Tuesday, April 7, 2015

“Here is a New York City secret treasure for you: Get on the 6 train and stay on board past the last stop. That means after everyone else has gotten off, stay put. The train reenters the darkness of the subway tunnel to loop around and restart its route, and as it does, you can catch a brief glimpse of New York’s forgotten history: A ghost station, the now empty City Hall subway stop. Built in 1904 to look like a miniature Grand Central, it was once the most beautiful station in New York: It had brass fixtures, vaulted arches, and skylights, but in 1945, falling into disrepair and deemed too expensive to renovate for modern trains, those skylights were boarded up. If you think about it, glimpses of the past, signposts marking what once was, are relatively few. What once was just isn’t anymore, so it’s easy to forget that it ever was, and sometimes we even forget that we’ve forgotten… We just tell ourselves the same stories over and over again, because it’s more convenient. We’re trying to make it through the day. You need, basically, enough information about the past not to get lost in time.”

 — From Jonathan’s Goldstein’s “WireTap” (27 March 2015)