I Never Thought I’d Have One

A piece of email just flew in. Popfile, my mail filter, saw it as spam and relegated it to the spam bin (which I still quickly check a few times a day). As I clicked the button to delete it, I realized I had seen the word “TransitStore” on the subject line.

I fished it out of the delete folder.

The New York City Transit Authority has recently retired the rust red subway cars which made the trip from Times Square to Main Street Flushing on the “7” line. Called “Redbirds,” these cars were among the best ever bought by the NYCTA. They didn’t break down a lot and aged much more gracefully than earlier or later models.

Originally bought to spruce up the line for the New York World’s Fair in 1964, they survived nearly 40 years. Imagine driving a 1964 car on the streets today – a car that was in use around the clock 7 days a week. It’s an accomplishment.

I’ve taken hundreds of trips on the “7.” It wasn’t my first choice when going to school, but was often my transport into Manhattan. With two local and one express track, it managed to be local only at the hours I wanted to ride. It was built as the city was changing the named streets of Queens to numbered streets. Stations are named for streets that haven’t been around since the depression.

With the cars out of service, and probably waiting to become an undersea reef somewhere, individual pieces have been removed and are now for sale. That’s what the email was touting.

I started to write this blog entry, looking at the memorabilia, when Helaine walked in. Why don’t I get something, she said. I had never thought to do anything more than longingly browse.

I’ve made the order.

The front destination sash, which says Times Square – but should also say Willets Point/Shea Stadium, World’s Fair, Main Street Flushing and a few other points from my past should soon be here. It won’t mean much to Helaine and Steffie, but for me, it’s a big deal. I’ve silently wanted one of these for at least 45 years.

2 thoughts on “I Never Thought I’d Have One”

  1. Oooo, cool. I can’t quite justify the signs, but the grab hold is really cool and under $25 shipped. I’m sold.

    Coincidentally, I’m right now reading Subwayland, which is a great collection of NYTimes columns about the subway. If you haven’t seen it, I’d pick it up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *