As my pal Matt refers to these on his wickedly popular blog Boy Culture… I had the audacity to frame a “Guydar” subject on the subway Thursday eve, thanks to my iPhone, flash off. I’m going with big score! *
Two lovely individuals who didn’t mind a bit when I took what I thought were covert picolas on the subway… that is, until I realized the flash had gone off. Lady Blue offered a beautiful smile and he… well, the hair says all. As they departed, she said, “Enjoy the photos,” with another wide grin.” How could one not love New York?
On Nov. 5, 1888, the Fifth Avenue Brooklyn Rapid Transit Elevated line opened, carrying passengers from Fulton Ferry just across the Brooklyn Bridge (which opened in 1883) through downtown Brooklyn to Bay Ridge. At the bottom of the top pic, you’ll see passengers waiting to board streetcars, while construction is taking place along the tracks.
Like most BK lines, funding in large part came from developers of Coney Island, who wanted to make it easy for all New Yorkers to reach the beach. The line also connected with the Long Island Railroad.
It was efficient, but what a bloody mess, huh? In 1940, the line was demolished, along with the majority of elevated lines in New York City. (Photos: NYC Vintage Images)
How the hell did they ever build the New York subway, anyway? The notion of burrowing under established streets, digging deep & precise tunnels and engineering a public transportation system at the beginning in the 20th Century—which continues to transport hundreds of thousands of passengers today—is mind-boggling.
However, as we see in this series of photos from Life magazine, it wasn’t always easy going… Above, in 1920, two elevated subway trains collided at a right angle, one of several deadly disasters within a few years time.
1900: Excavation of the Seventh Avenue subway line came to a halt when a taxi lost control and veered into the work site. At that point, construction workers used a cut-and-cover method, which required them to dig into sediment, create a passageway for the subway, then rebuild the road above it.1915: A dynamite blast caused the overhead road to cave in on the Seventh Avenue subway line, sending a streetcar collapsing onto the rubble. Seven died and nearly 100 were injured.
1900: Yikes! It all started with a single train line, the Interborough Rapid Transit, on Oct. 27, 1904, running from City Hall to 145th Street. This is scaffolding precariously balanced inside a newly excavated tunnel.
Some things never change: Times Square at rush hour in 1940; and Coney Island-bound in 1948.