Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Mole People

I took a recommendation and read Jennifer Toth's, "The Mole People" last week. The book was quite an eye-opening piece that unearthed New York's underground subculture made up of thousands of people who live under the subway system. Toth's firsthand experience really covers everything. She discusses the history of similar civilizations, literary references, current police enforcement to the definitive communities, artists and haunting individuals she comes in contact with. For me it took a good 100 pages to really get into it, but after that I was sold. I found the best parts of the book were the ones that described the varied landscapes and eccentric spaces (i.e. ten-thousand-year old standing forest buried deep under the Upper West Side and rumored tiled rooms). I couldn't help but constantly reference the Morlocks from X-Men though while reading it which made it all the more interesting for me. Apparently Toth had to move out of the city for safety upon completing the project due to some of the relationships she formed during the book. It's a good read that definitely makes riding the metro a bit more interesting.