New Yorkers agree that this is the worst place in the city

"A rat touched me at Chambers St. station."

Collier Sutter
Written by
Collier Sutter
Penn Station
Photograph: Shutterstock

This week, Penn Station began trending across the Twitter-sphere as the worst place in NYC, with many referring to it as their "hell on earth."

For the uninitiated (if you’ve somehow managed to dodge Penn Station in your time as a New Yorker), the transit hub, which sits just below Madison Square Garden, is home to three different railroads: Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and Long Island Rail Road. With the entirety of the structure's above ground portion demolished in 1963 to make way for Madison Square Garden, it's pretty much devoid of sunlight. Garishly lit with low-ceilings and pigeons hanging out overhead, some would say it has major dungeon vibes. 

During the daily rush hour, confusing signs have tourists walking in circles, seasoned commuters shove and shoulder each other as their assigned train tracks appear on the big board. Hundreds race down cramped stairs to tunnels even further underground. 

Yesterday, the social media uproar began when one Twitter user put out a "for-fun" message to his followers, saying he was in the middle of a "heated debate" about the worst places in NYC. 

-----While Penn Station did top their most-dreadful place list, straight away, countless Twitter users took the opportunity to give their own opinion, spurring on a passionate thrashing of Penn Station.

Penn Station wasn't the only talk of the hour, other New York establishments and particularly other unpleasant subway stops received their own dose of heat, too, as folks' personal worst. 

One person tweeted, that even if these places are no paradise, they'd take what they can get right now since New York has yet to fully reopen.

If Penn Station still tops your personal list as the worst, remember that once upon a time, the transportation hub was not quite the hole that it has the reputation of being today. In fact, the original structure built in 1910, was one of the architectural darlings of New York City. The Neo-classical marvel had a pink granite exterior, Corinthian marble columns, and arched-glass windows.

Pour one out for the old Penn Station.

Penn Station is in the process of getting some long overdue makeovers, but they're just the tip of the iceberg. 

I thought they were renovating it to come out in the old post office building across the street. That building is not quite as beautiful but still a fine piece of architecture much more pleasing than the current dungeon.

But with extensive MTA plans for subways still in need of focus and attention from the state, the jury is out if New Yorkers should hold their breath on Penn Station getting some TLC.

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