Tag Archives: 1 Train

Five Lamps

On the ride back to the hotel from the Henna Night Party for Joel and Roja last year in Dublin, the cab driver pointed out the window and said, “There’s the Five Lamps.”

We looked and sure enough, there stood a lamp-post with five lanterns. One of us asked about why the lamp-post had significance.

The cab driver said, “Because it has five lamps.” A true answer, but somewhat obvious.

We asked again and he replied, “It is the only one in Dublin.” Not so obvious, but hardly a significant increase in information.

We tried once more and learned no more. I for one gave up. It was dark so I did not get a photo. I guess that is a reason to return.

photo (39) (1024x768)Tonight, because the 1 Train was crowded, I opted to walk part way home. On Broadway, where I have been before, I noticed the Five Lamps Tavern.

I figure there is a connection. Some Internet searching has proven about as helpful as our Dublin cabbie.

However, from the Dublin City Libraries, I have learned about the lamp-post in Dublin:

The Five Lamps were put up around 1880 as a memorial to General Henry Hall from Galway who had served with the British Army in India. They were originally a water fountain with four basins at their base. Water gushed from the spouts in the shape of lions’ heads. Cups hung from chains over the basins, so that the locals could have a drink. At that time people were poor and had no running water in their homes. The fountain was probably also used as a watering trough for horses to have a drink as well.

Some mystery remains:

Some people think that the name “five lamps” comes from the five streets which meet at this point; others believe that they commemorate five major battles fought in India during the days of the British Empire.

But I know more than I did before. And someday I can learn about the Five Lamps Tavern and possible connections.

See you along the Trail.

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Why I like New York 15 – it’s more than just a ride

When first I came to New York City, I believed the subway served as a means of transportation.

During the two years that I have lived here, that belief has proven correct, again and again.

But I have also learned that the subway has far more uses that I ever imagined.

Some of those uses depress me. Some inspire. Many confound and amuse.

Take today.

From when I got on the subway at 125th until I got off at 96th, I watched – by glances not constantly – a woman attach false eyelashes, use tweezers on her eyebrows, and apply mascara. She sat at the end of a bench and used the wall of the car as a mirror.

Not just a way to get from here to there, the subway also functions as a moving salon.

See you along the Trail.

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Manhattan morning moon

6 August 2012
Platform of 125th Street 1 Train
Manhattan, New York

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Unsheltered

The lightning’s reflection
danced across the East River
as I looked from my office window.

Shadows, caused by lightning,
played across the uptown skyline
as I departed the 1 Train.

I smiled at the sky-show’s beauty
until I remembered
those whose work takes
them into the elements;
those with no home, no place, no shelter:
sisters and brothers
who ride out the storm
unsheltered.

26 July 2012
Shire on the Hudson
Manhattan

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