Monday, March 16, 2009

The Manhattan Bridge lines

There are many functional and acceptable reasons why NY doesn't have more elevated trains. 

The 7 line runs above ground in Queens. The B and D lines roll down through the belly of Brooklyn.
The F train rolls above ground in Carroll Gardens. Each having a very different view, and tone.

But my line is the Q line. I love it, and for my life and routine, I think it's the best train in the city. Certainly frequency, consistency and cleanliness are major factors in my love for the Q, but the number one reason for me is the Manhattan Bridge traverse.

For about 4-10 minutes, the Q train (as well as the N and B trains) emerges from underneath DUMBO or Chinatown and glides across the bridge. Some days, midday, it's so bright you have to look at the floor. Other days it's so foggy, you can't even see the Brooklyn Bridge. But there's always something to look at. 

You peer into the storage floors of The Watchtower, and wonder what the hell they've got so many documents of in there. You look down at Pier 17. The road-salt stockpile under the bridge at Pike St., Governor's Island, The Statue of Liberty, and of course the Manhattan skyline.

When I first moved to Brooklyn, getting above ground was a treat. But now, as Tanya put it, I need that "breath" of fresh air, not just for the sake of my subway experience, but for my weekly operating routine. There are not better, regular opportunities to step away from your life on the ground, and your life "in" the city than on that stretch of train. 

The only thing better than getting up from your seat to go look out the window, is watching someone else do it.

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