It’s the elevated train that used to run up and down Manhattan until the mid-1950’s, when it was decommissioned and turned into scrap metal.
Despite this, you can still experience the trip through New York City that vanished over half-a-century ago, not only from the overhead view of the train window, but through the actual neighborhoods and with the authentic people who road it daily.
A beatnik photographer with a tripod, a stumbling drunk from the old Bowery, a giddy little girl traveling with her father, and a couple on a romantic excursion help create a loose narrative.
For the soundtrack, a sprightly rendition of Haydn’s Concerto in D for Harpsichord is accompanied by all of the real sounds of a metropolitan elevated subway trip.
Along with it’s superb photography and creative editing, a viewing of ‘3rd Avenue El’ is like taking a ten minute vacation to a place that is no more.