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Steve Ember


Pro Member

Subterranean Sinister

A bit creepy perhaps?

As I awaited my J Train to cross the Williamsburg Bridge from Lower Manhattan, on my way to shooting at the Marcy Avenue station (*) in Brooklyn, my cinematic sensibilities flashed on various possible uses for this platform with the disused control tower at the end in the Chambers Street station (the one on the BMT Nassau Street line).

The first to come to mind was that it could have served as the location for the nightmarish scene where Tim Robbins as Jacob Singer finds himself trapped, very late at night, in a station with the exit to street chained off and has to cross the tracks to the opposite platform, as the overhead bare light bulbs dance ominously to the vibration of an approaching train, in “Jacob’s Ladder.” This was not the station that was used in the film, but it does indeed have some closed-off stairways…

Or perhaps some edgy crime-thriller set in the ‘70s when graffiti-covered subway cars were the norm. Thankfully, that aspect of the NYC Subway is definitely in the past, but the many newer, shiny graffiti-less and well-lit trains that call at this station can put one in the mindset of some sort of sinister time-warp themed movie.

I could also imagine one of those old BMT olive drab trains with the woven cane seats, bare light bulbs, and the big wooden paddle-bladed fans on the ceiling “growling” away from this platform into the inky darkness.

The sign next to the door warns “Caution Rodenticide.” (No, I didn’t see any rats on the platform…)

Well, if this narrative causes you not to want to take a chance on this station, I might
at least call your attention to the black security globe cameras to the left of the column!

©2017 Steve Ember
(*)

M Train Approaches Marcy Avenue Station
M Train Approaches Marcy Avenue Station
Steve Ember

Comments 2

  • Carlo.Pollaci 07/07/2017 15:40

    Great shot. Very interesting description.
    Best regards
  • Hans-Gerd Hacker 07/07/2017 8:27

    Great foto and fine description,
    Your foto here from a part of the chambers street station looks absolutely fine for me.
    It looks like a lost place and totaly neglected.
    I love such fotos...they show us the other side, the disintegration of such old subway stations, because of that " both side of the story".
    I often read articles about the NYC-Subway and his infrastructure...this foto shows this perfectly.
    Steve, Congratulations for this foto...stunning !
    Gruß HG