You're right, dude! I also thought it was a wiring tray and two pipes.
On a slightly related note. There is a subway station I've been where they put a layer of block and then tile over the existing wall. This effectively brought out the wall to where it met one of the old-time single lightbulb lampholders in the ceiling.
Not to be deterred, the ingenious masons simply left a part of block (or brick) out of the wall and the tile guys framed around it. The hole where half the bulb is stuck in is about the size of a standard square tile -- 4" x 4" I believe.
So now the lampholder and bulb are in a sort of of a "niche". Sigh.....
All hail Saint Lightbulb!!