NEW YORK: Reform in Manhattan

For 60 years elevated trains kept Manhattan's Sixth Avenue in shadow and a perpetual uproar. Early wood-burning locomotives dumped cinders down the necks of people on the street below; later electric cars went overhead with a clattering roar like garbage cans rolling down endless flights of stairs. In the shadow of the "El" taxis wove wildly among pillars, and in the murky streets blocks of laundries, pastrami shops, employment agencies, dingy bars and doubtful bookshops grew like mushrooms.

Seven years ago the "El" was torn down and replaced by a decently buried subway. Then the hard sunlight really showed up Sixth...

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