Monday, April 18, 2011

Subway Elevator Roundup

So it seems like it's been a big week in interesting subway news. The magisterial NYCtheBlog posted a video of people stuck in an elevator at 181rst and St. Nicks on the 1 train.

I personally like the image of the firefighter's feet coming from the top of the elevator, dangling like a hanged corpse.

181rst and St. Nicks is one of the deepest stations in the system, and from my experiences, also one of the hottest. THe platforms themselves are ancient, I think there was a problem with the vaulted ceiling crumbling down on to the tracks a few months ago.

There is always an elevator out, always a line to go up the stairs to reach the elevators, and sometimes, a crush on the platform as a second train lets out before the elevators can accommodate people exiting.

Most profoundly, this is not a fun subway station to have an elevator malfuncion like this.

It is, however, pretty awesome when you get out. 181rst and St. Nicks (St. Nicholas) is a mad mess of vendors selling mangoes and mofongo, perfume and pasteles. Restaurant La Casa del Mofongo, on St. Nicks north of 182nd is worth a trip from anywhere.

So I encourage all of you to head up and scope out the scene, the decaying terracotta platforms, the scene of this terrifying elevator advenutre, and fill your bellies above.

As always, share your stories! The MTA elevators are places of long waits, pungent smells, and unpredictable neighbors from every social class and region of the planet.

To me, the strangest crew I've ever seen in an elevator is not the latin Caribbean mix of 181rst street, nor the blend of orthodox and chinese women descending to the NR platforms at Atlantic/Pacific. It's the crew at Clark Street, a tony Brooklyn Heights station, elevator exit only, consisting of such entitlement you'd think you were in Chappaqua, not Brooklyn, on a street filled with luxury student housing, federal courts and a disproportionate quantity of lawyers. That mix is softened and blended with the most wholesome, cleanly scrubbed, all-American out of towners headed to worship at the Jehovah's Witness headquarters, also on the street.

Tell me...what is your strangest experience on a MTA subway elevator?

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