Top: Erik Mukhametshin leaps between steel joists at the Bleeker Street stop. One wrong step and it’s goodbye front teeth.
Below: The Boss (Pasha Petkuns) scopes his next route.
Juan Rosario does the Human Flag on the side of a sightseeing bus. “A lot of people just walked past as if there wasn’t something absolutely extraordinary happening,” says photographer Franke. Welcome to New York City.
Pasha Petkuns in action:
Pasha “The Boss” Petkuns uses a steel joist at this subway station to gather enough momentum for a backflip.
Erik Mukhametshin does a backflip as a subway train passes beneath him. Illegal? Whatever. It’s not like the cops are out to stop these parkour pros. Later, in Union Square, some officers even play along, turning on their siren as one of the guys leaps over a squad car.
The Boss performs a precision jump over rocks in Central Park. Photographer Ben Franke first came across parkour on YouTube. “When I saw what these guys were doing,” he says, “I just knew that I had to get pictures.”
Above: Luciano Acuna Jr. displays extreme body tension as he holds a position called the Planche at a disused pier on the river.
Below: Lenny “Tarzan” Cruz shows how he earned his nickname, making this jump in Queens look effortless.