Buried in the annals of history, there is a somewhat forgotten piece of opulence related to the first subway line in New York City, the Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT). We recently came across references to a private subway car, the Mineola, commissioned by August Belmont Jr., the President of the IRT and one of its main financiers, for his own private use.
Custom made by the Wason Manufacturing Company in Massachusetts, the Mineola was wood paneled on the inside with a kitchen galley, servants call system, toilet, electrical heating, a fancy desk for Belmont and a place for repose. Belmont used the Mineola to entertain guests and would go from the Hotel Belmont, designed by Warren & Wetmore as part of Grand Central’s Terminal City complex, on a private track to Grand Central and on to his racetrack at Belmont Park. An agreement with the Long Island Railroad for transfers at Atlantic Yards gave him access to anywhere along the Eastern seaboard.
In the fast-paced city of New York, where people are constantly on their feet, a bench, chair or any place to sit is a welcome sight. For the second year, “Street Seats,” an art installation on the corner of 13th Street and 5th Avenue is the solution for city dwellers who need a place to sit. The installation combines sustainability, functionality and comfort in the concrete jungle.
In partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation, students from The New School’s Parson School of Design, Eugene Lang College and Schools of Public Engagement revived the project as part of the Spring 2016 “Design Build” course.
5.9 million people on average ride the MTA daily. That’s almost six million pairs of shoes walking up and down the hundreds of platforms that make up our beloved New York City subway, accidentally or purposefully dropping trash and more. Just imagine what is under every single sneaker, sandal, high heel, loafer and boot. It will take more than just a few Swiffer pads to get all of that out. So how does the MTA clean up the subways?
Though not on the MTA website yet, the Second Avenue Subway line has been added to the subway map contained with the May 2016 MTA Board Action Items document released on Wednesday. The line is expected to open in December this year and there would be a few changes as a result, including a resurrection of the W line. Currently, the Q goes from Astoria-Ditmars Blvd to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue.
Things are certainly moving forward with New York City’s Citywide Ferry, scheduled to open in Summer 2017. First, a new web portal was released last week and today the NYCEDC released renderings for the new ferry landings. Although some of the stops will be familiar to those that know the East River Ferry or Water Taxi services, there will be new stops like Soundview in the Bronx, along the east side of Manhattan at 90th Street, 62nd Street, and Grand Street, in the Rockaways, in Bay Ridge, and two in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Sure, the Chinese community in New York City has their dollar vans that run between neighborhoods like Chinatown, Sunset Park and Flushing. But the Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods take the ethnic-defined bus to a new level – the B-110 bus looks like a municipal bus (though the buses themselves come from the Fairfax Connector in Virginia) and operates under a franchise with the city.
The B-110 bus is operated by Private Transportation Corporation, which doesn’t take any subsidies from the city. The route goes from Williamsburg and Borough Park and by law, anyone can take it, but the buses are wrapped in Yiddish writing. It also costs more than an MTA fare at $3.25.