This morning, news broke online that Jeffrey “Gamblero” Vanchiro, (know to many as a Brooklyn Nets ‘superfan’ and from his graffiti name: Korn, of Smart Crew) passed away as a result from injuries sustained when he jumped out of a second floor window. The sudden manner in which he died has lead to a lot of confusion by many who either knew him directly or respected his art & style. How did he die? Why would he apparently kill himself?
The answer is as simple as it is disturbingly complex: He didn’t willingly kill himself.
If you dig through psychological journals and old criminal cases files, you’ll find dozens of cases of people who have done all manner of strange, seemingly impossible things in their sleep. Here’s a few examples:
In 1925, Isom Bradley rose late at night in his Texas home, apparently due to a lucid dream that an intruder was present, and fired several shots; when he … [ read more ]
Along a very busy, dark and dirty 4 track subway line lays this secluded way station for reprobates.
When the original IRT subway route opened in 1904, the 18th street station was an active local stop. All of the original IRT stations were rather short and could not accommodate the longer, 10 car trains that the MTA eventually wanted to use. Thus in the 1940s, they began extending most of the stations while closing a few. In 1948 the 23rd street station was extended southward (with an exit at 22nd street). Having 2 stations within 4 blocks of each other made no sense, so 18th street was closed (91st street met a similar fate, while the famous City Hall station was simply closed).
According to Wikipedia: The station’s ceiling was originally fitted with glass in order to let natural light in. It has green faience plaques and mosaic name tablets by Heins & LaFarge / Grueby Faience Company from 1904. The ceiling was also decorated with ornamental motifs.
While this station … [ read more ]
“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 … [ read more ]
The problem with these god damned acid trains is that tanker cars ain’t got many tags…
The end of this tunnel was once filled with the ashes of many unnamed victims. Ashes of those who met a horrid death that I watched with my own eyes and could smell and taste for days beyond. You don’t forget something like that, ever.
Today, many of those ashes have seeped away – lost in time and the ever flowing water that passes through the NYC subway system every day.
I’ve said too much about this aspect of the tunnel already, and yet, never enough. Words are rarely enough – so let’s move on.
This isn’t the only thing of interest in this tunnel.
The walls speak loudly of the beef between Ghost & RTW crew. A fine people of graffiti history that lives on today, decades after the fact.
The walls also speak the word of… someone. Someone with OCD. Someone who has scribbled the same word over and over along the walls for years. Someone clearly insane, who has probably spent a few too many hours in this darkness (then again, is that possible?).
In … [ read more ]