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Holland Tunnel Catwalk Car-Packard NYC

In the Old Images of New York Facebook group today, a member posted this fabulous image of a Holland Tunnel Port Authority police cop in a narrow Packard “catwalk” car that ran along tracks in the tunnel. Doing some research, we discovered this was not the only model for the miniature cars in the tunnel.

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MTA Arts & Design_NYC_Sandra Bloodworth_Untapped Cities_Bhushan Mondkar09‘Whirls and twirls’ by Sol LeWitt at the 59th Street – Columbus Circle station. Photo: Rob Wilson; (Top) Installation views, Images: MTA

In celebration of their upcoming 30th Anniversary, MTA Arts & Design recently launched their latest book New York’s Underground Art Museum: MTA Arts & Design, an updated companion to Along the Way which was published in 2006. The new edition features nearly 100 new works of art that have been commissioned and installed over the past eight years. Untapped Cities took this opportunity to kick start a four part series featuring our interview with Sandra Bloodworth, Director of MTA Arts & Design as well as the co-author of this fabulous book. We started with the origin and evolution followed by the various programs within Arts & Design. In this third part we discuss the process involved in installing these refreshing art pieces within the NYC transit system. The interview was conducted by Catherine McKeon Mondkar and Bhushan Mondkar.

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Day Glo Map-Steven Van Worley-NYC Street Grid-001

Artist and scientist Stephen Von Worley made these incredible “day glo” maps of a handful of the world’s major cities ostensibly to understand in his own words, “what other treasures I had missed.” The result from a data visualization standpoint is to give us an idea of how gridded a city is. A basic rundown of how these beautiful maps work: the roads that are oriented in the same direction have the same color. The thicker the lines, the more “grid-like” the area is.

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We’re always on the look out for fun maps of NYC and we came across this site recently, NYC Roads by Steve Anderson. It looks like it was laid out in the 1990s but it does have a nice archive of road maps, vintage photographs and more. The road map database goes from 1928 to the 1990s. Here are some highlights:

1928 New York and Vicinity Rand McNally Map

This 1928 road map of NYC and vicinity shows the state of the roads. Paved in black, improved in dash line and graded or dirt roads in white:

1928 NYC Regional Map-Rand McNally

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Arts&Design_SandraBloodworth_NYC_UntappedCites_bhushan mondkar-007Rendering of the upper mezzanine level of the 34th street station built as part of the 7 subway extension. The dome will feature artwork by Xenobia Bailey. Rendering courtesy: MTA

Last week we presented the first part of our interview with Sandra Bloodworth, Director of MTA Arts & Design, where we talked about the incredible rebirth of the New York’s subway system over the past three decades and how the introduction of permanent art has transformed the transit experience in New York. From mesmerizing art cards and poetry in the trains, to captivating music in the stations, Arts & Design continues to touch our lives and ignite our imagination, as New York chugs along every day. In this second part of our four part series, we discuss how Arts & Design has influenced the aesthetics and design philosophy in NYC public transit as well as the different programs within Arts & Design, including the new ones that will soon be rolling down the tracks! This interview was conducted by Catherine Mondkar and Bhushan Mondkar.

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anna brown screen capture mapsImage via Business Insider

 

Imagine this: You walk out of Port Authority after a long bus trip, and need to find your best friend’s apartment at 383 Madison Avenue. As you take your phone out of your pocket, a commuter with no patience for dawdlers rushes past you, bumping your arm, causing your phone to fall and smash into smithereens on the sidewalk. So what do you do? Luckily, there’s a mathematical formula that will help you estimate the cross street of any address in Manhattan, and all it requires is a bit of mental math.

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