— GIL LAVI

S for Special

On a lazy Sunday afternoon after trying a new brunch spot in LIC, I had the most unusual subway ride back to Manhattan. I didn’t know what I was in for when I heard the train pulling into the station and ran down the stairs and upon arriving on the platform, I was soon disoriented, amazed and instantly amused when I saw that the M train I had boarded was not an M train with which I was familiar, but instead was an “S” train, part of the limited run of the MTA’s vintage train from now through the end of the year each Sunday a few times per day.

I jumped in the train before it left, landing in a passenger car that began service in 1910, according to the MTA staffperson inside of the car. The train was much darker inside than the well-light E train I was expecting, lit by round incandescent bulbs, cooled by open windows & fans and furnished with cushioned seats. Moving into the next car, a specimen from 1957, I noticed brighter lights and “modern” oscillating fans that replaced the Tommy Bahama-like ceiling fans of yesteryear from the car of 1910.

I was lucky enough to have my camera with me and began to shoot immediately, focused on capturing everyone’s amazement with this blast from the past. While some riders knew about the S train, many were as surprised as I was.

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