The lower-echelon of workers clamor for positions in Two Union Square. Once granted a position in the building, they wait anxiously every day for the chance to run an errand at an odd hour – when elevator traffic is relatively light. These are the fastest elevators in the city.

When someone scores a down elevator without the company of strangers or management, the lucky rider steps inside and waits until the doors have just closed. He makes a quick leap as the elevator floor begins rushing down away from him. And he’s in freefall . . . for the long moment that it takes gravity to catch up with the floor plunging away beneath him. He lands gently, finishes his ride, and goes on with his business. One worker has gone so far as to sabotage the coffee machine, so his boss will send him out for an espresso.

It takes only a month of elevator jumps to log the equivalent of a short skydiving jump.

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