behavior · community · happiness · Nature

The tent is too damn high: Camping comes to the city

Using some creativity, playfulness, and friends to bring “nature” and community to the city? Yes, please!


“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.

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.

Now in its second summer, the urban camping project has caught on, enough…

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