Roughing it with Bivouac NYC
Thomas Stevenson Roughing it with Bivouac NYC.

“It was a time to socialize and look at the stars,” says 24-year-old Ariel Abrahams, describing a recent camping trip. He talks about “the rush of the water from the creek, the chirping of birds,” and the trees standing close around him.

Join Grist as we explore the wild landscape of our cities.
Susie CagleJoin Grist as we explore the wild landscape of our cities.

The hitch? Those natural sights and sounds were only in Abrahams’ imagination. His tent was actually pitched atop a Brooklyn warehouse.

The man behind this “camp out,” conceptual artist Thomas Stevenson, calls his collection of wood-framed, canvas tents Bivouac NYC. Bivouac, a word known better among mountaineers than urban denizens, is a French term for a temporary campsite. Participants — up to 18 at a time — sleep for a night or two under the stars, their shelters often tucked amid cone-topped water tanks, in the hopes of experiencing the Great Connect by disconnecting.