Myrtle and Broadway Hell

Over the past few years Myrtle and Broadway under the elevated J and M trains ranked as the scivviest intersection in Brooklyn. During COVID the triangular corner had been colonized by a cult of Meth heads, K2 fiends, Oxy zombies devoted to a collective intoxication. A ragged woman set up shop selling drugs from her filthy encampment under the subway stairs by the bus stop.

One night I was waiting in front of the greasy Chinese takeout for the B54, surveying the comings and goings of the lost. One young unsoul noticed my attention and angrily demanded if I was the police. My answer ‘no’ was ignored and he threateningly raised his hand, holding a full 40. I stepped closer and said, “You don’t want to do something stupid and smash that beer on me. Waste of good beer. Mother fucker.”

Somehow through the haze he understood that logic and shambled away. The woman selling the drugs looked at me with distant crackhead eyes.

“I see you ain’t the po-lice. What are you?”

“No one.”

It was my favorite disguise in a city of countless faces. The tweaker retreated into the shadows. I went into the Chinese take-out. The B54 was ten minutes out. The egg roll wasn’t half-bad.
It seemed like that corner would never come right, but the other day a flower stand stood its ground. The junkies and fiends were gone. The Chinese takeout survived the transition. Greasy as ever.

Now that the Myrtle and Broadway corner has been reclaimed by humanity, Hoyt-Schmerhorn has once more regained that dubious distinction of the worst subway stop in Brooklyn that I know. I’m sure there are others.

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