Posted on January 24, 2010
Of all the urban legends about New York, one of the greatest and most prevalent has to be what prowls under the city streets. Well, now is your chance to find out, sort of. The Atlantic Avenue Tunnel tours are running this weekend, as well as on Saturday, January 30, and many folk will get the chance to hop on board. Or, rather, to descend under the yawning bowels of the city and see what lurks beneath. The tours are part of openhousenewyork, an organization that take visitors behind the scenes to see some of the inner working of the design and architecture of the city. In October, for instance, free tours that showcase some of New York’s startling design innovations are offered. (ohny.org for information). This time around, the organization, along with the Brooklyn Historical Railway Association, offers a guided tour of the world’s oldest subway system. It was constructed, amazingly, using only basic hand tools—in just seven months. Bob Diamond, who rediscovered the tunnels in 1980, leads the tours. He will set off twice each day though the half-mile space. (Tours fill up very quickly.) It works sort of like a secret society--meeting times and so forth are given to you after you've purchased your tickets; go to the website for info. All sorts of caveats exist, apart from the obvious (no high heels, duh.) The tunnel entrance is a manhole cover in the middle of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. (How Secret Agent!) Even if you don’t go, isn't it kind of cool to know that such a thing exists?