Sunday, June 19th, 2011
From the NY Times:
You’d never know it from the looks of the swimming pool, back porches, patios, makeshift garage, basketball hoop, parking lot for five cars and other suburban amenities squatting in the middle of a square block in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, but they occupy a 20-foot-wide corridor that is officially a railroad right-of-way.
Fortunately for homeowners who abut the 520-foot-long strip and have all but appropriated it, that branch of the New York, Brooklyn and Manhattan Beach Railway ceased service a century ago. Moreover, the line’s legal successor, the Long Island Rail Road, seems to have, er, lost track of the property.
What would you like to see happen to the LIRR tracks in Midwood? Brooklyn High Line? Bike path?
Saturday, April 23rd, 2011
They look magical in the Spring, too:
Monday, February 14th, 2011
On Friday night after Maksim Gelman allegedly murdered four people, including love interest Yelena Bulchenko, he ditched a stolen car on East 15th Street between Avenues H and I. Police say they think he escaped using the nearby railroad tracks that Gelman, known to have done graffiti in the city, had very likely frequented in the past.
The Times poked around under the railroad’s Ocean Avenue overpass and found Gelman’s tag, “Max,” painted among the others. A man told them he’d seen Gleman so much, he’d “thought he was living down there.”
Outside were the graffiti-filled walls. There, upon closer inspection, was another name and, perhaps, an indication of the depth of Mr. Gelman’s fixation. In what appeared to be the same bright red paint used to write “Max” was the name “Yelena,” appearing once, then spelled out again and again, accompanied each time by the painted shape of a heart.
Gelman has been charged with four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of assault, two counts of robbery, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
Monday, February 7th, 2011
Taken at Coney Island Ave between Aves H and I.
Thursday, December 23rd, 2010
Walking along Ave H or I, especially at night, can be rather creepy. Nearly every block, save major avenues, ends in a dead end, with a jarring bright red light at the end. This can also be especially frustrating, as you can’t walk simply walk an avenue up on any block – you either have to go back to the last avenue that goes through, or hope the next one comes up.
There are, of course, no signs telling pedestrians why the streets end. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong to conclude there was something otherworldly hidden – check out this glimpse of the mystery, as seen on Coney Island Ave between Aves H and I. This does not look like Brooklyn as most people imagine it.
Rob Kopolovicz provides some answers here:
The section of track nearest the New York & Sea Beach Railroad (part of today’s N train) and parallel to the Ave H section of Brooklyn was known as the New York & Hempstead Railroad (Bay Ridge Branch) and built in 1871. It began at 65st in Bay Ridge running through Midwood and into Queens until it reached Valley Stream. It ran at grade level in its early beginnings and was built primarily because the people of Hempstead were dissatisfied with the service the LIRR was providing over its branch to the main line at Mineola. Eventually, the New York & Hempstead Plains Railroad became part of the LIRR anyway.
You can catch a glimpse of this from the Ave H platform on the Q train, as well, and Ocean Parkway between Aves H and I. One thing I love about Midwood is it hasn’t paved over or destroyed every piece of evidence of history.
Friday, December 17th, 2010
Old LIRR tracks, that cut across Ave I. Taken at Coney Island Ave.