Bay Ridge is Falling Apart


Last night at the bar, the owner jokes that there are 20,000 sinkholes in Bay Ridge: not just the 10-foot-deep one that just opened on 79th Street, and the 60-foot deep one that opened a month earlier on 92nd Street, but another one in his buddy’s backyard, which the friend has kept quiet because he doesn’t want the city digging on his property.

Bay Ridge is collapsing on itself, and no one’s sure why: is it a result of National Grid construction? A consequence of outdated infrastructure? A quivering Hellmouth? (Consider also that a house just spontaneously collapsed.) Another theory: “the neighborhood was originally built into a hillside [and] the soil was never stable to begin with.”

These aren’t the neighborhood’s first sinkholes. “Like several other longtime Bay Ridge residents, Mr. Colao had a sinkhole story or two, like the time, many years ago, when a Cadillac cruised along 78th Street only to fall into a big hole,” the Times reports. “Jerry Ferretti, a lifelong local resident, said he could recall several sinkholes opening up in the area over the past 60 years, including two that swallowed trucks.” There was also the one in 2006 that almost ate an SUV.

For now, it’s the buzziest news in the neighborhood, more talked about than food trucks even. As the bar closes up, another friend sticks his head in: “have you heard about the sink-a-hole-uh?” he asks the owner. “People are coming off the subway, asking, ‘where’s the sinkhole?'”

“You gotta sticks a Madonna in there,” he says.

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart


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