Monthly Archives: November 2009

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Atlantic Avenue Tunnel


Everyone should check out the next tour of the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel introduced each tour by the man who discovered it, Bob Diamond.  Bob recounts some of the history of the Brooklyn by explaining the tunnel’s function at that time it was built in 1844. We get a great picture of the landscape of Brooklyn at the time. We also get a glimpse of the way people conducted business, the enforcement of the law, and the social makeup of Brooklyn.  The real star, as Bob makes clear, is the countless hours of research he conducted to piece together what life around the tunnel both at the time it was active and even after it had been hidden away.  The structure became a fairly common source of folklore, especially if it was discussed in a newspaper article, and it was frequently viewed as a place where dark things happened – where shadowy criminals had their base of operations, and where foreign spies plotted against the citizens moving above them.  Our guide managed to effortlessly weave this story, essentially the biography of a tunnel, and it is one of the most fascinating tales you ‘ll ever hear.

Bob tells this story so effortlessly that one feels they are being taken along as he does his research,  gets discouraged by countless ‘experts’ at City agencies and the surrounding universities, and eventually finds the tunnel just as the Brooklyn Union Gas company guys are about to go home.

It is especially fun to listen for embellishments liberally sprinkled into some of his material – not deliberate misinformation, but just a few exaggerations to keep the lazy listeners on their toes.

The next tour is on Sunday, November 15.  Make a reservation here.