Saturday, June 19, 2010
The Second Avenue Subway.
My little slice of Manhattan has been dug up and boarded up and sliced up. After 70 dilatory years, they seem finally bent on building an abbreviated version of the Second Avenue Subway. We're told it will be called the "T" line and will go from 125th Street down to 63rd Street where it will connect with the rest of the system. It was originally meant to go all the way to the Lower East Side. But the world has run out of money for everything but war and bankers' bonuses.
Every once in a while, through the fencing and the wood-plank reinforcement you can catch a glimpse of the tunnel. It's a big project.
People in the neighborhood have taken to calling Second Avenue a war zone. Where they're building it's down a lane. The sidewalk has been shaved down so cars have more room. A lot of cross-walks are closed.
Second and Third Avenues used to have "els." They were gone before my time. But my father used to sing, "You can't get to heaven on the Third Ave. El/Cause the Third Ave. El only goes to hell." Ray Milland rode the Third Ave. El in "Lost Weekend." Looking for a pawnshop on a Sunday to hock his typewriter to gain money to drink.
In 1944 in New York, e.e. cummings wrote a poem that included the 6th Avenue El.
told him:i told
him;we told him
(he didn’t believe it,no
a nipponized bit of
the old sixth
el;in the top of his head:to tell
This is my writing today.
Thank you for reading.
Posted by george tannenbaum at 6:52 PM