There's plenty of cause for concern on the subway platform—being shoved in front of an oncoming train by a deranged stranger or coworker, the source of disturbing smells and how best to elude them—that it's almost too much to worry ourselves with the possibility of assault from on high. But worry you should!
A tipster has the following harrowing tale from inside the Chambers Street J station during rush hour yesterday:
As the train approached, I heard a loud thump noise. Everyone on the platform looked toward one spot, and I saw that a sizable chunk of the ceiling (?) had fallen many feet to land, thankfully, on the platform (and not a fellow commuter). Chambers is one of those stations that clearly used to be beautiful but is today really sad and gross. Now dangerous, too! Those rocks from that high ceiling could really hurt someone.
MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz said a crew was dispatched to the station yesterday, and that the area was sounded, tapped and deemed to be safe, adding that "these are very high ceilings directly under the Municipal Building." Meaning that sharp hunks of concrete have ample opportunity to pick up speed as they fall from above!
Someone once told me that he'd witnessed a rat falling from the ceiling of the Wall Street 4/5 station, where it came to rest on a baby's face. The understandably distraught mother screamed and flung the vermin from her child's head, but I'm sure it was too late. The damage was done, the child was marked, and witnesses would certainly never be the same.
Forget wondering "what else is out there?" in the cosmic sense. There's enough to ponder right here, every time you descend the subway steps on the way to work. The more pressing question is: What else is wedged precariously in the ceilings of your station, waiting for the right moment to launch its assault?