A Eulogy for the Ultimate Dive Bar
Under the F train in an industrial stretch of Brooklyn, a writer explores the fading history of a bizarre and beloved smoke-filled room that was quite literally a hole in the wall.
Due to the Gowanus Canal, the F and G subway lines run aboveground through part of Brooklyn, from Carroll Gardens to Park Slope, cutting eastward between 9th and 10th Streets before heading back underground near 5th Avenue. Consequently, one side of 10th Street is lined with well-maintained brick row houses, while the other is dominated by a wall of concrete, forming the train track’s support structure. Around the corner from one of the exits for the 4th Avenue station is an unlikely commercial space, built entirely within the track support, its entrance flush with the concrete. Underneath the tracks and, in recent years, usually blocked by scaffolding, this is perhaps New York’s most improbable location for a bar.
Across the avenue, the track structure housed similar storefronts, but they’re long closed and likewise completely blocked by scaffolding. Veterans of Foreign War Post 9485, and the bar that it contained, was the last man standing in a group of h…
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