Western Brooklyn

Think The N Line Is Bad? Check Out The B Train Circa 1987 [Video]


We love to complain about the decrepit state of the graffiti-plastered N line, but thanks to Youtube — and some diligent videographers — we can jet back to a time when train rides were filled with many more hazards: the 1980s.

This revealing clip, aptly titled “Train Ride to Coney Island,” takes us on a journey through the eyes of video artist Nelson Sullivan, on a trip to the entertainment district with journalist Michael Musto, artist Albert Crudo, photographer Liz Lizard, and two kids — all of them wearing amazing 80s-tastic attire, of course. Watch them ride the grimy, graffiti-scribbled B (now the D) train from Union Square, through Bensonhurst, and into Coney Island on June 20, 1987.

Fortunately, much of the screen time is dedicated to the Brooklyn side of the now-D tracks, and we catch glimpses of all the familiar subway stops (Crudo enters the train at 71st Street at 2:50). Some landmarks flashing by are long gone, such as Loew’s Oriental Theatre (4:26), which was closed in 1995 and now houses a Marshall’s. Others haven’t changed at all, like that big black Bay Parkway sign (seen at 4:54) we know and love.

We also get an unfortunate closeup of Crudo’s webbed toes (4:00), along with plenty of shots of graffiti and crumpled newspapers.

Check out the video and let us know what you think in the comments!