Julia Solis, author, urban explorer, historian, and brilliant photographer. That she is a member of San Francisco's own legendary 'Suicide Club' might indicate that this lady has a devil-may-care attitude that would drive her to explore the more inaccessible subterranean spaces of New York City at some risk to herself and record her fearless dark, dank, eerie journeys with a series of amazing photographs which along with some excellent illustrations and informative commentary make up a 'darn' good book.
Everyone is aware of the subway transportation system but that is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tunnels, holes, voids, and caverns under New York City. Some of the inaccessible subterranean spaces of New York City include the cathedral-like inner sanctums of the Brooklyn Bridge, which resembles a Gothic cathedral, and the horrific remnants of many old hospitals and asylums. Then there's the bowels of Columbia University, the old pneumatic tube mail system, abandoned train stations, the bowels of Grand Central, sewers, the labyrinthine ruins of the Old Croton Aqueduct, and the old gang tunnels that run below the streets of Chinatown ......and more. Others to venture beneath the City are the graffiti artists some of whose work was captured on film by the author.
And yes, an alligator has been found. In early February 1935 snow clearers in Harlem saw an open sewer manhole and decided it would be a good place to dump some snow. However on closer inspection one of them saw an alligator down there, which when retrieved, weighed in at 125 lbs and was almost eight feet long. A few others have been discovered since.
Julia Solis subterranean adventures beneath the city's streets, explores its layers of history along the way which will be of interest to not only visitors to the city, and devotee's, but also to New Yorkers who will be astounded to learn of the secrets lurking beneath the pavements. Didn't think I would much enjoy the book but Boy! was I wrong....absolutely loved it but realistic enough to accept that it probably has a restricted readership.