Entries tagged “NYC”

Time gives us several photos from Christopher Morris of the NYC subway from 1981.

The images that emerged from his months-long project show subway cars being tagged, and stations covered in dirt and grime, but we also see commuters going about their business — reading newspapers, listening to music — beneath advertisements for vacation deals and aspirin.

The NYC MTA MetroCard is 20 years old today.

Customers, who for decades had simply dropped a token into the slot on top of the turnstile, had to familiarize themselves with a new method of entry.  Using the MetroCard required riders to master the swipe.  Not too slow, not too fast and don’t lift too early.  Some likened it to delivering a punch to the gut.

After 20 years I still can’t swipe correctly when a train is in or entering the station. Works every time when there’s no train nearby. Typical.

Speaking of the NYC subway, here’s a slow-mo movie of the people standing on the platform while a train is entering the station.

Subway Book

November 27, 2013 at 5:00am • Zero comments

How do you think that book got on top of that electrical(?) box in between two subway tracks?

My first thought is that someone dropped their book onto the tracks while waiting for the train and gave up on it. Later, someone from the MTA was in the tracks cleaning something up or working on something, found it, and instead of throwing it out, picked it up to give away or read later. However, if that was the case, wouldn’t they place the book on the platform rather than on that rather inaccessible box?

My new theory is that a track worker was using that book, either as a log book or as a reference guide, placed it there while they needed two hands for something, and forgot it was there.

Update: The book has disappeared.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has ruled that the big metal antenna-looking thing at the top of One World Trade Center is not an antenna but, in fact, a spire. The ruling makes the height of the building 1,776 feet, 325 feet taller than Chicago’s Willis Tower, which makes 1WTC the tallest building in the US.

The bragging rights to America’s tallest tower became clouded over a design decision last year to remove from an architectural shell for the mast, leaving behind steel beams and maintenance platforms that weren’t meant to be seen. At the time the building’s lead designer, David Childs, criticized the decision.

Glad that got settled.

Astor Place Tile SNAFU

November 8, 2013 at 6:00am • 2 comments

Astor Place subway tile

SLO Architecture made a giant floating sphere made from discarded umbrella spines and plastic bottles.

The designers call it the “physical revelation of the city’s accumulated water-borne debris.” Schachter and Levi harvested 450 seasonally discarded storm-snapped umbrellas from the city’s sidewalks and trashcans to build the dome, one of the most beautiful and abstract structural forms an architect can make.

I don’t know why, but I really enjoyed the fact that the first one floated to Riker’s Island and was quickly destroyed.

Artist Gus Petro merged photographs of the Grand Canyon and NYC.

In this project two opposite places are merged into one: New York City, where, it seems like, everyone wants to live there, and Grand Canyon / Death Valley, which are unlivable.

I love the last photo.

NYC’s largest hotel is getting rid of room service to save money.

John Fox, a consultant for the hotel industry, said nearly all hotels lost money on room service, which requires maintaining a staff of waiters and kitchen workers throughout the day, even though orders typically dwindle after breakfast and come in sporadically afterward. “Everybody’s doing what they can to engineer their properties to make more profit while still supplying the services their guests demand,” he said.


“There are so many hotels to choose from,” Ms. Della Valle said. “If everyone is offering room service, I don’t know why I would pay the same rate with no service.”

Mr. Della Valle, a financial trader, said he might come back — if the Hilton offered a 10 percent discount off its room rate.

I find this quite interesting. The Hilton occupies that space in between the very-expensive-full-service hotels and the no-frills-inexpensive hotels (by NYC standards), and there are a lot of places to get food within a few blocks of the hotel, and tons of places deliver in the area. If they allowed delivery to the room, then it wouldn’t be an issue for all but the most discriminating traveler, who wouldn’t be staying there in the first place.

While attempting to rescue a cat stuck in a tree, an NYPD officer got stuck in the tree and had to be rescued by the FDNY. Reread that to make sure you get the full effect of it.

Then Natto’s colleague put out a call for assistance from the FDNY.

Sources said dispatchers asked him to repeat what was going on — since they couldn’t believe what they were hearing.

When firefighters arrived, “they didn’t go straight to helping him,” Giuong said. “They all gathered around and laughed at him. They took their time just crowding around. It seemed the officer was enjoying himself.”

Stories like this make the Post, and me, very giddy.

The New Yorker has an interactive graph that plots the median income of each stop on each line of the NYC subway.

It’s amazing how much the change is from one stop to the next. Take the A train for example…look at the jump between Fulton and Chambers.