Want to ride on the subway cars that inspired jazz great Billy Strayhorn to write "Take the A Train" in 1939?
Right now you can. For the next five Sundays–and for the price of a regular swipe–the MTA is offering rides on its annual holiday nostalgia trains.
The vintage trains feature Art Deco R1-9 cars, which were made between 1930 and 1940 and were in service from 1932 to 1977. Look for details like rattan seats, ceiling fans (there was no air conditioning back then), incandescent light bulbs, and period advertisements for products such as Alka-Seltzer.
To take the vintage train to Harlem, get on at the 2nd Avenue stop on the F line; the special rides leave at 10am, noon, 2pm and 4pm every Sunday in December. If you want to take it from Harlem, get on at the 125th Street station on the A/C/D line (downtown express platform) at 11am, 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm.
Although the vintage trains won't take you to Sugar Hill, as Ella Fitzgerald famously sang (you'd have to get on the modern A train and get off at the 145th Street stop), they sure will bring you close.
For daily updates, follow The Curious Uptowner on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.