Here's a video from Miguel Southee Jr. showing him scaling the now-demolished "graffiti mecca" known as 5 Pointz in Long Island City, NY.
Let me tell you a story about this video...
I came across this video back in 2013 right around the time that 5 Pointz was in a major battle to save itself from the property owner who made it clear that they intended to tear the building down for redevelopment. For a long time, 5 Pointz and its graffiti was unofficially curated by graffiti artist Meres (Meres One, Meres1, etc.). In short, you basically had to email or get in contact with him before you were allowed to paint on any exterior or interior surface of the building. The building owner sort of turned a blind eye to this so long as no criminal activity was involved. All good until the building owner decided to sell the property and the new owners made plans to tear it down for condos.
5 Pointz was torn down in 2014.
So, being in love with graffiti and this particular building, I not only documented part of its demise but I also was very interested in the numerous videos and photos being made around the 2013-2014 years that documented any and every part of the building's interior and exterior. It wasn't hard to find as many people were labeling the video "5 Pointz" or "5Ptz". All you had to do was search. And so sometime in 2013, the video above came onto my radar and I made a post about it on a previous version of this site.
A few days after publishing, I get a sternly worded email from Marie who is part of the 5 Pointz graffiti group (I really don't know what to call them) and she accuses me of trespassing and other illegal activity which was ultimately threatening the efforts they were trying to make to save the building from demolition. Um, ok. Problem is, I didn't upload the video nor did I even know the person who did. If Marie had just spent maybe 10 seconds of her time she probably would have realized that my website had no affiliation to the video. But whatever. Some people don't know how to use the internet and that's fine.
Then, the real kicker. I get a call from Meres himself. A phone call. A phone call that not only perpetuated the misinformation that Marie had emailed me a day earlier, but also threatened to come and beat me up if I kept the video up. There was anger in Meres voice. I get it. His baby was being torn down and he couldn't do anything legally to stop it. I would be mad to. But to hear him curse at me and threaten me over something that they could have easily asked the actual YouTube video uploader to remove seemed so off-base that I could only sit speechless. Who was this guy? And how could he and his friend Marie not understand the simple idea of YouTube video embedding? I can only hope that 3 years later they know the difference between a video uploader and a site that links or embeds a video.
Anyway, long story short, Meres scared the hell out of me and I can only assume they threatened the video uploader the same way as well because eventually the video was marked "private". And since my post was so reliant on the video content, I just unpublished my post because without the video, it didn't make any sense.
Now, it seems the video is back online and having grown a bit older and wiser to how threats online can be handled, I have no problem whatsoever embedding the video here again for you all to see. 5 Pointz is gone now but in an effort to remember the past and preserve graffiti history, I hope you enjoy this video above which shows a good portion of the building before it was whitewashed with paint and torn down.