding the project is too big and too vast to take on and build to my own standards of over-perfection. So, I am just working on a directory for Canadian urban exploration groups, photographers and resources.


I am still adding other links but I’m not going to focus on them. I may turn some of the links into pages sorted by location. But, that is down the road somewhere.

White Towers Motel

White Towers MotelIt’s interesting how much you can and can not see using Google Street View. This is the White Towers Motel. I can’t say that it was the White Tower’s Motel because it is still standing, so far. There is some kind of plan in action for it. Likely it was sold to new owners as the name has been changed. Now it is the Barrie Motel Hotel (or something like that). There is one of the old white signs still up but the rest have been changed.

One whold section of the motel is all boarded up and will likely be demolished. It wasn’t a fancy place and now it really looks ratty. Too bad to see another of the old motels downslide and likely disappear at some point.

My plan is to get there for some photos of my own. But, I did like the step back in time to see it in 2012 when Google got these photos. One odd thing, the side of the building which is now boarded up is different now. In this view the building has a new surface but when I went by on the bus today it was the old stuff. Likely a board (which was painted fresh) has fallen off. Anyway, will get the photos of the motel as it is now, soon.

whitetower1 whitetower2 whitetower3 whitetower4 whitetower5 whitetower7 whitetower8 whitetowers6

Ruins Meets Modern

My favorite style of design is when the very old meets the new. It’s like the industrial lofts in Downtown LA that still maintain some of the classical building elements.

Organica Arquitectura in Lisbon took a ruined stone house in Portugal and integrated a brand new modern house. The combination of the old and new couldn’t be more perfect.

I feel that it’s important to maintain older beautiful structures and restore them when possible. It maintains the history and gives a new building so much personality. This is my idea of perfect design.

via Ruins Meets Modern «.

Blogging 101: Introduce Yourself

urbanexplorationasciiartUrban exploration covers a lot of different types of exploring and people who explore. First, it’s modern exploration. Not unlike explorers in history who go where few others have gone before, but we tend to focus on what was built and then neglected. The things people may see every day but don’t get close for a good look.

Second, urban exploration is not about salvage or vandalism. Take only photographs and leave only footsteps – that’s the rule. Trespassing is part of it, but most of us have our own rules about how far we go. I will take as many photos as I can from the street when I can’t get closer. But, if access is available I will walk around the building and try to photograph it from all sides. Within reason. I don’t want to take too many risks and as a BBW woman I do watch where I step and avoid close encounters with wild animals too.

I very rarely enter a building. For me this is breaking and entering and not respecting the property of others. If someone were to complain about my being on the property and taking photographs they would have a lot more reason to complain if I were inside versus just walking around in the grass, rubble and abandoned gardens.

Of course, I mainly photograph abandoned farm houses in Ontario. So, there are not many people around when I am there. The few times someone has approached me it was out of curiousity (most often). I would usually get some history of the place from these people and they were happy to tell me all that they know once they knew I was there to document it and not doing anything to cause harm.

So that’s an introduction to this site and myself. You can read more about me on my other sites.

One other thing, the name of this site, Wrecky Rat Bird, comes from my nephew Zack. When he was a little boy we talked to him about the old abandoned places and he began calling them “wrecky rat bird” because they were wrecks with rats and birds living in them. I still call them all wrecky rat bird sometimes, so the name stuck even though the nephew is almost 19 now.

Alternative History

I like playing city building games cause it’s the one time you really can play god and no one can get upset about being bossed around or manipulated by you. Like any god, once things stop going my way, when the peasants are revolting, the crops are burning and the armies are refusing to fight, I pull the plug and start over. Isn’t that what gods do?

Another time you can play god is when you rewrite history. Change something and write about how things carry on from there. Of course, you can still bend it all to your will, as you see it. Facts can only get you so far.

Google Groups: Soc.history.what-if
Today in Alternate History
Wikia: Alternate History
Alt Hist
Other Timelines
Uchronia: The Alternate History List
Uchronia:Sidewise Awards for Alternate History
Changing the Times
Point of Divergence
Wikipedia: Alternate History
Wikipedia: Counterfactual History
Hypothetical History

Grrl Explorers on Flickr

Female Urban Explorers

Urban Explorers tend to be men…which is no bad thing for us girl explorers 😉 but being such a rare breed, it’s always nice to meet other girls interested in UE. This group is a place for UE girls to get together to talk about our explores and experiences and a place to share our images. Let’s celebrate the fact that we are female Urban Explorers….and proud of it!

FUSE – Female Urban and Street Exploration

…interesting artifacts found on the street that have been abandoned or unused for quite sometime, parts of a building that has lots of character, or urban exploration in general (the inside of an abandoned building, house, etc).

Why females only? The art of UrbEx is male dominated. I wanted it to be known that women are out there UrbEx’ing too.

Do it for the grrls!