This massive, rusty pole with a pair of crossbars at the top has been in place on Glenwood Road near Rockaway Parkway for almost a hundred years, and pure inertia keeps it there. I suppose one of these years the city will get around to removing the remaining cluster of poles that supported trolley wires at the terminal of the Canarsie Line subway, as the city has done in just about every other place the poles were except for Surf Avenue in Coney Island, but you never know when that day will come and so I keep making pilgrimages down here to see them. Trolleys haven’t run on Rockaway Parkway since 1951, but this pole didn’t support wires on that line.
Instead, the brackets are at an angle facing away from Glenwood Road. That’s because they faced a trolley right of way that was an extension of the Canarsie Line that ran through back yards parallel to East 96th Street and ran all the way down to the Jamaica Bay waterfront, where, in the early years of the 20th Century, there was an amusement park. That trolley line hasn’t run since 1942, when much of Canarsie was still rural.
But every time I pass this pole on Glenwood Road, and notice the strange angle, I’m mindful of that trolley line I never saw and what Canarsie used to look like, and that’s why the webmaster keeps Forgotten New York going, now close to 17 years as of late 2015.
Much more upcoming in Canarsie, since I did an extensive walk in its southern reaches in October 2015, looking for old farm lanes.