Obscura Society SF: Illicit Heights - Moses Gates & John Law on Scaling the Urban Landscape - Atlas Obscura
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Obscura Society SF: Illicit Heights - Moses Gates & John Law on Scaling the Urban Landscape

Join us for an evening with urban explorers Moses Gates and John Law as they share the joys of climbing bridges, buildings and some very famous pyramids

Everybody's heard George Leigh Mallory's great rational for climbing Mt. Everest: "because it's there." But that's not just about mountains. From bridges to skyscrapers; monuments to churches, there's also a lot of stuff to climb in our urban environment - because they're there.

Moses Gates, with guest presenter John Law, will be talking about the joy of getting up the (generally off-limits) bridges, churches, abandoned observation decks, national monuments, and other assorted urban structures of the world - from the Brooklyn Bridge, to the Notre Dame, to the Great Pyramid of Cheops.

Moses Gates is the author of the recent book "Hidden Cities: A Memoir of Urban Exploration," (Tarcher/Penguin, March 2103), and an urban planner, licensed New York City tour guide, and visiting assistant professor of demography at the Pratt Institute. His explorations of New York and around the world have been featured on the History Channel, the Travel Channel, WNYC, and in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian and the Economist. He has climbed suspension, arch, lift, cable-stay, retractile, transporter, and several different types of cantilever bridges. His website is mosesgates.com

John Law was raised in the Midwest and dreamed about bridges from a very young age. He attended the first Suicide Club initiation a year after his arrival in San Francisco in 1976, and through his apprenticeship in that saturnalian cabal came to know many of the world’s greatest bridge spans. Other past projects include: co-founding the Burning Man Festival, an event he parted ways with in 1996, and co-founding in 1977 and directing (for 35 years) the Billboard Liberation Front. He is the author of "A Space Between" (Furnace Press, 2008), four short stories about bridges, and co-editor of the upcoming book 'Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society (Last Gasp, May 2013). His website is johnwlaw.com


  • Monday April 22, 7-10 pm
  • Location: DNA Lounge, 375 Eleventh Street, San Francisco
  • Ages 21+
  • $12 general admission

TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE: Illicit Heights - Moses Gates & John Law

Photos by Simon Yorkston & John Behrens