When I was growing up in Brooklyn's East Flatbush
section in the 1950s, we would either
walk three quarters of a mile or take the trolley -- or after its demise,
the bus -- to the Church Ave. station on the IRT Flatbush Line for
trips to downtown Brooklyn or into Manhattan. A subway ride was a separate fifteen
cent fare then, with no free transfer from the surface routes.
Coming back, depending on where we had been and on the time of day and day of
the week, and on what train happened by first, we'd often have to change at Nevins St., or at Atlantic Ave. or at Franklin Ave. I liked Atlantic Ave.
the best, I think. One could get a glimpses of parts of the underground Long
Island Rail Road terminal, and could glance across that way to the
indentation in the subway wall for the
"secret" connection to that railroad -- a connection never completed.
I think I can still "see" -- or at least can sense -- the
electric flashes from alongside the old cars as they would in turn contact or lose
contact with the third rail while we waited at
whatever the transfer point. And I never minded waiting, a time
for watching other trains coming and going on their journeys under
The above photo is at the Church Ave. station, and is from the graffiti-filled days of the early