Boston at night is quieter than most big cities, and this lends itself to certain brands of nightlife that don’t include $14 drinks and bouncers grabbing your junk. Our destination this evening was not under the watchful eye of a bouncer or a security guard, rather, the only thing between our party and us was an ancient fire escape precariously bolted to the brick of the Boston Wharf building. We found our stairway with the building owner’s shiny car parked nearby, but no matter. We were on a mission this night.
With a quick glance down the deserted street, we maneuvered a tripod into position, and down came the fire escape staircase without so much as a squeak. The four of us ascended silently up the stairs, chuckling as a trio of drunken frat boys walked down the previously deserted street to their next bar, oblivious to the fact that the four of us were climbing higher and higher up the aging steel above their heads. Enjoy your expensive drinks and syphilis-ridden bar sluts, bro, we’ve got something a bit different in mind.
At the top of the fire escape, we moved like ninjas in the shadows, stalking a rival clan across the rubbery rooftop. We found what every rooftop explorer loves to see: a giant, dazzling neon sign illuminating the city below. Boston from this angle was different, sleepy, but still awake, with police sirens piercing the muggy air every so often and taxis crisscrossing the maze of streets below. From our perch, we sprawled out under the red glow of the sign and listened to the sound of the breeze blowing across the rooftop. No techno beats pounding in our ears, just the wind and the sounds of late night commerce in Boston; the screeching of buses, the occasional shouts of drunkards and bums, and the chatter amongst the four of us as we slinked about the roof, setting up shots and reveling in our perch.
We eventually made our way back down the antiquated stairs, dropping the last flight of the fire escape quietly and swiftly. And just like that, we were back on the ground, with nary a frat boy or a bum around to witness our descent. Over the next few days, more rooftops would be conquered, late nights once again made our playground. Sometimes, you just have to start climbing.