Intrepid urban adventurers who set off in search of the South 4th Street subway station and the Underbelly Project art gallery are finding themselves greeted by a not-so-pleasant surprise. As Michael Grynbaum reports, around 20 people have been arrested for trespassing as they’ve set off in search of the hidden art project. The abandoned station sits directly underneath Brooklyn’s 90th Precinct station house, and as the MTA is trying to discourage illicit trespassing, a team of cops, including some of the plain-clothes variety, have been staking out the joint. So far, most of those caught have been charged with criminal trespassing while two received transit summonses. “This is not an art gallery; this is completely illegal,” one police officer said to The Times.
While the Underbelly Project curators claimed they destroyed the entrance point to the South 4th Street station, that claim is far from the truth. It is still physically possible to get up there, and those who have eluded the police found that the locals have tagged the art. For its part, the MTA reiterated its stance it will not be erasing anything on the walls, and the authority has already sealed off one of the site’s easier access points.
Amusingly enough, the authority also refused to confirm the location of the gallery to Grynbaum and The Times. “There are some bloggers who can pinpoint these places because they eat and sleep transit lore, but officially, no, we’re not confirming anything,” authority spokesperson Deirdre Parker said. It’s up there though behind chain-linked fences and well within the arm of the law.