So I mentioned awhile back that we had a real NYC adventure for our 6th wedding anniversary and ventured into the world's oldest subway tunnel. We're both NYC history buffs and subway aficianados (not to mention recently watching the late-80s TV series Beauty and the Beast in its entirety), so climbing into a manhole in the middle of downtown Brooklyn seemed very romantic.
Built in 1844 for railway trains, at first it wasn't a "subway" in the sense we think of the subway today as a conveyance for people; it was a sub-way (as in, below-way) for freight trains with lousy braking systems that were literally wreaking havoc among the pedestrians, horses, and carriage traffic on increasingly crowded Brooklyn city streets.
The Atlantic Avenue subway tunnel was only in use until 1861, at which time: "...one Electus Litchfield contrived to obtain a contract to close the now-superseded tunnel and fill it in completely. It seems, though, that he confined himself to walling off the tunnel at both ends and filling in only the outer portions. This maneuver, of course, allowed him to pocket a tidy sum. Thanks to this ancient fraud, there is still a tunnel to explore."
This fantastic story left the tunnel to resurface periodically in New York City myth and legend until its discovery in 1980 by Bob Diamond, the man who still leads tours of the tunnel today. And the tunnel is beautiful indeed.