When my sister was younger, she used to say that her favorite color was orange because “nobody else likes it.” Sometimes I think I feel the same way about subway trains, like the C Train. Last time we “Untapped” the G train: the butt of many jokes and the arguable victim of a certain amount of inconvenience (sprinting along the platform) and neglect (few trains, few transfers).
Over the summer, the Straphangers Campaign released its annual report of subway trains, ranking them on criteria such as “cleanliness,” “service regularity,” and “breakdown rate.” For the fourth year in a row, the C train was voted the “worst.” Of course, now I’m intrigued. I set out to find out what could be hiding in plain sight above the C train, from when it breaks off from the tangle of trains at Clinton-Washington Aves station, to when it rejoins other lines again at Broadway Junction.
My route, trying to follow aboveground as closely as possible the C train’s route.
This time, my trip was 3.3 miles along Fulton Street and supposedly going to take an hour and 7 minutes to walk [Final time: 1 hour and 57 minutes]. Also, note the direction of the route: whereas the subway map makes it look as if I’d be heading southeast, I was actually walking straight east.
The Clinton-Washington Avenues C Train station.
Need a job? They’re hiring at the forthcoming Three Letters Brooklyn at 930 Fulton Street.
Possibly the most amazing laundromat I’ve ever seen. It’s huge, open 24 hours, and houses arcade games and candy machines inside, at Fulton Street and Cambridge Place.
The elderly go to 966 Fulton Street…
…While the young go one door down to 972 Fulton Street.
The pedestrian plaza at Putnam Avenue, looking less than inviting.
There’s a warning sign at the Fulton Street and Downing Street lot…
…But I’m not sure what species is being “baited.”
This image is taped to the window at Edwards Entertainment & Sports Professionals (Attorneys at Law and Certified Public Accountants), 1047A Fulton Street. I’d love it if you could tell me why.
The understated Universal Church at 1091 Fulton Street.
1068 Fulton Street.
C Train Franklin Avenue station.
This Key Food at 1146 Fulton Street really doesn’t want you leaving with a cart, and, if you’re heavyset, possibly your limbs.
It doesn’t matter the question–halal is the answer at 1168 Fulton Street.
A plea to neighborhood pride at Fulton Street and Bedford Avenue.
Word on Brownstoner is that 1281 Fulton Street is a bank. From the Roman numerals I know it was erected in 1932 and chartered in 1892!
The A and C Train’s Nostrand Ave station. Mmmmmm, Golden Krust.
A memorial mural from 1973 at Fulton Street and Verona Place.
Dutiful servants of God at Fulton Street and Marcy Avenue.
“Mural art by Nafissa Samara” at Fulton Street and Tompkins Avenue.
The C Train’s Kingston-Throop Avenues station.
Someone really wanted to keep these folding chairs safe at Fulton Street and Albany Avenue.
Looks like cool installation art, but probably from a former building that was torn down next to 1614 Fulton Street.
An unusually creative laundromat at 1618 Fulton Street.
The A and C Train’s Utica Avenue station.
The literally named Boys and Girls High School at Fulton Street and Stuyvesant Avenue.
A tree worthy of Van Gogh at the Boys and Girls High School…
…Attached to tennis courts worthy of no one.
A Ghost Bike memorial for a cyclist killed in 2007 at Fulton Street and Utica Avenue.
A festive Ralph Avenue A and C Train station.
My constant companion along Fulton Street, the B25.
Williams Caribbean Shipping at Fulton Street and Howard Avenue. I’ve seen relatives pack those shipping barrels.
The Spiritual Israel Church and its Army at 17 Hull Street.
“There’s Land If You Want It. 596 Acres. Find the lot in your life. Contact the owner. Work out a deal. Grow something. We can help.” At Fulton Street and Saratoga Avenue.
Fulton Street is absolutely chock-full of churches. St. Matthew F.B.H. Church at 1995 Fulton Street…
…Abundant Life Church at 2005 Fulton Street…
…St. Paul’s Pentecostal / Joy Praise Tabernacle Ministry at 2013 Fulton Street…
…and Sweet Pilgrim Baptist Church at 2017 Fulton Street. All on the same block.
An unkempt A and C train Rockaway Avenue station.
The well-organized Phoenix Community Garden between Somers Street and Fulton Street.
Perhaps the abode of a paranoid former sailor? 2167 Fulton Street.
Did I mention that there are a lot of churches along the C Train? Blessed Assurance Church of God, Emanuel Christian Disciples Church, and Gethsemane Baptist Church (2093, 2095, 2097 Fulton Street, respectively).
There was no address on this building, or on either one beside it. I took the picture and kept moving.
East New York pride (and an avid reader) at Fulton Street and Van Sinderen Avenue.
The transit hub of Broadway Junction station, where the C Train meets the A, L, J and Z Trains.
And after passing the final leg of my Fulton Street journey in an eerie industrial area, I looked up and had come smack up against the busy Broadway Junction. The C line was no longer alone, and neither was I.
Ending underground, where my journey began.
Contact the author at @kaygegay.