10 Mysterious Last Stops on the NYC Subway

Take the subway to the end of the line and find yourself in another world.


NYC's subways are strange beasts.

Each day, they transport thousands of people through the busiest parts of the city, but gradually they empty out until few people are left. By the last stop on any given subway line, the city will have transformed into a forest or a suburb or an ocean, and no one will be left but the locals and the sleeping.

Andy Newman's 2008 New York Times article "The Curious World of the Last Stop" is the definitive reading for anyone interested in the last stops at the ends of subway lines. He writes eloquently of the sense of ache and strangeness that often emerges in these places, so far removed from the city's cosmopolitan center. "At the city's often-threadbare fringes, there is an inescapable sense of lonesomeness," he writes. "There might be a Last Stop Deli, a forlorn bar, a maintenance yard populated mostly by rows of empty trains. There is, surprisingly often, a cemetery."

At these end-of-the-line stops, the world almost seems to fray. "Beyond the station gates, a priest dreams of a vineyard. A car bursts into flame," Newman writes. "An ancient sign in a boarded-up window opposite the platform reads 'Wrestling Weight.' A stuffed bear mans a betting window in a struggling OTB parlor. The dead lie in rows uncounted, and the living mourn and wait and work and love and strum guitars on the front stoop, annoying the neighbors."

New York City is often defined by its tourist attractions—the skyscrapers, the lights—but maybe these distant destinations better represent the city's soul, which is something alive and cold, glossed over by visions and mythology but defined by its front stoops, its music, its storefronts, its people, riding the subways all night until they're finally home and then doing it all over again.

Last stops are like seams where the city drops off and meets the rest of the world. They offer fascinating glimpses into parts of NYC you may never have otherwise seen, opening windows into local neighborhoods, abandoned relics, massive parks, and other genuinely off-the-beaten-path destinations.

If you're looking for a chance to get some reading done, a trip to the end of an NYC subway line is one way to pass the time. You're likely to find a seat at some point, and you'll also get to experience a part of the city you haven't been to. Plus, you might find yourself confronted with the finitude of everything.

1. 1, Van Cortlandt Ave/242nd Street, Bronx

This Victorian Gothic station is the last stop on the 1 train in the Bronx-bound direction. It was designed by Heins and LaFarge, the firm behind the design of St. John the Divine, as part of an NYC beautification project designed to improve the city's appearance in hopes of reducing criminal activity.

The station lies to the east end of the massive Van Cortland Park, which is NYC's third largest park. The expansive area contains a large lake and a network of hiking trails, one of which is a famous route known as the Old Croton Aqueduct Hike. In the autumn (or any time of year, really) this park offers magnificent views of the Northeast's foliage. It also boasts the well-preserved Van Cortland House Museum, for anyone seeking a glimpse of old-money luxury, as well as numerous other outdoor attractions.

Timeout.com

2. Q Train, Stillwell Avenue, Coney Island

If you take the Q or D train to the end of the line, you'll wind up at Coney Island, the oceanside neighborhood at the edge of the city. From there, you can explore the wonders of Luna Park while tracing the remnants of the other amusement parks that lived and died on these shores—most of them burned down in the mid-20th century, and any dive into Coney Island's history is a trip worth taking in and of itself. Plus, even if you don't care about any man-made glories, a trip to this station will leave you only a short walk from the Atlantic Ocean.

architizer.com

3. A, 207th Street, Inwood, Manhattan

The last stop on the A train in the northern direction is 207th Street in Inwood, Manhattan. If you're looking for some time in nature, a visit will take you to the large Inwood park, and you can see nearby tidal creeks and ecosystems, which will transport you to a place that feels very different from NYC.

traveler.marriott.com

4. 4, Woodlawn, Bronx

Due to its innovative use of ornamental concrete, the Woodland Subway Station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Today it boasts a stained glass installation called Children At Play, and it neighbors the nearby Woodlawn Cemetery.

nycsubway.org

5. N/W, Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria

Taking the N or W all the way to the edge of Astoria will leave you in a small, sweet Queens neighborhood, perfect for exploring on a summer afternoon. Ditmars Boulevard offers enough restaurants, cafes, running trails, and interesting landmarks to make it worth a day trip.

sites.google.com

6. 6, Pelham Bay Park, Bronx

This station may be dilapidated, but it's the perfect portal to the natural world, as it'll drop you right on the edge of Pelham Bay Park. At three times the size of Central Park, Pelham Bay Park is quite expansive, so be sure to pack trail mix if you take this route and decide to get off and explore.

The park is cut through by a lagoon, bordered by the popular Orchard Beach, and pockmarked by recreational areas and golf courses. It's a popular place for barbecues, sunbathing, and all manners of recreation.

The park actually has quite an interesting past. It originally belonged to the Lenape peoples, like all of New York City. As the British colonized the territory, it became the home base of Puritan Anne Hutchinson's short-lived dissident colony. Hutchinson, whose sermons critiqued local ministers and gathered women together to challenge the Puritans, was banished and settled in the Bronx at what is now the location of the park.

nycgovparks.com

7. 7, Flushing Main Street, Queens

This stop offers a connection to the AirTrain to JFK as well as amazing views of Manhattan, Flushing Meadows Park, Citi Field and some highways and LIRR tracks, so it's ideal for photographers looking for a unique view of the city. A notoriously busy transit hub, you might not get a seat or a moment of quiet here, but you will get to drink in the sights of good old New York, New York.

amodernli.com

8. A, Rockaway Park, Rockaways

The A Train is NYC's longest train, and it ends at the city's most distant stretch of beaches: the Rockaways. A trip to 116th Street/Rockaway Park will drop you at a neighborhood that has served as a summer retreat for many New Yorkers for quite a while. You'll find yourself steps from the beach, with easy access to a collection of surf-themed restaurants and shops.

Rockaway Park is filled with quirky sculptures and unique, sometimes macabre history. Diners, clothing shops, motels, and Italian ice shops populate the streets alongside newer luxury beachside condos, so this area highlights the ragged edge where NYC's locals meet new gentrifiers, but its distance from Manhattan and proximity to the ocean gives it a slower, eerier feel.

aroundguides.com

9. 6, Abandoned City Hall

This technically isn't a stop because the subway doesn't actually stop here, but if you take the 6 train past the last stop at the edge of Manhattan, you'll pass by the ghostly relics of the old City Hall train. You can also take a tour through the New York Transit Museum and check it out (and that museum is worth visiting if you've made it this far through this article!)

token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJpc3MiOiJ1cm46YXBwOjdlMGQxODg5ODIyNjQzNzNhNWYwZDQxNWVhMGQyNmUwIiwic3ViIjoidXJuOmFwcDo3ZTBkMTg4OTgyMjY0MzczYTVmM

10. J/Z, Board Street, Manhattan

This stop is still in cosmopolitan Manhattan, so it's not exactly going to offer you a peaceful departure—but it will allow you to explore Wall Street and sites like the nearby Zuccotti Park, the location of Occupy Wall Street.

wikipedia

Subscribe now

Related Posts
Explore

10 Endangered Animals to Weep Over

Celebrate Endangered Species Day.

An endangered species is not a tragedy, because if a species is endangered, then they aren't yet extinct.

Sadly, there are millions of endangered species across the world, all facing threats that mostly stem from human activities. Still, it's not too late. Take a gander at these majestic animals, and then donate to a wildlife fund or environmental activism group of your choice.


Of course, nature doesn't need saving—humans do—and climate change and environmental destruction are threats to humans as well as animals, but if you need a reminder of the beauty and fragility of the natural world, check out these extraordinary species.



SPONSORED

Do Non-Melatonin Sleep Aids Really Work?

Objective makes a chocolate square.

I Can't Sleep.

I truly cannot remember the last time I had a good night's rest. Even before the stay-at-home orders, I was just a little ball of nerves.

But lately, it's been awful. I toss and turn, it's always too hot or even too cold, sometimes I make myself tea and read for a bit, but when I'm still up at 1 a.m., I reach for my phone and then I'm up until 3. My sister and I have a weekly call, and our small talk about our exhaustion turned into an hour long conversation about sleep.

I Thought I'd Tried Everything. Even Melatonin.

My sister asked why I hadn't gone for the old staple, melatonin and I reminded her about the time we traveled abroad, and it gave me the weirdest nightmares (the horrible kind where you wake up in your dream and you're still in a dream). Chamomile tea didn't work, nothing worked.

She said she had a friend who swore by something I definitely hadn't heard of.

They Were NOT Pills, Teas or Anything I'd Seen Before.

A company called Objective makes Fast Asleep, a sleep solution delivered as chocolatey treats. They're created with saffron and GABA. If going to sleep was as easy as eating a piece of these chocolatey, minty delights every night, I'd be sold.

What Exactly Was In It?

Cocoa contains caffeine, so I didn't know how this would help me sleep. After talking with my sister, I went online and saw that the calming, sleep-supporting ingredients cancel out any of the very little caffeine content.

Saffron, the spice, is apparently known to help with staying asleep, and their GABA is a fermented version of the neurotransmitter that's known to help you relax and fall asleep faster. In a study, 100% of customers saw improvement in their sleep quality thanks to saffron. One hundred percent!

Do I Try It?

A bag of 30 pieces was only $40, and they had a money-back guarantee.

They're keto-friendly and only 30 calories a piece, so not too decadent before bedtime.

They were chocolatey-minty, which is my favorite flavor, so I was sold. I ordered a bag to try.

The First Night, I Wasn't Impressed.

I took one piece (super yummy!) - 30-60 minutes before bedtime is recommended - but when I climbed in, I didn't notice a difference. I was worried I'd wasted my money.

However, once I fell asleep, I stayed asleep until my alarm went off, which hasn't always been the case for me.

I checked the site again, and noticed that many people didn't notice a real difference until the third or fourth night - it builds up in your system over time, so I decided to keep an open mind the rest of the week.

The Second Night Was Completely Different

Without doing anything differently from the first night, my second night was amazing. I felt calm and sleepy as I was getting ready for bed, and once I hit the pillow, I was out the whole night.

It had to be these sweet treats. The next day, I even felt more balanced and relaxed - Fast Asleep helps boost serotonin levels and reduce cortisol (the stress hormone), and I definitely noticed a difference in my overall mood and alertness.

I Already Ordered More.

Just In Case! There's nothing habit-forming about this product, so it's completely safe to take every night, and I honestly always want to keep it in the house. I'd also love to offer it to anyone staying over in the guest room, whenever we have guests again.

Now that I'm getting a healthy 8 hours of sleep every night, I feel more equipped during the day to tackle the things I need to do and deal with some of my daytime stressors. I finally had the energy to clean the kitchen, which had been bothering me so much for the past few weeks.

With Objective's Fast Asleep, I get real sleep and balance my levels, so I don't have to feel tired during my waking hours. Sleep in the form of chocolate squares sounds so weird, but oh my goodness, do they work.

Our partners at Objective Wellness are currently offering a 25% discount if you use the coupon code STAYHOME. Check them out here!

Food & Drink

The Best Apps for Craft Beer Delivery

Try beers from all over the world–from your phone.

With breweries and distilleries out of business for the foreseeable future, your favorite beer may feel particularly out of reach this time of year, especially with the weather changing. But don't let quarantine suck all the fun out of summer. Luckily, thanks to technology, a lot of craft beer is now deliverable straight to your door step. Here are a few of the best apps to help make sure you stay up to date on the latest trendy brews.

Tavour

Tavour

Simplistic and elegant, Tavour allows users to easily fill up a box of beer over a period of time before shipping. The app offers more than 650 different breweries both local and national and is perfect for those who like to experiment. It's easy to use, and their menu rotates regularly so you and your beer never grow stale.

TapRM

TapRM

TapRM offers a wide range of both craft beers and hard seltzers. While based almost exclusively in New York City, the app offers fast, same day delivery from some of the best beer brands in the world. They also provide a unique selection of beers to help you find your new favorite. All you need to do is download the app and place your order!

Drizly

Offering a stark variety of craft beer, Drizly allows its users to mix and match 12-packs, sixers or by the bottle. Their guarantee is that they can have whatever you order delivered to your house in less than an hour. You can even schedule your delivery for a specific time, with each delivery taking around 20-40 minutes.

Saucey

Saucey takes delivery very seriously. When you order with them they guarantee that they'll deliver in 30-minutes or less, or they guarantee two day shipping. Also, beer aside, their entire liquor cabinet is also up for grabs. From tequila and whiksey, to vodka and wine, nothing is off the table for Saucey.

Beer Menus

BeerMenus

For those who enjoy strictly local beers, BeerMenus features a tap list from local bars and a broader stock list from your neighborhood beer store. With that, you can make sure to create a list of your favorite beers in your neighborhood, so that when they're in stock you can be ready to go.