A Look At The “Creepy” NYC Subway System In 1990

The Eleventh Hour was a nightly show hosted by Robert Lipsyte airing weeknights at 11 PM on WNET, the PBS station for NYC. I had the good fortune to tape this installment, Subway Stories and it sat unwatched for 21 years. There are three filmed segments between in studio discussions with Newsday transit reporters Jim Dwyer, Ellis Hennican, and Joe Rappaport of NYPIRG Straphangers. Lots of footage from underground.

One segment includes a auto-biographical story by Mike Feder, a WBAI radio personality. He tells the story of how in the 1950s as a 14 year old he takes the IND to Manhattan for a miserable chore, but by the end is practically on a trip through the cosmos. I taped his telling of the same story on WBAI many years ago, and in that more legnthy telling there are certain important details left out in this film. Missing from the film telling of it is the part about how he observes a young railfan enjoying the front window view and pretending to drive the train. Mike is curious about also looking out the front, but doesnt for fear of looking like a goof to the other passengers. But on the return trip he thinks,’ the hell with what anybody thinks, I’m gonna take a look’. Young Mike joins the ‘nose against the glass comittee’ and after a while he sees the rail fan kid standing in the front window of a train going the other way and THERE is where the cosmic connection of two curious devil-may-care youths is made. Kind of explains why I take the time to post all this shit to you (tube).

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