That and a Nickel Will Get You on the Second Avenue El

Posted on: April 11th, 2014 at 10:36 am by
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I stumbled upon an interesting (albeit short) article in the New York Times from January 1913, which caught my eye because it describes a unique incident that took place on Allen and Grand Streets.

“Two children get child and a nickel from woman, who disappears.”

That’s the byline. Apparently a young woman paid two twelve-year-old girls five cents to take her 18-month-old baby. She hopped the train, and was not seen again. It happened outside the Second Avenue El stop at Allen and Grand.

According to the century-old writeup, when the mother did not return, “they spent 3 of the 5 cents the woman had given them to buy crackers and chocolate [for the crying baby girl].”

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Certainly gives some new meaning to the local saying, “that and a nickel will get you on the subway.

It’s fascinating to imagine who this baby was and grew up to be.

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