Watch Out Falling Creosote

Funny piece in the Times today about living under the El train in Richmond Hill. Residents there have long complained about what falls from the tracks, be it creosote (black tar), sparks, bolts and bodies. Creosote is the focus of the article: it stains clothing, cars and whatever else happens to be lying in its path as it tumbles from the J train.

Life under the El is apparently a bit noisy too.

“You know the Serenity Prayer?” akss 79-year old Allan Seff, who owns Brite Hardware on Jamaica Avenue. “I say it every morning.”

Falling matter has long been an issue: the article mentions that, in 1925, shopkeepers pushes for a mesh net under the tracks because suicides were hindering their business. Making a point about falling bolts, a guy collected 50 pounds of them and pushed them around in a shopping cart. One poor lady’s “hairdo went up in flames when she was hit by falling sparks.”

New York City Transit, meanwhile, checked it out and found “the vast majority” of rail ties were in good condition.

Frankly, I’d rather have creosote fall on me than Mr. Creosote from The Meaning of Life.

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