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New York Transit-Money Train-Revenue Room-370 Jay Street-Transit Museum-Secret lIfe of 370 Jay Street-NYC-004The New York Transit Money Train. Photo by Patrick Cashin / MTA New York City Transit

You know about armored trucks, but what about an armored subway? From 1951 to 2006, the New York City transit system ran an armored train that moved all the subway and bus fares collected to a secret room at 370 Jay Street in Brooklyn, the subject of the exhibit at the New York Transit Museum The Secret Life of 370 Jay Street.” A description in the exhibit describes that “most Money Trains were staffed by 12 collecting agents and one supervisor, all armed and wearing body armor.”

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Urban Cowboy-High Line-Meatpacking-West Side-NYCPhoto via Livin’ the High Line

The “West Side Cowboys” in New York City, one of the most fun secrets of the High Line, were city-appointed safety vigilantes on horseback that once prevented pedestrian accidents along 10th Avenue, a thoroughfare nicknamed Death Avenue due to the large number of accidents between freight trains and pedestrians. The original High Line, opened in 1934, was an elevated freight viaduct for the New York Central railroad, built in response to the accidents. Vintage video footage discovered by historian Annik La Farge while writing the book On the High Line: Exploring America’s Most Original Urban Park (Revised Edition) provides a rare glimpse into this once-popular symbol of the city’s west side.

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Think you can build a better subway? Here's your chance

Think you can build a better subway? Here’s your chance

Subway-related aggravation in New York is such an ingrained part of living here that it can sometimes feel shocking when you take a train that shows up in a reasonable amount of time or isn’t delayed because of train traffic. If you’ve lived here long enough, you’ve probably reached a moment where you thought that you could design a more efficient subway system. Well good news, sort of: Mini Metro, a downloadable game on Steam, allows you to put your money where your mouth is and try to build your own working train systems based on cities around the world. Will you prove yourself to be a brilliant transit mind, or will you leave a trail of angry commuters calling for your head? (more…)

Bleecker-Street-Abandoned-Subway-Platform-Section-Broadway-Lafayette Street-NYC-003

In 2012, the Bleecker Street subway station was renovated to create a much-needed transfer from the uptown 6 train to the B/D/F/M trains, as previously transfers were only available to those on the downtown 6. The modification necessitated a shift in the subway platform south, and a northwards extension of the subway platform that was itself added in the 1950s to accommodate the longer 10-car trains closed. This platform is still viewable when you’re on the 6 train leaving the station and has preserved some advertisements from 2011.

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If You Smell Something Smell Something Else-MTA Guerrilla Campaign-School of Visual Arts SVA-Angela Kim-NYC Subway-002

We all know how bad the New York City subway system can smell sometimes. In the worst of times, we pull up our scarves or shirts over our noses and try not to breathe. But there might be a real explanation for what straphangers are experiencing. Angela Kim, a graphic design student at the School of Visual Arts has installed a guerrilla “Scratch and Sniff” project entitled “If You Smell Something, Smell Something Else,” a play on the ever-present MTA warning “If you see something, say something.”

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brooklyn-queens-connector-streetcar-untappedjpgImage via Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector

In his third annual State of the City address last Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio put forward a $2.5 billion dollar plan to install a public transportation project connecting Brooklyn and Queens along the waterfront. The plan did not propose the incorporation of new buses or subways, instead he wants to bring the streetcar back. Here’s a recap of the history, plans, pros and cons of the streetcar plan. (more…)