"Do you want to die tonight?"
In early 1990s Queens, the ever present risk of a grim death was enough to deter all but the most hardcore graffiti writers from entering this 4 track subway speedway. Express trains rip through at top speed, and with stations fairly spread out, even the local trains here don't fuck around. Long tunnels with frequent trains at all hours of the day and night, plus minimal clearance between tracks does not make for an environment suitable for human life. I would bet much more than my customary wooden nickel that anyone new to subway exploring would not survive the trip.
Those 90s writers knew what the fuck they were doing. The secrets of the trade were handed down by word of mouth and only to those who had proven their worth on the streets above. The reward for entry was clear: thousands of commuters could look out the window and see your graffiti. An audience of millions right below your streets, years before the internet made getting such attention easy.
25 years later, this harsh environment and the distraction of the internet has resulted in a miles long time capsule that few recent writers would even know how to handle. Tags and throwys from some of Queens most infamous 1990s graffiti writers are all still here - preserved & undisturbed.
The game of 'tunnel frogger' - surviving a trip into these tunnels, is kept alive by a select few. It's still handed down word of mouth only to those worthy. The internet is for boring safe people scared of death - while the tunnels are for those who choose the path far less traveled.