John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
The result: footage so arresting it should be prescribed as a diuretic.
There are many questions one might ask Russia's extreme-buildering group, OnTheRoofs, such as: How do you get past security? And: Do you ever worry about getting smacked in the face by a bird, and plummeting to your squishy doom?
But an Instagram commenter poses another good one in regard to this photo: "Where the hell was the person taking the pic standing!?!?"
Answer: atop the 1,260-foot spire of the Diwang Building, just a few steps higher than the yellow-jacketed loon. And to judge from this photo, he may have been using a selfie stick—making this perhaps the most formidable image ever captured by that trendy camera accessory.
But there's plenty more where that came from, thanks to OnTheRoof's gravity-spiting achievements. The team's founding members, Vadim Makhorov and Vitaliy Raskalov, and a few lucky companions recently took a trip to play unpaid window washers in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. As with their past ascents, the resulting footage is so arresting it could be used as a diuretic.
Not that the climbers show any sign of being fazed. Here's Raskalov's almost dismissive appraisal of the awful Diwang pole: "Not bad for Shenzhen." I guess there's always the Burj Khalifa for next time?