On the 18th of October, the Rope Bomb Squad # 22402 invited me along for their Knotty Flash Mob romp through Central Park. My friends Storii and Parker met up with me in Manhattan and we joined the rest of the group of about 20 people just outside of Central Park.
Murphy Blue, the leader, introduced everyone and laid out the ground rules for the group. They were pretty simple variations on the same principle they drill into kindergarteners and Marines alike: Stay together, and no one gets left behind. At the same time, Dov passed out sheets detailing the Photographer’s Bill of Rights. This included the fact that in NYC it is legal for women to be topless, for example, and that in a public park it is legal to take photos, but illegal for the police to do things like take away your film, camera, etc.
Then we were off into the park…and fun.
It was just fun rope, folks. Yes, it was hot, too – take a look at Storii on the rock, for example. But some of it was “let’s see what we can do with this place!” I wanted to stay away from suspensions as much as I could (when I muttered aloud that “suspensions are overrated” as I rigged Jo_Lee by the bandshell, the photog Ian shook my hand in grateful agreement) but in the final location we found, I couldn’t resist.
Beautiful arches. Glowing tiled ceilings. Multiple people around to suspend. All with the added joy of police showing up and informing us (well, mainly Dov) that if there was any damage to this $17 million overpass he would find us. Thankfully, Dov’s Humongous Balls of Brass were large enough to derail that particular bus.
I got Storii up in the suspension just as I envisioned, snapped some shots, and then was running around trying help tear stuff down and escape the park with laughing, disheveled and half-roped-up models and riggers alike. It’s probably some of the most fun with rope I’ve had ever.
If you get a chance to come to NYC, pay attention to the Rope Bomb Group. They’re friendly, they’re wild, and they just love rope.
I want to give special thanks to Music and Murphy and Storii, who had my back while I had my own interaction with the Fuzz. Incidentally, just so you know, the police are perfectly happy to tell you things you know for a fact are not true. If that happens, don’t argue. Take a cue from Lee Harrington, and acknowledge their “interesting perspective” and disengage from them as quickly as possible.
There are other places to rig, other ropes and bodies to enjoy. And to paraphrase an old Dungeons & Dragons truism, It is wise to avoid the attention of officers, for you are crunchy and taste good with truncheons.