Tour the world's oldest subway tunnel
If you think you've seen all of New York City, guess again. Even the most boastful Brooklynites (And they sure are proud of Brooklyn) might not know about tunnel tours in Brooklyn. Discover the underground world of New York through the world's oldest subway tunnel.
Built in 1844, before Brooklyn was even part of New York, this half mile long tunnel played an important transportation role. It was used to stretch the Long Island Rail Road; the hazardous tunnel led to accidents with horse carriages, pedestrians and trains. It fell out of use and was sealed by the 1860's to be forgotten for over a century.
The Atlantic Avenue Tunnel was rediscovered in 1980 by Bob Diamond; who hosts these unique tours. The Brooklyn Historic Railway Association restored this tunnel to provide public access. Located in a buzzing part of Brooklyn; within Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill; the tunnel is a protected and official Federal and State Landmark.
Spend an hour and a half learning about the history of this tunnel. Go back in time and learn about the 19th century corruption of New York, the street gangs that ruled the city. Great for historical buffs or anyone who really wants to learn the underground grime that was New York. It's a lesser known tourist attraction that is unique in character and significant part of New York and transportation history.
With so many cliché things to do in New York; visiting Brooklyn is already taking a step out of the box. A borough with such unique characteristics and charm, it's no surprise that there is a hidden jewel underneath.
Even Walt Whitman; a profound poet wrote about its eerie, dark essence back in the 19th Century. "The tunnel: dark as the grave, cold, damp and silent. How beautiful look earth and heaven again, as we emerge from the gloom!" If Walt Whitman had something to say about it, it's worth checking out.
Bring comfortable shoes, a flashlight and a love for excitement. The next tour will be held on Halloween; October 31st.
Flickr: David Berkowitz