No Place to Hide
The full moon was on, the night was clear, and we were itching to shoot something, so we decided to try for Renwick again. Photos from the last trip didn't pan out too well because of the giant floodlights that lit the building, but the last few times I drove past the hospital on the FDR it looked nice and dark. When we arrived, the flood lamps were still off. The massive amount of light pollution from Manhattan was still quite something to work around, but it was a fun challenge.
We were wrapping up and I was speaking quietly on the phone with my friend, when this helicopter swoops down from the night sky, fires up the giant spotlight, and starts scouring the tip of the island! "Uh, I gotta go," I said and hung up, grabbed my gear, and dove towards the ruin looking for cover. I'm inside, but... there's no freaking roof. Doh. I shrink back into a corner, pressed as close as I could against the brick wall, and the chopper glides over the hospital. The light filling the building from above was incredible and surreal... it sure would've been a great photo. My little corner stayed dark, and I wondered how my three companions were doing.
The helicopter swooped out over the river and I sure as hell wasn't sticking around, so I took the opportunity to sprint towards the fence. Well, "sprinting" means fumbling over huge boulders of broken concrete. The chopper swings back for another pass and I try to crawl in between two pieces, but it seemed pretty futile. Thankfully the spotlight skips my position and moves on to scour the Queensboro Bridge stanchions, so I cover the last remaining ground and make it over the fence. We all managed to scramble in the car and get off the island.
I've had helicopter troubles at an abandoned federal institution in D.C., and heck, even at Byberry, but nothing really compared to the adrenaline rush on this night.