Archive for November 4th, 2012


What happened to NY’s mole people?

November 4, 2012

Washed Away? Rescued? What Happened to New York City’s “Mole People” During Super Storm Sandy?

It is estimated that there are tens of thousands, if not more, homeless people in New York City. They are families, children, men, women, the elderly, and the working poor. They are largely invisible not because we cannot see them. Rather, one of the survival skills that a person learns in order to successfully live in any city is to ignore the obvious, the pain, and the hurt of others. City life is an existence of social atomization. In order to function, most folks learn to look away both as a practical skill for maintaining sanity, and to avoid the frightening reality that many Americans are a paycheck away from being homeless themselves.

There are other homeless folks who are almost quite literally invisible. They are the “Mole People” who live in the subways of New York. It is estimated that there are thousands of people who live in this subterranean world, where they have established cities that live off of the electricity, scavenge the excess of a city that is decadent in its wastefulness, raise children and tend to pets, live and love, and make a civilization where they are the mayors, citizens, doctors, and police.

Dark Days – New York Homeless Underground

A cinematic portrait of the homeless population who live permanently in the underground tunnels of New York City.

Life can be hard living in the cold and damp underground tunnels of the New York Amtrak railway system. But you try to survive, make it comfortable and keep the rats at bay. Some have been living down here for five years!

Get on well with the neighbours or one might come along and burn your “house” down. Then there’s always the risk of a visit from the armed Amtrak police who may try to evict you.
Still, it’s a way of surviving the freezing New York winters and sweltering summers above ground.

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