Happy 100th birthday to Brooklyn’s subway: amNewYork shares our favorite (and least favorite) parts

The scene outside the Bedford Avenue L train subway station in Williamsburg Brooklyn, on April 16, 2015.
The scene outside the Bedford Avenue L train subway station in Williamsburg Brooklyn, on April 16, 2015. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kelly Anderson

Brooklyn’s subway system just turned 100! And in honor of this very important centennial birthday, amNewYork decided to reflect on our favorite (and least favorite) things about our fair train system.

Meredith Deliso, Features Editor
Good thing:
Many of the trains go above ground so you can use your phone and keep your friends posted on your imminent arrival — especially handy if you’re running late. The G train service has actually improved in recent years, with expanded service into Brooklyn and, it seems, more frequent service. The smell at the Fulton underpass isn’t as nauseating anymore, either!
Bad thing: As extensive as it is, a large swath of the borough is not readily covered by the subway system (hello, parts of Red Hook, Marine Park, Flatlands, Canarsie, East New York…). Still, you can’t get a subway transfer from the G to the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center transit hub at the Fulton stop, or to the J and M lines at the Lorimer stop, which have been talked about for years.

Ivan Pereira, Reporter
Good thing: The elevated F stations in Gowanus, 4th Ave, 9th Street and Smith Street.  For two quick stops during my commute I have a cell phone signal and a great view looking toward the East River.
Bad thing: Any time I have to take the R train. So…many…stops…

Keira Alexander, News Assistant
Good thing:
I can get to JFK on the cheap (A train).
Bad thing: Causes my germaphobia to reach new heights (All of them).

Alison Fox, Reporter
Good Thing: There’s no such thing as living too far away in New York City, everything is so accessible.
Bad Thing: Standing on a stiflingly hot subway platform in the middle of summer and waiting more than 15 minutes for your train to come (R train, ahem…).

Scott Rosenberg, Entertainment Editor
Good thing: It goes above ground so I can use my phone when the trains get delayed.
Bad thing: I have yet to actually see a G train.

Georgia Kral, amny.com Features Editor
Good thing: Air conditioning is (almost) 100% on point.
Bad thing: Delays are (almost) 100% guaranteed. The 2/3 trains inch through central Brooklyn. Why is that necessary? Are the tracks winding? Doesn’t feel like it.

Pete Catapano, Editor in chief
Good thing: Views of the city as you go over the Manhattan or Williamsburg bridges.
Bad thing: The R train takes so long I have a lot of time while riding it to contemplate my existence and the meaning of life.

Sheila Feeney, Reporter
Good thing: Passengers on Brooklyn trains have always helped when I’ve needed advice/directions going to an unfamiliar stop.
Bad thing: Just give up interborough travel on the weekends if you live in, or want to visit, say, Brooklyn. Service changes and delays on Brooklyn trains are so awful and unpredictable you have to reconcile yourself to spending the weekend where ever you find yourself on Friday afternoon. Brooklyn has been Balkanized as a result of its lousy train service.

John Ambrosio, Intern
Good Thing: The L train has been relatively good about maintaining regular service recently, which is a welcome change of pace.
Bad Thing: I think you can tell the exact moment you cross from Manhattan to Brooklyn based solely on how much the train shakes and jerks back and forth.