Wednesday, April 29, 2009


"The Third Man"
"West Side Story"
"Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins"

Do you know what those movies have in common?

They were all filmed at locations that technically no longer exist.

"The Third Man" takes place in Vienna right after WWII, when it was a bombed-out ruin. "West Side Story" was set in the slums that were later razed; Lincoln Center stands now in their place. And "Remo Williams" engaged in a big fight sequence on the scaffolding that surrounded the Statue of Liberty during its renovation twenty years ago.

I always like checking the establishing shots from shows like 'Naked City', 'Kojak', and 'The Odd Couple' because they serve as historical archives of a New York that no longer exists. Even more (relatively) recent shows like 'The Equalizer', 'Wiseguy', 'NYPD Blue', and 'Law & Order' already have scenes of places that are lost to history - most notably the World Trade Center.

A new cop procedural on ABC, 'The Unusuals', has provided such a shot, of something that will soon be extinct.

In last week's episode, Detective Allison Beaumont chased after the "Crime Slut" who had robbed the Brooklyn pawn shop where Beaumont was trying to pawn her jewelry. Beaumont turned the corner and peered down into the entrance of a Z train subway stop, but she lost the perp. Although that site may still serve as a subway station, it won't be for the Z train for very much longer. The MTA has announced draconian cuts to service to begin this summer if Albany doesn't come through with a bailout. One of those cost-cutting measures will be the elimination of the Z line, which runs from Brooklyn to Fulton St. in lower Manhattan.

You can find just about everything in Wikipedia:

The J Nassau Street Express and Z Nassau Street Express (earlier Jamaica Express) are two rapid transit services of the B Division of the New York City Subway. They are colored brown, since they use the BMT Nassau Street Line in Lower Manhattan. The J runs at all times, while the Z only operates during rush hours in the peak direction; both services use the entire BMT Archer Avenue Line and BMT Jamaica Line from Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer over the Williamsburg Bridge to Lower Manhattan.
Rush hour service in the peak direction is express west of Myrtle Avenue, and the J and Z form a skip-stop pair east of Myrtle Avenue. During weekdays, the J and Z run to the southernmost station on the Nassau Street Line, Broad Street, but the J is cut back on weekends to Chambers Street. Broad Street and Fulton Street are thus the only two stations that are not served full-time.

Toby O'B

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