Monday, January 14, 2008

1 Train - 168 St. (Day 1, stop #1)

Out: My first station and my home base.  The intersection has quite a number of contrasts. At the 6-way intersection between 6 lanes of Broadway, St. Nicholas Ave., and 168th St., the intersection is wide open with a small park on the southeast side. 
Farther on the SE corner there are two large research buildings that are part of Columbia University Medical Center. 

On the NE corner, on the other hand, are more typical Washington Heights-style tenements, in dirty yellow brick about 5-6 stories tall, as well as an elementary school. The SW side on both Broadway and 168th has the towering yellow brick buildings of Presbyterian Hospital, while on the NW corner there are more residential buildings of ~6 stories and a few restaurants going north on Broadway. 

Not too many people around at 7 a.m., but mostly seems like mix of hospital workers and Dominicans.

In: The entrance to the station here is right at the corner of 168 St. and Broadway. The mezzanine level has a short tunnel that connects to the A/C trains, but there is a bank of four elevators that go down to the 1 platform here. Only one of the elevators is staffed, and one is out of service. 

The platform here is quite unique. There is a high vaulted ceiling over the two opposed platforms and two tracks. The ceiling is covered with very dirty tiling, and there are pigeons flying around in here. 

The lighting is very dim, but the lights themselves are pretty cool globes on a fixtures off the walls. There are two bridges from the side with the elevators (downtown) to cross over to the uptown side. The station is really dirty and kind of smelly, but with some renovation this could actually be quite an impressive piece of work.