Showing posts with label MTA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MTA. Show all posts

13.6.15

On Being Right in the World

An E train waits in the station at the terminal World Trade Center station
An R160B rolling stock working the E line waits in the terminal World Trade Center station in Lower Manhattan.
I do not think it is hokey to think about what kind of energy we project into the world.
No matter how smart you are, what clever ideas you bring to the table, or what accomplishments you've mastered — it's all about how you are in the world that counts.

I'm not talking about broadcasting a veneer of positivity. Even when you don't feel so great, you can still be mindful enough to not let your own feelings seep out and be destructive. I know from experience that never works.


That's why we have art. And stuff. And tragic movies. Or hitting a baseball. Or running until your chest hurts (I know. I don't do that too much.)


Frankly, for me, I'm just beginning to come up to the surface of the water to breathe. And the air does feel good. On my face. The taste of pepper on my scrambled eggs.


Can you tell I am trying to make a breakthrough? 

9.1.12

45th Street New York City Subway Station — Sunset Park, Brooklyn

I live along the BMT Fourth Avenue Line in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, three blocks from the Forty-Fifth Street Station. That's how I've decided to introduce myself. Where do you live? I say I live along the BMT Fourth Avenue Line in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, just steps from the Forty-Fifth Street Station.

Coming up out of the southwest staircase on the corner of Forty-Fifth Street and Fourth Avenue the rest of the world radiates in every direction. Looking north, the Watchtower building is somewhat visible; Have you ever been visited by a Jehovah's Witness? Well, they get their pamphlets from that building. Or they used to at one time. I think the Jehovah's Witnesses moved shop. Looking South, if it is a clear day, (you can see tomorrow) you can see the Verrazano-Narrows suspension bridge looming like an excessive decoration on a child's birthday cake, all silver and toy-looking. Peering West down Forty-Sixth Street first one is struck by the entourage of cars lumbering along the Gowanus Expressway, a green-looking overpass that stretches itself from Gowanus and Red Hook along Third Avenue to Sixty-Third Street and then it veers East. Just beyond the expressway, if you peer hard enough, you can see the rough-hewn sparkle of Lower New York Bay. 

27.8.11

Irene Did It: MTA Suspends Public Transportation

7 Avenue BMT Station Roped Off on the Brighton Line in Park Slope, Brooklyn 
I must say: not having our iconic subway trains in service because of Irene is eerie. I understand the rationale behind the MTA's decision but I am still stunned that in New York City today there is no revenue service AT ALL. The MTA suspended service on all subway, bus, Metro North, and Long Island Railroad - as well as New Jersey Transit and PATH.

Trains have been moved from vulnerable yards and holed up on tracks at a higher elevation. If I could be a fly on the wall during this complicated maneuver to put the MTA rolling stock on safe ground.
image source: bkabak

14.7.11

Aesthetic Thursday: City Hall Station

City Hall Station, IRT Lexington Avenue Line
(Image credit: John-Paul Palescandolo, Fred Guenther)
Take the Local 6 Train
If you take the local 6 train in Manhattan to its southern terminus at Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall station, don't get off the train even though it's the last stop. Stay on the train. More than likely you will be the only one in the car. The train will start up again and venture forward through the tunnel. What you may not know is that the local tracks at this station form a loop. 

The Remains of the First New York City Subway Station
Along the route are the remains of the former City Hall Station. It was the inaugural station of the city's first underground transportation system. As the train loops around, you will be able to see it — and if you are lucky the train may stop, or slow down enough, to get a good glimpse of the station's architecture. The station was built in 1904 and served the New York City subway system's IRT line until 1945 — when it was shuttered to make way for new trains that could not fit the older station's tight curve. The station had become redundant and has laid dormant for seventy-five years. 

Imagining a Turn-of-the-Century Gem Come to Life
Unlike other abandoned stations in the system, the City Hall station has remained protected from graffiti vandalism. Seeing the station while riding the loop is not as good as seeing it on foot, inside the station, with the lights turned on, but for a moment imagine the once touted travertine-tiled ceiling are aglow with the gas-lit chandeliers that once filled the space with illumination. When the New York City subway first opened back in 1905, it originally went from City Hall to what is now Grand Central station, but it turned west along what is now the 42nd Street shuttle, and at Times Square the line ran north, where it eventually meandered to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. I imagine I am one of those original straphangers, paying the five-cent fare, wearing a black coat, a top hat, white collared shirt — the same get-up one notices if you happen to like looking at men's attire from the turn-of-the-century.

What's your favorite subway station? What makes it your favorite?

5.6.11

Vintage Columbus Circle 59th Street Subway Sign

Meet me next to the glazed red wheelbarrow at Columbus Circle, she said, mimicking William Carlos Williams ...
Notice the symbol for the now defunct 9 line

19.4.11

That Time I Heard "Shut the F%*& Up!" Shouted on the New York City Subway

That Time I Rode the E Train Running on the F Line in Queens
     On weekends the E train runs local (which is New York City slang for saying "The train stops at every dinky stop). Usually, it's the R that's a local train. But on weekends it's the E., Of course, I know this tiny fact about the New York City Subway system. It's the only subway system in the world (that I know of) that has an express-local system. 
The reason for my travel:
Tom Baker's Doctor would definitely have interfered.
    I had to take a test for a job on a Saturday morning. The E train sidled into the station. A man with a bongo drum positioned himself at the car's farthest corner. Bom da bom da bom bom bom. The announcer came on: "Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah." No one could hear. The man with the bongo drum kept bonging: bam da bam da bom bom bom. I could make out "service change" "F line" "No stops at blah blah blah blah" "Transfer" No one could hear and everyone wanted the bongo guy to stop banging his bongo drum. The announcer came on again and everyone strained to listen to the garbled, chopped up the transmission. Bong da bong da bong bong. Finally, a robust woman in front of me exploded. "Shut the f%*& up," she said. To no one in particular. Her high decibel shrill did not deter the bongo player. "Shut the f%*& up." The bongo dude continued to bongo. The woman folded her arms and steamed. "Queens Plaza. This E train is running on the F line! I repeat this Manhattan-bound E train is running on the F line!"
That Time Robin Williams Liked My Story of Riding the E Train Running on the F Line Story at a Recent Upright Citizen Brigade Improv Show
    At the Upright Citizen Brigade, a local theater troupe in New York City that promotes live improvisational comedy for free, I had the opportunity of relating my bizarre E train weekend service change subway story to the masses -- and to Robin Williams.
photo: john shearer © wireimage.com
Robin Williams Heard My Story and Gave it His Own Spin
I told my tale of the robust woman who told the bong drum guy to "shut the f%*& up!" Robin Williams was on stage. At three different points in the show, he would indiscriminately yell out, "shut the f%*& up!" It was a moment of celeb synchronicity that made our night.

28.3.11

MTA Service Change Notice With Extras

On a service disruption memo left on the subway platform, a straphanger has scribbled the phone numbers of the New York Police Department Internal Affairs Department and the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
Someone Wants Us to Complain to the MTA/NYPD
I'm not so sure a call to the NYPD internal affairs office will help much with a planned service change. Gotta love the subways on the weekends. The funny part was two police officers were reading the sign just before I snapped the photo. The bottom left of the poster includes the phone number for the "Commission to Combat Police Corruption, 212-487-7350."

15.10.10

Dude Plays Saxophone at the Fulton Street Broadway/Nassau Station

 Don't worry. He was graciously tipped. 

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13.10.10

Day Fades on the Manhattan Bound J Train

I took a video of the window of the subway car as the train travelled over the Williamsburg Bridge at dusk on my way to the library from work.







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1.10.10

Video: Train Enters the Station at 14th Street Union Square

With accompaniment by Joan Baez, "Old Welsh Song" from the album Baptism


Manhattan-bound Local 6 Train enters the station at 14th Street Union Square Station in New York City. Notice the curvature of the tracks. People are visible both on the platform and on the mezzanine level. At a brief moment, one can see the train's motorman through the car window. Union Square Station services subway lines L, N, Q, R, 4, 5, and 6 trains and is situated directly below Union Square Park. The Soundtrack is Joan Baez's lyric piece, "Old Welsh Song." 
I take with me where I go
A pen and a golden bowl
Poet and beggar step in my shoes,
Or a prince in a purple shawl.
I bring with me when I return
To the house that my father's hands made,
A crooning bird on a chrystal bough and,
O, a sad, sad word!
 

Boy on Vintage MTA Bus


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26.9.10

60 Ton Mack Tow Truck

Annual MTA bus festival



Man says he never noticed the Mack dog ornament until today.


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