Most subway platforms do not have air conditioning, making straphangers' waits for a train even tougher in the current heat wave, but those stuffy platforms still serve as a workplace for many New Yorkers. NY1's Transit reporter Jose Martinez filed the following report.
This summer heat wave is scorching subway riders on steamy platforms where temperatures soar past 100 degrees. In the newsstands, the candy bars have melted long ago and the water bottles are on ice, for now.
"It's pretty intense down here. They should have fresh air coming in from outside," said one rider.
Many New Yorkers, however, cannot escape into air-conditioned trains because they are too busy working in smelly, sauna-like stations.
Subway musician Jeff Nash, who plays the guitar, said he is just following the money while avoiding the outdoors.
"Oh, it's hot as hell, man. It's very hot," Nash said. "They seem to notice me here. Upstairs, they're simply oblivious. It's easier down here."
At the West Fourth Street station, where the temperature spiked to more than 100 degrees, workers on the platform were hoping for a cool breeze wasn't brought on by a passing subway train.
"Even though I don't want to be here, but you know, to get the money, we have to be here. That's how it is," a newsstand worker said.
That meant the newsstand workers tried to squeeze any money possible out of the melted candy bars.
"The chocolate's out. We not making no business out of the chocolate bars, but we've still got to have some," the newsstand worker said.
Another heat wave entrepreneur, who calls himself "Agua Man," was peddling $1 bottles of water at the Sixth Avenue station.
"It is hot down here and I like to sell my water to make sure they get home safe and they so they don't faint on the train," Agua Man said. "And all these people down here, they need water. There's no store down here and we make good business."
With temperatures expected to scoot past 90 for the seventh straight day on Saturday, at least somebody was enjoying himself below ground.