The last time anyone in NYC actually used a token was 11 years ago. For 50 years New Yorkers used these little round coins (that we would mistake for quarters constantly) to ride the subway until the Metrocard debuted and made them obsolete (as well as the token booths, which are slowly being erased too). At the time of the forced token extinction, the MTA had 60 million tokens in circulation. Tons of coins with no pocket or subway to call home. So where did they all go? Were they dumped in the middle of the sea like old train cars? Are they all in some sort of stock room, only sprung out when someone wants a souvenir? Well an article on Gizmodo today revealed what happened to the beloved subway token . (more…)
In 2010, the Ridgewood Intermodal Terminal opened at Myrtle-Wyckoff station on the border of Brooklyn and Queens, line facilitating subway to bus transfers along the L and M lines. The project from the MTA was completed at a cost of $4.5 million, bringing together the numerous bus lines in the area into a small stretch on Palmetto Street, which is open to buses and deliveries only. Much like the newspaper stand that mimics the original Heins and LaFarge fare control station on 72nd Street, the dispatcher booth is a miniature house that is in the same aesthetic as the main house, just across the street.
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.
‘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.
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.
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:
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: