But as the city transformed into an exceedingly safe and exceedingly expensive place to live over the past two decades, it’s not only the crime and the pervasive decay that have fallen away, but the close proximity, creating a social commute that echoes and exacerbates a work commute that, at more than six hours a week, is the longest in the nation. People have always traveled to see their friends, of course, but rarely has it been so frequent or far to qualify as a commuteThe Social Commute: How the Big Schlep Is Changing the Way New Yorkers Live
A Guinness World Record Diary: Dr. Strangeline, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About the Amateur New York Subway Riding Committee and Love the MTA
The Kiss of Desperation: A Disgusting Practice Vanishes With the Token/A Lewis Grizzard take on the subject from 1991
NPR's Bob Boilen (host of All Songs Considered): "People ask me all the time to name my favorite Tiny Desk Concert. It's my desk and I've seen almost all of the nearly 400 concerts up close. So you'd think this would be easy. Moon Hooch have made it a lot easier." (video) [more inside]
What 11-Year-Old Kareem Granton Saw During 5 Days Roaming New York City (Warning: Slideshow format, but with original artwork.) [more inside]
Victor Vasquez knows NYC commuting can be depressing. As he says, “Standing under someone’s armpit, you just want to get home.” The MTA conductor livens things up with his unscripted announcements on the 1 train.
How an obsessed explorer found and lost the world's oldest subway. "The Atlantic Avenue Tunnel was sealed in 1861, shortly after Brooklyn banned steam locomotives within city limits. Legend has it that the tunnel was reopened in the 1920s when it was used for mushroom growing and bootlegging, and in the 1940s when the FBI opened it looking for Nazis. But soon after, it was lost. In the 1950s two historians attempted to find it and failed."
Inspired by the Massimo Vignelli NYC subway map and the upcoming Super Bowl at the Meadowlands, NJ Transit unveils a new Regional Transit Diagram (pdf) to help people take public transit between New York and New Jersey. [more inside]
Two weeks ago, 14 year-old Avonte Oquendo was last seen running out the door of his school in Long Island City, New York. Because Avonte has autism and is non-verbal, he was supposed to have one-on-one supervision at all times. Now, an unprecedented citywide search for the boy that includes searching commuter trains and subways and playing his mother's voice out of emergency response vehicles remains underway. [more inside]
NY Magazine picks the 22 Ingenious Ways to Improve the Subway from this tumblr list (some more practical than others).
Darius McCollum was recently arrested in New York for stealing a Trailways bus. Evidently he drove the bus to a Manhattan hotel where he picked up a flight crew and drove them to JFK Airport. On the way back to a New Jersey bus depot, he was pulled over by the cops. This wasn't the first time Mr. McCollum was arrested while (unlawfully) transporting the public. In fact, it was the 29th time. [more inside]
Sax battle on the NYC subway [slyt].
Deep in the belly of New York’s subway system, a beautiful untouched station resides that has been forgotten for years with only a limited few knowing of its existence. But if you know what to do, you can see it for yourself. Bonus: The Underbelly Project, a secret underground art exhibition. [more inside]
They found a copy of the New York City Transit Authority's Graphic Standards Manual in a locker covered with gym clothes. And decided to put it online. [more inside]
Yesterday, the New York Post published a dramatic image on its cover of a Queens man just seconds from being hit by a Q train after being pushed by another man who is now in custody. [more inside]
The upcoming New York Times Magazine cover story is about the excavation of the Second Avenue Subway line below the East Side of Manhattan. It features some stunning photography and a video that explains how the work is done. [more inside]
At the 36th St. subway station in Brooklyn, one of the subway stairs is a little bit higher than the others. Filmmaker Dean Peterson set up a camera at the top of the stairs for about an hour, and taped what happens.
Underground New York Public Library, a photo tumblr of NYC Subway riders and the books they read.
Gary Russo from Queens sings Summer Wind, the Frank Sinatra classic, on his break from helping build the 2nd Avenue subway. (Here's Sinatra singing it.)
Where can you see jazz1 shows,2 doo-wop performances,3 a vaudevillian dance act,4 found object5 percussion duos,6 opera concerts,7 international and intergalactic folk music gigs,8 and a pink gorilla playing the bass9? All for $2.25? [more inside]
Three subway map design titans come together in one room to debate form versus function in NYC's transit map
The KICKMap has come up previously on MeFi (1, 2, 3). In this article, designer Eddie Jabbour elaborates his approach and offers a detailed comparison with current and past NYC Subway map designs.
Many visitors and residents of New York City have long been befuddled by the emergency brake hanging in each NYC subway car. Signs indicate that one should not use the emergency brake during many emergencies- Fire, medical problem or need for police. But then, when should we use the emergency brake? (vimeo)
Underground Signs is a company in Brooklyn creating customized NYC subway signs. Other products have horned in on the distinctive look of the MTA's designs, including the map, the train line logos, and the neighborhoods serviced. But this is the first I've seen of the option to create a replica from the NYC underground with one's own name, street, etc. (the site allows you to generate a"Create Your Own" image). [more inside]
Triptrop NYC: Subway Time Maps — Plug in an address in New York City, and Triptrop generates a super slick looking map of how long it takes to get anywhere on the subway. And maybe you're moving? Then plug not one but two addresses into the comparison version and see which one gets you where you want to go. [via mefi projects]
"For [Improv Everywhere's] latest mission, Agent Lathan gave out 2,000 high fives by standing next to a subway escalator during the morning rush. Five additional agents spread out along the adjacent stairs, holding signs that prepared commuters for the upcoming high five fun. Enjoy the video first and then check out the mission report and photos."
The (Mostly) True Story of Helvetica and the New York City Subway. Why is Helvetica used now, and when did the changeover occur? To answer those questions this essay explores several important histories: of the New York City subway system, transportation signage in the 1960s, Unimark International and, of course, Helvetica.
NextBus uses GPS to tell you the predicted time of the next bus. Google maps show buses in real time, and you can get updates on your phone/PDA. The coverage is limited to certain agencies within the US, so these other sites might be useful: Hopstop covers subways and buses in NYC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, DC, and more. (mobile version) Google Transit has many US metro areas in addition to Canada, Europe, and Japan. (previously) Many more locations inside. [more inside]
The Boys and the Subway A father's artistic account of his sons' love of the NYC subway system.
When is the 7th Annual No Pants! Subway Ride? This Saturday, January 12th, New York City. They seem to have done it in 2006 as well. Village Voice article on 2006's shenanigans.
a Google Maps view of NYC, centered on Central Park Google Maps has started displaying subway stops (with the names of the lines that serve each each stop) in New York City. Clearly this is a work in progress (full building outlines are available only in some parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and some subway stops currently list only one of the multiple trains that serve the stop). Still, this is excellent news not only for natives but also for tourists (whose only subway-map reference may be the significantly, sometimes radically "not to scale" version put out by the MTA).
Like old cheese and vomit, mixed with dog food ... Halitosis and aged cabbage ... Rank Swiss cheese ... Sour milk ... Pee in the air every day ... Like an open corpse ... Like a musty homeless person decomposing in musky homeless person urine ... Caramel with a slight undertone of mildly rank underarm ... Rodenticide. It's Gawker's New York City Subway Smell Map.
@149st is a comprehensive study of classic NYC subway graffiti. It features profiles of many legendary artists, including an interview with Rammellzee who has some strange theories. The site for the definitive '82 PBS documentary Style Wars has some great galleries and video clips as well.
Yet another Google Maps hack for the NYC subway system. This one helps you plan your trip from point A to point B, and gives you an estimated travel time. Most locals will quickly find that the routes it suggests usually aren't the optimum, however this may be useful for visitors, at least until Friday morning. In the event of a strike, this is your best bet for some form of direction.
NYC Subway Warning The New York Police Department is investigating what it deems a credible tip that 19 operatives have been deployed to the city to place bombs in the subway, and security in the subways will be increased, sources told ABC News. Also here.
The NYPD is searching passengers' bags, supposedly at random and with no racial profiling involved. Setting aside the very real question of how this makes us safer, is this legal? [more inside]
Style Wars the 1983 graffiti, breakdancing and hip hop culture proto-documentary 20 years later comes out from obscure, grainy, 5th hand bootlegs and into the 21st Century. This funky white boy is excited. (Be sure you check out some of the other links from the NPR site!)