capsule review

The Underground Guide to New York City Subways   
by David Frattini

The Underground Guide to New York City Subways ISBN:  0312253842
Title:  The Underground Guide to New York City Subways
Author:  David Frattini
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press, Inc.
Date Published:  April 2000
Format:  Trade Paper

A "Quick and Dirty" Field Guide

Dave Frattini has published, on the St. Martin's Griffin imprint, a station-by-station guide, like the one featured in nycsubway.org.
     Frattini is a pretty young guy (in his foreword he cites Albert Belle, Kid Rock and "the hotties on the US Women's Soccer Team") but he has done his homework on the history of the IND, BMT and IND, and apparently, he has visited all 450+ NYC subway stations and gives a capsule review of each.
     The station reviews are kind of brief and superficial, but he does notice things like the old Subway Sun signs at the IND Broadway station, for example. But, there are occasional jarring errors, such as referring to lines by color throughout ("the A,C, E [the Blue Line])"; nobody I've ever met calls NYC subway lines by color. He also claims "The open cut stations of the N and R lines...pierce through the neighborhood backyards of Bensonhurst and Sunset Park in Brooklyn." First, the R does not travel in an open cut; secondly, it goes nowhere near Bensonhurst; and no NYC subway goes 'through' anyone's back yard. 
     Besides his subway reviews, Frattini mentions a neighborhood eatery that's in the vicinity of each station, nearby landmarks, and local unusual spots. These are all quite helpful (but may become outdated in a couple of years).
     Basically, if you're looking for detailed, specific descriptions of NYC subway stations, stick with nycsubway.org. But, if you need a quick and dirty field guide when you're out railfanning, this book is pretty decent for the money (about $16).

  Kevin Walsh (forgotten-ny.com), Queens, NY, Mar 18, 2000

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Last updated March 18, 2000