Monday, May 4, 2009

M Train - Fresh Pond Rd. (Day 8, stop #337)

Out:  Directly under the tracks, there are a number of buses idling and MTA employees around.  At first I get stuck on 62nd St., a side street with a dead end at the station, and I can’t cross back because of fences in the station.  On this street, there is a mix of small brick apartments and houses in siding.  

I finally figure out how to get back to Fresh Pond Rd., where there many people out, who seem to be a mix of Eastern European, Hispanic, and Asian.  There are a number of small businesses here, including banks, cleaners, pharmacy, Subway, and 99¢ stores. Typical middle-class stuff.  However, there is also an Albanian bar and a couple of old folks (see picture of woman) speaking a Balkan-sounding language; this gives some more idea of the identity of the neighborhood.

In:  Here the platform is very wide, making room for a large MTA bus depot directly underneath.  There is still just one column by each edge of the platform, and it supports a slightly sloping roof, which covers ~2/3 of the platform length.  The station house here has lots of circuitous exits, and the ability to walk between them is constrained by the bus depot underneath, to which access is restricted.  At first I accidentally get trapped on a side street and I find it tough to get back to the main drag.