Discussion:
Go on the Elevated in New York
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Steve Hayes
2011-12-05 15:11:28 UTC
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I've just been re-reading "Go" by John Clellon Holmes, and in it there are
several references to "the Elevated".

Though the characters in the book ride on the subway, they don't appear to use
the "Elevated". Was it disused at the time the book was written (c 1950)?

Is so, when did is stop being used?
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Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
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Dave Moore
2011-12-06 23:47:44 UTC
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Post by Steve Hayes
I've just been re-reading "Go" by John Clellon Holmes, and in it there are
several references to "the Elevated".
Though the characters in the book ride on the subway, they don't appear to use
the "Elevated". Was it disused at the time the book was written (c 1950)?
Is so, when did is stop being used?
Hi Steve,

GO was written between August 1949 and September 1951. Kerouac's book
VISIONS OF CODY, written slightly later (1951-52), also mentions the "El"
(see p.6, for example).

So it does seem to have been functioning at that time, although certainly
demolished later.

===========================================================

Having just googled, it appears that the Third Avenue El (the last elevated
line in Manhattan, and the one that Holmes and Kerouac wrote about) closed
in May 1955:

http://www.mta.info/nyct/facts/ffhist.htm

Dave
Steve Hayes
2011-12-07 11:29:21 UTC
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On Tue, 6 Dec 2011 23:47:44 -0000, "Dave Moore"
Post by Dave Moore
Post by Steve Hayes
I've just been re-reading "Go" by John Clellon Holmes, and in it there are
several references to "the Elevated".
Though the characters in the book ride on the subway, they don't appear to use
the "Elevated". Was it disused at the time the book was written (c 1950)?
Is so, when did is stop being used?
Hi Steve,
GO was written between August 1949 and September 1951. Kerouac's book
VISIONS OF CODY, written slightly later (1951-52), also mentions the "El"
(see p.6, for example).
So it does seem to have been functioning at that time, although certainly
demolished later.
===========================================================
Having just googled, it appears that the Third Avenue El (the last elevated
line in Manhattan, and the one that Holmes and Kerouac wrote about) closed
http://www.mta.info/nyct/facts/ffhist.htm
Thanks Dave.

I always associated the "elevated" in my mind with Chicago, so was a bit
surprised to come across it in the book.

I can't remember if I'd read the book before or not. I do remember reading
"The horn" though.
--
Steve Hayes
Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/litmain.htm
http://www.goodreads.com/hayesstw
http://www.bookcrossing.com/mybookshelf/Methodius
Peter Ceresole
2011-12-07 11:48:33 UTC
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Post by Steve Hayes
I always associated the "elevated" in my mind with Chicago, so was a bit
surprised to come across it in the book.
Oh, it's still there, and rusting away at a great rate. And if you've
ever heard one of the trains going by, you'll understand why New York
got rid of the El as soon as it could. Fun to ride, maybe, but 3rd Ave
must have been hell.
--
Peter
Jack Campin
2011-12-10 01:42:07 UTC
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Post by Steve Hayes
Post by Dave Moore
Having just googled, it appears that the Third Avenue El (the last
elevated line in Manhattan, and the one that Holmes and Kerouac
wrote about) closed in May 1955.
http://www.mta.info/nyct/facts/ffhist.htm
Who was Holmes? Oliver Wendell of the unreadable prose and fancy bindings?
Post by Steve Hayes
I always associated the "elevated" in my mind with Chicago, so was a bit
surprised to come across it in the book.
I first came across the El in e.e. cummings, where it had to have
been scrapped before America entered WW2.

What was the line that goes near the house in the movie "Julie and
Julia"? - I think that was somewhere in New York but not Manhattan,
and it looked like an old-style El, still functioning in the 21st
century.

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Jack Campin, 11 Third Street, Newtongrange, Midlothian EH22 4PU, Scotland
mobile 07800 739 557 <http://www.campin.me.uk> Twitter: JackCampin
Dave Moore
2011-12-10 09:18:11 UTC
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Post by Jack Campin
Who was Holmes? Oliver Wendell of the unreadable prose and fancy bindings?
No, John Clellon Holmes, Kerouac's writer friend, and author of the novel GO
(1952).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Clellon_Holmes

<http://www.amazon.co.uk/Brother-Souls-Clellon-Holmes-Kerouac-Generation/dp/1604735791/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1323508381&sr=1-1>
Post by Jack Campin
I first came across the El in e.e. cummings, where it had to have
been scrapped before America entered WW2.
The Third Avenue El didn't close until May 1955.


Dave Moore
-------------------------------------------------------
http://www.beatbookcovers.com/kercomp/index.htm
Steve Hayes
2011-12-10 10:59:01 UTC
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On Sat, 10 Dec 2011 09:18:11 -0000, "Dave Moore"
Post by Dave Moore
Post by Jack Campin
I first came across the El in e.e. cummings, where it had to have
been scrapped before America entered WW2.
The Third Avenue El didn't close until May 1955.
For what it's worth, the main reference in the book is:

Stofsky (the book's character for Allan Ginsberg) is driving with two friends
in a stolen Buick, and is un easy about their life of crime.

"Stofsky was aware that reproaches, earnest but firm reproaches for which he
could find no decent explanation, were filling his mouth. Instead of giving
them voice, however, he gazed out the window at the pilings of the Elevated
that swept past him at an even pace as they drove down Third Avenue, and began
to say to himself a verse of Blake that he had memorized a few days before,
and which he often found himself repeating like a roasary:

Seek love in the pity of other's woe
In the gentle relief of another's care
In the darkness of night and the winter's snow
In the naked and outcast, and seek love there.

The father downtown they got, the more the shuttered and crooked buildings
seemed to crowd in upon the Elevated tracks, until the direct sun was like
some dark uncertain path through a vast forest of brick, a path that becomes a
tunnel over which a heavy roof has grown. The pilings were positively
trunk-like, and the street itself seemed to deviate from its orderly
straightness and swerve a bit to the left, as though it, too, had lost its
bearings."

There are other references too, but that is the main one.
--
Steve Hayes
Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/litmain.htm
http://www.goodreads.com/hayesstw
http://www.bookcrossing.com/mybookshelf/Methodius
Jack Campin
2011-12-10 23:15:12 UTC
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Post by Dave Moore
Post by Jack Campin
I first came across the El in e.e. cummings, where it
had to have been scrapped before America entered WW2.
The Third Avenue El didn't close until May 1955.
You have the wrong El:

plato told

him:he couldn¹t
believe it(jesus

told him;he
wouldn¹t believe
it)lao

tsze
certainly told
him,and general
(yes

mam)
sherman;
and even
(believe it
or

not)you
told him:i told
him;we told him
(he didn¹t believe it,no

sir)it took
a nipponized bit of
the old sixth

avenue
el;in the top of his head:to tell

him

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
e m a i l : j a c k @ c a m p i n . m e . u k
Jack Campin, 11 Third Street, Newtongrange, Midlothian EH22 4PU, Scotland
mobile 07800 739 557 <http://www.campin.me.uk> Twitter: JackCampin
Joseph D. Korman
2011-12-10 22:05:26 UTC
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Post by Steve Hayes
I've just been re-reading "Go" by John Clellon Holmes, and in it there are
several references to "the Elevated".
Though the characters in the book ride on the subway, they don't appear to use
the "Elevated". Was it disused at the time the book was written (c 1950)?
Is so, when did is stop being used?
In New York, there were els in Manhattan and Brooklyn that pre-dated 1900.
These all started with steam engines pulling coaches. The original section that
became part of the 9th Ave line started with cables. By the early 1900s, all
were electrified. By 1904, the first subway was opened and through the years,
some of the subway lines were connected to the els, which were upgraded.

By the 1920s to 1940s, subway lines were built some under the els (6th Ave in
Manhattan and Fulton St, Brooklyn). Others were close enough to els to draw
passengers away. In 1940, much of the system was abandoned, with the rest
slowly until the last part of the 3rd Ave el in the Bronx in 1973.

However to confuse the issue, much of the subway system in Brooklyn and the
Bronx were built as elevated structures, but to more modern standards. These
still stand. There is one short section of original elevated still standing on
the J/Z between Alabama Ave and Crescent St. that is incorporated into the
subway system.

Also as a small point in NYC they were 'el' in Chicago they are 'L'.
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Peter Ceresole
2011-12-10 23:34:59 UTC
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Post by Joseph D. Korman
There is one short section of original elevated still standing on
the J/Z between Alabama Ave and Crescent St.
Yup. If you look at Alabama Ave on Google Street view, the El- or what
remains of it- is still very much there, although no sign of it on
Crescent.
--
Peter
Joseph D. Korman
2011-12-17 20:35:35 UTC
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Post by Peter Ceresole
Post by Joseph D. Korman
There is one short section of original elevated still standing on
the J/Z between Alabama Ave and Crescent St.
Yup. If you look at Alabama Ave on Google Street view, the El- or what
remains of it- is still very much there, although no sign of it on
Crescent.
It's still there! The el beyond 121st St was taken down in favor of the Archer
Subway. It becomes the lower level under the E train that comes from the IND
queens Blvd line.
--
-------------------------------------------------
| Joseph D. Korman |
| mailto:***@thejoekorner.com |
| Visit The JoeKorNer at |
| http://www.thejoekorner.com |
|-------------------------------------------------|
| The light at the end of the tunnel ... |
| may be a train going the other way! |
| Brooklyn Tech Grads build things that work!('66)|
| There are 10 types of people: those who |
| understand binary and those who don't |
|-------------------------------------------------|
| All outgoing E-mail is scanned by NAV |
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