You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘New York Subway’ tag.

Swamp Donkey

I think “Swamp Donkey” says it all.

Year One Kiss

IMG_0264

This is what I get for living near art students.

Priceless

Priceless

A picture is worth a thousand words — especially when the letters have been rearranged to spell “vomit.” What more needs to be said?

IMG_0185

The folks on the G line near Pratt have been especially creative recently, so I thought I’d share their work with the rest of you. The one above is a sentimental mash up that shows how sports cheese and Lifetime channel romance cheese blend so seamlessly. The one below is just FUNNY.

IMG_0188

xin_37040418063186922441115

Yay! Obama announced a plan to invest $8 billion in high speed and existing rail projects! This is a welcome change from the plan of the past administration to strangle Amtrak and throw it in a tub to drown it. Build it, and they will come. Please lord, let the economically stimulating effect of mass transit in New York City show the Feds and the villains in the New York State senate that mass transit is a priority, not a privilege.

Hit bonus plus two for being a "native"

Hit bonus plus two for being a "native"

Two art interventions caught my eye the other day, so I thought I’d share. The one above is more obviously hipster ironic than the one below. The one below is just great art. (I hope you can see the stubble lovingly drawn in on her chin.) Now that the G will only be running every half hour, young aspiring artists will have plenty of time to perfect their skills at the Metropolitan stop.

april-subway-art1

Kathy, or Ken?

subway-debate-march-23-2009

Public spaces are great for public speech and debate. This is a good example of NYC’s diversity, written on a subway wall.


oil-fields

Dubai is a palace of excess and contradition. It is a mushroom that paradoxically bloomed under the whithering rays of the sun. But the leadership of the UAE is a lot smarter than anyone in America today. From today’s New York Times:

[The UAE’s] new investment [in renewable energy] aims to maintain the gulf’s dominant position as a global energy supplier, gaining patents from the new technologies and promoting green manufacturing. But if the United States and the European Union have set energy independence from the gulf states as a goal of new renewable energy efforts, they may find they are arriving late at the party.

The irony that the most wasteful and oil dependent part of the globe should be on the cutting edge of green energy is unremarkable next to the ambition — characteristic of the Gulf states — to go all the way all at once. Consider Masdar City, a planned community outside of Abu Dhabi that claims it will have a zero-carbon footprint. Even though skeptics doubt this claim, it is notable not for its complete success in execution, but for its audacity.

According to the Times article, Qatar has invested $225 million into a British research fund, and Saudi Arabia has invested untold millions into American universities, including $25 million for Michael McGehee an associate professor at Stanford, to develop cutting edge technologies. That is fifty times the amount invested by Western governments or industry.

Finally, the Times tells us Masdar City “goes beyond creating new materials and is in fact exploring a new model for urban life.” To wit: “The city will have no cars; people will move around using driverless electric vehicles that move on a subterranean level. The air-conditioning will be solar powered.” As a New Yorker I take exception to this. After all, we also have subterranean electric cars that move people around. It’s called the subway. If only the city, state, and federal government could get their posteriors and capitals wired together they could see that a massive investment in the New York City subway is a necessary good faith effort to putting America into the 21st century.

g-train-morning-sept-2-2008

A study released on Monday showed that from 2003 to 2007 New Yorkers (such as myself) left their cars at home — or abandoned them entirely! — to take the train or bus. An article in the New York Times give the details. Bruce Schaller, New York’s deputy transportation commissioner for planning and sustainability, is quoted as saying, “What you see is that for the first time since at least World War II, all of the growth in travel in the city has been absorbed by non-auto modes, primarily by mass transit.” I can tell you from personal experience that leaving car culture and living in the dense urban core was a fundamental and life changing choice for me. And as I have argued elsewhere, it is a choice that many Americans are also ready, willing, and able to make. Let’s hope that President Obama is able to use this pivotal moment in history to write a new chapter for America, one that does away with SUVs and ushers in cheap, efficient public transit.

George Pataki is laughing at you.

George Pataki is laughing at you.

The metropolitan transit system is the most developed mass transit system in the United States. It carries workers (including me) from their houses to their jobs inside and outside the five boroughs. It is an essential piece of infrastructure for New York City, New York State, and the Tri-State area. Its importance cannot be overstated. The economic activity made possible by the transit system produces the lion’s share of taxes that go to Albany, and a sizable income for Newark and Hartford. Without the MTA millions would be unemployed.

So why did Governor Pataki try to starve it in the 90s? This is from an article in the New York Times:

At first the programs were financed with a combination of money from the state and city and borrowing. After George E. Pataki became governor in 1995, he sharply cut state funds for the capital programs and told the authority to borrow more. As a result, the last two five-year plans have been, in the words of the authority’s current executive director, Elliot G. Sander, put on a credit card.

The massive irresponsibility of the governor’s policy is all the more glaring now that the MTA is gasping for air. So why wasn’t there more of an outcry when the electorate could do something about it?

The answer is The Great Conservative Tax Swindle, also known as the Laffer Curve. The Laffer Curve is some spurious (and typically conservative) economic snake oil sold to the masses by Reagan and his legion of followers. At first it seems reasonable: if taxes are too high people won’t work. But taken to the extreme It says that all taxes are bad, and that rests on the assumption that only private capital is able to finance the public weal.

Some things are too important to be left to private initiative. In order to form a more perfect Union (as our Founding Fathers believed) we must come together as a people, and that means we will elect a government. Conservatives, deeply suspicious of government, have for the last twenty-eight years elected sabateurs whose explicit vow was to dismantle government. Deeply suspicious of public capital, they actively and openly raided the public treasury to enrich private capital. The time has come to roundly condemn this insanity. In the words of Roger Toussaint, president of Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union:

With a dramatic and historic increase in ridership, more service – not less – is needed on our subway and bus lines. Failure to maintain and reinvest in our transportation infrastructure now will result in huge costs to riders and all taxpayers down the road.

This intervention almost speaks for itself. The Stepford Wives of Orange county are faceless, but their pudenda speak immodestly loud.

Whoever did the bruise makeup on this poster is a genius. Kudos to you my anonymous friend. (Poster Boy, is it you?!)

G train, 8:30 a. m. 9/2/08

The state legislature and the MTA need to wake up and smell the overcrowding on all New York City transit. The crosstown G — the only line that doesn’t run into Manhattan — has been sorely neglected its whole life. And now the state is saying that the budget shortfall means cuts, higher fares, and worse service. Don’t they know that the biggest build out the the system was during the Great Depression?

Maybe they do. But the real problem is a lack of organization in transit advocacy groups to put real pressure on Albany to invest heavily in NYC transit. First, kick Sheldon Silver out of the legislature, and second make sure all the other reps know they’re next on the hit list if they drag their feet on funding a massive MTA overhaul.

Are we happy the days of dingy subway stations are gone? (Don’t look at Jay St. — you might think it was the 70s again.) Even if the stations aren’t covered in spray paint, some old-fashioned smart-asses are taking the burden of de-corpratizing the subway on their shoulders to make our commute a little more fun.

Read the rest of this entry »

Categories

Blog Stats

  • 232,845 hits