October 7, 2016

"Early Wednesday morning, a man tragically died while trying to surf a Coney Island-bound F train near the Fourth Avenue/Ninth Street station in Brooklyn."

"Gothamist now reports that the deceased is Christopher Serrano, a 25-year-old photographer whose Instagram feed was filled with breathtaking views of the city from locations that most residents would never experience."

It's lonely up here.

A photo posted by NYC | HeavyMinds (@heavy_minds) on



The man was committed to his art. And very young.

69 comments:

tim maguire said...

Very young to die, but actually kind of old to die train surfing. Most kids figure out it's a bad idea before they turn 18.

Paul said...

Not tragic...fucking stupid...

Iapetus said...

An aerial camera drone would have been safer.

coupe said...

Tragically usually means lots of pain and suffering, which means dismemberment and lots of blood everywhere, with people going "Ewww, that's gross..."

Dying in bed? Not so much...

Big Mike said...

Dying of terminal stupidity is not tragic.

Birches said...

I bet he had a go pro on when he died.

Birches said...

That is a fantastic picture, btw.

SteveR said...

What Paul said. Being an idiot is not tragic.

Michael McClain said...

Darwin Award material, for sure.

Yancey Ward said...

This isn't a tragic death, it is an educational one.

dbp said...

Given his "life" style, inevitable fits better than tragic.

khesanh0802 said...

And very foolish. And now very dead. A sad lesson, never to be learned by some.

MadisonMan said...

Tough crowd.

What a thing for his parents to go through. Some kids are risk-takers, others aren't. I have one cautious kid, and one not-so-cautious one, but I hope they'd never sit on the edge of a skyscraper just to get a super picture. Vertigo!

Larry J said...

Early Wednesday morning, a man predictably died while trying to surf a Coney Island–bound F train near the Fourth Avenue/Ninth Street station in Brooklyn.

FIFY

Play stupid games - win stupid prizes.

gspencer said...

~~~ "The man was committed to his art."

He shoulda been just plain committed.

~~~ "A man tragically died"

Because this most definitely was NOT a tragedy (as that word is understood) that headline shoulda read, "A fool met an easily-foreseen early death."

TestTube said...

He threw away his life on the top of a Coney Island F Train, whereas we prefer to piss ours away a few minutes at a time here in the comment threads of Anne Althouse's blog.

Will any of our comments ever measure up to one of those pictures?

Laslo's, maybe.

Michael K said...

It reminds me of the guy who was videotaping Mount St Helens as it erupted. They found his camera and the video is awesome. Also fatal. Oh well. Darwin finalist.

Rob said...

He should have waited a few minutes and ridden the Cyclone.

Michael K said...

"Will any of our comments ever measure up to one of those pictures?"

Some of us have done things that were safer but still adventurous.

Here's one.

Matt H said...

Very talented guy - but he should have stuck to stationary subjects.

MadisonMan said...

If you're surfing a train, are you standing on top of it? Or are you holding on and being pulled?

(I was watching Silver Streak the other day, and the characters are running around on the top of the train in oxford shoes, and I'm just watching wondering why they weren't slipping right off. That movie could not be made today, I don't think, and it's a very slow movie before Richard Pryor shows up).

tim maguire said...

MM, train surfers stand on top. It looks pretty cool and is not necessarily lethal when the train is elevated (though still very dangerous), but when it goes into the tunnel, bad things happen to the surfer. Which is well known--train surfing is not a new phenomenon. Neither is dying while train surfing.

Which makes this all the more surprisingc. How did he get to 25 without learning not to do that?

BTW, it is worth mentioning that that's a great picture. He had talent, just not sense.

MadisonMan said...

@tim Thanks for the explanation.

I stay away from trains.

dbp said...

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears...in...rain." Or would have been, if not for my GoPro!

buwaya said...

"I bet he had a go pro on when he died."

Stabilized gopro fixed on top of the train is the way to go. C-clamps and duct tape and aluminum poles and tripods. All cheap simple things that make pictures and save lives.

So many of these things can be done safely, more or less.

The Cracker Emcee said...

dbp,

Is nothing sacred?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Committed to his art? Maybe, but I'd say more committed, probably addicted, to thrill seeking, not art.

gerry said...

The New York Post article says authorities think he was intoxicated.

Virgil Hilts said...

Agree with TestTube. My initial inclination was to snark and act smug and superior, and then I saw the photo (which for some reason took about 20 seconds to load) after which I just felt sad.

Emil Blatz said...

The light that burns 1/4 as bright, burns 1/4 as long.

Earnest Prole said...

Died doing what he loved knowing full well the risks -- what's not to like?

dbp said...

I have walked on top of a train while it was moving. I was wearing hiking boots and it wasn't very hard since there was a kind of metal grating on the top that gave good traction.

There was an unexpected tunnel, but the train was slow and there was plenty of time to lay down. The problem was that this was the over 7 mile long cascade tunnel and the diesel fumes and heat eventually became alarming. I was laying with my head forward and my feet close to the back of the grain car I was on. I decided, using my smoke-addled brain, to climb down in search of cleaner air. It was easy to worm my way to the point where my legs were hanging down and my trunk still on the catwalk. The problem was that I had noted the tunnel was not smooth concrete, just jagged rocks at the top and it would be hard to pivot to a hanging position without raising my head into unknown territory--I will note here that all of this was done in pitch darkness.

I made the pivot and new problem: The ladder was not there! I hung by one hand and reached sideways, but it was out of reach. I went hand over hand a few feet to the left and eventually reached the ladder.

The air was much fresher in the little platform below. The look on the face of my backpacking partner, who was laying on the top of the car behind mine, was unforgettable. I waved and yelled from below to not prolong his angst.

We did not know about the tunnel when we climbed aboard that freight train.

FullMoon said...

Paul said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Not tragic...fucking stupid..


That guy had some balls. Good for him.

Rt1 Rebel said...

At least he died doing what he loved.

Sydney said...

Addicted to danger.

Original Mike said...

Darwin smiles.

Gunbunny62 said...

Charlie don't surf.

mikee said...

Guns are loud.
Blades are messy.
Pills cause puking.
Poison hurts.
Ropes are slow.
Cars, trucks, buses, trains - who can wait for one?

Give me gravity every time,
50 feet of open air in 1.763 seconds.
Once you start you can only stop once.

lgv said...

A lot of guys are dying in their squirrel suits jumping off mountains. It's time to pull back from the extremes we are seeing. Or not.

oleh said...

This death is definitely tragic. The man created beauty and died of hubris. His life was meaningful to us, his death determined by that meaning. How much more tragic can you get.

I guess there is no tragedy in a world dominated by the false belief in free will. No tragedy but a lot of bougie moralizing.

Michael said...

His art was photography, his hobby surfing trains.

James Pawlak said...

Another candidate for the "Darwin Award".

rhhardin said...

It's not a great dramatic structure for a tragedy. Playing it as comedy would be better.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

An aerial camera drone would have been safer.

But then his legs wouldn't have been in the picture, which was the point.


Rick said...

The man was committed to his art.

Does venerating dangerous acts encourage them? I feel dirty that we've created a path to fame by acting recklessly.

coupe said...

With photoshop you can create images that have the same effect. One shot from a helicopter, merged with one shot from a brick wall. Presto, home for lunch.

Ann Althouse said...

"Died doing what he loved knowing full well the risks -- what's not to like?"

1. The effect on the people who saw it and cleaned up after it.

2. Our loss of the work he would have produced.

Amy said...

3. The family's life-changing pain and loss

SteveR said...

I hope no one gets hurt reaching for a way to find this stupidity not stupid. Its one thing to be daring in the pursuit of something significant but a simple version of a composite risk management, such as deciding to look both ways before crossing the street, rules this act out.

buwaya said...

"But then his legs wouldn't have been in the picture, which was the point."

Dummy legs = lifesavers.

But the point seems to have been to emphasize the danger. Yes, someone did take a risk, so we are thrilled.

That part isn't pictorial art, or even a novel view of the world.
That is simply the vicarious thrill of someone else in danger, the sacked Quarterback, the Roman gladiator, the Bullfighter.

Earnest Prole said...

Fair enough. But as a song-and-dance man once said,

I can tell you fancy, I can tell you plain:
You give something up for everything you gain

Paul said...

As said many times on this thread, he is a shoe in for the "Darwin Awards".

Stupid is as stupid does!

Aussie Pundit said...

His legs block the view because the photo isn't about New York, it's about him. To dispel any doubt about that, the caption is "It's lonely up here."

The photo is enjoyable because we can vicariously enjoy the thrill he experienced in getting there and sitting on the edge of that building, looking down at the lights. Yes, it's a great photo, but it's great because it's about him (and his risk-taking adventure), not about the city.

Sadly, risk-takers have a habit of dying young.

walter said...

Blogger dbp said...
We did not know about the tunnel when we climbed aboard that freight train.
--
You haven't seen all those movies? (and cartoons)

cubanbob said...

Stupid and foolish, yes. All the same sad that a young and promising life was snuffed out.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Committed to his art?

Who, for more than a briefness, gives a shit about art by an artist wanting to kill himself?

Sure sure I acknowledge there are exceptions, but Althouse is smart enough to know real artists committed to their art who act, ya know, like actual artists committed to their art, not merely suicides with a delayness factor once present.

Guildofcannonballs said...

The tragedy is the helpless-by-ideology-of-their-killer death, repeated but not necessarily so, like happened in Iran and China and Russia yesterday.

Oh no money off that convo? Your brain can't comprehend what it wasn't trained to comprehend in the only proper manner?

Well, it doesn't suck to be you. Far from it. The poor and young worldwide though? They suck today (this hour) just to maintain a hope of sucking tomorrow. Being sucking means being alive.

Fuck it, and them dead bastards. We can all vote for Leftists and be absolved through our intelligence for doing precisely so.

Very neat!

Guildofcannonballs said...

The old Chris Farley Conndrum: okay to celebrate the talking trainwreck in hopes our eyes doth but deceive?

Or say, like Dennis Miller, ya know I can't appreciate the greatness without all of it, All of it, being overwhelmed by the terrible self-destruction he would not abstain from, even given his gifts (were lost).

I could die tomorrow childless and few-mourned, I admit. Future time orientation isn't an indicator of the validity of the future orientated.

Guildofcannonballs said...

I meant macro not micro, about the time, the damn fucking TIME!

Michael K said...

"All the same sad that a young and promising life was snuffed out."

The same happened to ten thousand at Omaha Beach. Get over it.

He was doing the artsy version of "Here, hold my beer and watch this !"

Guildofcannonballs said...

Where sure answers are to be found,
All important questions go sans sound.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Hey those anorexia websites, that promote disorder as struggle-for-triumph, are cool compared to sites that promote dudes to over-dude/dose.

Death rates my friend, death rates wins me this convo friendo.

Fred Drinkwater said...

1 death.
So I'm watching the round-the-clock TV coverage of Hurricane Matthew, and it is mentioned, several times, that an elderly Florida lady is the 1 death so far, dying of a heart attack. (Relation to the storm unstated by the reporters.) Meanwhile, there's a pop-up noting that there were 841 confirmed dead SO FAR in Haiti.
Send some of those fancy "reporters" to the Caribbean, to report on actual news, and stop taking shots of a palm tree down in the road in Jacksonville.
And the death of Mr. Serrano? I'm sorry for his family, but I'm satisfied there's one less idiot luring other even more careless idiots way outside their zones of competence.

John Taylor said...

died of natural consequences.

James Graham said...

"Very young to die, but actually kind of old to die train surfing. Most kids figure out it's a bad idea before they turn 18."

Correct. "Surfing" is rare and when it's done it's by young teenagers in groups, not by twenty-somethings traveling at a very late hour.

Oddly enough the NYPD classified the death of another man in his twenties, an employed electrician, also traveling in the very late hours as "death from surfing."
In that case I'm convinced the man was a homicide victim and wrote about it here.

https://hiddenhomicides.blogspot.com/2016/05/investigation-complete-dead-man-was.html

The NYPD and the MTA have a long history of automatically classifying unwitnessed track deaths as accidents. Oddly enough, most of them happen in the very late hours.

https://hiddenhomicides.blogspot.com/2016/05/why-do-so-many-accidents-happen-at.html

Other more recent examples:

https://hiddenhomicides.blogspot.com/2016/07/another-late-night-accident.html

https://hiddenhomicides.blogspot.com/2016/07/man-struck-by-train-while-lying-on.html

https://hiddenhomicides.blogspot.com/2016/09/another-walker-killed-in-off-hours.html

https://hiddenhomicides.blogspot.com/2016/09/guess-when-this-accident-happened.html









Ipso Fatso said...

I wonder if he was related to the Piss Christ guy?

TDP said...

Proof that technology has made it easy for any idiot to take a very good picture.

This is not art. There is actually very little art in the West anymore. Very, very little.

Also, as has been noted, not tragic either. Stupidity + technology = dead, mangled, maimed. And people calling it tragic.

Are W said...

The picture is all that matters.

DCPI said...

All that needs be said.