Stations of the Crossings / Estaciones de las Cruces

DURING MY VISIT to New York, I spent a lot of time riding the trains. Although we tend to refer to it all as “the subway,” not all of New York’s metro system is underground. The sections and stations above ground are more correctly called “the el” (short for elevated). I rode the A, the F, the G, 2, and 3 lines (five of the 28 serving the city) to different parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan. It’s an awe-inspiring system. And, given that it opened in 1904, and there are now 472 stations and 665 miles of passenger track, it’s no wonder it’s tired, crowded, hot and smelly, in need of repair and upgrade, difficult to maintain, regularly delayed, and — quite often — not very pleasant to ride. Still, it can be convenient. Besides, during my one visit a year, it now feels like a tourist attraction.


DURANTE MI VISITA a Nueva York, pasé mucho tiempo viajando en los trenes. Aunque tendemos a referirnos a todo como “the subway” (“el subterráneo”), no todo el sistema de metro de Nueva York es subterráneo. Las secciones y estaciones sobre el suelo se llaman más correctamente el “el” (abreviatura de elevado). Monté los trenes A, F, G, 2, y 3 (cinco de los 28 que sirven a la ciudad) a diferentes partes de Brooklyn y Manhattan. Es un sistema impresionante. Y, dado que se abrió en 1904, y ahora hay 472 estaciones y 665 millas de vías para pasajeros, no es de extrañar que esté cansada, abarrotada, caliente y maloliente, necesita reparación y actualización, es difícil de mantener, se retrasa regularmente y, con bastante frecuencia, no es muy agradable de montar. Aún así, puede ser conveniente. Además, durante mi única visita al año, ahora se siente como una atracción turística.

Skyline view from Smith & 9th Street Station (at 88 feet/90 meters above street level, the highest elevated train station in the world). From Manhattan (left) to Downtown Brooklyn (right).
Vista del horizonte desde Estación de Smith & 9th Street (a 88 pies/90 m sobre el nivel de la calle, la estación de tren elevada más alta del mundo). Desde Manhattan (izquierda) al centro de Brooklyn (derecha).
Our old home station. It opened in 1920 as Van Sicklen, named for the family that owned the property it cut through, and for the hotel that used to be there. (I just learned this little tidbit!)
Nuestra vieja estación de origen. Se inauguró en 1920 como Van Sicklen, recibió el nombre de la familia propietaria de la propiedad que cortó, y para el hotel que solía estar allí. (¡Acabo de aprender este pequeño dato!)
Cortland Street Station ceramic plaque, 1918. Depicting the steam ferry from Cortland Street to New Jersey. Actually (a surprise to me) one clay tile inscribed with lines to make it look like a mosaic. On display at the New York City Transit Museum.
Placa de cerámica de la estación de Cortland Street, 1918. Representa el ferry de vapor desde Cortland Street hasta Nueva Jersey. En realidad (una sorpresa para mí) un azulejo de arcilla con líneas inscritas para que parezca un mosaico. En exhibición en el New York City Transit Museum.
Tuesday: Back on the bus at the Transit Museum (click here for last year). The Kid Brother is smiling because we had just run though another “The Honeymooners” routine. I was Ralph Cramden (the bus driver) and he was Ed Norton (the sewer worker). My eyes were showing signs of fatigue.
El martes: de vuelta en el autobús en el Museo del Tránsito (haz clic aquí para ver el año pasado). El Hermanito está sonriendo porque acabamos de hacer otra rutina de “The Honeymooners”. Yo era Ralph Cramden (un conductor del autobús) y él era Ed Norton (un trabajador del alcantarillado). Mis ojos mostraban signos de fatiga.
As seen from Smith & 9th station. I still get as excited by this view from the train as I did the first time I saw it when I was 10.
Como se ve desde la estación Smith y 9th. Todavía me emociona tanto esta vista desde el tren como la primera vez que la vi cuando tenía 10 años.
Wednesday evening rush hour. After Times Square, my walk up the Avenue, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, my walk down the Avenue from 82nd to 42nd Street, and AFTER the crowd had thinned and the bags under my eyes had thickened.
Miércoles por la noche hora punta. después de Times Square, mi caminata por la Avenida, el Museo Metropolitano de Arte, mi caminata por la Avenida desde la calle 82 hasta la 42, y DESPUÉS la multitud se había reducido y las bolsas debajo de mis ojos se habían engrosado.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

24 thoughts on “Stations of the Crossings / Estaciones de las Cruces”

    1. anne marie:
      Don’t worry. My brother can figure it out for you. He supposedly reads on no more than a first grade level, but give him a subway map or any newspaper, where he’ll immediately find the sports statistics, and he can tell you everything you need to know.

  1. This blog is right up my street Mitchell!
    Although,as you know, I’ve been driving London Underground trains for 30+ years I marvel at the subway and love riding it on my trips to NYC.
    The system is very similar to our own as it was started up by a gent from NY. For instance, in England our national rail system refers to the cars as carriages but on the ‘tube’ we refer to them as cars just as the subway does.
    Our signalling system is also the same as that used on the subway.
    Anyways, great blog(‘as usual) and see you in a few weeks!

    1. Nick:
      I think of you whenever I’m there … or at the museum… well, here, too. Can’t wait to see you all again!

  2. NY is one of the great systems of the world. My great-grandfather emigrated to NY around 1910 to work on the subway tunnels, his specialty was building tunnels in soft soils, under rivers, or in the mud. You have probably ridden through a tunnel he dug. He had a brother who ran a bar in Brooklyn, just over the bridge on the left.

    1. David:
      Your grandfather’s history would make those rides so much more relevant. What an experience. Would love to know if the bar’s building still exists, too.

    1. Bill:
      I truly had no idea how high up I was!!! (And I fixed the post… Thanks for noticing!)

  3. I’ll take the crowds and the stink and the delays every time because I find it a great place to watch people.
    And I love the history of it all.

  4. I really like the photographic perspective here……gives a good ‘feel’ to this incredible city.
    I think you and the Kid Brother ought to ‘hit the road’ with your Honeymooners skits. Would love to witness one live!….or on You Tube.

  5. That ceramic steam ferry looks like the wall is making an obscene gesture. You are very photogenic, by the way. That’s about it for me 🙂

    1. Deedles,
      You DO have a dirty mind. Photogenic? You’re very kind! I sure don’t think so.

  6. Quite fabulous post.
    I can ride the Tokyo and Osaka trains and subways with ease but on some of them when I get up the stairs it takes me a second to figure if I walked out the correct side.
    Love the photos but I especially love the Statue of Liberty and the one below .

    1. Parsnip,
      Even in NYC, I’m almost always turned around when I come up from the subway.

  7. I used to take the F train to a friend’s place near the Ditmus Av station on those occasions when I was at the WTC office. We’re talking like 1980/81. Good times.

    1. Walt the Fourth,
      The F train was my daily commute in ‘76 and ‘77. At that time announcement were live. One conductor would welcome us onboard in the morning with “Have a nice day and just keep smiling. When you smile, the whole whole world smiles with you.” To New Yorkers! At 8 am! The responses were hilarious. Evenings, there was a conductor who announced “F Train to the coast!”

      1. Cool! BTW, my mouse pad is NYMTA map. Got it at the transit store in Grand Central in 2016. Am I a nerd, or what?

      2. Walt the Fourth,
        NOT a nerd. I think the maps are great graphics. I was tempted to buy myself one, but my Roseta Stone mouse pad from London is still in perfect condition.

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