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Jason Toews and fifi (the band)

5 Beekman, NYC, November 2011


First, I saw this post about 5 Beekman on one of my very favorite blogs.

5 Beekman looks like an office building as imagined by Jules Verne, with cast iron railings, stamped ceilings, walkways suspended on the backs of snarling dragons, and a nine-story atrium topped by a massive skylight with Art Nouveau steampunk-ish detail everywhere you look. It’s gorgeous, and it’s been empty for many years. Mr. Scout does a fine job of telling the Beekman’s story in the blog post linked above, so I won’t duplicate his work here.

For several months, I had been looking at that post, marveling at the pictures, lamenting the fact that I would never get to personally see the inside of 5 Beekman. Then, near the end of an unrelated facebook conversation, a fellow explorer added, “oh yeah we’re going to beekman next week” and I was like, “BEEKMAN? WUT??” and he was all like, “yeah wanna join?” and I was like “DUDE! F YES!” and he was like, “stop typing in all caps.”

On the actual day of the visit, our plans were nearly scuttled when the building manager was unable to open the door. “It gets stuck sometimes,” he admitted. After several unsuccessful efforts to jimmy the lock with a Leatherman tool, the manager had an idea. “You come with me,” he said, pointing to one of my friends. “You look strong.” Then he pointed at me. “You also come with me. You are the brains of the operation.” Our roles established, we walked around the corner and yanked open a delivery entrance. Problem solved.

Finally, if you have any interest in NYC architecture, history, or film, allow me to heartily recommend the Scouting New York blog, and you’re welcome.

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