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
Having trouble getting off the train? Crowds can get in the way, or sometimes an extremely bored bricklayer just seals you in the car.
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
"As a chemist, I can tell you that no chemical is 100 percent safe all the time, under all conditions. Even I occasionally do a double take when I hear about the ingredients in some of our foods. But our fear of chemicals – what is often called chemophobia – needs to be tempered. [more inside]
In-N-Out’s Secret Menu isn't so secret, but Hack The Menu has put together a list of off-book items on a bunch of fast food menus.
Algiers Athens Bangkok Barcelona Beijing Berlin Buenos Aires Cairo Caracas Chicago Copenhagen Delhi Dubai Glasgow Guangzhou Istanbul Lima London Kolkata Kuala Lumpur Madrid Manila Mecca Mexico City Milan Montreal Moscow Munich New York Oslo Paris Philadelphia Prague Pyongyang Recife Rome Saint Petersburg Santiago Seoul Shanghai Shenzhen Singapore Sofia Sydney Stockholm Taipei Tehran Tokyo Vienna
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]
Artist William Puck creates a set of LOTR-inspired notices for the New York Subway. [more inside]
An interactive visualization of Boston's subway system in February. With it, you can see where trains on the red, blue, and orange lines were at any moment on February 3 were in space and along their paths between stations, among many other things. [more inside]
Designer Adam Chang rode New York's trains for 20 hours, using 9 swipes to visit 118 stations, to bring you the NY Train Project.
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."
It was not the first time that Adam Magyar has had to explain his work to mystified observers. Born in Hungary in 1972, Magyar began taking pictures in his late twenties, roaming the streets of Asian cities and capturing images of Indian street vendors, Hindu holy men, and Himalayan students. His work evolved rapidly from conventional documentary photography to surreal, radically experimental imagery that reflects his obsession with finding innovative new uses for digital technology. A self-taught engineer and software designer who assembled his first computer while in his teens, Magyar captures his images using some of the world’s most sophisticated photographic equipment, modified with software he writes himself. Additional code, also of his own design, removes nearly all distortion, or “noise,” from his data, producing images of remarkable clarity.[more inside]
Something unknown, engineers say — and all the more intriguing to many residents for being unknown — has blocked the progress of the biggest-diameter tunnel-boring machine in use on the planet, a high-tech, largely automated wonder called Bertha. At five stories high with a crew of 20, the cigar-shaped behemoth was grinding away underground on a two-mile-long, $3.1 billion highway tunnel under the city’s waterfront on Dec. 6 when it encountered something in its path that managers still simply refer to as “the object.”
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]
Deep below the streets of New York City lie its vital organs—a water system, subways, railroads, tunnels, sewers, drains, and power and cable lines—in a vast, three-dimensional tangle. Penetrating this centuries-old underworld of caverns, squatters, and unmarked doors, William Langewiesche follows three men who constantly navigate its dangers: the subway-operations chief who dealt with the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the engineer in charge of three underground mega-projects, and the guy who, well, just loves exploring the dark, jerry-rigged heart of a great metropolis. What Lies Beneath.
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]
Subway by Omid Singh, Winner of the Audience Award, 2013 No Budget Film Festival, interview with Omid
A growing number of Americans is realizing that “good jobs” aren’t coming back, and that for things to get better, they’re going to have to fight to turn their McJobs into something better. (Via Jacobin) [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]
The Dorfbahn Serfaus is arguably the tiniest subway system in the world (technically, an underground funicular), built to alleviate congestion in the tiny ski resort town of Serfaus, Austria (pop. 1,081). The line is just 1.3 km long with 4 rather picturesque stops. Bonus video (German).
Dan Grover and Mike Belfrage have mapped transit inequality in the Bay Area after reading a New Yorker piece on the New York City subway (previously). The ways in which a widening income gap are changing the demography of San Francisco have been widely reported of late (previously, previously). The project's code is available if you'd like to try mapping your own city.
Endbahnhof, a collection of photographs of every U-Bahn station in Berlin, organised by line and showing the variety of architectural styles in the system. There is an interview with the photographer, Kate Seabrook, here.
Inequality and the New York subway. An infographic from the New Yorker: The United States has a problem with income inequality. And it’s particularly bad in New York City—according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, if the borough of Manhattan were a country, the income gap between the richest twenty per cent and the poorest twenty per cent would be on par with countries like Sierra Leone, Namibia, and Lesotho.
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]
There are two types of subway riders in the world. Those who wonder, during an idle moment at a station, if they could beat the train to the next stop; and those who attempt to do so. Observe.
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]
If you've ever wanted to know the history of each of Toronto's streetcar lines, how to identify different TTC subway trains, the chronology of Toronto's Christmas-painted buses, or really anything else you can think of (and more) about Toronto's transit system: Transit Toronto is an unofficial but fantastically detailed site about the TTC. [more inside]