by Kevin Walsh

Back in Astoria again — or rather, its northwestern end, which is also called Ditmars, named for the boulevard that bisects it and takes the place of 22nd Avenue (coincidentally, Bensonhurst’s 22nd Avenue is also supplanted, that one by Bay Parkway). I was here to take part in an “adult spelling bee” held by a comedy/education club, Q.E.D. on 23rd Avenue. I am a great speller, but I’ve participated in three of their spelling bees and flubbed each one. (I had never heard of the word “baize.”)

Noticing a great sunset and rainbow, I duly snapped those, but also settled on this view, of one of the gigantic concrete-clad arches that towers above the already-elevated station. The arch carries passenger and freight trains onto the Hell Gate Bridge crossing the East River into the Bronx and points northeast. Both the elevated train and the even-more-elevated train were constructed between 1914 and 1917, opening the same year. I have always been fascinated with these massive concrete Astoria arches.

The Astoria Line elevated stations between 39th Avenue and Ditmars Boulevard have all been, or are being, renovated from top to bottom and are now the most modern-looking elevated stations in the city. The Astoria station is closed for such renovations and the MTA plans to keep the terminal Ditmars Boulevard station open while it gets “the treatment.” Already, as you can see, high intensity LED lamps have been installed on the platforms.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”



Ron S May 17, 2019 - 10:55 am

I see this every day, but when you stop to really look at it, it is a one of a kind piece of urban architecture.

Ty May 18, 2019 - 6:40 pm

Any other town would probably have Hellgate Bridge as their defining icon.

therealguyfaux June 5, 2019 - 5:49 pm

Sydney NSW does… 😉


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