Some friends and I were attending two events in Bushwick. The first event was off the L-Morgan Ave stop. After attending in a most excellent fashion the first event, which was an art/fashion show at Brooklyn's own 3rd Ward, my crew hopped back down to the subway platform to travel deeper into the borough. Unfortunately, we were confronted by a track fire.
Not just a distant idea of a track fire somewhere down the line that caused train delays, but an honest to goodness, smoldering third rail right before our very eyes. There were gentleman claiming to be undercover/off duty police officers who explained to us that trains would not be running, stranding us in relatively deserted industrial part of Brooklyn.
Ever the optimist, one of my three friends and myself hung close to the tracks, trying to keep an eye out for an oncoming train while doing our best to inhale as little smoke as possible. We were not successful in either endeavor.
The train never came, and we took a hired van to drive us to the second event, which, no offense to the cab drivers of New York City, is something that I never ever want to do. But our time in the tunnel had not left us unaffected, as the younger members of our group, the ones who had steered clear of the fire and smoke, were coughing and hacking all night long, eventually leaving early to find some refreshing beverages with which to cool their throats.
As for me, my lungs are hardy and brittle twins, and if affected by the toxic third rail smoke at all, would not behave any differently. Fortunately, my partner in their hazy operation had a handy new iPhone device that was able to snap photographs of me unsuccessfully hiding my throat from the all encompassing fumes. Here, posted without her permission, is one of those photos.
I can only urge my readers to steer clear of track fires, because they can really dampen a good party-going spirit. The MTA says that litter contributes to track fires, but seeing one first hand, I don't really understand how they can be related, so please continue to throw latte cups and Milky Way wrappers onto the tracks. The rats have to eat something.