“Little NorwaY” and “Finntown” were 20th century nicknames of Sunset Park/Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, and its many residents of Scandinavian origin. The “R” subway line that services the neighborhoods was nicknamed the “Norwegian-American Line,” after the Norwegian America Line of passenger and cargo ships that existed from 1910 until 1971. Brooklyn’s demographics have changed and the nicknames are largely of historical interest today.
The “N” and the “R” lines have together been nicknamed “Never/Rarely” because of infrequent service.
Wikipedia: R (New York City Subway service)
The R Broadway Local is a rapid transit service in the B Division of the New York City Subway. Its route emblem, or “bullet”, is colored sunflower yellow since it uses the BMT Broadway Line in Manhattan. The R operates local between 71st Avenue in Forest Hills, Queens and 95th Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn at all times except nights when it short turns at 36th Street in Sunset Park with northbound trains bypassing 53rd and 45th Streets. Although the R does not have any outdoor stations along its entire run, there is a small portion on the BMT Fourth Avenue Line between 59th Street and Bay Ridge Avenue that passes over a cut containing the Long Island Rail Road’s Bay Ridge Branch tracks.
Wikipedia: Norwegian America Line
The Norwegian America Line (Norwegian: Den Norske Amerikalinje), was a cruise ship line, originally an operator of passenger and cargo ships. Founded in 1910, the company ran a regular transatlantic service between Norway and the United States, and later included a route to East Africa as well.
Primarily due to competition from air travel, transatlantic passenger voyages were discontinued in 1971.
New York (NY) Times
When Brooklyn Was Norway
As told to JENNIFER BLEYERJULY 27, 2008
VICTORIA HOFMO, a native of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, who has long blond hair and sky blue eyes, grew up only vaguely aware of her Scandinavian background.
Scandinavians, mostly Norwegians, were up and down the whole waterfront. Eighth Avenue was called Lapskaus Boulevard, after a kind of stew. They used to call the R train that ran through the area the Norwegian-American line.
Daily News (New York, NY)
Nordic Delicacies shop closes, marks end of era for Brooklyn’s Norwegian enclave
BY ERICA PEARSON
Monday, January 26, 2015, 7:10 PM
As the Norwegian community reached its peak in the first half of the 20th century, the R train through the area was dubbed the “Norwegian American line,” according to local amateur historian Victoria Hofmo, whose grandparents emigrated from Norway in the 1930s.
Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle
August 31, 2016 - 9:51am
Ten spots you should see in Bay Ridge
Eye On Real Estate
By Lore Croghan
You can get to Bay Ridge on the R train — which was nicknamed “the Norwegian-American line” in the first half of the 20th Century when thousands of Norwegian immigrants and their descendants lived in the area. If the R train’s sometimes slow pace drives you batty, instead take the N train to the 59th Street station, which is just a few blocks away from the neighborhood’s northern boundary.